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Trip Highlights

Duration: 14 Days | Altitude: 16700 ft | Grade: Challenging | Region: Uttarakhand

About This Trip

This venture is unique in many ways. We start from Valley of flowers, which is flooded with a million flowers and water streams and finish at village Gamshali, which is almost a cold desert. We will be tracing back the steps of the explorer and mountaineer Frank Smythe who also discovered VOF for the rest of the world. In our experience, the sense of achievement is surprisingly humbling once we complete this rather difficult expedition. What makes this trek so special is that you will be experiencing natural, cultural and historical elements of the greater Himalayas, as the trail merges into the golden silk route around Gamshali village, making everyday worth the walk.

One definitely requires being mentally and physically fit in order to enjoy this one. The trail gets a bit technical after crossing the VOF where you climb up the Bhyundar glacier, cross the pass at 5100m and descend the gnarly slopes of Rataban glacier. Prior experience of trekking definitely helps. Doesn’t goes without saying our team will make sure of you get to experience this trail to its full

Trip Itinerary

Today is all about driving from Haridwar/Rishikesh to Joshimath or Auli. About 280 kms, it’ll take us about 10 odd hours to reach Joshimath/Auli. We’ll have lunch on the way.

We assemble at Haridwar/Rishikesh and start our epic journey to Joshimath/Auli. From Rishikesh we drive along the Ganges, watch it unfold at the confluence at Devprayag following Alaknanda towards its source, crossing towns of Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag and Nandaprayag, before reaching Joshimath. These are four out of five major confluences that are considered to be holy by the indigenous. Check into the hotel and go for acclimatization walk to the Joshimath market or Auli. Retire for rest of the evening.

Day 02) Drive from Joshimath/Auli (2450m) to Govind Ghat (Drive 25km/1hr) – Trek to Ghangaria (3050m, 11km, 5-6kms)
Today we hike to Hemkund Sahib. Climb is pretty steep and rigor. We leave early morning and return afternoon. Lunch and bonus treat at the temple.

One of the holy shrines of Guru Gobind Singh, one of the ten spiritual leader of the Sikhs, Hemkund Sahib is a beautiful glacial lake, laying on the shoulder of the mountain that shadows the Ghangria from the north eastern side. The trail is mostly steep switchbacks, certainly scenic but again crowded with the devotees that make the trips to the temple through-out the monsoons. We spend some time at the temple, soak up the vibes of the higher Himalayas, and enjoy the hot Halwa dessert that they give away, before we return to the ground. There is an option of skinny-dipping in the frozen lake, just carry a towel in your backpack and fire in your ball sack. We return to the hotel at Ghangria and spend rest of the evening in freedom and joy.
Today we walk the famous “Valley of Flowers” and arrive our campsite at Tipra Kharak, on the other side of the 5km long flowery valley. With a few steep sections, the trail gets gradual once you reach the valley. Crossing a few small streams; takes about 6 to 7hrs to reach the campsite.

This is the morning when we experience the valley of flowers in its full glory. It’s a bliss to be in the middle of the valley covered with a million flowers growing wild. Your trek leader will tell you what’s what and what’s missing! with a view of Bhyundar Glacier at the horizon to our north. We arrive at Tipra Kharak (3715m) late afternoon. The campsite is an ancient grassland banned for grazing by the authorities. Upon arrival we will have tea and snacks and go for a height gain to acclimatize. We will camp tonight.

Today we ascend the glacier and reach the campsite at Bhyundar icefall. The hike is a bit technical, with Glacial and moraine sections. It takes about 6 to 7hrs to reach the campsite.

Post breakfast we start hiking towards Bhyundar glacier. We’ll walk slow and steady, negotiating the gnarly climbs on the glacier and steep descends through the moraines. Watch out for loose rocks and slippery boulders. Relevant equipment will be provided for this if required. We’ll arrive at the campsite and go for another height gain and watch the sunset upon the peaks. Tonight, we camp again!
Today we take it easy and reach a little closer to the pass. Walk is as it was on day 5, not easy! Takes about 5 to 6hrs to arrive at the campsite.

With ample daylight left for us, we take this day to explore and acclimatize for the final climb of the pass. Views open up a little, as you gain more height on this day, while the weather comes a little more alive. We’ll have dinner with briefing for the next day and retire to our tents.
Today is the day when we cross the Bhyundar pass at 5100m and get to the other side to Rataban glacier. It’s a tough one and might take us about 7 to 8hrs or more depending on our pace. Lunch will be served on the way.

Today’s walk is a bit technical. This is when the mountain takes over our sense of wonder. We’ll start climbing ahead of the icefall and continue walking and traversing across the snowfields till we reach the pass. One can expect intimidating weather at the pass with frequent snow and fast blowing winds. From here it’s all the way down till the campsite at Rataban glacier. Descending the Rataban glacier is as technical as ascending Bhyundar. Once at the campsite we stretch our limbs, before retiring to our tents. Snacks followed by dinner at the camp.
Today we descend down the Rataban glacier and reach the campsite at Eri Udiar. Hike will take us about 6 to 7hrs depending on our pace. Lunch on the way.

We get down the Glacier walking through the moraines. The campsite is rather comfortable compared to last few days. Surrounded by the towering massifs of Nilgiri and Rataban, the views from here are rewarding. One may notice relatively dry lands as we now stand in The rain shadow region of the mountain range. We explore around and retire to our tents
Today we walk down to the village of Ghamsali. It will take about 5 to 6hrs to arrive at the village.

The trail goes further down passing some rhododendron bushes and arrive at muddy and dry grounds of this side of the pass. Native place to Bachendri Pal, the first Indian women to climb Mt. Everest, Ghamshali lay in grim yet beautiful. Here we have a chance to experience the social dynamics of a Himalayan village that once flourished at the time of the great trade on the famous silk route. We go for a walk around the village and gather a few more memories before the trek concludes. Overnight at Village

Post breakfast we drive back to Joshimath via villages like Malari and Reni. Reni village is the birthplace of Chipkoo movement that took place in the 1960’s. While Malari, use to be one of the famous market place at the time of the trade on the silk route. The drive is scenic with few many off road sections. Check into the hotels and have that bath you been dreaming of!
Post breakfast we drive back to Rishikesh. The trip ends here
An extra day in case you want to extend the trip for rest, sightseeing in case for bad weather or other conditions.
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Cost Details

• Accommodation in neat and clean (Hotels/ Guesthouse/ Alpine Tents) on double sharing basis • All Meals, starting with Dinner on Day 01 to breakfast on Day 11/12. Meals will be a variety of Indian, Local Pahaadi & Multi cuisine both vegetarian and non-vegetarian where ever possible • Morning & Evening refreshments during the Trek and at stays • Professional and experienced Trip leader(s) for the Trek. • Qualified and Professional guide(s) to ensure high safety, more information and personal attention which are necessary to appreciate the trek. • A team of experienced & hospitable staff: Cook and other helping staff for the Trek • Good quality camping arrangements like neat & clean sleeping bags, mattress, spacious ‘A’ shaped/ ‘Dome’ shaped Tents for Guest on double sharing, Dining & Kitchen Tent, Toilet tents (Ratio 1 toilet tent for every 7 participants) • First aid kit (our Trip Leaders/ Guides are certified in handling first aid situations) • Oxygen cylinder (both portable and 10ltrs) for the group • Porter/Mule charges for carrying camping equipment & rations • Porter/Mules to carry personal luggage weighing not more than 8 kgs per participant for the entire trek • 2 Bottled Water (500ml), per day for each participant during travelling in vehicle • Forest and Camping Fees • Neat and clean Tempo traveler for the group journey with experienced driver especially for hilly terrains • Transport from Dehradun to Dehradun • Parking fees and other tolls and taxes wherever payable
• 5% GST • Cost for Airfare, Insurance Premiums • Breakfast and Lunch on Day 01 and Lunch on Day last • Any meals or services not mentioned above under cost inclusions • Additional accommodation, food and Transport expenses if tour gets delayed due to weather, health or any other reason • Cost for supplementary service, optional Tours, Up-gradation Charges, and camera charges. • Cost for service provided on a personal request • Bottled Water, Soft Drinks, Laundry Charges, Room Service, incidentals or any other expense of personal nature • Tips for guides and helping staff • Personal and Medical Insurance • Cost for any other service not mentioned in the 'cost inclusions' above
The standard administrative charge of 10% of the cost of the total trip – Not refundable any point of time • Between 60 - 30 days: 25% of the total Trip Cost • Between 29 - 20 days: 50% of the total Trip Cost • Between 19 - 10 days: 75% of the total Trip Cost • Less than 9 days from the date of departure: 100% of the total Trip Cost

Other information

• Things to carry on a short winter Himalayan trek Trekkers Essential OM Please check BMI here to know your fitness level. The apt BMI is 17 to 28. • It is mandatory to carry the following documents along with you. Document 2 needs to be downloaded, filled in duly signed and handed over to the Trip Leader at the Base camp. 1. Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.) 2. Indemnity form to be filled by the traveller Indemnity Bond OM
• It is utmost important to notify Outdoor Monks with any pertaining medical and health conditions before booking of the trip. • Outdoor Monks strongly prohibit the intake of alcohol and smoking while on the trip. • Outdoor Monks strongly insists all our fellow traveller to consider minimum and maximum age limit of each trip. Not doing so will result in cancellation of the trip. • Outdoor Monks remains stiff upon all information presented for a trip. Please read all the documents relating to the itinerary, inclusions, exclusions, cancellation policy, trip essentials, terms, and conditions.
• If the trip gets cancelled at the last moment due to natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances. Outdoor Monks will issue a voucher for the full trip cost which can be redeemed for the same or any other trip during a period of next six months. • Outdoor Monks does not hold the liability for any loss/damage of personal belonging while on the trip. • 30% Advance to be deposited at the time of booking confirmation (non-refundable). • Full payment before 12 days from the date of starting the Tour (non-refundable). • While on the trip. Outdoor Monks strictly prohibits any kind of miss conduct • Outdoor Monks under utmost priority maintains the dignity of fellow travelers, locals, and team. Any kind of misconduct while on the trip will not be tolerated, found doing so will result in cancellation of your participation forthright.


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