Located in the heart of the Kumaon Uttarakhand, near the outer sanctum of Nanda Devi; Tharkot stands tall at 6099 metres. This mountain is truly majestic and is the perfect combination of wild, isolated and climbing. Tharkot is considered a semi-technical peak with the knowledge of how to use crampons, fixed ropes and ice axes a requirement. It was first spotted by Eric Shipton and his party while making their way back from Nanda Devi via the Sunderdunga Col.
This majestic peak gets its name from its resemblance to the Tahr, a species of mountain goat found in the area. The unmistakable double point near the summit of the peak truly stands out. Tharkot is nestled between the mountains of Maiktolia and Panwalidwar. Tharkot finds itself at the end of a series of peaks all over 5000 metres and at the end of the Sunderdhunga Valley trek.
Tharkot is the perfect mountain for individuals looking for a climbing challenge with an exploratory angle. The route to the summit is not defined and it is the closest to a true exploratory expedition to an unknown mountain. The approach to basecamp itself has its own series of challenges and is not to be taken lightly. The expedition will take you far away from civilization and you will be required to be a part of the load ferrying and camp setup process. Apart from the technical skills, significant fitness levels are required, similar to the level required to tackle a peak such as Satopanth.
Tharkot has a special place in our hearts as back in 2020 we set off to tackle this mesmerizing peak. Struck with bad weather and unfavourable conditions we had to call off the expedition. You can read more about the expedition here.
Best Time : April-May & September-November
Duration : 17 Days
Max. Altitude : 6,099 Metres
Commences At : Kathgodam Railway Station or Pantnagar Airport
Ends At : Kathgodam Railway Station or Pantnagar Airport
The first day of the Tharkot expedition. The nearest airport to the trek is Pantnagar and the nearest train station is Kathgodam. There are regular flights and trains from Delhi. As you arrive, an Adventure-Pulse representative will be there to receive you and they’ll drive you to Binsar. The first night of the trek will be spent in swiss tents at the Binsar Adventure Camp, where you’ll get a chance to learn about Kumaon culture. The camp is on the periphery of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Here we will also check your equipment.
The trekking starts from the moment you reach Kahrkia. After a scrumptious meal at a restaurant at the road end, you start our journey following the route to the village of Jatoli. The trail follows lush forest, streams as it makes its way up to Jatoli. On the way, we cross numerous smaller villages and a couple of suspension bridges. The locals here grow a variety of crops such as lentils, hemp and much more. It’s a good idea to stop en route and interact with the locals to learn about life in the mountains. The trek to Jatoli should take close to 5 hours and is on the easier end. The trail starts going uphill after we cross the second suspension bridge over the confluence of the Sunderdhunga and Pindar river and continues till Jatoli. The village of Jatoli is spectacular. Nestled between the mountains, Jatoli is picturesque.
Day two takes you to Kathaliya. This is one of the harder days of the trek and it is best to start early to avoid reaching late in the evening as the route passes through a lush forest known for leopards and black bears. The trail for day 2 begins by moving deeper into the forest for about 3 hours. There are many streams on the way make sure you take a moment to refill your bottles with fresh glacial water. The trail then disappears as we hit the riverbed. The moraine filled area follows the river as it bobs and weaves through the valley. The Last section involves a steep hike to the Kathaliya. Kathaliya has a small hut by the forest department that you will stay in.
The third day of the Sunderdhunga Valley trek is where you cross the forest and tree line and make your way to Sukhram Caves. The trek to the cave has two routes, one following the riverbed and the other involving a steep ascent followed by a gradual walk traversing a ridge. Today’s trek is on the harder side as the altitude gain is quite significant. While going up, you will take the riverbed route. The trail involves a short descent to the riverbed which is marked by the scattered moraine brought down by a glacier many hundreds of years ago. As you make your way crisscrossing through the moraine, you get a chance to see the majestic mountains of Maiktoli, Panwalidwar, Baljouri and Nanda Kot. These 6000m peaks stand tall towering above the valley and is a true testament to the architecture of mother nature. The faces of Maiktoli and Panwalidwar are the most treacherous faces that we have seen. Once you reach the bottleneck, where the valley narrows, you cross the stream and begin a steep ascent up to Sukhram Caves. The ascent takes around 2 hours and from Sukhram caves, you’ll get a chance to see the Sunderdhunga Glacier. The camp will be set just above the caves under the protection of Tharkot, Tent Peak and many ice-laden peaks.
The last day in the high-altitude lands of Uttarakhand. You start our journey back, using the second route to Kathaliya. The route involves a steep ascent of about 20 minutes and then is a flat traverse to Balooni Top. Keep your eyes open as you may spot some Thar and foxes. If we are lucky, we might find some snow leopard pugmarks. From Balooni top, we’ll get a panoramic view of the outer sanctum of Nanda Devi. After saying goodbye to the majestic mountains, you start your steep descent to Kathaliya back to the rhododendron forests and the comfort of the hut.
From Kathaliya, you follow the same trail through the lush forests back to Jatoli. The trek is much easier as our body is accustomed to the high altitude and walking long distances. With tall oaks, beautiful rhododendrons, the forest transports you to a different world.
The last day on the expedition. We trek to the start point of Kahrkia. The trek takes close to 5 hours and is the perfect parting shot to one of the most beautiful treks. Drive to Kathgodam and stay in a comfortable hotel.
Adventure-Pulse representatives will usher you to the airport/railway station.
Contact: [email protected]