Kedartal Trek

A Rare Adventure Among Big Mountains
Trek Fee : 13,700 + 5% GST
Difficulty
Difficulty
Difficult
Duration
Duration
7 Days
Altitude
Maximum Altitude
15,485 ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Dehradun
Required Fitness
Base Camp
Gangotri
Age
Minimum Age
12
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
May-June, Sept-Oct

A Rare Adventure amidst Towering Mountains

The Kedartal trek is not for everyone. It is a difficult trek. What this means is that it requires a considerable amount of fitness to do the trek. What it gives in return is a truly magical trekking experience.

The trek climbs to the glacial Kedartal lake.  On our other treks, we get terrific mountain views. But not as close as the ones on the Kedartal trek. You have Mt Thalaysagar, Mt Bhrigupanth, Manda Parvat, Mt Jogin, Mt Gangotri rising up right in front of you. These are no small mountains.

Trekkers take a break in the shadow of Mt Bhrigupanth on the way to Kedar Kharak PC: Padmanava Sen

The trek in itself is fantastic. Climbing out of Gangotri through magnificent pine forests, the trail enters high altitude pastures. The camps along the way give terrific views of the great mountains surrounding these settings. This is one of our few treks where you almost always sight the blue sheep or bharals.

The variety on the trek, grand views and terrific mountain settings make this one of the great treks in India.

Banner image by Sudheer Hegde.

Short itinerary

Day 1: Reach Gangotri (11,204 ft); 10-12 hours drive from Dehradun. Transport will be arranged from Dehradun Railway Station at 6.00 am. Cab cost per vehicle will be Rs.7,000 (5-6 seater). This is to be shared among trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
Day 2: Acclimatisation day around Gangotri (10,055 ft)
Day 3: Trek from Gangotri (10,055 ft) to Bhoj Kharak (12,772 ft); 5-6 hours, 9 km.
Day 4: Bhoj Kharak (12,772 ft) to Kedar Kharak (14,238 ft); 3-4 hours, 4.25 km.
Day 5: Kedar Kharak (14,238 ft) to Kedartal (15,485 ft) and back to Kedar Kharak; 8 hours, 8 km.
Day 6: Kedar Kharak (14,238 ft) to Gangotri(11,204 ft); 8 hours, 11 km.
Day 7: Depart for Dehradun. Cab cost per vehicle will be Rs.7,000 (5-6 seater). You will reach Dehradun between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm.

Please note that you will be staying at a hotel in Gangotr. The stay on all other days is in tents (3 per tent).

If you wish to offload your backpack on the Kedartal trek, you would need to inform us via email at least one week before the trek begins. Last minute offloading on the slope will not be possible.

It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

Day 1: Reach Gangotri

  • Altitude: 10,055 ft (3,064 m)
  • Time taken: 10 – 12 hours from Dehradun
  • GPS Coordinate: 30°59’44.26″N 78°56’11.32″E

Gangotri is the base camp for the Kedartal trek. Around 20 km before Gangotri, Dharali is a village along the Bhagirathi river. Lodges dot either side of the main road leading to Gangotri. You will stay in one of these.

The drive to Gangotri becomes interesting after you cross Uttarkashi. The roads become narrower, the forest around denser. It also becomes colder as you gain altitude. Look out for the pretty town of Harsil on your left, around 55 km before Gangotri.

Expect to see thousands of pilgrims at Gangotri, especially during the chardham yatra season in May and June. They throng here to see the source of the river Ganga, so sacred in Indian mythology.

It is said that King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva for salvation of the souls of his 60,000 sons. Shiva obliged and requested Goddess Ganga to release her water, which purified the ashes of Bhagirath’s sons. This mythological story elevated the status of River Ganga as a means to purify one’s soul.

Gangotri, the base camp, is situated right on the bank of Bhagirathi river. PC: Atul Rana

Day 2: Acclimatisation day in Gangotri

Use this day to get acclimatised to the altitude. Take a short trek up one of the trails around Gangotri and then return to base. You can spend the rest of the day exploring the area and taking in the pilgrim-town’s sights and sounds.

Day 3: Trek from Gangotri to Bhojkharak

  • Altitude: 10,055 ft (3,064 m) Trek to 12,772 ft (3,893 m)
  • Time taken: 5-6 hours, 9 km
  • GPS Coordinate: 30°57’47.70″N  78°56’31.13″E
  • Altitude Gain: ↑932 mtr Altitude Loss: ↓246 mtr.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult. Steep ascent all the way. The terrain is rocky in many parts.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There are three sources on the way where you can refill your water bottles.
Negotiating the narrow path across the mountain wall requires a lot of patience. PC: Padmanava Sen

Walk into the Gangotri market. There are public washrooms here if you want to use them before setting off on the trek. Carry dry rations or packed lunch since there is no food available on this trail.

Around 50 meters from the washrooms, take the steps going down to the right towards the Bhairav Ghati bridge across the Bhagirathi river. The trail to Bhoj Kharak begins as soon as you cross the river. You will see a GMVN lodge to the right. You will also pass the ashrams of a few sages. The trail here already begins to ascend.

After 200 meters, take a trail that climbs up sharply to the right, along the side of another ashram. This brings you to the forest trail to Bhoj Kharak. This frequently trekked route is the only path available to reach Bhoj Kharak. Here one, the trail ascends steeply almost all the way to Bhoj Kharak.

The trail is rocky in most parts. Being the first day of the trek, it is likely that you will struggle for your breath as lift yourself and your bag on to the rocks. Below you, you hear the KedarGanga river thundering past. Above you are branches of the fir trees you find in this forest. The valley becomes narrower as you go deeper. There are short stretches of flat walks that allow you to catch your breath but the climb is relentless.

After an hour and a half of climbing, the fir tree give way to birch or bhoj. The barks of these trees shed think sheets that resemble paper. Due to the durability and texture of this bark, most of our ancient Indian texts were written on these. The locals use it in their shoes as insulation from the cold.

Though the terrain is strenuous, ‘rhythmic trekking’ takes the edge off it. It is important to take small sips of water at equal intervals to keep well hydrated. The trail crosses three water points from where you can refill your water bottles.

After about four hours of trekking, the trail emerges out of the forest. Here, you get your first ‘spider wall’ or a narrow path on a near vertical rock face. The trail has just enough space to keep a foot at a time. Focus on the next step and do not look down – you’ll be able to cross this path comfortably.

Bhoj Kharak campsite PC: Atul Kini MThe trail climbs for another fifteen minutes before you reach the second spider wall. Cross this and you will reach the campsite within five minutes.

The BhojKharak campsite consists of small strips of land lying to the left of the trail. You will have to find flat stretches to pitch your tents. There’s wild grass growing around. The valley here is quite narrow so the view are not very great.

The closest water source is the stream flowing along the spider wall that you just crossed.

Day 4: Bhoj Kharak to Kedar Kharak

  • Altitude: 12,772 ft (3,893 m) to 14,238 ft (4,340 m)
  • Time taken: 3-4 hours, 4.25 km
  • GPS coordinates:  30°56’5.14″N  78°57’11.74″E
  • Altitude Gain: ↑479 mtr Altitude Loss: ↓244 mtr
  • Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult. 1 km of steep ascent followed by 3 km of moderate ascents and descents.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There are sources on the way where you can refill your water bottles.
Meadows on the way to Kedar Kharak. PC: Sushant Ale

The trek from Bhoj Kharak to Kedar Kharak is relatively simple compared to the previous day’s climb. Though there are a few grim patches, the terrain has uniform ascents and descents. The trek to Kedar Kharak, situated at 14,000 ft, is 4 km and takes about five hours.

The ascent is quite steep as soon as you set out of the campsite at Bhoj Kharak. After 1 km trek though the Bhoj forests the trail leaves the tree line and enters meadows which are multi colours in autumn – an astounding setting for photography with the snow covered peak Bhrigupanth in the backdrop.

The next 2 km feel like a relaxing stroll as there are fewer steep ascents. It is in this stretch that you may get a chance to encounter high altitude fauna like bharal (blue sheep), goral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of birds.

The climate gets chillier as you gain altitude. Do not be surprised if you notice a thin layer of frost over the stones in the streams. After passing about two more water points you reach Kedarkharak.

The camp is set on a vast dry meadow with a few sparsely distributed boulders beside a wide stream. The stony path through which the stream climbs is the trail for the Day 4 Trek.

It is an exceptional sight to watch the sunset at Kedar Kharak. As the red ball of fire sinks behind the snow clad Bhrigupant the entire meadow looks orange and turns grey at dusk.

Day 5: Kedar Kharak to Kedar Tal and return to Kedar Kharak

  • Altitude: 14,238 ft (4,340 m) to 15,485 ft (4,720 m) and back to 14,238 ft (4,340 m)
  • Time taken: 6 hours, 5.4 km To & Fro
  • GPS Coordinates: 30°54’54.06″N  78°57’26.76″E (Kedartal)
  • Altitude Gain: ↑293 mtr Altitude Loss: ↓24 mtr
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. Continuously ascending trail over a rocky terrain.
  • Water sources: None. Carry at least 2 litres of water.
Mt.Bhrigupanth and Mt.Thalaysagar on the way to Kedartal. PC: Sushant Ale

On this day the excitement level among the trekkers is usually at its peak, with the eagerness to make it to the emerald lake taking over any exhaustion from the previous days’ treks.

Start early as this stretch is the most laborious of all. At a height of 16,116 ft, the ‘Tal’is a 5 km slog from KedarKharak through rocky mountains with absolutely no greenery around.

Despite the barrenness, the terrain can be quite exhilarating. With vigorous ascents and very few descents it demands a great deal of energy and effort to be able to reach the destination on time, considering the unpredictable weather conditions, with the probability of snow and rain being quite high during this season. The trail can best be described as a rocky maze with just one or two small streams that are not close by, thus requiring us to carry adequate water supplies.

If not careful, one can easily get turned around and it takes a while to realise that the route is off beam. For this reason a lot of cairns ( piles of stones) have been placed en route to the Tal to point out the right direction. Watch your step as there are plenty of loose rocks on the way. After about 5- 6 hours of trekking, and half kilometre away from the lake, you can see the mighty Thalaysagar Peak across a rocky ridge.

Once you cross this steep ridge, the descent to the lake begins. The temperature falls drastically at Kedartal. You can see the flawless reflection of the mighty old Thalaysagar peak on the Tal. Though the water is freezing, it is quite an experience to wet your fingertips in the emerald green lake. Spend some time here and soak in the scenery before turning back to Kedar Kharak on the same route.

Reflection of Thalayasagar in Kedaral. Picture by Vikas Sharma.

Day 6: Kedar Kharak to Gangotri

  • Altitude: 14,238 ft (4,340 m) to 11,204 ft (3,415 m)
  • Time taken: 7-8 hours, 8.65 km.
  • GPS Coordinate: 30°59’44.26″N 78°56’11.32″E
  • Altitude Gain: ↑501 mtr Altitude Loss: ↓1397 mtr
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Continuously descending trail over a rocky terrain
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. There are few sources on the way where you can refill your water bottles.
A herd of bharal on the trail to Bhoj Kharak. These shy animals are a rare sighting though this is their habitat. PC: Padmanava Sen

Start the descent to Gangotri right after breakfast. Trace the same path back and cherish the surroundings one last time. Since most of the trail is descending, it should take you lesser time to reach. Be mindful of loose rocks on the trail.

Day 7: Return to Dehradun

How to get to the basecamp – Gangotri

Delhi → Dehradun → Gangotri

The base camp for the Kedartal trek is Gangotri, around 242 km from from Dehradun.

Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Gangotri. The pick up is at 6.00 am from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1. The cab fare is Rs.7,000 per vehicle. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid directly to the driver. 

The trek begins at Gangotri the next morning. 

To reach Dehradun

The best way to reach Dehradun is to book the ever reliable Nandadevi Express.  

  • 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 3.55

If you cannot find a train, then take a bus. To stay on the safe side, book buses online in advance. A better option is to reach the previous night by Jan Shatabdi from Delhi.

Getting back

Gangotri → Dehradun → Delhi

Indiahikes organises transport from Gangotri to Dehradun. The cab fare from Gangotri to Dehradun is Rs.7,000 per vehicle. This is to be shared by trekkers and paid to the driver directly. You will reach Dehradun by 6.00 pm. 

If you are travelling further from Dehradun, keep a couple of hours as buffer time in case of delay. Book your further travel from Dehradun post 8.00 pm. If you are travelling to Delhi, you can choose to go back by Mussoorie Express or Nanda Devi Express.

Network Connectivity

There is no mobile connectivity on this trek however,  Jio network is available at Gangotri.If you are lucky, you might get Airtel signal in patches. Do not count on this to make any important phone calls.

The Kedartal trek is a Moderate-difficult one. You start at an altitude of 10,055 feet and reach an altitude of 16,116 ft feet in 3 days. Ideally, you should be only gaining 1,000 ft a day. However, the Indian Himalayas climb very quickly. Each day there is a 2000 feet gain. In no time you reach 16000 feet. This is not easy.

As the trek demands a high level of fitness, we have a screening process for our trekkers.

Once you register, you will get a questionnaire from your Trek Coordinator who will ask you to send a screenshot of the GPS track and also the splits.

You need to cover 5 km in 30 mins and record it with splits of the run using any fitness app (Nike Run app/Strava), and send it to your Trek Coordinator.

You will be able to make the payment only once he/she approves the fitness screenshot.

In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets. In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your targets in the following manner –

  • Target completing 10 km in 75 minutes before the start of the trek
  • Gradually bring up your speed to do 5 km in 30 minutes
  • Start increasing the distance you jog to 10 km in 75 minutes

Strength – Target 3 sets of squats with 15 in each
This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover carrying your backpacks and trekking along with your backpack is not a very easy task. You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. There will be boulders and loose rocks on most days. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching the target in 3 weeks.

Flexibility
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. 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.

Here is a guide to help you get fit for the trek.

trek-fitness-indiahikes-moderate-treks
One month trek fitness routine for moderate treks

Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

Click here to buy trek equipment.

Bare necessities

  1. Trekking shoes: The trek distance is long and you will have to walk for long distances which need you to have comfortable trekking shoes. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.

Clothes

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.

  1. Five Warm Layers: You will be trekking and camping at high altitudes. The campsites at Kedar Kharak and Kedartal  are extremely windy. So make sure you have the apt clothes for the climatic conditions. Carry at least three layers of warm clothes to protect yourself.
  2. Two trek pants: One pair of trek pants should suffice for this trek. But you can carry one spare pair in case the first one gets wet. Wear one pair and carry one pair. Denims/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking. Preferably carry at least one pair of quick-dry pants.
  3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Wear one and carry two. 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. 
  4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.

Accessories

  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness.
  2. Suncap: The sun is more harsh at high altitudes so wear a suncap to protect your face and neck.
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
  4. Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
  5. Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.

Others

  1. Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
  2. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
  3. Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose sanitary napkins in the mountains.
  4. Cutlery:Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
  5. Two water bottles: 1 litre each
  6. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit

  1. Diamox – 1 Strip
  2. Crocin – 10 tablets
  3. Avomine (optional, in case of motion sickness)- 1 Strip
  4. Combiflam- Half Strip
  5. Muscle relaxant – Half Strip
  6. Digene – Half Strip
  7. Avil – 1 strip
  8. ORS – 6 packs
  9. Knee Cap (If you are prone to knee injury)

Mandatory Documents

Please email a scan of your ID document (PAN, Aadhar card or Voter ID) to your Ground Coordinator as soon as you have finished registering for the trek. If you submit the Aadhar card or Voter ID scans, please make sure that we get both the side. This is required in advance to get the necessary trekking permissions.

Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.

  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
  • Medical Certificate (first part to be filled by a doctor and second part by the trekker) – Download PDF
  • Disclaimer form (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF

Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek – 

Here’s a quick info-graphic to give you an overview of everything you need in your backpack.

What are the risks on the Kedartal Trek?

The Kedartal trek is graded moderate-difficult. If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.

This trek starts at an altitude of 10,055 ft. You are already in rarefied air and will be covering long distances. With significant altitude gain there are chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness. You gain 2,000 ft each day. The trail from Gangotri to Kedar kharak is very tricky. You walk on a very narrow trail hugging the mountain, with a steep drop into the river below if you miss a single step. After this, the steep climbs take a toll on your legs.

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 Kedartal trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Kedartal 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

Any abnormal reading will be paid particular attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the Kedartal 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.

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.

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.

What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Kedartal trek

ams-symptoms-indiahikes

Acute Mountain Sickness:

At above 12,000 ft the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness can be quite high.

Kedar khrarak and Kedartal are the highest campsites on the trek. Trekkers tend to develop symptoms of altitude sickness at these camps. That said, Gangotri, where the trek begins, is itself at a high altitude, and you ascend 2,000 ft each day, which means that you need to take utmost care on all the days of ascent.

Do not proceed to Kedar kharak if you have symptoms of altitude sickness. Inform your trek leader about your condition. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to Gangotri.

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.

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.

Exit points on the Kedartal trek: 

The safest point on a trek where a trekker can descend to and rest is considered an Exit Point. If there is an emergency anywhere on the trek, the trekker has to be brought down to Gangotri on the same trail.

Closest hospital: 

Gangotri has a government dispensary. For any advanced treatment, Uttarkashi, around 100 km from Gangotri, has the closest hospital.

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.

We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader. Only then your trek leader will be able to take steps at the right time.

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.

ams-manual-indiahikes-2-pages
Click on the AMS Manual to open and download

 

Trek cancellation policy

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.

In the unlikely case of a trek being called off by us at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen 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.

Your trek fee includes:

  1. Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 7 (Dharali to Dharali). You will be staying at a hotel in DharaliDand camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
  2. Meals – All meals from dinner at Dharali on Day 1 to breakfast at Dharali on Day 8 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
  3. Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
  4. Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
  5. Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.

Your trek fee does not include:

  1. Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Dehradun and drop you back from Dharali. This will cost approx. Rs. 6,500 per 5-6 seater vehicle one way. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
  2. Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to and from Gangotri.
  3. Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,800 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that last minute offloading will not be possible on this trek.
  4. Stay at Dehradun on the last day 
  5. Personal expenses of any kind
  6. Anything apart from inclusions

Cancellation Policy

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.

Fitness

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. The trek has long climbs and steep descents on a daily basis. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 30 minutes by the time your trek starts. Alternatively, you can do cycling of 25 km in 60 minutes or walking 10 km in 75 minutes. This is a minimum, mandatory requirement. 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.

Backpack Offloading

Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charges – Rs 1,200 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 400 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.

Transport

Transport from Dehradun to Gangotri and return from Gangotri to Dehradun can be arranged by us at an extra cost. This will cost approx Rs. 7,000 (for a 5-6 seater cab) per vehicle on the drive to the basecamp. The return cost will be the same.

Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab. The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter.

Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.

Discount Policy

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.

Scholarship Discount for Kids

At Indiahikes, we firmly believe and encourage children to trek. There’s so much to learn from the outdoors. We want to see more children trekking. Keeping this in mind, Indiahikes has now introduced a 50 percent Trek Scholarship for children on Himalayan treks.

Children between the age of 8 and 12 are eligible for this scholarship. Indiahikes will sponsor half of the trek fee for each child. This scholarship is applicable for easy to moderate treks.

Note - We will have a maximum of three children eligible for the scholarship in each batch. So check with your Trek Coordinator for this.

Would we be camping at Kedartal?

No. There will be no camping in Kedartal.

We changed the itinerary to camp 2000 feet below Kedartal. We will be trekking to Kedartal and spend time exploring the lake.

This is to ensure the safety of the trekkers. We do not want to camp at 16,000 feet. This is just inviting altitude related problems.

You will get enough time spend at Kedartal. We have made sure of that.

I am a fit first timer. Can I do Kedartal?

Kedartal is not a trek for first timers.

This is a difficult trek with a gain of 2000 feet every day. Also the terrain is quite treacherous and needs prior trekking experience.

As a first timer, you need to experience and learn how to trek, use a sleeping bag or a tent, and know how to use other trekking gear. Also, you need to understand how your body reacts at high altitudes.

Kedartal would not be a good trek for you to start with. Do an easy trek first to get an exposure to Himalayan trekking.

I want to keep my extra luggage at the basecamp - Cloakroom facility.

We do have a space where you can keep your extra luggage which you do not need on the trek. You can collect it once you are back at the basecamp.

Just ensure that you do not have any valuables in the extra luggage.

We do not charge any fee for this.

Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek.

Yes. There is an option to offload your backpack on this trek ( have a porter or a mule carry the bag for you ).

This is going to cost you Rs. 1200 plus 5% GST for the entire duration of the trek.

Make sure the weight of the backpack you are offloading is not more than 9 kgs. Also, the bags should have shoulder straps. You cannot get suitcases or strollers for offloading.

I want to come a day early to Gangotri to visit the temple and acclimatize. Will I get a place to stay at the basecamp?

It is great if you are going a day early to Gangotri. Gives your body a lot of time to acclimatize to that altitude.

However, it will not be possible for us to accommodate you at our basecamp. The reason is that we have multiple batches running during the season. It is really hard to find a room at the basecamp.

You will have to make your own arrangements.

For the transport to Gangotri from Dehradun, we can arrange this for you in case there is a batch leaving to the basecamp on the day of your travel. Else, you will have to make your own arrangements.

Here is what trekkers have to say about their experience at Kedartal Trek

KAILASH KOTHARI

Batch of
October 2018

The trek was awesome.  Being my first with Indiahikes, it was amazing.  Geet, Tony, and Saurabh were at their best to help and guide us all.  Kitchen staff was superb.  They fed us at 14,000 ft with very tasty and delicious food and surprisingly with lots of variety.  really commendable. 
It was really a learning experience for me.  To carry my own 14kg backpack gave me nice self-sufficiency type feeling.  Pitching and Un-pitching of tent by our own was tremendous experience.  Above all, carrying Eco Bags was a nice toddler step towards our environment.
      RETURNING 3800/- IS REALLY A SWEET AND NICE GESTURE FROM INDIAHIKES :) :) 

Full marks to Indiahikes on safety, safety gears, and health checkup front.  Even physical fitness criteria is also good and it really helps to prepare for the trek better.

I am grateful to Vishnu for keeping a tab on my fitness regime before going :).  It really helped me to complete the trek efficiently without any leg pain, shoulder pain (as I was carrying my 14kg backpack, thanks to a video by Shweta :) I took it seriously :) and didnt offload it :), and even without taking Diamox.

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Marlon Rumambi

Batch of
October 2018

I absolutely love the trek. Too bad winter comes to soon and we did not get to camp in the lake . I had a backpain on the last day but the team, especially Tonny the French guy, had been incredibly absolutely hepful.
When I did KGL, Indiahikes provided us fruits such as apple and pear.but no fruit this time in Kedartal.

Only please pay the attention to the rice cooked in places with very low temperature. Many people the think the rice on the last two days were undercooked causing several people mild diarrhea.

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Sabine Dietrich-Damm

Batch of
September 2018


I recently participated in the Kedartal Trek of India Hikes. The overall experience was simply outstanding. The most outstanding thing was the totally dedicated friendly team: experienced trek leaders, a creative kitchen team and bear strong porters. The whole week there was delicious, abundant food. The high-quality, clean equipment of tents and sleeping bags left nothing to be desired. I really liked the concept of the Ecobags. All these things made the whole hike a wonderful memory. 

I was also very impressed by the trekking preparation and all the safety measures. The regular emails I received before the hike prepared me thoroughly for the hike and increased my joyful anticipation every day. The safety precautions for measuring oxygen content, pulse and blood pressure were impressive. During the tour we had to cross a landslide area - the trek leaders managed this very well and I always felt safe. 

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Available dates

Apr May 2020 Jun

Click on available dates to Register

  • What the colours mean
  • Available
    Registration is on.
  • Waitlist
    The group is full, but cancellations are likely to happen. We have 5 waitlist slots for every group. You may register for the group. Waitlist slots confirmation chances are high if booked more than 30 days in advance.
  • Last 'x' slots
    Indicates the number of slots available in a batch.
  • Full
    Indicates the group is full. No further slots are likely. A full group has 18 members.

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2 thoughts on “Kedartal Trek

  1. Hi,
    I am now 49 yrs. old. Completed Deoriatal to Chandrashila, Gomukh, Kedarnath, VOF and Hemkund, Kuari Pass treks. Went upto Chakratirtha and then weather did not permit us to complete( as suggested by our guide) Satopanth Lake trek. My current average walking speed is around 8.5 min/km for a 6 km morning walk. Cycling required for about 8-10 km per day. Cycling speed is about 3.8 min – 4.1 min/km for cycling of at least 6 km. at a stretch. Usually do stretches for various muscles for about half an hour each day. Is it possible for me to venture for Kedartaal? Waiting for your advice.

    1. Dear Abhijit, with your keen attention to fitness, you can definitely do the Kedartal trek. Just continue this regime until at least a week before the trek and you’ll have a comfortable trek. Just mentally prepare yourself for snow if you’re planning to go in May. There tends to be a lot of snow accumulation in the valley where the trail is laid out.

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Trek Fee

13,700 + 5% GST
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