Dhanya Sanal, a Defence Ministry spokesperson here, on Tuesday became the first woman to reach Agasthyakoodam peak after the Kerala High Court recently lifted a restriction on women undertaking the annual trek.
Sanal, a deputy director at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was the only woman among the first batch of 100 trekkers, who on Monday began their two-day trip to cover 22 km to reach the 1,868-m peak situated in the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The trek, organised by the state forest department, was flagged off from base camp Bonakkad. The participants trekked for seven hours to reach another base camp, Athirumala, on Monday. After staying at Athirumala on Monday night, the group resumed their journey at 7.30 am on Tuesday and touched the peak at 11 am. They then returned and were to camp on Tuesday night at Athirumala.
In a WhatsApp message, Sanal said the trek, particularly the second day’s leg, was very tough. One has to climb steep rocks continuously during the stretch from Athirumala to the Agasthyakoodam peak. There are rocks with an inclination of up to 60 degrees, and ropes have to be used for climbing.
Sanal said the Agasthyakoodam trek is far tougher than other treks and only physically fit women should participate in it.