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Milam Glacier Trek by Wayfarer Tours And Travels.
The people of Johar, as the Milam valley is locally known, were traders whose caravans crossed from India into Tibet by the high passes of Unta Dhura and Kungribhingri La. Once the trading season was over the entire population of Milam and the surrounding areas migrated to Munsyari or lower during winter. Trade stopped with the Indo-China conflict of 1962 and these once prosperous villages are now deserted. However the trail still exists, linking the villages and beckoning trekkers. Munsyari is the starting point of Nanda Devi Trekking and Wayfarer offers you a combined itinerary that includes a visit to the Nanda Devi base camp area followed up by a trip to Milam glacier. Initially five days of walking takes you to Pachu (3950 mts, 60 kms) the base camp area for Nanda Devi East. The location is exquisite and we usually spend a full day over here. We then return from Pachu to camp at Burfu, across th Gori Ganga river. From Burfu we ascend to Milam where we spend a day and then return to Munsyari. We are sure that Trekking In Nanda Devi will be the most cherish moment of your life.
Stay on full board at Wayfarer Retreat(Vijaypur), Wayfarer Mountain Resort(Munsyari) and Wayfarer Solitaire(Ranikhet) whenever necessary. Provision of all camping gear like tents (4-man Alpine tents on twin sharing) sleeping bags(hollow fibre bags attached with sleeping bag liners), mattresses, toilet tent, wash tent(with hot water once a day), camping furniture, ice axe, ropes and so on. Provision of vegetarian meals troughout the trek. Meals to comprise breakfast, lunch(which may be packed at times) and regular dinner. Breakfast and dinner would be supplied in a separate dinning tent. Provision of essential support services like escort, cooks, porters, mules, one rider pony(for any emergency) and basic medical kit. Trekkers will not be expected to carry their personal belongings during any of the Nanda Devi treks. Mules and porters will transport all bags. To and fro railway reservation in air conditioned sleeper class in Ranikhet Express from Delhi and from Kathgodam for all international trekkers and all those who desire to have this service. Jeep transport from Kathgodam to starting point of the trek and return to Kathgodam for all those selecting to follow our regular itineraries.
Arrangements for hotel accommodation in Delhi on request.
At around 6 a.m. tea will be brought to you in your tent. The day's walk will typically begin after breakfast at 7 a.m. and you will walk for six or seven hours on average each day. Packed lunches will be served en route each day at a picturesque spot. In the afternoon, porters will travel ahead and set up camp, so everything will be ready for you when you arrive at around 3 or 4 p.m. Dinner will be served early to make the most of the last light of evening.
The September 1st to October 15th period tends to be cold so warm jackets - preferably down - are recommended. The upside of trekking during this time is that it tends to be dry and the air is clear making views phenomenal. Waterproof outerwear is also required. Every trekker's personal clothing should include some of the following : wide brimmed hat(cloth/felt) balaclava/ski cap, scarf, T-shirts, Long-sleeved shirts, fleece jacket/warm jumper, fleece trousers, trekking pants, pajamas, shorts, socks/stockings, trekking shoes, light trainers, sandals, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle, day sacks.
(Trekking in India - Best Season)
The optimal timing for our Trekking in India (in Kumaon and Garhwal) is between May 1st and June 30th and between September 1st and October 15th. Both seasons have their attractions. During the month of May the spring flowers bloom at the margins of the snowline while the weather is generally settled barring the occasional pre monsoon storm that can blow up at any time. Day time temperatures can rise to the mid 20s even at altitudes while at night they can fall to 0 degrees C. The post monsoon season is a time of settled weather with clear views of the mountains. Day time temperatures will still be quite warm, upto 20 degrees C during the middle of the day, however at night the temperatures will occasionally drop below 0 degrees C.
Quite unlike other regions in the Indian Himalaya, Ladakh experiences nine months of winter and three months of summer.The best time to visit Ladakh is in the summer - from early June to end September.Beyond that period , temperatures plunge to sub-Arctic levels and the region gets too cold for comfort.By October most of the trekking routes in the higher altitude areas are closed on account of heavy snowfall. Another good reason to visit Ladakh during the summer months is that this is the time when some of Ladakh's most important Gompas or Budhist monastries host their spectacular annual festivals.
Trekking in the Nanda Devi region is a strenuous actvity and all trekkers are advised to ensure for themselves that they are medically fit before they opt to trek in this region. As a matter of precaution we advise that all foreign participants must be adequately insured before arriving in India. The medical insurance policy must be obtained from an established international insurance company that has a corresponding handling agent in India (for example, Thomas Cook). The policy must cover medical and personal accidents including the cost of air evacuation from high attitudes and subsequent medical treatmement. Given the high cost of air evacuation in the Indian Himalaya, we advise all trekkers to obtain medical insurance covers of at least US$ 20000 (Twenty Thousand Dollars) per person for their period of stay in India.
In addition all participants are advised to submit to us upon arrival in India an appropriate medical fitness certificate obtained from a registered medical practitioner in the country of their origin indicating that the individual is fit to go on a high altitude trek, and that he/she has no physical and medical disabilities that would limit him/her from trekking.
In ordet to ensure speedy and timely help during an emergency in a trek, we have contracted Goodmans Rescue to handle all road and air evacutaion cases on our behalf. For more details viewers are advised to visit http://www.goodmansrescue.com. Although accidents are rare but if something happens, then it must be noted that initially it is difficult to land a helicopter at high altitudes such as Pachu, Milam or Ralam Glacier and an accident victim is generally first brought down to the hellipad at Munsyari for transfer to a hospital in Delhi.
Indian trekkers are advised to co-ordinate with Goodmans Rescue for obtaining suitable medical insurance covers while deciding to visit the Nanda Devi region.
Arrive in Delhi : Check into your choice of hotel, preferably in Central Delhi.
Take the overnight train from Old Delhi railway station to Kathgodam (Train No. 5013, Departure-22:40 hrs IST)
Arrive at Kathgodam 06:30 hrs. Received by Wayfarer escort and transferred to waiting vehicle after brief rest. Drive to Vijaypur (210 kms, 6 hrs). Check in at Wayfarer Retreat.
After breakfast drive to Munsyari(115 kms, 4 hrs) along a road that winds itself up to a height of 2748 mts before descending into the glorious Munsyari valley. Check in at Wayfarer Mountain Resort for a good rest.
After breakfast drive for 6kms to Dumar and then the trek begins. Our destination is past Lilam village to Rargari (10 kms) where we camp for the night.
Today is a strenous walk along a gorge past the Gori Ganga river. The route is fairly up and down but generally eases off before reaching the camp site at Mapang(3100 mts, 9 kms).
You are in high mountain country now and the tree line disappears giving access to vast stretches of Alpine pastures. The day's walk is past Lhaspa and Rilkot to a magnificent and deserted hamlet called Martoli(3385 mts, 12 kms)
From Martoli you will continue to Ganghar (3260 mts, 12 kms). Throughout the day one gets intermittent views of magnificent Himalayan peaks and just after reaching campsite you will glimpse Nanda Devi East.
It is the big day when you walk form Ganghar to Pachu(3950 mts, 6 kms) and the camp site is an exquisite location. An Alpine meadow laden with rhododendron bushes blooming pink and white, stretches of glacial ice and the massive Nanda Devi looming infront ... it is just another 5 kms away.
How can you walk away from here ? It is a day to rest and simply enjoy yourself in this magnificent location. Options include the hike up to the snow ridges of Nanda Devi East and a visit to the base of Nanda Lampak(5782 mts.). There have been several sightings of bluesheep in the region.
It is time to return and we descend from Pachu to Burfu(3350 mts, 13 kms). The scenary is exciting as the valley opens up. The north faces of the Nanda Devi peaks, several peaks on the Nanda Devi Sancturay wall and Hardeol group are visible. Our camp site is close to the Gori Ganga River amidst a lushgreen meadow.
Burfu to Milam (3452 mts, 8 kms). The day's walk from Burfu offers some spectacular scenery. The north face of Nanda Devi Peaks, several peaks on the Nanda Devi Sanctuary wall and Hardeol group are visible particularly from Bilju village which is about 4 km ahead. The trail leads to Milam (place of meeting) which is a large village, that is quite deserted. We camp on the outskirts of the village.
Visit Milam Glacier - Today we spend most of our time in exploring the Milam glacier. A two hour walk takes us to the tip of Milam glacier - it is the largest glacier in the Kumaon Himalaya.
Milam to Rilkot (3250 mts, 17 kms). The return trip commences in a downhill gradient. We camp at Rilkot for the night.
Rilkot to Bugdyar (2700 mts, 12 kms). This is a steady walk and mostly downhill past the villages of Lhaspa, Mapang and the narrow gorge at Nahar Devi.
Bugdyar to Lilam (1810 mts, 12 kms). We walk downhill all throughout and reach camp site by late afternoon.
Lilam to Munsyari (2290 mts, 12 kms). We retrace our steps along the Gori river past Jimi ghat to Dumar(8kms) from where we board a jeep that takes us to Wayfarer Mountain Resort at Munsyari. We arrive here by noon.
Munsyari to Ranikhet (240 kms). It is time to bid farewell to Munsyari and its mountains. Today we board a vehicle that drives us to Ranikhet through Vijaypur, Bageshwar and Kausani. We checkin for the night at Wayfarer Solitaire.
Ranikhet to Kathgodam (90 kms). Today is another day when we can chill out and relax. Late afternoon we board a vehicle that drives us to Kathgodam. There is also the option of leaving Ranikhet after breakfast and driving to the legendary Jim Corbett Park. The train to Delhi departs from Kathgodam at 20:40 hrs.