Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kuari Pass Trek- Not All That Wander Are Lost!!!

The dream of going to Kuari Pass finally took shape when me and my trekking partner, Dr. Anil Agarwal agreed to do Kuari Pass over a pint of beer in DLF city club Gurgaon. Kuari Pass also known as Lord Curzon's trail is a beautiful trek in the Nanda Devi sanctuary The trek passes through alpine meadows and crosses several major streams. It will not be an exaggeration when I say that the view from Kuari pass can be described as one of the best in the Himalayas.  Kuari Pas trek offers beautiful views of Trisul (7,120m), Hathi Ghoda Peak, Kamet (7,756m) and  Nanda Devi (7,817m) which is the second highest mountain in India. After a weeks of preparation we started for this beautiful hill station called Auli, from where this trek starts. 

Delhi to Auli is 500 Kms by road. 

How to reach Auli from Delhi-  

We broke our journey at Srinagar(Uttrakhand), which is around 100 Kms ahead of Rishikesh. Next day we started early and reached Auli by afternoon. Auli is a popular ski destination in India and is at an altitude of around 2700mts above sea level.

View From Auli

Another Religon Of India

In India you can find people playing cricket in any place possible. Here you see them playing at an altitude of close to 3000 mts. 

Dr Anil at a Temple on the way to Gorson Meadows

DAY-1 - We started a bit late in the morning with our guide Vicky and our two porters because day one was an easy walk of around 5-6 Kms to Gorson Meadows. 

View From Gorson Meadows


DAY-2 - As you can yourself see the beauty of the place that I don't have to write much about it but still the place was breathtakingly beautiful. 

Early Morning At Gorson Meadows

Views From Gorson 

Gorson Village

The walks around the village while it was raining were beautiful. These huts that you see are of Shepard's who come here with there sheep and mountain goats when the Grass Is Green!!!

To Gorson Peak

The peak that you see on the extreme left of the above photo is Gorson peak. The idea was to cross the peak before 2.00 pm because it usually gets cloudy and starts raining. 

Lammergeier or The Bearded Vulture

There's a lot of wild life that you encounter throughout your trek. While on our way to Gorson Peak, we spotted this might bird of prey, Lammergeier also known as the Bearded Vulture. It is a huge bird with wingspan between 7 to 9ft. It was a delightful sighting. 

Lammergeier In Flight


No, its not a Rat as you might be thinking. It's PIKA. He belongs to the family of Rabbits and Hares. Pika is a beautiful small mammal and is native to cold climates. 

Right On The Edge- Gorson Peak With Vicky, Our Guide 

The moment that you see in the picture above is one of those moments which you want to relive again and again. While sitting on the edge I recalled what Jonathan Waterman, a climber, photographer and a writer once said 

" bringing myself over the edge and back, I discovered a passion to live my days fully, a conviction that will sustain me like sweet water on the periodically barren plain of our short lives." 

The final climb to Gorson peak is a bit hard but it's worth every drop of sweat. The views from the Gorson peak are just awesome. It feels as if you are sitting in our own private place in Heavens and looking down at mother earth.  Some of the peaks visible from Gorson peak are Nilkanth (6596m), Narayan Parbat (5965m), Mana peak (7272m), Kamet (7756m), Abi Gamin (7355m), Nilgiri Parbat (6474m), Rataban (6166m), Hathi Gora Peak (6727m) and Dronagiri (7066m).

After Gorson there's a sudden descend and in no time you are in a thick forest. After clearing the forest line, we pitched our tents in Talli. It was a tough day and after early dinner and bonfire, we were off to sleep in our sleeping bags. 

View Of Hathi Ghoda Peak From The Tent

DAY-3 - I was sitting and praising the beauty of the place when Dr. Anil took this shot. Once you wake up to these views, it's very difficult to wake up to an alarm clock at home!!

Hathi Ghoda Peak 

Crossing A Ridge To Reach Khullara

Camp at Khullara

After walking the whole day we reached Khullara. It's a beautiful campsite. As soon as we reached and pitched our tents, it started to rain. But after some time the rain stopped and we started to search for dry firewood. By the time we collected the firewood, it was almost dark. Food was served and we tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags. 

View Of Valley From Kuari Pass

Day-4 - We started early morning for Kuari Pass which was a short climb from Khullara. The above photo shows the other side of the valley from Kuari Pass. There were clouds all around and it was extremely windy. 

The rest of the day was spent exploring the place around Kuari Pass and  Pangarchulla Peak. As the day progressed, the clouds gave way to mighty views of the snow clad Himalayas.

The our tents pitched at Khullara and the white lines seen are sheep and mountain goats.

Dr Anil enjoying The Argumentative Indian in the evening. 

Day 5-  This was the last day of the trek. We started early after the breakfast as it was a long walk but mostly downhill. We enjoyed every bit of it. We walked the whole day and reached Tapovan in the evening where our jeep was waiting to take us back to Auli.  Kuari Pass is an easy trek. I will recommend it to anyone who loves to walk and is reasonably fit. 

Trekking Company Used- I must say that I must have been in some kind of  luck when I contacted Vivek Kumar aka VICKY. He owns a adventure company in Auli  and is a local. He is a professional Skier and a Snow Boarder. He has represented India in various Countries. He accompanied us on the trip and knows every nook and corner of the area. Everything was perfect from day 1. I would strongly recommend him. He has also made few cottages in Auli which are at a beautiful location. 
Contact - XRA (Xtreme Real Adventures)  Mobile no - +91 9412018299, +91 8126965636For Cottages-

On way to Tapovan from Khullara