redchilli adventure
KALINDI KHAL TREK (5950M) : GANGOTRI TO BADRINATH
SEASON
June till Aug.
CATEGORY
       
Streneous
AREA
Garhwal (Uttarakhand)

 

  DETAILED ITINERARY  
       
DAY 01
:

We drive to Uttarkashi- a  district in northern Uttarakhand, often referred to as northern Kasi due to its  location on the right banks of River Bhagirathi which is popular for its temples  dedicated to Rishi Parasurama, Datatryea, Goddess Annapurna Devi, Goddess Kali,  and Bhairon. Incidentally there was a time when there were a total of 365 temples in  this town. Overnight at Hotel / Guest House / Deluxe Camps.

DAY 02
: Gangotri is one of the  major 4 Hindu pilgrimages of Uttarakhand with stories of Bhagirath bringing the  River Ganga from heavens from this point in earth. The elaborated version is  such that Goddess Ganga - the daughter of heaven, took the form of a river to  absolve the sins of King Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance  of several centuries. Lord Shiva received Ganga into his matted locks to minimize  the impact of her fall. Not surprisingly, this small town is centered around a  temple of the goddess Ganga, which was built by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh  Thapa in the early 18th century. The temple is closed on Diwali day every year  and is re-opened in May. During this time, the idol of the goddess is kept at  Mukhba village, near Harsil. The Source of Ganga, Gomukh is 18km further  upstream from Gangotri. The trek to Gomukh is gradual, and several pilgrims  undertake the journey to pay homage to the river at its known source. Overnight  at Guest House.
DAY 03
: After breakfast we start  our trek to Cheerbasa. It’s an easy climb and the route is filled with  breathtaking sights as the magnificent scenery unfolds itself at every step. We  have lunch on the way and reach a small isolated forest of pine at Chirbasa  where we camp for the night.

 

DAY 04
: The day starts with a small  uphill walk to the main trail and then the trail gets gradual up to Gomukh.  It’s about 9km walk and takes about 4-5 hours to reach Bhojbabsa. Bhojbasa has  a small temple here which used be full of Birch tree but unfortunately you cannot find it anymore. Nevertheless- the sites around are peaceful as well  thrilling as they promise of more to come. Even though we camp right here at  Bhojbasa, it is advisable that we take the uphill route and back to acclimatize ourselves to the sudden decrease in oxygen level.           

 

DAY 05
:

After Gomukh, the trail is  not so well defined and is such that one often has to walk over boulder to  boulder over the icy glacier. After crossing the moraine and glacier, we  finally reach a point where we have left the Gangotri glacier below and take a  steep uphill climb to Tapovan from where rises the Shivling Peak (6543m)  flanked by Meru (6630m) and Kedar Dome (6808m). You can see the peaks of  Bhagirathi & Sudershan from here  and there are various other  unnamed mountains around. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.

DAY 06
:

One needs a day just to acclimatize and get used to the cold.

DAY 07
:

We descend down to  Gangotri glacier to traverse around and then traverse along the Gangotri &  Chaturangi glaciers. This trek combines the experience of mountain and rock  climbing besides boulder hopping and glacier traversing. Break for a quick  brunch at the junction of the two glaciers. Further a 1 hour climb takes us to  Nandanvan which a small grassy valley of exquisite beauty, literally surrounded  by snow peaks – Bhagirathi II, III & I, Kedar-dome, Karchakunda, and  Shiblinga.

DAY 08
: Today we shall leave the  meadow of Nandan Van and get the opportunity to view Bharal (Mountain Goat). While  walking through high ridges & Lammergeyer, we arrive at the Vasuki Tal “not  so big” glacial lake in the serene surroundings of Chaturangi Bhamak. Left of  the lake is Bhagirathi Bhamak, leading to the Bhagirathi group of the peaks.  Overnight in Tents
DAY 09
:

Another day simply for acclimatization and relaxing.

DAY 10
:

A 6 hour trek to Khara  Pathar is definitely worth it as today you get to view one of the only two  7,000 m high mountains-Satapanth of the Gangotri glacier. Dinner and overnight  in camps.

DAY 11
: Today we walk about 10 Km  to reach Sweta Glacier, which disappointingly isn’t the best place to camp as  it is quite moraine and full of rocks and boulders but going further on this  day is not advisable and one needs the short trek to acclimatize as we keep  going higher.  

 

DAY 12
:

Once we have a spent half  of the earlier day acclimatizing we should be now ready to move forward to  cross the Sweta glacier. Crossing many boulders you will finally reach the  Chatrungi glacier, which basically is a major tributary of the main Gangotri  glacier. Chatrungi as a word means four colors and you will see how the  moraines over the glacier range from Pink to yellow to brown. With Chandra  Prabat at 6728 m towering above us, we get to the Kalindi Bhamak camp, in close  vicinity to the Kalindi glacier’s snout. Up ahead lies the Kalindi Khal (5940  m), which is a deep gap between Avalanche Peak (6413 Meters) and Kalindi Peak  (6102 Meters).

DAY 13
:

Climbing the Kalindi Khal  is not the easiest of tasks and we suggest making an early move. It is a pity  that even though the summit camp for the Kalindi Peak is right below this Pass,  we cannot in any condition attempt to climb it as for this expedition one  requires not only much experience and a climbing fee but a prior permission  from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation as well. However, once on the pass  you can make do with a spectacular and almost at reach  views of Mt.  Kamet (7756 m), Mt. Mana (7272 m), Abi Gamin (7355 m) and Mana Parbat (6797 m).  Bonus point when on a clear day you get a view of the Tibetan plateau across the Mana Pass (6728 m); Also seen are the mountains of Gangotri Glacier;  Chandra Parbat (6728 m), Vasuki Parbat (6792 m), Bhagirathi Parbat (6512 m).
            We shall now descend and  cross the glacial terrain before reaching the camp of Raj Parav.  

DAY 14
:

We leave Raj Parav early  morning and trek to Ghastoli via Arwatal. Trail is all through moraine fields  of the Arwa Glacier. The army bound and inaccessible Mana Pass on way to Tibet  border lies exactly northwards from this Tal. We follow the Arwa stream till we  reach down to the river and see the dramatic change in the terrain right before  our eyes as the glacial moraines give way to the glacial streams and small  patches of vegetation starts to appear as we reach closer to Ghastoli. Ghastoli  has a big grass ground which is idle for camping and is a great site for eyes and feet sore and tired of just grey glaciers and moraines.

DAY 15
:

As we continue our gradual  descent downwards, the terrain changes further and the route is now a dirt road  which is under contraction and follows the River Saraswati down stream to Mana  and Badrinath. If we are lucky, we can hitchhike an army truck as they come  often to drop some food supplies at the army camp at Ghastoli and if not it is a  good walk until we meet our awaiting vehicles at Mana to drive us to Badrinath  for hot lunch and to visit the famous temple there. Badrinath is one of the  four dhams of the Hindu devotees and you are sure to get a feel the high of the  devotion of the pilgrims that make their way here in hordes. Just above  Badrinath is the spectacular conical Mt. Nilkantha (6596 Meters), literally  meaning “Blue Throat” one of the 1008 names of Lord Shiva. Later we drive to  Joshimath for Overnight stay in a hotel.

DAY 16
:

Nothing more to do than  drive back to Rishikesh, which is the ultimate end of our gratifying and  absolutely thrilling trek.

 



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