Roopkund is to treks what David Beckham is to football. It would be hard to match its combination of pristine high altitude lakes, meadows(bugyals), spectacular mountain views, alpine camps, secluded villages and pristine oak and rhododendron forests.
Roopkund Lake is a glacial lake at an altitude of 5029 metres which lies in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in NDBR (Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve). It lies in the lap of Mt Trishul masstif in which the Trishul I is highest mountain with a height of 7120 metres.
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Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung
Arrive early at the Kathgodam Railway station. Various overnight trains run from Delhi and other cities(For more information click here). We will meet you at the station. We begin our drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung (Starting point for the Roopkund Trek ).Although this drive is long it is very scenic for the most part as we will be driving along rivers before turning right into the beautiful Pindar valley. En route you will be crossing Almora. Founded in 1568, Almora, is a district in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand . Overnight stay in forest guest house/tents.
Day: 2 Lohajung to Didna Village
The trek to Roopkund Lake starts from Lohajung to a village called Didna. This will be our first camp of the Roopkund trek. Initially the trek is a steady climb up to the Lohajung pass and then downhill to the Bedni River popularly known as the “Bedni Ganga”. We then cross a bridge and then start climbing through oak & bamboo forests to the village of Didna. We will cross the village and continue walking up to a meadow where we will camp for the night. Overnight in tents.
Day 3: Didna village to Ali Bugyal
We get up early in the morning and do some stretching exercises. It is essential that we stretch ourselves properly to avoid muscle problems through the trek.
Today’s stretch of the Roopkund trek is a steep one through oak trees and large stands of bamboo. You will after this climb start enjoying the stunning views of Garhwal Himalayan peaks and reach the alpine grazing meadow called Ali bugyal. Ali Bugyal is as beautiful as Bedni and lies on top a hill and from there you can enjoy the views of unending vistas in all directions. This is probably one of the finest camping sites in the Garhwal Himalayas. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 4: Ali Bugyal to Ghora Lotani
Today is a comparatively easy day. Walk while listening to chirping birds and admiring the beauty of our surroundings. After few hours of trekking you will be on other side of the ridge and the view from this point is absolutely Fanta bullous. Ghora Lotani on the Roopkund trek is a brilliant campsite and offers you great views all around. We should reach the campsite by the afternoon with enough to relax and acclimatize to the weather conditions and altitude. Overnight camp at Lotani.
Day 5: Ghora Lotani to Bhagwabasa
The day’s snow trek will bring you to an altitude of 14,500 ft from 12,500 ft. This part of the Roopkund Lake trek is to be considered as high altitude trekking and you can feel the effects of this during trekking from Ghora Lotani to Bhagwabasa. Shortness of breath, mild headache and tiredness are some very common in high altitude trekking. Trek slowly and steadily, stop for water after every hour for 2 to 5 minutes. A steep and zig zag route takes you to Kalu Vinayak. Compared to the beauty of Ali Bugyal, it is hard to imagine a more desolate, boulder strewn campsite than that of Bhugu Basa (4100m). It is exposed to icy northern winds that whip around the stone shelter huts. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 6: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund Lake.Back to Bedni Bugyal via Bhagwabasa
The D day of the Roopkund Trek is here. We will start the day as early as 5 AM. We will start early as during early hours snow is tough due to lower temperatures and it’s easy to negotiate without getting your shoes drenched in water. Roopkund Lake is a 5 km gradual up-hill climb from Bhagwabasa. We will have steep climb towards the end of the trail to reach the Roopkund Lake. It would take about 3 – 3½ hours to reach the Lake. A further trek of around half an hour takes to the highest point of Roopkund Lake trek Junar Gali. Then we head back for our campsite at Bedni Bugyal. The views from the alpine camp at Bedni Bugyal extends west across the main Himalaya Range as far as Gangotri, while the peaks of Trisul and Nanda Ghunti provide an awesome backdrop.
Day 7: Bedni Bugyal to Lohajung via Wan.
Return trek from Bedni Bugyal via Wan. You would see the end of meadows after a few minutes. On a clear day, you would be astonished by looking at the Trishul on your way back from Bedni Bugyal to Wan at Kanakdhar. There is a steep descend and then a short climb from Bedni Bugyal. On our way we will go through a Rhododendron forest. You would have a steep descent for the Neel Ganga. On reaching Wan we drive to Lohajung. Overnight stay at Lohajung.
Day 8: Lohajung to Kathgodam
After getting to the base camp at Lohajung and finishing the Roopkund trek, you might think of spending a day at Lohajung. This is a great place to relax and chill out and our rewarding trek.Early morning start drive towards Kathgodam. At Kathgodam our trek ends.
- Veg Meals on Trekking days
- Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
- Camping tents, Temp rated sleeping bags, mattress
- Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys
- Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with Wilderness Emergency Responder & Rescue.
- First Aid Certified Local guide, cook, helpers
- Porters or mules for carrying common luggage
- Transportation from Kathgodam to Kathgodam.
- Meals during road journeys
- Any kind of Insurance
- Any expense of personal nature
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
- Carriage of personal rucksack
- Meals during Hotel Stay, if any
- Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Daypack (20 litres): As this is a crossover trek, you would only need a daypack if you are offloading your backpack.
- Three layers of warm clothes: Carry two sweaters, and a padded jacket. If you are more susceptible to feeling cold, add another layer.
- Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the Pass day.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, preferably quick-dry, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. If you’re too cold, you can wear two tshirts together for more insulation. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandotory. In June, there will be abundant snow on Hampta Pass, and you would need it to protect yourself from snow blindness.
- Suncap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
- Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. You can add a fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
- Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
- Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each or 2 litre water bladder.
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Domperidone – 6 tablets (vomitting)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)