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Old 16th November 2020, 20:15   #1
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Default Trek to Pindari Glacier

Pindari Glacier

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_105606.jpg

Planning

Original plan was to visit Zanskar valley. There is a new route opened from Darcha to Padum via Shinkula and I wanted to explore it. It is now quite late in the year and snow has already blocked access to most of route including approach to Darcha, forget about Shinkula (which is at 16000+ ft). Hence Zanskar was dropped from options.

Bothering BHPians with queries
I asked for suggestions from fellow BHPian RedLiner and he advised to explore Gunji and further to Lipulekh pass. BHPian //M suggested for Mana/ Malari (it will be in plan for next year now). Thanks guys, though none of the options did pan out. For the unawares, Gunji is situated on old Kailash Mansarovar yatra route and was accessible only via trek till last year. This year in May/ June, a motorable road was built by BRO and as a result there was a controversy with our neighbouring country, Nepal. It is possible to visit upto Chialekh without inner line permit after which you will be stopped by ITBP. A popular youtuber tried to access it few days back and was sent back. I got in touch with a local contact in Dharchula and asked him to check the status of inner line permit. Meanwhile did some internet research and got contact info of SDM Dharchula. Sent an email to his office, yet to receive a reply till date. The phone numbers mentioned on the Pithoragarh official website are all wrong, goodluck if you are trying to reach anyone on them. My contact in Dharchula came up with a news that permits are not being issued to anyone except locals. Lipulekh pass and Gunji were dropped from plan.

Dharchula guy suggested to visit Darma valley alternatively. Darma valley is a diversion from Gunji route and covers travel till Panchachuli base camp trek. It was also a trekking route till some years back. I kept it as an option till last day.

Trek
I was longing to go on a trek for quite some time. Explored some common options such as Chopta-Tungnath, Kedarkantha, Pindari/ Kafni, Hampta Pass etc. Most of the trek organizers were off during Diwali and my trek plan had to be solo/ unsupported. Professional trek organizers (organized companies) were charging a lot for the trek, solo trek is not their cup of tea. I came across a blog on internet and got contact numbers of few guides for Pindari/ Kafni. Spoke to 2-3 of them and all of them happily agreed to be a guide for the trek. Finally, decided to proceed with Pindari trek and accordingly packing was done. I didn't confirm anyone though and kept it open based on final situation on spot.

Brief Background and Overview about Pindari Glacier Trek

I had done Pindari Glacier trek in 1997 along with my classmates. We were a group of old teenagers back then and trek was organised by my boarding school. Pindari trek is one of the popular treks in Kumaon region and covers the route till Pindari Glacier. Pindari glacier is source of Pindari river which later on joins in Alaknanda river and further in Ganga river. The trek can be classified as moderate due to distance one has to cover during the entire trek. Regarding altitude gain, it is not that challenging and regular trekkers will find it a breeze.

Back in 1997, Loharkhet was base point for start of the trek. It is a small village some 45 kms away from Bageshwar. In those days trek route was as below:

Loharkhet - Dhakuri - Khati - Dwali - Furkiya - Pindari Zero Point. Total distance - 85-90 kms. Kharkiya didn't even exist in map then.

Signboard depicting route map at Dhakuri (source Internet):

Name:  pindariglaciertrekroutemap.jpg
Views: 3991
Size:  55.0 KB

Nowadays an alternate motorable road has been constructed till Kharkiya (which lies between Dhakuri and Khati) from Kapkote, hence it is not necessary to visit Loharkhet and Dhakuri. Total distance is now cut short to 60 kms approx.

This route also covers most of the distance for Kafni Glacier trek, till Dwali. From Dwali, another route diverts towards Kafni Glacier. Kafni glacier is often called sister glacier of Pindari, is a lot smaller glacier but the route is far more challenging. Landslides are frequent in the area and hence it is less popular amongst trekking junta.

The route from Khati to Dwali was washed out during flash floods of 2013 (at time of Kedarnath tragedy) and the trek was closed for almost 2 years. A new track was laid out in 2015 which is well marked and you will find it easy to navigate most of the time.

Village Khati on the trekking route serves as starting point for Sunderdhunga Glacier trek also. It is quite challenging trek and far more scenic than other two treks mentioned above. It is up on my list next now.

Sharing few pictures shared by my guide for Sunderdhunga trek:

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20200627_060105.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20200627_085720.jpg

Please note that terms "difficult", "challenging", "steep" etc. are from my perspective. I have been off any form of physical training from past one year and hence little out of shape now. Someone who is regular into running, cycling may find the trek easy. Surprisingly, I couldn't find a travelogue on the forum on this trek.

Packing Essentials
  • Trekking Shoes
  • Sleeping Bag (not required though)
  • Thermals
  • Dry fit T shirts
  • Compression shorts
  • Protein bars
  • Torch
  • Power Banks
  • Emergency Medicines
  • Toiletries
  • Wollen Cap
  • Regular Cap
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Warm Socks

Usual 7 day itinerary for the trek from Delhi is as below:

Day 1: Delhi to Bageshwar
Day 2: Bageshwar to Kharkiya (by car/bike) and trek from Kharkiya to Khati - 5 kms
Day 3: Khati to Dwali - 12 kms
Day 4: Dwali to Furkiya - 6 kms
Day 5: Furkiya to Zero Point and back to Dwali - 20 kms
Day 6: Dwali to Khati/ Kharkiya - 12/17 kms
Day 7: Khariya to Bageshwar/ Delhi (by road)

My itinerary got a little twist due to Diwali holidays and will be explained as we progress through the thread.

TRH is short form for Tourist Rest House.

Last edited by ast.ggn : 20th November 2020 at 10:13.
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Old 17th November 2020, 21:38   #2
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Day 1: Delhi-Bageshwar-Kapkote-Kharkiya

Packed my stuff the previous night and was ready to leave by 5 AM. Winters are setting in here in North and it was quite cold early morning.

Delhi's smog is quite famous nowadays and I managed to get rid of it near Hapur.

Near Hapur Toll:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_062906.jpg

Took a short tea break after Moradabad:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_083146.jpg

Passing by Bheemtal lake midway:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_112020.jpg

By 12:30 PM, Almora was 20 kms away. Another break before Almora:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_124046.jpg

Tea:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_122609.jpg

View behind the restaurant:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_123720.jpg

Some good view enroute and then some garbage dump to spoil the whole thing. Oh my fellow countrymen:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_121308.jpg

Made a call to the guy who was supposed to meet me in Bageshwar and informed him that I would reach Bageshwar by 3:30 PM. I was discussing with him for past 1-2 days and he assured me that he would arrange everything and not to worry.

Just before Bageshwar met a family of 4 foxes, I tried to say Hi but they were too shy and ran away.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_144815.jpg

Between Binsar and Bageshwar you will find a lot of hills which have caught fire and are now charred black. It was kind of weird sight.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201110_150925.jpg

By 3:30-3:45 PM I had entered Bageshwar. Now when it was time to call the guy, his phone went out of range. After quite a few attempts to reach him and waiting for 30 mins, I decided not to waste my time and proceed towards Kharkiya.

You need to travel from Bageshwar to Kapkote and then to Bharari Market to take the newly built road to Kharkiya. Kapkote and Bharari are neighbouring towns and are located within 3-4 kms of each other.

Route advisory for Kharkiya

Once you cross the Bharari Market, take immediate left after Taxi stand towards iron bridge. After crossing the bridge, take right and head straight towards Karmi. It sounds little funny but Kharkiya is not well known as it is quite a small village comprising of very few houses. You will find regular milestones for Karmi but not a single one for Kharkiya. Even local people are not aware of it properly and I had to ask 5-6 people to get it right. After crossing Karmi village, take the left turn and head straight towards Kharkiya. Bharari to Kharkiya road is in quite bad shape and I would not advise anyone to travel after dark unless you are sure of the route. It took me close to 2 hours on that stretch and not even a single soul in sight for several kms. In fact I had to turn back a couple of times to ask for correct route.

After a few ups and downs I managed to reach Kharkiya by 7 PM. Since my original "supposed to be" guide went underground, I decided to search for another guy whom I spoke to on phone 1 week back. I went to a grocery/ general store to ask for him and he turned out to be that very same guy. He was quite happy to see me and recalled my conversation with him phone. He sounded apologetic as he was trying to reach me over phone but BSNL signals are a problem in the area. He had his own homestay so I decided to take call it a day over there. I had a little discussion with him about further plan and he informed me that his son, Harish, would accompany me on the trek as guide. Next day's plan was to start the trek at 7 AM towards Khati.

Bike was parked in the free parking nearby. The parking is commonly used by trekkers in the region and is totally safe. People leave their cars and bikes for several days, nobody messes with them. Try doing this in NCR or my hometown, next day you will find a tyre missing and by the time you return from your trek, entire vehicle would be proudly resting on bricks.

Last edited by ast.ggn : 20th November 2020 at 10:19.
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Old 18th November 2020, 14:26   #3
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Day 2: Kharkiya - Khati - Dwali

Day 2 target was to reach Dwali. Total distance was 17 kms and I was little apprehensive given my lack of prep.

View from my room in the morning. Those snow peaks at far distance are Sunderdhunga peaks:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_061833.jpg

Same place, same view in Jan'20. Shared by my guide, sharing here as it looked beautiful:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-img20200119094852.jpg

Sun coming up:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_062826.jpg


Woke up at 6 and we were ready to leave by 7 AM. Some new tourist rest houses were constructed nearby, this is covered under disaster management as per sign board:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_071438.jpg

Same rest houses in Jan' 2020:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-img20191214080355.jpg

We proceeded towards Khati via very well marked trail with couple of moderate inclines. Total distance is 5 kms:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_071520.jpg

Couple of local villagers joined us for trek to Khati transporting essentials on mules:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_072909.jpg

Local school. It looked beautiful but pity my silly phone camera:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_072940.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_073356.jpg

Little before Khati beautiful view of Valley. Kharkiya can be seen towards left from here:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_073910.jpg

Bridge constructed few years back to connect Khati. My guide can be seen here:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_081608.jpg

By 08:30 AM we reached Khati. It is a beautiful village and last village on this trek. I got to know recently after this trek that Asian Paints team visited this village few years back and painted the village beautifully. You can see lot of colourful houses with all kinds of shades. I wish we had time to explore the village even more.

Don't miss the sky below:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_082149.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_082917.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_082923.jpg

Took a short tea break at Khati and met this little cute doggo there:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_084221.jpg

There are two routes to exit from Khati, first one is traditional route and is 1 km longer and second short route passes through mid village and has a lot of steps. My guide took me through second one and it is a steep downhill and reaches right on Pindari river bed. River bed is full of big stones/ boulders and is called "Patal Lok" locally .

On our way to Patal Lok here:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_090336.jpg

Patal Lok:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_090437.jpg

To reach Dwali, you need to cross Pindari river via little wooden bridge. Harish doing a little posing here:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_090905.jpg

River Pindari:


Getting out of Patal Lok was difficult, I was out of breath at very first climb. Do note that this is not the regular route. This trail will join main trail coming from Khati shortly:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_091237.jpg

Administration reminding folks to keep things clean:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_092920.jpg

....continued

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Old 18th November 2020, 16:49   #4
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Day 2: Kharkiya - Khati - Dwali

...... continued

Sheds are a regular features, you will find one very 3-4 kms:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_093139.jpg

Reverse clicking in progress.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_093423.jpg

Trek from Khati to Dwali presents quite a constricted view. One has to walk between hill on the left hand side and dense trees on the right. At several places you cannot even see the Pindari river due to vegetation. As I mentioned previously, this entire stretch was washed out/ destroyed in flash floods in 2013 and a new trail was created. Previous route was exactly on opposite side , i.e. river flowing on your left while going uphill. Now the river flows on your right throughout Khati-Dwali stretch.

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_094524.jpg

Dwali is still quite far away:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_095048.jpg

I was out of breath for quite a while on this:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_095207.jpg

Tree crashing the party:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_100240.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_102035.jpg

There is a single pit stop between Khati and Dwali, approximately 5 kms after Khati:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_102437.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_102442.jpg

Some protein to fuel the body:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_103551.jpg

Uphill:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_105347.jpg

Some more uphill:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_111336.jpg

and some more. KMVN knows exactly where to put the bench:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_113501.jpg

There is a Babaji (saint) who lives/ meditates near Pindari Zero point, he has his own small cottage over there. During winters and heavy snowfall, he comes down to live in this cottage for a few months. When it snows here too, he moves further down to stay in Khati. His secondary cottage/ ashram can be seen below. The small cave by the side of cottage which is now covered with boulders and tin shed to keep away curious folks.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_125307.jpg

By now I was tired as hell and every step seemed difficult. We reached corner of the trail from where our TRH Dwali can be seen. Harish is seen talking to local person here. I was quite happy to see this and thought that now is the time for some relief. But....
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_130226.jpg

Patal Lok II was back to haunt me. Last 1 km took 30-45 mins and 4-5 breaks. Pindari river and one more small river has to be crossed twice to access the TRH. The last climb towards TRH seemed as if Everest is about to be conquered.

Please note that navigating here is a challenging task as you have to follow specific markings which are randomly placed. If you are planning to reach Dwali in the night, kindly avoid as most probably you will be lost in the river bed unless you have a guide.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_132909.jpg

We reached Dwali by 1:30 PM and sun was at it's peak. Aftermath of 17 kms trek in a day. This kept getting worse in coming days:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_135637.jpg

Evening view of the valley from where we came towards Dwali:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_171059.jpg

Pindari glacier can be seen far away now from TRH:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_171208.jpg

TRH crew wasn't happy to see us there. Reason being: They were planning to head back home for Diwali. I was thinking exactly opposite - how to stay away from Delhi on Diwali (pollution). They told us clearly that they can stay back for maximum 1 more day after that they had to head back to Khati.

However after a little discussion with them, things warmed up a bit and they seemed fine with our presence. We left our further plan to next day and decided to take rest.

Dinner with TRH staff to end the day:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201111_171247.jpg

While we were having dinner, a group of 4-5 local guys reached Dwali in total darkness. They started their journey Phurkiya immediately and reached there by 9 PM (we got to know next day).

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Old 18th November 2020, 20:14   #5
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Day 3 - Dwali-Phurkia-Towards Zero Point-Phurkiya-Dwali

Day 3 of the trip was supposed to be tough one. Dwali to Phurkiya is quite a steep climb, close to 600-700 mtrs in over 4-5 kms. We planned to start early and were ready to leave by 7 AM. My foot was much better after long rest. In a hurry, we forgot to have breakfast and TRH guys were more than happy to see us go (good riddance).

Beautiful waterfall just after TRH:


KMVN shelter destroyed in the last year's snowfall. Most of the shelters and benches after this point had similar state:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_194004.jpg

Trail destroyed by snow:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_074024.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_075740.jpg

You can see the trail in the background. Climbs were really steep.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_082316.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_084426.jpg

Welcomes you at....fill in whatever you want
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_092608.jpg

Finally at Phurkiya - TRH:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_092904.jpg

I was hungry and little tired from all the climb. Requested for a double Maggi.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_093634.jpg

Notice the solar lamps which serve as light source in the night. This is common for all TRH here.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_093641.jpg

Black Tea to reduce hunger pangs till the Maggi comes up.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_094258.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_095207.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_095445.jpg

Maggi arrives finally and never tasted so much better. I wonder what would happen to Indian treks if Maggi didn't exist. We should thank Nestle, no matter the amount of junk it is classified as hahahaha.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_095550.jpg

TRH Phurkiya guy also wanted to head home for Diwali, so our total plan was in disarray now. We had planned to stay in Phurkiya for the day but now we had to head towards Zero point and then head back to Dwali for night's stay.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_102019.jpg

Some posing enroute:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_104530.jpg

Phurkiya to Zero point is relatively flat trail and views are consistent throughout. Hence we decided to cut short our trek before zero point by 3 kms, to make up for additional trek in the day.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_104829.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_104922.jpg

You can see flat nature of trail leading upto Glacier:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_104927.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_105033.jpg

This is the closest picture of the glacier one can go normally. The access to snow was washed out in winters and it is not possible to cross Pindari river near origin and climb further without any special equipments.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_202354.jpg

.... continued

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Old 18th November 2020, 21:05   #6
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Day 3 - Dwali-Phurkia-Towards Pindari Zero Point-Phurkiya-Dwali

..... continued from above

We returned back while Zero point was still 3 kms away. Since I had done this trek before, there was no such urge to complete the last 3 kms anyways. Getting back to Dwali in time was more important.

Met 2 guys who were trekking here on their own (no guide). They planned to complete entire trek in 2 days!!! I wished them best of luck and they were on their way. The same guy met me later at Baijnath and stopped to say hello.

Lunch at Phurkiya during return. The pipe delivering the water to TRH was already frozen, caretaker had to spend quite some time to get it working :
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_124401.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_124453.jpg

There were two more young boys who were doing camping and the trek on their own. They were carrying maggi packets and asked for some masala from TRH guy. He happily obliged.

On way back to Dwali:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_135012.jpg

Snow already setting in at some places:


Sudden long walks taking toll:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_151105.jpg

Staple black tea:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_151247.jpg

We reached back by 3 PM. Slight gossip session with care takers at Dwali to end the day:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_210253.jpg

Dinner:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201112_182218.jpg

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Old 18th November 2020, 21:33   #7
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Day 4 - Dwali-Khati-Kharkiya

Started back from Dwali sharp at 7 AM. The river bed stretch which was difficult to cross on Day 2, was crossed easily this time:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_071252.jpg

This was from Day 1, I was trying to click river stream and Harish took a quick pic:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201120_104308.jpg

Looking back at trail leading to river bed:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_072859.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_073950.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_075011.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_075205.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_081312.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_084712.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201120_104150.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201120_104050.jpg

Took a break again at pit stop before Khati:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_091755.jpg

The rope and trolley arrangement which was used by villagers to cross the river during the flash floods tragedy:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_101819.jpg

New bridge constructed after floods:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_101903.jpg

This is the trail separating the main trek route towards khati and shortcut which I had mentioned on Day 2. The downwards trail leads to bridge in above pic and connects to main trek route:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_211638.jpg

The descent to Patal Lok which seemed easy on Day 2 making my life miserable on way back:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_111324.jpg

By the time we reached Khati, sun was at it's peak and my feet were in bad shape due to blisters. As if that was not enough, I suffered a slight slip on a loose stone near river bed and my right knee went into hyperextension. Last 7 kms were covered in limp home mode.

Just before reaching back to Kharkiya, this location seemed like some Bollywood studio setup. Camera spoiling the things again:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_211932.jpg

Final climb before the village and mission accomplished:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_212957.jpg

With compliments from trek:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_133603.jpg

We reached back to base by 1:30 PM, taking 15-20 mins less than our Day 2 journey on same route.

In the evening, decided to explore the newly built road upto the point where it ends. If the villagers want to travel further, the jeep drops them at this bridge and then they walk to their respective villages.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_211308.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201113_161222.jpg

Upon insistence of Harish's father, I parked the bike on road outside the homestay (instead of parking). Some drunk jeep driver, smashed his jeep into the bike in the night and the bike fell down. Side stand lost, clutch lever bent and few other scratches came along as my parting gift next morning.

Last edited by ast.ggn : 20th November 2020 at 16:43.
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Old 18th November 2020, 21:50   #8
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Day 5: Kharkiya to Kausani

Woke up lazily on my last day in village. Cleared the payment, thanked Harish for company and left Kharkiya around 9 AM. Some beautiful views which I had missed on Day 1 as it was pitch dark by the time I was there:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201114_094455.jpg

My phone which was out of range since last 4-5 days, suddenly came alive with lot of bank sms and Diwali wishes:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201114_095747.jpg

Got clutch lever adjusted at Bageshwar Hero, they didn't have side stand in stock for Xpulse. Main stand came to rescue for entire journey back but it was a task mounting and dismounting from the bike.

During a tea break at Baijnath, met two guys from Kerala who were touring on their Impulses and heading towards Mana. They saw my bike parked on the road, crossed it and then came back. Had a small discussion with them on travel, bikes - Xpulse vs Impulse, knobby tyres, wished them all the best for future journey.

Few minutes later, the guy who was trekking in Phurkiya saw Xpulse parked and stopped by to say hello. He saw the bike in parking at Kharkiya and was wondering whose bike is it. He runs a bike repair store in Baijnath. Xpulse attracts attention for sure.

Reached Kausani by 1:00 PM. Came across a good looking Hotel just before Kausani. Slight negotiation did the trick on an off-day. Silent Diwali in mountains, away from all fire crackers and pollution, rest of the evening was spent observing the Himalayan range and some soul searching.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201114_155802.jpg

Zoomed in pics of entire Himalayan range as visible from Kausani. That's the best my mediocre phone camera could do.
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201114_164338.jpg

Part 2 of the range:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201114_164348.jpg

Diwali night view as observed from Kausani stay:
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201114_185708.jpg

I had a day to spare, since there was nothing much to explore, decided to head back home and consider it as rest day.

Next morning checked out early at 7 AM and started back for Smokedelhi. Everything was fine till Haldwani after which journey became tiring. Near Hapur bike's sound got changed and I think famous tapet noise which was avoiding me till now marked it's attendance. A visit to service center is due this weekend. Reached back home by 6 PM. It was raining in Delhi and pollution levels were surprisingly low.

Overall experience: 5/5. In case anyone plans for the trek, please put in a few weeks of physical conditioning as a prep.

Do I recommend this trek: Yes, especially if you are looking to stay away from more popular (crowded) treks and love lush green forests. Snow loving trekkers can head elsewhere as the trek will be closed after a short while from now. There is no such official closure but administration has asked TRH to be closed after 15th Nov and you will find no support throughout.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

One parting shot from Patal Lok
Trek to Pindari Glacier-20201118_211358.jpg

Last edited by ast.ggn : 20th November 2020 at 16:39.
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Old 19th November 2020, 21:02   #9
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Adding few pics shared by Harish as an afterthought - Pindari river origin below glacier, Babaji cottage 1 km before Zero point, his own homestay and store in winters. Last pics is snow blocking Dhakuri TRH in winters. (Pics are shared with his permission).

Trek to Pindari Glacier-20200627_135910.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-img_20191007_100647.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-img20200109071732.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-img20200110073752.jpg

Trek to Pindari Glacier-img20200223154820.jpg

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Old 21st November 2020, 07:28   #10
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing the lovely travelogue ast.ggn!
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Old 21st November 2020, 11:21   #11
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Excellent travelogue, thanks for sharing. Iím planning to go on a trek in the Himalayas in February, but Iíll do it with a trekking organisation. Not adventurous enough to do solo treks yet.

A word of advice to anyone who reads this one: As ast.ggn noted, do not attempt this without proper training. Itís recommended to be able to run 5km in 30-40 mins along with a 2-month strength training stint before you go on a trek in the Himalayas.

Lots of people attempt these treks without training, but it can be very dangerous. Illnesses like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can take you from feeling ďout of breathĒ to heaven very fast.

I donít mean to discourage anyone from trekking, but think of it this way: Just as youíd service your bike or car before taking it on long drives, maintain and service your body before attempting treks.
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Old 21st November 2020, 11:22   #12
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The pictures and write-up are fantastic. Sorry to hear that the bike was crashed into whilst you were up in the mountains. I recently had to park mine in Sankri for 4 days while trekking and that's what I was most worried about.

I couldn't quite make out from the posts, but did you stay in resthouses every night or did you also camp?

(I live in Delhi and love going riding and trekking. If you plan a trip like this again and want company, please hit me up. I'll gladly go along!)
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Old 21st November 2020, 12:14   #13
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Originally Posted by karanddd View Post
The pictures and write-up are fantastic. Sorry to hear that the bike was crashed into whilst you were up in the mountains. I recently had to park mine in Sankri for 4 days while trekking and that's what I was most worried about.

I couldn't quite make out from the posts, but did you stay in resthouses every night or did you also camp?

(I live in Delhi and love going riding and trekking. If you plan a trip like this again and want company, please hit me up. I'll gladly go along!)
Thanks Karanddd. Yes, parking the bike for so many days is definitely a worry. Since parking was immediately by the side of Harish's homestay, I was bit relaxed that his father would take care. It was my stupidity towards the end that I listened to him and parked on road.

I am not sure how are the parking arrangements towards Sankri, do share your experience please, it will be helpful. It is a starting point for lot of treks.

My plan was to camp but Harish confirmed that resthouses are available so camping idea was dropped.

Will definitely let you know if I plan something like this in future, it would be good to have some company. I am not a big group kind of person and would never trek with commercial organisations (taking 15-16 people in a lot) but 1or 2 like minded folks are always welcome to join.
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Old 21st November 2020, 13:21   #14
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Originally Posted by ast.ggn View Post
[b][u]Day 1:

Between Binsar and Bageshwar you will find a lot of hills which have caught fire and are now charred black. It was kind of weird sight.
Attachment 2081407
It is done on purpose by forest officials. It is the most essential step to stop the spread of natural wildfires. It works as a barrier.
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Old 21st November 2020, 17:18   #15
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Very nice Travelogue! Your photos were excellent - difficult to believe they were taken using a mobile phone.

Your description of the Trek makes me feel I should go back and complete the Pindari Trek sometime. The first time I read about this route was in the book 'Ascent of the Nanda Devi' by Tillman. It looks like 100 years later, the route hasn't changed much from Khati to Zero Point!

I tried to do the Pindari Trek over 20 years ago with my family - my younger son was only 7 years old at that time. The trek was a lovely experience for our children, who in fact, walked much better than us! We climbed up to Dhakuri quite easily, but it rained heavily just below the Dhakuri Top and we were completely drenched. Upon reaching the Dhakuri TRH, we realised how poorly equipped we were to do the remaining part of the trek (it was too cold and we did not have enough warm clothing) and decided to return. The TRH guys were motivating us to continue to walk, because we had done the difficult part and the rest of the trail they said was relatively easy!

All along, the hill people were so nice to us (seeing a family with kids).

It looks like the 'easy' trail beyond Khati seems to have replaced by a much more difficult route, based on your description!

Next morning, the view from Dhakuri Top was the best view of Snow Peaks that I have ever seen in my life. The rain had washed the skies clear, and we saw miles and miles of peaks stretched over the horizon. The peaks were so close, one could see a lot of detail with a pair of binoculars. We could have spent an entire day there gazing at the peaks.

Having done the trek before via Dhakuri, did you miss the views from the top this time?

It was a seven day trek from Bageshwar then - what is the normal duration of the trek now?
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