For my first hike in 2020, I decided to participate in the Kuari pass winter hike in late December. Recent weather reports indicate that the mountains of Uttarakhand will continue to snow heavily in the first weeks of January, so I think this is the best time.
Get to the nearest town of the Kuari Pass trek, also known as Lord Curzon’s Path, which is Joshimath. Joshimath does not have a direct bus to Delhi, so to get to Joshimath, you need to first get to Haridwar from Delhi and then take a direct bus from Haridwar to Joshimath.
I got on a bus to Haridwar from ISBT Kashmir Gate (250 rupees) in Delhi. The bus left Delhi at 10:30 pm and arrived in Haridwar at 3 am. The bus to Joshimath leaves at 4 am (400 rupees). There are many buses from Haridwar to Joshimath, which usually leave early (all before 6 am).
Note: There is almost no bus to Joshimath after 7 am.
Although the bus ride from Haridwar is 12 hours long and dangerous, the beauty of the mountains does not make you feel anything.
Entering the Snow-Covered Joshimath
Joshimath stands at an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level and is a small town nestled in the mountains. As soon as I stepped into this city, I was attracted by the beauty of the snow-capped mountains.
For this trek, I have made pre-arrangements with the local guide. This is the first time I hire a guide for a hike, but it is necessary because the trail is covered in snow and I go alone.
Because I arrived in Joshimath at 4:00 pm, my plan was to start hiking early the next morning. I stayed in a nice and comfortable room at Elephant View Hotel for only 300 rupees per night.
Trek to Kuari Pass
The next morning, I took a jeep to Dhak Town, 15 kilometers away from Joshimath (arranged by the tour guide). The trek starts with a magnificent view of the beautiful Himalayas, including peaks like Nanda Devi and Zhuonagiri, and is everywhere uphill. At the end of the first day, we decided to camp in Talli (10 kilometers from the starting point) in half a meter of snow. No one else was camping here. We set up a tent and started collecting dry wood. When the sun goes down, the weather starts to get very cold.
When the temperature drops below 0 degrees, it is difficult to survive without the continuous burning of wood. As soon as the fire went out, he fell asleep, and we immediately packed our sleeping bags.
We set off early the next morning after having breakfast. We took a detour to the top of Mt. Tali and enjoyed the magnificent White Mountain at 360 degrees. I experienced snow blindness for the first time (due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet light). We were in 45 feet of snow, and now hiking has become very difficult.
When we reached the most difficult part of the hike, it was 5 kilometers from Tali to Kuri Pass. The increase in the snow on the trails makes every step very slippery, and the high-speed wind increases combat.
Proper hiking equipment, including gloves, hats, and goggles, is essential when trying to hike in winter. After the recent snowfall, we were the first to reach Kuari Pass, so we got these amazing views:
Looking for the way back
We returned from Kuari Pass and arrived in Tali at 4:00 pm, we Camped there overnight… In 45 feet of snow, this is a 12-kilometer hike.
The hike the next day was relatively easy because it was all downhill. We were embraced by the snowfall on the way back, and everything became very beautiful. I got back to Joshimath before 3 pm and stayed at the Elephant View Hotel again for the night. Bus leaves Joshimath early in the morning. The first leaves at 4 in the morning and the last leaves at 6 in the morning. From Hardiwar, you can take a bus to Delhi at any time.
More information about trekking
This is considered a medium trek with a total distance of 3035 kilometers. You can try it without a guide in summer, but it is recommended to bring a guide in winter.
Winter essentials: warm clothing, waterproof shoes, gloves, glasses, and hats.
Itinerary Day 0: Board the bus to Haridwar from ISBT Kashmir Gate at 10 pm (cost 250 rupees).
Day 1: Arrive in Haridwar at 3.30 in the morning. M. Take the bus to Joshimath (400 rupees) at 4:00 in the morning. M. Arrived in Joshimath at 4:00 pm. M. Check in the hotel for the night and start hiking the next morning.
Day 2: Arrive at Dhak Village from Joshimath and start the trek from Dhak to Talli. Overnight in Tully.
Day 3: Trek to Kuari Pass and return to Talli. Overnight in Tully.
Day 4: Return to Joshimath on foot. Explore Joshimath and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 5: Take the early morning bus to Haridwar, then Haridwar to Delhi. Visit us: Cruixair