Four club members, Jude Cahill, Alex Donald, Lee Marling and Nino Fioretti spent twelve days walking in the Pindari Glacier area. This was the club’s second trip to the area. It lies roughly 50km south of the border with China and 50km west of the border with Nepal in the province of Kumaon, Uttaranchal state. The region is near to the source of the Ganges at Gangotri and features many ancient temples, huge forests, farming villages and small towns along the river valleys.
After a couple of days in Delhi we caught the train to Kathgodam, the last station on the railway line. We then took a jeep for the six hour drive to Bageshwar through the Himalayan foothills. A lovely winding drive with steep ascents and descents through forests, terraced farmlands, colourful temple complexes and villages. It is always nice to stop for chai and snacks of fresh pakoras and samosas.
From Bageshwar we drove through the Saryu River valley for 90 minutes to the village of Song where the trek begins. A further 3km 90 minute uphill walk took us to Loharkhet where we stayed for the night. Our afternoon walk was cut short by dozens leeches and heavy rain.
The next day we began the nine km climb to the Dakhuri Pass at 2900m, an altitude gain of 1.2km in just over five hours. We had lunch at the hamlet of Dakhuri and stayed the night in the forest rest home, the views obscured by clouds. A clear morning brought us wonderful views of peaks over 6000m, Maiktoli, Nanda Khat and Nanda Kot. We spent the next four days walking through the Pindari Valley with lovely farms, oak and rhododendron forest, waterfalls, monkeys and the fast flowing river never far away.
We camped next to Baba Ji’s small temple again where we enjoyed chai and a halwa breakfast before climbing up to Zero Point to view the glacier. We spent a morning climbing up to 4000m to get the views of the glacier and the mountains and spent the afternoons in our tents due to rain and hail.
Our last nights were spent camped at the Jai Chilta Temple at 3100m near the Dakhuri pass with great views of the main Himalayan range. Each evening we witnessed storms dumping fresh snow on the lower hills near the glacier where we had been without realising that this was the storm that had killed nearly forty trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit just two hundred km away.
It was great to complete another trek with the ABW (this time without injury or mishap!) in this wonderful region of India.