WSR ROOPKUND TREK
About Roopkund Trek:
Roopkund, situated at an altitude of 16000ft in the district of Chamoli in Garhwal region (State of Uttarakhand), is often called Mystery Lake or Skeleton Lake. This magnificent route not only unfolds the mythological characters and related stories while walking from one ridge to another but indeed delivers stunning views of snow clad peaks like Trishul, Nandaghunti, Chowkhamba, Neelkanth and others. The trekking trail in the lower altitude goes through interior vilalges, inside the Baanj Oak and then Kharsu Oak forests to finally Rhododendrons. Around ~ 3300m/11000 ft the Tree Line recedes and alpine meadow or locally called "Bugiyal" starts. Sprawling meadow, common to this altitude in Himalaya, but this picturesque span needs a special mention. Mighty Himalayan peaks peep behind the wild flower carpeted grassy slopes. On higher altitude barren rocky terrain coupled with snow and ice ignite the adventurous mind.
Fixed Departure Dates:
20th May (Day 1) to 27th May 2017 (Day 8) KGM to KGM
***Trekkers need to reach by their own to Kathgodam on Day 1 morning or the previous night. Return to KGM on Day 8 afternoon or early evening. Arrange your tickets for inward journey and to back home from Kathgodam accordingly ***
The Trek Highlights:
Length: 6 days of trekking from Lohajung to Wan around 60 km. Kathgodam to Kathgodam in 8 days.
Highest Point: Roopkund ~ 4900m/16000 ft
Brief Trip Itinerary:
Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung – 240 Km by car - 10 hours
Day 2: Lohajung to Didna – 10 Km – 4/5 hours
Day 3: Didna to Bedni Bugiyal – 12 Km – 6/7 hours
Day 4: Bedni Bugiyal to Patar Nachuni – 5 Km – 2/3 hour
Day 5: Patar Nachuni to Baguabasa – 5 Km – 3/4 hours
Day 6: Baguabasa to Roopkund and back to Patar Nachuni - 15 Km - 8/10 hours
Day 7: Patar Nachuni to Wan – 18Km – 8/9 hr – 1 hour drive back to Lohajung
Day 8: Lohajung to Kathgodam – 220 Km by car 10 hours
**Arrange your train/bus tickets from Kathgodam to Delhi/Other destinations on Day 8 after 7 pm**
Day 1: Pickup from Kathgodam in the morning and reach Lohajung (~ 2300m, 7500ft) which is 240 Km away. The journey may take around 10 hours with a break or two. The road is through the Kumaon region and mostly goes along wide spread valleys of Shivalik Himalaya. We cross Almora and Kausani on our way. From Gwaldam onwards the road enters in the Garhwal administrative region and the road is gradually winding and goes through the conifer forest. The last stretch of the journey from Deval to Lohajung has considerable height gain. Lohajung has one GMVN tourist lodge, one Tourist Rest House and two private hotels. All the major mobile networks have connectivity here. Night stay in Tourist Rest House/Lodge.
Day 2: Trek starts from today. After the breakfast we start walking on the almost level ground of the jeep road which goes till the village of Wan After walking for an hour and half on the flat surface we reach Kulling at a distance of 6 Km from Lohajung. From here we take a right turn and descend through the village. Initially it is a narrow concrete lane inside the village and cuts along houses and firming fields till we reach a small stream. We descend further till we reach the river bed of Neel Ganga. We cross the cemented bridge and start climbing the ridge on the right side. The ascent is a moderately steep one and ends at the village of Didna (~ 2450m, 8000ft). The trail goes through the sub alpine evergreen forest. After climbing around two hours we reach the top of the ridge and see the firming fields wide stretch on the lap of the mountain with scattered houses here and there. Didna and Kuling village host the same set of people while the prior is used for the summer and monsoon while the later for winter. We reach by lunch time and enjoy the hot lunch after finishing the days trek. Total distance is 10 Km and may take around 4 hours.Night stay in the traditional home-stay.
Day 3: Today we start early and trek to Bedni Bugyal (~ 3600m, 12000ft) via beautiful Ali Bugyal (~ 3400m, 11000ft). Ali Bugiyal is on the top of the mountain and c
an be seen on the backdrop of the village. We will climb this face of the mountain. After starting on the trail which goes out of the village we get a bifurcation. The trail on the right is longer but with gentle gradient and goes through a temporary settlement of the shepherds called Tolpani. The trail on the left is with continuous gradient but shorter. Eventually both the trail leads to Ali Bugiyal. The trails consist of thickly vegetation of Oak, Birch and Rhododendron trees. A trek during the late spring is full of red and pink varieties of Rhododendrons. Once we approach to the top of this mountain face the tree line recedes and the grassy slopes start from here. The climb may take 3 to 4 hours. After ascending this face suddenly a wide vista opens up and we are on one of the most beautiful meadows of Himalaya called Ali Bugiyal. The far stretched green field clearly resembles the default wallpaper of MS XP . As it is a table top, the clouds start to sell in after midday . Misty Bugiyal has its own charm and feeling. We slowly walk on the gentle rolling slopes of the meadow. In summer and especially during monsoon this meadow is full with wildflowers in hues of blue, yellow and white. You can see grazing cattle and horses which will stay here till the end of monsoon. On a clear day one can see the peaks of Trisul and Mrigthuni towering straight. After crossing this Bugiyal we climb a small face and traversing for an hour reach another Bugiyal, our camping ground for the day Bedni. In the afternoon walk around the Bedni Kund and visit the small temple inside the boundary of the Kund. Clear weather will unfold mighty Trishul and Nandaghunti in front. On the other side we can see the panorama of Garhwal Himalaya like Neelkantha, Chowkhamba and others. Total distance is around 12 km and can take 6 to 7 hours. Camp overnight.
Day 4: We trek short today due to acclimatisation purpose. From today onward the oxygen starts reducing so we spend more nights before reaching the higher altitude. A short and easy walk takes us to Patar Nachuni (~ 3750m/12300ft). Total distance is 5 Km and may take 2/2 and hald hour. We start by walking on the Bugiyal and climb for half an hour to take the trail which is coming from Ali Bugiyal. From here onward the road is almost flat till we reach Ghora Lautani. The road splits and we take the trail which goes to the right. Walking an hour on level ground we are at Patar Nachoni. The green fibre huts of the Forest Department is on the left hand side of the trail while the beautiful camping ground is around 200 feet down on the meadow situated in the right. On a clear day the view of Mrigthuni range is magnificent form this place. There is a small shop run by a local in season time inside one of the green hut. It offers basics like tea/coffee, noodles and biscuits. We camp for the night.
Day 5: Today we trek to Baguabasa (~ 4300m, 14000ft) via Kailuvinayak(~ 4400m, 14400ft). Patar Nachuni is surrounded by meadows and occasional mountain tops. The top of the ridge going almost straight ahead is Kailu Vinayak. First we gradually climb the ridge for first 2 Km. Then the ridge turns right and rises sharply in next one and half Km. This is a steep climb and we gain almost 1500 feet within a distance of 1.5Km. The ridge goes zigzagging on the gravel. Slow but steadily climb this face without any hurry. The lack of oxygen may result to a headache. Once we reach the top there is small stoned temple of Ganesha with bells clinging to it. The deity is of black stone and thus the place got its name Kailu (Black) – Vinayaka (Ganesha). From here the vista in front widens and first view of the Roopkund area ( the depression of the lake) is visible on the lap of the ridge straight. It is truly mesmerising with glittering Trishul on right and bell shaped Nandaghunti on left at a stone throwing distance! We gradually go down on the rocky trail for another 1 Km to reach Bagua Basa. Total distance is 5 Km and can take up to 3/3 and half hours. There is a small cave on the right side of the well defined trail, and according to the legend it is the resting place or shelter of the Tiger ( Bagua -> Bagh/Tiger, Basa -> Home) that the goddess Nanda Devi rides. There are green fibre huts also here. The camping ground is also referred as Hunia Thar. This area is famous for Brahma Kamal, blooming in the monsoon. Fen Kamal (Pink) and Neel Kamal (Blue) are two other flower species which grow in this altitude. The flowers remain till early September. Being at an altitude of 14000 feet the area is rocky and brown while snow clad mountains towering in front. The area is notorious for snowfall. Snowfalls may start even in the month of early June or October. We tent for the night.
Day 6: We start early in the morning by 5 am for Roopkund. It is a moderate climb to Roopkund for about 4 km but surely the altitude gain tires the body. Depending upon snow conditions it may take 2 to 4 hours to reach. Until mid of June the trail is covered with snow. During monsoon to late September snow will be much lesser. The trail is well defined but on snow it is difficult to locate. From Baguabasa camping ground the trail is a traverse first till we reach a place called Chhiria Nag meaning staircase formation like a snake. From this point the climb is moderately steep and one final steep climb on rock leads us to a flattened trail. Due the Nanda Raj Jat (Yatra) in 2014 the trail has been maintained and in well condition. From here we can see the depression ahead which is our destination, Roopkund (~4850m/15900ft). We spend some time clicking the photos and offering puja to the small temple of Goddess Nanda Devi. The shallow lake has remains of skeletons which are almost 1200 years old! There are still remains of semi decomposed torsos on the other side of the lake, which is a permafrost area. Depending upon the weather condition/time and team condition we may decide to attempt Junargali Pass (~ 5100 m, 16700 ft). The pass is between the ridges joining two low altitude peaks, Chandaniya Kot (on the left) and Kali Dang (on the right). Without snow in September it will take 30 to 45 min to reach the top. From top Nanda Ghunti and Trisul massif are magnanimous. The depression between Bethartoli Himal and Nanda Ghunti is the famous Ronty Saddle. We return on the same trail to Baguabasa. Descend on a steep trail is often tricky comparing to that of ascent. We climb down till Baguabasa and then almost on a level ground till Kailu Vinayak. We continue our descent till we reach Patar Nachuni. A long days trek ends at the lush green camping ground. Total trek distance is around 15 Km and may take 8 to 10 hours depending upon the snow condition. Depending on the team condition we may return to Bedni Bugiyal. Camp for the night.
Day 7: Today is a long way descending till Wan. From the camping ground a small climb takes us on the main trail. Now we follow the same path back. This feels like a cakewalk after the strenuous day before. We continue our trail back to Ghora Lautani and then to Bedni Bugiyal. After reaching Bedni camping ground we take the trail on the right and is different from the route by which we reached Bedni. Now we go down on the Bugiyal while we see the green fibre huts on our right. After going down for a while the road splits. We take the right hand side trail which goes down and slowly we enter into the tree line again. In few places the gradient down is steep and goes through the forest all the way. Avoid taking the shortcuts as it may hurt your knees. After descending for an hour we reach an opening inside the forest and called Gahroli Patal. We continue going down till we reach the river bed of Neel Ganga. From here we climb to reach the top of the Wan Village which is called Ran ka Dhar. Now we enter into the village of Wan and continue to descend. The village is stretched on both sides of the mountain and indeed huge comparing to normal Himalayan villages. Finally we reach the road head to take the Jeep. Total distance is 17 Km and takes around 7/8 hours. It is around an hour from Wan to Lohajung by car and the road road is bumpy at places. Enjoy the evening at Lohajung while sharing the fresh memories of the trek. Night stay in Tourist rest house/Lodge.
Day 8: In the morning take the car or bus service to reach Kathgodam. Depending upon service it may take up to 10 hours. The trip ends.
Cost & Services for Fixed Departure Treks:
Cost: 9500 (INR) pp / 9300(INR) WSR Member (Lohajung to Lohajung) + 3.63% Service Tax
Two nights stay at Lohajung (Day 1 & Day 7) on sharing basis and dinner.
The trek fee.
All meals during the trek. Regular Indian style nutritious vegetarian food during the trek (including eggs), breakfast packed/hot lunch (depending upon the time you reach a campsite), snacks, dinner along with coffee/tea/soup.
Excellent Mountain Guide, who will be a local to this particular area and has profound knowledge of the trekking trails around.
Specialised Cook, Support staffs, Porters/Packed Animals for carrying the central logistics of the trek.
The entire permit fee, camping charges, Forest levy required for the trek.
Stay at rest house/forest hut/tent as required in the trek.
Sleeping Mattress and Sleeping Bag (Bring your own sleeping bag for hygienic reason, if you have a high altitude specific Sleeping Bag)
Car drop from Wan to Lohajung on Day7.
Transportation from Kathgodam to Lohajung and back.
We assume that you will carry your personal Rucksack/Backpack with all your personal belongings. If you want to offload your Rucksack and carried by our Pack Animal/Porter then you need to pay additional Rs 1500 for the entire duration of the trek. The Rucksack should not weigh more than 10 Kg.
Any tip/gratuity to the HT supports staffs. If you are happy with the service, please tip them generously.
Any kind of insurance during the trek or transit.
Any cost which is not mentioned in the “inclusions” or personal in nature.
To Confirm your Seats please deposit Rs. 5000 /- in the bank details mentioned below.
ICICI Bank Account No: 363401000047
Name: Harshal Modi
IFS code: ICIC0003634
Once payment is done, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Transaction ID, Participant Name, Email ID, Cell Number
Please send your email enquiries to: email@example.com
HARSHAL MODI: - 9173664008/9967899156
DEEPAK JAT: - 9699648235
Depending upon the trek members we can arrange a pickup from Kathgodam to Lohajung and back. This will be shared equally by the team members and is approximately around 5500 Rs one way.
Otherwise if any trekker wants to reach Lohajung by public vehicle then there are two options:
A) Reach Rishikesh by previous night (23 Km from Haridwar) and board the bus for Mandoli/Lohajung. It starts from Rishikesh at 5 am in the morning and takes around 12/14 hous to reach Lohajung. This is a privately operated bus and may not operate during the high Chardham Yatra season in summer. The route is via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag, Tharali and Deval. For details on access and exit from Lohajung
B) From Kathgodam/Haldwani you can get a shared Jeep ride till Deval in the morning. They start by latest by 6 am in the morning. From Deval either you can take the above mentioned bus or hire a private vehicle to reach Lohajung.
It is mandatory that you visit your personal physician before enrolling for the trip if you suffer from any illness of any kind and disclose the same and your medical history to the organizers of the trip so that best possible arrangements can be carried out post approval. As organizers of the trip, we will be responsible for providing basic first aid throughout the trip. In case of unexpected mishaps or accidents, we will arrange for the injured patron to be taken to the nearest medical hospital wherever possible. The medical expenses will have to be borne by the patrons themselves.