The Lord Curzon Trail ‘Kuari Pass Trek’

The views are simply breathtaking: Facing north our vision sweeps from the gorges of Trishul in the east to the snow clad peaks of the Kedarnath Range in the west - Kedarnath (6940 m/22,763 ft), Chaukhamba (7140 m/23,419 ft), Nilkantha (6597 m/21,638 ft), Kamet (7756 m/25,439 ft), Gauri Parbat (6727 m/22,064 ft), Hathi Parbat (6738 m/22,100 ft), Nanda Devi (7817 m/25,639 ft) and Nanda Devi East (7434 m/24,383 ft), Bethartoli (6352 m/20,834 ft) and Dunagiri (7066 m/23,176 ft) lined one after the other in a magnificent arc. Southwards the foothills stretch wave upon wave into the haze of the distant floodplains of the River Ganges. We pass remote villages along this route giving one a great insight into local traditions and customs.

Walking across vast alpine meadows, locally known as ‘Bugyals’, the trail continues through mixed pine and oak forest, to the Kuari Pass (3647m) on a grassy ridge. Though not high in comparison to other Himalayan Passes, the views from this pass are spectacular, especially of the Nanda Devi massif and the twin peaks of Nanda Devi (7817 m/25,639 ft) and Nanda Devi East (7434 m/24,383 ft) surrounded by a great group of 7000 m Himalayan giants.

 

Trek description ::
Lord Curzon Trek – Kuaripass à Duration of trip - 8 to 9 days
Altitude - 4000 meter to 4575meter  -à Easy to Moderate level Trek  
ALTITUDE: JOSHIMATH:196 MTS.,  AULI:3030 MTS., KUARIPASS : 3650 MTS : Pangarchulla 4575 meter

 

Day

Route Description/Information

 

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Chapna.  Drive 10hours.  First Camps side of the Trek.   Campfire and stay at Tents.  Dinner at Camp with hot veg meals.

 

Day 2

Chapna to upper Ramni. From Chapna (1350m) head up out of the valley crossing a metal bridge over a gorge and then zig zagging up the hillside.  You will climb for about 1.5 hours passing some small temples and shrines, and eventually the trail levels out.  For the next hour the trail passes through terraced fields with the occaisional house.  Eventually you will reach the village of Ramni (2550m). Expect a LOT of children to come out of the houses to see you - they are not used to lots of visitors here.  Continue through village past the water source (fill up your water containers here) and about 15 minutes outside of the village on a level playing field is your campsite for the evening.  Spend the afternoon relaxing at the campsite (the area next to the campsite is an ideal cricket pitch for a match with the local kids) and acclimatizing to the higher altitude.

Overnight Camp: Ramni
Distance: 10 km, 2550m
Time: 3 hours

 

 

 

 

Day 3

Upper Ramni to Jhinjhi. From the campsite climb steeply for 300m on a good zigzagging track to emerge on open grassy grazing meadows. Snowy peaks begin to emerge above the forest to the north. The path continues up through forests of rhododendron, pines and oak with more pastures for summer grazing with shepherd huts. The highest point, reached in 2¼ hours from the camp, at 3064m, is the Ramni Pass, also called Binayak Top. From here, the trek is a zigzag descent to Semkherk Meadow.

From Semkherk Meadow it is around 4km (1 hour) of further descent along a stone pitched path through the forest to the village of Jhinjhi (also called Ghangri).  As you enter the village there is a small guesthouse with a couple of rooms and a 'bathroom' (brick shed with a tap and bucket).  The campsite is 5 minutes walk through the village and out the other side. Please note that when trekking on this route south to north, it may be preferable for the team to camp at an earlier campsite just past Semkherk Meadow.

Overnight Camp: Jhinjhi, 2121m
Distance: 13 km
Time: 5 hours

 

 

 

 

Day 4

Jhinji to Pana. The day starts with a descent through the colourful village of Jhinjhi, passed fields, cottages and a small village primary school. The trail carries on down past small farms through woods for about an hour until you reach a spectacular suspension bridge at 1840m across the Birehi Gorge.  From here a very steep climb to 2250m, where the track eases after a one and a half-hour ascent.  From here the path is almost flat passing through fine rhododendron forest with long-tailed magpies flitting about. There are many streams and waterfalls as the route contours round many deep re-entrants, and looking across the valley you can see all the way back to Jhinji and the Semkherk Meadow.  Eventually you reach Pana (2450m) - a large village with white washed houses.  Climb up above the village to the large meadow on the hillside, and camp here.  There is a fresh water spring up here.

Overnight Camp: Pana, 2450m
Distance: 12 km
Time: 5 hours

 

 

 

 

Day 5

Pana to Dhakuani. A long but spectacular day. The route traverses above Pana village and then starts a steep climb up into rhododendron forest, with many zigzags - it is a broad, well made track but after quite a number of false summits, a Col is reached at 3000m. The path now descends gently, traversing along the valley, to the beautiful open Sutoli meadow with your first clear views across to the Kuari Pass. The track then traverses down around the side of the valley, across several streams, before it plunges down a very steep and loose section, some of which has been washed away by the monsoons.  It is an awkward and slow descent to the bottom ('Domhabiti') where there is a tall impressive waterfall and a small river crossing to make using stable rocks as stepping stones (the concrete bridge has been washed away by monsoon rains). Cross the bridge and begin the long slow ascent up the other side of the valley (c. 45 minutes and over 50 switchbacks!). From the top it is around 2 km to another new concrete bridge over a river, and then from there around 2km further of gentle ascent to the campsite at Dhakuani - a rhododendron glade at the base of the Kuari Pass.

Overnight Camp: Dhakuani, 3252m
Distance: 10 km
Time: 6 hours

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6

 

 

Day 7

Dhakuani to Khulara Camp. Another long but spectacular day with a break on the pass for views. Leave Dhakuani and begin the climb up to the pass along a zigzag track to the top. It takes about an hour from Dhakuani to the Pass (3640m).  As you emerge over the top a spectacular panoramic view of the Himalayas emerges, with many 7000m+ peaks.  After a break at the top to admire the views, make a traverse for around 1 hour along the high ridge past a shrine to Shiva.

The path will then drop down to the camp at Khulara
Overnight Camp:  Khulara, 3422m
Distance: 10km
Time: 4-5 hours

Rest day to Explore the Pangarchulla Peak.  Early morning trek to 1 hrs to reach base of Pangarchulla further climb 4 hrs to Summit.  Explore the Himalayan Views and back to Base Camp at Khulara. 

 

 

Day 8

Khulara to Auli (14km).  Today is the most spectacular day of the trek, affording uninterrupted views of the Himalayas virtually all the way.  The first 30 minutes or so takes you through the forest and out to a small alpine lake with snow capped peaks all around.  From here the path narrows to single file as it contours around the edge of the hillside.  For this section the path is called "the escape route".  The hillside rises steeply to your left, and falls away (in places) steeply to the right.  There are wonderful views of the Himalayas bordering Tibet on a clear day.  After about 2km of single file the path widens out in to a big track, and from here is  a long gradual descent through the rolling meadows and all the way down to Auli - one of the biggest ski resorts in India.  From Auli it is about 30 minutes drive down to Joshimath.

NB It is also possible to trek down to Tapovan to end the trek instead of Auli if necessary.

Overnight Camp: Auli
Distance: 14km
Time: 6 hours

 

Day 9

Rest day in Joshimath for Sightseeing and Exploring

 

Day 10

After breakfast commence drive to Rishikesh , Arrive Rishikesh and tour terminate upon arrival at Rishikesh.
Drive 9hours.  Trip end up here. Take back a lot of sweet memories

 

 
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