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Panpatia Col Trek

From US$ 1,550 per person
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Overview
Between two of the most haloed pilgrimage sites in the Himalayas lies a land that nurtures a legend worthy of difficult discovery and extreme exploration. A tale that has drawn feted explorers of the like of Meade, Shipton and Tilman, Martin Moran, Harish Kapadia, and countless other intrepid souls. They were all drawn by the lore that a priest from Badrinath would trek to Kedarnath in a day.

The explorations, which began as early as 1934, have mostly come a cropper, with weather, terrain and nerves beating each party back.

The prize of the exploration is the crossing of the Panpatia col, a pass that hides its approach within drifts of moraines, crevasses and massive icefalls. But a route across it exists, and we know that from the many reports submitted by the mountaineers, and the final successful crossing by a duo from West Bengal, in 2007.

After extensive research and reading, and fresh from the successful crossing of this legendary route, we at White Magic are ready to open a once-hidden expanse of the Himalaya to the inquisitive of mind and sturdy of heart. Join us as we unravel the mythical Panpatia col bit by alluring bit.
Hotel
Arrive Haridwar at 4:00 am & set off on long drive to Joshimath. We stop at a restaurant for freshening up & breakfast. The drive takes one into the rugged country of the Garhwal along the Alaknanda River. Going past a few holy confluences the road keeps ascending to the small township of Joshimath.
Camping
After taking blessings for the good trip from Badrinath temple we drive back to Khirao road head and after crossing River Alaknanda by suspension bridge we trek from another 20 min before reaching to our campsite. The campsite is ideally situated above the confluence of the Khirao Ganga and Alaknanda.
Camping
We gain altitude to reach Khirao village – in the summers, the village is quite deserted as most people are either with their sheep in the meadows or busy in the fields, or collecting fodder for the cattle in the forest. Of late villagers have also started travelling far-off to the meadows searching for the Yartsa Gumba – the Himalayan Viagra. This herb is a vital ingredient in Chinese aphrodisiacs. From the village it is a steep climb up to the tree line, which is marked by some flags on the boulders. A traverse on the grassy slopes for little more than an hour brings us to our campsite — a little alcove that offers views of splendid snow capped peaks in the distance and soft grass and a milky white stream lined with daisies right outside the tent flaps.
Camping
A short day where we tackle a combination of terrain — from gentle uphill walks to steep inclines — all the way to the snout of the Panpatia glacier. We pitch tent in the shadow of two gigantic boulders, in what seems a landscape reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings. The river’s snout is an easy 10-minute walk, and we will use the evening to explore and experience it.
Camping
This will be a relatively long day of gradual height gain — ideal to spruce up the lungs for the days ahead. We cross never-ending moraines, and since we understand the monotony that might set in, we will weave across patches of snow to ease our march and add variety to the walk. We will be rewarded by magnificent views of mountains from so close, we may have to warn you about straining your neck looking up. Nilkanth and Parvati loom large on one side and a heavily crevassed glacier drops almost vertically on the other. Behind it, we catch the first inviting glimpse of grand Chaukhamba, with the massive upper huge Panpatia glacier stretched out like the proverbial red carpet.
Camping
We take it easy though. High altitudes are tricky places, and we rest a day to prime ourselves physically and also try out our snow boots. If the weather’s clear, we will also take a walk up the ice field to gain a bit of altitude — for better acclimatization.
Camping
A say short on time and steep on inclines brings us closer to the Panpatia snow field. We camp just below the Parvati Col.
Camping
A steep climb from our camp brings us to the edge of the terrace from where the only way up is through a steep gully encase in snow and rock. We use a fixed rope to negotiate this passage and enter the domain of pure snow. A series of gentle humps, made difficult by the altitude, gives way to the Parvati Col and the Panpatia Icefield. Before us stretches the huge plateau of snow with snowy summits ringing it in. We see Chaukhamba in all its glory and, with some luck, may also be treated to a different view of the mesmerizing Nanda Devi. Our campsite is in the snowfield.
Camping
It’s a short day of covering fairly flat ground. The only problems are crevasses, but we will be roped up and led by experienced guides who will ensure you have enough time to give your camera some exercise, clicking away at Chaukhamba and a host of other peaks. We camp in the snowfield. For those willing to put up with a little more of the bracing cold, the night sky offers a grand view of stars.
Camping
A short climb from the camp brings us to the col. We will take a moment to savoir the grand views one last time. Ahead is a steep downhill descent that leads to the Madhyamaheshwar watershed. Depending on snow conditions, we could even ― ski down this slope. We camp by the lake of Sujal Sarovar (4,750 m), still under the gaze of Chaukhamba.
Camping
A few metres above Sujal Sarovar is a small pass from where it is a steep descent through snowy slopes and boulder zones to Kachni. We cross the small Maindgalla tal before we start a never ending traverse of the boulders to reach the small campsite of Kachni, and our first views of thoroughly inviting grass, higher temperatures and more oxygen. The camp overlooks the Madhmaheshwar Ganga, and one can see the temple below and the lights of Guptkashi far below.
Camping
It takes about 3-4 hrs to get to Madhmaheshwar temple. We go through beautiful alpine meadows carpeted with flowers before descending steeply to oak forests. We visit the temple and have hot lunch at a nearby tea-shops. A simple hot Indian lunch is a welcome break from packed lunches we have been for last 10 days. From Madhmaheshwar, we hit a paved trail which heads all the way to the road head at Ransi. Post lunch we walk lazily through the forests to camp at Nanu chatti which is a small settlement of summer homes for people from the villages of Gaundhar.
Camping
On the last leg of the trek we descend through the pine forests to get to the floor of Madhmaheshwar Ganga. We cross many waterfalls on the way and it would be very hard to resist taking a dip in one. In fact taking a quick dip is recommended as it will help the body adjust to the warmer temperatures of lower altitude. We finish the trek at Ransi and drive to the beautiful camping grounds of Chopta.
We will arrive Delhi by 22:45 hrs.
what’s included
  • All travel from Delhi and back to Delhi by road/ rail / air as applicable (by non ac car / 2 or 3 tier ac coach)
  • All arrangements for overnight stay while on the trip
  • Accommodation on twin share basis in tents / rest houses / hotels
  • All group climbing gear like ropes, anchors, slings etc. and individual climbing kit which would be hired - e.g. climbing boots, ice-axes, crampons and gaiters
  • All meals, tea/coffee and snacks
  • 1 professional mountain guide
  • All fees, permit fees, sanctuary fee / royalty where applicable
  • All trekking arrangements with India’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff, cook etc.
what’s excluded
  • Railway station / airport transfers in Delhi
  • Any stay and meals in Delhi
  • Sleeping bag, items of personal clothing etc
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, insurance and camera fees
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Tour details
Availability Available Daily
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 16 days
Tour Type
Minimum Participants 2 people
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English & indian
Starts/Ends New Delhi, India/New Delhi, India
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 10% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. Bookmundi recommends World Nomads' travel insurance.

CancellationFree cancellation up to 45 days prior departure. No refund applicable within 45 days of departure.
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