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The ridge walk

It had been almost 7 months since I had completed stok kangri and the need to get back to the mountains was getting bigger with each passing day. Summer had to be ruled out due to lack of water and high temperatures, however when rains began it was time to head back to the mountains. I was initially planning for a day trek and when my friend shashi asked me if i was willing to join for a ridge walk between mullayanagiri and bababudangiri i jumped in on the chance.

As usual tickets were booked and I met Shashi and his friends (hema and Jyothi) at majestic at 10 pm on sat night. An uneventful bus journey took us to chikmagalur the next day morning ar 4.30. Another couple of hours of sleep and it was time to head to bababudangiri. The bus which was leaving at 6.30 was full , hence we decided to take a ride on the top of the bus, which was a different experience and was a lot of fun. An hour drive took us to dattapeeta from where the trek begins.

Ride On top of bus

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The weather was misty and the whole area was covered in white by the time we reached dattapeeta. Chances of trekking was less as rain was imminent. We however decided to go ahead with the trek hoping the weather would clear up. We went to mankyadhara falls as the route starts from there and we were soon descending into the valley.

Misty Weather

945499_10201278594745709_1797923025_nWith mist covering the place every now and then, we had to be careful not to loose the way. Though I had done this trek in 2007, i was not familiar with the route, however shashi who had done this route recently was able to lead the way. We maintained a steady pace while taking short breaks while waiting for the weather to clear up before moving ahead.

As the rainy season was beginning temperature was low, and soon we found overselves in a blanket of white cloud. With no idea on how to proceed with took a long break before the clouds parted way and showed us the route to the actual ridge.

Lush Greenary and misty walk

944388_10201278596305748_1944154211_n389230_10201278598865812_1974148617_nWith just an hour to go finish the ridge walk we halted for lunch which was supposed to be a short break which dragged for 45 min. As we still had to climb mullayanagiri, we immediately headed off to the ridge. Care to be taken while on the ridge as there was a big gorge on the side and any mistake can have disastrous consequences. The walk is relatively short on the ridge and we soon reached the tower which marked the end of the ridge walk.

We still had to climb mullyanagiri and there was not a lot of time to loose. The weather remained misty and we soon set about climbing the tallest peak in karnataka. With short breaks we continued the ascent and after an hour and half of climbing we reached the temple. The priest asked us to freshen up and have lunch. A short break after lunch and we were began the descent on the road rather than taking the route down via “Sarpadari”.

Way to Mullaynagiri

401869_10201278600545854_766429056_nIt was long walk back on the road with a short break for tea and snacks. It was already 6 by the time we reached anegundi bus stop where we caught a tempo going to the city thus completing an amazing and fun filled trek.

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Mullyanagiri-Bababundangiri Ridge Walk – An unfinished trek

History

A year ago on sept 10th 2008 ,8 unkown ppl had met at shantala silk house when yhai had announced a 2 day hike to mullayanagiri and kemmangundi. We had climbed mullayanagiri though that was my second ascent to the peak. Due to time constraints we couldnt do the ridge walk as we had to depart to kemmangundi the same day. We had decided we would do it the following year.

Team from last year

P9270006_resizeL To R(Sneha, Ram,Satish,Prahalad,Shasi,Roopa,Prashant, me taking the snap)

Present Day

One year had passed and everyone were eager to complete the ridge walk as an anniversary event.  The team for this year’s trek  -Mr & mrs Ravi , Sneha, Badri,Roopa,Prashant,Shobana,Vikas and Me.

Tickets were booked and everyone were in high spirits. With just a week to go my mom newspapers had reported north east monsoon would hit the state and with depression in TN , heavy rains were to be expected.  I had checked my weather forecast a couple of days before leaving and there was no indication of rain. The weather forecast for 5th nov when I had checked can be found below

Weather forecast as of Nov 5th

I had told my friend to check the weather before leaving, however it was too late as tickets were already booked. Another guy had confirmed that it was raining heavily in chikmagalur and chances of doing the ridge walk would be less.

9 of us met at majestic bus stand at 10.45 to board the bus to chikmagalur.  The guy who had taken the pains of booking the tickets and who was enthusiastic about coming for the trek had to drop out as work had forced him to stay back.

The bus reached chikmagalur at 6 in the morning, and we could see that it was very cloudy and it had rained previously. After a finishing our morning abulations we hired a jeep to take us to the top of mullayanagiri.

We could see thick fog everywhere and visibility was near zero.

Misty road to mullyanagiri

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A small photoshoot was done and this provided us with an oppurtunity to acclimatize ourselves.

The gang enjoying a photoshoot

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A lone tree covered by mist

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We reached the top and headed to the temple. The person in the temple told us the coffee will be ready by the time we saw the caves which was present just below the temple.

The winds had picked up intensity and just standing was proving to be difficult. We managed to get to the cave which provided us shelter from the winds temporarily. Munched on a few snacks the others had got and clicked a few snaps.

Silhouette inside the cave

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After spending some more time in the caves , we headed back to the temple to have hot cuppa and to start the trek. We were shown the route and we promptly started.

There were two paths one which goes left and other goes straight. We took the path which goes left and started walking. Care had to be taken while walking on the slippery ground as a wrong step would send us slidding down.  Helping each other we proceeded further. As we went further we saw the path again splitting into two. We were told by the temple guy to follow the main path, which we did.

After walking for a while we heard some noises and this left us confused. Badri told we had circled the mountain and we came back to the arch. To rectify the mistake we doubled back and took the path going down.

After walking for 30-40 min we again heard the same noises. Now we were were sure we had circled mullyanagiri mutt again. However we decided to continue walking and we finally reached the arch.

Circling the mutt twice took us 2 hours.  A localite showed us the correct route once we reached the top again :). As we neared the V shaped stone , we found the winds to be increasingly high. With near zero visibility conditions ,myself and ravi continued further, moving slowly.

The others especially the girls were not willing to risk going further and thus we had to go back to the mutt.

With a heavy heart we finally had to abandon the plan of doing the ridge walk as the weather would not allow us to move any further

With enough time left with us and having nothing to do we walked along the jeep track to sitalayanagiri mutt from where the jeep picked us. We headed back to chikmagalur town.

View Near Sitalaynagiri Mutt

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The weather had cleared just a little to take a few snaps of the lush green mountain ranges

After lunch , the rest of the day was spent sleeping , playing cards  and cracking jokes before heading back to bangalore

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