Last weekend, 35 members joined the Advanced Combo trek to the Nagala Eastern stream near TP Kotta. As usual during any "combo" trek the participants has the possibility to explore different levels of difficulty. The basic level followed the main Eastern stream while the advanced level included two additional climbs to a 400m and 600m peak respectively.
The advanced group followed a trail uphill to the 400m peak. While descending from the peak the team explored a new side-stream in Nagala climbing down through various vertical drops and narrow gorges and finally joining the main Eastern stream again before the dead-end pool.
After regrouping, the entire team crossed the dead end pool - a deep water pond enclosed between vertical rocks where backpacks and trekkers have to be ferried/swim across. Next the team proceed climbing over the 300m long/50m deep/3m narrow gorge to reach the scenic picnic pool by dusk - a large water pond with attached waterfalls and lots of flat rocks to set up camp.
The second challenge for the advanced team was to climb up above the falls near the picnic pool, climbing over boulders and crossing several pools till we reached a 50m vertical falls. From there the advanced team climbed further up to a 600m peak which offered 360 degrees on Nagalapuram including the Western plains, central 800m peak and the 600m Eastern peak. From there the team descended along a side-stream with a few gorges joining back to the main stream just before the picnic pool.
During the return the entire group climbed down using ropes into the 300m gorge, submerged with water. Backpacks were again ferried across and trekkers had to swim the entire length to exit. The group reached back to TP Kotta before nightfall. Makkal TV did a great job in fully covering the entire 2-day trekking experience. They promised to share us a video link soon. The camera man barely survived the trek and many obstacles carrying along a 10+kg Sony camera ;-)