Great Glaciers of Kumaon Exploration

Great Glaciers of Kumaon Exploration

Category Exploration Stories

By Vaibhav Chauhan



Vaibhav Chauhan shares his thoughts on how Indiahikes stumbled on the idea of exploring a series of most exciting glaciers in Kumaon.

Having explored many facets of what treks have to offer in Uttrakhand, we knew there was something that was missing. One ordinary day, I received an e-mail from Sandhya proposing a thought of venturing to Sunderdhunga Glacier in the summer season. The thought was further backed by Arjun who expressed his desire to cover Pindari Glacier in the vicinity.

While appreciating the idea and reminiscing about my trek to Pindari Glacier in my childhood years, a thought struck me. Why limit the exploration to a one glacier approach only? What if we can cover a series of glaciers in Kumaon in one exploration? We came up with names such as Pindari, Kafni, Sunderdhunga, Panchachuli Glaciers etc. It was not difficult to realize not all glaciers could be covered in one exploration. Although Sunderdhunga and Panchachuli Glacier treks will require separate endevours, Pindari and Kafni emerged as a scintillating combination as the first of the Great Glaciers of Kumaon Explorations in the month of May of 2014. 

Pindari Valley is a jewel of the Kumaon, surrounded with an impressive series of snow capped peaks that form the southern rim of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. During the trekking season you can savor the unimaginable raw beauty as the valley springs to life with a vibrant display of greenery and wildlife. As you reach Loharkhet you are welcomed with a grand view of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot peaks. The trail keeps throwing up surprising twists consistently from beautiful river crossings and waterfalls on the way from Dhakri to Dwali, to getting lost in the forests enroute to Phurkiya only to be stumped when you finally come out of the forest to the jaw dropping view of Nanda Khat peak towering above.

The traditional remote village life is an enriching experience for trekkers and so are the local ghost stories some of which have been candidly mentioned in Ruskin Bond’s children books.

Being a fairly easy and most popular trek among school groups and trekkers in Kumaon we thought it be only fair that we re-visit this trail and add value by exploring two of the most beautiful glaciers of this Kumaon valley. The sight of huge ice formations of Pindari and Kafni is stunning and encapsulates the scenic beauty of the magnificent Himalayas.

Those who would like to savour more time exploring the Great Glaciers of Kumaon can extend the exploration by joining the back to back trek to Sunderdhunga and Maiktoli B.C thus completing the trilogy of Great Glaciers of Kumaon trek and come full circle.


Both the treks were explored and documented as planned. See the documentations here:

Pindari Kafni Glacier Trek

Sunderdhungha Trek

Vaibhav Chauhan

About the author

Vaibhav was associated with Indiahikes as a Writer & Chief Explorer. He is an avid traveler with a passion for trekking in Indian Himalayas. With his roots in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, the love for the mountains is in his blood. When not travelling he likes to spend time interacting with like-minded trek enthusiasts and read books on travel and mountaineering.