Showing posts from 2012

Kaas Plateau ~ Venna Lake Walkathon - 2 Sept 2012

I was awake even before the alarm could go off at 3 AM. I almost jumped out of bed before I remembered the time and decided to take it slowly, least I make any noise.

I had already laid out my things the previous night. All that remained for me to do was fill up my hydration pack, arrange things in my backpack and get my trekking gear on. All this, right after a steaming cup of coffee, a little something to satiate my stomach and a brief reading of anything handy. This is the routine three things that I simply cannot start my day without, no matter what the time of day I get up. Even a torn sheet salvaged from a laundered shirt will also do, I simply have to read.

My friends indicated they were on their way to the meeting point via my home. I was just wearing my shoes and then at the last minute decided to switch to sandals instead. Gear on, food in place, backpack on my back and my heart was singing already. I wish I could go on adventures every single day.

4 AM: I hear a car outside an…

On this day last year!

On this day last year, I began my long journey into the Gobi desert of Mongolia with 10 other crazy folks, an equal number of camels and 3 locals.

More details here.

A Hike into the valley of shadows - Sandhan Valley

Sandhan valley always seems like a mysterious place that a few have visited. Its description as a valley of shadows added to its charm even more.

The valley is located on the west side of beautiful Bhandardhara region near Samrad (pronounced sam as in farm and rad as in rudd) village. The village itself is located approx.  at 3000 ft above sea level. It is made of up of folks who stare at you are you walk by, but are equally eager to help if you hesitate even slightly. About 500 meters away from the village is where the Sandhan valley entrance is located. Nothing fancy there, just the point where the path starts to descend steeply.

All around the village you will find the great peaks of the Sahyadris – the famed Alang-Madan-Kulang (AMK) tri peaks, followed by Kalsubai, Ajooba and of course, Ratangad.

When you walk to the mouth of the valley you realize that you are essentially walking in the path of a stream, a big one at that. In summers and winters, except for a few ponds where water r…

Princess on a bike

How to shop for your trekking boots online

Once I was firm about walking a 1000 km across the Gobi, I started a search for good boots in earnest; after all they would be on my feet for almost a 50 days. A lack of good quality long haul boots in the local market prompted me to look for them online. It was a tough decision to order online– without ever having handled the boots, or putting them on my feet even once. It was a risk I had to take. I looked at almost 20 odd websites before zeroing down on Not only do they have a lot of and very varied stock, but there is even a live chat with customer support where you can look for advice and opinions. I asked a lot of questions about brands, sizes, fit, material and then chose my Scarpas after much research. My only problem was that they did not ship to India, which I managed to circumvent with the help of some folks. So how do you choose excellent boots when you can only view them, talk about them, and read about them but not wear them? What do you really look for …

3 things to check for before you embark on an expedition

When you get busy with the equipment, the travel arrangements, creating a social media presence, it is easy to ignore items that you need to check for in yourself before you are exposed to the demands of an expedition. Expedition, as the word goes, involves some arduous task for an extended period of time -- Be it climbing dizzy heights, hiking long hours day after day, kayaking hard for months or navigating your way across uninhibited landscapes. You need to be as ready as your equipment is. Sure, you have been preparing long and hard, you are raring to go..but these 3 things below are easy to miss in the last minute euphoria of starting on the expedition. They will mean life or injury/death if ignored.

1. Check your hemoglobin count - It will pay rich dividends if you know what your RBC levels are BEFORE you go. It'll prevent fatigue during the expedition. Over time this fatigue can build up into a life threatening weakness. It might mean leaving the expedition altogether. And an…