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Trekking

Overview

Trekking has been in our genes since childhood, our ancestors used to trek in order to travel from one place to another for trade purpose or for relocation. What currently is considered as adventurous experience/expedition was a necessity for our ancestors. So, In general, trekking involves a fair amount of walking through a rough or smooth terrain that totally depends upon the type of trek you choose. For some, it is a rush of adrenaline while for others it is a form of meditation that captivates them to indulge in this ancient art of discovery. India alone is home to a galore of terrains that offer uniquely divine experiences in the form of discovery on feet. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a young enthusiast looking forward to getting lost in valleys, India is a host to one and all.

Trekking gives you an opportunity to experience the nature from up close and explore the various geographical diversities of India. Generally, trekkers look to explore different trekking locations to find out new spots for themselves and others trekker.

As said, “The best view comes after the hardest climb”- unknown source

Season

Seasons for trekking in India

Unlike every other adventure sport which is moderated by weather conditions, trekking has no such reservations. The evergreen sport can accommodate your whims throughout the year, in rain or shine. Discover which temperature quenches your appetite for your version of a quintessential trekking experience.

Location

Well, hiking and trekking can be done almost anywhere off-road, there are two major geographical land formations where trekking becomes a memorable experience.

The plethora of trekking destinations is also imbibed with the local culture of the people and society belonging to the region. From hospitable villagers to immersive traditions, trekking can prove to be a time capsule to bygone eras.

Various trekking expeditions which begin from the Himalayas intertwine their way to the topographies down to the Deccan Plateau and further beyond. Here are a few of the locations best known for an impeccable experience. 

Himalaya

Glacier melting, rivers originating, lake formations, high altitude mountains, deep gorges, and valleys ensure breathtaking scenery. These are the primary reasons why trekking in the Himalayas is becoming customary. Chandrasheel, Nagtibba, peaks around Kasol and Mcleodganj are not so difficult short 2-4 day treks. Suryatop, Kuari Pass, Gangotri, Hampta Pass, Chandrataaland peaks in and around spiti are week-long treks. For those who want to up a notch and want to test their limits, here a few treks we recommend.

(1) Stok Kangri

Stok Kangri trek is a thrilling and adventurous trek. The ultimate destination of the trek is Stok Kangri peak. Stok Kangri peak is 6000mts above the ground level. Only if you are an experienced person in high altitude trekking and get well acclimatized then only it is recommended to explore the Stok Kangri peak. This trek is for those professionals who want to take their potentials to the next level. This trek takes 4 to 5 days to arrive at the peak. You may have a chance to meet some beautiful creatures like Blue Sheep or Bharal, Himalayan Marmots, Pikas,  Chukar (symbol of love), Alpine Chough and Yaks during Stok Kangri expedition. The trek not only is about reaching the peak but also about the mesmerizing view of the Karakorum Range.

(2)The Frozen River – Chadar Trek

During the winter months in Ladakh when all the route to reach the Zanskar valley is covered by snow only way to reach the Zanskar valley is by the frozen river. In January and February when the temperature drops to -30c to -35c which turns the river into the mesmerizing crystal lake. The river freezes into sheets of ice in winter making a route for trekking. The only way to enter the Zanskar valley during winters is by Zanskarriver. If you are an ardent adventure enthusiast and are willing to experience the harshness of the severe climatic condition, well this trek is perfect for you. During this trek, porters play an essential role by carrying your trekking gear and other necessary stuff. The trek covers a distance of 15-16 km every day. It is a tough trek because the terrain is made up of ice upon which you will walk. You might step on the broken ice platform. The cracked ice sheet might pull you into the river. Once you get wet, you will never get dried.

(3) Miyar Valley

Miyar Valley is located in seclusion in-between the PirPanjal and Zanskar ranges. Known as the “Valley of Flowers” and especially noteworthy for the beautiful blue poppy flowers during the peak season, Miyar Valley is a treat for solo climbers and travelers from across the globe. The Valley offers climbing experiences par excellence – untouched and unparallel!

(4) Sar Pass

After crossing Padri, you can either camp in Ratapani or (if the area is inaccessible due to snow) in Min Thatch. This is also one of the toughest trek-stretch. Continue trekking onwards to Nagaru. This place receives good snowfall and is prone to blizzards. Further trek takes you to Beskeri and Bandhak Thatch. Bandhak Thatch is a beautiful alpine spot, with snow clad mountains and lush green meadows. The trek commences at Barshani, from where buses to Manikaran and further to Kasol are available.

Western Ghats

Western Ghats refer to the approximately 1600 km long stretch of mountains that runs along the Western coast of India and covers the states of Gujarat to Tamil Nadu. Beginning from Tapti River in Gujarat and already a declared UNESCO heritage site, this range encompasses the Cardamom, Nilgiri, Annamalai and Sahyadri mountain ranges. The Ghats here are globally famed for the unique bio-diversity and are home to dozens of endangered species. Anamudi in Kerala is the highest peak at a height of 2695 feet. Famous waterfalls like the Jog falls (Karnataka), Dudhsagar (Goa), Sathodi (Karnataka) among others are located here and rivers like Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and Tungbhadra line the Ghats.

MalshejGhat is a fascinating place for monsoon travelers and climbers. The place is full of ideal climbing places and old ruins. You must check out Kalsubai, Harishchandragad, Bhairavgad and Ratangad which are beautiful during and post monsoons. Lush green covers and the rich flora of the area add to the thrilling experience of climbing and the place is seen teeming with tourist and climbers during the peak seasons.

Unlike Northern Mountains which lose the accessibility in winters and snowfalls, Western Ghats are accessible throughout the year even during rainfall months. This is also one of the reasons why tourists and climbers throng this area in search of lifetime experiences.

Sport

Trekking

(1) Easy:

Generally, a trek which has a small stretch of terrain to be walked and even a beginner can join is considered as an easy trek. An easy trek has low steep slopes, fewer gravels, no river crossing, favorable climatic conditions, fewer challenges, etc. This type of trek covers only 4- 7 km per day. Most of the time an easy trek is a one day trek. Some of the treks which beginners can try are:-

Lohagad Fort (Maharashtra)

Kalsubai peak (Maharashtra)

Trek to Beaskund (Manali)

Prashar Lake Trek (Himachal)

Nag Tibba (Himalayas)

(2) Moderate:

A trek is graded as a medium when it requires little strength, efforts, stamina on the part of the practitioners. A moderate trek might also contain climatic conditions, high altitudes, less oxygen in the air, etc. Here distance covered is 9 to 13 km per day. Moderate trek might stretch for a couple of days. Beginners can step ahead increasing their ability for trekking to some of these beautiful treks:-

Markha Valley trek (Ladakh)

Kuari Tapovan trek (Uttarakhand)

Valley of Flowers (Uttarakhand)

Hampta Pass (Manali)

(3) Difficult:

A hard trek tests the ability of participant. A hard trek tests stamina, strength, willpower, patience of the enthusiasts. An enthusiast has to deal with many difficulties during the strenuous trek. He/She might face steep slopes, rocky terrain, river crossing, etc. Climatic conditions become harsh as the altitude of the region increases. Average distance covered while trek is 15 to 17 km per day.

Chadar River – Zanskar Trek (Ladakh)

Rupin pass (Himachal pradesh)

Roopkund (Uttarakhand)

Stok kangri summit (Ladakh, Jammu and kashmir)

Harishchandragad trek (Maharashtra)

Competition & Festival

There are no major Competitions per say happening in trekking because it is a recreational sport. Adventurers seek to explore and experience nature, its grandeur, and beauty via treks.

General Tips

Though a nomadic sport, it still comes with its set of dangers. Hence it’s advisable to exercise caution in the following ways:

Acclimatize

Doesn’t just mean adjusting to the weather and altitude but also pre-emptively to the rigorous exercise of trekking by undergoing routine physical exertion and working out before the journey to avoid muscular discomfort.

Hydrate

Drinking water maintains a steady heart rate which is required to successfully complete any adventure.

Sportswear only

Comfort is key. As much as you are tempted to populate your camera roll with Instagram-able moments, it’s best to travel light and breezy.  

Higher Carb Diet For Energy

Eat sufficiently but not overtly. Energize yourself for it’s a long way to go. Energy consumption will be at its peak especially in areas with low oxygen level, the only way to stay ahead is by making your body a powerhouse of nutrients.

Local guide, if available

It’s best to have someone from the local arena give you guidance on the route, local remedies, and creatures to stay away from. Insights on quicker routes to get to your destination and accessibility to refreshments is best known to dwellers in the region.

Equipments

Different types of gears and preparation are needed for different grades and terrains to make your mountaineering is safer and enjoyable. These things are must have :

Sleeping Bag, Mountaineering Boots, Foldable Sleeping Pad, Extra pair of socks Slippers, Rain Jacket, if trekking during the rainy season, Trek Pants, Sunglasses, Warm Hat, Water Bottles, Torch, First Aid, Snacks, Moisturizers, medicines, if you’ve any medical conditions.

Trekking Courses & Experiences