One of the most arduous treks that we have undertaken so far, the reasons being ill health, fatigue and the hot sun.
Well, thanks to Anil S (The name Kuduremukha (as it is known by the natives) literally means 'horse-face' (in the local language Kannada) and refers to a particular picturesque view of a side of the mountain that resembles the same. It was also referred to as 'Samseparvata', historically since it was approached from Samse village.
This time the Figo was rested and my Alto was at the helm and me being in my favorite position handling the steering. Not gauging the travelling distance properly was one of my many blunders in the trip undermining the distance by a good 100 kms! which in turn increased our travel time considerably. Probably after a long time, all four of us - Me, Raja, Guru and Nag were together in a trek (the last full fledged trek was more than a year ago... claustrophobic!). I was suffering from a throat infection and severe cough and that worsened all the more and the boys had landed straight from office (anyone said fatigue...yes!).
We traveled through Bangalore-Tumkur-Arsikere-Kadur-Chikmagalur-Aldur-Balehonnur-Kalasa-Baalegal-Mullodi that is the starting point of the trek. From Mullodi you need to park your vehicle and hire a jeep (or walk a distance of 7-8kms uphill) to reach Sateesh's house. All trekkers to Kuduremukh peak stay here and Sateesh arranges for the permission from the forest department and arranges for the guide as well. You can opt to stay for a night at his house. Being there, you are completely cut off from the rest of the world and all that you listen is to the sounds of nature in its pure form.
We freshened up and were ready to leave by 10am for one of our most awaited treks, finally inspite of many hiccups. As it was hot, we were all in shorts and t-shirts with caps to protect from the heat. The initial couple of hours is more or less of a flat terrain, a little uphill, a little downhill, walk along the ridges with the valley view on one side and crossing multiple streams on our way passing the Onti mara (its a single tree present on the edge of a cliff and so the name). After passing through ridges, streams, open fields we reached the Lobo mane at a slow pace, the real trek starts here with the path becoming narrow and uphill till the end... We progressed slowly and steadily huffing puffing and taking multiple breaks to rest as we moved on.
In between the ascent and probably for the first time ever, I felt as though I would not be able to go further up with the cough, cold, heat reducing my speed and diminishing my energy to sub zero levels. I asked the boys to keep moving as I took a long break (Nag stopped with me) and I was feeling horribly out of sorts sitting there somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Despair set in as Kuduremukha peak was on my hit list and I was sitting feeling all cramped up unable to climb up and relenting to go back without conquering the peak. "Kasta bandaaga Venkataramana" is a famous saying in Kannada (that means you pray to God when in difficult times) and that's what I did. A silent prayer, a deep breath and I started to move on telling myself all the time (You have to do it, you have to do it for your boys, you can do it!)
The boys were of great help and support egging me to move on (as they have always been) and special mention to Nag (nagaraj gaitonde) who has got tremendous stamina and energy who earned the tiles of "Karavali kanteerava", "Aapatbandhava" and many others from us :). At this point I was feeling much better and finally finally with a slow and steady pace ascending and descending numerous smaller peaks, we reached the summit. Ahoy! finally the moment had arrived and we were thrilled to bits on this special achievement. The sun was boiling on our heads and we spent some time atop the peak and came down near to the water source where we had put up the bags and food. After the meals, energizers and a long break, we were ready to descend!
Another wrong thought of us was that the descent would be faster and easier than the ascent that we realized very soon! We covered the steep descent in good pace and after some rest moved on to complete the remaining. We walked, walked, walked and slowly it started to seem a never ending walk back home. Added to this I had a bad bout of cough that further drained my energy levels and delayed our descent further. The walk back was a very long one that we will remember for a very long time to come. Finally after the sun had set down and darkness set in, we reached Sateesh's house and after a cup of soup and hot dinner later, we hit the sacks and we were lost soaking in the success of conquering the peak and resting our tired limbs.
Next day, we came down hiring the same jeep and after a heavy breakfast we proceeded towards home. We took the route through Kalasa-Chikmagalur-Belur-Hassan-Bangalore. Back home after an eventful, tiring, adventure filled trek that also made us realize the toughness since it was almost a year after our previous trek.
Contact - Mr Sateesh - 9481074530 / 08263249595.