Peter Van Geit
Difficult Trek Thursday, November 18, 2010
5 trekkers successfully completed 49km (marathon + 7km) in a single day spanning the entire length of Nagalapuram - from the Southern 880m peak to the Tada waterfalls.
The new trail went mostly on top of the mountains connecting from peak to peak without descending into the valleys. The terrain was extremely tough on the participants - knees where hurting while climbing and descending the inclines sprinkled with loose, sharp rocks, hidden by long grass, uneven surface and presence of thorny bushes in many places. This type of terrain is much more challenging then the usual boulder hopping we do along the streams. Due to frequent rains the participants walked in wet shoes and clothes all the time adding to the challenge. The climate was excellent - we were surrounded by clouds and mist at many times, much more comfortable then the usual tropical sun. The first 30km got covered in 12 hours of daylight, the last 10km took 12 hours of darkness due to limited visibility, tiredness, lack of food and exploring a new trail. Darkness fall when we crossed the border between Nagala and Tada ranges separated by a deep valley.
The trail went along all well known peaks - 880m Southern peak, 800m Western peak and 800m Central peak and mostly walking at the edge of the mountains we could see the surrounding valleys below us. The initial plan to start at the Western Side had to be changed after one of the doors of the Pichatur dam broken and a forceful water stream was flooding the Western access road. We diverted to the Eastern entry #2 to start our marathon trek. We made several new discoveries - new man-mad trails deep inside the mountains used by the locals most probably for smuggling expensive wood from trees. We also discovered an ancient jeep trail high above in the hills at the Eastern side. We discovered a number of new, impressively sized dams surrounding Nagala pointing to possible yet unexplored streams and new interesting trekking destinations. We descended along a steep side-stream to reach back to the base from the top of the Tada falls. Frequent recent rainfall made the streams ferocious - the Tada stream covered the entire width of the valley making it difficult to cross in order to exit.
One special mention - Nagin - one of our participants who successfully completed this significant challenge (left below) - is 54 years young - I believe he sets an example to all of us that maintaining an active lifestyle including participating in more enduring challenges knows no age limits. He has my sincere admiration.