Sunday, October 7, 2007

Balipass Trek - Itinerary and Preparation

Detailed Itinerary and Cost
Bali pass / Yamunotri pass H. 5236 Mtr.Best season 15th May to 15 Nov. (We are basically in the end window planning our trip from 25th Oct- 2nd Nov 2007)

Days 01
Delhi- Hanuman chatti – Janki chatti (Trekkers Team)/Uttarkashi –Hanuman Chatti – Janki chatti - (Support Team).
On arrival at Barkot Lunch at the Hotel after Lunch Short drive for Janki Chatti 02 hrs On arrival check in Hotel, Dinner & Night halt at Hotel.

Days 02
Janki chatti –Yamunotri –Lower Damni (h. 3300 mtr.)
Morning after breakfast start 05 km Steep up trek for Yamunotri in 02 hrs, Short visit Yamunotri temple , puja and Bath proceed your trek for Damni with picnic lunch , the trail steep climbing passing through green rich forest , alpine medows 05/06km 04 hrs, on arrival check camp Dinner & over night at camp.

Days 03
Lower Damni – Upper Damni. (H4300 Mtr. 08/ 09 kms 06 hrs.)
Breakfast at camp then start your trek for Upper Damni, the trail steep climbing 06 hrs. with picnic lunch , on arrival check camp dinner and over night at camp

Days 04
Upper Damni – Bali pass (Yamunotri pass H 4900 mtr.) – Tange Camp(3200 mtrs)
Morning breakfast camp then start your trek for Bali or Yamunotri pass steep up 01 an half hrs to reach the Top from the pass see beautifull Himalaya range Explore the Himalayas. After some rest proceed down trek for Tange Camp. 05/ hrs, on arrival check Camp dinner & Overnight at camp

Days 05
Tange – Kyarkoti - Ruinsyra Tal (H. 3350 mtr. (11 km, 06/07 hrs)
Morning breakfast at camp then start trek for Kyarkoti Explore the black peak, sopin Glacier 08 km with gradually down picnic lunch, after Kyarkoti short trek 03 km Down trek for Runsiyara Tal

Days 06
Ruinsera Tal - - Seema ( 11km )
Morning breakfast camp then start trek for Seema camp before 04 km from seema village, the trail through forest, river and Shepard Hut, gradually down, on arrival check in tent- Dinner & over night at camp.

Day 07
Seema -Taluka – Sankri (20Km)
After Morning breakfast camp then start your trek for Taluka 14km 04 hrs down trek Hot Lunch at Taluka , after lunch 6 km down trek to reach Sankri. On arrival check in Gmvn Tourist rest house, Dinner and over night at Hotel

Day 08
(Sankri – Barkot - Mussoorie - Delhi)- Our Team
(Sankri- Uttarkashi )- Crystal Team
After morning breakfast 05 hrs drive for Barkot. Lunch in Hotel at Barkot after Lunch Trek Tour service End.

The support services are provided by my long time acquitances at Crystal Nature at Uttarkashi. Here are the terms from them.

Service Features of the Support Group from Crystal Nature

  1. Transportation by Local Jeep/ Taxi, from Barkot to Barkot
  2. Accommodation in Tent Twins sharing on fallboard with sleeping bag and Mattress
  3. All meals Veg, cook Helper Kitchen attendant and Camp Assistance.
  4. Guide and, Portrage of 10Kg of member personal Baggage.
  5. Camping charge
  6. Cost Does Not Include:Any Items of personal nature e.g. insurance, medical, evacuation, and services in unforeseen circumstances and services other then listed above.
  7. Participant are requested to Bring own Trekking shoes, Warm cloth and Jacket- Riding ponies on the treks. (Our staff can help you arrange on the spot at the best prices)-
  8. Rates and terms valid for the Pilgrimage season for 2007 from May to November.
I think, ex delhi and back to delhi would have 2 components of cost

  • Cost from Barkot back to Barkot would be part of the service package from Crystal. The Support Team's service rates per person for the trip are Rs 13200 (1650X 8 days)-assuming we are a 4 person group Rs 11600 (1450X 8 days)- Assuming a >6 people group
  • Delhi-Barkot Delhi would be our cost. If the team size is not more than 5, people can hop into my Gadi which would mean travel (diesel) cost of about INR 800 per person. Lets budget about 500 Rs more for food and drink (of course it depends on what one eats and drinks.) So all that would be about Rs 1500 per person max. .....assuming we are a group of more than 6 peopleI am thinking ours will be a small group.
  • In any case the total cost Ex-Delhi back to Delhi...looks like maximum Rs 15000 per person.

Requesting all you guys coming in the Balipass trek.....kindly go through my Blog on preparing for high altitude in this blogspace- Particularly pay attention to the personal wares and medical kit section. Please do ask questions if any ...

"Regarding the exercise regimen I usually recommend a peak fitness level of 45 minutes of Brisk Walk ...gentle jog on the tread mill...for about 45 minutes daily. This obviously is to be achieved over a period of 3 not break into it in day 1. Such an exercise would be at a speed of approx...8-12 Kms per hour speed...if you are familiar with Treadmill. Do about 1000 steps on the "stepper" if you have a gym nearby. or something similar...say gentle steps leading to the nearby temple or something. Do not try anything drastic Anand....jogging in the park I find strenuous on the knees even for myself. I do recommend "Velcro Knee Supports" get those in any good chemist shop now-a-days for under 1000 rupees.Please check my article for preparation in - snowscapes.blogspot.comThere are approximately 2.5 porters per person if we are a team of 4 people including Anand, we shall expect about 9 /10 porters plus the cook and the guides. They usually carry the personal rucksack .....what you need to carry is the day pack, water and camera etc. I have 4 Nos of ski poles, and similar number of gaiters. We are told by the reccee team that we may not require snowboots but we shall surely require Gaiters to prevent snow from getting into the shoes. I have 3 pairs. I can buy some more. Emergency snowboots would ideally be arranged by "Crystal" guys.There would be horses available till Yamunotri. We shall be on our own after that. We shall take a call on speed of ascent and number of days of acclimatisation depending on the team health. We shall be on a Diamox regimen from Delhi onwards cause the same night we are camping at Yamunotri. I hope nobody in the team is a diabetic or has problems of high BP."

Pic reccee
Guys check out this pic...thats the gooogle earth layout for the trek area

Hi All thos going in the trekDeepak has done some nice homework and gathered some more details on Balipass trek. Definitely worth a look.

Risk Assessment
Yesterday we had a telecon with the owner of Crystal- Chandan Bisht, Rana- The Team Guide (also someone who has been in regular in my treks on high passes) with inputs from Dhani- (the seniormost porter in the team-55 years but has been in all my treks beyond 5000- a total of 25 years of trekking the Garhwal mountains). The following are the points. Kindly go through and opt for the trek if you feel comfortable with the idea.

Risk factors are Weather- getting hemmed in Snow, Acclimatisation- developing Altitude sickness and Snowcraft- negotiating a riskfree snow traverse.

  • Weather: The winter precipitation for last decade has been steadily delayed. One expects that extensive snow-wala season in December/January now-a-days. Even if there is a precipitation, its expected to result in snow cover only beyond 4700. Its not a regular bad window for storms. Bad weather windows are from September mid to October Mid. In fact first week of Oct is a worse time to try. Still we shall have to make last minute changes to itinerary depending on local weather pattern.The total exposure to snow is limited to the upper reaches of the pass which is max about 5/6 Kilometers. Apart from that rest of the route is rocky and barren.
  • Snow:Balipass is definitely less glaciated and snow bound as compared to Borasu and Dhumdharkandi- the other high passes in the area. Total exposure to snow traverse is less than 5/6 km. No problems of crevasses etc. Trekking boots and gaiters would be standard wear. High ankle- good quality snow and water proof -deep treaded Trekking boots are recommended. Hunter shoes will not suffice. Snow boots would be available with the team. Advanced party would be used to cut route in the snow if situation so warrants. Necessary equipment to navigate and manage affairs in snow would be available with the team. basic emergency material like ropes, carabiners would be available with the guide and deputy guide
  • Altitude:We shall be on a Diamox regime from Janakichatti onwards. Dosage will be Half pill morning and half pill evening. Please confirm before joining you do not have a problem of BP or Sugar. In case of diabetes we need to be mindful of the fact that Diamox takes longer to act.We shall in any case keep one extra day in hand for acclimatisation at Damni. It would depend on the prevailing weather, team mood and health whether we use that extra day or not.In any case, loosing altitude in case of an emergency is not a problem. The track is pretty steeply descending on both sides.Last but not the least, the pass has three crossover routes, one at 5100 approx, one at 4900 and one at 5200 approx. We shall choose the appropriate route depending on existing ground conditions.Also the Lead Guide Rana has done this 3 times, so has the porter Sirdar, the deputy guide, Dhani and the porter Sirdar. The inputs were based on their past experiences which was as recent as 2 years back.
  • Given all the above facts I wish to reiterate that my assessment of risk factors are the following for which we have to be prepared. (1) Development of mountain sickness by some members- easily tackled by taking an extra day to acclimatise. (2) Tireness in snow traverse, taking longer time than planned to cover the route- No shortcut to stamina building exercises. Please remember it would take a lot of toil to cover that 6 kilometer on the day of crossing the pass. I am budgeting 7 to 8 hours.Un-expected storm. Likelyhood is little but might delay us a bit. Avalanche conditions are not expected and neither are there crevasses. In any case we shall be watchful for weather after Damni, we need just two clear days which is highly likely during that part of the year.


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