The Bhyundar Khal was mentioned by Sir Frank Smythe in his book describing his successful attempt on Mt. Kamet and also during his exploits in the region later in 1937. The pass id s part of the Greater Himalayas of Himadri Range. It goes across the North-South Zanskar Range and connects the Alaknanda river valley. The approach is relatively easy ffrom both side pf the pass but trekker prefer the Valley of flower side due to the beauty of the Valley.
Retracing the steps of Sir Smythe on his Mt Kamet Expedition, the initially reaches the popular Valley Of Flowers. One can sample the contrasts of nature during the trek as the Bhyundar Valley is green and colourful while the other side is barren and lacks vegetation due to its proximity to the Tibetan Plateau. Th epass offers beautiful vistas towards th e west, east and south with the Kamet group and the Nanda Devi peaks rising like spectacle.
The trek starts from Gobindghat village ahead of Joshimath and progresses through the Valley of Flowers before setting up the base camp below the snow col of the pass on the 4 th day. The trail climbs up steadily and takes one to the remote valley of th eTripra. We encounter ice, snow, morains, rivers, streams, meadows and amazing mountain scenery. The camping grounds of the Eri Udiyar is like a belvedere and known as the Balcony camp. It offers beautiful vistas of the Banke Glacier.
One has to negotiate the moraines of the Gauri glacier, Rataban Glacier and Tipra Glacier. Fundamental knowledge of mountaineering is must for this trek. At certain places rope has to be fixed to cross deep crevasses. The top of the Pass offers close and glorious views of Nilkantha, Hathi, Nilgiri and Rataban peaks. The trek route diverges from the Gupt Khal trek route adn goes down straight to exit in the Valley of Ghamsali.
DAY 0 : Risikesh to Gobindghat 9 hrs drive 300 km
Leave early a 6 am and drive to Gobindghat via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag, Nandapryag and Joshimath/ Gobindghat . Overnight in rest-house in Joshimath/Gobindghat.
DAY 1 : Gobindghat to Ghangaia (2,950 mts.) 4 -5 hrs trek : 9 km
Early morning we start from Gobindghat and drive to PULNA village and begin our trek towards GHANGARIA, via walking through the forest area and a few villages. There are numerous waterfalls and lush green landscape all around. The gradient of the trail is moderate. The 11 kms trek to reach Ghangaria takes about 4-5 hrs. overnight in the rest houses at Ghangaria.
DAY 2 : Ghangaria to Tipra Khark Camping Ground (3,700mts.) Via Valley of Flowers ; 6-7 hrs trek 10 kms
We start the days trek with a short ascent to the valley. Gradient is moderate and the landscape soothing to the eve. It will take about a couple of hours to reach the valley. There are unending meadows laden with varieties of alpine flowers, network of streams and big mountains all around. The prominent species are Brahma Kamal, Anemone, Grenaium, Primula, Lillium, Potentilla, Inula, Cordalis, impetienys, Saxifraga, Bistorta, Anaphalis, etc. One can spend 3-4 hrs exploring different corners & vantage points of the valley. We continue our trek to tipra kharka and reach by late afternoon.
DAY 3 : Tipra Kharka to Bhyundar Icefall Camps (4,300mts) 6-7 hrs trek : 6 km
This days trek involves negotiating morains and technical surfaces. The ascending path is gradual throughout, but challenging at times.
DAY 4 : Bhyundar Icefall camps to Bhyundar Khal Base(4600mts.) 6-7 hrs trek : 5 km
The trek on the glacier continues for about 5 km. The walk is technical gears. After the glacial stretch, the path goes to the moraine continuous desending to to the campsite.
DAY 5 : Bhyundar Khal base to Bhyundar Khal (5,100mts) to Rataban Glacier(4,600mts.) 7-8 hrs trek : 10 kms
On this day we start before sunrise. The walk again invonls technical aspects on the glacier, which continues to the pass. It is a trek of about 8 km to hte pass, which takes about 5-6 hours, with the stunning view of the greater Himalayas all around. Dinner and overnight stay in tent.
DAY 6 : Rataban Glacier to Edi Udiyar ( 3,900 mts) 7-8 hrs trek : 6 km trek
After a trek of 6 km along the valley, one reaches Edi Udiyar, with a grassy and comfortable place to set campsite.
DAY 7 : Edi udiyar to Ghamsali (3000 mts); drive to joshimath 7-8 hrs trek : 10 km
Today we’ll descend to the village of Ghamsali. The frontier villages have mostly been abandoned as villagers have been migrating to towns & cities in the foothills and the plains after the 1962 war with China brought their centuries-old border trade to a halt. These villages come up with great culture and old oral tradition. We further drive to Joshimath. Overnight stay in guest house.
DAY 8 : Joshimath to Rishikesh 9 hrs drive : 300 km
We leave from Joshimath and reach Rishikesh by evening.
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