Trek date during WINTER TREK to PANGARCHULLA PEAK via KUARI PASS: 30th December 2015 (Wednesday)
Trek distance: Around 14 Kms.
Time taken: Around 9 to 10 hours.
Difficulty level: Moderate to Difficult
Highlights during the trek:
- Himalayan trees at initial phase of the trek.
- Snowy trails all the way till Mini Pangarchulla Summit.
- Snowcapped mountains on both sides of trail.
- High altitude mountains on both sides of trail.
- 360 degree view of Nanda Devi National Park.
- Magnificent views of Mt. Dronagiri, Mt. Neelkanth, Brahma Tal view point, Hathi & Ghori Parbat, Mt. Nanda Ghunti, Mana 1 & 2, other peaks, etc…
- Conquering Kuari Pass & Mini Pangarchulla Summit.
- Snow sliding at some stretches while returning to Khulara camp-site.
- Clouds are making entrance all over the valley, -20 degree wind blowing towards us and sign of heavy snow fall in few hours were can be seen as few of the highlights while returning to Khulara camp-site.
- One of the best days of my life.
Challenges: Toughest day of winter trek with snowy fields throughout the hike and steep ascent as you approach Mini Pangarchulla Summit.
Altitude Meter: Please find altitude details for the day below:
- Khulara meadows comes around 2896 Mtr.
- Kuari Pass Altitude: 3840 Mtr
- Pangarchulla Peak Altitude: 4575 Mtr
- Mini Pangarchulla Peak Altittude: 4300 Mtr
Day in brief:
Summit day and very important day of the trek with Pangarchulla summit is in everyone’s mind. After previous day discussion with Guide, we were sure to climb atleast Mini Pangarchulla but Pangarchulla was question mark cos of snow covered boulders near Pangarchulla summit.
Conquering Kuari Pass & Mini Pangarchulla Summit
Guide plan was to start days hike around 7:00 AM. As informed by guide, all of us woke-up early in the morning. Freshen-up and had breakfast. After little delay, we all started towards Pangarchulla Peak around 8:00 AM. It was snowy fields at Khulara made our beginning interesting one. Plan was to reach first Kuari Pass than follow the route of Pangarchulla. It was snowy fields till Kuari Pass. Amazing and lovely experience of 2 Kms. trek took us to Kuari summit. -20 degree wind is hitting us at Kuari Pass. After reaching Kuari Pass, all of us relaxed for half an hour and took victory selfies, group pics at summit. It was one of the best feeling on earth with 360 degree views of himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi National Park expect Mt. Nanda Devi. Amazing experience indeed!!!
It was much needed break before we start towards Pangarchulla hike. We can see few people returning en-route who attempted Pangarchulla and finished with unsuccessful attempt. Most of them went half-way stage and returned back. It was magical hike on snowy fields of Nanda Devi National Park and continuous steep ascent.
As per our guide, it was very tough attempt we did to conquer Mini Pangarchulla. Crossing 5 peaks en-route Pangarchulla is goosebump experience indeed! From Kuari Pass, Pangarchulla peak seems to be closest one but when you start to ascend and continue your hike totally different picture will be in store. Trails are lengthier one than expected and as you continue trail looks more challenging & lengthier one. Snow, snow everywhere and captain of our team Dev Singh leading from the front. He was expertise in making routes and paths. His skills helped us to find trails. From personal point of view, I never expected this was in offering and little scary about attempting Pangarchulla from the day I started journey from Bengaluru. Confidence, Will and Mental preparations were most essentials things while attempting a himalayan trek. I have seen people talk about AMS, headache and many other things which will make your attempt unsuccessful one. I always give mental preparation first priority later fitness cos if you mentally not prepared fitness is a waste!
Finally, we reached Mini Pangarchulla Peak after crossing 4 peaks around 1:00 PM. Pangarchulla was untouchable in the winter according to the guide so finished our hike around 1:00 PM. There is tiredness, satisfaction and happiness of reaching the Mini Pangarchulla Peak can be seen at faces of people who are all successfully conquered summit. I was over the moon cos never expected I will make it to the last stage. Some of the stretches are really narrow and lot of patience required to hike. Few people were unsuccessful in reaching Mini Pangarchulla summit but they were able to cross 2nd or 3rd Peak. That itself an achievement for them
Took group pics and enjoyed beauty of nature from the peak. Guide shown us Brahma Tal view point and many other peaks which are broadly visible from the peak. Wow!!! No words enough to describe the beauty of Nanda Devi National Park. Totally breathtaking indeed.
Started to descend around 2:00 PM. Mahipal Singh kept packed lunch for us on the way back. While returning we had pit stop for lunch. I had Aloo Paratha & Egg for lunch. Relaxed for half an hour and continued descending.
While approaching Khulara camp-site; clouds are making entrance all over the valley, -20 degree wind blowing towards us and sign of heavy snow fall in few hours were can be seen as one of the highlights from the day. Snow flakes are falling and weather was awesome indeed for enjoying beauty of himalayas. As the time goes, chances of snow fall deteriorated and sun came out. Guide informed us to collect woods for camp-fire while approaching Khulara camp-site. All of us collected 4 to 5 woods and took them to Khulara camp-site.
Reached Khulara camp-site around 5:30 PM. Had camp-fire to escape from the cold and welcome drink served to us. After an hour, soup was served followed by lunch. Few of them spent time at camp-fire singing & hearing songs while I told Bye-Bye for the day around 9:00 PM with formalities of completing the trek is the only task pending for next 2 days.
Camp-site is Khulara.
Temperature: -20 degree Celsius at night.