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5 Toughest Treks in India - by Nimisha Vora

Trekking in India gives us exceptional and extraordinary chances to be close with nature and explore the surreal beauty that different mountains give us. India holds a vast section of Himalayas with it and allows us to feel experience like in no place other. 

The adventure in Indian trekking goes to an ultimate level which throws you challenges and makes you challenge yourself. Treks range from easy to difficult trek in India and there are a few which make you push your limits till the extreme while making it all worth at the same time. Trekking in India goes way back in time. All of us have our own release of adrenaline and some of us find it through trekking where there is adventure and risk awaiting us right in the middle of surreal beauty and unmatched memories. 

Trekking in India has boomed over the years but what it is most proud of is the route that is beholds. Promisingly, some of the most stunning scenarios wait while on the journey. While the mountain passes in Ladakh and Zanskar Himalayas are above 5000m it is that drive which is tough and terrifying but magical and memorable. The streams, forests, trails, campsites, peaks, views and what not is what rewards you at every step while you take on the most challenging trek. 

1. Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek

Situated highly at the mighty Ladakh in the north, Chadar Trek is also known as the Frozen Lake Expedition. A challenging and an entirely unique trek, this is a 6-day expedition across the frozen Zanskar River and has an altitude of 3,900 meters. The trek usually takes place during late-Jan, Feb and sometimes March depending on the weather conditions. It is during this winter season, that the Zanskar River turns into a sheet (chadar) of ice with the temperature dropping to as low as -15 to -20 degree Celsius during the day and -25 degree Celsius during the nights. 

This trek is challenging and one of the difficult treks in India because the excursion includes walking 105 kms of route on foot, hiking over icy boulders, walking on sheets of ice during the day and staying in caves at nights.

As the temperature and weather conditions are extremely harsh here, even a small change has a big effect and sometimes also leads to hypothermia and being the main reason this trek is so one of the toughest trek in India. 

Chadar Trek is made for adventure enthusiasts who have to experience bone-chilling weathers and enchanting panoramas. This trail provides an excellent chance to know the Tibetan and Indian culture, and spot some rare species like snow leopard, blue sheep and ibex.

2. Pin Parvati Pass

Pin Parvati Pass

One among the Trans-Himalaya trek and at an altitude of 5298 meters, this trek is known as the crown jewel of Himalayan treks. A crossover trek, there is a need for physical stamina in abundance as well as mental endurance. A trail of 110 kms, the best time is from June to September with minimal snowfall and the temperature ranging from 12 degree Celsius and -2 degree Celsius during nights. 

This trek is a crossover between Parvati Valley and Spiti Valley and among the few treks which gives you a chance to walk on glaciers. Lush green meadows, innumerable waterfalls, steep slopes, rugged weather, crevasses, high altitude lakes and open meadows, the trek gets challenging while crossing the Parvati River, its various tributaries and while traversing the high altitude fissures.

The height of this pass might induce AMS to some people and gets risky because of the steep descends, challenging river crossings, difficult boulder bridges and remote terrains. One also gets to see the Great Himalayan National Park, the stunning Spiti Valley and the forests of Kheerganga.

3. Auden’s Col

Auden’s Col

Beginning through thick alpine forests, gushing streams, numerous villages of the Garhwal valley, Auden Col is among the high altitude treks which forms a bridge between the north-west ridge of Gangotari III and the ridge coming from between the Jogin I on the east and also connects the Radragaira valley and Bhilangana valley. At an altitude of 5490 meters, this is one of the unexplored treks and requires strong mountaineering skills. Best experienced from June to September, this 12 day trek route offers exceptional views of peaks of Rudragaira, Gangotari, Jogin, Kedar Dome among a few.

This trek is one of the tough treks in India because you have to carry serious trekking equipment like axes and ropes and well as walking on high ridges, vast crevasses, descending slopes and you have to be mentally and physically prepared for extreme adventure. First discovered by John Bicknell Auden, this trek also connects the pilgrimage sites of Gangotari and Kedarnath.

4. Stok Kangri

Highest mountain in Stok Rang of Himalayas, this trek is the highest trek able summit in India and most tough trek in India. Rough terrains and sub-zero temperatures, this trek gets toughest on the summit day when you have to trek on a glacier for 6-7 hours straight and to reach the summit, walk on a ridgeline for 2 hours straight. With new landscapes the air gets relatively thinner resulting in lack of oxygen which may sometimes lead trekkers to suffer from altitude sickness, nauseous and headaches making it challenging as the trek keeps going upwards.

Situated in the Hemis National Park, the best time to do this is between May to mid- October with clear skies and offering campsites with facilities of home stays, foreign villages and scenery entirely new. An 8-day trek, this trek presents more than usual mountaineering expedition challenges and along with physical endurance one must have the ability to survive at least a week in the mountains of Ladakh and get acclimatized at the base camp.

5. Panpatia Col

A 61km trek starting from Badrinath, the peak of this trek stands between two unnamed peaks at a height of 17,257 ft. Needed skills for expedition include technical knowledge of using an axe, crampons, rope etc. A snow lamented trek, this is one of the tallest passes in Himalayas. A 7 kms long Panpatia snowfield adds treat but not before crevassed snowfields, vast glaciers and rocky moraines. The temperature ranges between 15-20 degree Celsius during daytime and drops till 5 degree Celsius at nights. Acclimatization is a big must as there’ll be stay at high altitudes for a long time. The trek offers clear views of prominent peaks like Hathi Parvat and Nilkantha.

With glaciated and difficult terrains, this is one of the traversed passes of Himalayas with need for proper experience and knowledge for trekking through it.

Author's Bio:

Nimisha Vora is a content writer at Moxtain and is currently in her final year. She is passionate about reading, writing, travelling and talking. She also has her own personal blog website which is www.nimishavora.com and all her poems and stories go there. She believe in a lot of things but more than that in herself and in living for the moment.

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