Nag Tibba trek is a perfect trek for beginners and first timers. It has an moderately steep trail, involves only travelling 5-6 kms a day which is ideal. The altitude is also not much of a hiderance with campsite at 8667ft and summit at 9917ft just entering the high altitude realm. This trek is especially very favourable for beginners because of low altitude related risks and low fatigue. Myself being an experienced trekker, with actively participating in difficult treks for the past three years I took Nagtibba very lightly. I used to believe the tougher the trek, the better the view and hence the experience. But Nagtibba trek changed all this.
There are two routes to attempt Nag Tibba, one from Pantwari village and one from Auntar village. Both the routes converge at Nag Mandir which provides the best camping spot to attempt the Nag Tibba summit. Hence, Nag Mandir acts as a lifeline to anyone willing to attempt Nag Tibba summit. I chose to do the trek via the Pantwari village route. It's a 6km trek from the road-head to Nag Mandir. At first, the trail starts as a uphill 2km stoney trail of moderate slope with a view over Pantwari and neighbouring villages.
This part of the trek ends at goat village which acts as a great breakpoint , as it also hosts a source of drinking water. Till this part of the trek everything seems easy. The next phase of the trek is a 2km steep trail through forests which opens up to a beautifull meadow. This phase of the trek is a little diffcult as the gradient of the slope increases significantly but it is worth the effort in the end as you exit into a beautifully green open meadow.
After a 20 minutes break where I decided to have my pack lunch we set out for the last 2km of the trek which consists mostly of traversing through the tree line with timely uphill stretches. Then we arrive at Nag Mandir. Near Nag Mandir are beautifull meadows with a direct view of Nag Tibba, the next days objective. It took us close to 4 hours to finish this trek and with all my belongings in a bag weighing 4-6kgs it wasn't as easy a task. We reached and we were still left with an hour of sunshine, so our exhaustion was washed away with a cup of tea, some pakodas and sunshine. We saw the sun set over the valley in a melancholy of sepia.
After a short 5 minutes break for rehydration we walked one and a half hour non-stop to the summit on a mix of treeline and snow slopes. The old snow, hardened by the cycle of melting and freezing everyday, had become very slippery and this is were the spikes given to us came to play. The last 20km was gruesome. I could see the summit hands length away, but we walked 20 minutes to get to it. Upon reaching the summit exhausted, the view from the Nag Tibba summit clears your exhaustion in minutes. A view of the valley stretching to mussorie 55km away on one side to the mighty peaks of Garwal Himalayas on the other. Peaks like Mt Thalaysagar, Mt Bandarpunch , Mt Blackpeak could be seen clearly from the summit.