Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary Trek (Page-3) 

Lata - Lata (summer) - Belta Campsite - LataKharak - SainiKharak - Jhendidhar - DharasiPass - LataKharak - KhadiChaund - Tolma - Suraithota

Day-5: To Jhendidhar & Dharasi ... and back

19th June 2010 - Day-5: Today morning we got up early as usual and found the day clear and sunny and the snow scape views  as nice as it was yesterday. Ended up clicking more pictures of same peaks.

Today our plan was to go to Dharasi pass via Jhendidhar and come back to Lata-Kharak. I was thinking why go to Dharasi if the view is expected to be same as from Saini Kharak? But we decided to go anyway and at 7:00AM after breakfast we started. In retrospect it was good we went as we got a chance to see Dunagiri's awesome fac-to-face view from Jhendidhar. (Since, next day to Tolma we took the lower jungle route and not via Jhendidhar).

Initial 1KM of trail was same as to Saini. But after that we climbed a lot higher, via more ziz-zag climbs through tufted-grass meadows to reach the top of the ridge above Lata Kharak. 

View towards North Snow Peaks .... as we continue climbing beyond the intermediate ridge, towards the Jhendidhar 

From here we continue climbing upwards towards the Jhendidhar ridge. Finally we crested the ridge near some 2-3 piles of stones, setup as Cairns, signalling the trail junction of Dharasi, Tolma and Lata-Kharak. From here we got  the uninterrupted awesome view of Dunagiri massif.

I reach Jhendidhar's Cairn piles at 9:20AM

The Tri-Junction signpost painted on stone (was lying down broken and Raghuveer put it back together, for our pictures! )

We continue towards Dharasi after a brief rest at Jhendidhar

After Jhendidar the trail was on a stony path with steep fall to the left side. We continued on for another 1.5 Kms when the trail started becoming just boulders, rocks and slabs strewn along the way. It was becoming difficult to balance and walk as some of them were very loose and would suddenly tilt and cause imbalance. We plodded on a bit more as we had only 2Kms or so left; but soon realised the risk-reward ratio was becoming adverse! So we held a small discussion and decided to go back, rather than risk an ankle twist or broken bone. 

At this point, we felt the risk of fall or injury to be too high ... so we turn back from here and not do the last 1.5 Kms to Dharasi-Pass

We returned to Jhendidhar by 10:40AM and after a brief rest headed back to Lata-Kharak  and reached our camp by 12:15PM. We got lots more wildflower pictures on the way back.

More wildflowers (liliaceae family?)

On getting back to Lata-Kharak we found Nathu Singh (right) who had accompanied Bill Aitken to Nanda Devi Inner sanctuary in early 80s, doing repair jobs on pre-fabricated forest rest house next to our Log hut. He was a shy chap but agreed to the pictures readily.

SK with Nathu Singh, who went with Bill Aitkin (author of book  Nanda Devi Affairs) to Nanda Devi Sanctuary

Looking back at Lata-Kharak after climbing up for 30mins on the intermediate ridge. You can see Log-Hut at the tip of the ridge from where we came, if you click on picture to enlarge.
Choukhamba as a sliver of white above that ridge to Northwest

A wildflower (Himalayan primula - Primulaceae family)

At Jhendidhar SK & me, gaze wonderously at Mt Dunagiri

More wildflowers on way to Dharansi

We could have gotten broken legs or twisted ankles here!

Lampak-II visible over that ridge coming down from Dunagiri

We reach back Jhendidhar at 10:40AM

Sonu found this rare orchid some way below our Log-Hut. A botanist said it may be "slipper orchid" i.e.  paphilopedilum or cypripedium ?

Somebody has chalked this image of Nanda Devi as "Maa" on Lata Kharak lodge walls ....  The army guy there said it looked really like a mother to him ... A lady in a white Saree with a ghunghat!