ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

India
Kashmir Winter Trek

Overview

Kashmir with its unparalleled beauty, postcard-perfect scenes and almost European vistas frankly needs no introduction. The Marchoi Valley trek traverses some of the hidden jewels in the Kashmiri mountainscape. the pristine alpine meadows along with pine and silver birch forests. With glacier-covered mountains in the distance, snow all around and beautiful winter forests the Marchoi Valley trek is guaranteed to bring out your inner child

Starting from the popular hill station Naranag, the trail follows ancient routes taken by the Gujjars, the nomadic shepherds of Kashmir. Every day on the trail, trekkers are treated to breathtaking views of rugged snow-capped mountains, colourful grasslands, and trout-filled crystal clear streams. It goes without saying that it is a physically easy and mentally challenging trek and would require the trekkers to be physically fit to traverse through the snow in the winter months and to have a penchant for the Himalayan remoteness to enjoy this trek. As the trek begins from Srinagar, you can also add a day to visit the beautiful city in Winter and if you’re lucky find the Dal Lake frozen.

What to Expect?

Kashmir in winter is a winter wonderland and as you make your way to Naranag, expect to see entire valleys covered in snow. The trek is an easy to moderate trek. The first day of trekking on the Kashmir Winter Trek is an easy trek to Dumail which acts as our base for the rest of the duration. The next day we trek into the Marchoi Valley. On this day you can expect to be walking through 3-4 feet of snow. Specialized spike attachments designed to clip on to your trekking shoes aid in walking in the snow. Words cannot describe the beauty of the Marchoi Valley and it is a different world altogether, frozen waterfalls, a blanket of snow and ice bridges make the experience a mystical one. The penultimate day of trekking is spent hiking to Shadimarg. This is the highest point of the trek at around 2600 metres in altitude. 

What would the weather be like?

The best time to go for the Kashmir Winter Trek is in the winter months of January, February and March. Expect it to be cold with a high chance of snow. We at Adventure-Pulse will ensure your comfort by providing thick canvas tents, double-lined sleeping bags and hot water. During the day, the average temperature is around -5 Celsius that plummets to a chilly -15 Celsius at night.  

Who do we recommend the Kashmir Winter Trek to?

We recommend the Kashmir Winter Trek to beginner and amateur trekkers looking for a relaxed winter trek with comfortable amenities. As Naranag is well connected even in winter (Flying to Srinagar and a short drive to Naranag) this trek is perfect for any dates in the winter, unlike the Chadar Trek which depends on the ice conditions. The trekking distance and difficulty is low, but the cold is something that makes the trek a moderate one.

Quick Facts

Best Time : January, February and March

Duration : 06 Days

Max. Altitude : 2600 metres

Commences At : Srinagar

Ends At : Srinagar

  • Arrival at Srinagar, Drive to Naranag and spend the night in a Village Home stay.
  • Trek from Naranag village to Dumail (2 hr) and set up base camp.
  • Trek from Dumail to Marchoi Valley via Shingdi and back to Dumail (6 hrs).
  • Trek to Shadimarg Top.
  • Trek from Dumail to Naranag (2 hrs) and drive to Srinagar.
  • Fly out of Srinagar

Contact

The first day on the Kashmir Winter trek. Adventure-Pulse representatives will pick you up from the Sheikh ul Alam Airport, also known as the Srinagar airport. You'll then start the drive to Naranag which is a 4-hour drive. The takes you to the heart of Kashmir. At Naranag, you can visit the famous temple built in the 8th century. You will spend the night at a comfortable homestay where you can try some of the local cuisines and learn about life in the mountains.
Our first day of trekking on the Marchoi Valley trek. We start the day by trekking towards Dumail. This will serve as our base for the rest of the trek. The trek begins with a steep climb from Naranag into the pine forests that surround it. The trail diverts from the trail to Gangabal Lake (The last lake on the Kashmir Great Lakes trek) and makes its way through Silver Birch trees down to Dumail. The trek itself should take close to 2 hours. This will also be the first day of camping in the snow.
From our base at Dumail, we’ll start today’s journey by trekking to the Marchoi Valley. To get to the valley we’ll be crossing Shingdi. Shingdi is a pasture used by the Gujjars and Bakarwals as grazing sites during the Summer. However, when you arrive, it’ll be under a couple of feet of snow. The trek to Marchoi will take close to 3-4 hours. Once in the valley, we’ll spend some time exploring this untouched valley. There are a couple of streams with Himalayan Trout, identified with their characteristic black spots. After exploring the Marchoi valley, we’ll head back to our base of Dumail. The night will be spent in tents at Dumail.
The longest day on the trek. The trek to Shadimarg top is definitely the best day of the trek. The trek to the top will involve a 4-5 hour trek depending on the snow conditions. Walking through deep powder snow is tiring and slows the pace down. Once at the top, you get a beautiful view of the valley below. You can also spot a couple of lakes in the distance. After relaxing at the summit, we’ll start our journey back to Dumail.
The last of trekking. We start our journey back to Naranag after a scrumptious breakfast. Once we reach Naranag, we’ll be greeted by our cabs that will take us back to Srinagar. Accommodation in Srinagar will be at a hotel overlooking the Dal Lake.
Adventure-Pulse representatives will escort you to the airport in time for your flight.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

  • Accommodation in dome tent on double sharing basis
  • Home Stay in Naranag on Day 1. (Basic home stay*)
  • 01 Night Stay in Srinagar at the end of the trek.
  • All cab transfers from Srinagar Airport and Naranag
  • Meals during camping and homestay.
  • All camping equipment, including sleeping bags, mats and toilet tent.
  • Experienced Guide.
  • Dining tent.
  • Cook, helpers, horses and permits.
  • Porterage for personal Bags
  • All permits

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal clothing and equipment.
  • Tips for local staff and guides.
  • Dinner in Srinagar.
Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to the sun are certain factors that necessitate the need for proper 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 / woollen socks (at least 4 /5 pairs)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 2).
  4. Thermal inners and Sweater/warm sweatshirt (2 each)
  5. Full sleeves T-shirts (2 to 3 minimum)
  6. Waterproof Jacket/ wind sheeter.
  7. Warm thermal jacket / Down jacket.
  8. 01 Peak Cap + at least 1 Woollen Cap
  9. 02 pair of warm gloves. (Inner and Outer)

Accessories

  1. Air bag / Duffel bag (No Suitcases)
  2. Day Back Pack
  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, Vicks Vaporub, D-Cold etc)
  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 Kashmir Winter Trek is a trek where you need to be in good physical condition before you start the trek. Your body should be able to bear extreme cold caused by the subzero temperatures which can even drop down to as low as – 20 degree Celsius. You must be able to brisk walk for 2 – 3 km before the trek starts. This makes your lungs strong and gives it ability to process less air for more work. It also helps the body to acclimatize better to the cold and low oxygen levels.
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. Week 1: Develop a habit of getting up early in the morning and run / brisk walk for a minimum 2 – 3 km, at least 3 – 4 days a week. This would represent 20 – 25 minutes of cardio. Also avoid taking elevators and start using the stairs instead. To start with, climb 3 – 4 floors each day to make your thigh muscles strong. If running is not your thing, you can cycle for about 30 minutes or swim for about 500 m, at least 4 times a week.
  2. Week 2: Being consistent with your exercise during week 1, increase your distance to 4 – 5 km and 5 times a week. You can also start with interval training which is a method of training the cardiovascular system by elevating the heart rate significantly and then allowing it to recover for a period before elevating it again. Ex. You may sprint to push your heart rate, then walk to allow it to calm down before starting the sprint again.
  3. Week 3: Strength & Endurance. After successfully following the schedule for the first 2 weeks, Just be consistent with your work out and increase the intensity slowly.

Consistency is the key. If you follow the above schedule thoroughly; you will be able to acclimatize better while at high altitude. Feel free to drop us a message and we'd be happy to help you draft a fitness regime suited to you.

Contact: [email protected]

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