Pangarchulla Peak Trek
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- 6 Days
- Difficulty - Moderate
- For 12+ years
- Best Season - Spring (Feb, March, April) Summer (May, June, July)
Are you excited to set out for a high-altitude Himalayan trek in the Garhwal Region? Well, the Pangarchulla Peak trek route offers you one of the most captivating high mountain views and it’s considered to be one of Garhwal Himalayas’s most celebrated treks! Resting at 15,070 0ft, it offers a perfect adrenaline test for mountaineering enthusiasts. We are not pumping your levels of expectation, but you will surely get to spot Nanda Devi to your northeast to all major peaks of Badrinath valley and finally stretching to Kedarnath valley peaks on the west, once you reach the summit.
The elevation of the Pangarchulla trek is roughly 15,070 feet. It takes about 7 days to complete the trek and acclimatization, with a total distance of about 38 kilometers. Since the Pangarchulla Summit Trek is regarded as challenging, it falls under the category of moderate to difficult treks.
When it comes to tourism and spirituality, Uttarakhand is one of the states in India that receives the most visitors. Along with all of this, Uttarakhand also serves as a global hub for adventure sports and trekkers. This location has a lot to offer travellers and nature lovers, from the high-altitude juggernaut mountains to the pristine water bodies. The surrounding landscapes are so breathtaking that trekking in Uttarakhand will undoubtedly leave you speechless. Adventurers and trekkers travel here from all over India, and they always leave with a sense of peace and contentment in their hearts. Pangarchulla Trek is one of the most beautiful treks in Uttarakhand and one that you should definitely undertake at least once in your lifetime.
Every year, hordes of hikers are drawn to the Pangarchulla trek because it is so full of adventure, tranquilly, and beauty. The trek ascends to provide views of some of the tallest mountains in the Garhwal Himalayas, while also passing through mesmerising forests and rhododendrons in bloom. As you ascend higher up, you can treat yourself to a spotless carpet of powdery snow. The initial trail meanders through lush forests with a variety of enchanting floral species crisscrossing the ground. The trek's undulating terrain passes through thick oak forests and high-altitude pastures, making you instantly happy. You might need to climb through a fair number of boulders to complete the trek, but the rewards are spectacular! The heart-pounding summit ascent is truly surreal and sends your blood racing as you labour through snowy boulder fields. After a strenuous ascent, you'll be rewarded with literally breath-taking views of the tallest Himalayan peaks that surround you.
The Pangarchulla Trek is best scaled between March and May and again just before the start of winter, between September and October. This is due to the possibility of significant snowfall during the winter, which would make the trek more challenging. Summertime temperatures (April to May) range from 12 to 20 degrees, with overnight lows as low as -5 degrees. High-altitude meadows and the summit of Pangarchulla will both see an accumulation of snow. The month of May is when the snow starts to melt. People who travel there between April and May must be aware of this and ready for snowy weather. If you live somewhere in the plains where the temperature tends to hit half-centuries, pangarchulla in the summer is thought to be quite reviving. Due to its steep slopes and slippery terrain, the Pangarchulla Trek is not recommended during the monsoon months of July and August when rain is pouring down from above. A further 3 to 5 degrees of temperature decline occurs in October and November following the monsoon season.
The novices will find this trek to be difficult. This trek's difficulty level leans more toward demanding, necessitating exceptionally high levels of physical stamina and endurance. Before embarking on this trek, it is strongly advised that you have hiked at least 11,000 feet in elevation, so beginners should stay away. Due to the high altitude, there is a high risk of developing altitude sickness. Teenagers can therefore choose to go on this trek with ease. Additionally, effective acclimatisation is essential for completing the trek successfully.
Day 1: Drive from Rishikesh to Joshimath (6,750 ft, 280 kms drive)
Day 2: Drive from Joshimath to Tugasi (14 Kms, 45 Mins Drive) | Trek to Guling (4 Kms, 5 Hrs)
Day 3: Trek from Guling to Khullara (6 Kms, 7 Hrs)
Day 4: Trek Pangarchulla Peak via Khullara and Back to Camp 1 ( 14,700 ft, 13 kms trek)
Day 5: Trek from Khullara to Tugasi (10 Kms, 6 Hrs) | Drive to Joshimath (14 Kms, 45 Mins Drive)
Day 6: Joshimath to Rishikesh
Driving Duration: 10-11 hrs drive | Driving Distance: 254 km
Altitude: 8,790 feet
The Pangarchulla Peak Trek's base camp is in Joshimath, and a pickup is arranged from the Rishikesh ISBT at 6 AM. Trains, buses, and taxis provide frequent service between Dehradun and Delhi. The drive through Devprayag, where the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers of the River Ganga meet, will take ten hours.
The drive is exhilarating, filled with heart-pounding Himalayan roads with mountains and a deep gorge on either side. In the evening, arrive in Joshimath and check into the hotel or guesthouse where dinner and an overnight stay are planned.
Trekking takes 6-7 hours, covering a distance of 12 km.
Gain in altitude: 2,118 ft (8,790 ft to 10,908 ft)
Moderately difficult. After a continuous 20-minute steep ascent, there are 45 minutes of gradual ascent. Steep once more for about an hour, then 1.5–2 hours of gradual and steep ascents follow.
An ascending dirt path leading away from the main road and toward Tugasi village marks the beginning of the trek. The path leading inside the village is this one. When you get to a T intersection, you must immediately turn left. The trail passes through farms and a series of level walks and gradual ascents. The mountain ridge in this area is bare and receives little to no snowfall in the winter. Watch out for the Dhauli-Ganga River as it passes the Vishnugad-Tapovan Hydro Power Station down below. With a series of steep and gradual ascents, the well-defined trail meanders along the mountain ridge. Watch for a rain shelter on the trail in the distance. The first landmark on the trail before arriving at Kharchi Village is this shelter. To get here, it takes about 20 minutes.
The trail makes a sharp right turn at the rain shelter, leaving you with the valley on your left. Ahead, you can see it swerving around the mountains. For the next 45 minutes, the trail gradually climbs while interspersed with a few switchbacks. You are taken to Lower Tugasi by it. There are numerous trails that leave from Lower Tugasi. Take the road that turns sharply to the left after passing the two water-powered flour mills.
This trail makes several switchbacks as it climbs quickly to Upper Tugasi. Here, you'll see a lot of cultivated land, including poppy and wheat fields, as well as cultivated flowers. The streams that supply the mills below will also be visible. Since the water in these is contaminated, avoid drinking from them. Upper Tugasi will be reached in 30 to 40 minutes.
The trail continues to climb steeply from Upper Tugasi. Although the fields are behind you now, the trail is still frequently populated by villages. While on this trail, Dronagiri stands out significantly among the mountains. You'll have to cross the final settlement in about 30 minutes. You can safely refill your water bottles at the water source you discover after the final hut.
From here, it will take 1.5 to 2 hours to get to Guling. There are both steep and easy climbs along the trail. The first oak trees start to appear 15 minutes before Guling, and you soon find yourself in a mixed forest. The trail circles the valley that you first saw when you set out from the shelter. But as you ascend, this keeps getting smaller. In the heart of the forest is the Guling campsite.
As you approach Guling, turn around. Here, Hathi and Ghora appear for the first time.
Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Trek Distance: 6km
Altitude Gain: 102 ft (10,908 ft to 11,010 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate. Moderate ascent all the way to Khullara.
You will receive the necessary instructions regarding the trekking trails after early morning breakfast. We will start trekking from Guling to Khullara. En route, we will have our packed lunch. Later in the evening, we will check into our campsite at Khullara base. The remainder of the day is free time. You will get to see the enchanted starry skies above as dawn breaks.
After dinner, spend the night at Khullara base camp.
Trek Duration: 12-16 hours | Trek Distance: 14 km
Altitude Gain and Loss: ⇗ 4,060 feet; ⇘ 4,060 feet(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.
Start early at 4 AM in order to reach the summit before 11 AM.
As you leave Khullara Campsite and join the renowned Lord Curzon Trail, proceed in the direction of the forest ridge up ahead. The first 30 to 45 minutes of the trek are spent along a frozen rivulet through a forest ridge. There will be a thick layer of snow covering this section. It's a steep climb of about 100 metres. A huge snowfield will appear in front of you once you have carefully ascended the snow ridge section. Look up at the middle of the snow gully. The objective is to arrive there. Walking over the fluffy, soft snow causes the slope to become steep. The forest edge is finally behind you. Sunglasses can help prevent snow blindness.
The snow gully's top is reached after walking for 30 to 45 minutes. You can see Pangarchulla Main and Pangarchulla subsidiary summits from here.
Stay towards the true right of the snow ridge as you walk alongside gaining altitude. From this point on, the ridge may accumulate a lot of snow during the winter (Mid January till April). You arrive at the level snow grounds after 45 minutes of cautious snow hiking along the ridge. This might serve as the Pangarchulla Summit's advance base camp. In the winter, there isn't any water nearby, though. Observe the Chaukhamba massifs in the far north, then Mana, Kamet, Abi Gamin, Hathi Parvat, and finally Nanda Ghunti and Trishul from this location. The Dronagiri, Changabang, and Kalanka peaks stand out in the middle sight.
Although laborious, the final ascent to the Pangarchulla summit is not difficult. To open the snow route, it is advisable to have a trained guide with you. There are multiple steep sections on soft snow. Crampons, gaiters, and proper high ankle trekking boots will aid in climbing. Crampons are highly recommended to reduce the possibility of slipping on snow. In snowy conditions, the climb's section can take five to six hours. One can reach the summit in 4 hours during the post-monsoon season.
Watch the summit descend to the main peak of Pangarchulla from this vantage point. A total of six mountain ridges must be crossed to get to the peak's base. The area is completely covered in snow during the winter, making it challenging to move quickly through it. Take the snow trail that leads to a level hump after a 120-meter ascent and 60-meter descent. Sharp ascents and descents make this section difficult. It's time to climb the second snow hump after you've ascended the first one.
It might take an hour and a half to cross the second, third, and fourth snow ridges. Once you have a clear view of the summit climb from Pangarchulla Peak's base, you have reached the top of the fourth ridge. As you get closer to the peak's base, head toward the fifth ridge, which ascends gradually. The sixth ridge appears to be right nearby as you cross the fifth one.
From here to the peak's summit, it is about 300 to 350 metres of ascent. The best way to approach the climb to the summit is to first move along the right side of the connecting ridge. Halfway through the climb, look for an appropriate point from where the summit route needs to be established. From this point on, a route must be carved out of ice using an ice axe. As you turn to face the side ridge wall with a 60-degree incline, take a left. A fixed rope might be necessary, depending on the amount of snow that has accumulated. The last section of the summit climb is at the top of the razor-sharp cornice. Here, where the wind is particularly strong, the team should be huddled on a rope. During the last ridge walk, stay off the cornice's edge at all costs. The distance to the summit is under 100 metres. Enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree views of Garhwal peaks once you reach the summit. Nanda Ghunti, and Trishul ranges are visible from the summit for the first time.
The journey back involves a three to four-hour descent to Khullara's campgrounds. When descending on snow, exercise caution.
After early-morning breakfast, there will be a briefing with all the information you need about the remainder of the trek starting from Khullara, we will trek to Tugasi Village. We will eat our lunch on the way. We'll begin the drive to Joshimath once we get to Tugasi. We will have dinner and spend the night at the designated homestay in Joshimath.
Stay Not Included
After we have breakfast, we will be leaving our hotel. From Joshimath, we will travel to Rishikesh by car. Dev Prayag, Rudra Prayag, and Karn Prayag are just a few of the Prayags with beautiful scenery. As soon as they get to Rishikesh, the group will break up and go their separate ways, but not without sharing many memorable experiences together.
The Tour Comes to an End Here.
Plan The Unplanned
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What’s life without adventure? Isn’t the real purpose of life to travel, to experience new places, and witness the sunrise from new mountaintops? This thought is what united Jatin and Tarun over a cup of chai, in spite of being from two unrelated backgrounds (CA and IT). They knew each other since the time Jatin was helping Tarun learn the ways of the wilderness through weekend treks and outings with another traveling group. Their love for traveling and trekking together motivated them to start something of their own. Thus was born “Plan The Unplanned”, where travel goals come true. Under the Companies Act, Plan The Unplanned is incorporated as Unplanned Journeys Private Limited They started their journey on unsteady ground, much like any other company, but they shared an infatuation for travel and adventure with their customers, which amplified their determination, and thus, Plan the Unplanned family keeps getting bigger every day! Just about any travel idea can come alive with Plan The Unplanned…treks, adventure activities like rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, backpacking trips across the country, cultural outings, photo walks; everything that fellow travelers need, to explore the great outdoors together. Well now that the wanderlust has kicked in and you can already see a vacation in your nearest future, here’s what we have to offer!
- Accommodation: 2 nights in a Joshimath hotel or homestay on a triple sharing basis. 3 nights' tented accommodation for three persons.
- Surface transfer by Sumo / Bolero / Tempo Traveler from Rishikesh to Joshimath and back (Depends on the number of travelers).
- Meals: From the first dinner to the sixth breakfast, all meals are vegetarian.
- Snacks: Tea or coffee in the mornings and evenings, with light snacks and soup served on the trek.
- Camping equipment includes a tent, sleeping bags, mattresses, a dining tent, and a toilet tent.
- Trek leader and support staff must be qualified and experienced.
- Permits: All fees and permits are required.
- Trekking Gear: Gaiters, Micro Spikes, and Rope, if necessary.
- Safety equipment includes a basic first-aid kit, an oximeter, an oxygen cylinder, and a stretcher.
- 1:10 as a guideline
- Any expenses of personal nature
- Meals during transit
- Any insurance of any kind
- Any fees and permits (for non-Indians)
- Unscheduled delay due to landslide
- Cost Escalation due to “ Force Majeure and Evacuation charges”
- Anything not mentioned explicitly in the above program
- *You can apply for travel insurance prior to the trek
THINGS TO CARRY
- Trekking shoes: Carry waterproof trekking shoes with good grip and ankle support. Do not carry sports shoes.
- Three layers of warm clothes: Carry two or three-layer jackets, fleece jackets and a padded jacket.
- Two/Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
- Three t-shirts (collared/dry-fit): Full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sunburns on the neck and arms. Carry one or two dry-fit t-shirts.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom).
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandatory. There will be a lot of snow on the trek and can cause snow blindness.
- Cap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh so carry a cap to protect yourself.
- Waterproof hand gloves: Carry waterproof gloves and avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow.
- Socks (3-4 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Raincoat/Ponchos: At high altitudes, snowfall and rain are quite common and it’s mandatory to carry a poncho so that you don’t get wet. The trek will continue as planned even during rainfall. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings.
- Documents – ID (Driver’s License, AADHAR Card, Voter ID:: Passport and Visa copy for Foreign Nationals)
- Day Pack ( Small Bag of 10 litres to carry necessary stuff for the day )
Policy and Terms
Here's the cancellation policy for Himalayan Treks/Backpacking Trips/Road Trips
- If you cancel before 30 days - 90% of amount will be refunded
- If you cancel between 20 -30 days - 75% % of amount will be refunded
- If you cancel between 15-19 days - 50% will be refunded
- If you cancel between 7-14 days - 25 % amount will be refunded
- If you cancel between 0- 7 days before the departure date - No amount would be refunded.
Note: For All The Above Refund Cases Transaction Fees/Internet Handling Charges will be dedcuted from the overall amount and balance amount shall be refunded. You can transfer your ticket to anyone so that you could save your hard earned money
For other trips and travels with us, and detailed terms and conditions check the following link : https://www.plantheunplanned.com/refund-cancellation-policy
Q: I have booked the trek when will I get further updates regarding the trek?
A: Well, most of our treks are usually confirmed by Thursday and you would receive a BON VOYAGE mail that would contain details as regards Pickup Points ( Location and Timings ), Outdoor Leader ( Point of Contact ), Do’s and Don’ts. You’ll be added to Whatsapp Group for all the further updates.
Q: Would I be added to a WhatsApp Group once the trek is confirmed?
A: Yes, the Bon Voyage mail would contain a link for Whatsapp Group through which one can join and interact with fellow travellers and outdoor leaders.
Q: I'm a solo traveller, Can I join?
A: The interesting thing about travelling alone is that you get to meet new people from diverse backgrounds, and towards the end, you are no longer strangers. Hence solo travellers are always welcome to join us on our trips. Read more about solo travelling here and get inspired! https://www.plantheunplanned.com/solo-yet-accompanied/
Q: Is it safe for Women/Girls?
A: Safety and security are our priority at all times. Hence it is safe for women/girls to join us on our treks and travels. Our trek leaders accompany the team at all times, and our campsites are secured and safe for accommodation. We also have female trek leaders who accompany us on most of our treks.
Q: Do I have to carry luggage all the way during trekking?
A: Not at all. You could keep all the extra luggage back at the campsite/homestay and carry only the necessary stuff for the trek (Raincoats, Torchlight, Waterbottle, lunchbox, and your valuable)
Q: Do you have Washrooms during the trek?
A: Well, you are in the mountains and none of our trails has a washroom facility during the trek.
Q: How do I avail discounts?
A: Details for availing discounts are mentioned in the following link, https://www.plantheunplanned.com/membership/
Q: Would I be able to postpone to the future in case I do not attend the trek/trip on the day of departure?
A: We are extremely sorry, you cannot postpone to any future date in case you fail to attend the trek on the mentioned date for any reasons whatsoever (family/health/work emergencies). You can write to us at [email protected] as regards and our team will get in touch with you on the same
Q: How difficult is the Pangarchulla Peak Trek?
A: The hike to Pangarchulla Peak is challenging. A trek is deemed challenging by Indiahikes if it satisfies the following standards. It rises to a height of 15,070 feet. The summit day may take up to 12 hours and involves a 4,000-foot ascent and descent in one day. There are difficult, steep, uneven, and exposed aspects of the summit ascent.
Q: How long is the Pangarchulla Peak Trek?
A: The Pangarchulla Peak trip on the Auli-Pangarchulla Peak-Karchhi path covers a total of 37.5 kilometres. The walk begins at Auli, a village in Uttarakhand's Garhwal area, not far from Joshimath. The journey takes five days (7 days including the travel from Rishikesh and back). You journey for longer than eight hours each day during the three days of the trek, with the exception of the first two, which are brief. You hike for around 12 hours on the summit day. As a result, this makes the route challenging for hikers.
Q: Are there restrooms or toilets on the trek?
A: On the walk, toilet tents will be available to you. Wet wipes are not biodegradable, therefore please do not use them. There won't be a bathroom available during the walk.
Q: What essential documents is needed for the trek?
A: The needed document for the journey is an ID proof (soft copy must be supplied to us in advance; original to be carried).
Q: What seasons are ideal for this trek?
A: The ideal months to hike up Pangarchulla Peak are March–April and October–December.
Q: What level of cellphone connectivity is there on this trek?
A: Joshimath is where you can access the network; beyond that, connection is subpar. Lata can have iffy signals. Beyond this, Auli is the only place you can locate the network.
Q: How to reach the base camp?
A: The final destination on the trek's route, roughly 10 kilometres from Joshimath, is Dhak Village. Small town Joshimath is located 290 kilometres from Haridwar in Uttrakhand. Buses go directly from Dehradun and Haridwar/Rishikesh to Joshimath. Early in the morning, they depart. To go to Joshimath, one may also take a private cab from Haridwar, Rishikesh, or Dehradun. It is simple to get to Haridwar by car, train, or plane. By Air: Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun, located 272 kilometres from Joshimath, is the closest airport. Flights are available from New Delhi to Dehradun. By Road There are no direct buses from Delhi to Joshimath. From ISBT Kashmere Gate in Delhi, you may catch overnight UKRTC buses and Volvos to Haridwar. Delhi and Haridwar are separated by 222 kilometres. From Delhi to Haridwar, you may either rent a taxi or an outstation cab. By Rail: Joshimath is 187 kilometres from Haridwar, the closest railway station. Numerous trains, including the Dehradun Express and Nanda Devi Express, travel between Delhi and Haridwar. Make your rail reservations at least one month in advance.