Following are the trekking tips for hiking in the monsoon (rainy season) and pre & post monsoon (summer & winter) in the Western Ghats in the South India.
Trekking tips for hiking in the monsoon in the Western Ghats:
- Average temperature ranges from 21-27 degree Celsius in Rainy season.
- The rainy season lasts for around four months from June to September.
- Average sunshine hours are from 4-5 hours per day during rainy season. but be reminded that sometimes, over the hills, the sun doesn’t come out even for days.
- Every hill wears a layer of lush green.
- But winds will also be high at the grass lands and peaks.
- Western Ghats are one of the highest among receiving the rainfall during monsoon in rainy season in South India.
- Western Ghats or most of the south India receive rainfall from winds carrying moisture from Arabian Sea rising along the slopes of the hills of the western Ghats hills and forming clouds During monsoon, shoes need a better grip while trekking because of the wet and slippery trails.
- Small waterfalls or streams receive nice amount of water and finding drinking water on trek is easier.
- But the main concerns are the leeches. Know more about prevention and cure from leeches on western Ghats treks.
- On treks, one should always carry a raincoat. Poncho should be preferred as it can also cover the backpack.
- Avoid carrying Umbrellas at thousands of feet, wind is very high and an umbrella cannot stand the wind even for a few minutes.
- Carry a pair of dry and extra clothes in garbage bag to keep that waterproof.
- Forget not to carry extra pair of undergarments and socks. These two items are always mandatory
- Make sure the tent is waterproof and its base can stand hundreds of liters of under-flowing currents of water.
- Possible, if trekking in a group, carry a tarpaulin also called as tarp. A tarp of 120 GSM weighs around 2.5 kg 18 feet by 12 feet in size.
- A tarp comes handy when the rain suddenly starts. around 15-20 people can stand under it and it can also be used to cover the backpack on night camping.
- During torrential rain, fog is high and it’s also gets tougher to perceive the trail. So one needs to be careful.
Also use waterproof shoes and trousers along with taking care for electronic devices, watch and torch.
Trekking tips for hiking in the summer in the Western Ghats:
- Average temperature ranges from 25-34 degree Celsius in summer.
- Summer lasts from February to May and is succeeded by the rainy season.
- Average Sunshine hours are around 8 hours per day. That concludes to you cannot avoid sun on the trek unless that’s a night trek.
- There will be no greenery in the summer. Hills turn yellowish brown because grasses die out.
- Waterfalls carry meager amount of water except the bigger waterfalls with perennial source of water.
- Streams, which are usual source of water on the treks, almost dry up. Irony is you will need to carry more water with you when all the water sources on trek almost dry up.
- After crossing the dense forests, one treks on the open grasslands with very less number of trees. These grasslands usually starts at around 3500 feet/ 4-5 kilometres of trek/ 2-3 hours of trekking through dense forests.
- As you ascend up to the open grasslands, sun would start shining directly over the head because by the time you cross the initial stretches of forests, the sun would have come in the sky.
- Since most of the treks involve trekking through patches of dense forests at the beginning of trek in Western Ghats, humidity will be very high. You will sweat a lot.
- Because of over sweating and constant walking under the sun, a person who is not healthy enough might get headache or sun strokes. I have personally experienced this once.
- There will no chances of rainfall. However, nights would be cold at the peak if you plan to pitch tent.
- Towards June, it starts to rain in the Western Ghats. So expect some rain during last phase of summer treks.
- Do not forget to cover your head while trekking under the sun. That avoids sun strokes. You can use bandana or a hat for the same.
- Also cover your body with full sleeve cotton shirts light in color. They help reflecting the sun rays and protects against tanning and also keeps the body temperature low.