Why This Trek?
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 Winter Kuari Pass Trek found fame in the early 1900’s 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”).
The views on the Winter Kuari Pass trek are often cited as the best in the Indian Himalayas. It is not hard to discover why. To the north of the Winter Kuari Pass trek is the Chaukhamba Range, while the summits of Mana (7,272 m), Kamet (7,756 m) and Abl Gamin (7,355 m) extend to the Tibet border.
In the middle foreground, a number of spectacular peaks including Dunagiri (7,066 m) and Changabang (6,864 m) enclose the Nanda Devi Sanctuary while to the west the snowcapped ranges extend to Gangotri.
Destinations Covered during Winter Kuari Pass Trek : Joshimath, Chitrakhana, Khullara,
What’s Included :
- All veg meals from day 2nd lunch to till day 5thlunch
- 03 Nights Tented Accommodation on triple sharing basis.
- Guest House / Hotel in Joshimath / Govindghat on triple sharing basis.
- Morning, evening Tea/Coffee with light snacks.
- All necessary fees and permits.
- Qualified and experienced Trek Guide and support staff.
- All camping gears complying with International standards
- Basic First Aid Medical Kits.
What’s Not Included :
- Any surface transfer from Haridwar – Joshimath – Haridwar.
- Meals in Joshimath and while transit.
- Any expenses of personal nature.
- Insurance of any kind.
- Any cost incurred due to natural reasons.
- Porter/mule charges to carry your personal bag.
- Anything not mentioned explicitly in the above program.
More Information On Garhwal:
Here’s a short Kuari Pass Trek Itinerary:
Day 1: Drive from Haridwar – Joshimath. Stay in tent/guesthouse/homestay.
Day 2: Drive from Joshimath to Dhak and trek to Gulling Camp
Day 3: Trek from Gulling – Khullara
Day 4: Trek to Khullara – Kuari Pass and Return to camp
Day 5: Trek from Khullara – Dhak via Tugasi and Drive back to Joshimath
Day 6: Joshimath to Haridwar
Detailed Kuari Pass Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Drive from Haridwar – Joshimath (260 kms).
Today’s journey from Haridwar to Joshimath is about 260 kms long and takes around 10 hours. Joshimath is a hub for pilgrim tourists traveling to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib. Check in to guest house /hotel at Joshimath.
Day 2: Drive from Joshimath – Dhak and Trek to Gulling Camp.
To start the Kuari Pass trek we first drive to Dhak village.At this village we will start our trekking adventure to the Kuari Pass. We trek through a hemlock, oak and rhododendron forest for 3 kms before a short descent to the meadow and campsite at Chitra Kantha (3310 m).
The impressive snow-capped ridge, including Chaukhamba 1 (7138 m), 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.
Day 3: Trek from Gulling – Khullara.
We will start our day early with a few stretching exercises in the morning followed by breakfast. After this our trek leader will brief us about today’s trek schedule. Today we will trek for around 6 kms to Tali Top through green vegetation and red rhododendron flowers which turn red during the blooming season in April & May.
Tali Forest Campsite during Kuari Pass Trek
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.
Day 4: Trek to Khullara – Kuari Pass and Return to Camp.
We will start early as this is the longest day on the Kuari Pass Trek. First leg of today’s trek is a gradual ascend till Khullara top and from there traversing through the snow patch we reach Kuari Top. At Kuari Pass top winds will gush past you. Savour the unending vistas of great Himalayan peaks including the famous Nanda Devi.
Views from Kuari Pass Top
Nanda Devi (7816 m) is the highest peak completely within India. It is surrounded by a huge circle of mountain walls with only one outlet, where the Rishi Ganga forges a route through deep, almost impenetrable gorges before flowing into the Alaknanda River. Given these natural defences, it was not until 1934 that the first mountaineers were finally able to reach the base of Nanda Devi. Return to Tali Top through the same route and enjoy camp bonfire and sumptuous dinner at Tali campsite.
Day 5: Trek from Khullara – Dhak and Drive to Joshimath.
After having breakfast we trek downhill beside the Rishi Ganga River till the road where the taxi will take us to Joshimath. Auli which is not accessible by road during winters 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.
Day 6: Joshimath – Haridwar (260 kms drive).
Today we start driving early to reach Haridwar with a beautiful mosaic of memories to keep us company. If we reach Haridwar on time then you can take part in Ganga Aarti at Har ki Pauri. Trek ends.
Fitness Required for Kuari Pass Trek
At high altitude as the air gets thinner oxygen becomes less abundant.The percentage saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen determines the content of oxygen in our blood. After the human body reaches around 2,100 m (7,000 feet) above sea level, the level of oxygen in our hemoglobin begins to plummet. However, the human body has both short-term and long-term adaptations to altitude that allow it to partially compensate for the lack of oxygen.
The Kuari Pass Trek is an easy trek suitable for first time trekker with basic fitness
Trekking Experience: Ideal trek for a beginner.
Fitness Required: The Kuari Pass Trek falls in the category of Moderate treks. The trail is fairly laid out path and has very few steep ascends or descends. Water is available through out the trail. But still if you are thinking of your first big Himalayan trekking experience its better to be prepared. Here is the training schedule to prepare for the trek.
Our treks are generally planned in a way that on an average you have to cover around 9 Kms in 6 hours although there may be slight variation depending on the terrain. This works out to roughly 1.5km per hour which is equivalent to walking in the plains at 6km per hour.
You can train yourself to run 3 kms in 30 minutes as per the schedule given below. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.
Follow this training schedule for trekking fitness required.
Week 1: Start with 10 minute of brisk walk and then jog for 10 minutes and finally 10minutes of easy walk.
Week 2: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 3: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 4: 5 minutes of brisk walk and jog for 25 min and cool down your body
Things to carry for Kuari Pass Trek
Poncho, Rain Coat or Umbrella any one is must
Backpack (Min 55 Ltrs)
Floaters or Sandals
2 Pairs of Quick Dry Tees and Track Pants
3 Pair of Socks
2 pairs of woolen socks
2 Full Sleeve Sweater or Fleece Jacket
One down feather Jacket
Cold Cream & Sun Screen (SPF 40+)
Water Bottle 1 Lt
Headlamp or torch with fresh pair of batteries
Personal Toilet Kit and toilet paper
Personal Medicine Kit
What is the Kuari Pass Trek?
Kuari Pass Trek is an easy high altitude trek done throughout the trek and is particularly enjoyable during winters. The trek is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
When is the best time to go to for the Kuari Pass Trek?
The best time for Kuari Pass Trek is during the during the months of December,January,March, April and May,September and October. But this trek can be done and is enjoyable throughout the year
How difficult is the Kuari Pass Trek?
Kuari Pass Trek is considered by comparison an easy high altitude trek. But you need to have good physical fitness to complete this trek. Doing cardio vascular exercises is very helpful for preparing for this trek.
What are the temperatures during the Kuari Pass Trek?
During the Kuari Pass Trek temperatures vary between -15 to 10 degree celcius during winters and 0 to 20 degree celcius during summers.There will be considerable variation between night and day and in the direct sun and shade, so it is important to plan accordingly.
How much we have to trek each day?
Normally our trek are designed in such a way that we reach our camp by lunch time and on an average trekking distance is roughly 6-8 Kms each day and it takes around 6 hours by an average trekker to cover that distance.
What medicines should I carry during the trek?
Below is a list of basic medicines you should carry for a high altitude trek.
Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
Band aid – 10 stripsGauze cloth – 1 small role
Leukoplast – 1 small roll
Cotton – 1 small roll
ORS – 5 packets
Crocin – 5 tablets
Avomine – 4 tablets
Avil 25mg – 4 tablets
Diamox – 15 tablets
Combiflam – 5 tablets
Disprin – 10 tablets
Norflox – 10 tablets
Digene – 10 tablets
Diamox – 10 tablets
Is Diamox advisable?
Diamox help in acclimatization but we do not advise it please consult your Doctor before taking it.
Who will lead and who all will go along with us?
All our treks are led by certified & Experienced Trek Leaders/Guides. We believe in sustainable adventure eco-tourism which in effect means that our teams are locally sourced. Other than a Trek lead we in our team we will have local Guides, Cook, Helpers and Porters.
How big are the groups?
We make it a point not to have more than 15 people in a trekking group as we believe that the best way to enjoy adventure is in small sustainable groups.
What is the minimum number of Trekkers required for Fixed Departures?
Our Fixed departures are guaranteed and a promise to our customer that even if there is a Single trekker we will proceed with the trek at a loss.
I am the only girl in a trek, is it safe?
We generally have a ratio of Male : Female of about 2:1. Mountains on the whole are much safer than the plains. Lots of solo female trekkers join us and we make it a point that only female trekkers share the tent with other female trekkers.
What thing we need to Carry for the trek?
You can follow the list at things to carry
Can I offload my backpack on a mule/porter. What are the charges for the same?
When you are in the mountains you should be self-sufficient and you should carry your own backpack. The charges to offload a backpack of roughly 9 kg or less is about 300 per day.
Which type of shoes should I buy?
Good trekking shoes are a must for the valley of flowers Trek. Read more at “How to Buy Trekking Shoes”
How many trekkers will be in one tent?
We generally have 3-man tents were we accommodate anywhere between 2-3 people.
What level of fitness is expected from the trekkers?
Good physical fitness as well as mental fitness is required for the Kuari Pass Trek. This is an ideal trek for a beginner who wants to familiarize him/herself with high altitude treks.To get into optimum level of fitness you can go through our article How to prepare for a high altitude trek.
What is there in Food menu during a trek?
We server wholesome and nutritious Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Evening Snacks. The food is vegetarian. Vegetarian food is preferable at high altitudes as it is easy to digest.
Is the water on the trek safe?
The advantage of trekking the Himalayas is that your trekking route is filled with fresh Himalayan streams. Your trek leader/guide will direct you to places where you can fill clean water from. We recommend this water but in case you are unsure you can carry water purifying tablets with you.
What type of vehicles are used for transportation?
We use Sumo/Xylo/Tempo for transportation.
What do you do if we encounter a medical emergency during the trek?
Our team at Renok is trained in handling high altitude emergencies. Apart from being trained mountaineers they bring a wealth of experience with dealing with high altitude illnesses. We carry First aid kits and oxygen cylinders with us and in case of other medical emergencies we rescue the trekker till the road head. If any additional cost of evacuation is incurred it is borne by the trekker. Also before the trek it’s your responsibility to get a medical fitness checkup by a doctor which certifies you are fit enough for this trek.
Can we change the itinerary?
Renok Adventures LLP reserves the right to change the itinerary depending upon the weather conditions and other factors. If extra cost is incurred due to rescheduling the trekker is informed beforehand and extra cost if any is borne by the trekker. Please note that we operate treks in some of the most remote regions and harshest conditions where unforeseen events may force us to change the itinerary. In such cases, we or your trek leader will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.
Can you customize the Kuari Pass Trek?
Yes Kuari Pass Trek can be customised, if you would like to travel independently, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient time for any number of people. The Cost for private customized trip is fixed on the basis of group size, trek area, duration and trek style.
What if a trek is cancelled at the last moment due to ‘force majeure’?
All the arrangements for the tour are pre-planned and prepaid.
We will offer you alternate trek options of similar value depending upon the weather conditions if a trek is cancelled due to ‘force majeure’. In case of non-completion of the tour due to any reason whatsoever there will not be any refund for any unutilized services.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Up to 24 Days :- 95% of Trek/Tour cost will be refunded.
Between 14-24 Day :- 70% of Trek/Tour cost will be refunded.
Between 14-08 Days :- 50% of Trek/Tour cost will be refunded.
Less than 7 Days :- No refund
What is your Rescheduling Policy ?
We will reschedule your trek without any extra charge if this is conveyed to us in writing ateast 1 month before the trek starting date.
Between 07-24 Days before start of the trek :- 30% of Trek/Tour cost will be charged for rescheduling.
Less than 7 days:- 100% of Trek/Tour cost will be charged for rescheduling.
Haridwar is the base location for our Kuari Pass Trek and not Govindghat or Joshimath. Our meeting point in Haridwar is railway station. We will pick you up at 6:00 AM in the morning and start the drive to Govindghat. The entire drive from Haridwar to Joshimat takes around 9 Hours.
Reaching Haridwar by Flights
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Haridwar and is situated 36 Kms from Haridwar. Taxis are easily available from Jolly Grant Airport to Haridwar.
Reaching by train
Haridwar is well connected by railway network with major destinations of India because it’s a major pilgrim centre.
Following is the list of useful trains to reach Haridwar from Delhi:
12017 DEHRADUN SHTBDI
19565 UTTARANCHAL EXPRESS
22659 DEHRADUN EXPRESS
14309 UJJAINI EXPRESS
14317 IND DDN EXPRESS
12055 DDN JANSHTBDI
12687 DEHRADUN EXPRESS
14041 MUSSOORIE EXPRESS
12205 NANDA DEVI EXPRESS
For exact timings & Schedule of trains please check the Indian Railway official site.
Reaching Haridwar by Road (Bus)
Haridwar is well connected with comfortable Volvo buses run by government and private operators. You can catch luxury and normal buses to Haridwar which are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
6th October 2018 (Open)
3rd November 2018 (Open)
10th November 2018 (Open)
17th November 2018 (Open)
24th November 2018 (Open)
01st December 2018 (Open)
08th December 2018 (Open)
15th December 2018 (Open)
17th December 2018 (Open)
21st December 2018 (Open)
22nd December 2018 (Open)
29th December 2018 (Open)
30th December 2018 (Open)
Here’s a short itinerary of the Kuari Pass:-
Day 1: Drive from Haridwar – Joshimath. Stay in tent/guesthouse/homestay in Joshimath.
Day 2: Drive from Joshimath – Dhak and then trek to Gulling Camp
Day 3: Trek from Gulling – Tali Forest Camp
Day 4: Trek to Jhandidhar – Kuari Pass and Return to camp
Day 5: Trek from Tali Forest Campsite – Dhak via Tugasi and Drive back to Joshimath
Day 6: Joshimath to Haridwar