Kuari Pass “The Lord Carson Trail” Trek – A short 5-day trek into the Nanda Devi Sanctuary The Kuari Pass trek which gives you spectacular views of the Nanda Devi sanctuary and a host of 7000m snow-capped peaks that extend into Tibet. Kuari pass trek is among the most beautiful treks in the Garhwal Himalaya, yet can be considered easy to medium grade. It is also one of the underrated trails which offer some of the amazing views of greater Himalaya accompanied by virgin forests and burials. The route also touches few interior villages inside Himalaya like Jhinji and Pana. One can see the magnificent views of Mt. Nanda Devi Mt. Kamet, Dunagiri, Haathi Ghodi Parvat, Chaukhamba, Mana Parvat, Rishi Parvat, and many others.
FIXED DEPARTURE TREK SCHEDULE – 2019
Kuari Pass – Trek For Beginners
The Curzon Trail
Kuari which means "doorway" is a Himalayan high mountain pass situated in the Garhwal region of northern India, south of the Tibetan border and on the western rim of the "Nanda Devi Sanctuary" Biosphere Reserve and falls in the Chamoli district. The Kuari Pass Trek found fame in the early 1900s when intrepid adventurers and mountaineers such as Lord Curzon, Eric Shipton, and Bill Tilman used the passage in their pioneering explorations of the region. The Kuari Pass trek is known as The Curzon Trail (named after the former British Viceroy Of India "Lord Curzon").
Kuari pass trek gives opportunity to have the picturesque view of the Twin Peaks of Nanda Devi(7,816m),Trishul (7,120 m), Kedarnath (6,968m),Neel Kantha at (6,596m), Kamet (7,756m), Dronagiri (7,066 m), Ghori Parvat (6,708 m) and Hathi Parbat (6,727 m). The very view of these ranges is the reward that awaits the trekker atop this pass. Kuari pass trek is through the thick alpine forests of oak and conifer, rhododendron and birch with a diverse variety of birds and animals. Sights of pugmarks of leopards or a Himalayan black bear shouldn't take you by surprise on this trek. Area of the campsite is one of the most amazing places on the Himalayas with streams of water flowing in the front and huge snow-covered mountains in the back.
Apart from the pass, there are two other attractions this trek has to offer i.e Joshimath and Auli. Joshimath is where Sri Shankaracharya is said to have attained enlightenment. Auli being famous for it's skiing slopes also for those who are interested in astronomy there are star watching sessions. Indian Summits highly recommend taking time out of the hot springs of Tapovanto rejuvenate yourself after this amazing breathtaking trek.
Ghori Parvat (6,708 m) and Hathi Parbat (6,727 m)
Day 01: Haridwar to Joshimath (6724 ft) (265km. Drive)
- Drive to Joshimath 256 km
- Haridwar - Rishikesh - Devprayag - Srinagar - Rudrapryag - Karnprayag - Joshimath
- Reach Joshimath by 5:30 pm (evening tea, briefing of the trek, dinner)
- Accommodation in guest house
Today's journey from Haridwar to Joshimath is about 260 kms long and takes around 10 hours. The entire journey is along the Ganges and its tributaries and touching several confluence points named as Prayag, e.g. Deoprayag ( Bhagirathi and Alaknanda), Rudraprayag (Alaknanda and Mandakini), Karnaprayag (Alaknanda and Pindar).The road till Nandaprayag (Alaknanda and Nandakini) is the one which leads to Badrinath and we take a detour from Nandaprayag to the right and get into the Nandakini valley. Ghat is a small lower Himalayan town with few provisions store and mobile network connectivity. Night stay in guest house.
Day 2: Joshimath to Dhak Village (Drive) - Dhak Village to Chitrakhana (Trek)
- Drive: 12km
- Altitude: 9500 ft
- Trek: 6 Km / 3-4 Hr
- Trek gradient: Normal
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
Early morning breakfast drive to Dhak village (12km).At this village, we will start our trekking adventure to the Kuari Pass. We trek through hemlock, oak and rhododendron forest for 3km before a short descent to the meadow and campsite at Chitra Kantha (3310m). The impressive snow-capped ridge, including Chaukhamba 1 (7138m), can be seen beyond Joshimath. The shepherds living between here and the Kuari Pass Trek are from Rishikesh or Haridwar and graze flocks of sheep and goats throughout summer. There is a small spring line at the head of the meadow for replenishing your water supply. The trek continues to climbs to the village of Tugasi village pack lunch en route. Dinner & overnight in.
Day 03: Trek from Chitrakhantha to Tali top.
- Altitude: 11000 ft
- Trek: 6-7 Km / 3-4 Hr
- Trek gradient: Moderate
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
Today we will trek for around 6 to 7 kms to Tali Top through green vegetation and red rhododendron flowers which turn red during the blooming season in April & May. Climb up through the forested ridge of Rhododendron, Spruce and Silver Birch above Chitra Kantha. It takes around an hour to reach a prominent ridge top (3500m) and a further 30 minutes around to an open meadow where it meets the well-defined track from a place called Tapovan. We will camp at the alpine meadow at the end of Tali top and overnight stay in tents.
Tali top Campsite
- Altitude: 12500 ft
- Trek: 12-13 Km / 7-8 Hr
- Trek gradient: Moderate.
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
The Lord Carzon Trail
On the way to Summit
View from Kuari Pass
Day 05: Return trek from Tali to Joshimath via (Gurson bugyal) Auli .
- Altitude: 11000 ft
- Trek: 7 Km / 4-5 Hr
- Trek gradient: Moderate.
- Stay: Overnight stay in guest house.
After having breakfast we trek the famous bugyals (meadows) of Gurson and will also get views of the route leading to the famous Nanda Devi sanctuary, along with the Rishi Ganga. On the way, we will pass Auli which is famous for its skiing slopes and is home to winter skiing resort run by GMVN(Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam). The Auli resort run by GMVN has snow beaters which beat the snow to keep the slopes fit for skiing at all times. GMVN also conducts 7 and 14-day skiing courses at Auli. It is a gradual descent through woods and pastures and we meet our car waiting for us at Auli to drive us to Joshimath.
On the way to Auli
Auli Ropeway (Uttarakhand)
Day 06: Joshimath to Haridwar
Early morning drive back to Haridwar with memories.
Say Yes!! To Himalayas
The Trip Cost Includes
- Food all along the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea)
- Food as per menu on the trek
- Forest Permits/Camping Charges , if any
- Tents, Sleeping bags, mats,Technical equipment
- Safety Equipments.
- First Aid Medical Kit(Your Trek Leader will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
- Trek guide, cook, helpers, porters & mules for carrying common luggage.
- Services of a Mountaineering qualified & professional Trek Leader.
- 2 Nights Hotel stay.
The Trip Cost Excludes
- Meals during road Journeys.
- Meals during hotel stays.
- Porter/Mull to carry personal luggage.
- Any expense of personal nature.
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list.
- A rucksack with rain cover
- A water bottle or a hydration pack
- A Hand/Head Torch with spare batteries
- UV Protection Sunglasses
- A trekking pole
Since it is a high altitude trek, at least 3 layers of clothing is mandatory. A full sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, and a padded jacket are imperative. An additional layer (Thermal bodywarmers) for the evenings in the high altitude campsites are strongly recommended
- Quick Dry Warm lower or Track Pants - 2
- Full sleeves T-shirts - 2
- Thermal Bodywarmer Upper & Lower - 1
- Fleece Jacket - 1
- Padded Jacket -1 (Goose down or feather is preferable)
- Full sleeves sweater - 1 (Needed if you feel cold at high altitudes despite 4 layers)
- Rainwear (Jacket & Pants) - 1
- Thick woolen socks - 1 pair
- Cotton socks - at least 2-3 pairs
- Undergarments - 1 for every day of trekking
- Pair of Warm Gloves - 1
- Woolen cap - 1
- Hiking shoes (Preferably ankle high) -1
- Pair of lightweight Slipper/Sandals - 1 pair.
- Sunscreen lotion, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, toilet roll, cold cream, small towel.
- Anti-fungal cream: Carry an antifungal cream if you are sensitive to sweating and prone to skin irritations around genitals or groin area due to lack of bathing.
- For women:
- Tampons or sanitary napkins,
- 2-3 zip pouches to dispose off non-biodegradable waste
- Vaginal wash to avoid any irritation due to lack of bathing.
- Water bottle
- Camera (optional)
- Personal medicine kit. Though our trek leaders carry a fully equipped first-aid kit, make sure you consult your doctor before the trek in case you have any special ailment.
- Dry fruits, energy bars
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
If you’re trekking to Kuari Pass Trek in winter, note that the temperature drops to around -4 to 5 degree Celcius at night. During the day, the temperature will be at around 5 to 10 degrees. This extreme temperature could make breathing slightly difficult. Doing breathing exercises before the trek will help. Expand your lungs and learn to breathe deep. This will help you inhale more oxygen and help you breathe comfortably.
- Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins or Walk continuously for 10 km (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better)
- Hold your breath for 40 seconds
- 3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch
- Push Ups – 10
- Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets
Monitoring health on a trek
Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.
On the trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will also be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone . Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high campsites for any emergency situations.
Acclimatisation in high altitude
This is one of the most important aspects of travelling in the high Himalayas and cannot be ignored or set aside. Acclimatisation basically means our body adjusting to lower levels of oxygen (rarefied air) & reduced air pressure as me move up. In case one does not acclimatise properly there are chances of the person facing extreme discomfort and this can be fatal in extreme cases. While there is no set route to getting properly acclimatised there are a general precautions and steps that one can take to initiate good acclimatisation.
How to reach
Haridwar is easily accessible through road, rail, and air transport.
There are no direct buses to Joshimath from Delhi. There You can take overnight UKRTC buses and Volvos available from ISBT Kashmere Gate, Delhi to Haridwar. The distance from Delhi to Haridwar is about 222 km. You can also hire a taxi or outstation cab from Delhi to Haridwar.
The nearest railway station to Joshimath is 187 km away in Haridwar. There are a number of trains running between Delhi and Haridwar like Dehradun Express, Nanda Devi Express. It is advisable to make your train bookings a month in advance.
The nearest airport from Joshimath is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun which is 272 km away from Joshimath. You can reach Dehradun from New Delhi by flight.
Once your trek is completed, there are many places in Joshimath that you can visit. Nanda Devi National Park, a UNESCO Heritage site, is where you get to spot some of the endangered species. Narsingh Temple is a sacred place in Joshimath visited by pilgrims in huge number. The temple is a part of Sapt Badri. Visit Shri Shankaracharya Math which is one of the four monasteries founded by famous Adi Jagadguru Shankaracharya. Kalpvriksh in Joshimath is a 1200-year-old Mulberry is considered to be the oldest in India. The tree remains evergreen throughout the year and never sheds a leaf.
Joshimath and Auli have good network connectivity. You would also get connectivity in Dhak (BSNL most probably). The network will become erratic as you proceed. However, BSNL may have coverage at a couple of spots in Tali as well.
Kuari Pass is an easy-moderate trek. Once you reach Gorson Bugyal from Auli, the ascents are not too steep. This is a good trek for a first timer. The rewards that it offers in terms of view for the effort that one puts in are tremendous. However, it still requires a good amount of fitness so make sure that you prepare before setting off on the trek.
Yes, we will be provided with tents and high altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC.
Day time temperatures in summer will range from 13-18ºC and night time temperature will range from 0-6ºC. Winter day time temperature will range from 14-18 ºC and night time temperature can drop to -4ºC.
There will be snow on from December to April. Towards April, you might find snow at fewer campsites or only at the Pass, but this will vary each year, depending on the amount of snow fall.
Kuari Pass in the winter offers the opportunity to trek through snow. Snow can be found on the trail from late December, all the way till April.