A WALK IN THE CLOUDS – PINDARI GLACIER
Amongst the various myths surrounding the mountains, here is one more – Pandavas have supposedly performed Pind Daan before proceeding to the heaven. And this place is today referred to as Pindari. The Pindari glacier found high up in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas, to the southeast of Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot has been a natural attraction to adventure-seekers. One of the biggest attractions of this trek is a glimpse of Nanda Devi, India’s 2nd highest mountain, standing majestic at 25,644 feet.
Source of river Pinder, which meets the Alaknanda River at the confluence of Karnprayag in the Garhwal district, Pindari Glacier is a 90-km level trek for eight days. Starting from Loharkhet, the trek is a medium to difficult level glacier trek. After reporting at the base camp at Dhur, you get ample time to acclimatize the next day with the morning exercise, walks and orientation session.
The trail to reach the glacier crosses the villages of Saung, Loharkhet, crosses over the Dhakuri Pass. The trek effectively starts from Dhur onward to Khati village, the last inhabited village on the trail. This eight km trail takes about four hours to complete. Though most of the trail is along the banks of the Pindari River, the river is mostly hidden until after Khati. The next day is a longer trail, close to 14 kms, starting from Khati to Dwali camp.
The singular beauty of this entire trek is the vast range of landscapes that one encounters along the way, ranging from meadows, forests, snow fields, muddy and rocky terrains, glacial moraines and ravines. This requires ample dedication from the trekker and strength to continue so that one can reach Zero Point, healthy and happy. After Dwali, it reaches the Pindari glacier through Phurkia & Zero Point, Pindar, the end of the trail, which is the highlight of this trek.
The trek is from Dwali to Phurkia camp, and then visit the Zero Point and come back to Phurkia camp. The five kms one way trek makes you walk a good 10-km to see the glacier. The night stay is at Phurkia camp. The next day is all descent, a rough 20 kms right down to Khati village, from where the trek had started. The highest altitude that one reaches in this trek is 12,870 feet.
Finally, one has to say good-bye to the mystic mountains on the final day to reach base camp from Khati, which is around 8 kms. With this, the trail which takes you to the Bageshwar region in idyllic Kumaon, Uttrakhand, comes to an end.
While on this trek, you will see many peaks- Nanda Devi East(24,391 feet), Chhangush (20741 feet), Nanda Kot( 22,510 feet), Nanda Bhanar, Nanda Khat(21,690 feet), Panwali Dwar(21,860 feet), Baljhouri, Panchouli, Lapsa Dhura, Maik Toli(22,320 feet), Bhanoti, Durga Kot, Thar Kot(20,010 feet), Tent Peak, Deo Toli(22,270) – each one regal and divine by itself. Of course, the highlight is the glimpse of Nanda Devi (25,644 feet, 2nd highest peak of India).
Along with Pindari, you will also see the Kafni glacier at a glance and their namesake rivers along with Saryu and Gomti. The sweet memories of seeing magnificent flora like khair, sal, teak, birch will be the keepsake that will remain with you for years. On top of this, if Ankit , you are lucky enough, you will catch some fauna in the wild like common langur, Goral. Birds like Rose Finches with the distinctive red in their plumage and ruby-throated warblers are sighted too.
A trail of this nature will push your spirits and I am confident will make you fall in love with nature, all over again. YHAI offers this unique experience in 2021, when we open the Pindari Glacier trek in June 2021. Make sure you book your spot.
By Sonia Kuncalienker