Dead For Sure- Survival Mission /6 =203.5KM-New DFS and One Trek Record in CTC = 72 Falls/ Pools + Bee Attack + 2 water drowning rescue + 4 Snakes (One in Camp site) + Wild Animals Living Fresh Proof in most of the places+ One Deer + One Wild Pig +Always inside High Dense Forest + 12kg Bag Weight+3 Members Team + Slippery Greenish Boulders + Rain+ Complete Forest Coverage
Excellent DFS Write up from Udayarajan:
The day was hectic with lots of handover of my work to my partners, and last minute meetings with the clients as if this is going to be the last day in my whole professional life. It was around 9pm, making other arrangements in office, and haven’t packed my bag.
Thirty minutes for the train, and I had only started from my office at Nandanam. Stuck in heavy traffic, bike running out of petrol midway. I ended up running some distance to join Prem who was waiting near the Teynampet signal.
Ten minutes for the train to start, and we were still waiting in the car outside the central station in the heavy rain. What will happen if we miss the train? Pushing others, carrying huge bags of food items myself Sivaprasath, Prem and Masi ran to platform and entered a reserved sleeper coach with open tickets.
Seeing my bag and Siva Prasath’s, Masi had doubts and I finally ended up given him my 2 other shorts and a t-shirt which was an extra luggage.
Finishing all dealings with TTR, we started to distribute the food amongst 4 people exactly with the help of a small spring balance which I had
Wearing my new Forclaz track pants bought by Siva, we found small place near the entrance door to rest for some hours. After an hour, we woke up to welcome the other guy who should join us in the coming station. But we were disappointed. The other person dint turn-up, myself and Siva was quite terrified. With all sort butterflies in my stomach I ran to the bathroom.
Coming out, both Siva and Prem was not there, then understood they were also busy next door, I relaxed thinking how r we going to make it with only three. Suddenly I got a call from Prem,” Machi train kelambiducha????? “Both Siva and Prem missed the train waiting outside to buy tickets for the next station and this made me to rest in next station for 1 hour amidst the blaring goods engine till these people came with an auto .
We again have to redistribute the food share of the other participant and kept the excess remaining in the auto itself. Finally our bags ended up to 13 kg each.
And now we are only three. Myself Udhaya Rajan, Siva Prasath Busa and Premkumar C.
To start our trek we were welcomed by the big rat snake. Walking for some time deprived of sleep we were tired and stopped near a stagnant water body to take a dip and to eat some aval with mix . After a small nap, I woke up with a severe pain in my shoulder, not even able to move. And now I actually realised, we are a part of the DFS trek.
Reaching the first ferry point, we happily jumped in to the water. As usual Prem took up the responsibility of ferrying the bag. Helping Prem and Siva to climb the boulders to carry the bags and thought I could swim and climb on the other side. But the place I planned to climb was completely eroded with water and it was very smooth. With a very very very poor grip in my brand new Merrill shoes every step was slippery. Struggling to climb up, Siva and Prem helped me with the rope and this entire process took more than an hour.
With the heavy back pack and bad experience, we were lagging behind. Not able to reach the first day destination and we camped mid way.
The second day, started with the ragi kanji, and continued with a small session for reshuffling the food items based on weight. We started early to catch up with first day’s delay .Walking 2 hrs we reached the mouth of the 300m Gorge. This was my best lifetime experience ever. Swimming in the water for 1.5 km in the narrow gorge, we reached the 80m fall. Hot and cold water falling in intervals, awesome place every one should visit. We spent our time there till after noon. Finishing our lunch ,we started to climb up, to reach the next target location .we tied the bags and pulled it 90 degree up ,where Prem’s water bottle fell down in to the stream and my water bags got completely damaged and now we are left only with 600ml of water .
Hoping to reach the next water point we started to follow the animal trail. It was like dragging ourselves, to have an encounter with an animal. With all bear stories running in the back of the mind, not possible to go back the trail or take new direction, we continued, hoping to see a flat land with water to camp. We reached a dry stream, and followed its end to have a view of the 80m fall. Not able to move further with no water we decided to camp at the same place. We had no choice left rather to drink the dirty stagnant water. Boiling the water and waiting for a long time to get chilled, we next decided to drink it only after filtering.
The whole night we heard noises of people cutting trees in the forest nearby but not able to spot one.
Next day we went to a falls view point, base pool top ,top of 80m falls, then to the base of falls and Here we decided to finish the Nanari surbath, so that we could get an another empty bottle for water.
With a 10m falls on one end and flat rock bed on another, and having no enough time to reach the next waterfall’s we decided to camp here. I and Busa preparing notes for the write up, Prem was busy preparing the camp site for sleeping. With an intension to reduce the bag weight we decided to cook rice that night. Third day camping was pretty relaxed but again as expected we had to sleep in the rain for whole night.
After seeing the ultimate pool and jumping into the waters, we walked towards 250m falls and found scenic a trail, hoping to lead us to the 50m falls. After an hour walk, with all chatting, people talking about their personal life stories, work life, with all fun, suddenly we read a message in nowhere
“Approved plots 3km from SIPCOT & State Highway, Nr Bus stop, school, & 24hrs Bus facility available.” We all rested for some time calling up our friends and parents.
Prem then identifies that we were moving in wrong direction, and we have to cross a valley to reach the destination. Enjoying the view of the valley we decided to return to the base and started to move towards tallest falls in this forest. Now again following the animal trail, this time it was bit more scary , because we could find fresh evidences of an animal staying all over. Having no choice, we decided to take up the same trail towards the tallest falls. With a location of a watch tower being marked in the GPS, we decided to stay there tonight, but we were also very curious about marking of rest house in the GPS. So after locating the Watchtower, we dropped our bags there and went searching for the Rest house. But the entire walk was in vain and returned back.
Watch tower was an ultimate location to stay amidst forest. Covered with palm leaves all around to prevent cold air entering in, with a strong metal roof and floor we cannot chose any other safe and better location other than this for camping. Here again Busa was very afraid to sleep next to the steps, so he pushed Prem in the centre.
Talking about Busa, after exploring places in Bangalore busa, he many other plans in south india. it was his first time trek experience with CTC, and with limited no.of people. So he was scared about the animals, and snake during our camping and I think he mostly had sleepless nights, or disturbed sleep. However bad the terrain may be, he always preferred to sleep between me and Prem, to protect himself from insects and animals. But that day he had a good sleep staying in high altitude above the forest.
Leaving the watch tower around 6am, we found the ruins of the Rest House that we were searching the last night. After going some distance we went to 100M falls. It was a very dense forest and there were lots of fresh evidence of animals staying there very recently. Returning back to the place where we had dropped our bags we decided to finish our breakfast.
This place was very peculiar. The stream was blocked by huge boulders allowing little water to flow through and creating vast expense of stagnant water. There was a huge tree on this side with wide spread branches with its ends where slightly above the water surface. It was like a huge anaconda staying in the tree getting in to the water directly seeing us. After naming it “Anaconda Pool”, we started towards 250m falls. In between we went to watch tower then blue falls. Finally we camped at top of the 250m falls.
Going to the 250m falls was a great experience. Climbing down an animal trail in a loose soil was an amazing and thrilling experience. We decided to leave our bags and took our small emergency bag with some chocolate, aval, sugar, and ice lemon tea. Climbing the huge boulders all along the way emptied our complete energy.
At the end of the 9 days I personally developed a strong hatred for Aval, Noodles and especially kolumbu mix. Since I had it in my bag, the Intoxicating smell of those mixes unfortunately followed me till the end of the trek.
Then we followed the trail to go to the most beautiful pool in this forest. Eroded rocks , bluish green water, surrounded by huge boulders on all side, the most beautiful place in the whole forest. It was like private pool area, after finishing our lunch we decided to explore this pool. But I was very much disappointed that we were not able to spend much time here.
In the first 5 days, three days we enjoyed the most, the next 2 day we almost walked the whole day. So I thought of spending more time in the next three days in all the beautiful locations. After the dropouts and team reducing to size of 3, I thought Prem would have plan B but after Spending a very little time here, I realised he was very much determined to achieve his target of covering the whole of the forest- plan A . Having no choice, but to follow him we ended up with an argument and finally settled with a promise from him to take us for another trek to these places in a more relaxed way, with more people.
From there we climbed up a steep slope and reached the top of the pool and stayed there that night. With continuous drizzling, the entire floor got wet. Prem moved out of the tent and started to look for any dry place around with no surface running water. The search was successful but one other living being was also searching for a dry place. With continuous drizzling we have invited a new member near our tent – a small snake. With Prem calling me out, to take pictures of it, Busa was very much scared even to come out of the tent to see the snake.
Since we were very much lagging behind the schedule we decided to trek in the night following an easy trail. Starting with all enthusiasm that day we reached the clear pool. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the crystal clear water, I jumped into it forgetting to remove the shoes. I don’t how few people manage to swim with shoes. We were completely drained out of energy, my shoes were pulling me in one side, and it became very difficult for me to push myself in water. After ferrying our bags to the nearby boulders, we started to walk in a different neighbourhood.
This entire stretch was like we were walking amidst skyscrapers. There were eroded rocks standing like pillars all around slightly tilted towards our path. It was like some giants warning us not to enter into their private area. With a small walk in the chest level of water with our bags on head we reached the 50m falls. From the falls we climbed a steep slope hoping to find the jeep trail to continue our night trek but since it was already dark, we decided to go near a stream to finish our dinner and continue our quest. After following a trail most probably used by the villagers to fetch water we found a place near the stream to cook noodles. With high dense bushes, and with no moon light, it became highly impossible to search for a trail. So we decided to camp there itself. Then Prem went searching dry woods for campfire, I started to clean up the place for us to sleep, and Busa was creating a small trench all around to keep away the snakes.
The whole night we heard drum sounds from the nearby village.
Our night trek plan was a total failure and now this day would be the toughest. Walking over the mountain ridge we were suddenly attacked by honey bees. Running with a sting near my eyes we then settled down in another location safely. We reached the first waterfalls for the day and while returning we chose a stream. Since it was gorge and no direct sunlight, the entire stream was covered with moss. Every single step was slippery. this again made our trek pretty difficult .we took nearly 3 hours to cross 2 km. we reached another small pool were we saw 6 to 8 foot long snake skin .
After running from that beautiful eroded pool on 6th day, I was hoping to spend time in green crystal clear waters of the next one , but here again we were late, had time only for camping. The day was very tough and my foot got swollen.
This trek was very tough for me because of some problems in my foot. I have a fallen arch (flat foot). I cannot walk for more than 3 – 4 km, continuously without a good rest. Even if had enough stamina i was struggling behind. The arch support system which I used also got deformed completely because of our continuous walking and a bad terrain. Walking in jeep trail was like a hell because of this problem.
we started pretty relaxed. Being the last day we were very much excited. Then we walked through the high bushes to reach the top of widest evergreen falls. Having dip in water, we climbed down the falls and followed a jeep trail to reach rock pool. This was an amazing experience. Last trip when I had come here it was small group of 10. When we crossed this rock pool I remember prem, I and my brother jumped in and we enjoyed the most. One of us, helping Prem to carry his bag, he swimmed the entire deep pool stretch. But now we were already exhausted and no time to spend there. By the time we reached ladder falls top it was afternoon and we decided to clean up ourselves. After a relaxed bath and some ragi Kanji to drink, we started around 3
The finishing day of the trek was very relaxed. Myself and Busa were completely drained and we were very eager to go out of the forest and eat whatever available. Walking for 2 hrs we found a trail used by the local villagers , and we started seeing human foot prints, bike tracks, plastic covers and whatnot; we are entering into a new world. Suddenly Prem, Busa who were going before me, turned back and started to walk to towards. Yes it was the celebration time. 3 people, 9 days, 200 kms.
On the seventh day, our final call with Masi, I believe it created the whole buzz in the CTC community. There were updates all-round the face book pages. The time we switched on our phones there were continuous calls from all our friends, appreciating us and wishing us. I don’t have words to explain the happiness and the feeling of doing something great. With these kinds of friends and this kind of a positive attitude and this kind of support from a very huge community we can always push ourselves to any extremes to achieve the greatest. Here again I have to mention the determination that Prem had to make things happen.
Commenting on Our 9 day survival, we had surprises waiting for us, each and every step and we enjoyed them thoroughly, but I personally felt the fun part was missing and that’s because of the crowd. The major victim was Mr BUSA bangalore trekker (intha Bangalore pasangalae ippadiththan ) teasing him to the core and we never even spared his personal life situations. A group, would have been even more fun.
This trek personally helped me lot in understanding my body, my mindset, and the extremes that I could push. I have done only few treks in CTC before, those were all 2 day treks, and only few in the difficult category. DFS was a great experience for me. DFS expects something extraordinary, more than a very fit body; we need a very high mental strength to survive the unexpected situation.
And now after 2 weeks with two others testing positive for malaria, I am waiting for my blood test results.
Siva Prasath Busa(Left side), Premkumar.C (Center), Udaya Rajan (Right Side)