Day 1:- Kathgodam to Lohajung
We will see you the first day at Kathgodam railway station. The pickup place is Kathgodam railway station early in the morn. An overnight train travel from Delhi could be sufficiently convenient.
The journey uphill from Kathgodam to Lohajung will take you cruising through mountain alleyways connecting the lower Himalayan belt of Kumaom hills to that of Garhwal. This is going to be a hectic 10 hour drive, despite the marvellous changing vistas of the mountains. For the first few hours, the course of our journey will be running parallel to river Kosi, flowing softly. Soon, a blustery Pindar river will meet our path.
Look out for a few of the best known tourist hubs nestling in Uttarakhand’s sublime hills. We will pass through Bheemtal, Almora, and Kausani—all celebrated hill stations. Upon entering the last stretch of the drive, near Lohajung, the mesmerizing Nanda Ghunti peak will come to sight. We will reach Lohajung guest house, our halt for the night around 5:00 pm, close to dusk and just in time for tea!
Note: If you are not carrying something of winter clothing or basic gear, the Lohajung market can come in pretty handy.
Day 2:- Lohajung to Bekaltal
The first day’s trek spanning 5 hours will kick off from Lohajung up a snaky trail going into the forest. After a short while the forest will give way to a small village named Mandoli to your left. Here you can fill your bottles and take a first major hiatus. The trail continues in mostly gradual ascent curves. A little way higher, you will come across the valley where two mountain rivers Kali and Pindari confluence. This is the Kali valley, lying in a splendid green scrap even in the midst of wintry heights. We will trek on further to stumble upon a huddle of mud huts. You are going to find a grove of rhododendron here that sure grows red and heavy from February to March, but at the peak of winter, the trail will be pretty matte.
Crossing this point, trek on to find the next identifiable landmark—a wooden bridge over a stream. This steam is a viable water point which you can access going down the slope. Crossing over on to the other side, you will reach Begum—a nestling rest point on the slopes overlooking a vast expanse of bugyals at distance. From here, the path bends on to two more chattering streams, the last being Gujrani stream. Take approximately an hour’s hike after crossing the last stream to reach the beautiful Bekaltal gleaming peacefully in the summer while partially frozen over in the winters.
We will be camping in the vicinity by the lake Khopdaliya. Enjoy the stillness and the quiet of this place with the thick oak forests closing in from around.
Day 3:- Bekaltal to Brahmatal
Today’s trek will take you through thickets of oaks and rhododendrons over steep slopes for quite some time before finally coming out to a meadow. This is the meadow of Telandi. In the winter, you will find the green expanse of Telandi transform into a vast snowfield and crossing the area, a gala of thrill.
The meadow rolls till 11,500 ft.- the highest point, from where begins a slow descent to Brahmatal. To your left from here, you will find a small temple, bright yellow flags flying in the air. Walk down the slope to the temple and find the trail winding towards the Brahmatal Lake, about 500 meters away from the temple now. We will find the valleys of Almora and Nainital rise and fall around us as we go. The soaring peaks of Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, and others of the Greater Himalayas can be spotted far across the sky. We will be camping at the mark 500 meter away from the lake, nestling in the beautiful aura of the place.
Note: Make sure to carry 2-3 litres of water on today’s trek since there are no water points on this trail.
Day 4:- Brahmatal to Brahmatal high point and back
The visual treat of the high peaks is going to intensify today, opening up a view from the 12,100 feet summit of Brahmatal. We will cross the lake and go higher up through the depths of a hushed forest. Where the forest hike ends, a panorama of stunning ice peaks opens up. At the first 180 degrees to your left you can spot Chaukhamba, Mandir, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, and Maitoli peaks. At the furthest horizon, the Panchachuli ranges will unveil, as will a great expanse of the lower Shivalik stretches, equally snow filled and white as the higher visible zones.
Bask in the glorious sight and come back to camp.
Note: Carry 2-3 litre water, there will be no water points available.
Day 5:- Brahmatal to Lohajung
Wake up and gear for a long winded descent from Brahmatal to Lohajung- a 9 km trek likely to span 7-8 hours.
For those new or unpractised to trekking, knee-pads and walking sticks are a must. The long hike down can really take the life out of your legs if hitting on the rocky ledges hidden under snow is constant.
Our first route will break towards Lohajung after reaching the point Khabekhal. Post this point, the trail will go into a beatific tree surrounded location. This place is Daldum. A 20-30 minutes more into the trek, we will be reaching Malling. This is just outside a fringe of forests and equipped with water sources. A cluster of locality can be seen down below from Daldum.
Hiking down ahead, we will reach an expansive farming ground. This is an agricultural land growing potatoes and other crops in summer. Winter renders the place quite desolate, save a few houses on the brink. A paved stone trail shows the way towards Lohajung from here- another hour’s trek on the descent.
Day 6:- Lohajung to Kathgodam
After a good night’s sleep at our Lohajung guest house, we will go back to Kathgodam today. Destination will be reached by 6:00 pm. We can manage a brief stopover at Kausani to commemorate