8 Days 7 Nights
As you know every mountainous excursion demands a precise planning, a planning with adequate pliability of observing and tackling situations, held all as by overcoming mind body and soul throughout the incredible Himalayan journey.
So here are some aspects regarding Rupin Pass Trek preparation:
Physically – A trek demands physical endurance, to prepare for each trek you should work out a month before joining a program. Build up the adequate strength in your legs by running and exercising every day to boost up your endurance. Stop smoking and boost your lungs doing breathing exercises at routine basis two times a day, which will help acclimatize the conditions while being resilient on the trek. Take active part in outdoor games, Yoga and any other cardiac exercises.
Mentally – Mental preparation is key, equally as important as physical training requisite for a trek. Before joining any trek take pleasure in your daily routines, eat well, take rest properly and relax. Do not stress your mind by unnecessary predictions about the trek. Be with your best friends to get motivated and relax your mind. Because pre trek assumptions are not worthy because once you join the trek and meet with rest of the pack will bring encouragement and excitement. The mental preparedness will build through the entire trek conditions. And the physical drawbacks will affect the mind. So pay close attention to various parts of the body and consciously let them loosen up as you trek. When you trek try to relax your body, especially your hips. If you’re on a winding downhill trail or on a panicking slant, think of each step as part of a simple dance and enjoy the natural rhythms that the terrain and your body can find together cautiously. Experiment with different ways of walking as a way of finding enjoyment beyond the goal of reaching a destination. The main key to stay mentally fit is to enjoy the route and not to pressurize the mind.
Technically- Gear up yourself with perfect size trekking shoes and walk with it. Use 60ltr. Backpack in a daily routine with some weight inside it, so you become used to carrying loads. Buy a trekking pole, water bottle, warm socks, thermals, fleece, feather jackets, trousers, poncho, flip flops, electronics such as power bank, camera (DSLR or digital camera).
Day 1: Dehradun to Dhaula
Journey will begin as we meet at our designated meeting point in Dehradun and begin our journey to the hidden gem of Uttarkashi district, Dhaula. We begin in the morning itself to avoid getting stuck in traffic or any other blockade we might find in the way that might delay our journey. We will pass through Mussoorie and the famous Kempty falls, so you can expect to end up in tremendous traffic knowing the amount of tourists these hill stations attract. We will take a couple of pit stops along the way to have breakfast and then our last halt will be at Purola to have lunch. Remember that after Purola we will not receive mobile network so it is best to call your family and friends to inform them that you will next call them from Ronti Gad after crossing the pass. We will arrive at Dhaula early in the evening where we will be allotted our tents and briefed by trek leader about the details of the trek. Overnight stay at Dhaula.
Day 2: Dhaula to Sewa
The first day of our trek will begin soon after breakfast. We will try to leave as early as possible for two reasons. One, the sun makes it very hot to trek in and secondly, it is a common phenomenon in the mountains that the weather changes in the afternoon and there is a probability of rain. The initial part of the trek is gradual and we trek on the mud road. Soon after leaving the village we get on to the mountainous trails and pass through rhododendron and pine forests. The smell of the trees just brightens up your mood. We will halt in between to have lunch and energize for the rest of the trek ahead for the day. Today’s trail mostly progresses through dense forests on gradual slopes and we reach Sewa. The village is unique in architecture and of course the magnificent wooden temple whose doors only open once a year. We relax at Sewa hearing the Rupin river flow.
Day 3: Sewa to Jhaka
Today is the day we say goodbye to Uttarakhand and enter into Himachal Pradesh. After having breakfast at Sewa, we carry our packed lunch along with us and begin our journey towards the hanging village of Jhaka. We will start by climbing down to the banks of the Rupin river and trek along it for an hour. By now we would have entered into Himachal Pradesh. A short climb through a bushy patch on the mountain and we climb upon a dirt road which is under construction. We will trek along this dirt road adorning the beauty that surrounds us. The humble lifestyle of the villagers can be seen on mountain sides with farmlands and small settlements surrounding the lush green valley. Enroute we will even come across a couple of waterfalls refracting the light of the sun and making rainbows in the process. The last part of the trail is to zig zag along the dirt road to reach the village of Jiskoon. From there we trek for another half an hour and reach Jhaka. Overnight stay in Jhaka.
Day 4: Jhaka to Buransh Kandi
Our journey in Himachal Pradesh continues as we leave the village of Jhaka behind and climb on through agricultural fields and forests. While we trek through the forest, the trail gets quite steep which will require us to take a few breathers while we climb on ahead. The alluring vibe that the forest provides is just tantalizing. The steep trail gets a bit better when we climb out of the forest and into another agricultural field. Many villagers have agricultural lands away from the house in the village and they come and live in thatched huts and practice farming during season time. After following the Rupin river and traversing through the mountains, it is finally time to climb back down towards the river and finally cross it. The route inside the forest is tricky and many times you can come across fallen trees on the trail and steep descent patches with slippery mud. We carefully get down to the river and cross it with the help of a wooden bridge. By now we have gained a decent amount of altitude and start to see small patches of grasslands with tiny flowers of multiple colors like white, pink, purple, yellow and orange. From here the campsite is approximately one hour away and the force of the river is high and mighty making a roaring inside our ears. We reach Buransh Kandi and have some tea and snacks to relax us from today’s trek. Overnight stay at Buransh Kandi.
Day 5: Buransh Kandi to Dhanderas Thach
Buransh in local language is Rhododendron and the area around Buransh Kandi is covered with rhododendron trees of different colors. As we wake up to this beautiful sight of the different colors surrounding the valley and the Rupin river flowing right through the center of it. Before leaving from our campsite, we will be given microspikes and gaiters which you will need later during the trek. As we exit this beautiful rhododendron forest, the valley opens up revealing the Rupin waterfalls at a distance. We criss cross along the valley half covered in snow and half grasslands with small pools made by the Rupin river. The last bit of the climb to Dhanderas is on a narrow goat trail, steep in inclination. After reaching Dhanderas you are simply awestruck by the beauty that surrounds you. Vast expanse of grassland with innumerable flowers and the wonderful view of the two Rupin waterfalls. We enjoy our lunch after reaching the campsite in this beautiful landscape. We take a short walk during the evening and gain altitude to help our body acclimatize better. Overnight stay at Dhanderas Thach.
Day 6: Dhanderas Thach to Upper Waterfall Campsite
The distance of our trek for today is rather short but nothing less than a challenge and task. We move out of our campsite in Dhanderas and move through the beautiful meadow and reach the base of the waterfall. This is epic location to click photographs, so don’t be shy and take as many photographs you want to take back as memories. We travel to the right side of the waterfall and begin our steep and tough ascent from there onwards. Gradually placing one step after another we continue our climb towards the upper waterfall, carefully pacing ourselves to save as much energy as we can. The crossing that we will have to do under the upper waterfall is very tricky as you have to walk on a narrow goat trail carefully balancing yourself with one waterfall flowing above you and another one flowing right beneath you, the adrenaline pumping in your body as you perform this task adds even more excitement and thrill. After crossing this tricky section our next challenge is going to be a steep climb on a 60 degree slope right adjacent to the waterfall. When the gruesome steep climb is finally over we are able to see our campsite very clearly. We will have to cross a small patch of land which will take around 15-20 minutes to cover and we will arrive at our campsite. After an acclimatization walk in the evening the trek leader will brief the team on how to approach Rupin Pass and how the team will navigate through the pass. Have an early dinner and take as much rest as possible as the Pass day will start at the break of dawn. Overnight stay at Upper waterfall campsite.
Day 7: Upper Waterfall Campsite to Ronti Gad via Rupin Pass
The day of reckoning has finally arrived, we have been waiting for this day to cross the pass since the start of our journey. We wake up with full enthusiasm and energy as early as 3 am in the morning to get ourselves well prepared for the long and arduous journey that we will be making today. Before coming for breakfast, get yourself ready by wearing proper warm clothing to fight against the cold, wear gaiters and mocrospikes as instructed by the trek leader. This will depend on the snow condition and at what point we will require to wear our equipment. Make sure to pack enough water as there is no source of water for the large part of the trek. We will begin our trek towards Rupin Pass at 5 am sharp, the trail to the pass is all ascent. The initial part of our ascent is steep and takes us to the mystical land of Ratapheri. Locals say that spirits roam around this area and if you camp here at night then you might even get the opportunity to feel the presence of these spirits. As we reach Ratapheri the whole valley opens up into a saucer like structure surrounded by mighty mountains on three sides. We climb from one mound to another and cross Ratapheri and reach the base of Rupin Pass. It takes a little more than an hour to climb to the top of the pass but that hour feels like a lifetime as it is hard breathing in that altitude and on top of that we trudge through the narrow and steep gulley of Rupin Pass and finally reach the top. From the top of the pass the view simply takes your breath away. On one side you have Ratapheri, the valley that you have just crossed and on the other side you can see Sangla valley and Kinner Kailash right in front of us. We take photographs from top of the pass and start with our descent as we still have a long way to go. On the other side of the pass we will even get an opportunity to glissade or slide down on the snow slopes to save time. As we reach Ronti Gad we get to see greener pastures. We reach Ronti Gad safely and camp there for the night.
Day 8: Ronti Gad to Sangla
The last day of the trek has finally arrived. After having breakfast we pack up our belongings and with a heavy heart we say goodbye to the local staff who have taken care of us throughout the course of the trek. The trail for today is all descent and takes you through the beautiful grasslands and farmlands of Ronti Gad and then of Sangla Kanda. As we inch closer to Sangla you can get to see wide stretches of apple orchards. These apple orchards are a mark of Kinnaur valley and the apples from this valley are famous all throughout the world. After trekking for a few hours we finally hit the road and enter into Sangla. At Sangla you will board your vehicles which will take you to Shimla.
Trekking Shoes: Decent trekking shoes with a good grip and ankle support are required. Carry no sport shoes.
Clothing: Warm garments, such as three-layer coats, fleece, or down feather jackets, are required. Carry one or two full-sleeved t-shirts. Carry cotton and trek pants ideal for trekking for your lowers. For trekking, do not bring jeans or shorts.
Thermals: Keep top and bottom thermals on hand.
Socks: Bring two or three pairs of sports socks, as well as woollen socks to wear at night.
A headlamp/led torch is required.
Sunglasses: To protect yourself from the sun in the snow, you should use UV-protected sunglasses.
Woolen hats and gloves are also recommended due to the cold weather. Carry waterproof gloves because they will become wet in the snow.
Lunchbox & Water Bottle: Each participant should bring their own lunch box, spoon, and water bottle.
Raincoats/ponchos: Snowfall and rain are prevalent at high altitudes, and it is important to carry a poncho to avoid getting wet.
a) Registration Form
b) Medical Certificate (signed by a registered MBBS doctor)
c) NOC form (by trekker)
d) 2 Passport size photos
e) Photocopy of Valid I.D. (PAN is not allowed)