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Author Topic: Great Western (6th highest- 2212m) Once in a life time HIKE!  (Read 5716 times)
Ashan253
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« on: December 14, 2009, 09:26:47 PM »

“ Great Western ” (6th highest- 2212m) Once in a life time HIKE!

This trip report have been added to Lakdasun Trip reports archive at http://trips.lakdasun.com/great-western-6th-highest-mountain-in-sri-lanka-2212m-once-in-a-life-time-hike.htm


Year and Month: December, 2009
Number of Days: 1 1/2
Crew: 5 (3 of us and 2 locals)
Accommodation: N/A
Transport: Public Transport up to Hatton & the Train up to Great Western.
Activities: See Wildlife, Photography & HIKING!
Weather: Clear sky in the morning, heavy rain in the evening  
Author: Ashan
Route:  Colombo -> Hatton -> Great Western -> Hatton -> Colombo
Special Thanks: To Weli(Indunil) of Lakdasun for the information he gave us
Contact details of locals: V.Krishna Kumar ( Krishna ) - 0525710094 and Devendran ( Deva) - Wangi oya upper division, Radella state, Nanu oya.
MAP provided


Tips, Notes and Special Remarks:
1.   GET A LOCAL GUIDE (It’s a must)
2.   THIS IS A STRENUOUS HIKE, with no clear foot path, try not to take small children.
3.   Some sharp knives, ropes and hiking sticks will be useful
4.   Wear attire as to cover your hands and legs to avoid torn scratches
5.   No tickets needed
6.   It’s better if you can carry a stock of water (1L per person) and food like biscuits and etc.
7.   Start the climb as early as you can to avoid Leopards
8.   Do not carry Plastic items (Minimize), Make sure you bring back everything you took.

We started form Colombo at around 5.30 in the evening. The crew was three, out of the three two got in from Colombo and the other one joined us from Hatton, It was a normal Hatton bus, we bought biscuits and other stuff from the bus stand. We arrived at Hatton at 10.30 p.m. We had dinner at a Small hotel in Hatton and arrived at the station around 11.00 p.m.
Until the night mail arrived at Hatton we had to stay out of the station in a Nallathanni bus! At about 2.30 a.m. the night mail arrived and we boarded it to reach Great Western station at 3.30 a.m. The station master was generous enough to let us stay in the resting room until daylight. At around 6.00 a.m. the view that we experienced was unique and fascinating, we didn’t have much time to stay and take some clear photos since we left early to climb the mountain. The Great Western mountain is geographically situated right behind the station, we couldn’t capture the mountain completely because of its proximity to the station, the mist & the wide spread of the mountain. Here are some photographs taken near by the station.

1464m from mean sea level

The mountain behind the station

LEFT half of the mountain

RIGHT half of the mountain

The summit not to be seen



“About Great Western- Great Western at 2212 m altitude is the 6th highest in the country. Situated in the Nuwraeliya district, a rail station as well as a tea plantation near this hill carries the same name. Location: Great western station between Thalawakela and Nanu oya, to be precise it’s between Watagoda & Radella”

The mountain spans about 1Km and it can be climbed from both ends. We chose to take the short path so we traveled along the railway towards Radella for about 1Km and then we arrived at a place (The Kovil and the Bridge) where the station master mentioned that there may be a foot path. But taking his advice we decided not to go alone and it turned out to be valuable advice. Without attempting to go alone we went in search of a guide. As soon as we passed the bridge we met Charli Aiya near his quarters, he advised us not go alone because of the thick undercover which must have covered any foot paths that were there. So as he advised we decided to get a local guide, for that we had to go to Wangi Oya upper division tea estate Line houses. As we passed the railway quarters there was a Carriage way to the left, we traveled about 1 Km on this carriage way until we reached the tea estate. Now believe me this tea estate has one of the best spectacular views of the central belt of mountain in Sri lanka. Samanala Kanda & 7 Virgins were seen very clearly from here. At the line homes we met V.Krishna Kumar (Krishna) & Devendran (Deva) who were kind enough to give up their daily work and guide us.

The Kovil


From top to bottom--> Wangi oya line homes on top of the hill--> The Badulu train crossing the Carriage way --> railway quarters --> The bridge

Adams peak as seen from the carriage way




Adams peak and 7 Virgin hills

The central belt of mountains

Wangi Oya upper division line homes


With Krishna and Deva we started our journey down the carriage way which we came up and arrived at a junction which we previously passed. From here onwards there was a foot path that went over a small adjoining mountain to the Great Western, we crossed few streams on the way too. The foot path was not a path by definition, but a path that has formed by waterways during the rainy season. These paths are used by locals who go to collect firewood. The path was difficult to climb from the very beginning due to slippery rocks and mud (Please see the photographs). During the trek upwards we had to use various methods like hiking sticks, helping each other with the aid of these sticks (Natural sticks), the helpful shoulders of the guides and clinging on to branches and bushes for support.


The beginning of the foot path


PHOTOGRAPHS WILL NOT REVEAL THE TOUGHNESS

Then we arrived at a flat terrain, there were many foot paths at this point which would have normally confused anyone attempting this climb. These foot paths were formed by locals who go to collect firewood. From here onwards we were travelling through the thick jungle until we started our second ascend. Ascend was about 60-70 degrees and there were only bushes to garb which made it even more difficult. Thanks to the helping hands of the local guides we got trough this part even though we tripped, slipped and fell numerous times. The last part was a 80 degree climb but it was not much difficult as the previous.

Flat terrain

The final ascend

At last we reached the top from the Radella side & the magnificent view that welcomed us was worth the trouble we went through. The top of the mountain spread out almost for about 1Km.we then travelled through the bushes until we arrived at the summit point. This is the place that gives the best view of the surrounding towns and landmarks such as from left to right-->Piduruthalagala --> Nuwara Eliya Town --> Nano Oya town --> Radella Town & Cricket ground --> Lindula Town --> Samanala Kanda & 7 Virgin hills --> Thalawakele --> Pundalu Oya. On the opposite side was the Pundalu Mountain and the thick wet mountainous forest. At this view point was also a hindu shrine visited by locals on January 1st each year for a special Poojawa. When we moved towards the Thalawakele(Right) side we came across a clearing where the locals camped during this Poojawa. We had a peak downwards and noticed that we were right above the Great Western railway station; unfortunately the mist prevented us from photographing the station. From the summit we were able to spot the picturesque sight of the Badulu train as it passed through Valleys, Mountains & railway stations.


Almost at the top(The jungle we came trough)

On the top

Journey continues until we reached the summit point


On the top




The path was along the edge most of the time


Wet mountainous forest cover

Far end is the place we reached the top of the mountain(photo was taken at a mid point)



The shrine at the summit point

Keerthi decided to celebrate his 26th b,day at the best view point of G W

Camping site

Pundalu Kanda

Piduruthalagala & Nuwara Eliya town at the center

Piduruthalagala Potato farms, Piduruthalagala, Nanu Oya(from left to right)

Nanu Oya close up

Radell at the center with the cricket ground


Radell close up

Lindula area

Thalawakele town on the right side just covered by the mountain


Journey downhill was hectic too


We were told that wild animal such as Leopard, Fox, Hare, Monkeys; Wild Boar & Sambar Deer was common in this part. We were lucky to see only monkeys and Sambar Deer.  After the mist appeared we decided to start our journey downwards. This time we took a different path which was also very slippery and steep. The rain was a major obstacle during our descent. We ended up covered in mud when we arrived at the bottom where we had to wash everything before we had a change. We thanked our two guides for their assistance, without them we would have been in huge trouble, we showed are gratitude by giving them a worth full tip since they sacrificed their days work. We returned back to the station to catch a train to Hatton at around 6.30 p.m. we arrived at Hatton at 8.00p.m. And missed the final bus to Colombo, at around 10.30p.m we got a lift to Colombo and we ended our journey to the “Great Western”

Some notes:
1: There is a very tall waterfall hidden in the jungle between Pundalu kanda & Great Western, we are planning to visit it with the help of Krishna & Deva next time.
2: Elevation gained 2212m(Summit)-1464m(Station) = 748m




« Last Edit: December 19, 2009, 09:20:05 PM by lakdasun » Logged

“"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
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Ashan253
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 12:59:13 AM »

Priyanjan

I will convey your wishes to my friend!  Wink and thanx!

Ashan
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 01:51:44 AM by Ashan253 » Logged

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fanro
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 11:38:06 PM »

Wow very nice pictures. It must be a great experience. Thanks for sharing with us.

Rohan
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Ashan253
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 12:18:34 AM »

Wow very nice pictures. It must be a great experience. Thanks for sharing with us.

Rohan


Rohan

Thanks mate

Ashan
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Ashan253
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 09:00:55 PM »

Diga

Quote
Thanks Man for Sharing valuable Pics and information...
Thanks man
btw that's great to here you got the chance to climb Piduruthalagala. Wink and we are also planning to do Namunukula next year and camp there. Roll Eyes, do you no Kotagala is a station just before Great Western and the 15th highest is just near that station...we might climb that too....btw your reports are also great!

Ashan




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Ashan253
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 11:59:52 PM »

Hi Diga
you are damn lucky to know someone from both parties(Army & Rupavahini)!
Quote
By the way is there a camp site on top of Namunukula? Do we have to book that??
its a flat mountain top as I have heard from my friends who have done it many times, and you do not need a permit
Quote
Also is it possible to climb 5th highest Kikiliamana??
now this is questionable, as I have heard there is police post or something on top of it and we are not allowed to climb it but im not sure for certain, secondly its a thick forest  Sad

Ashan
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009, 02:49:20 AM »

Priyanjan

Thank you for the confirmation Priyanjan, hmmm!!! seems I have to find a friend in the police department! Smiley

Thanks
Ashan
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2009, 02:53:53 AM »

Hey..Great stuff..We also went to 7 virgins and Norton Bridge area..The surrounding was splendid but we had to face into a deadly incident which can't be neglected..We were attacked by a swarm of wasps when we were at the top of the Lakshapana Falls..Only 2 of us were there by that time..because of that the damage was minimized..I was attacked by nearly 500 wasps and when I was admitting to the hospital I was not in a conscious state..We had to stay there (Nawalapitiya Hospital) for 2 days..That incident was memorable and I hope to present it as a report very soon,which would be good for others as well..!!
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Ashan253
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2009, 05:49:54 AM »

hi rjzone2000

Thats a very scaryg experience for any person, we are happy that you are ok nw, luckily it seems some one has found youll soon enough and carried you'll to the hospital I guess. or you'll would have passed away in Anaphylactic Shock...
when you are posting your report about the attack post it under this topic. Smiley
http://www.lakdasun.com/forum/index.php?topic=145.msg5183#msg5183

Ashan
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 10:17:14 PM by Ashan253 » Logged

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kosala
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 03:29:48 AM »

Hi All; Its after a long time I visited the site. Nice experience and nice and exiting pictures. Makes me feel like packing my backpack and heading somewhere like this. Thanks for posting and expect many, many such postings in the future.
Kosala
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 04:18:58 AM »

Hi Kosala
nice to have you back! Wink
Quote
Makes me feel like packing my backpack and heading somewhere like this
I suggest you to do so! hi...hi... Grin
Ashan
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anjanag
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2010, 02:05:38 AM »

Hi Ashan,

I can image the all difficulties & joys throughout the hike. I was there in 2 times. In one time we couldn’t find the path to go down & stayed one night inside the jungle. it was an unforgettable memory for our whole lifetime. Fantastic!  Grin

Thank you very much for your trip report. Its really nice & superb work…!  Smiley

Regards
Anjana


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lakdasun
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2010, 04:24:09 AM »

The rest of this topic has been split in to - Suggestions needed: Hikes worth doing in Sri Lanka
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 04:26:45 AM by lakdasun » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 09:44:09 PM »

hey Ashan,

Firstly I must say wonderful.. I can feel the pain.. Will do this soon..
how did u find the guides Ashan ?

and Diga, Namunukula - there are no man made camp sites on top but there is enough flat ground to set up lot of camps up there.. let me know if your going there..

regards,
kishAn..
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Ashan253
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 12:27:23 AM »

Kishan
thank you! regarding the guides check the link http://www.lakdasun.com/forum/index.php?topic=1089.0 !
AShan
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