Brahmatal trek is NOT the most happening winter trek in the Himalayas.
I am going to prove how much fun a short winter trek can be in this blog post. Most people are not even aware of Brahmatal trek, which is what makes it even more appealing. From the dense forests covered in snow, to the grandeur of majestic mountains like Mt. Trishul and Nanda Ghunti, to the challenges the summit throws at you – it is one hell of an adventure.
We tend to judge people and places, firstly by their looks, so here are some pictures of my favorite and least favorite things about the trek. I will give you an honest picture of both, so you can decide for yourself if this trek is meant for you.
Here are the things I absolutely fell in love with:
1. The incredible views:
Now, unless you live in a cabin in the woods, there is no way you’ll get such views back home. When you are trekking in the mountains, it is so important for to be able to block everything in your head and just be present. And the beauty of the trail allows you to do just that. There are no major challenges along the way, you get to walk for long stretches watching everything around you come to life; the trees dancing to the rhythm of the wind, the snow falling like goose feathers, and the clouds playing around in the sky. It’s the perfect distraction you need to clear your mind.
John Keats very aptly said, 'the poetry of the earth is never dead' and I totally second his thoughts.
2. Beautiful lakes, snow clad peaks and the most beautiful campsites:
Now let’s get to the real stuff. The beauty that lies in the views could be subjective, so here are the substantial things you’ll see on the trail.
There are two incredible lakes on the trail that will force the words ‘wow’ out of your mouth the first time you’ll lay eye on them. It’s little things like this that add charm to a trek and give it a vibrant personality.
The views of legendary peaks:
Mountains are celebrities in the trekking world, and when you are in the presence of legends like Mt. Trishul and Mt.Nanda Ghunti, you get star struck. The peaks at such close proximity would inspire you and leave you feeling like a total badass for being out in the wilderness instead of any place normal. Normality does not exist on treks.
Picture taken from Jhandi top.
Photo taken from the summit by Shashank Pandav.
The most beautiful place to camp:
Yup, this is going to one of your campsites. It almost feels like you are camping amongst the clouds here.
Welcome to Brahmatal campsite. Take a 5-minute walk from here, and you’ll be standing by the stunning Brahmatal lake, and that is exactly where this picture was taken from.
3. The challenge of the summit:
Now, a trek without challenges is something I’d run away from. The Brahmatal summit is as challenging as the summit of Kedarkantha peak. I would even say that it is a bit more challenging than Kedarkantha. The climb is short but steeper. On an average, it takes about 4 hours to reach the summit, but the reward from the top is so worth the climb. You feel on top of the world watching the majestic mountains at eye level from the summit.
Here is the view from the summit, beautifully captured by Prajul Nambiar.
My least favorite things about Brahmatal trek.
Overall, I feel the weather and snow conditions on the trail dictate how your experience is going to be. If the trail is snow covered, it's absolutely blissful, if not, it could be uninteresting and disappointing.
From my experience, these were the things that could be possible turn-offs:
1) The initial dusty terrain:
We didn’t see snow until the end of our first day. The initial trail was through a dusty and stony path, bypassing several villages and lonely huts. Although the sights were beautiful, it didn’t feel much like a winter trek, as nor the heat or the trail gave away any feel of winters.
If there is no snow on the trek, I believe this is how the entire trek would look like, and that could be a disappointing experience. The forests, campsites, and views would look dull and soulless. But the weather in the mountains is so unpredictable and can change overnight, the same trek, when covered in snow, is unbelievably beautiful.
2. The windy weather at Bekaltal:
Bekaltal campsite can be extremely windy at times. The wind hits your tents with full force, and it almost feels like a storm is on its way. It was a bit scary at night, just because we are not used to this weather, but nothing really happened. We woke up to a sight of a beautiful snowfall, falling ever so delicately from the sky in slow motion, and were thankful of the chilly night that brought the snow.
However, the weather conditions on all Himalayan treks are beyond anyone’s control. There were no forecasts of snowfall during our batch, but it snowed gleefully for two continuous days and we got an out of the world experience. But being prepared for your winter trek can make the experience enjoyable. You must always follow a few basic tips for winter hiking.
So, go with an open heart, and let the mountains invite you into their world in their own unique way.
That’s it from me. I hope this gives you an honest picture of the trek. Drop a comment below to share your snow experience with us.
Find out more about Brahmatal here.