Pindari Glacier Trek - May 09
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Covered 80 Km in 6 days going from an altitude of 975 meters at Bageshwar right up to 3360 meters at Zero point Pindari Glacier.

Bageshwar

KMVN Loharket

Grave of German Tourist
View of Dhakuri KMVN from Dhakuri Top

KMVN Dhakuri
Dhakuri at 4am
Morning DhakuriKhati Village
View of Sunderdunga Range from Dwali

Taking a break - Stuff carried along !
View of Nada Kot from Phurikya
Nada Kot from Zero Point

Reaching Pindari Baba's Ashram

At Zero Point with Debu
With Pindari Baba at his Ashram
View of Sundardunga from Dwali

Debu with his family
Last Views of Khati









2nd May 2009Reached Bageshwar (Altitude 975meter) the trail head town enroute Pindari from Delhi by 3pm. Had caught the Ranikhet Express from Delhi to Kathgodham and then a taxi first to Almora and another to Bageshwar. Travel from Kathgodham to Bageshwar took approx 7 hours.

After lunch explored the town. Visited Bagnath Shiva Temple and sat by the river banks. Had finalized my guide Debu earlier itself and after reaching the guesthouse meet up with him and planned the trek which was to start the next morning. 



View of Song from Loharket.


3rd May 2009The next morning left early by 7 to Loharkhet (Altitude 1760 meters). The road ends at Song but due to ongoing development one can reach Loharket via a dirt track, this saves 5KM of walking on a paved stone track. Stopped for breakfast at Song and reach Loharket by 11am.

 

After lunch at the KMVN Loharket left at 1pm for Dhakuri 9Kms away of which the first 8Kms is accent and then 1Km down to the KMVN rest house.  The climb being the first day was manageable but taxing. 

Walked through the forest and gained altitude steadily by 4pm were at Dhakuri Top (Altitude 2940 meters), passed a grave of a German tourist who had died here and wish to be buried at the top itself. The weather changed very suddenly and a heavy downpour of rain followed by hail welcomed us at the grave, we took shelter under a stone shed for some time. Totally drenched we waited for the hail to stop and then resumed the climb to the top. 

From the top we could see the KMVN rest house clearly. After the final decent of a km we reach KMVN Dhakuri (Altitude 2680 meters) by 5pm. 

The rest house was nicely located, dried ourselves and ate some food.The weather got very cold and there was heavy rain followed by hail and snow. In a matter of 15min the entire ground had turned white. 



Complete set of images for Bageshwar to Dhakuri !


4th May 2009 -The morning views were magnificent as we had very clear skies. We had breakfast and left Dhakuri for Khati (Altitude 2210 meters) at 7am. The 8 Km walk was mainly downwards and though a few villages. We reach Khati by 10:30am and had lunch at Sargam Guest House. This GH has a BSNL WLL phone, the last one you will encounter on the trek. Our guide Debu comes from Khati village , though we did not spend the night here promised him to spend one on my return and visit his house too. Khati is at the confluence of Pindari and Sunderdunga rivers. Here Debu’s son Khailaf joined us.

At noon after lunch we left for Dwali.(Altitude 2575 meters) a 11km walk. The entire trek was through a jungles with trees, waterfalls and several riverbed crossings. Stopped en-route at a riverbed chai shack for tea and then continued reached Dwali at 4pm . Dwali is at the confluence Pindari and Kafni rivers. In the final stretch before reaching Dwali one has to cross a bridge over the river Pindari. We spent the night at Dwali. 




Dwali KMVN

Complete set of images for Dhakuri to Khati to Dwali !


5th May 20098am after breakfast we left for Phurkiya (Altitude 3250 meters). Though the distance to KMVN Phurkiya is just 5Km the altitude gain is quite a bit. The vegetation starts thinning out, the air feels thin, and things around starts feeling different. Shortly after Dwali, the trees dwindle away. You cross the tree line, you are out of the forest, and into the big mountains. Phurkiya is the last outpost of KMVN. It is a marvellous place to just sit out and watch the clouds go by. We reached Phurkiya by 11am.

As the weather was getting cold and damp we dropped the idea of going to ZERO point and spending the night at the Pindari Baba’s ashram and stayed back at Phurkiya.  The decision was a good one as by noon the heavy rain turned into hail and snow. If we had gone ahead with the plans for ZERO point we would have to walk the entire 7Km stretch in rain/hail & snow. By 3pm the weather cleared and went out for a walk, the views were awesome. We planned to leave for ZERO point early next morning.

Complete Set of images for Dwali to Phurkiya


6th May 2009 The final day, left Phurika by 4:45am after tea and walked in moon light initially to reach ZERO point (Altitude 3660 meters). Reach the baba’s ashram by 7:15am and then walked further Km to reach zero point by 8am. One can see the glacier from ZERO point as well as the surrounding peaks.

Mountaineers with equipment can go further up over the glacier to the Trails Pass ahead. The glacier closeup is on the left.

After spending some time got down back to the Pindari baba’s ashram.  It has been built by Babaji himself.  It is a lovely place and one gets the best views of the glacier and the snow peaked mountains from here. Babaji was kind enough to serve tea followed by puri-baaji and then finally coffee. He does not charge for it either. I spoke to him while he cooked food for us. He prefers to live alone so we can spend time seeing the stars. We has few telescopes and is deeply studying astronomy which he does in solitude up there.

We left Babaji by 10:30 am to make our way back to Phurikia by noon. We had lunch and left for Dwali by 1pm reaching by 3pm. 

Complete Set of images for Phurikia to Zero Point and back to Dwali




7th May 2009 - We left Dwali after breakfast at 7:30am and reach Khati by noon. Planned to spend the rest of the day at Khati itself.

After lunch & a shower at Sargam GH, we walked around in the village, absorbing the sights and sounds. 

There was a marriage procession (baarat) passing through Khati for a village ahead. Witnessed the procession go by. 

Went later to Debu’s house and meet his wife and daughter in law and youngest son. The evening was spent talking with Nandlal and his farther (owners of the GH). Was surprised with Nandlal’s innovativeness and entrepreneurial abilities. He was the only one in Khati with a phone which he used as a STD facility. He had a diesel generator which he used as a charge for camera/cell batteries. He was doing up with GH pretty nicely too. In the night we got good glimpse of a full moon which I tried to catch on my simple point-to-click camera.

Complete Set of images of Dwali to Khati

 


8th May 2009 - After a good breakfast we left for Dhakuri by 8am and reach by 11am. Had lunch and left Dhakuri by noon and reach Loharket by 3pm. Debu showed a few shortcut while going down which saved a good 2Km of walk. Caught a jeep at Loharket and reach Bageshwar by 5pm. Had a shower and rested, finished dinner and packed.

 

Complete Set of Images of Khati to Bageshwar

 


9th May 2009 - Left by 11 and reach Kathgodam by 4pm. Read a newspaper for the first time since 2nd May, had snacks and dinner and caught the train for Delhi at 8:45pm. Reaching delhi by 4am. Had a flight out to Mumbai the next morning itself.

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