Adorning the Lord Curzon circuit- one of Garhwal Himalaya’s most fabled trails, Pangarchulla- the chimney peak soars to vision. Perched at 14, 700 ft., for mountaineering enthusiasts, the peak offers a perfect test of non-technical climbing skills. Though this Uttarakhand trek is accessible all though the year, it is the winter snow that makes it truly unsurpassable. If thrill is directly proportionate to the gauge of challenge, Pangarchulla Peak Trek in the winters would be a journey brave hearts just cannot afford to miss!
Spanning over 7 days, the trek will take you along the pilgrim vein of Uttarakhand, from Dehradun to Joshimath, where we have our base camp. A little further away, from Dhak village, starts our walking trajectory up the rocky tracks. With ascent, the horizons open up to cliff side villages characterized by terraced farmland and slant roofed houses, moving on to green meadows surrounded by the signature peaks of Garhwal Himalayas. Notable are—Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Hati-Ghori, and Barmal among others. Part of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, the trail to Pangarchulla never loses sight of these celebrated peaks and culminates finally at the summit with a gala of glittering snow views.
4481 M/14,700 Ft
Approx Trekking Km
Altitude you are going to See
Devsu Bugyal Camp – 3000 Meters
These points should not be avoided
Keep Yourself Ready for the Downpours
Proper gear & clothing for sub-zero temperatures
Keep all the Essentials Carefully
Maintain Your Wellness
Phones don’t work
Take your Cough and Cold Medicines with you
How to reach Dehradun?
BY AIR :
Take a flight to Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun, Hire a cab to reach Dehradun City as the airport is 29 km away.
BY TRAIN :
The Dehradun railway station is located in the centre of the city which is well connected to all the major cities of the country.
BY ROAD :
Dehradun is easily accessible from major cities of the country as it has an excellent road connectivity with other major cities and towns of North India. There are state-run and private buses that offer a regular service.
EnrouteJoshimath, we will take the course of river Ganga and cross the famous river-bank pilgrim towns of Rishikesh and the 5 Prayags or confluences. Rishikesh, besides its ambiance of peace is also known for white-water river rafting. Those interested could book a stay here for a few days prior to the trek and we can pick you up on the way to Joshimath.
At Devaprayag, You will get a stunning view of the Bhagirathi river descending into river Alakananda and fusing to form a vivid play of different green hues in the water. The slopes of the mountains along the fiery river look picturesque from the confluence of Devaprayag.
Breakfast and lunch could be found at roadside inns along the Badrinath Road and this will be exclusive of charges you pay for the trek. By 5 pm, at the hour of sundown, we will pull in on the driveway of the Joshimath guest house, in time for refreshing hit tea followed by an opening dinner and briefing from your Trek Leader.
Drive Joshimath to Dhak and Trek to Gulling top
Next day, by 7 am we will set off for Dhak village after having breakfast at the guest-house. From Dhak the trek will begin. The drive from Joshimath to Dhak of around 40 minutes will introduce you to the mountain kingdom surrounding the town. Enjoy the first sights of Nanda Devi peak during your ride. Collect your refreshments and start the trek from Dhak road-head marking the uphill bent towards the destination. Trek for 1 hour to the first village.
The gradually ascending trail keeps the village on the right and takes a dusty, rocky hike of gradual ascents. Without any major difficulties, we reach Karachi village from where the trail inclines by gushing streams. Feast your senses in the greenery of the farming steps cut across hills and the high mountains towering over from all around.The gradual gaining of altitude here must be supported by thorough hydration, therefore, you must keep filling your bottle at village water points. Next, you will be reaching Tugasi village, and with that, we cover about 3 km of the whole trek. Tugasi is a picture of a typical high-altitude Garhwali Himalayan village with their wooden houses, storage places, and ranch. You will come across shepherd clans, farmers, and other agrarian people in this village set in the backdrop of mountains. After immersing in the different flavor of life for some time here, we move towards our next stop- the hamlet of Gulling. During the trek, you can get wonderful sights ofDronagiriParvat towards left.
Trek Gulling Top to Camp-I
The next day’s trip is a straight ascent of approx 5 km spanning 4 hours approximately. The destination Camp I is a campsite in the clearing amid coniferous forests of blue pine, oaks, and rhododendron.
We set out today after breakfast prepared mentally for a moderate hike. There will be numerous water points. The entire trail will be a muddy route. Since the trail is under dense forest cover there is no scope for big mountain sights. Greeted with sharp curves with deep ravines gaping at one side, we move along never feeling cheated out of the beautiful vista promised. The forests seem to smile up suddenly here and there where rhododendrons have bloomed in thickets of pink and red. From a little inside the forested trail, snow becomes part of the scene. Rich growth of Silver Birch and Spruce hovers over the snow-covered forest floor making Pangarchulla an in-depth snow trek. Late into the day, Camp-I is reached. Lunch tastes extra delicious today after this testing trek. The afternoon and evening can be reserved for acclimatization relaxed walks around the clearing. The acclimatization walk is till Khullarameadows, that takes around 40 minutes to reach there. This will be one of the best walks, with fewer efforts you will be standing in front of an ocean of Kamet, ManaParvat, Devban, HatiParvat, Garud, Trishul, Dronagiri peaks.
Trek Camp-I to Kuari pass via Khullara and back to Camp-I
Starting after breakfast with packed lunch from Camp I, we make our way skirting the forest lands towards the Peak and some 40 minutes into the trail, the scenery changes from tree covered shadowy trails to open meadows. When you reach Khullara top in another 1 hour, you follow Lord Curzon trail towards Kuari Pass. From Khullara top you can see 3 trails heading out, the right going to Tali downwards, left uphill trail goes to Pangarchulla, left downhill to Kuari Pass. We will take the route to Kuari Pass. Keep trudging on the Lord Curzon trail for 20 min and open Gelgad meadows will come into sight. This is another spot to capture the mighty Himalayan peaks like Chaukhamba, Neelkantha etc. Keep walking for another 20 minutes into the trail and you will encounter the famous broken bridge. Here you can find one water point if luckily it is not frozen. Take a few deep breaths and get ready for steep ascent until Kuari Pass.
Watch out for the Pangarchulla on the left as you arrive closer to it. Some of the prominent peaks visible are Chaukhamba, Mt. Kamet, and Neelkantha, Mana, Devban, HatiParvat, Garud, Trishul, Dronagiri.
Have your lunch on the wonderful pass and return back to Camp I.
Trek Camp-I to Pangarchulla Peak Summit via Khullara and Back to Camp-I
On this big day, we start early in the morning at the crack of dawn and set off on fresh snow for the summit hike. It is necessary to be equipped with at least 2 liters of water as there are no water sources from here. Multiple steep climbing points on the way make this stretch laborious. The trail will be same till Lord Curzon trail and you will reach here in 1 and half hour, same as the previous day.
The first 30 minutes of the ascent is a thorough ridge climb which you will know has ended when a vision Pangarchulla Main and auxiliary peaks rise right up ahead. While the climb may be strenuous the fluorescent sunrise on the left will boost your confidence. After the ridge walk, level snow grounds spread ahead giving you a scope to catch your breath. For this region and further up, your group may require cutting through the thick carpet of snow manually—an exhaustive task assigned to the one who leads. In May, June the snow usually melts leaving behind a carpet of boulders. Again if there a few traces of snow, watch out while stepping on the snow. Your foot may go deep sometimes pertaining to the rocks below. Before reaching the base of Pangarchulla Main, enjoy this level snow patch from where you will get a terrific detailed view of the Chaukhamba massif, flanked by Mana, Kamet, Hati-Ghodiand other snow caps. We request trekkers to not to ask for sliding as it is dangerous on these slopes.
At the summit point, you will come face to face with the Garhwal snow peaks in all their glory, especially Nanda Ghunti on left, chaukhamba on right, which will come to fore for the first time with all the detailed ridge lines revealed. The top is marked by a small temple. From the summit, one gets a 360-degree view of the Garhwal Himalayas, with Nanda Ghunti, Trishuli, Chang Bang, Dronagiri, GarudParvat, Lampak 1,2, Hathi, Gauri, Mana, Kamet on the right and Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, Kedardome etc. on the left side. After enjoying your victory for 15 minutes we descend and have lunch at the base.
Trek Camp-I to Dhak village and drive to Joshimath
On the way down from Camp-I, one by one the snow peaks will pop out of view and the same old village trails will remind you of the end of the journey. From Dhak, a car ride into the dusk will take you back to life at the Joshimath guest-house.
Drive Joshimath to Dehradun
After sleeping over the unforgettable experience of scaling Pangarchulla, today we go back city-wards. Your car will be waiting at 6 in the morning. Bidding adieu to the gaze of the hills, you will descend down to civilization reaching Haridwar by 6 in the evening in time for your overnight journey back.
On this trek, you will come across some of the majestic sights of the valleys and the verdant mountains.
You will trek across plenty of oaks, silver birch, blue pine, and bhojpatra - the bark of which is known to source papyrus.
You will also have the chance to camp under the brilliant night sky and that too with a bonfire.
Pass through the small streams and witness the Pangarchulla Peak which is quite an adventure.
You will pass across a steep ridge which will take you on an ascent to the peak on summit day. It is a painstaking but highly gratifying feature of this trek.
The friendly local here will treat you with the best cup of tea while you make a stop.
Food as per menu on the trek ,Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)