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Pangarchulla Peak Trek-One Dream Lived
Pangarchulla is one of the best treks you can do in Uttarakhand, This trek is for those who have done at least 2-3 treks and are physically fit. Since the trek involves multiple ascends and descends on the same day, someone with a sedentary lifestyle might not be able to do this trek. It is one of the lesser-known snow treks.
Stunning view from Pangarchulla Peak with a 360º view of all the major peaks of Uttarakhand.
“The best views come after the hardest climb” You will for sure believe it when you stand at the summit of Pangarchulla Peak. When you are looking at the beautiful peaks among some clouds from the campsite (camp 1), with a cup of tea in your hand and then all of a sudden clouds disappear from the peaks. You realise those were just the shoulder of some gigantic peaks and that’s when you see Mt. Dunagiri (7066m) standing tall staring at you. If you are planning to do this trek in winters there will be Knee-deep snow after Gailgad. You can see some random but smooth patterns in snow formed by the strong winds.
The path to the Pangarchulla summit consists of three sections the shoulder, then the ridge then the peak. After you ascend the shoulder part of the summit trek, comes “the ridge”. You need to be cautious as the ridge has 100-150 feet deep valley on the left and much deeper on the right, a careless landing can become fatal. All this accompanied by freezing winds numbing your face makes this section the most treacherous part of the trek. Now, as soon as you reach the summit, the view is worth all your effort! When you walk on the summit ridge Mt. Trishul (7120 m) is right in front of you. You can even see the Junargali that’s the highest point of Roopkund trek. All the major peaks of Uttarakhand are right in front of your eyes, take your time live the moment with Chaukhamba, Nilkanth, Hathi-Ghoda, Barmal, Dunagiri, the mighty Nanda Devi (7816 m) and many more.
Crystal clear reflection of Pangarchulla Peak in still waters of Tali lake.
Pangarchulla Peak and Kuari pass trek have some hidden treasures too. One of them is Tali lake, a small high altitude lake at an altitude of 11,480 feet which is frozen in winters is another treat to the eyes in this beautiful trek. You can see the reflection of Pangarchulla Peak, Nanda Devi and a few other peaks. If you are lucky you might see a picture-perfect view with a flock of sheep in the meadow near the lake and mighty Nanda Devi at the back.
Walk on an overhanging trail till Gorson Bugyal.
The Trek after Tali lake is really fascinating as the trail width is narrow with some astonishing views but be careful at some sections as there are few landslide points and some deadly drops. Gorson Bugyal is an open meadow which offers some great views of Nanda Devi. Somewhere in between Gulling and Gorson Bugyal you will find a perfect place to click a pic with the majestic Nanda Devi and Dunagiri.
Whenever you are trekking, whether it’s a small trek or long trek just ensure one thing whatever you are taking to the mountains just don’t forget to bring it back.
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Trek the Himalayas
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Day 00: Depart from Delhi to Rishikesh around 10:00 pm. Pickup Point - Majnu Ka Tila.
Day 01: Rishikesh - Joshimath; You will reach Joshimath by shared Cabs which is at a distance of 254 km and will take around 8-9 hours.
Day 02: Joshimath - Dhak- Gulling; Cab from Joshimath to Dhak, 12 km drive, camp at Gulling after 4-5 km trek and acclimatize at 8,850 feet
Day 03: Gulling - Khullara; Camp before the wide m,eadows of Khullara, take proper rest and sleep early for the final summit.
Day 04: Khullara - Pangarchulla Summit - Tali Lake; Summit Day! It's going to be a long day with 13 hours of the trek with ridge walk & an exhilarating summit.
Day 05: Tali - Auli - Joshimath; The crystal clear reflection of Pangarchulla Peak on the Tali lake is a real treat. Trek on the overhanging trail to reach Auli.
Day 06: Joshimath - Rishikesh. Drive back to Rishikesh & sit on the right side to get the best views.
Day 07: Reach early morning around 5:00-6:00 am.
Day 00: Delhi - Rishikesh
Day 01: Rishikesh - Joshimath
The drive till Joshimath is really scenic from the beginning, as river Ganges and its tributaries will accompany you the whole day. You will be crossing four Prayags before reaching Joshimath, Prayags is the point where two river meets. Devprayag is one of the most beautiful Prayag among Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandprayag and VishnuPrayag. Try to sit on the left side of the vehicle and get the best views. You will be reaching late evening to Joshimath.
Day 02: Joshimath - Dhak - Gulling Campsite
The trek starts from a small village Dhak which is about 12 km from Joshimath on the Malari road. While you drive towards Dhak, make sure to look towards the left side to get some best views of the majestic Nanda Devi. If you are lucky, you will find a local dog who will stay with you through the entire trek. You will find many kids smiling and waiting for you to take a pic and then ask for chocolates or toffee, so if you want a nice pic with smiling kids, do carry some extra chocolates with you. The first campsite is Gulling and will take around 3-4 hours to reach there. The trek is a mix of gradual as well as steep ascent. After crossing the dense forest of Oak and Rhododendron, the best views of Dunagiri peak awaits for you at the Gulling campsite.
Day 03: Gulling - Khullara
You will be crossing many small streams before reaching the Khullara campsite by lunchtime. Khullara is a beautiful campsite, a big opening after the forest of Oak and Rhododendron. The grand views of Dunagiri peak(7066m) and other neighbouring peaks welcomes you at the Khullara campsite. Take proper rest as tomorrow is the summit day!
Day 04: Khullara - Pangarchulla summit - Tali lake
On the summit day, you have to wake up early at wee hours so that you climb the summit, see the sunrise from there and return to the Tali Lake camp before dark. It’s a long day of ascents and descents with 13 hours of trekking, so be prepared! You get an experience of trekking in the dark, wearing headlamps, walking through the dense Oak and Rhododendron forest and walking over thick snow as well.
After an hour trek from Khullara, reach Gailgad to see one of the most gorgeous sunrises ever. The first rays of sun falling on the Chaukhamba peak & many other peaks nearby will excite you to take off gloves in the cold & pop out the camera to click some beautiful pics. Gailgad is the place where the route diverts for Kuari pass. Walking on the snow and gaining the altitude is tiring but the grand views that open up after every step are worth the effort.
The real climb starts from the base of the Pangarchulla which you reach after a 4-5 hours trek, which is about to get harder. The climb is steep till the shoulder of the peak, walking on the three humps before the summit is exciting and treacherous. The thrill of ridge walk will pump you up but it’s exhausting at the same time. Be careful at the ridge section in winters as you don’t want to slip from the slope and fall in the deep valley. The open 360° views from the summit are worth all the effort, you get some beautiful views of the gigantic Himalayan peaks.
Walking on the Summit ridge will give you confidence and a lesson too, if you have the will and put all your efforts, you can and you will achieve anything.
Day 05: Tali - Auli(Trek ends), Auli to Joshimath(Drive)
Start your morning with the beautiful views of majestic Nanda Devi, Pangarchulla and Tali lake. start your trek. The Trek after Tali lake is really fascinating as the trail width is narrow with some astonishing views but be careful at some sections as there are few landslide points and some deadly drops. Gorson Bugyal is a 1-2 km trek from Auli, the famous Ski destination of India. You have to cross the entire Gorson Bugyal to reach the Padiyar temple which is a small temple between Gorson Bugyal and Auli.
You will reach Auli around 3-4 PM and then either stay in Auli or take a shared cab to Joshimath, from where buses and shared cabs ply in the morning for Rishikesh & Haridwar.
Day 06: Joshimath - Rishikesh
Finally, its time to say goodbye to the mountains and drive back to Rishikesh the journey will take around 8-9 hours.
Day 07: Rishikesh to Delhi(You will be reaching Delhi early morning)
Dehradun is the nearest place with airport and rail connectivity.
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Joshimath which is about 267 km away. You can book a cab from the airport to Joshimath. There are direct flights available from Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lucknow & Srinagar.
By Train: Dehradun (294 km from Joshimath) & Haridwar (278 km from Joshimath) are the nearest Railway station to Joshimath after which you will have to take a road journey through private or shared cabs or public transport. You need to reach Haridwar/Dehradun by 7 am in the morning because the cabs and public transport are not available after sunset. The cab drivers simply stop the car at the nearest village after sunset because the area is prone to frequent landslides.
By Road: Joshimath is well connected by road to Delhi via Rishikesh & Haridwar.
You will be crossing four Prayags (Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag, Nandprayag) before reaching Joshimath. Prayags are the points where two rivers meet. The drive is really beautiful as Ganges and its tributaries will give you company throughout the drive. Make sure to sit on the left side of the bus/cab while going from Dehradun/Rishikesh to Joshimath.
Pangarchulla Temperature & Weather
The temperature in winters may vary from (-5℃ to 8℃) so you should carry more winter clothes and layer up. Layering up is the best way to avoid the freezing cold.
The temperature is moderate in summers nut you can still expect snowfall. The temperature may vary from (0℃ to 20℃).
The temperature may vary from (2℃ to 15℃) and you should avoid going to Pangarchulla in winters as the roads are mostly blocked because of landslides.
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