Kalindi Pass Trek

Quick Facts

Custom Departure | 17 Days

Price on Request

Highest Altitude: 5500 M

Difficulty: ChallengingOur most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Group Size: 8-16 persons

Bordering Tibet, the region of Garhwal in Uttarakhand, is most famous for the holy sites including the source of India’s most sacred Ganges River which each year receive thousands of pilgrims. Located at the very centre of the great Himalayan chain Garhwal has a host of 7,000 metre peaks such as Nanda Devi, Kamet and Trishul, and sub 7,000 metre expedition peaks such as the stunning Shivling, and this makes the region a Mecca for mountaineers also. Connecting the two holy shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath, this trail traverses from one glacier to the other to cross the high pass of Kalindi just under 6000m.

We begin by following the ages-old ‘Pilgrim’s Trail’ to the source of the mighty Ganges at Gaumukh, and from here we journey into the mountainous heart of Garhwal. We establish a succession of alpine meadow and lakeside camps, with magical views of some of India’s biggest peaks including Shivling, undeniably one of the most beautiful peaks in the Himalayas. Beyond Nandanvan, we climb onto the Chaturangi Glacier and for the next 4 days our route is either on or beside this river of ice as we approach the Kalindi Khal (5947m.).

The walk now is mostly over the moraines and the snow fields with deep crevasses and gives great opportunities to view the high altitude wildlife. From our highest camp, the short and yet exciting climb to this glaciated pass involves the use of ice axe and crampons. We enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains before descending to the beautiful Arwa lake. We follow the Arwa Valley to its junction with the Saraswati River and make our return to civilisation through the villages of Ghastoli and Mana. Walking at an average altitude of 4500m for about 10 days and sleeping at freezing temperatures this trip is a lot more than a trek.

Only for experienced trekkers!

DAYS 1-4

  • Day 1: Delhi – Haridwar

Board the train to Haridwar.

  • Day 2: Haridwar – Kuflon

Arrive at Haridwar railway station at 3:55 am. Board the waiting vehicles to be driven 7 hrs to Uttarkashi, overnight at Kuflon Basics.

  • Day 3: Drive Uttarkashi to Gangotri (3000 M)

After a relaxed breakfast drive 4-5 hrs to the pilgrim town of Gangotri. With the new dam coming up on the Bhagirathi valley expect lots of construction activity. The drive gets picturesque as one approaches the village of Sukhi. Closer to reaching Gangotri one starts getting the views of the snow-capped peaks.

  • Day 4: Trek Gangotri to Chirbasa (3600 M)

Visit the temple and the start the 4 hr walk up towards Gaumukh, the source of the river Ganges. The trail keeps following the river and and just short of Chirbasa one gets the first views of the Bhagirathi Peaks. Chirbasa (3600m), literally meaning the home of pine is now a cluster of shops and some pine trees. Walk down from the main trail and setup camp close to the river.

DAYS 5-8

  • Day 5: Trek Chirbasa to Gaumukh (4000 M)

The trail goes along the valley and crosses the campsite of Bhojbasa(3800m), home of birch (now only a few left in the much denuded area). We carry on further to camp close to the snout of the Gangotri Glacier.

  • Day 6: An extra day for acclimatisation

We spend a day in Gaumukh for acclimatisation.

  • Day 7: Trek Gaumukh – Nandanvan (4505 M)

We walk up to the meadow of Nandanvan at the base of Bhagirathi group of peaks. The camp offers majestic views of Shivling – the Matterhorn of the Himalayas. Meru, Kharchakund & Kedar Dome would be the other peaks in proximity.

  • Day 8: Trek Nandanvan – Vasukital (4900 M)

Walk along a stream with views of Meru and Bhrigupanth. After 5kms, we bypass the outlet of the valley leading towards Bhagirathi and come to a deep gorge eroded by the glacier. Descend diagonally towards the snout of the lateral glacier to reach Vasukital. Camp near the lake at the foot of the North-west ridge of Vasuki Parbat.

DAYS 9-12

  • Day 9: Rest day at Vasukital 

A day to rest & recuperate. It helps us acclimatise and get ready for crossing the high pass.

  • Day 10: Trek Vasukital to Kharapathar (5115 M)

This days walk is over stony rubble and crossing moraines. We cross the glacier coming down from Satopanth, gaining height steadily. The path descends steeply to Suralaya Bamak from where we walk on undulating glacial moraine to camp at the place known as Kharapattar, where there is a huge standing rock. Camp.

  • Day 11: Trek Kharapathar to Sweta Glacier (5500 M)

Today’s walk is fairly tough glacier walk going over mounds of moraine debris. We pass small transient lakes in the glacier and again there are great views of the peaks of Sweta, and Chandra Parvat. Our camp is located just before the junction of the Sweta Bamak which joins the Chaturangi Bamak (glacier bank) from the SE. The campsite is fairly rocky and may need clearing to be done to pitch the tents. Overnight Camp.

  • Day 12: Trek Sweta Glacier to Kalindi Pass Base

We continue through similar terrain as yesterday with more moraine rubble and glacial ice but with the most spectacular scenery as we are right in between the big mountains.
We can see Kalindi Pass from our campsite.

DAYS 13-17

  • Day 13: Trek Kalindi Pass Base camp to Rajparav (4910 M)

We make an early start for the climb to the Kalindi pass at 5967m. The trail is on the glacier which is crevassed in places and depending on snow conditions it may be necessary for everyone to rope up. We may also have to negotiate a bergschrund before a final steep slope of approximately 30 metres. After spending some time taking in the breathtaking scenery of snow capped peaks, we begin a steep descent towards the plateau to the east of the pass. We might use fixed ropes for overall group safety. Eventually we cross the permanent snow line and continue the descend to a very pleasant camp by a stream at Rajparav.

  • Day 14: Trek Rajparav – Arwatal (3900 M)

We follow an undulating trail along the glacier negotiating the now familiar rubble and boulders for the first hour of the day until we reach the glacier’s snout. We now follow the Saraswati river, which may necessitate the occasional fording of its icy waters, to arrive at our overnight camp at Arwa Tal (lake). This is a wonderful place with great views of the towering Arwa Spires and other Himalayan peaks. Overnight Camp.

  • Day 15: Trek Arwatal – Ghastoli (3790 M)

Walk down Arwa nalla with its profusion of wild flowers. A leisurely day to camp at the village Ghastoli where our Permits / Passports would be checked.

  • Day 16: Trek Ghastoli – Mana (3135 M) – Badrinath (3100 M)

A short final trekking day of 3 hours, descending on a well defined pony track beside the Saraswati river brings us to the roadhead at the village of Mana. Here the Saraswati River confluences with the Alaknanda River. Mana village is famous for the fact that Maharishi Vyash wrote the Mahabharata here. The village is also well known for its woollen products such as shawls, blankets and carpets. We have lunch here and then drive direct to Badrinath / Joshimath. After many days of camping this first night in a hotel would be very welcome. 3 hours walk, 53km drive.

  • Day 17: Badrinath – Haridwar (1330 M)

Visit the temple of Badrinath(3100m) and drive 10-12 hrs to Haridwar. Board the overnight Mussoorie Express leaving Haridwar at 11:15 pm to arrive in Delhi by 7:20 am.

Inclusions:
  • Travel from Delhi and back by road / rail (by non-AC / 2 or 3 tier AC coach)
  • All arrangements for staying and camping while on trip
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in tents / hotel
  • All meals as mentioned in itinerary & safe drinking water
  • All trip arrangements with India’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff and cooks
  • Common trekking equipment
  • Peak fee / sanctuary fee / royalty / permits where applicable
Exclusions:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flights not included in the above-mentioned cost
  • Any transfers or meals outside of itinerary
  • Bottled water
  • Items of personal clothing
  • Expenses of any personal nature (laundry / phone calls / alcohol / cigarettes / insurance / camera fee / etc.)
  • Any expense incurred due to force of nature such as landslides, bad weather or reasons beyond our control
  • Tips & gratuities (we recommend 5-10% of your trip cost- to be distributed among the team) – personal choice
  • Travel & cancellation insurance

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