Thursday, July 1, 2010

Twin-treks to Kuari Pass and Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary : June 2010 - A Prelude


It did not take much time for me and my friend K Srinivasan (KS) to decide on our next trek to Nanda Devi Outer Sancatury (Dharansi Pass) in 2010. After our last year’s Darma Valley trek, we were thinking of doing a trek in Niti Valley. A chance browsing through Shobhit’s stunning pictures of the Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuaryhttp://www.netecho.com/photos/sanctuary/index.html hastened the decision to do the trek in early June 2010. KS, though, a bit apprehensive about the clear views of the peaks in pre-monsoon period, agreed with the timing as he was not sure of free slot in October which was supposed to be the best period for a clear sky.

We also considered the pros and cons of doing the trek on a conventional route, i.e., Lata-Lata Kharak-Saini Kharak-Jhandidar-Dharansi Pass –Tolma-Suraithota or vice versa and decided to do the trek on conventional route for three reasons : firstly, we would prefer steep climb to Lata Kharak than steep descend. Second, we would have opportunity to spend time in Lata summer village, which until closure of the inner sanctuary in early 80’s, was the epic centre of treks and expeditions into Nanda Devi Inner Sanctuaries. We would also have the benefit of suggestions and advice from the villagers about the finer points of the trek. Lastly, I had the fascination for the Nanda Devi temple in Lata summer village and it would be fitness of thing if we visit the temple before the start of the trek.

In the meanwhile, KS enquired as to whether we can club Kuari Pass trek with NDOS. I answered affirmatively saying that we could fit in Kuari Pass trek via Auli and get down to Tapovan for onward road head to Lata. I knew that KS was very keen to do Kuari Pass trek for the last 2-3 years but somehow this trek was eluding him. Keeping in view the fact that NDOS trek was our priority, he suggested that we could attempt Kuari Pass trek after completion of NDOS trek. Later on I saw an advantage of doing Kuari Pass trek ahead of NDOS for better acclimatisation.

The next in agenda was getting an experienced guide for the trek. My first reaction was that since there were many trekking agencies in Joshimath, we would get a good guide from one of the authorised trekking agencies. But considering the fact that we were going on a peak trekking season in around Joshimath, we decided to pre-arrange the guide. KS gave me the name of Sohan Singh Bisht (Sonu) with his mobile number which he had gathered from one of Kuari Pass threads on www.indiamike.com where his name was recommended as a guide for Kuari Pass. I talked to Sonu giving him our age profile. The first thing he asked me was about our trekking experience and it was only when he knew that we were experienced trekkers that he came to the money part of the deal. There was no need to negotiate on the money part as I found his quote of Rs.1200/- per day per head (all inclusive) was reasonable and got him fixed for our twin-treks.

And finally, we sought the suggestions and advices from our common friend Rajkumar who has been visiting Niti and Darma valley periodically. He suggested that we should have homestay experience in Lata summer village and also in Tolma. He also gave the names of his contacts in Lata summer village, one of which was Raghuveer Singh in whose house we stayed for a night. He also accompanied us in NDOS trek though as a porter but more as a mentor.

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16 comments:

KS said...

SK, good to see you have started the blog with good amount of details. Nice read. I just finished the Kuari-Pass part of trek in my blog here:

http://sites.google.com/site/suhanasafarbyks/40-ndos

Check it out, when you get time. I put a link to your blog out there.

Cheers,
KS

KS said...

"Raghuveer Singh ... as a porter but more as a mentor"

Extremely, well said :-)

I liked this!

-KS

Sadanand Kamath said...

Thanks KS. I felt that Raghuveer Singh was very much concern about our well-being during the NDOS trek and hence he, as a mentor, came to my mind.

Dipak said...

Dear Sadanandji,
I have been regularly checking your blog since last few months for your excellent pictures &details of treks and I really enjoy it. I am a nature lover, but unfortunately have not been able to do any treks till-now (I m 44 now), But I wish to start it now and more so after reading your experiences.I soon wish to begin with easier ones like Har ki Dun & val;ley of flowers etc.Or probably you can suggest me something please.

Sadanand Kamath said...

Thanks for appreciating my blogs.

It is good that you thought of treks now as I find that as one grow olds, legs do not support so much as our desire for treks.

I agree that one can start with easy treks such as Har-ki-Dun, Valley of Flowers. To this, I will add Pindari Glacier, Kuari Pass via Auli and Dodital treks though I have not yet done the last one.

Dipak said...

Thanks. I have been to Auli,when I took my parents for chardham yatra and we visited Auli on trolley.
Do you think,Kuari pass is possible for me as a beginner. Then it would be very interesting.
I have done only a single day trek to Chaka from Kalpa (Kinnaur, Himachal), but I think its fun and I can take strain of easy treks for 4/5 days without much trouble.

Sadanand Kamath said...

If you are physically fit with no health related problem, I don't think there should be any problem for you in doing Kuari Pass trek via Auli. This is a 5-day trek. Incidentally, the guide can reach you to the nearest road head from any place on this trek route within 4-5 hours in case of emergency.

Dipak said...

Thanks for your encouraging feedback. I will definitely try Kuari pass first now. I am bothering you a lot.But your suggestions are very valuable for me.Would it be better to plan this trek in Oct-Nov? And how, as a novice, my appoach should be to get it organized?

Sadanand Kamath said...

As a novice, I would suggest you to complete the trek by October-end as the chances of pre-wintry snow thereafter on the pass is greater.

Taking a guide for this trek from one of the trekking agencies recognised by DFO, Joshimath is mandatory for those trekking through Auli.

Sudipta said...

nice photos of kauri pass,we are going at end of october can you give us phone number of porter and guide

Sadanand Kamath said...

Thanks for your appreciation.

Our guide was Sohan Singh Bisht. His Mobile No. is 09410365281.

John Milton said...

Post seems very good information related to tour and trip. Thanks for sharing this post. Kuari Pass Trek.

Lyod Wills said...

Its seems a nice material you have posted in the blog about Kauri Pass Trekking and the content is quite helpful to explore more about the trekking in kauri pass in garhwal. Thanks for sharing the post..

Sadanand Kamath said...

Thanks for your appreciation.

Sadanand Kamath said...

Thanks for your appreciation.

Unknown said...

Dear Sadanand,

An excellent read. This is Subhrajit from www.adventureclicknblog.com and we would love to have your blogs listed in our website. We have also launched a credit system for contributions by which contributors can reimburse the points for cool travel stuffs (adventureclicknblog.com/moreblognearn.php). The credit points are a way of saying thank you for your sincere effort and time for writing.

Regards,
Subhrajit,
Subhrajit.ghadei@gmail.com
0091 8378997510
Education: B.Tech (IIT Bombay) & MBA (IIM Lucknow)