Difficult | Level 1
TREK STARTS FROM
A Challenging Summit Climb High on Adventure
If you are looking for a power-packed and thrilling summit climb, the Pangarchulla Peak trek offers just that. The summit point of the Pangarchulla Peak trek is situated at a challenging altitude of 15,069 ft.
To begin with, Pangarchulla is a 5-day trek (7 days when you include the travel days from Rishikesh). The trek starts from Auli near Joshimath in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Nanda Devi National Park.
This trek is known for its summit climb. For anyone who has done this trek, that will be the first thing to recall about their trek. The summit day is for one very long. You climb over lots of boulders covered over snow, feeling your feet every step of the way.
While the summit climb in itself leaves you with a strong adrenaline rush, what adds to this experience is the mountain views you get from the top. All along the trek, you are accompanied by grand views of a big part of the Greater Himalayan Range. And at the summit, you are surrounded by them and they all stand so close to you.
And when you trek in March and April, they are filled with blooming Rhododendrons, providing colours to the already beautiful forest. Being in Khullara will transport you to a different world altogether.
Pangarchulla Peak Videos
Watch these videos to prepare for your Pangarchulla Peak trek.
A route map of the Pangarchulla Peak trek
Drive from Rishikesh to Dhak/Karchi
Drive Distance: 254 km | Drive Duration: 10-11 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh | Pick up Time: 5.15 am
Transport will be arranged at 5.15 AM. It costs Rs 8,000 per Bolero (5-6 seater), and Rs 12,000 per Tempo Traveller (10-12 seater) for the transport, one way. This amount is shared by trekkers. You will reach the base camp, Dhak/Karchi by 5.00 PM.
Drive from Dhak/Karchi to Auli. Trek from Auli to Tali
Trek Distance: 8.1 km | Trek Duration: 8-9 hours | Altitude Gain: 7,785 ft to 11,053 ft
Trek from Tali to Khullara
Trek Distance: 2.65 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,053 ft to 11,014 ft
Acclimatization Day at Khullara. Trek to Kuari Top and back to Khullara
Trek Distance: 7 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,010 ft to 12,600 ft, and back to 11,010 ft
Trek from Khullara to Pangarchulla Summit, and back to Khullara
Trek Distance: 12 km | Trek Duration: 10-12 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,010 ft to 15,069 ft, and back to 11,010 ft
Trek from Khullara to Karchi
Trek Distance: 5.25 km | Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Altitude Loss: 11,010 ft to 7,785 ft
Drive back from Tapoban to Rishikesh
Drive Distance: 260 km | Trek Duration: 10-11 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh
The transport cost has to be borne by trekkers. It costs Rs 8,000 per Bolero (5-6 seater), and Rs 12,000 per Tempo Traveller (10-12 seater) for the transport, one way.
Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.
- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges.
- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent.
- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Anything beyond one luggage is chargeable at Rs 500 per luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.
Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.
A route map of the Pangarchulla Peak trek
If you're planning your travel, choose to travel by bus instead of train. They're usually on time compared to trains. If you're travelling by train, choose a train to reach Haridwar a day before Day 1 of your trek, and take an auto-rickshaw or a shared taxi to reach Rishikesh on the same day.
While returning, you will reach Rishikesh between 6.00 and 7.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 9.00 PM from Rishikesh. Since there are no trains directly from Rishikesh, the Nanda Devi Express from Dehradun (about 45 km from Rishikesh) will suit your schedule well.
What I Like About Pangarchulla Peak Trek
What I Like About Pangarchulla Peak Trek
The massive Mt. Nanda Devi appears in full scale from Gorson Bugyal.
Picture by: Avijit Jamloki
Mt Nanda Devi
Know Your Trek
We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.
Use this section to learn about the Pangarchulla Peak trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.
Day 1 (Pick-up Day): Drive from Rishikesh to Karchi/Dhak
Driving Duration: 10-11 hours drive | Driving Distance: 254 km
Altitude: 7,785 ft
Highlights: The Panch Prayag that you get to see on the journey is the main highlight. Prayag is the place of a confluence of three rivers, and all the five are seen on this route, namely Dev Prayag, Rudra Prayag, Karna Prayag, Nand Prayag and Vishnu Prayag.
The Pangarchulla trek begins from Auli. However, you will be staying at either Dhak or Karchi.
The drive from Rishikesh to Dhak is beautiful. The road chugs along tributaries of the Ganges. It hugs the mountainside and you get views of the vast valleys and forests of Garhwal.
After you cross the village of Pipalkoti, the entire scenery changes. You suddenly see a stark difference in the landscape when approaching closer to the Greater Himalayan Range.
Watch out for the big mountain of Mt. Drongiri from the base camp. This peak will be your company for the entire trek duration.
Karchi has a few interesting things that you need to know. If you are reaching a day in advance or have time post your trek, these are the things to look out for - The Hotsprings, the first sight of Mt. Dronagiri peak welcoming you and the region of Lata, Reini where the Chipko movement started in India.
You will reach by 5.00 PM.
Day 2: Drive from Dhak to Auli. Trek from Auli to Tali
Trek Duration: 8-9 hours | Trek Distance: 8.1 km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 2,507 ft (8,546 ft to 11,053 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult. Continuous ascent which is steep for the first 20 minutes followed by 45 minutes of gradual ascent. Steep again for about an hour, followed by a mix of gradual and steep ascents for 1.5 - 2 hours.
Highlights: Majestic peaks such as Mt Nanda Devi, Mt Hathi, Mt Ghoda, and Mt Dronagiri stand tall around you in Auli.
The day starts with a small drive from our base camp towards Auli.
The trek starts from lower Auli. Upper Auli is 1,000 ft above this. Trekkers do have the option of taking the cable car/ropeway to reach Upper Auli. If you plan to trek, you will reach it after gradually ascending for 1-1.5 hours.
This section will be seeing plenty of waste and is a good opportunity for you to contribute to leaving the mountains better.
From here, the trail enters an oak forest. Within a few minutes, you reach Padiyar temple. You can take a break here if you wish. From Padiyar temple, the trail continues to ascend. In 2.5-3 hours you will reach Padiyar.
At Gorson Bugyal, wide mountain views open up ahead of you. You will trek across the entire length of Gorson Bugyal, which gives you enough time to savour the views. This is a lovely walk one gets to do.
This is also the place you need to look up and catch Himalayan Griffin hovering above you. This majestic beauty is a wondrous bird. After about 40 minutes of moderate ascent, the overhanging trail ends abruptly and you take a U-turn brings you to an overhanging trail which cuts through a cliff.
Continue on this ledge. You can spot Lower and Upper Tugasi villages way below in the valley and also see rhododendron forests from above. The entire valley is below you now. A 20 minutes steep ascent and descent takes you to Tali lake. At Tali lake, you’re above the tree line so you start getting the mountain views again. This with the gorgeous view of Mt. Nandi Devi that makes you go weak in your knees.
From here, your campsite is nestled in between the forest. This should take you around 30-40 minutes to reach.
Day 3: Trek from Tali to Khullara
Trek Duration: 2-3 hours | Trek Distance: 2.65 km
Altitude Difference: ⇘ 40 ft (10,908 ft to 11,010 ft)
Difficulty: Easy. Gradual trek all the way to Khullara.
Highlights: Views of the major peaks of Greater Himalaya.
The trail to Khullara is an easy day. This day will help you get enough rest and spend time exploring Khullara.
You trek through the lovely dense forests of Oak and dwarf rhododendrons. There are plenty of short clearings on this day. When you are about to reach Khullara, you meet the trail which connects from Gulling.
On one side you see Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Dronagiri, Nilgiri and Hathi Ghoda peaks. Straight ahead of you are Trishul and parts of Nanda Devi. Continue on this trail to reach the upper grasslands.
The Khullara campsite is located in a clearing.
Day 4: Acclimatisation Day at Khullara. Trek to Kuari Top and back to Khullara
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Trek Distance: 7km
Altitude Gain and Loss: ⇗ 1,590 ft; ⇘ 1,590 ft (11,010 ft to 12,600 ft and back to 11,010 ft)
Difficulty: Easy. Gradual ascent to Kuari Pass.
Highlights: Camping on an open campsite with views of many mountain peaks. The thrill of climbing to Kuari Pass.
Take the rest day seriously and spend your time in a beautiful setting, watching the sunrise and set.
If you decide to trek up to the Kuari top, it is a moderate climb with a few switchbacks.
Day 5: Trek from Khullara to Pangarchulla Summit, and back to Khullara
Trek Duration: 12-16 hours | Trek Distance: 12km
Altitude Gain and Loss: ⇗ 4,060 ft; ⇘ 4,060 ft (11,010 ft to 15,069 ft and back to 11,010 ft)
Difficulty: Difficult. Initial gradual ascent followed by steep ascent over snow/boulders.
Highlights: Starting the climb in the wee hours and the thrill of reaching the summit when the sun is bright and shiny.
Start early at 4.00 AM, as the summit needs to be reached before 11.00 AM.
From Khullara Campsite, walk towards the forest ridge ahead of you as you connect with the famous Lord Curzon Trail. The initial 30 to 45 minutes of the trek is through a forest ridge along a frozen rivulet. This section will be found buried in a huge accumulation of snow. The ascent of about 100 metres is stiff. Carefully climb up the snow ridge section until you see a vast snowfield in front of you. Observe the snow gully above you in the middle. That is the point where one has to reach. The incline gets steep as you walk on soft powdered snow. You finally leave the forest line behind you. Wear sunglasses to avoid snow blindness.
After walking for 30 to 45 minutes you reach the top of the snow gully. From here you get the view of Pangarchulla Main and Pangarchulla subsidiary summits.
Stay towards the true right of the snow ridge as you walk alongside gaining altitude. The snow accumulation on the ridge from here forth can be huge during the winter season (Mid January till April). After 45 minutes of watchful snow hike along the ridge, you reach the level snow grounds. This can be a possible Advance Base Camp for Pangarchulla Summit. However, there is no source of water here in winter.
From this point observe Chaukhamba massifs in the far north, followed by Mana, Kamet, Abi Gamin, Hathi Parvat, all the way to Nanda Ghunti and Trishul. In the middle sight, the Dronagiri, Changabang and Kalanka peaks are prominent.
The onward approach to the Pangarchulla summit is laborious, but not difficult. It is advisable to have a qualified guide with you for opening the snow route. There are multiple steep sections on soft snow. Proper high ankle trek boots, gaiters and crampons will help in climbing. Crampons are highly advisable to minimize the chances of slipping on snow. The section of the climb can take five-six hours in snow conditions. In post-monsoon season one can reach the summit in 4 hours.
From this point, observe the summit approach the base of Pangarchulla main peak. Six mountain ridges need to be traversed to reach the base of the peak. During the winter season, the whole region is carpeted in snow making it difficult to traverse the area swiftly.
Take the snow trail that descends sixty meters down and then climbs up 120 meters till you reach a level hump. This section is laborious with a sharp descent and ascent. Once you reach the top of the first snow hump, it is time to climb the second one above it.
Traversing the second, third and fourth snow ridges may take an hour and a half. Once you reach the top of the fourth ridge a clear perspective of the summit climb from the base of Pangarchulla Peak can be seen. Move forward towards the fifth ridge which has a gradual ascent as you reach nearer to the base of the peak. As you cross over the fifth ridge, the sixth one appears to be a stone's throw away.
The ascent from here to the summit of the peak is around 300 to 350 meters. The climb to the summit is best approached by following the connecting ridge moving along the right side, to begin with. Halfway through the climb, look for an appropriate point from where the summit route needs to be established.
Ice carving a route via an ice axe will be required from here forth. Take a left as you face the side ridge wall with a sixty-degree incline section. Depending upon the accumulation of snow a fixed rope may be required. As you climb to the top of the razor-sharp cornice, the final summit climb section awaits you. The team should be harnessed on a rope here as the wind here is very strong. Avoid walking on the edge of the cornice at any point as you do the final ridge walk. The summit is less than 100 meters away.
Once at the summit, enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree views of Garhwal peaks. Nanda Ghunti, Trishul ranges are visible from the summit for the first time.
The return is a three-four hour descent down to the camping grounds of Khullara. Take care while descending on snow.
Day 6: Trek from Khullara to Karchi
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Trek Distance: 5.25 km
Altitude Loss: ⇘ 3,225 ft (11,010 ft to 7,785 ft)
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Moderate to steep descent all the way to Karchi.
Highlights: Walk through walnut trees, golden and brown oak forests all the way till Karchi.
The trail today descends from Khullara but it’s not as steep as the previous day. As you descend, you will go through dwarf rhododendrons. Within 40 minutes of starting from Khullara, you reach the first clearing. You will be surrounded by golden and brown oak forests on all sides.
Continue on the trail leading into the forest. You will reach the second clearing in about an hour. All this time, you will cross small streams along the trail. The water in them is clean and you can drink from them.
Be careful near the streams during the early season. They freeze and become hard and it becomes extremely slippery to walk on them. So, exercise caution when you come across hard ice. The snow that freezes overnight and becomes hard ice is known as Verglas.
Day 7: Drive from Tapoban back to Rishikesh
Duration: 10-11 hours | Drive Distance: 260 km
Highlights: The Panch Prayags that you get to see in the correct order on your way down.
Start from Tapoban after breakfast. Enjoy the scenic drive back to Rishikesh. You are expected to reach Rishikesh at around 7.00 PM on this day.
Difficult | Level 1
Suitable for Experienced Trekkers
At Indiahikes, while rating a trek difficulty we consider a number of factors. These include altitude gained every day, length of trek everyday, highest altitude, nature of the terrain, weather etc. Based on this we rate a trek as easy or difficult or somewhere in between.
Pangarchulla Peak trek is categorized as a difficult trek level 1 trek. At Indiahikes, we classify a trek as difficult if it fits the following criteria:
– Challenging, uneven trails
– Goes over 15,000 ft
– Trekking hours can go up to 9 hours a day
– Few exit options
– Excellent cardiovascular fitness and prior high altitude trek experience are required
We feel that the Pangarchulla Peak trek addresses all of these criteria. The trek reaches an altitude of 15,070 ft. The summit day goes up to 12 hours of hard trek climbing up and down an altitude of 4,000 ft in a single day. The summit climb is challenging and has steep, uneven and exposed sections.
The last 4 hours of the summit climb are trekking on hard snow over boulders. It is extremely challenging, tiring and filled with tricky sections. It requires that you are sure-footed, always high on alert and carrying a lot of energy.
Apart from the first two days, the rest of the trek is marked with long days with a minimum of 8 hours trek each day.
All of this makes the trek a difficult trek to do. Without prior high altitude trek experience and excellent physical preparation, this trek is almost impossible to do.
The Pangarchulla Peak Trek’s challenge comes mainly from its terrain. Until Khullara, the trek follows the route of Kuari Pass and is quite safe. A few tricky sections would be the overhanging stretch from Tali to Gorson Bugyal. But this pales in comparison when we consider the summit day.
The summit climb of this trek is very challenging. It is what makes the trek adventurous. Being mentally, physically and technically prepared to handle these sections will determine the success of your summit climb.
1. Once you reach the top of the snow gully, the entire route to the peak becomes visible. It becomes immediately obvious that the last 4-5 hours of the trek will be on the snow over big boulders. This is the case till you reach the summit.
The challenging part of the trek starts from this section. You will need a technical guide for this part of the trek. Being sure-footed is essential as some places can have loose snow that pulls your foot within the gap between boulders.
2. Once you reach the base of the peak, you will be mainly trekking on the ridge. The ridge section can be seen as 6 small ridge sections put together. Some going up and some coming down. Given that you are trekking on a ridge, both of them can be challenging.
3. As you near the summit, the ridge becomes narrow and windy as well. This section might require a rope. Your technical guide will take a call on this and prepare the trail for you. Towards the end of April, the snow can become hard and icy. This again will require the technical guide to prepare the route for you with an ice axe. Traversing these challenges with proper safety measures will determine the success of your trek and your safety.
At Indiahikes, given these difficult sections, we strongly recommend that you go with a technical guide who knows the trek very well. It is also important that the technical guide has the right equipment like ropes, anchors, and ice-axe to prepare the route for you wherever it is necessary. So, take these preparations seriously.
On this trek, you are climbing around 7,500 ft in the first four days and reaching a maximum altitude of 15,069 ft. Naturally, you have a high chance of getting hit by AMS.
Few aspects of the trek that helps mitigate AMS:
– Except for the first day and the summit climb, every day’s trek and campsites are placed well within a normal altitude gain for each day. With a steady pace, the chances of getting AMS are less.
– You have an acclimatization day on the third day to help you prepare for the long summit climb on the fourth day. This helps your body to prepare itself for the 4,000 ft ascent and descent on the summit day. This also reduces the chances of AMS, HAPE and HACE drastically.
– You also lose all the height you climb on the summit day by the same evening. This again helps your body to recover from any of the altitude sickness symptoms if any.
However, there are still chances of getting hit by AMS.
On this trek, you are prone to get initial symptoms of AMS right from the very first day of the trek given that you climb about 3,000 ft on the first day. To minimize the risk, climb at a steady pace, hydrate regularly and give yourself ample rest once you reach the campsite.
Also, ensure that you do not waste the acclimatization day. Make sure to climb at least a minimum of 2,000 ft on the acclimatization day to reduce your risk of altitude-related sickness on the summit day.
Even after taking all of these precautions, you can still get AMS. Most trekkers usually present with the starting symptoms of AMS — headache or tiredness mixed with perhaps lack of appetite or sleep. The immediate step to take would be to start on a curative course of Diamox, which is 250 mg every 12 hours followed by ample rest. The earlier you treat these symptoms, the higher the chances of recovering and completing the trek.
If you present with symptoms that persist for more than 12 hours, descend to the base camp immediately.
As you climb higher and proceed beyond 11,000 ft, there are chances of HAPE/ HACE to occur as well. In our history of running this trek, we have never had a trekker present with HAPE/HACE. Nevertheless, it is better to be prepared and mindful of the symptoms.
Here’s a Complete Guide to Acute Mountain Sickness, HAPE and HACE:
The trek gets inaccessible when the snow level goes high or when the snow melts away. It is for that reason the trek is closed for most of the year except April to mid-May. Given that you will be trekking on snow on your summit climb, winter gear is essential. Gaiters and crampons are very much necessary. Hence, having this in your winter kit is essential.
The trek also gets extremely cold on the summit climb as you go up the exposed ridge. This can result in cold-related injuries. But this can be tackled with the right winter gear, the right technique of layering and good insulation techniques.
Emergency Exits: Pangarchulla Peak Trek has multiple trails that reach the Khullara campsite. But at Indiahikes, we have documented and followed the two trails that mark the onward and the descent routes of our trek. Both of these routes mark the exit routes for our trek. Depending on where you are on the trek when evacuation is necessary, you can exit from the nearest exit point.
In general, if you are in the valley where Khullara and Chitrakantha/Tali campsite is located, you can exit from Dhak. While if you have crossed the overhanging section of the trail and on the Gorson Bugyal side, then exit from Auli.
While evacuation from Khullara is easy and simple, evacuation on the summit day is quite challenging. Given the difficulty of the summit climb in terms of the terrain, it is important to have a strong evacuation plan in terms of an emergency.
You will need a proper evacuation kit which contains a stretcher, oxygen cylinder and a high altitude medical kit along with you to tackle any emergency. You will also need good technical guides who can handle the evacuation in case of an emergency.
Closest Hospitals: For mild medical issues, the closest medical assistance can be found in Joshimath. This includes simple fractures, sprain, etc.
Joshimath, Chamoli – 246443
Gopeshwar, Chamoli – 246424
However, for major medical emergencies, the nearest hospital is in Srinagar or Dehradun — which is almost 8-9 hours away from the base camps of this trek.
Pangarchulla Peak trek is accessible for only one month of the year — that is in April. This covers the Spring Season of the year.
The trek is not open during the other months of the year. Before April, the trek has too much snow for the summit climb to be possible.
After April, the snow melts away leaving the route to the summit unsafe with exposed boulders. These boulders are big and have a lot of gaps between them, making traversing them quite challenging for any trekker. It is easily exhausting and very unsafe as well. Because of these reasons, the trek to the summit is best done before the snow melts away.
Pangarchulla Peak in Spring (April)
Day time temperature: Between 12 °C and 15 °C | Night time temperature: Will drop to temperatures between 0 °C and -5 °C.
Presence of snow: You will find snow starting from Auli, all the way to the summit.
No. of warm layers required: 5 warm layers
The month of April offers the right amount of snow for a successful climb to the Pangarchulla summit. Though the rest of the route is open for almost 8 months in a year, the summit climb is best done during this small window.
In April, it is proper Spring on the Pangarchulla trek. At this time, the snow is melting, giving way to lush meadows. The campsites are free of snow but there is plenty of deposited hard snow above 12,000 ft. This is the right amount of snow required for facilitating the summit climb.
Among other attractions is that April is also the season of flowers. You see meadows flowering and Rhodos blooming during this time.
In a nutshell, spring offers the best of both worlds — the perfect window for the summit climb and the time to see fresh blooms. This is the only time the trek is accessible and safe.
Planning your onward flight/train booking
If you are travelling from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai or any other city, book your air tickets for Day Zero, which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary. If your trek start day is 25 August, book your air tickets for 24 August to either Delhi/Dehradun.
There are two options for your flight booking.
Option 1: Fly directly to Dehradun
We recommend this. It gives you an added rest day at Rishikesh. Most metros are directly connected to Dehradun. However, if the cost of the flight ticket to Dehradun is too high, book to Delhi and connect to Rishikesh by bus.
Tip: Dehradun Airport is Jolly Grant is closer to Rishikesh than Dehradun. It is 20 km from Rishikesh and 35 km from Dehradun.
The Dehradun airport is somewhat inconvenient when it comes to city connectivity (either to Rishikesh or Dehradun). Airport buses that ply between Rishikesh to Dehradun via the airport run every hour. In our experience, the hour can stretch to even 1½ hours.
Taxis are available from the airport (plenty). Prepaid taxis are available (look for the pre-paid taxi counter just out of the conveyor belt at the arrivals). You can also flag down a taxi (bargain a bit) with taxis outside the airport. Airport taxis are exorbitant. They usually charge between Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 to Rishikesh.
Usually, most passengers take taxis from the airport. Try to hook up with co-passengers on the flight for your taxi ride to Rishikesh or Dehradun.
Pro Tip: If you want to save real money try to catch an auto just outside the airport terminal complex. They usually come there to drop passengers off. Autos are not allowed to enter the airport complex. They charge approximately Rs 300 to Rishikesh.
If autos are not available, walk for a further 1.5 km to get to the Rishikesh Dehradun highway. From the highway, you can flag down regular town buses or shared autos (shared autos are called Vikram's). Bus fare is about Rs 30 to Rishikesh. Shared autos charge about Rs 20.
Option 2: Flying to Delhi
Flying to Delhi may be a lot cheaper than getting to Dehradun. Make sure to book a flight that reaches Delhi by 8.00 pm. You must arrive in Delhi on Day Zero and not on Day 1.
Note: If you notice the difference in air ticket prices between Delhi and Dehradun is less than Rs 1000 then book directly to Dehradun. The rest and shorter travel time are worth the difference.
Next, book yourself on a UPSRTC bus to Rishikesh. They are fully AC Volvo buses that leave between 21.00 to 23.00 hrs from ISBT Kashmiri Gate and get to Rishikesh between 3:00 to 5:00 am.
At Rishikesh, wait for Indiahikes pick up at 6.00 am. Contact your driver by 5:30 am. The number of your transport coordinator will be shared with you a week before your departure.
Planning your return flight/train booking
Next, if your onward flight departs from Delhi, then book flight tickets for Day 8 or Day 9. Depending on the day you leave Rishikesh.
Sometimes trekkers worry if they can book an early morning flight out of Delhi on Day 8 Yes, you can. But book flights that depart only after 8 am. Do not book any flight between 6.00 and 8 am. You may not reach Delhi in time.
How to get to Delhi on time for an early morning flight
If your flight is early, say between 8.00 and 9.00 am, then there are two options.
Train: Take the Nanda Devi Express from Haridwar (12402) that leaves Haridwar slightly past midnight (00.17 hrs) to get to Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station at 4.50 in the morning. From Hazrat Nizamuddin, you get airport buses from outside the station as well as taxis. For the Metro train walk down to the Hazrat Nizamuddin metro station, take a metro to Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus, get off and connect to the Dhaula Kuan Airport line metro station (there are convenient travelator belts over a skywalk). From Dhaula Kuan you get the metro train to the airport.
Note: Earlier Nanda Devi express would arrive at the New Delhi railway station. From 26 August 2019, it has been extended up to Kota. It no longer goes to the New Delhi railway station. Instead, it goes to Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. The train number has changed from 12206 to 12402.
Bus: The other option is to take a bus from Rishikesh. It is about a 5½ – 6 hrs journey to Delhi. From Rishikesh add another hour to the journey. So if you take a bus that leaves around 9.00 pm, then expect to reach Delhi at around 3.00 am (ISBT Kashmiri Gate). A bus that leaves at 10 pm will reach Delhi around 4.00 am. AC Volvo buses are the fastest, so opt for them. Non AC buses can take up to 7-8 hrs for the journey.
From Kashmiri Gate ISBT you get Airport buses or taxis.
Note: Metro trains in Delhi do not start before 5.00 am.
If you are taking a flight out of Dehradun
If you are taking a flight out of Dehradun then book yourself on Day 7. Most metros are now well connected by Dehradun by flight.
Planning your hotel/stay
Hotel options at Rishikesh
Hostel Live Free
Hostel Live Free is situated on the prominent Laxman Jhula Road in Rishikesh. It offers decent accommodation options in dorms and also in private rooms.
Contact number: 099990 20248
Book online: Book online through Booking.com or Trip Advisor
Zostel is a modern backpackers hostel, excellent for women travelling alone. It has basic amenities such as bunk beds, towels, good bathroom. The entire premises is quite hygienic. Bathrooms are shared. The average cost is Rs 400 – 800 per bed. Rooms start at about Rs 1,200
https://www.zostel.com/ (for online booking).
SK International which is next to Zostel is another good option. It has clean rooms with good amenities. Charges are about Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,200 per night.
Shiv Shakti Hostel is another good, decent option at a similar price range to Zostel. This is a hostel like Zostel. They also have rooms.
Hotel options at Haridwar
Bedhubs are a good bunk bed stay in Haridwar — which is rare amongst the Dharamshalas and Ashrams of Haridwar. It is quite close to the heart of the action at Haridwar, approximately 500 m from Har Ki Pauri, Ram Ghat. Charges are around Rs 800 -1,000.
Phone: 01334 224 567.
Hotel Radiant near the Haridwar railway station has decent spacious rooms. Room rates are around Rs 750 for a non AC room and Rs 1,050 for an AC room.
Contact person – Nitin Sharma – 9557155557.
Hotel Rahi, a government-owned GMVN property is fairly decent. Spacious but old building. Almost opposite the Haridwar railway station, just past the bus stop. Prices start at around Rs 700 for a room.
Hotel options at Dehradun
Hotel Drona, which is a government property owned by the GMVN is decent. It is an old, but large and spacious property. It is about 1.5 km from Dehradun railway station. Rooms start at Rs 750. Phone: +91-135-2746847.
Book online http://gmvnl.in/newgmvn/online_reservation/
MyRoom252 is a new backpacker facility in Dehradun. Modern, colourful and clean. Bunk beds start at Rs 300. Rooms are available too. It is not too far from the Dehradun Railway station. Shared autos (which are called Vikrams) can get you there.
For online booking: http://www.myroom252.com/.
Phone: 086308 81083.
Nomads House is another new backpacker hostel in Dehradun. The atmosphere is good. The place is neat and clean. Indiahikes trek leaders love Nomads House. It is about 10 mins from the Dehradun railway station. Bunk beds start at Rs 400, rooms start at Rs 800. Shared autos are easily available to get to Nomads House. Phone: 9760596464
What if you miss the Indiahikes pickup? Getting to Joshimath on your own
If you miss the Indiahikes pick up from Rishikesh, here is how you can get to Joshimath base camp on your own.
If you are at Haridwar, take a bus to Rishikesh as quickly as you can. A bus generally leaves every 15 mins from Haridwar to Rishikesh.
From Rishikesh take the first available bus to Joshimath. Buses leave from 5:00 am to 6:30 am. The last bus would leave by 7:00 am. From Rishikesh, you will find State roadways buses to Joshimath.
Joshimath is about 9 hours by bus from Rishikesh. On the way, the bus passes Devprayag and Srinagar (the Uttarakhand Srinagar, not the Kashmir one).
Tip: While this bus hopping may sound cumbersome, we do it regularly at Indiahikes. They are fun and a good way to know the real Uttarakhand. You also get to meet very interesting local people. So while no one wants to miss a pick-up, don’t be too disheartened if it happens. You may just experience one of your best travel moments!
These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar Card, or passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.
- Medical and Disclaimer certificate. There are two sections to this. One is to be filled by a practicing doctor and the second is filled by you. The disclaimer certificate is a legal requirement.
Download the PDF, read carefully, print it back to back, and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during the registration at the base camp. This is a requirement by both the forest department and Indiahikes – Download the PDF
Note: Please carry the above document with you. The document needs to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed, and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. Please print these back-to-back on two sheets. Do not print separately and help in reducing paper usage.
Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet.
1. Trekking Shoes
Pangarchulla requires sturdy trekking shoes, has good grip, has ankle support and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.
| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There isn’t any necessity to buy the higher-priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.
| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available for rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean. Rent here.
For a trek like Pangarchulla, you need a 50-60 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.
| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.
| Rental: The 48-litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available for rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack. Rent here.
Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take off or put on layers as required.
Base Layer: 3 T-Shirts
Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.
Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.
| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)
| Buying tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends and Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.
| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space since you’re already carrying them.
4 Insulation Layers
For the Pangarchulla trek, you will need at least 4 warm layers.
You will need 1 pair of inner thermals, light fleece layers, 1 light sweater and 1 padded jacket. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
For your outer layer, a padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t need a water-resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.
| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.
| Note: Down/feather jackets are not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.
| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter. Rent here.
Two trek pants
Two pairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry one just in case it rains. Trek pants with zippered cut-offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings/rain.
| Buying tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.
| Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trekking pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.
Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek.
These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Pangarchulla without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.
Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. On a trek like Pangarchulla, expect to walk on long stretches of snow. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection.
| Wearing tip: Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section, you must never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.
| Buying Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.
| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.
| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens. Read this article for more guidance on managing contact lenses on treks.
2. Sun Cap
A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sunstrokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.
| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woollen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.
| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sunburns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide-brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way.
3. Synthetic Hand Gloves
On a trek like Pangarchulla, you want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight-fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek.
4. Woollen Cap or Balaclava
Ensure these cover your ears. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. This is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, and a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.
Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woollen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. Do not get a woollen cap that only covers your head.
5. Socks (3 Pairs)
Apart from two pairs of sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry.
As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug at the night. If you cannot get woollen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well.
Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Pangarchulla trek, you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.
| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you.
7. Trekking Poles (A Pair)
Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Pangarchulla trek, there are steep ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India, we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.
| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.
| Pro tip: Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.
| Rental: High-grade ponchos are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
9. Rain cover for your backpack
Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes and your warm gear in your backpack. Your backpack must stay dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built-in rain-covers. If your backpack does not have a rain cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover or (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic.
| Pro tip: It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.
10. Daypack (20-30 ltr, Optional)
Some trekkers opt to offload their bags to a mule on the Pangarchulla trek. In your daypack, you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, a headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites.
A daypack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not daypacks. Do not get them.
Other Mandatory Requirements
1. A Toilet Kit
Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics — toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.
| Pro tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.
| Pro tip: Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Pangarchulla.
| For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose of your sanitary waste.
Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leakproof. You are expected to wash your cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, and bacteria to settle on your cutlery. The incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.
| Pro tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high-grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at its highest.
| Two 1 litre bottles or a 2-litre hydration pack: Pangarchulla has many hours of trekking every day (approximately 6 hours). You need to carry two one-litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.
| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
3. Plastic covers
Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.
Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader.
- Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet of Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend to Tapoban. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Pangarchulla Peak trek.
- Dexamethasone (1 Strip): This is part of the Live Saving Drugs kit. Do not take this on your own. Your trek leader will inform you in case the need arises.
- Nifedipine (5 tablets): Again part of the Live Saving Drugs kit. Do not take this on your own. Your trek leader will inform you in case the need arises.
- Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
- Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one-half hour before the start of your road journey.
- Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol.
- Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS.
- ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid-day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking. Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
- Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.
Our trek leaders carry a high altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.
Pro Tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.
The total distance covered during the Pangarchulla Peak trek on the Auli-Pangarchulla Peak-Karchhi trail is 37.5 km. The trek starts from Auli near Joshimath in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.
The trek spans over 5 days (7 days including the travel from Rishikesh and back). Except for the first two days which are short, you trek for more than 8 hours for the three days of the trek. On the summit day, you trek for about 12 hours long. As such this makes the trek a difficult one for trekkers.
Pangarchulla Peak trek reaches a maximum altitude/height of 15,069 ft.
From Auli, the trek climbs a height/altitude of more or less 7,500 ft during the length of this trek. You steadily climb up to 4,000 ft on the first three days of the trek. On the summit day, you climb about 4,000 ft up and down on the same day. On the last day, you climb down another 4,000 ft again. Please check the detailed itinerary to understand the trek in more detail.
Pangarchulla Peak trek is a difficult trek. At Indiahikes, we classify a trek as difficult if it fits the following criteria. It reaches an altitude of 15,070 ft. The summit day goes up to 12 hours of hard trek climbing up and down an altitude of 4,000 ft in a single day. The summit climb is challenging and has steep, uneven and exposed sections.
The last 4 hours of the summit climb are trekking on hard snow over boulders. It is extremely challenging, tiring and filled with tricky sections. It requires that you are sure-footed, always high on alert and carrying a lot of energy.
Apart from the first two days, the rest of the trek is marked with long days with a minimum of 8 hours trek each day.
All of this makes Pangarchulla a difficult trek to do. Without prior high altitude trek experience and excellent physical preparation, this trek is almost impossible to do.
Amidst the difficulty, Pangarchulla gives trekkers the feeling of adventure and accomplishment of reaching the summit that possibly no other trek gives. You need to be extremely fit to get the privilege to do this trek.
As a measure of your fitness, we need you to:
Run at least 5 km in 30 minutes & 10 km in 62 minutes before your trek. Consistency of your workout also matters, so aim to jog 30 km a week or 150 km in a month. It's a minimum mandatory requirement if you wish to trek with us.
After you register, you will be sent a questionnaire about your trekking experience and medical history. Additionally, you must attach a screenshot of a 5 km run under 35 mins only to get approved for the trek.
High-altitude trekking experience of above 14,000 ft or at least moderate-difficult trek experience is a preferred requirement.
Once you get confirmed for your trek, we will diligently follow up on your fitness routine. Our team will also assist in putting you through a fitness plan. It will ultimately help you have a safe trek experience.
Joshimath is the last town where you’ll find ATMs to make some cash withdrawals. All major private and public sector banks have their ATMs and some even have branches in Joshimath. However, cash runs quickly at the Joshimath ATMs. Hence, Rishikesh is your best bet to make last-minute cash withdrawals.
We advise you to carry around Rs 4-5k in cash to pay for your transport to the basecamp, for rental gear deposit and personal expenses en route to the basecamp. If you are planning to extend your visit around Joshimath after the trek, we advise you to carry more.
If you’re an Indiahikes trekker, there is no major need for cash once you arrive at the base camp. All meals, accommodations, permits, and related expenses are taken care of by Indiahikes.
Yes, you can keep the extra luggage at the base camp. Once the trek ends, you will be able to collect the luggage. Our team will arrange for this.
Ensure you do not keep any valuables at the base. Laptops, mobile phones, cash or any important items cannot be kept here.
Given its difficulty, the Pangarchulla Peak trek can be done only in April. It also has an extensive selection process. It is advised to book this trek 3-4 months in advance.
On any difficult trek like the Pangarchulla Trek, we usually take a maximum of 15 trekkers.
Having more footprints through porters or mules on any trail isn’t good for the ecosystem. Keeping this and the spirit of trekking in mind, there will be no offloading available on this trek.
We recommend jogging as the best routine to get fit for a trek. It works on the same muscles that you use while trekking — your calves, glutes and hamstrings. It helps increase your stamina day by day. It is also an easy routine that does not require any equipment or tools.
To do this trek comfortably, you must be able to cover 10 km in under 60 minutes. This is the minimum fitness required for this trek.
How to achieve this fitness?
- Start jogging at least 4 days a week
- If you cannot run 10 km immediately, start with 2 km and increase to 2 km over 2-3 weeks.
- Once you’re able to run 5 km, increase your pace day by day.
- Gradually increase your pace and bring it down to 10 km in less than 60 mins.
- You must be able to run 10 km in 60 mins consistently for at least 2 weeks before the trek.
This trek requires at least 6-8 weeks of preparation. The longer, the better. So plan your trek soon and start preparing.
Strength training tips:
How to get Fitness Approval from the Indiahikes team:
Every trekker needs fitness approval from the Indiahikes team 20 days before the trek date. Without this, you will not be allowed on the trek.
What to upload?
- A minimum of 3 screenshots of your runs/jogs/walks/cycling
- Monthly summary of your routine
Why fitness matters:
Every high-altitude trek comes with a set of challenges. Steep ascents and descents, uneven terrain, snow walks, stream crossings, pass crossings, and summit climb. Even the easiest of treks have some of these challenges if not all of them. Without fitness, trekkers struggle, get injured easily, lag behind, or simply fail to complete the trek.
At Indiahikes, we take pride in the fact that our trekkers are among the fittest in the country. Those who do not meet the fitness requirements are often sent back. Our philosophy is that trekking and fitness go hand in hand. Without fitness, there’s no trekking.
Why fitness matters on the Pangarchulla Trek
Pangarchulla is not an easy trek by any means. The summit push involves a continuous climb from wee hours such as 1 am to almost 10 or 11 am. That's 10 continuous hours of trekking at high altitudes, over snow and hard boulders. Not to mention, you're climbing to 14,000 ft., which is a very high altitude.
It requires fit legs and strong lungs to do this trek, which means you have to work on your fitness for at least two months before you step on the trail.
Watch this video to know about how difficult the trek is and why fitness matters.
Things Nobody Tells You About Pangarchulla Peak
Have you ever thought why Pangarchulla is called Pangarchulla?
Pangarchulla has an interesting story behind its name. If you look at Pangarchulla Peak from the base when it is not covered in snow, it looks like a big black chimney. At its base, many maple trees grow.
So Pangarchulla is a literal translation describing its appearance where it looks as if a chimney is placed amidst maple trees. Pangar means Maple, which refers to Maple trees and Chulla means a chimney.
Did you know Pangarchulla is famous for Saussurea Obvallata?
Saussurea Obvallata or Brahma Kamal is a flower that blooms in the alpine meadows of the Himalayas above 14,000 ft. Just 1,000 ft below Pangarchulla Peak, on the other side, you will find vast meadows filled with Brahma Kamal flowers.
Many local people trek ‘barefoot’ to the top of Pangarchulla, descend to the meadows, collect these flowers and offer them to their local deity. It is a common ritual in many parts of the Himalayan region, where you see people wearing these flowers on their caps once they are offered to their deities because they believe it brings good luck.
Why you should not miss visiting Tali lake?
Tali lake is placed right at the end of the treeline where high altitude meadows start. The reflection of Mt Nanda Devi, Mt Dronagiri and the other mountains in the lake is stunning.
In winters, the same lake turns into a frozen ground on which you can play ice hockey and skate all around!
The specialty of Akhrotghetta campsite
Akhrotghetta campsite is located under a huge lone walnut tree that is hundreds of years old. That’s where it gets its name from. Akhrot means walnut. From here you get an amazing panorama of the mountains like Hathi Parvat, Gauri Parvat, Mt Barmal, Mt Dunagiri, Garud Parvat etc.
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