Kathgodam Railway Station
Kathgodam Railway Station
Roopkund, the magical lake, often makes me fall short of words. The beauty of the place and the journey taken to reach there is incomparable. Roopkund Trek, the name that every serious trekker in the country surely knows. Roopkund Lake, a place very close to the heart of those who’ve been there before. The place that is amongst our favourites and one we recommend to every trekker around to experience once.
Roopkund is a glacial lake nestled in the high mountains of Uttarakhand Himalayas. At an altitude of 5030 meters or 16,500 feet, the lake is completely uninhabited and is surrounded by snow-clad mountains. It remains covered in snow, rather thick ice, and frozen for the whole winter – summer season from November to June.
Roopkund Lake came to limelight for the mystery of scattered humans skeletons found all over in and around the lake. For the reason, it is often called The Skeletal Lake or The Mystery Lake. Where the mystery can never be answered with certainty, various theories and stories continue to be told time and again and make this secretive place legendary.
Roopkund Trek continues the inherent legacy and fame of the place and is probably the most treaded of the medium duration treks in India. Roopkund Trek gives one an opportunity to witness the mighty 7000ers – Mt. Trishul & Mt. Nanda Devi and also beautiful 6000er peaks of Mt. Nanda Ghunti, Nilkantha, Maiktoli Peak etc.
It takes one to some of the loveliest open grassland meadows, known locally as Bugyals – Ali Bugyal and Bedini Bugyal. The climb to the lake from Bhagwabasa and beyond to Junargali Top challenges ones physical limits.
Roopkund Lake is open to trekkers twice a year – the first period is in summers or the pre-monsoon period in May and June, and the second one is pre-monsoon period in September and October. The former is more challenging with lots of snow along the way and Crazy Peaks team is the only one operating with full technical gears and maximum safety. We fix ropes along the climb, provide seat harness and crampons to the trekkers ensuring maximum trekkers scaling the top. The post-monsoon option is a little easier and great for those who want to trek through lush green meadows or Bugyals.
Roopkund Trek can be easily divided into three parts – early village and mountain river stage, middle bugyals and bigger lakes, and last summit or climb stretch. Roopkund Trek is a must for everyone in the Himalayan trekker community. Eight days spend in these Garhwal mountains will surely leave a mark forever in your hearts.
A must read – A story that will help you plan for your trek on our blog.
Click here to see our recent Expedition footage.
You will be received at Kathgodam Railway Station or the Bus Stand. All trains arrive here from Delhi and various places. Kathgodam is the main Railway Station in the region. From Kathgodam, we begin our journey towards our base for the trek, Lohajung (213kms). The drive goes through the popular hill stations of Bhimtal and Almora. Bhimtal is a sister town of Nainital and Almora is a beautiful and historic town of the Kumaon region which was founded way back in 1568. You drive along amny small streams, most prominent being the River Kosi and enter into the Pindar valley. Your overnight stay at Lohanjung will be at the guest house or a permanent camp.
Today we start our trek, by walking up to the village Didna. Didna is the first camp on the Roopkund Trek. The view from Didna is simply spectacular. The trail to the Didna starts with a steady climb up the Lohajung pass, then there is a descending trail till Bedni River. The Bedni River is also known as Bedni Ganga, as it is locally considered sacred. After crossing a bridge, there is a gradual climb through a forest of Oak and Bamboo. It is a good day, to click some nice photographs but important not to use up your batteries and save them for later. Our campsite is on a beautiful meadow, after crossing the village. Overnight stay in Tents or Homestays.
Today’s part of the trail has steep ascents. After the climb, the views of the Garhwal Himalayas are simply majestic and stunning. You again pass through a forest of Bamboo and Oak. We eventually reach Ali Bugyal, which is a beautiful grazing meadow. Ali Bugyal is beautiful and lies on top a hill and from here we can have a 360 degrees view of the snow mountains. You can see peaks like Chaukhamba and Neelkanth. This is probably one of the most spectacular camping sites in the Garhwal Himalayas. We have our packed lunch at Ali Bugyal. We further trek to Bedini Bugyal which is around an hour almost flat walk and slight descend through meadows. Overnight stay in tents.
Today we start our climb in the morning after breakfast. We first reach a place called Ghora Lotani that is around 2-2.5 hours from Bedini. Beautiful meadows follow us to Ghora Lotani from Bedini and in summers this is he last point from where horses return and hence the name. We go slight down for 30 minutes to reach Patharnachani. From here we enter into higher Himalayas with grassland disappearing along the route and rocky path welcoming us. We climb further for about 2 hours to reach Kelwa Vinayak. Kelua Vinayak or Kalu Vinayak as popularly called is a Hindu shrine and the highest point for today. We have our packed lunch here and walk down for 45 minutes to reach Bhagwabasa base for Roopkund Lake. We camp overnight at Bhagwabasa.
Today is the day! Today is when we will be reaching the Roopkund Lake. Roopkund, the mystery or skeletal lake. It is advisable to start the day as early as 4 am. 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 3 km moderate 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 climb of around 20 minutes takes you to the highest point of Roopkund Lake Trek, i.e. Junargali. Then we head back for our campsite at Patharnachauni. The views from the alpine camp at Patharnachauni extends west across the main Himalayan range as far as Gangotri.
You would see the end of meadows after crossing Bedini Bugyals. On a clear day, you would be astonished by looking at Mt. 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 beautiful Rhododendron forest. You would have a steep descent for the Neel Ganga stream. On reaching Wan village, we drive to Lohajung. This completes our memorable and splendid time during the trek. Time to celebrate! Overnight stay at Lohajung.
Last day of our journey. Today early morning we depart from Lohajung and reach back to our end point of the trip at Kathgodam by 5 pm in the evening (213kms). PLEASE NOTE THAT DO NOT MAKE FURTHER RESERVATIONS TO DELHI / OTHER PLACES BEFORE 8 PM AS IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP SOME BUFFER IN MOUNTAINS. The Mighty Himalayas will miss you all and this marks the end of your Crazy Trek to Roopkund Lake!
|04 May – 10 May||Open|
|11 May – 17 May||Open|
|18 May – 24 May||Open|
|25 May – 31 May||Open|
|01 June – 07 June||Open|
|08 June – 14 June||Open|
|15 June – 21 June||Open|
|22 June – 28 June||Open|
Regular Trek (with Transport): Rs. 9,500/- per person
Twin Supplement (while camping): Rs. 1,500/- per person
Single Supplement (while camping): Rs. 3,500/- per person
|Transport||Kathgodam to Lohajung or Kuling in Jeep / Tempo Traveller|
|Local Transport (Local Jeeps)|
|Lohajung to Kathgodam or Kuling in Jeep / Tempo Traveller|
|Accommodation||Two Nights at Lohajung or Kuling in Tourist Lodge / Fixed Camps|
|Four Nights Camping during Trek on Triple Sharing Basis|
|Camping Tents, Mattresses and Sleeping Bags|
|Mess Tent for the Group|
|Toilet Tents – Dry Pit Style|
|Food||Two Dinners and One Breakfast at Lohajung or Kuling|
|All Meals (Veg.) during the Trek|
|All Meals Cooked in Hygienic Conditions|
|Natural Spring / Purified Water during Trek|
|Special Requests like Jain Food / Food Allergies (at Prior Notice Only)|
|Support Team||One Qualified Trek Leader|
|One Assistant Trek Leader / Local Guide|
|Helping Staff and Porters / Mules for Equipment only|
|Safety & Rescue||Mountaineering Course Qualified Trek Leader|
|Local Support Team for Geographical Intelligence|
|Walky Talky with Team Members for Swift Communication|
|First-Aid Medical Kit with the Team|
|Crampons / Microspikes (if Required)|
|Oxygen Cylinder with the Team|
|Rope-up during Summit Day (if Required)|
|Locking Carabiner and Short Sling for Self-Anchor|
|Nature & Environment||Proper Segregation Bins an Waste Management at Campsite|
|Charity Support to One Local Community-Based NGO|
|Clean up Drive at Season Ending|
|Others||Equipment Purchase and Rental Support|
|Maximum 18-22 Trekkers in a Batch|
|Permits up to Rs. 500/-|
|Trek Contests and Offers (Click Here) – to be updated soon|
|Personal Gears||Click to Download PDF – to be updated soon (ask for email)|
|Meals||Meals During Transportation|
|Tips, Gratitude to the Team|
|Any Other Service Not Mentioned Above in Inclusions|
Crazy Peaks expects you to carry your personal luggage by yourself. If you don’t want to carry your backpack so you can give it to the porter, but you have to inform us in advance and have to pay Rs. 350/- extra per day per bag.
Up to 30 Days:- 90% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
Between 21 – 30 Days:- 60% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
Between 20 – 11 Days:- 30% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
Less than 10 Days:- No refund.
Up to 10 Days:- 30% of Trek/adventure program cost will be charged.
Less than 10 Days:- No rescheduling allowed.
Any additional costs due to bad weather of un-foreseen situations, will have to be borne by the traveller.
Getting Wet and Falling Sick.
Slipping and Falling down.
Carry Rain-Protection gear to stay dry and comfortable.
Wear Strong Shoes with Good Grip.
Wear Goggles while trekking in daylight. Wear photo-chromatic lenses if you wear spectacles.
Delayed help in case of emergency or getting lost.
Follow the instructions given by the Trek Leader and Guide.
Walk with the group and keep a watch on your group members.
Acute Mountain Sickness (happens due the lower partial pressure of Oxygen at altitudes above 8,000 feet)
Symptoms – headache, muscle aches, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, irritability, loss of appetite, swelling of the hands, feet, and face; rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath with physical exertion, coughing, chest congestion, inability to walk or lack of balance.
Gradually attain height.
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water, at least 2-3 liters a day. Drink a lot of water/juice/tea etc.
Abstain from alcohol and smoking.
Eat high caloric food.
Acclimatize for a day or two before you start a high altitude trek. Take plenty of fluids and try to avoid unnecessary physical exertion.
If you’re going to an unknown terrain, they can attack you. Be Careful.
Don’t go anywhere alone, especially after dark.
Keep your eyes and ears open and try to stay in a group.
Purchase necessary Heath insurances that will cover up the cost of treatment.
Follow the instructions given by the Trek Leader.
Walk on the defined trail.
Things to Get:
1. Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy and comfortable shoulder straps and supporting frame. Add-on poncho can be considered to keep it dry.
2. Trekking shoes. Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Shoes should have good grip, ankle support and waterproofing.
3. 2 x waterproof track-pants. Track-pants are light. Plus when things get cold you can wear one over the other. DO NOT bring Jeans, Shorts, Capris, etc.
4. 3 x cotton t-shirts – full sleeves preferred.
5. 1 x Fleece jacket; a woolen sweater would be an alternative.
6. 1 x Wind-proof jacket. 7. 1 pair x thermal inner.
8. 2 pairs x sports socks and 1 pair x woolen socks.
9. Woolen monkey cap / balaclava that covers the ear.
10. 1 pair x woolen gloves and 1 pair of synthetic gloves (water proof).
11. Sun Cap and Sun-glasses which cover your eyes well.
12. People who wear spectacles, choose one of these: a) Use contact lenses. b) Photo-chromatic glasses c) If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
13. Towel (Thin, quick drying type).
14. Cold cream and sun screen lotion (SPF 40+) and one Lip-balm.
15. 2 x Water bottles (1 L each).
16. Torch with extra set of cells (head lamps preferable).
17. Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper.
18. Although we carry first-aid kit, we recommend you carrying a personal medicine kit. If you are travelling with friends, you can share one amongst 2-3 people. Contents:
f) Crepe bandage
g) Band aid
j) Betadine cream
k) Moov / similar spray
l) Dettol / Savlon.
19. Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc. (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available during trek)
20. Slippers / sandals (for walking around campsite, you can share this with tent mates).
22. Some trekkers feel loss of energy more than others. While there is adequate food provided on the trek, carry dry fruit combinations as light snacks. Glucon-D can help in instant energy and considered good in AMS as well (not proven).
23. Gaiters (Mandatory for snow treks)
24. While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
25. ADVENTURE SPIRIT.
IMPORTANT: NEVER LEAVE ANY PLASTIC OUT IN THE NATURE. Plastic is only for use. If you’ve spare plastic bag, free hands and some will, we’d recommend you collecting non-biodegradable waste from the trail and bringing back as much as possible. We all can do our bit for the Mother Nature.
Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents:
a.) An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
b.) A passport size photo.
c.) A medical and disclaimer certificate. The documents are mandatory. Without them you will not be allowed to trek.
For any trek physical fitness is a must. Make sure you start to train yourself a few weeks from the commencement of the trek. Starting from brisk walking one should be able to run comfortably for 4-5 kms. in 30 minutes ensures that you are ready to take on the harsh conditions of a high altitude trek. If you are just fit, you will still be able to do the same trek, but the difficulties you face will be harder. So it is best to be 100% fit for you to enjoy the trek without worries.
Services/Equipment’s provided by us on the Trek:
1. Member Tents and Sleeping Bags.
2. Kitchen set-up and toilet tents.
3. Cooking utensils.
4. Services of professional trek leaders, guides and support staff.
5. Food (Veg.) while on trek.
6. Forest permits.
7. Camping charges.
8. First-Aid Kit and Oxygen Cylinder with our team.
9. Mules/porters to carry the above mentioned luggage.
10. Happy Lifetime Memories.
If you are a first time trekker, we would advise you against getting trekking shoes. These shoes are generally quite heavy and walking in them can be quite tiring if you have just started out trekking. Trekking shoes are useful on very serious and technical climbs and you can do without them on most beginner level treks we do.
Lohajung is 213 kms from Kathgodam.
This trek usually takes seven days. But situation can change depending upon the weather.
No, as it is a usual trekking are there are no dangerous animals there. Small animals and birds can be seen. The place is at height so people with fear of heights should not go there. The weather can get cold at any time so warm clothes should be packed along with raincoats.
During May – June day temperature is 15 degrees C to 20 degrees C and at night 7 degrees C to -2 degrees C. Whereas during September to October day temperature is 10 degrees C to 15 degrees C and at night 5 degrees C to -5 degrees C.
Trek varies from moderate to difficult depending upon snow fall.
You will get normal drinking water at each camping point. If you want mineral water then you can buy whenever available enroute.
For any high altitude trek, there is a certain amount of chance of suffering from AMS. Roopkund is also not an exception. But proper acclimatization can help avoiding AMS easily.