November 15, 2019

Day 1: Trek from Dhak to Gulling via Tugasi Village

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Trek date during WINTER TREK to PANGARCHULLA PEAK via KUARI PASS: 28th December 2015 (Monday)

Trek distance: Around 6 Kms.

Time taken: Around 3 and half hours.

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Highlights during the trek:

  1. Dhak, Tugasi, Reni, Jugju, Karsun, Tapovan & many villages of Nanda Devi National Park of Chamoli District.
  2. Magnicifent views of Mt. Dronagiri, Hathi & Gori Parvat.
  3. High altitude mountains on both sides of trail.
  4. View of Dhauliganga river.
  5. Snowcapped mountains on both sides of trail.
  6. Himalayan origin trees at camp-site and narrow trails during day trek.
  7. Trekking gyan from our guide Dev Singh and his himalayan trek experiences.
  8. Trek organizer Achintya Kundu’s briefing on his recent himalyan experience of Auden’s Col & Barabhangal trek at camp-fire.

Challenges: Steep ascent during the day from Dhak to Gulling camp-site.

Altitude Meter: Please find altitude details for the day below:

  • Joshimath comes around 1890 Mtr.
  • Trek start point Dhak village comes around 2000 Mtr.
  • Remote Tugasi village comes around 2012 Mtr.

Trekked villages:

  1. Dhak : First village and trek start point during Kuari Pass or Pangarchulla Peak trek if you start trek from Dhak village side. Population of Dhak village is around 150 in numbers.
  2. Tugasi: Village will be be part of 1st day trek if you start from Dhak towards Gulling camp-site. Population of Tugasi village is around 300 in numbers.

Day in brief:

After epic cab journey to Joshimath from Haridwar, 28th December 2015 suppose to be 1st day of our winter trek. As per our guide Dev Sirji’s instructions, we all woke-up around 7:00 AM and freshen-up. Had our breakfast at Hotel New Star Restaurant & Guest House at Upper Bazaar area, Joshimath. As per previous day briefing on the trek, packed our rucksacks as per 5 days need and rest of the things dropped at Joshimath.

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Team sipping early morning tea at Hotel Nanda Devi, Joshimath
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Breakfast at Hotel New Star Restaurant & Guest House  – Upper Bazaar area, Joshimath
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Upper Bazaar area of Joshimath
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All set for trek – Small cab drive of 3 Kms. to trek start point Dhak village

Started towards trek start point Dhak village around 8:30 AM on 2 cabs. It was around 3 Kms. of cab drive took us to Dhak village.

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Small but memorable cab drive to Dhak village
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Selfie time! – Inside the cab too 😛

Reached Dhak village around 8:50 AM and started our trek to first camp-site of the winter trek Gulling at 9:00 AM.

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Dhak village – Trek start point

Breathtaking views around the place is main attraction and it already gave us glimpse of what is in offering for the day! Initial phase is walk on jeep trail from Dhak village later narrow trails all the way till second pit stop. Since our group is more of first timers to himalayas, few of them struggled to hike initial phase in the day due to under preparation before the trek. There were 3 pit stops and Tugasi village during the trek before reaching the Gulling camp-site.

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First group pic of the winter trek at Dhak village
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Breathtaking view of the valley – Tapovan is viewable throughout the way
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Initial phase of walk on jeep trail followed by steep ascent
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It can be said as acclimatization walk on jeep trail… 🙂
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Enchanting views of remote villages everywhere on the mountains – Truly Spectacular!!!
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Small break on jeep trail at initial phase of the trek
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All eager to pose for the camera!
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1st pit stop point of the day while approaching Gulling camp-site
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Narrow trails with steep ascent gave us good trekking experience – Pic#1
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Jyothi & Kavitha with guides in relaxing mode en-route Gulling camp-site
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Narrow trails with steep ascent gave us good trekking experience – Pic#2

Mt. Dronagiri and Dhauliganga river is clearly visible throughout the trek till Gulling camp-site. Crossing Tugasi village gave us little idea of how life is in the mountains. We could see little snow throughout the trek which is melting slowly due to bright sunshine at valley. Our guide told me that it snowed on 23rd December around the place and due to sunshine 90% of snow was melted rapidly.

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Lower Tugasi village
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Wow view of the valley. Truly Breathtaking!!!
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Teena & Venkatesh en-route Gulling camp-site
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2nd pit stop point of the day while approaching Gulling camp-site
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Mules carying luggages is common scene during the himalayan treks
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Passing through Tugasi village
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Teena at Tugasi village
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A walk inside Tugasi village is memorable one
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Upper Tugasi village
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Little patches of snow can be seen throughout the trek
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Venkatesh, Teena & Mahipal Singh resting en-route Gulling camp-site
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Kids of Tugasi village
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A Dog resting on the fields of Tugasi village
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Team finally nearing 3rd & final pit stop point

It was 12:00 PM, when we reached 3rd pit stop and all of us hungry due to early breakfast in the morning. One of trek crew bought packed lunch for us at 3rd pit stop. Had Aloo Paratha & Sabji for lunch.

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Had lunch at 3rd pit stop point – Aloo Paratha was menu

After 45 minutes of lunch break, started again towards Gulling camp-site. It was nearby and reached camp-site around 1:30 PM.

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Final ascent started before reaching Gulling camp-site
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Many more trek groups trying their luck to conquer Kuari Pass

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Breathtaking view of Mt. Dronagiri!!!
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Team nearing Gulling camp-site – Pic#1
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Team nearing Gulling camp-site – Pic#2

Pitched our tents and few guys roamed around the place. Had evening tea followed by snacks at 4:00 PM. Explored the place and took many memorable pics…

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Solar torches kept for charging 🙂
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View of Karsun village
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Mt. Dronagiri & other hills of Nanda Devi range is common sight throughout the trek

Mt. Dronagiri, Pangarchulla & Mini Pangarchulla peak was clearly visible from the camp-site. Tried experimenting with my camera Nikon D3100 as usual and clicked some classic pics.

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Mt. Nanda Devi from Gulling camp-site
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Mt. Dronagiri from Gulling camp-site
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View of army camp from Gulling camp-site
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Pangarchulla Peak from Gulling camp-site
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I guess it is Mini Pangarchulla but not sure
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Myself at Gulling camp-site – Thanks for this pic S Sidd!
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Views Views Views – Afterall beautiful camp-site indeed!
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Evening tea is ready with snacks!
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Evening tea with Mt. Dronagiri at Gulling camp-site
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Santhosh square in action!
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Common views of the day
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Our kitchen of the winter trek

Since day is small, it was dark by 5:45 PM. With the help of trek crew, all of us collected woods for camp-fire. Had camp-fire to negotiate winter weather of Uttarakhand. Soup came has starter before dinner around 6:00 PM. Had dinner around 7:00 PM. Had Self-intro session at camp-fire followed by our guide Dev Sirji’s trekking gyan and experience in the himalayan mountains. Trek organizer Achintya Kundu briefed us about his recent experience of Auden’s Col & Barabhangal trek at camp-fire.

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Team all set for camp-fire & self-intro session

Around 8:00 PM, I moved towards tent and rested for the day.

Camp-site:

Gulling was small and beautiful camp-site with breathtaking views of Mt. Nanda Devi(East), Mt. Dronagiri, Pangarchulla and Mini Pangarchulla peaks.

Temperature: Dipped to Max -6 degree Celsius at night.

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Beautiful & open camp-site with amazing views of himalayan mountains
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