Favorite Trips

Lakeside Resort, Tikkar Taal

 

The take off point for the Pindari glacier trek is Bageshwar, an important tehsil town on the banks of the Sarju, around 80 km from Almora. Bageshwar is also where you’ll make accommodation reservations with the KMVN guest houses en route (KMVN runs its own 6-day trek to Pindari glacier as well in summer) if you haven’t done it when leaving town.

  

From Bageshwar it’s a 38 km (2 hour) drive to the village of Saung. The Pindari glacier trek used to begin at Saung until a few years ago, but its now possible to save a day by taking a jeep all the way up to Loharkhet, (1760 metres) a 18 km drive (8 km walk) away. Since this part of the road is hot & treeless its best to hitch a ride up to Loharkhet.

 

In case you are walking from Saung or start late from Bageshwar you will most likely spend your first night at Loharkhet. From Loharket, which has a KMVN rest house, it’s a steep 7 km (3-4 hr) walk along a well marked bridle path which rises 1100 metres up to Dhakuri ridge (2940 m). If you start early the ridge rewards you with a panoramic spread of the Nanda Devi South Face.

From the ridge it’s an easy 1 km descent to the KMVN & PWD Rest Houses at Dhakuri. Those with energy or short on time can make a long day of it, descending a further 7 km on a relatively level track to the village of Khati, (2210) metres, the last major village in the Pinder valley.

 

 

 

Apart from the rather basic KMVN rest house above the town, Khati also boasts of a private guest house, Sangam Guest House, with a generator and even its own ‘restaurant.’

 

From Khati the track crosses to the left bank of the Pinder river and runs fairly level along the blue-green waters of the river, dwarfed by towering dark cliffs for most of the next 10 km (2-3 hours).

It recrosses to the right bank of the Pinder just below the KMVN guest house of Dwali. Even if you are not spending the night at Dwali (2575) it’s a good place for making enquiries about trail conditions and accommodation at Phurkia the last and rather basic guest house on this route.

From Dwali the trail leaves the river and rises steeply around 700 metres over the next 5 km to Phurkia (3250). Because Phurkia is above the tree line and across from the snows of Nandakot and Nanda Ghunti it is often cold and windy, especially in the afternoon. So unless you plan to spend the afternoon in a sleeping bag come adequately prepared for the cold.

 

Phurkia is only 3-4 km from Zero point (3660m), the snout of Pindari glacier, but the stretch can be time-consuming as the narrow trail is often snowbound or damaged. In recent years a religious man, Swami Dharmanand, has set up shop a kilometer before Zero Point where visitors can stay for tea, a meal or even overnight. From Zero Point it’s possible to go over Trailes Pass to the Nanda Devi valley. However there is no distinct trail and the route involves ascending along loose rock and scree.

 

 

We tried skirting around the glacier from the right years ago but but were turned back by lack of equipment and snow-blindness.

 

Those wanting to extend the Pindari trek can also take in a trek to Kafni glacier, 2 days from Phurkia. (See details in Kafni clacier trek)

 

For Kafni the jumping off point will be Dwali, a few hours below Phurkia.

Top of the Pops