For Himalayan thrillophiliacs it is hard to resist the magnetic pull of Kuari Pass under winter’s icy spell. Every year, come November, we open our first trek of the season on the marquee route skirting Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and twisting towards the high pass of Kuari.
As the intense winter sun dances dazzlingly upon miles after miles of snow, bathed in the diamond-crushed light, you will find the awesome glitterati of Garhwal Himalayas—Kamet (7756m),Trishul (7120m), Chaukhamba (7128m), and the great divine peak of Nanda Devi (7817m) and its twin Nanda Devi East (7434m), revealing inch by inch with each step taken forward, looming at the climax larger than life itself!
Brace up, because the magnificence of the glittering ice peak panorama comes not without a pack of exhilarating extremes of winter conditions on this trek, thus offering a challenge that will leave any true adventure heart delirious with joy:
Camping in Snow: Snow fall continues here through the winter months. You will find the sky changing in a click from dazzling bright to overcast and moody. Whatever it is, at the day’s end camp will be reached set up cozily in the thick of snow. First night’s venue is Chitrakantha—meadows overlooking Dronagiri in alpine glow, and on day 2, we will be in the hush of Talli forest in the shade of oaks and conifers topped with snow.
Tricky Snow Walk: The days of this snow trek builds up to a heady climax that comes at the hour of summit. By then, the sparse greens of the meadows will fade far away behind you, the midday sun searing bright and the landscape submerged in white as far as vision goes. That is why, Winter Kuari Pass Trek calls for going in special snow gears. The feel of trekking in microspikes and gaiters is another height of adventure altogether!
Also, beware! Because midday is meltdown time. You can plop down knee-deep in the snow every now and then if not careful. The trick is to outwit the treacherous snow by walking light-footedly!
Skiing Slopes of Gurson and Auli: We have packed in the best that the Kuari stretch has to offer in winter with more snow exotica of the Himalayas waiting for you post summit. The way back is sketched through Gorson Bugyal—an alpine pastureland typical to Uttarakhand that blooms with greenery and flowers in warmer times but will be caught in wintry chill this time of the year. The gentle undulations of Gurson makes for great skiing slopes and with a little planning beforehand you can make the most of it. The trek ends at Auli, housing Asia’s greatest ski resort where you can check in for more frolicking in snow.
“But today in Kuari we have one of the best experiences of winter trekking in Uttarkhand. What makes Kuari Pass such a perfect fit for a snow crazed winter exploration in the heart of Himalaya’s wonderland? Our founders Rakesh and Sandeep discovered the novelty of this trek long back. Read about it here.