In search of the golden days of CTC..
The most beautiful days of CTC were during the initial years close to a decade ago, exploring the unseen valleys, discovering pool and measuring the height of unexplored waterfalls deep inside the woods. The limits that those old trekkers pushed in unknown terrain, both mentally and physically, is a rare treasure that one can experience these days with all the wisdom that CTC has acquired over the years. One can get an experience of how the treks of those days used to be, by reading the old write ups in the CTC google group. It's sure to kill hours of time and build fantasy and interest over exploring new places. Just like how all the old pictures hoisted on the walls of the Trek Polamaa (annual symposium of CTC, held during the month of February every year) venue, kindles the beautiful memories of past exploratory treks.
A 2-day CTC trek is typically a continuous traverse through the woods, passing steep boulders, non-existent trails, slippery rocks, sometimes with gush of fresh water and sometimes all the spec of dry grass till the life's end, panting for quenching the thirst. The quantity of life lessons that a CTC trek teaches to oneself is limitless.
The rudimentary tribe in the present day CTC, holds trekking very close to heart and makes sure a every few weekends are spent to take new bunch of people into the wilderness to replay the awesomeness of the previous treks. The tribe consists of people who have done several treks with CTC and know the mountains well. It is not just they know the paths and routes by heart, but their soul beats in an unexplainable sync of understanding with nature and the need for contributing back to CTC that had given the splendid life to them through the years. That way new organizers are identified every year, and commit with their favourite existing organizers to co-organize, learn and share the knowledge of trekking. That's how the momentum of trekking has been flowing through the years with influx of new people and new-found interests.
The past quarter saw treks to Nagala, Nagari, Vellarimala, Kodai etc. from some of our favorite organizing gangs formed by these awesome people- Peter, Raj Jacob, Sankar, Subha, Nilesh, Prasanthi, Ela, Aravind Vinodh, Jayanthan aka Jack, Rajasekaran, Brijesh, Muthukumar, Ruthira, Kote, Pankaj, Arun, Vibin and Praveen. Trek invites were sent to the CTC public mailer, and people from all walks of life enthusiastically registered depending on their availability on the respective weekends. People who had participated on treks earlier had an advantage to be picked, while those who were new to CTC were called for the regular monthly fitness tests. A moderate trek in CTC requires people who clear the fitness test with a suitable timing. Organizing a trek begins from sending an invite, then choosing a suitable team, logistics, maps and terrain, weather plans, the actual trek, yummy social food on the way back to Chennai and ends with confirming that all participants reaching home safely. These activities teach the organizers way more management skills than a B-school assignment would do, and that's not an exaggeration.
Chance for the budding organizers: CTC provides the widest and most welcoming platform to explorers and people who wish become CTC trek organizers of future. The starting step is the annual Navigation Bootcamp that teaches trivial Navigation skills (that I would personally consider a life skill) at nil cost. The cascading set of assignments requires ones focus and contribution to learn the skills one step at a time. The bootcamp began in the far end of the last quarter and continuing into April.