Day 1: Arrive at
Depart Srinagar by 2 pm and drive to Sonamarg base camp (4 hrs).
Day 2: Sonamarg (7,800ft) to Nichnai (11,500ft) via Shekdur
3 hour ascent followed by 1 hour descent and finally a gentle ascent to
Nichnai (6 hours, 9kms)
The trek starts 3 kms out of Sonamarg, on the Srinagar road. Exactly at the
3 km mark, spot a lone Dhaba on the right. The place also sells packaged
water, biscuits etc and is your last place to pick up short eats. The next
trace of dwelling civilization is only at Naranag at the end of the trek.
Day 3 : Nichnai
(11,500ft) to Vishansar lake (12,00ft)
Medium climb to Nichnai pass 13,500ft. Small descent followed by a long
flat meadow walk ending near Vishansar Lake. (12 kms, 6 hours)
The days trek is a long walk on meadows with the scenery changing for the
better all along. Start by 8 am to give you enough time en route to enjoy
the meadows. Your first destination for the day is to cross the Nichnai pass
or Vishansar Berry. The pass is visible at a distance from the campsite. It
lies just to the right of the twin snow clad peaks. After half an hour of
walking along the river, cross the river to move to its left bank. The next
one hour, walk on the left bank. Notice that the trail slowly starts
ascending as you traverse through the meadow. The following one hour is a
climb to the pass.
Vishansar (12,000ft) to Gadsar(12,000ft) via Kishansar lake and Gadsar Pass
Steep 2 hour ascent followed by a steep descent followed a gentle walk in
the meadows. (5 hours, 10 kms)
The next lake in series is the Kishansar
lake. The Kishansar lake lies just
about Ĺ km away and 500ft higher than Vishansar. The Kishansar lake lies at
the base of the Kishansar peak. It takes about 45minutes to reach Kishansar
lake from the campsite. Move right towards the stream and cross it where it
is easy. The trail climbs up on the right side of the Vishansar lake. There
are multiple tracks here. For those keen on photography, the one going up is
more attractive as you get the view of the meadow and the lake from a
height. For those who prefer an easier trail, stick to the flatter trails.
Though the two lakes are only 1.2 km away, there is no point where the two
lakes are visible together.
Day 5 : Gadsar
(12,000ft) to Satsar (12,000ft)
Gentle descent for 1 hour followed by a steep ascent for 3 hours followed a
flat meadow walk. (6 hours, 12 kms)
From the army
camp move left towards the stream. The trail crosses the
stream and heads up the mountain. The altitude at the stream is 10,600ft.
The Satsar camp is at 12,000ft and almost 10 kms away. The hour and a half
long climb takes you up by 1100ft. Once beyond the 11,500ft altitude, the
climb graduates to a traverse. The trail bends round to the left and leaves
the river valley. You are now walking on a flat trail surrounded by
mountains on a meadow.
Day 4: Explore Vishansar and Kishansar twin lakes.
Day 6 : Satsar
(12,000ft) to Gangabal twin lakes (11,500ft)
Mild ascent followed by gradual descent followed by long steep ascent
and long steep descent followed by gradual up and down
walk. (6 hours, 9 kms)
The days trek goes up and down replicating the trek as a whole which mostly
goes up and down. Trek up half an hour out of camp, to reach the biggest
Satsar lake. The terrain is bouldery and it is more of a boulder hopping
exercise than anything else. The biggest of the Satsar lakes is also the
last in the sequence. After the last lake the trail starts to descend.
Continue for half an hour on the main trail until you see the forest line
ahead to your left. The right side is a ridgeline about 1000ft higher. It is
time to gain height again. The altitude at the base of the climb is
Day 7 : Gangabal
(11,500ft) to Naranag (7,450ft)
Gradual descent followed by steep descent. (6
The days trek is a killer on your toes and knees. From the Gangabal campsite
head down along the stream towards the tree line. Donít walk beside the
stream but walk along the ridge on the right. 30 minutes into the trail,
your aircel phone could get glimpses of network just enough to tell home
that you are alive. The ridge ends and you descend to a green flat meadow on
the right. The Harmukh peak looks impressive when you look back. The green
meadow has little yellow flowers growing all over and you start walking
gingerly to avoid stepping over them Overnight in Camp
Day 8: Naranag - Srinagar.
Drive to Srinagar and reach by 6.30 pm. Stay overnight at Srinagar.