Ruinsara lake in summer
Ruinsara lake in summer

James Baillie was the first ever to recognize this pass in 1815. A treacherous pass north of Banderpunch, the Dhumdhar Kandi pass managed to keep its secrets till 1987 when a team from West Bengal crossed it successfully. The pass connects Bhagirathi and Tons valleys. In ancient times, it is believed that local villagers, traders and even invaders used this pass as a shortcut to get into the remote Tons Valley. It is one of the unique treks where the glaciers on either side of the pass feed two different big rivers, the Bhagirathi and the Yamuna.

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  • Way to Sankri
    Way to Sankri
    Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri drive

    We start early from Dehradun and reach the village Sankri by evening. The final stretch is through the Govind Pashu National Park after we cross a check post at Netwar. We rest at night in a guest house or in camps.

  • Day 2: Sankri (1,920 m) to Seema (2,560 m)via Taluka (2,050 m)

    Post breakfast we are transported from Sankri to Taluka. The drive is a bit bumpy. The trek commences from Taluka on a stony path. With the river Supin gushing through rapids beside us, under the shade of walnut, pine and other trees, the walk is quite pleasant. Often the passing villagers greet us on the way.

    The path crosses over a few streams which merge with Supin. After a few hours of walk the village of Gangad can be seen towards the left, across the river. We continue our hike and after about an hour's walk, the quaint village of Osla unfolds itself. Seema is a tiny settlement opposite to the river from Osla. We set camp here or stay in a hut with a local family in the village.

  • Trekking Path to Ruinsara Lake
    Trail towards waterfall camp (The leftmost peak is Black peak) - October; PC: Arnab
    Day 3: Seema (2,560 m) to Roiltia or Waterfall camp (3,350 m)

    On this day, we continue along the true right of the valley along the Tons river. The trail ascends through the fields and climbs high above the confluence of the Tons and Ruinsara gad. The walk through the forest is beautiful, with Kalanag (6387) visible straight ahead in the valley. We camp beside the stream and close to the waterfall.

  • Ruinsara lake in October
    Ruinsara lake in autumn - October; PC: Arnab
    Day 4: Waterfall to Ruinsara lake (3,600 m)

    We ascend into the Ruinsara valley. There is a stark difference in the vegetation with pine and fir giving way to birch and rhododendron. Ruinsara lake is a lovely lake surrounded by meadows and rhododendron bushes. It is considered sacred by the locals. Overnight in camps near the lake.

  • Day 5: Ruinsara lake - rest and explore

    Today we rest near the lake and spent the day exploring the nearby glaciers and valleys. This will help us to acclimatize before the next day's climb to the pass. We can explore the river bed as well. By evening we are back at the camp.

  • Day 6: Ruinsara lake to Black Peak/Swargarohini basecamp (3,800 m)

    On this day we trek further upstream. The campsite holds significant importance as it is the basecamp of two of the most famous peaks in the area: Swargarohini (Swargarohini I - 6,252 m) and Black Peak (6,387 m). The former, though lower of the two, is the most challenging peak to climb in this area. While not particularly high by Himalayan standards, and not the highest in the Bandarpunch range, Swargarohini I is notable for its dramatic local relief. For example, its north face drops 2,000 metres in less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) of horizontal distance, and its south face achieves the same drop in less than 3 kilometres. This camp is close to the south face of the peak.

  • Day 7:Black Peak basecamp to Dharali Odari (4,750 m)

  • Day 8: Dharali Odari to Black peak camp 1

    We proceed to camp 1 of Black Peak on this day. The peak was first summited in 1955 by Jack Gibson, an English master at the Doon School in Dehradun. The highest peak in the Banderpunch group, Black peak is climbed almost every year by multiple teams.



  • Day 9: Black peak camp 1 to Dhumdhar Kandi pass (5,490 m) and descend to Gantrara

    On this day we start before sunrise. The pass is crossed and we descend to a stream at Gantrara.



  • Day 10: Gantrara to Doranggatt

    The trail on this day enters meadows and forests again. We camp at Dorangatt.



  • Berries on the way to Jhala
    A villager sharing berries on the way to Jhala; PC: Tanzeem Patankar
    Day 11: Dorangatt to Jhala; drive to Gangnani (3,310 m)

    We trek through forest trails and reach the village of Jhala. From here we board our vehicle and head to Gangnani. Gangnani used to be the village from where the hike to Gangotri started when motorable road was yet to reach thisholy pilgrimage. It is a small settlement with natural hot water spring baths. We rest in a guest house for the night.



  • Day 12: Gangnani to Dehradun drive

    We drive back to Dehradun from Gangnani. We reach by late afternoon or early evening.



    Mammals

  • Langur
  • Wild Fox
  • Indian Crested Porcupine
  • Yellow throated marten
  • Wild boar
  • Black bear
  • Ibex

    Birds

  • Black Francolin
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Kalij Pheasant
  • Brown-fronted Woodpecker
  • Himalayan Woodpecker
  • Scaly-bellied Woodpecker
  • Great Barbet
  • White-throated Kingfisher
  • Crested Kingfisher
  • Slaty-headed Parakeet
  • Himalayan Swiftlet
  • Snow Pigeon
  • Oriental turtle Dove
  • Black Kite
  • Lammergeier
  • Himalayan Griffon
  • Common Buzzard
  • Black-headed Jay
  • Eurasian Jay
  • Yellow-billed Blue Magpie
  • Red-billed Blue Magpie
  • Red-billed Chough
  • Large-billed Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Spotted Nutcracker
  • Yellow-browed Fantail
  • Bronze Drongo
  • Brown Cipper
  • Blue Whistling Trush
  • Blue-capped Redstart
  • White-capped Water Redstart
  • Plumbeous Water Redstart
  • White-cheeked Nuthatch
  • White-tailed Nuthatch
  • Eurasian Treecreeper
  • Rusty-flanked Treecreeper
  • Rufous-Vented Tit
  • Spot-winged Tit
  • Grey-crested Tit
  • Green-backed Tit
  • Black-throated Tit
  • Black-lored Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Yellow-browed Tit
  • Winter Wren
  • Himalayan Bulbul
  • Red-vented Bulbul
  • Black Bulbul
  • Striated Prinia
  • Lemon-rumped Warbler
  • Tickells's Leaf Warbler
  • Mountain Chiffchaff
  • Oriental White-eye
  • White-throated Laughingthrush
  • Streaked Laughingthrush
  • Black-chinned Babbler
  • White-throated Shrike Babbler
  • White-browed Fulvetta
  • Whiskered Yuhina
  • Rufous Sibia
  • Russet Sparrow
  • Citrine Wagtail
  • Alpine Accentor
  • Plain Mountain finch
  • Red-mantled Rosefinch
  • Rock Bunting
  • Chestnut-eared Bunting
  • Black Peak/Kalanag (6,387 m) is visible on day 3 and from day 6 to day 9
  • Swargarohini (I: 6,252 m) is also visible from day 6
  • Banderpoonch (6,316 m)
  • Mt Jaonli and Mt Gangotri are also visible
  • Yamuna during first and last day's drive.
  • Tons during first day's drive.
  • Supin during first trek day, which originates from the confluence of several streams from Har ki Dun valley.

Transport support from and to Dehradun: starting from pickup on day 1 to drop on day 9.

Guide and cook fees.

Rent for camping equipment.

Forest entry charges.

Porter and mule support to carry camping equipment. Please note that personal luggage can be carried by mules and/or porters on chargeable basis.

All veg meals starting from day 1 dinner to day 9 breakfast.

Tented accommodation throughout the trek. Possible guest house accommodation on Day 1 and Day 8.

Transport to reach Dehradun from hometown.

Personal expenses like tips, personal medicines, phone calls etc.

Any transport support during the trek apart from what is included above.

Rent for trekking shoes is Rs 200 per trekking day. The charges are applicable irrespective of whether the shoes are worn or not during the trek. Availability of shoes need to be confirmed with us.

Rent for walking stick is Rs 50 per trekking day. The charges are applicable irrespective of whether the stick is used or not.

Accommodation in Dehradun.

Personal luggage with mass not exceeding 12 kg per bag per person can be carried by porters/mules @ Rs 250 per day per bag.

  • Trekking Boots: Waterproof, high ankle with good grip.
  • One Raincoat/Poncho
  • Windproof Jacket
  • Wind & waterproof pant
  • 2-3 t-shirts/shirts preferably quick dry
  • 2 trousers (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris)
  • Warm Fleece, Alternative: a woolen sweater
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Thermal inner wears
  • One pair of woolen socks
  • Waterproof thick gloves
  • Waterproof Rucksack or Rucksack with rain-cover
  • Water Bottle
  • Slippers/Sandals/Floaters: Non-slippery
  • Hat or sun protection cap
  • Woolen cap/scarf
  • Head Torch (hand torch would be an alternative)
  • Sunglasses (it should be UV protected.) or use Photo chromatic glasses.
  • Identitiy cards
  • Personal Toiletries (toothbrush,toothpaste etc)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet and dry tissues
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Towel
  • Personal medical kit
  • Sunscreen cream, moisturizer, lip balm
  • Diamox - to prevent AMS
  • Crocin - fever
  • Avomine - (motion sickness)
  • Avil 25mg - (allergies)
  • Combiflam - (Pain killer)
  • Disprin - (headache)
  • Digene - (acidity)
  • Norflox TZ & Lomofen - (diarrhea)
  • ORS
  • Omez/ Rantadine - (antacids)
  • Crepe bandage - 3 to 5 meters
  • Gauze - 1 small roll
  • Band aids - different sizes
  • Cotton - 1 small roll
  • Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  • Moov/Volini spray (aches, & sprains)
  • Knee caps
  • Hot water bag in winter if needed

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