Conquering Gombaniya : The President's Perspective on the MHC's Term Ending Adventure

As the culminating adventure for the Mora Hiking Club's Term 2023/24, the trek to Gombaniya, the highest peak among the 34 other peaks in the Knuckles mountain range, held a special significance. Not only did it promise breathtaking vistas and a challenging climb, but it also marked the end of a remarkable journey with our dedicated members.

Like many other general hikes, our Gombaniya adventure began at the familiar University gate, buzzing with excitement and anticipation. The pre dawn departure at about 2:00 AM led us through a picturesque tapestry of towns like Kahathuduwa, Kadawatha, Ambepussa, Kegalle, and Peradeniya, finally arriving in Kandy by 5:30 AM. A hearty breakfast at "Jayabima," our usual stop before embarking on these journeys, fueled us for the day ahead.

Continuing our journey, we reached Wattegama town and followed the Bambarella route to Huluganga, a charming town nestled amidst the Knuckles. Before setting off for the Alakola Estate, the captivating Huluganga Ella waterfall graced us with its beauty.

However, the route to the Alakola Estate proved to be more challenging than anticipated. To navigate the rough terrain, we hired a small bus and lorry, highlighting the importance of adaptability and resourcefulness during hikes. Finally, we reached "Rathnathenna," the upper division of the estate, offering the last opportunity for public transport access.

As the sun began its ascent, we gathered for introductions, guidance sharing, and stretching exercises. The initial ascent led us through picturesque tea estates, relying on the guidance of helpful locals to ensure we were on the correct path. This transitioned into a diverse landscape, featuring mangrove forests and a moderately challenging section through bamboo trees. While offering a thrilling experience, it also served as a reminder of the importance of responsible exploration and respect for diverse ecosystems.

The trek offered several rest stops amidst open areas and viewpoints, allowing us to soak in the breathtaking panorama of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Each stop provided an opportunity to reconnect with nature, capture stunning photographs, and share stories with fellow hikers. Despite encountering some steep and rugged sections, the well defined path led us steadily towards the summit.

Nearing the summit, we found a sheltered location for lunch,

replenishing our energy for the final push. Reaching the pinnacle of Gombaniya Mountain after a rewarding climb was a moment of immense collective triumph. While a veil of mist shrouded the summit, it did not dampen our spirits. We reveled in the moment, capturing photos and cherishing the panoramic vista that unfolded before us. Gombaniya's 360 degree view offered a breathtaking spectacle, encompassing distant towns, surrounding landscapes, and prominent peaks like Huluganga, Panvila, Kalebokka, and many more.

The descent began at 3:30 PM, culminating in a group photo near a natural pool at Rathnathenna by 6:00 PM. Small buses and vans transported the group back to Hulganga town, where we embarked on the final leg of the journey.

The return trip included a satisfying dinner near Kadugannawa, and finally, we reached the University by 1:30 AM, marking the successful culmination of the Gombaniya exploration.

This challenging yet rewarding hike served as a fitting finale to the Mora Hiking Club's Term 2023/24. It transcended conquering a peak, fostering lasting memories, solidifying camaraderie, and fostering appreciation for the awe inspiring beauty of nature. Witnessing the enthusiasm, resilience, and sense of community displayed by our members throughout this adventure filled me with immense pride and gratitude as the club's President. It reaffirmed the club's core values and fueled my motivation for future adventures!

Thilina Emmanuwel de Mendis
19 Batch

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Created : Feb 29, 2024 03:16pm
Last updated : Jul 18, 2024 01:07pm