Trekking is a new-found passion for Indian millennials. The last few years have seen more and more young adults escape to the mountains to take a break from mundane life. Mushrooming trekking groups have also helped in making the adventure sport more feasible than it probably was 10 years ago.
Add to that the adrenaline rush, the natural beauty surrounding you and the sense of achievement that you get after reaching the top, and trekking becomes all the more enticing.
But wait a moment! Before planning to go on a difficult trek, keep in mind that this is also a sport that requires you to be physically and mentally fit. Trekking routes are all located in remote places with very limited or, in some cases, no access to medical care.
If you are a regular on the hiking circuit, lead a healthy lifestyle and are looking to take things to the next level—quite literally—then go ahead and bookmark these treks for your next big adventure.
1. Kinnaur Kailash, Himachal Pradesh
Now this had to top the list. Located at a whopping 6,500 m above the sea level, Kinnaur Kailash is one of the highest trekking destinations in the country. It also holds significance in Hindu religion for being one of the five holy abodes of Lord Shiva. During the winter months, the trek route remains closed because of snow.
For an average trekker, it might take up to 14 days to climb to the top and return. Yes, 14 long days of walking the mountains in the ruthless cold. Not an easy one folks!
2. Roopkund, Uttarakhand
It is beautiful. It is full of adventure. And it is also tough. Every year thousands make a trip to experience the views of majestic pine forests, meadows, snow-capped mountains and the serene lake.
But wait, this eight-day-long trek to an altitude of 5,000 m is also a true test of your endurance. The extreme low temperatures, fierce winds and sudden hailstorms make the trail even tougher. Needless to say, the sight of human skulls around the lake is not its scariest aspect.
3. Goecha La, Sikkim
Start from the beautiful state of Sikkim and witness the mighty summits of the Himalayas, including the Kanchenjunga, on this trek. Goecha La has a difficulty level similar to that of Roopkund. The best time to go on this trek is from September to November.
The flip side to Himalayan treks is that you gain a lot of altitude within a short duration. This makes you prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) because of dipping oxygen levels. Considering this trek starts from 5,000 m, it is highly advisable that you take some time to acclimatise. Good lung capacity is a must.
4. Chadar Trek, Ladakh
Which mountain lover doesn’t dream about travelling to Ladakh at least once? Well, this beautiful trek offers both the view of that surreal landscape and the adventure of a trek. The Chadar trek is fairly low-altitude compared to others—about 3,900 m. The best time to do this trek is during the months of January and February.
The route takes you along the Zanskar river, but is not to be taken for a regular walk by a stream. Imagine walking on an icy, slippery track, bone-freezing water underneath and sub-zero temperatures. Not just that. You also camp on this sheet of ice. Nazar hati, durghatna ghati.
5. Pin Parvati Pass, Himachal Pradesh
A high altitude of over 5,000 m, rugged terrain and erratic weather make this 12-days-long trek strictly for experienced trekkers. The final leg of the climb is seriously daunting and the steep slopes can make the climb down more challenging than the ascent.
The reward is magnificent views of the Spiti and Parvati valleys, every bit worth the climb. July and August are the months to go on this adventure.
Thrilled? So, why don’t you pick up those trainers and start getting in shape to face your fears and conquer the mountains?
If you have any stories to share from your treks, comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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