Indrahar Pass Trek

Difficulty
Difficulty
Moderate-Difficult
Duration
Duration
10 Days
Trek type
Trek type
Well marked for most part, except for difficult boulder fields near passes
Altitude
Max Altitude
14160 ft
Required Fitness
Base
Lahesh cave
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
September – October

Indrahar Pass 

Indrahar Pass Trek is a enchanting experience at the heart of an endlessly fascinating range. It is a notch in the skyline on the high ridge that runs down to the west from Mon peak.

Working Geological Model

Dhauladhar is one of the primary and powerful areas in the Himalaya where the pressure cast by the Indian subcontinent plate on the Eurasian plate is at its strongest. While the Indian mass wedges itself deeper under the Asian Plate, the Dhauladhar range is one where you can see a working geological model of the Great Himalayan Range in general. When you cross the watershed ridge of the Dhauladhar from Kangra to Chamba or vice versa, you pass through every Himalayan Climato-ecological belt possible- from tropical highlands of the great Himalayan rivers to the sub arctic wastes at the top of the ridge.

Kangra & Chamba Valleys

Standing up like a wall between the Beas and Ravi river valleys (the latter a gorge for much of its run from its source through Chamba) that constitute, respectively, the Kangra and Chamba valleys, the range is scored with passes connecting the two. The range has many subsidiary ridges that fall on either side of the divide. These ridges form little secluded valleys cut through with prominent streams that flow to the Beas and the Ravi respectively.

At the Kangra end, the ridges of the Dhauladhar rise pretty swiftly and steeply, so the south-facing valleys comprise steep and wooded glens and chasms and the rise to the crest of the range is pretty rapid. On the Chamba side, these valleys are long, narrow and winding. Indrahar pass is a notch in the skyline on the high ridge that runs down to the west from Mon peak.

The Obstacles

Our trek was in the monsoon, not the most popular time for treks in the Himalaya, and definitely not on the Dhauladhar. It receives the first blast of the rains when it hits the western Himalaya. The range positively swims in thunderstorms and heavy showers, especially in the peak months of July and August. Our’s was a very unusual trek because we did it between July end and early August, at the peak of the monsoons. I have seen the Dhauladhar in many seasons and it is a fact that treks across the range are fairly easy. During the monsoon months however, due to the dramatic intensity and variability of the climate, the trail becomes a fairly tough one. Falling rocks, wet rocks, stinging nettles, all kinds of insects, landslides and rivers in spate are just some of the many formidable obstacles. However, to trek in the monsoon is also to have the entire range to yourself-apart from Gaddi herders in their high camps on the ridge- and revel in the profusion of flowers and the sheer overload of greenery in all its hues.

Author: Bibek Bhattacharya

A trek at the heart of an endlessly fascinating range

  • The Dhauladhar is an endlessly fascinating range and the Indrahar Pass trek is a strong reiteration of its diverse offerings.
  • This high, rocky ridge is extensive enough and important enough both in its profile of ascent and its relative proximity to the plains to be a major Himalayan range.
  • It is a geologically active region, set on a major thrust zone of the Indian plate.

Indrahar Pass Trek Guide

Day 1: Bhagsu/Dharamkot to Triund via Galu Devta: 6184ft to 9760ft – Approx. 10km

The Indrahar Pass Trek is a 10-day ordeal. Bhagsu and Dharamkot are two villages situated about 2km up the ridge from McLeodganj. Both of them can be considered the roadhead, as alternate trails from both these villages meet at the Galu devta temple at the top of the Dharamkot spur of the Laka ridge and form the main trail that snakes up to Triund. The trail from Dharamkot is arguably the nicer one as it climbs through the thick crown of pine forests above the village. Walk up through the forest for about 15 minutes before you get to the Galu temple clearing. There’s a small tea shop here just below the shrine. From here one trail goes south-west into the forest to the village of Naddi. Another forest trail goes north west to the stream that descends from Laka, while the main trail to Triund continues straight past the small shrine.

The trail here is a gently rising one through oak thickets and traverses the steep side of the Laka ridge, following its contour. Dharamkot and Bhagsu lie directly below his trail. Approximately halfway up the trail is a deep gully that traverses a steep and rocky section of the ridge to emerge on a rocky spur. The main Dhauladhar range which passes out of view as you ascend from Dharamkot, swings into view here, with the pyramidal peak of Mon appearing larger than life. This entire stretch is perfect for birdwatchers as the forests here are literally swarming with various kinds of songbirds.

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Path to Triund

Past the Magic View Café, the trail gets steeper. At this point the Dharamkot spur of the Laka ridge meets the Triund ridge at right angles, creating a series of steep gullies that end up in thickly wooded chasms. The trail continues up through a series of steep switchbacks as it climbs the Triund ridge through dense and tightly packed thickets of rhododendron and fantastically shaped oak trees.  It’s a pleasant, if slightly strenuous climb from here to Triund in good weather. Watch your step when it’s raining, as the path turns to mush. The last couple of switchbacks bring you out of the rhododendrons and out onto the Triund ridge. It’s an open grassy ridge that stretches a good kilometer to the south before plunging into the Kangra valley. There’s plenty of places to camp. You could even get some provisions at the four tea shops here.

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Triund

Day 2: Triund to Lahesh cave via Laka:

9760ft to 11646 ft , Approx. 9km

The trail goes north up the Triund ridge past the forest guest house and a small devi shrine. The ridge begins to rise here in the very typical Dhauladhar way of cascading boulders. The trail keeps up with the Chauran nala chasm to the right, rising through more rhododendron and oak thickets and the occasional grassy ledge. The Gaddis maintain the stone trail here very well as it goes past a couple of shrines. As the the range looms up, the trail veers to the east and starts a steep traverse to get to the top of the Laka ridge. The views from here are quite magnificent. To the east, the Dhauladhar ridge rises in a series of peaks, the most prominent of which goes by the local name of Narwana. Below lie the green grassy ridge of Triund and just beside the trail are deep wooded chasms through which run the various streams that drain the southern face of the Dhauladhar.

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Upper Dhauladhar -Lahesh

Past the steep incline, the path enters rolling pasturage and reaches the camping ground of Laka. This marks the uppermost portion of the Dhauladhar foothills. The upper main ridge of the Dhauladhar looms above the little bowl of Laka to the North East, with Mon dominating the scene. A number of deep boulder fields descend the face of the ridge to Laka. The true trail to Lahesh cave and Indrahar goes up the northernmost boulder field. It is extremely important that you do not take the wrong path as it’s very easy to get lost in the maze of the upper boulder fields and come to grief. There’s a small tea shop (rather grandiosely called the Snow-line café) where you could take a breather before continuing.

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Path to Lahesh

The trail crosses two boulder fields usually with snow in them in May-June and again in October. At other times you’ll have to ford the shallow, but quick-flowing streams that go down them and start climbing up the steep and boulder-filled mountain side. The upper sections of the range rise up in gigantic, tiered bounds of striated rocks that loom over the trail like some gigantic medieval castle. The shepherds have installed an ingenious system of cairns to guide the way through this steep maze. For orientation stick close to the true right of the stream (to your right) and continue up the rib of the rockface. After about an hour’s strenuous climbing, you’ll arrive at Lahesh cave, which is basically a long and deep fissure in a wedge between two huge boulders. It’s a nice and dry camping spot, as long as you quickly get used to the fact that you won’t ever have the space to do anything but squat on your haunches when you’re in the cave.

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A Solitary Tea Shop

The natural courtyard in front of the cave commands a great view of the lower ridges of the Dhauladhar and the Kangra valley. The rockface around the cave is pretty steep, although during monsoon you’ll find thousands of alpine flowers blooming on small grassy ridges, that you never suspect these rocky heights could hold.

Day 3: Lahesh Cave(11646ft) to Indrahar Pass(14160 ft ) and down to Chhata(12729 ft): Approx 12km

Today is a long day, so try and start as early as you can. The trail continues over the rocks straight up the North East face of the ridge, keeping the steep wall of Mon to its right. The trail follows the path marked by the cairns as it rises steeply up the 2,500 odd feet from Lahesh cave to the crest of the pass.

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Above Lahesh

Take the trail at your own pace as it gets quite steep in places. Again the ingenuity of the Gaddi shepherds help a lot in making this a straightforward ascent. To facilitate an easy passage for their goats, the shepherds have built a succession of rock-hewn staircases along the steepest sections. It’s pretty much like climbing up a ladder, only much more fun. The normal trajectory of the trail is that of rock stairs alternating with shallow ledge and then up the next set of stairs and then another shallow ledge and so on. Keep your eyes on the rocks above as you wouldn’t want to miss the cairns that mark the way. The ledges are often overhanging with 200-300 ft falls right under them so be careful.

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Trekking up to Indrahar

The Dhauladhar has it’s own mini weather system, and rainstorms often break out towards the afternoon. This is frankly one of the most difficult sections of the trek, so take your time and don’t rush. However, you should try and be on the pass by 11 am, as there’s a long descent on the other side as well. Due to foreshortening, intervening cliffs often give the impression that you’re close to the top only for that illusion to be shattered once you reach the cliffs. You know you’re getting close to the pass when the trail becomes even steeper and a keen wind starts blowing. The pass is reached quite suddenly, with the small shrine with cairns and a collection of tridents marking the deep notch on the top of the Dhauladhar that mark the spot. Here, near the crest of the Dhauladhar, the landscape is truly surreal, made up as it is with huge bands of heavily compacted slabs of rocks. The Mon peak, which lies a few hundred feet to the east and is an easy climb from its north face, is merely a continuation of the this broken, rocky ridge. The view from the pass is superb. To the south lies the Kangra valley and the distant plains of Punjab in a blue haze, while up north rises wave upon wavesof ranges like the Pir Panjal (north), Kishtwar (west), Bara Bangahal (east) and Manimahesh (north east).

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Animist shrine on Indrahar

The northern ridges of the Dhauladhar here drop away steeply to the valley of the Kuarsi nala and finally into the Ravi river system. The trail down from Indrahar is fairly clearly defined but much of the upper course is over extensive boulder fields. During October or June, much of this might be covered by snow and therefore easier to negotiate, but at other times, especially in winter, it is a mess of steep boulders and should be negotiated slowly.

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The Descend

The trail descends from the pass hugging a rocky ridge with overhanging boulders to the left, past small glacial fields. You can see the day’s camp at Chhata in the distance, and though it looks quite close, bear in mind that there’s still quite a long way to go. Once you reach the base of the rock spur, veer to the west and traverse over snow and boulder fields and small flower patches past the upper springs which feed the myriad streams that ultimately form the Kuarsi Nala. This area is something like a hanging valley, and it’s a fairly easy traverse.

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Crossing sidestreams

From the lip of the hanging valley, the trail then descends through meadows and rock gardens down the true left of the Kuarsi Nala. This mini cirque of high ridges is quite spectacular with their towering, black rock walls ending in fantastically shaped peaks. To the west are a number of eccentrically named peaks like Arthur’s Seat, Rifle-Horn and Arthur’s Footstool. In season you might come across Gaddi camps with their sheep, goat and sheepdogs in these areas.

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Carpet of Flowers

The trail then descends continuously to the North East for the next three to four km and for about a thousand feet. You will have to ford two big side streams coming down from the left (north). In both cases you can do so by crossing the glacier bridges in May and June. By monsoon, these bridges become rotten, so you’ll have to use a series of boulders across the face of the streams to get to the other side. Once past these you enter a long, green rolling meadow dotted with the most brilliant alpine flowers in the monsoon which trails off into a deep gully. Cross the gully and move steadily closer to the stream until you get to the picturesque camping spot of Chhata Parao.

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View from Chhata Camp

Day 4 Chhata to Kuarsi via Mandhara Crossing: 12729ft to 7293 ft, Approx. 14km

It’s an easy walk down to Kuarsi village from Chhata. Start early again, because the distance to be covered is sizable.Today you will have to cross the Kuarsi Nala later in the day, and it’s best to do so before it gets too hot and the volume of water in the stream increases.

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Trail to Kuarsi

Chhata is at the northernmost edge of the large bowl-like upper valley of the Kuarsi formed by the cirque of peaks that make up the northern face of the Dhauladhar. After striking camp, you follow the trail through beautiful belts of pine and deodhar for about half an hour before you reach the lip of this upper camp, and to your right, the stream falls off and enters an upper gorge. Another sizable stream rushes down from the ridge wall to the left to join the Kuarsi. Cross this by descending to the level of the side stream and hopping across some conveniently placed boulders across its channel. The path then rises again and maintains its height for the next 45 mins or so, crossing another stream coming down from the left. The main Kuarsi Nala has by now dug out a pretty deep gorge for itself, masked by pine forests, so sometimes even its roar can’t be heard.

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Kuarsi Nala Bhandara

The trail rises one last time straight into the middle of a pine forest flecked with flowers and butterflies before you suddenly come across the gorge. It’s a precipitous descent via narrow rock chutes from the pine forest to the bed of the river, which here comes down in a series of cascading waterfalls. This is the point where you cross the Kuarsi Nala at Mandara on its true right. It is always a tricky crossing because of the strength of the current, so try and get here before midday. Early in the day, you can possibly wade across it (except in monsoon) or do the usual boulder hop across the channel. Once on the other side, the trail rises up the ridge to regain the level of the pine forests, before continuing on its winding course following the river on its true left.

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Kuarsi Forest

The Kuarsi crossing is the toughest bit in today’s walk but the rest of the trail to Kuarsi is a fairly long one, with many ups and downs. Although the trail keeps to the pine level throughout, you lose height in imperceptible degrees, and even that involve innumerable descents into deep gullies followed by lung-bursting ascents with unerring monotony for the next hour. The view though is marvelous. Although the enclosing valley walls of the Kuarsi Nala are pretty steep, the further you go, the views to the north open up further. In clear weather views of the distant Pir Panjals are an ever present, until higher intervening ridges cut out that view.

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Negotiating Landslides -Kuarsi

The forests around the trail are thick and lush and black bears abound, so make sure you make enough noise while going through the forested stretches. Soon the trail hits the pipeline that carries water from the upper valley to Kuarsi village and thereafter the trail pretty much follows the pipeline. The Kuarsi meanwhile descends deeper into its gorge some 1000 ft below the trail.

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Kuarsi Village

Finally, after a particularly strenuous ascent, you come to a high cliff and Kuarsi village with its surrounding fields. From here it’s a thousand feet of steady but indirect descent, first across steep slopes and then across fields of paddy and mango orchards until you reach the village. You can camp overnight at the famous temple of the Indru Naga.

Day 5 Kuarsi-Hilling-Lamu (Approx 13km)-Donali by bus-walk to Brehi:

7293 ft to 3937 ft

The trail winds out of the level valley of the Kuarsi village and enters a thick forest through which it continues for about an hour. Soon enough though, the path narrows and becomes extremely precipitous as it skirts beside a steep ravine falling a straight 900 ft into the raging Kuarsi Nala below.

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Ridge Line Trail to Lamu

The trail runs thus until a side river cuts through the ridge to the right of the trail and descends to meet the Kuarsi. A steep and damp set of ancient wooden staircases takes the trail down to the stream which it crosses and then climbs back up to the thick pine forest.

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Hilling Village

In about an hour, the trail crosses the village of Hilling and it widens out to a metalled road. Walk on the road on to Lamu on the Ravi river which is the roadhead. Buses ply fairly regularly, and from here it takes about an hour and a half to reach Donali, which is the roadhead for the Donali Khal valley which you follow to reach Minkiani Pass.

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Donali Khal Valley

It’s best to walk up the valley for about 3 km and reach the village of Brehi for your night halt. There are meadows and orchards where you can set up camp, or even in the local schoolyard.

Day 6 Brehi to Minikiani camp via Drakund: 3937ft to 11483 ft,  Approx. 20km

From Brehi, the trail winds through the village proper on the true right of the Donali Khal, gently gaining altitude. The trail passes through beautiful apple orchards and oak trees, past little cattle enclosures to a suspension bridge.

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Crossing Donali Khal Above Brehi

The trail crosses it and continues along the true left of the river past a naga shrine and some village houses. After the crossing, the trail proceeds to rise above the river in a series of switchbacks. You pass by quite a few temporary Gaddi shelters, farms as well as small villages on the way to Drakund. It’s a beautiful if tiring trail to the forest guest house in the middle of thick oak and pine forest. It’s a nice place to stay with a friendly chowkidar.

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After crossing the guesthouse, the trail levels out a little and continues along the rising river valley. It’s a narrow, if well laid out trail which more or less goes straight south.. In season it’s fairly clear, but in the monsoon months the surrounding vegetation almost overwhelms the path, so a stick or an ice-axe should come handy to clear the path.

The valley opens out as the trail rises past the rushing river. After about an hour’s walking, a side stream comes down from the south west, which you will have to cross by the usual means of hopping over conveniently placed boulders. Once across, the trail continues beside the river for about half an hour before it starts rising again in a series of switchbacks. This bit of the trail is very tiring, so take it slowly. Side valleys open up to the south east, and beyond the upper pine forests the crest of the Dhauladhar starts to come into view.

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You continue past an abandoned forest dwelling and emerge clear of the lower valley. The view behind (to the north) is pretty spectacular, with the Manimahesh range holding pride of place to the north east. Once clear of the treeline, boulder fields begin. The final hour’s walk to the camping spot is a weary slog over boulders. Take note to pitch camp in such a place which protects your tent from the sudden high winds that descend from the Dhauladhar’s crest to the south.

Day 8: Minkiani camp(11483ft)-Minkiani Pass(13944 ft)-Kareri lake(9515 ft.)

Approx. 10km

Although today isn’t a long day, it does involve the tricky descent from Minkiani pass so start early to avoid the thunder showers that often hit the range late in the afternoon. The trail follows the line of the river which curves to the south east before straightening out again. Soon you come across the springs that feed the upper reaches of the Donali Khal. This forms a large, shallow pool which you cross over the stepping stones that are arranged on its surface.

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Once across you continue up the rocky valley. In about 15mins, you come smack up against the crest of the main range. The rocky peaks stand out like mighty sentinels. At their feet, you can see the first of the many lakes that form a chain going from west to east (tending to the left that is) at the northern base of the range. The lake that can be seen from the trail is the Lam Dal. The holy lake of Nag Dal and the others lie further to the east in the direction of the Gag pass.

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The trail to Minkiani veers to the right (west) and continues up over boulders and small pastures to a cave that the Gaddis use to camp in with their flocks. You will most likely come across groups of two or three Gaddi shepherds with the their vast flocks from either Kareri or Drakund here. Stop and chat to catch your breath and maybe have a cup of tea before continuing.

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The final trail up to the crest of the pass is the most tiring part of the days walk, as you have to cross literally a sea of boulders and climb about 1300 ft. This is beyond simple boulder hopping, as at places you have to tortuously climb around yawning holes between massive boulders. However, the shrine marking the pass can be seen from here, so you have a general idea of which way to go. Once across the boulders, a well laid out trail takes you up to the crest of the pass.

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On the southern side, it’s a direct descent of over 3,500ft to the enclosed valley of the Kareri Dal or lake, which appears like a sapphire gem right below. The trail traverses to the west for a little bit across a small grassy patch before rushing headlong down a narrow and steep boulder-filled gully. Things can get very tricky during this descent over rocky boulders so proceed with caution. At places you will have to traverse across the face of the gully to avoid running water coming down from the pass.

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This is a hazard during the monsoon and involves a fair bit of clambering over rocks and some nifty footwork. The gully leads inexorably down and you descend down this chute for the good part of an hour before it opens out about a 1000 ft above the lake and you enter the boulder-strewn upper part of Kareri’s enclosed valley.

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The going gets progressively less steep as you follow a rough trail over beautiful, emerald green meadows cut through with runnels of water that empty into the lake. You can camp either beside the lake or in the premises of the temple that stands on the southern bank of the lake.

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Day 9 Kareri Lake(9515 ft.) -Kareri(7218 ft ): Approx 13km

It’s a pleasant  descent though sparse stands of pine and rhododendrons along the true left of the Khauli Khad that drains the Kareri lake.

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The trail is clearly marked out and fairly broad. It crosses the river a fair number of times on the way down, and in places it is also quite steep. After about a couple of hours’ descent, the trail enters the thick forests above Kareri village.

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The trail here leaves the side of the river and traverses to the east through the forest to gain the upper pastures of Kareri village. After another hour’s walk the forest clears and the first houses of the village come into view. This incredibly pretty village has a large forest guest house where you can stay for the night. Alternately you can set up camp in the guest house grounds. In season, this walk is fairly straightforward, but during monsoon, prepare to be drenched by sudden showers and be confronted by a strong river in spate. Kareri also has a bit of a leech problem during the rainy months so be on your guard.

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Day 10 Kareri-McLeodganj:

There’s a nice trail that leads across the Bhated Khad from Kareri to Naddi and onward to McLeodganj. However  in the monsoon the forested stretch near the Bhated is infamous for its leech infestation. So it’s better to take the trail down from Kareri to the roadhead and catch a shared jeep or a bus to Dharamshala.

Minimum Age:

14 years

Past experience in trekking:

Useful but not essential

Fitness required:

You need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek. You should be able to jog 4 kms in 30 minutes before commencement of the trekking expedition. The air is thin and the conditions difficult. You also need to carry a backpack that is heavy weight. Your physical fitness is important for a successful completion of the trek. Training yourself to get to a jogging distance of 4 km under 30 minutes makes your lungs strong and gives it ability to process less air for more work.

Flexibility Exercises:

Flexibility is the ability of muscles and tendons to relax and stretch easily.  It determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.  Stretching improves your posture and helps to prevent low back pain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and low back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back.  On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Going to Kashmir? Want to make sure you’re fit enough to thoroughly enjoy the experience?

Here’s a simple,effective fitness plan that will help you be better prepared.

Fitness chart_IH Viv-page-001

Watch this instructional video about what to take and what not to take on a high altitude trek. 

BAGS

  • Backpack (40-60 litres): Backpack with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
  • Daypack (20 litres): It is mandatory to carry a daypack if you choose to offload your backpack. If you decide to carry your backpack, day pack is not required.

FOOTWEAR

  • Trekking shoes:  No sports shoes. The shoes need to have soles with good grip and ankle support. Do not wear a new shoe to a trek. It might cause blisters. Before bringing them to trek, wear it for a week to make it softer. We recommend FORCLAZ 100, 500, and 600.
  • Socks (3 pairs): 2 cotton pairs, 2 woolen pairs (mostly to be used on campsites and while sleeping. Keep them dry.)

CLOTHES – REGULAR

  • Trek pants (3 pairs including the one you are wearing): We highly endorse synthetic quick-dry pants as they are light. Plus, when it’s cold you can wear one over the other. While trekking a pair is what you would carry apart from the worn. You could keep the third pair for your return journey. Alternative : Cotton pant with many pockets / Track pants are comfortable too. Please do not get Denim jeans, shorts or 3 quarters to trek.
  • Collared t-shirts (3 pairs including the one you are wearing):Preferably light, full sleeve t-shirts. The collar and the sleeves prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Avoid loud colors that would distract birds and animals.
  • Full sleeve woolens (2 pairs including the one you are wearing):We endorse fleece over wool as it is light weight, compact and warm.
  • Thick jacket: Carry 1 hollow full sleeve windproof jacket/down jacket
  • Thermal inners: 1 pair of lightweight, upper and lower (optional)

ACCESSORIES

  • Raincoat/poncho: A lightweight poncho is preferred as it covers your rucksack as well from top. Raincoat can also be used as wind proof when required. Enquire Indiahikes for availability of ponchos at the base camp.
  • Balaclava: The cap must cover your ears and neck. You may also use scarves.
  • Synthetic handgloves: Ensure that the gloves are waterproof.
  • Suncap: 1 pair of nice warm gloves required, fleece or woolen. 1 pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves. You get very thin inner gloves nowadays. You may get one of those to use layering.
  • Sunglasses: Curved ones will cover your eyes well. No blue coloured sunglass — they don’t block UV. Blacks, greens, browns are fine. Avoid multi tone sunglasses. Sunglasses prevent snow blindness. Sunglasses are mandatory for this trek.People who wear spectacles, choose one of these – contact lenses, photo chromatic glasses, or if either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.

OTHERS

  • Toiletries (Sunscreen – SPF 40+, moisturiser, light towel, lipbalm/chap stick, small soap, toilet paper, wet tissue)
  • Repair kit (needle & thread)
  • Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  • Camera: Carry all accessories – spare batteries, charger, etc.
  • Cutlery: Carry a plate, spoon, coffee mug & a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. To save weight,  you may use your lunch box to have food in it and also carry it.
  • Water bottles: 2 bottles, 1 Litre each. Packaged drinking water bottles like Aquafina, Bisleri and others are not allowed.
  • Trekking pole: Trekking pole is mandatory. Duralumin 4-step telescopic anti-shock trekking poles are available with Indiahikes at the cost of Rs 550. To order mail us at [email protected]
  • Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

PERSONAL MEDICAL KIT – Mandatory

  • Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
  • Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  • Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  • Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  • Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
  • Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
  • Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
  • Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  • Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  • Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  • Gauze – 1 small roll
  • Band aid – 10 strips
  • Cotton – 1 small roll
  • ORS – 10 packets
  • Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  • Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
MANDATORY DOCUMENTS
In addition, please carry the below three documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. Without these documents you will not be allowed on the trek.
1. Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.) – 2 copies
2. Medical Certificate, and disclaimer (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF
3. Medical certificate (to be filled by a doctor) – Download PDF

IH CHECKLIST (570 x 738)


Tips & Advice 

  1. Avoid sports shoes. They are ill suited for trekking. We recommened FORCLAZ 100, 500, and 600. Wear the shoes for a week prior to the trek to avoid shoe bites/blisters on slope.
  2. Duralumin 4-step telescopic anti-shock trekking poles are available with Indiahikes for Rs 550. To order mail us at [email protected].
  3. We highly endorse synthetic quick-dry pants. They are light and can be worn in layers when it gets cold. Cotton pants/track pants are an alternative.
  4. Jeans,shorts and 3/4 pants are not suitable for trekking.
  5. Light full sleeve collared t-shirts are the best option. Avoid round neck t-shirts which exposes the neck during cold weather and may cause sun burns during the day.
  6. We endorse fleece jackets over wool as it is light weight, compact and warm. It is better to layer your clothing with multiple light sweaters than to carry one thick heavy jacket.
  7. Thermal inners are optional for those who are more sensitive to the cold.
  8. You may use scarves as an alternative to balaclavas.
  9. People who wear spectacles, choose one of these – contact lenses, photo chromatic glasses, or if either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
  10. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
  11. While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Complete trek guide

Last updated: January - 2017

 Complete trek guide