After Pulwama and the air strikes in Balakot, the Kashmir situation has taken a turn. The question on everyone’s mind is will we run Kashmir treks after this?
In our opinion, three possible scenarios are likely to play out in the next few months. One, terrorism in Kashmir may increase. Two, terrorism may decrease. Or three, terrorism remains more or less the same.
If the situation stays more or less the same as last year, we will run Kashmir treks as usual. Last year all our batches ran smoothly without any hitch.
How do we know how the situation is likely to unfold?
Right now, it is too early to tell. However, by the end of May, we will get a better idea of ground realities. We will take a call in the first week of June about our next steps.
What is the next step if terrorism increases?
If terrorism increases, we will stop our Kashmir treks for the year. All trekkers will be transferred to our other treks in India. You can choose any trek. We have also ear-marked special batches on the Hampta Pass (an alternative to Tarsar Marsar) and Pin Bhaba Pass (an alternative to Kashmir Great Lakes) treks to accommodate for this contingency. All these steps we will put in action only if required. This will happen in June
What is the situation now?
Our ground team in Kashmir is constantly in touch with us. They update us regularly with the current situation. They have given us updates that everything is fine. Yet, at times they may not be aware of an overall picture of things. What is ‘all fine’ may carry an element of risk with someone who has to travel over 2,000 km for a trek. For that, we depend on the tourism department, the police and the media.
What do you do if you have already booked a Kashmir trek?
Do nothing. Just wait until the first week of June. We will send out an update to everyone. If you have booked a trek let it stay.
What if you want to register for a Kashmir trek?
If you are looking to sign up for either Kashmir Great Lakes or Tarsar Marsar, go ahead and register. Assuming things are likely to be normal, you don’t want to lose out on a slot. In case things do not turn out to be ok, we will shift you to another trek.
How should you plan your travel?
The biggest loss if you shift from a trek in Kashmir to another trek is the flight ticket. Plan your flight tickets in such a way that instead of a direct flight you book two separate legs. One to Delhi and the other from Delhi to Srinagar. This way, if your Kashmir trek gets cancelled you still reach Delhi and carry on with your alternate trek.
If Kashmir doesn’t get cancelled, it means a stop over at Delhi, nothing more than that. Yes, perhaps slightly costlier. But it would be only slightly more expensive, not too much.
Those are the updates about Kashmir for now.
For any further clarification get in touch with your Trek Coordinator, or drop in a comment below. Other trekkers might have the same questions. We’ll drop in an answer quickly.
What should you do next?
1. To see more details about the Tarsar Marsar trek, head over here.
2. To see details about the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, click here.
3. If you ended up here by chance and were looking for treks to do, see our upcoming treks here.
4. To download a guide with the 13 best treks of India, click here.