5 Days in Snow - A travelogue on Kuari Pass Winter trek

#1 Feb 13th, 2018, 16:57
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  • aneek is offline
#1
Dedicated
To the Community.

December 13th, 2017, Afternoon
A call came from Trishit, to see a Facebook #QuickUpdate.
Quote:
The weather has turned overnight in the mountains! Two batches couldn't complete the trek, but all upcoming treks will run as scheduled.
Detailed report: It rained continuously from Monday night until Tuesday afternoon. On the higher reaches, it snowed continuously! And today, the weather is back to being sunny! Good news is that all our winter treks have snow!
Now the bad news.
Kuari Pass trekkers had to return to the basecamp because there has been a lot of snow accumulation blocking the route. Some trekkers chose to do a one day trek from Auli and return. But all of them were thrilled to be a part of a snow-storm adventure!
Does this mean we have to cancel the much waited Winter trek in Kuari Pass? Does this mean we have to return all the newly bought items to Decathlon? Does this mean we have to cancel all bookings and wait another one year? - No.. We wouldn't.

In this thread, I will try my best to portray the experiences we had in the whole trip.


When The Sky Is Playing With Colors by Debobrata Sinha
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
#2 Feb 20th, 2018, 21:37
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  • mridula is offline
#2
The landscape looks magical!
#3 Yesterday, 22:56
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#3

The Planning

For almost one year we selected various trekking routes within Uttarakhand and finally finalised 'Kuari Pass'. Ultimately, our first winter trek was a great success.

Without the help and assistance from IndiaMike it would have been a failure I am sure. Thanks to everyone and special thanks to: Dilliwala Ji, RahulDeva, Somnath da, kmalik, Trishit and Debobrata.

Before penning down our experience, I'd like to write the facts about this trip.

Itinerary
  1. Day 1 (15/12/2017 Friday) - Catch flight from Kolkata Airport and reach Delhi. From Delhi catch cab and start for Haridwar.
  2. Day 2 (16/12/2017 Saturday) - Reach Haridwar early morning and book a shared/full TATA sumo and reach Joshimath. Night halt at Joshimath.
  3. Day 3 (17/12/2017 Sunday) - Early start from Joshimath and reach Dhak village to start trek. Reach Gulling and night stay.
  4. Day 4 (18/12/2017 Monday) - Early start from Gulling to Khullara. Reach Khullara and night stay.
  5. Day 5 (19/12/2017 Tuesday) - Khullara to Kuari Pass and Back to Khullara. Night halt at Khullara.
  6. Day 6 (20/12/2017 Wednesday) - Khullara to Akhrot (A camping ground with Walnut trees) and night stay at Akhrot.
  7. Day 7 (21/12/2017 Thursday) - Akhrot to Dhak and to Joshimath. Night stay at Joshimath.
  8. Day 8 (22/12/2017 Friday) - Joshimath to Haridwar. Night stay at Haridwar.
  9. Day 9 (23/12/2017 Saturday) - Haridwar sightseeing, catch late night train and reach New Delhi.
  10. Day 10 (24/12/2017 Sunday) - Catch Train from New Delhi towards Howrah (12304/Poorva Express (via Patna)).
  11. Day 11 (25/12/2017 Monday) - Reach Howrah. END of Trip.

Guide Details
  1. Dinesh Bisht (+91-8958084282) - According to IndiaMike and different other forums/blogs he is supposed to be the best guide in that region. The rate is on higher side. He quoted Rs. 9500 per person with mules for carrying the sacks.
  2. Sohan Singh Bisht (+91-8954716089/+91-9410365281/+91-8126742291) - Another guide in the region with rate Rs. 9000 per person. Sacks have to be carried by the trekker.
  3. Mohan Singh/Ballu Singh (+91-7060778876) - We did not get in touch with him. But he is also an option to consider.
  4. Chandar Negi (+91-7351146811) - We choose Chandar as he offered the cheapest rate. However, I would suggest not to take this guide as he has a tendency to refuse what he promised during the initial booking.

Transportation Details
  1. Kolkata to Delhi - Indigo 6E-224.
  2. Delhi to Haridwar - MakeMyTrip Cab Service (2 sedans were booked)
  3. Haridwar to Joshimath - Hired TATA sumo from "Tata Sumo Union Office" (+91-9761440107). Cost Rs. 5580/-
  4. Joshimath to Haridwar - Hired a local driver (+91-9917439871). Cost Rs. 5000/-
  5. Haridwar to Delhi - Nanda Devi Express (12206/Nanda Devi AC Express)
  6. Delhi to Howrah - Poorva Express via Patna.

Hotels and Stays
  1. Joshimath: Arranged by the guide (Birla Guest House).
  2. Haridwar: Bholagiri Ashram (01334 223 376)
  3. Delhi: Hotel in Paharganj (Booked on spot). Not recommended, worst hotels in Delhi.
#4 Yesterday, 22:59
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  • mridula is offline
#4
Say Hi to Sohan ji when you meet him next. We trekked with him first in 2006 and my husband still treks with him.
#5 Yesterday, 23:04
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  • aneek is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mridula View Post Say Hi to Sohan ji when you meet him next. We trekked with him first in 2006 and my husband still treks with him.
Sure we will
#6 Today, 00:04
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  • aneek is offline
#6

The Shopping - Necessary items for Winter Trek

Shopping was a big part of this trek as no one was prepared for a winter trek. So we followed again IndiaMike and various other blogs to make a list of items.

I still remember the day, when seven of us almost bought the whole Decathlon shop . At the counter they were asking us if we are going to EBC?

I believe, these lists (gears and medicines) would help non-experienced winter trekkers.

Trekking Gears
  1. Rucksack (50 - 60 ltr.) With Waterproof cover is recommended. - We have one each.
  2. Day bagpack (Needed to carry water bottle and essentials) - Required if the sacks are carried by mules. (https://www.decathlon.in/p/8331382_a...tml#/180-235-_)
  3. Sleeping Bag - Recommendation is to take your own. In our case, the guide provided it.
  4. Tent - Personal choice again. Our guide arranged tents for us.
  5. Trekking shoes - Forclaz 500
  6. Trekking pole - https://www.decathlon.in/2569-hiking-poles
  7. Head LED light - MUST (https://www.decathlon.in/10033-lighting-and-accessories) Carry 2 extra battery sets.
  8. Poncho (for rain) https://www.decathlon.in/p/8084715_a...191-407-unique

Winter/Cold Protection
  1. Men's Vest/Half sleeve round neck vest
  2. Full sleeve collared t-shirts
  3. Two body warmers
  4. One full neck fleece jacket (https://www.decathlon.in/2514-pullovers-fleeces)
  5. Down Jacket - https://www.decathlon.in/2517-downjackets
  6. Wind Cheater - https://www.decathlon.in/p/8398767_r....html#/9-200-s
  7. Undergarments (Acts as the first layer) (as per need - at least 1 set per day)
  8. Two body warmer pants (Acts as second layer)
  9. Three pairs of Trek pants (Acts as third layer)
  10. Wind Cheater pant (if available) (Recommended as this is very helpful in windy weather).
  11. Pyjamas, daily wearable pants and shirts (for night sleeping)
  12. Cotton Socks (as per need)
  13. Woollen Socks (2 pc.)
  14. One woollen monkey cap/balaclava (should cover ears) (https://www.decathlon.in/p/8040878_w...3588-407-adult)
  15. One sun-cap/head scarf (https://www.decathlon.in/p/8383423_w..._size_fits_all)
  16. Woollen gloves & Wind proof gloves (if water proof then better) https://www.decathlon.in/524-sport-scarves-and-gloves
  17. Camp sandal (only for Camps)
  18. Sunglasses
  19. Personal towel
  20. Two Water Bottles / Hydration pack (https://www.decathlon.in/3477-bottles-and-flask)
  21. Snow Gaiter (https://www.decathlon.in/p/8347880_q...l#/216-200-s_m)
  22. Chap stick/lip balm
  23. Cold cream
  24. SPF 40+ sun screen

Toiletries
  1. Tooth brush and tooth paste
  2. Soap/Soap strip
  3. Hand sanitiser
  4. Tissue roll (Toilet paper)
  5. Anti-Fungal Powder (CANDID 50GM POWDER) (Optional) - Best for socks and oders.
  6. Deodorant (as per need)
  7. Wet tissue (as per need)

Medicine Kit
  1. Coca 30
  2. Crocin 6 tablets (fever) (or similler) https://www.1mg.com/otc/crocin-650mg-tablet-otc90532
  3. Avomine 4 tablets (motion sickness) https://www.1mg.com/drugs/avomine-25mg-tablet-28784
  4. Avil 25mg 4 tablets (allergies) https://www.1mg.com/drugs/avil-25mg-tablet-69629
  5. Combiflam 4 tablets (Pain killer) https://www.1mg.com/drugs/combiflam-tablet-335149
  6. Disprin 6 tablets (headache) https://www.1mg.com/drugs/disprin-tablet-173979
  7. Norflox TZ & Lomofen 6 tablets each (diarrhea) https://www.1mg.com/drugs/norflox-tz-tablet-65672 & https://www.1mg.com/drugs/lomofen-tablet-269464
  8. Digene - 10 tablets (acidity) https://www.1mg.com/otc/digene-tablet-orange-otc133187
  9. Omez/ Rantadine 10 tablets (antacids) https://www.1mg.com/drugs/rantac-300mg-tablet-328378
  10. Crepe bandage 3 to 5 meters
  11. Gauze - 1 small roll
  12. Band aid 10 strips
  13. Cotton 1 small roll
  14. ORS 10 packets
  15. Neosporin Powder/Cream or T-Bact
  16. Volini spray (aches, & sprains)

Most Important
  1. 5-6 plastic bags to keep used cloths.
  2. Garbage bag - For keeping garbage throughout the trek. Disposal at the end of the trek.
  3. ZipLock bags - Storing unused food items.
#7 Today, 01:12
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  • Rajarshi2016 is offline
#7
Hooked. Absolutely riveting. Hope you give us an indication of the "shopping" cost later in your TR.
#8 Today, 01:25
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  • aneek is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajarshi2016 View Post Hooked. Absolutely riveting. Hope you give us an indication of the "shopping" cost later in your TR.

For the "shopping" - I had most items so it was ~9K for me (Down Jacket, Gaiters, bottles etc.). If you are buying most of the necessary items then cost would be ~ 18-19K.

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