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Pangarchulla Peak Trek

The Himalayan trekking experience is incomplete without a peak trekking expedition. Pangarchulla set to the backdrop of the mighty Garhwal range is tailored for such an exhilarating take on advanced trekking. You need to negotiate passage towards 15,069 ft through above ankle-deep thick snow, as well some boulder clad rough sections. Multiple switchbacks and ridge crossings hike up the thrill factor like nothing else. Besides all the swashbuckler and awe, you are also going to get a punch of pure nature’s loving on the Pangarchulla trek. Count in the diverse, changing landscapes-- breathtaking open meadows overlooking the snowline, oak forests silent and deep, eternal grasslands, and magnificent rising, glittering snow peaks of a 360-degree panorama. Gear up for some quiet wonder on standing face to face to godly Mt. Nanda Devi, flanked by-- Chaukhamba, Dunagiri, Hathi Parvat, Ghori Parvat, and more.

What Is Pangarchulla Peak Trek?

Pangarchulla Peak in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand is a lesser known trekkable peak. The trail packs in a punch with awe-inspiring snowline views, a great deal of arduous negotiation on a fairly challenging mountainous path follows, featuring a number of ridge walk stretches. The trek begins from Lata-- a remote Uttarakhandi hamlet a 9-10 hour drive away from Haridwar. Outstanding views of Mt. Nanda Devi, high altitude meadows of Uttarakhand known as ‘bugyal’, forests of oaks and pines, and little hamlets of thatched-roofed huts on passing, form the picturesque scenes of Pangarchulla peak trek. The most scenic takeaways from the trek include Mt. Dronagiri in alpenglow as seen from the meadow camping sites, Nanda Devi and Dronagiri caught in their majestic-most in a single frame, the undulating meadow greens of Gorson Bugyal, and of course, the soft snow ensconced Pangarchulla peak visibly beckoning from the end of the trail. This circuit connecting Auli through Gorson Bugyal with the way up to Pangarchulla and Kuari Pass is famed as the “Lord Curzon trail”, discovered by the eponymous viceroy to India way back in history. Besides spectacular peak views and experiencing the mountain high, you get to drop by warm and hospitable remote Garhwali hamlets like the tiny Dhak village where Dhauli Ganga carves its way by. Note of caution: from the month of May to early December, Pangarchulla lacks a snow cover, making the boulder climb arduous and less enjoyable for winter lovers.

Why Should We Go For The Pangarchulla Peak Trek?

  • Winsome vistas of Garhwal Mountains and photo-ops for capturing massive peaks like Dronagiri, Nanda Devi, and Chaukhamba in varying lights.
  • Chance to partially explore the historic Lord Curzon Trail, up forest ridges, along numerous rivulets, and the vast undulations of bugyal meadows.
  • The exhilaration of successfully making a peak climb, thus opening up opportunities for making more advanced trekking and climbing expeditions in the future.
  • Semi-technical climbing efforts might be introduced during making way through the snow cover, like using crampons on boots and ascending on a harness with the team.
  • Chance to cover Auli by adding a few days to the beginning of the trekking trip. Auli is regarded as the best site with natural skiing slopes in the whole of Asia.
  • Spellbinding snow peak views from Pangarchulla top--  the Chaukhamba massif, Mana, Kamet, Abl Gamin, Hathi Parvat, Ghodi Peak, Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, etc.
  • Passing through beautiful pine forests near Khullara, which is surreal in the snow and mists of the winters.

How High Is the Pangarchulla Peak Trek?

The altitude of Pangarchulla peak is 15,069 ft, the trek starting from Lata village located at 7, 601 ft.

When to Visit?

May to June is considered a great window for making the Pangarchulla Peak trek in the summer, you will get a deep enough snow cover along the top to enjoy the quaint winteriness and the unique challenge of snow trekking. In the post-monsoon period, September to November is a great window for making this trek.

How to Reach?

  • By Air: The airport nearest to Joshimath is Jolly Grant of Dehradun, located 272 km away, well-connected to Delhi and other cities.
  • By Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest railhead to Joshimath, though Dehradun railway station is a more well-connected station in the vicinity.
  • By Road: Uttarakhand state run busses are found plying between Joshimath and towns within Uttarakhand. You can look for buses from Delhi to Rishikesh or Dehradun, and from there to Joshimath.

Are There Any Shops Available On the Pangarchulla Peak Trek?

It is well advised to conclude shopping for all necessities by reaching Joshimath. You can find small shops in Dhak village and next in Auli.

What to Pack for the Pangarchulla Peak Trek?

  • Large or medium size backpack, and a duffle side bag for extras
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat
  • Warm cap
  • Base layers
  • Fleece jacket
  • Outer jacket
  • Rain jacket (essential for the monsoon months)
  • Sturdy trekking shoes and a pair of floaters
  • Flashlight
  • Trekking pants, several pairs
  • UV-protection glasses
  • Thermal socks

Is There Any Possibility Of Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is not uncommon on this high altitude snow trek. Sufficient care to prior fitness training is recommended. Besides, you can take medical consultation for consuming acetazolamide tablets before starting the trek.

How Busy Is the Pangarchulla Peak Trek?

Being a sufficiently challenging trek, he trail does not face a lot of traffic. During snow, you can find a few groups attempting it.