Kashmir Great Lakes in late November

#1 Aug 13th, 2014, 11:25
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  • biggbird is offline
#1
Hi All,

Have tried the search function but not come up with anything in particular regarding my questions, so will give it a shot here.

My partner and I (she's indian by birth) are going to be spending this November in India and are keen to do some trekking. The first couple of weeks will be taken up with visiting family, but we have around two weeks to spare after this, and I'm keen to do the Kashmir Great Lakes.

We're reasonably experienced bushwalkers from Tasmania, and regularly do overnight walks, camping, scrambling etc, so are reasonably well set up for gear and are comfortable carrying all of our own stuff for 10+ days. We also had the chance to spend a couple of weeks in the Khumbu a couple of years ago, though only made it to Gokyo and not across to EBC on account of me slipping and hitting my head (an hour out of Lukla, on the first day... That'll teach me to pay attention to the track and not the mountains!). So we've spent a little bit of time at highish altitude too, and that was in December/January.

With this in mind, what I can seem to find recommends that we would be better off trying to do this trek earlier in the year, but I'm just wanting to get an idea of whether this is a recommendation only as a result of better weather etc, or whether we will actually have difficulty completing the trek as a result of weather conditions, snow etc. Neither of us have previously used ice axes or crampons, for what it's worth. So, my questions are:

1. Is it possible to do the Kashmir Great Lakes in late November?

2. If so, would it be reasonable for two relatively experienced people to do this without a guide? (We're not really interested in porters, cooks, ponies etc, just a guide if necessary)

3. Would we be likely to require extra equipment (crampons, ice axes, rope etc) for the pass crossings? As far as I'm aware, Gadsar pass is around 4900m and the highest point on the trip.

Thanks for reading, will look forward to any help you can give!

Cheers,

Alex
#2 Aug 16th, 2014, 23:13
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  • torontomm is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggbird View Post Hi All,

2. If so, would it be reasonable for two relatively experienced people to do this without a guide? (We're not really interested in porters, cooks, ponies etc, just a guide if necessary)

Alex

Alex, Kashmir in India is a politically sensitive region with a large military presence due to security concerns and since you have not asked any security related questions I have a feeling that you may not be fully aware of the travel risks in Kashmir specially for foreign tourists.

I am not trying to alarm you but I would advise against doing this Kashmir trek all alone, without a local guide.

Here is a related old thread and I think still very much relevant:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/jammu...shmir-t199549/
#3 Aug 20th, 2014, 18:39
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  • biggbird is offline
#3
Hi torontomm,

Thanks for the reply! I realise now that perhaps I should have commented on the security situation, but I assure you that I have previously read that thread, plus a number of others on this forum and others regarding the situation in Kashmir. I understand that we would be taking a risk, but am happy that it's a reasonably small one. If it helps, my partner was actually born in Rajasthan and speaks passable Hindi and Urdu, which I'm hoping will make things slightly easier.

With that said, if people recommend a guide as the best way to do this trek at the time we want to go, then I'd be happy to take one, but if we're able to do it ourselves, I'd prefer that.

For the record, This is fairly similar to the itinerary we would likely have:

http://www.indiahikes.in/himalayan-t...at-lakes-trek/
#4 Aug 21st, 2014, 08:16
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  • torontomm is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggbird View Post I understand that we would be taking a risk, but am happy that it's a reasonably small one. If it helps, my partner was actually born in Rajasthan and speaks passable Hindi and Urdu, which I'm hoping will make things slightly easier.

With that said, if people recommend a guide as the best way to do this trek at the time we want to go, then I'd be happy to take one, but if we're able to do it ourselves, I'd prefer that.
Hi Alex, I am glad that you have done some research on Kashmir and you are aware of the travel risks in Kashmir and I think as long as you are careful and upto date on current news in the Kashmir valley you should be fine.

Also your girlfriend's knowledge of Urdu should help and you can try doing this Kashmir Great Lakes trek without a guide as your girlfriend will be able to talk to the local people and get any information that you might require during your trek.

Good Luck and keep us posted

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