On May 6th early morning 5 independent teams assembled at TP Kotta to contest in the 2nd edition of CTC's treasure hunt.
The previous days the teams had been catching up on learning topographic maps, usage of GPS and compass and creating trails along valleys and ridges.
The Treasure Map
2 weeks earlier the treasure team had spend the entire weekend hiding 15 clues all around the Nagala Eastern stream and central peak near interesting natural landmarks - water falls, narrow gorges, side-streams, viewpoints, unique trees, etc. The clues were arranged in 5 independent series of 3 clues, all 3 interconnected to eventually lead each of the 5 teams to the one and only treasure point near the central peak. Each clue had the approximate location (latitude, longitude) of the next clue as well as a riddle (symbolic hint) as to where exactly the next clue was hidden.
After sending out the TH2 invitation, 5 teams has signed up to take the challenge -
8 members strong, lead by Arun - compromising of mostly relatively new trekkers
9 members strong, lead by Prem, navigators Senthil, Vishal - the marathon crushers, eyeing only two possible outcomes - win or die ;-)
Lead by Ramesh, navigators: Arun and Vipin, only woman participant - Gayatri. A completely new team with navigational experience from last year hunt
Cavaliers of Nagala
Lead by Brijesh, Durai and Ramesh, a brand new team with a mix of new blood and experience in last year hunt
Pirates of Nagala
Lead by Alex, Karmu, Gowri - no doubt the youngest (and naughtiest...) team including several students, repeaters from last year's hunt.
After distributing the initial clues to the teams and a group photo of each team, the treasure hunt was flagged off at 7am on Saturday morning. Little did they know few would reach the same day itself.... The rules of the hunt were clear - the entire team had to be present near each of the 3 clues uncovered before showing up at the treasure location to claim their price. Here are the winners -
1st position - Emperors II
The Emperors II team was the first to complete the challenge by 11pm after 16 hours of hunting and 29km.... They would be the only team to finish the same day itself -
Clue 1 - hidden below a bed of leaves and twigs in a ditch inside a side-stream of the Nagala East stream
Clue 2 -hidden inside a banyan tree with countless roots holding a tight grip on a big boulder
Clue 3 - hidden below roots of a tree in a 8m tall falls along a very steep side-stream near the central peak
Treasure - immeasurable joy displayed by the Emperors II team after reaching first near the treasure point !
2nd position - Cavaliers of Nagala
The Cavaliers showed up second at the treasure location on Sunday early morning 25 hours after the start of the hunt, covering 21km along an ascending trail
Clue 1 hidden in the roots of a 30m tall tree inside a narrow gorge with several bee hives around -
Clue 2 - hidden in the rocks above a 20m dry falls along a side-stream near the picnic pool
Clue 3 - hidden inside a hole in a three headed tree
Treasure - the Cavaliers claiming their treasure while displaying their clues -
3rd position - Emperors 1
Roughly 1 hour after the Cavaliers of Nagala, the Emperors 1 team reached the treasure point claiming the third position!
Clue 1 - hidden 2m below the water surface at the bottom of a scenic pool with step-wise falls along the magic pool side-stream
Clue 2 - hidden inside an orange tree steep uphill along a side-stream near the picnic pool
Clue 3 - placed below a huge orange boulder along a very steep side-stream above the Southeast Nagala stream
Treasure - visible joy on the faces of the team after reaching the treasure point and claiming their share !
4th position - Maverick Meerkats
The final team to successfully complete the challenge - the Maverick Meerkats reached the treasure around noon just before the closure of the hunt. They reached after 29 hours covering 27km with multiple ups and downs along their trail -
Clue 1 - hidden in a cave near a dripping water source deep inside the 7-obstacles side-stream after the dead-end pool
Clue 2 - hidden in a crevice in a huge boulder on top of the ridge overlooking the picnic pool
Clue 3 - hidden at the bottom of a pool just above a steep vertical drop/dry falls along a side-stream above the Nagala Southeastern stream
Treasure - completing is more importing than winning - the Meerkats with all their clues and treasure near the central peak -
Pirates of Nagala
Unfortunately the pirates were unable to uncover their first clue near a ridge before the dead-end pool. As a result they were unable to proceed.
TH3 coming soon....
Once again a big thumbs up to all participating teams of our 2nd treasure hunt. No doubt this year hunt was much more challenging then last year's edition in terms of teams having to navigate on the fly. Meanwhile TH3 is already on the drawing board - new rules, new challenges, new dependencies, new location, bigger then every before.... stay tuned for the invite....