In search for the treasure...
This year's Treasure Hunt III required participating teams to both brush up on their map reading & navigation skills as well as clue searching & trail planning in the field.
In the past several weeks the teams & participants had to solve basic & intermediate quizzes to prove their understanding of topographic maps, terrain features, map manipulation and GPS. After this initial period of preparation, learning and understanding, the teams were finally ready this weekend to hunt for hidden clues in Nagala in search for the treasure.
5 teams appeared at the starting line Saturday morning 8am and randomly picked their starting clue containing the approximate location (latitude/longitude) and hint describing the location of their first clue. Each team had to retrieve 3 clues, each pointing to the next clue and eventually leading to the location of the treasure.
Pirates (Jack) - blue clues
Meerkats/Killer Bees (Brijesh/Nachi) - purple clues
Clueless Seekers (Ramjan) - pink clues
Emperors III (Prem) - cyan clues
Emperors I (Balaji) - yellow clues
The teams were given points for both the preparatory quizzes (50%) and their time to find the treasure (50%). Below are the results:
First position - Emperors III - 90 points
Last year TH-2 title defenders Emperors III lead by Prem once again bagged the first position, scoring a respectable 80% on the quiz and reaching the treasure by Saturday 4pm in just 7 hours, much ahead of the other teams. The treasure was hidden 2m below the water inside a narrow gorge below a falls.
The team completed 30km to retrieve their 3 clues and reach the treasure point. They mostly moved along tribal trails on top of the ridges which allowed them to proceed fast
Second place - Emperors I - 70 points
Second place went to a new entrant this year - Emperors I lead by Balaji which scored first (88%) on the quiz and was able to find the treasure by Sunday 11:30am after a 13 hours 30 mins search.
The Emperors 1 followed the main Nagala Southeast stream as their base trail picking up clues from nearby side-streams and peaks as they went along.
The altitude profile gives an idea of the total ascend and descend. Total distance covered is close to 25km.
Third place - Meerkats/Killer Bees - 62 points
Just 30 minutes behind the Emperors I, the Maverick Meerkats/Killer Bees - lead by Brijesh & Nachiketta - came in at Sunday 12pm. Scoring less on the quiz (63%) this team bagged 62 points in total ending up third in the overall rank.
The Meerkats/Killer Bees initially proceeded along the main Southeast stream to retrieve their first and second clue after which they set up overnight camp. The next day (dark blue line) they followed a tribal trail running across the ridges to finally pick up the third clue hidden on a peak overlooking the Southeast dam. Total distance covered 30km.
Fourth place - The Clueless Seekers - 60 points
Another new entrant this year - team Cluesless Seekers alias Namma Bangalore - lead by Ramjan - scored a respectable 80% on the quiz but took a little longer (18 hours) to unearth their clues and make their way to the treasure ending up at the 4th place in this years' Hunt.
Based on the location of their first clue, the team decided to immediately ascend a nearby ridge and heading straight towards the dry-stream where clue 1 was hidden. Climbing up again to retrieve clue 2 from the saddle between two peaks before setting down in their overnight camp alongside the Meerkats & Pirates. Next day they also proceeded along a tribal trail across the ridges before dipping down in another side-stream to retrieve their final clue. Another trail wrongly took them to the exit so they had to climb back into the main Southeast stream to reach the treasure. Total distance covered 22km.
And last but not least - The Pirates - 50 points
And finally... the Pirates... known for their naughtiness & surprise element - lead by Jack/Alex/Karmu, they entered their third hunt this year. Unlike last year they made it to the treasure (instead of byriani hotel :-) clocking in just below 17 hours. Quizzes... hmmmm... just 50% ending up with an overall score of 50 points or 5th position.
The Pirates climbed up the 15m falls entering the Southeast main stream after which they immediately ascended the left side-stream to pick up their first clue. From here, they climbed up further across the ridge, dipping down in a second side-stream back into the main Southeast stream. Proceeding upstream they set up overnight camp before reaching the second clue. Next morning they climbed a peak retrieving their second clue after which they circled around the Nagala central peak, dipping down again in another side-stream to pick up their 3rd clue. Finally they returned upstream and followed a tribal trail back into the Southeast main stream to reach the treasure by Sunday 3:50pm. Total distance 29km.
More visuals here...
Treasure team putting the clues/hints in place:
Participating teams retrieving clues:
Participating Teams reaching the treasure:
Teams trails & altitude profiles: