A peak winter trek, with delicious views of Mt.Trishul and Mt.Nanda Ghunti
Not many winter treks can be done in January and February. Brahmatal that way is a classic winter trek for that period. For one, most of the trek is on snow, which makes it terribly exciting.
Frozen glacial lakes
Trekkers love camping beside the frozen shores of Bekaltal. And further they climb to a near-frozen lake of Brahmatal. Just the sight of these two lakes is enough to fill your heart.
Thrilling climb to the Brahmatal summit
Then, when you get to the open, snow covered meadows near Brahmatal, the full grandeur of the trek hits you. Stretched across the sky are the big mountains of Garhwal, and everywhere around you are the white undulating snow fields of Brahmatal.
Unmatched summit views from the top
One more reason to do this trek in March and April is the crackling view from the summit. In May and June, when it is peak trekking season, the smoky haze over the mountains makes the views disappointing. However, in winter, which often extends to March, mountain views are worth dying for! More often than not, you see clear blue skies that stretch across the horizon. From the Brahmatal Top, you see mighty Himalayan ranges in every direction. Summits that rise above 7,000 meters are common and no where else in our country can you see these big mountains at such close quarters. Just to see this magic, one must trek between mid December and March.
Because this trek is largely unexplored, there is almost no crowd. The silence of the forests is deep enough to hear a hare scampering through the snow. All you’ll hear is the soft crunch of snow under your feet and perhaps a few bird calls.
With such untouched settings, not only in December, but through January, February and March, Brahmatal makes for the perfect winter trek.
Day 1: Reach Lohajung
Lohajung is the base camp for the Brahmtal trek. The best way to reach here is from Kathgodam. The route, once you cross Nainital, is beautiful. You drive along mountain roads, through forests. You also get glimpses of the Garhwal mountains in the distance on a clear day.
- Altitude: 7,600 ft (2,316 m)
- Drive time: 10 hours drive from Kathgodam
Once you reach Lohajung, you find yourself face to face with the beautiful Nanda Ghunti peak. If you reach before sunset, the colours of the peak will enthrall you.
Lohajung is at the centre of 12-15 nearby villages. There are a couple of local stores where you can buy jackets, hand gloves, caps, shoes etc. if need be. However, it is advised that you carry all required things for trek beforehand and not rely on these shops. You will have mobile network in most parts of Lohajung.
Lohajung, as the locals say, is the place where Goddess Parvati had a war (jung) with the demon, Lohasur. Hence, the name, which translates to ‘War with Lohasur.’
Day 2: Lohajung to Bekaltal
- Altitude: 7,600 ft (2,316 m) to 9,689 ft (2,953 m)
- Time taken: 5 hours, 5.8 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate; gradually ascending through forests on well defined trails
- Water sources: The first point where you can refill your water bottles will be around 3 hours into the trek, followed by another at the place where you stop for lunch
The trek begins from Lohajung central market (chowk). Move upwards from Bisht General Stores (compass direction 3000 NW) on the well marked, human-made trail. Walk through the upper region of Lohajung and then through the forest trail with a few more houses. After a short trek, spot Mandoli village on your left.
As you climb higher, on your left, you will be able to see the Kali Valley, where Kali and Pindari Rivers join. Follow the water pipes that supply water to Lohajung, as they lie along the trek trail. After some time, cross a small cluster of homes called Budla, on the left. Here, you will find rhododendron trees, which make this part of the trail very beautiful from February to March.
At approx 8,500 ft, you will find a 10 metre bridge (known as Link-gaad), which will help you cross the stream. After around two hours, you will reach Begum, where you can rest for some time. This place provides splendid views of Navali Bugyal (145o SSE) and Bagdi Bugyal (125o SE).After 10-15 minutes of walking from Begum, you will find another stream. From here, an hour’s walk will bring you to Gujrani stream.
From here, the trail enters thick Oak forests and keeps climbing moderately. At sections where the mountain side is to your left and valley to your right, catch the first views of Mt Trishul imposing itself in the horizon. An hour and a half through the forest climb you land at a flat with a small crater in the center. At one end of the crater plateau is the valley of Deval. This place is called Khopdalia. It is actually a small dried lake. This is the campsite for Bekaltal which lies just above the campsite.
Bekaltal is a ten minute trek up from Khopdalia. It lies surrounded by a thick cluster of Oak trees. The waters of Bekaltal is always brown. The brown water indicates high amount of dissolved organic mater.
Typically, brown lakes are surrounded by forests or wetlands. Dense forests provide dark organic material that dissolves in lake water like a teabag. This dissolved organic material stains the water brown and shades the underwater world.
Overall, brown water lakes tend to be light-limited. The algae in these lakes survive through certain adaptations that allow them to adjust to low light levels. These lakes can also sometimes be acidic and contain few fish or other organisms.
Day 3: Bekaltal to Brahmatal
- Altitude: 9,689 ft (2,953 m) to 10,440 ft (3,182 m)
- Time taken: 5-6 hours, 7 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Initial steep climb for an hour brings you to a meadow where you ascend gently, followed by a gradual descent to Brahmatal.
- Water sources: None. Make sure that you fill 2 litres of water before starting the trek since this will be a long day
The trail starts out of the campsite and climbs steeply into the Oak and Rhododendron forest. Notice that to your left is the ridge which opens up to the valley below. Immediately to your right below is Bekaltal. As you climb on, half the trail is dominated by Rhododendron trees and somewhere midway the Oak trees take over. After about an hour, the tree line ends and you enter the meadows. Right in front of you is the spectacular panorama of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti with their associated ranges.
You are usually drawn to the edge of the meadows which is a ridge right on top of Lohajung your base camp. Below you is the valley from Lohajung to Wan. Right opposite where you are on the opposite mountain ridge are the famous meadows of the Roopkund trail – Aali and Bedni Bugyals.
The trail weaves along the ridge. You see the tree line sometimes below you sometimes beside you as you gain and drop height. The trees are largely Rhododendron or Oak again. Overall you gain height when you head to Jhandi Top, the highest point on the ridge. Its another vantage point for clear views of the mountain panorama. You can map the entire Roopkund trail here right from Wan to Roopkund. Spend at least twenty minutes at Jhandi Top to soak in the place. It usually gives you goosebumps to just comprehend what you are seeing in front.
As you walk along the ridge, while the right gives you big mountain views, the left opens up to sweeping valley views. You see atleast 7 to 8 layers of mountain ranges one behind another. The sense of openness is unmatchable to most trekking days anywhere.
From the Jhandi top, the trail gradually descends to Brahmatal over a kilometer and half.
Once off Jhandi top, you descend below the actual ridge which takes away the mountain views.The Brahmatal campsite at 10,351 ft is 500 meters away from the lake to the left on the edge of the slope.
Day 4: Brahmatal to Khorurai via Brahmatal Top
- Altitude: 10,440 ft (3,182 m) to 12,250 ft (3,734 m) and on to 9,640 ft (2,938 m)
- Time taken: 8 hours, 7.5 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate; Moderate ascent to the ridge followed by flat walk and then a steep descent.
- Water sources: None. Make sure you carry 2 litres of water from the camp before setting off.
The day’s trek sees you climbing back to the ridge line you left the day before , later traversing it further before descending down steep into the treeline. All along you will be treated to great mountain views if you have a clear sky. Anyone who treks this day will not hesitate to say that the day is the most visually fascinating day of the entire trek.
Start early by 8 A.M to give you time to catch the mountain views before the clouds come in. It takes about 10-15 minutes to trek to the Brahmatal lake your first stop on the trail. The trail till Brahmatal is a gradually ascending one through the grasslands. The Brahamatal lake sits pretty bang in the middle of the grassland in a crater. The lake glistens in deep blue color as the morning sun rays hit its surface. The lone tree by the side of the lake reflects perfectly off its waters. Go around the lake to get a view from all angles. You will be surprised to see how different the lake looks at each angle.
From Brahmatal, take the trail to the left that climbs up to the ridge. As you move up, you see the lake set in the middle of the vast meadow. Behind you appears a wide open valley. You can see Tharali and Gwaldam, places that you crossed on the way from Kathgodam. The first ridge climb brings you to a gently ascending stretch which then leads you to the final ridge climb.
At the ridge opens up majestic views of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. The view is a magnified or closer version of what you saw from Jhandi Top.
Take a moment at the pass. Have your packed lunch here. Don’t stop for long as the winds will be strong. Descent with mountains on your left and valley on your right. This part of the trail is completely new.
After the initial descent from the pass, the trail will ascend again through Alpine grass. Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti accompany you on the right. As the ascent ends, you reach a platform like an area from here you get a 180-degree view of the Himalayan range. Mountains such as Chaukhambha, Mandi, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli become visible.
As you continue further, a sharp narrow descent awaits you. This marks the tree line and beginning of Rhododendron and oak Forest. A descent of 1 hour will bring you to a clearing surrounded by trees on all the sides. You’ve now reached Khorurai – your campsite. Khoru in Garhwali means Brown Oak and Rai means the flat grassy area inside a forest. Take some time to rest and appreciate your surroundings.
Day 5: Khorurai to Lohajung
- Altitude: 9,640 ft (2,938 m) to 7,600 ft (2,316 m)
- Time taken: 3-4 hours, 3 km trek
- Trek gradient: Moderate.
- Water sources: Yes.
Begin the descent to Lohajung right after breakfast. The trail goes through thick oak and rhododendron forests once again. It is well made all the way and crosses 2 streams in between.
After about an hour from starting, you will reach Shephard huts. This place in local language is also called ‘chawni’ and is used by villagers and shepherds to keep their livestock.
Continue on the man-made trail from here. This trail connects these mountain villages down to Lohajung.
Day 6: Lohajung to Kathgodam
Click here for details on getting back after your trek.
If you have an additional day in Lohajung before or after your trek, visit Ajan Top, an easy trek that you can do on your own.
Banner image by Gajendra Kumar
Day 1: Reach Lohajung; 10 hours drive from Kathgodam. Transport will be arranged from Kathgodam Railway station at 6.30 am. Cost of cab – Rs. 5,500/- per vehicle.
Day 2: Lohajung (7,600 ft) to Bekaltal (9,885 ft); 5 hours, 6.3 km
Day 3: Bekaltal (9,885 ft) to Brahmatal (10,440 ft); 5-6 hours, 7.2 km
Day 4: Brahmatal (10,440 ft) to Brahmatal Top (12,250 ft) and on to Khorurai (9,160 ft); 8 hours, 7.5 km
Day 5: Khorurai (9,160 ft) to Lohajung (7,600 ft); 3-4 hours, 3km
Day 6: Drive from Lohajung to Kathgodam. You will reach Kathgodam between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm.
Please note that you will be staying at a guest house in Lohajung. The stay on all other days is in tents (3 per tent).
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
How to get to the basecamp – Lohajung
Delhi → Kathgodam → Lohajung
The Brahmatal trek begins from Lohajung, a picturesque village in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is also the basecamp of the popular Roopkund trek. Lohajung is situated around 213 km from Kathgodam.
Indiahikes arranges transport from Kathgodam Railway station at 6.30 am on Day 1 of the trek. The cost of this transport (Rs.5,500 per cab) will have to be shared by trekkers. You can pay the driver directly.
The drive to Lohajung is a pleasurable one, as you pass through several Kumaoni and Garwahli hill stations – Nainital, Kausani and Gwaldam. You will reach Lohajung at around 6.00 pm.
To reach Kathgodam
Take the Ranikhet Express from Delhi. It leaves at 10.30 pm from Old Delhi Railway Station and reaches Kathgodam at 5.05 am.
What happens if you don’t get tickets on the Ranikhet Express?
Ranikhet express is a crowded train and often gets booked many days in advance. Firstly, don’t look for an AC ticket. It is an overnight journey and even sleeper berths are comfortable. Book a Tatkal ticket. Your chance of getting a sleeper ticket in Tatkal is very high. If, for some reason, you still don’t get a ticket on the Ranikhet express, there are two options for you.
Take the earlier day’s Sampark Kranti from Old Delhi, which leaves at 4.00 pm. Tickets on the Sampark Kranti are usually easy to get as it is a day seating train. Stay overnight in a hotel at Kathgodam and join the team vehicle the next morning. KMVN Kathgodam is a good place to halt for the night. KMVN is Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam, a government tourist guest house right next to the railway station. The place is decent and clean. You can book online at http://www.kmvn.gov.in/
Take an overnight bus from Delhi’s Anand Vihar ISBT to Kathgodam. Volvo buses leave Anand Vihar for Kathgodam around 9.00 pm. This is an 8 hour journey. There is no online booking, so arrive a couple of hours early at Anand Vihar to book your tickets. No advanced reservation is required. Try to get to Kathgodam early (by 5.30 am) to catch the Indiahikes pickup at the station.
Lohajung → Kathgodam → Delhi
The Brahmatal trek ends at Lohajung. We arrange transport from Lohajung to Kathgodam Railway Station. The cost of this transport (Rs.5,500 per cab) will have to be shared by trekkers. You can pay the driver directly. You will reach Kathgodam around 6.00 pm.
If you are travelling further from Kathgodam, you can book your transport post 8.00 pm, keeping two hours as buffer time in case of road blocks in the mountain roads.
If you want to reach the base camp by yourself
Option 1: Delhi → Lohajung (24 hours)
There is a direct bus from Delhi to Mundoli/Lohajung. It leaves Delhi Anand Vihar terminal at 9.15 pm. You will reach Kathgodam at 4.00 am and Lohajung at 5.30 pm.
Note: This is an extremely long and tiring journey and the buses are not too comfortable. We recommend Options 2 and 3.
Option 2: Delhi → Rishikesh → Lohajung (cab)
From Delhi, get to Rishikesh/Haridwar and hire a Sumo to Lohajung. The route: Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karanprayag – turn right to Tharali – Debal – Mundoli – Lohajung
Note: Most taxi operators may not have heard of Lohajung. So, you’ll have to show them the direction as given above.
Option 3: Delhi → Rishikesh → Karanprayag → Lohajung (bus)
From Rishikesh Bus Stand., take any bus on the Joshimath/Badrinath route and buy a ticket to Karanprayag. It is a 6-7 hour journey from Rishikesh to Karanprayag. Take a bus that leaves as early in the morning as possible, preferably around 6.00 am. From Karanprayag Bus Stand, take a shared Jeep to Tharali (47 km). The road to Tharali runs along the Pindar river.
From Tharali, take a shared taxi to Debal (14 km). Once you reach Debal, contact our transporter, Raju Shah Ji on +91 8979 321 600. He will help you with an onward transport to Lohajung (24 km).
How to get fit for the Brahmatal trek
The Brahmatal trek is classified as a trek of moderate difficulty. You start from an altitude of 7,600 ft at Lohajung and reach a highest point of 12,250 ft at Brahmatal top. You gain around 4,650 ft over two days of trekking. While this isn’t much altitude gain, there is a lot of snow on the trail in the months of January and February, which makes it a trek of moderate difficulty.
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
What to take on the Brahmatal trek
- Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Daypack (20 litres): On the climb to Brahmatal Top on the fifth day, you will be leaving your bigger backpack behind at the Brahmatal campsite. So you’ll need a smaller backpack to carry water, snacks and your medical kit. Bring a foldable backpack. If you’re coming in a group, two of you can share a daypack.
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.
- Five layers of warm clothes: If you’re trekking in winter, carry two sweaters, two fleece jackets and a padded jacket. If you’re trekking in spring (March/April), three warm layers will suffice.
- Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the day of the summit climb. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandatory. There will be a lot of snow in winter and can cause snow blindness.
- Suncap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
- Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woolen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. Carry one pair each of fleece and synthetic hand gloves. You can add the fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
- Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
- Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woolen socks for the night.
- Headlamp / LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole. Looking to rent a trek-pole just for this trek. Just click here. This can be made available to you directly at the base campsite.
- Poncho: At high altitudes, snowfall and rain are quite common and hence it’s mandatory that you don’t get wet.
Indiahikes offers rentals on this trek. You can now rent trekking shoes, trekking pole, padded jacket and poncho instead of buying them. You can collect these directly at the base camp and return them there after the trek. Get the details here.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If you do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- One 1 litre water bottle. We recommend the Lifestraw Go. Indiahikes trekkers can get it at a discounted price here.
- One 1 litre thermos flask
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 1 Strip
- Crocin – 10 tablets
- Avomine (optional, in case of motion sickness)- 1 Strip
- Combiflam- Half Strip
- Muscle relaxant – Half Strip
- Digene – Half Strip
- Avil – 1 strip
- ORS – 6 packs
- Knee Cap (If you are prone to knee injury)
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
How safe is the Brahmatal trek?
The Brahmatal trek is a moderate one. The trails are well laid out. The altitude isn’t too high – the highest point is 12,250 ft and you gain this slowly over 3-4 days. At 12,250 feet, the risk of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness is relatively low. However, you still need to be mindful of the fact that you are in the mountains in extreme weather conditions, and take necessary precautions to ensure that you have a safe trek.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Brahmatal trek. Anyone who wants to register for this trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.
2. Monitoring health on a trek
On the Brahmatal trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.
This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.
Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.
3. High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.
4. High Altitude Trek Equipment
To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.
5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek
You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.
Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.
What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Brahmatal trek
Acute Mountain Sickness:
At altitudes above 10,000 ft the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out. This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours. And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.
Diamox is a tablet that is available off the counter. You can start your course one day before the trek. Take half a tablet once in the morning and once at night (after your meal). It reduces chances of AMS by 80%. There are almost no side effects of Diamox, except a tingly feeling at your finger tips. You might also feel the need to urinate more often, which is normal as Diamox makes you drink more water. You can learn more about AMS, its symptoms and treatment here.
Note: Diamox is a sulfa-based tablet. If you are allergic to sulfa-based drugs, don’t take the tablet. If you do not know whether you are allergic to sulfa-based drugs, take a Diamox around ten days before your trek and look out for any reactions, If there are none, you can safety take the tablet on the trek.
Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox
We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.
What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?
If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.
Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.
The one stretch where trekkers have to be safe is when there is snow while climbing to the summit. This is taken care of by providing trekkers with micro-spikes for better traction on snow. Trekkers are also provided with gaiters such that no snow enters their shoes.
Most situations are resolved by the trek leader’s intervention. If, however, evacuation is required, it is carried out by the Indiahikes team. There is a quick exit point on the Brahmatal trek that can be reached within a day – Lohajung. The affected participant is moved down to the nearest emergency medical centre as soon as possible. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.
Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks
If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.
Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.
If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.
Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.
You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.
Acute Mountain Sickness
If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.
For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel.
Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.
The cancellation charges are as under.
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. You need to be able to jog a distance of 5 km in 35 mins before the start of the trek. Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.
In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.
Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason are trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
Backpack offloading charges – Rs 1,000 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 350 per day inclusive of tax. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.
Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.
We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Kathgodam and drop you back from Lohajung. This will cost approx. Rs. 5,500 per 5-6 seater vehicle. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
If there is a group size of 10 trekkers and above, then we will waive off the trek fee charges for one person.
Note - There is no discount available if the group size is 9 or less than that.
You can register the entire group and send us an email. If the group is registering individually, then the primary participant needs to send an email to the Trek Coordinator with the list of trekkers from the same group.
If you want to make the payment individually, then individual registrations have to be done.
This will be the case for a group of 10 trekkers. So if you have a group of 20 trekkers, then we will waive off the charges for 2 trekkers.
Can you pick me up from Nainital?
We can pick you from Bhawali which is about 10 kms and 30 mins from Nainital.
Can we leave on Day 5?
No, although the trek ends on Day 5, it is not wise to leave that day. Night driving is very risky in the mountains. We have a debriefing session on Day 5, you won't want to miss that
Can you pick me from Rishikesh?
Indiahikes does not have a pickup from Rishikesh, you can take the direct bus at 5am from Kashmere gate at Delhi.
Is there a bus from Kathgodam/Rishikesh to Lohajung?
There are no direct buses to Lohajung, there are only shared cabs, you will have to change cabs once or twice. The experience is unique, be ready for a bumpy crowded ride!
Is there electricity and phone signal on the trek?
There is electricity and phone signal at Lohajung. But after that it is not available as you stay in tents you are out of network range.