ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

India
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Overview

The Great Lakes as the name suggests treks through many high altitudes alpine lakes situated at the foothills of different snowy mountain peaks in Kasmir. The trails pass through streams, plenty of colourful meadows and cross three mountain passes. The trek from Sonamag to Naranag via Nichnai Pass is among the most beautiful trekking routes in Himalayas. The trek has innumerable beautiful alpine lakes throughout its trails. The vistas will leave you with memories that would last a lifetime. Since it’s a moderate level trek, it can be taken up by fit but amateur trekkers or even some first timers. Arduous days, steep and rocky passes and altitudes approaching 4200m all makes it an challenging trek in one of the most beautiful and serene parts of Kashmir.

Quick Facts

Best Time : July, August and September

Duration : 09 Days

Max. Altitude : 4200 m

Commences At : Srinagar

Ends At : Srinagar

  • Arrival in Srinagar.
  • Sonamarg to Nichnai (5 hours trek)
  • Nichnai to Vishnasar Lake (6 hrs trek)
  • Krishansar to Gadsar Pass (6 hrs trek)
  • Gadsar to Satsar Lake to Megandoab (5 hrs trek)
  • Satsar to Gangabal lake (6 hrs trek)
  • Rest/Buffer Day.
  • Gangabal to Naranag (5 hours trek) - Srinagar (2 hrs drive)
  • Departure from Srinagar.

Contact

Reception at Srinagar airport by our representative and drive to hotel at Sonamarg for an overnight stay.
We pack our load and backpack on horses and start our 5 hours trek through pine forest and meadows of Shokdari and reach Nichnai for an overnight stay.
We leave Nichnai meadow and immediately start ascending one of the three passes of the trek up and over the Nichnai Pass (4000m). We ascend through long grazing pastures sheep. After crossing the pass we enter into the Vishansar Valley (the valley of medicinal plants), where we descend gradually through the alpine flower valley and camp at Vishansar Lake for an overnight stay.
After discovering Vishansar Lake we head towards its sibling the Krishansar Lake which lies just over a ridge. We take its eastern shore to ascend the second pass of the trek the Gadsar Pass (4050m). On the top of the pass we have the aerial view of the whole Vishansar valley among it are situated the twin lakes of Vishansar and Krishansar, "the source of the Neelam River". We descend through Gadsar valley and lakes and camp at Kustoor Kout for an overnight stay.
We ascend Kostur Kout leaving Gadsar valley and enter the meadow of Rasbal. It's the Rasbal where a flowing river disappears underground. We continue our trek through seven small lakes of Satsar and camp at Megandoab at the foothills of the third pass of Zajibal for an overnight stay.
We ascend the last and the highest pass of our trek 'Zajibal Pass (4180m)'. We forget all our tiredness when reaching atop because of the views, scenery it provides. We see Mount Haramukh (5300m) just standing at our face and at its footsteps lie the twin beautiful alpine lakes of Gangabal and Nundkol. We descend it to reach Gangabal Lake for an overnight stay.
This day is kept as a buffer day in case of bad weather.
We trek down to Naranag village and take our car drive back to Srinagar. Drop at Srinagar. Trip Ends.
Drop at Srinagar airport for departure.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

  1. Transport: All ground transport by car. Airport transfers to and from Srinagar to Sonamarg and back from Naranag to Srinagar.
  2. Accommodation: 02 nights Srinagar stay in basic Hotel/Guesthouse on twin sharing basis and 05 nights tented camps (02 person double fly dome tents on twin sharing basis).
  3. Meals: In Srinagar (Breakfast and Dinner). Trek (All meals) Pack lunch/tea/coffee/kahwa, drinking water.
  4. All trekking gear included (tents, sleeping bags, mats, blankets, trekking poles, first aid, and trek permit.)
  5. Guide, cooking staff, helpers. Horses for carrying backpacks.

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

  1. International or domestic flights
  2. Visa (For foreign nationals)
  3. Travel insurance.
  4. Personal clothing and equipment.
  5. Any medical costs incurred by you, or costs associated with a medical incident, such as your evacuation from the mountain and/ or hospitalization.
  6. Optional trips or excursions.
  7. Tips for local staff and guides.
  8. Lunch/Snacks in Srinagar.

1. What are the staying arrangements for this trek?

This trekking format is often referred to as an expedition format of trekking prevalent in the Indian Himalayas. The entire trek will be self-sufficient with a separate Kitchen Tent and Staff, Dining Tent, Toilet Tent and 3- Man, Dome shaped tents in which trekkers will be accommodated on a double occupancy. On the first night, trekkers will be staying in Sonmarg in a Guest House, and on completion of the trek, we will be arranging for a night in a House Boat on Dal Lake, in Srinagar.

2. What kind of Physical shape do I need to be to undertake this trek?

You need to be in good physical shape to trek especially to trek over the mountain pass. It’s a challenging trek and does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our physical fitness document for more details on this topic.

3. What are the entry and exit points for this trek?

One needs to fly to Srinagar Airport for the Great lakes of Kashmir trek. There are regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. On your arrival at the airport, you will be picked up and driven directly to Sonmarg where an Adventure-Pulse representative will greet you. The next day, we make our way to the start point of the trek by car which is a short 30 minute drive. After the trek, we will arrange for transportation to Srinagar for a night on a House boat and the next day we transfer you back to Srinagar airport for your flight out.

4. Do I need any special equipment/climbing gear for this trek?

Any kind of climbing equipment or gears are not required for this trek. For list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the trek. You do need to make sure you have adequate warm clothes and very good Rain Gear as we do expect rainfall on this trail.

5. What is the communication system available on the way?

Regular phone and data services work in Srinagar. While on the trek, most days there is no network. One is disconnected on most days during the course of the trek.

6. What about high altitude acclimatization?

We at Adventure Pulse consider acclimatization as one of the most important aspects of trekking / climbing a mountain and spend enough time to do that. We move up the mountain slowly giving enough time to our bodies to acclimatize. Each day, we monitor each trekkers SPO2, Blood Oxygen Saturation, with a portable Oximeter, to ensure they are acclimatizing well. Our senior guide will keep monitoring the team on a daily basis to ensure that there are no problems along the way.

7. What are the food arrangements?

Meals will be as close to home cooked food as possible and is usually Vegetarian. Breakfasts will consist of bread, honey, jams, tea and Nescafe along with eggs, paranthas, etc. For lunch there will be a variety of local food , or a full packed lunch. Dinner will usually be a soup followed by lentils, vegetable curry. Our endeavour will be to try ensuring a daily variety in the food that we prepare so we keep the group's appetite up along with their morale.

8. Will I be able to take a shower or bath during the course of the climb?

Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel, but while we are higher up on the trek, shower facility is not available for the trekking period.

9. What are the emergency medical precautions available for this trek?

The Adventure-Pulse staff and guides carry a fully equipped medical kit with necessary medicines and an Oxygen meter. As a standard practice, we check oxygen levels of all our clients twice a day and take necessary precautions if any irregularity is found in the oxygen reading. In case the problem persists, the client is sent down with a qualified guide. In case of an Injury where the trekker is not in a position to walk down, a Pony is organized to the closest road head where a vehicle and a doctor visit can be organized.

10. What happens in case of bad weather on the mountain?

Adventure-Pulse usually plans all it treks during the most favorable season on the mountain, but having said that, weather is always an unpredictable factor. We usually look at weather reports before leaving for the trek. In case the weather is unfavorable, we could delay it to the next day depending upon the Itinerary. A buffer day/s is always built in the itinerary as contingency if we get hit by unfavorable weather conditions. In the worse situation, we may have to turn back midway, but safety is always a priority which cannot be compromised on.

Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering and trekking equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.

Apparels

  1. Trekking Boots / Shoes (preferably up to ankle length & water resistant)
  2. Multiple pairs of Cotton and woolen socks (at least 3-4 pairs of each)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 2/3)
  4. Thermal inners and sweater/warm sweat shirt (1 each)
  5. Cotton T-shirts (3 to 4 minimum)
  6. Rain gear. Either a rain coat and trousers or a rain poncho.
  7. Warm thermal fleece jacket.
  8. 01 Peak Cap + at least 01 Woolen Cap
  9. 01 pair of warm gloves with windproof outer layer.
  10. 01 pair floaters.

Accessories

  1. Air bag / Duffel bag (No Suitcases). Preferably water proof / water resistant.
  2. Day Back with rain proof cover. (25 to 35 ltrs)
  3. Drinking Water Bottle 1 Litre
  4. Torch + Batteries
  5. Camera + Batteries
  6. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  7. Nail Cutter / Pocket / Pen Knife
  8. Cold cream
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Chap-stick / Vaseline
  11. Personal toiletries (Tooth Paste / Toilet Paper / Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes etc.)
  12. Medical kit (With basic medicines for headache, upset Stomach, sour throat, water purification tablets/drops, band aids, painkillers & Moov/ Iodex , Vics Vaporub , D-Cold)
  13. Any personal medication (Individual specific)
  14. High energy snacks like Dry fruits, Bars of chocolate, Tang, Glucose etc.
  15. Good Quality Sun shades.
  16. Sun block. (SPF40+)
The trek to Great Lakes can be steep & strenuous at some places, even though it does not require that you have any previous mountaineering experience in Particular, It’s important that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 5-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to trek at max. Altitude of 13,750 feet and walk through beautiful meadows and glaciers leading to pristine lakes of Kashmir. You will spend 6 - 7 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin. We recommend the following schedule to the participants:
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. Week One/Two: The participants should be develop the habit of being able to get up in the morning and run / brisk walk  for a minimum of 3-4 Km at least 4-5 days a week. This would represent at least 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well.  During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (Avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you Don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for at least 4 days a week.
  2. Week Three/Four: Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym. Avoid heavy weight training. Focus more on a core workout. These are your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. Week Five/Six: In addition to the week two exercise, one additional feature you should add in Week three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 3-4 kgs. This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week one, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
  4. Week Seven/Eight: Sustenance. Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks/runs and climbing flight of stairs.
  5. Week Nine: Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable. Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning/evening with a daypack of 2-3 Kg; about 30-35 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and endurance considerably.

Please remember, consistency is the Key here. Do not do anything to exert yourself or something that will increase chances of Injury. Running / brisk walking 4-5 kms for 5 days in a week is far better than running a 20 km on one day of the week and injuring your Knee/Ligaments in the process. If you can be consistent with above mentioned schedule, The Great Lakes Trek, though physically challenging, will become a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!

Contact: info@adventure-pulse.com

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