Dodital Darwa Pass is an idyllic trek into the interior forestscapes of Assi Ganga valley.
The 40 km trek offers panoramic views and rugged terrains with Mt. Bandarpoonch, Black Peak and other Garhwal Himalayan Ranges constantly accompanying us throughout the trail
The trek starts from the basecamp village of Agoda and takes us higher into the mountains to Dodital and further to Darwa Pass. Dodital Lake is located at an impressive altitude of 3,024M. The subsequent hike to Darwa Pass at 4,151M makes this trek difficult, yet an alluring treat for all mountain lovers.
Traversing through routes within the deep jungles of Uttarkashi with steep ascents, descents and flattened stone-laden paths along its serene environment is an adventure to look out for.
Here on this page, we discuss the challenges that one may face on the Dodital Darwa Pass trek.
Difficulty Level of the Trek:
Dodital Darwa Pass trek is a level 4 trek on the Bikat Rating Scale (BRS)..
About the BRS:
The Bikat Rating Scale rates the difficulty level of all treks and expeditions in our portfolio after taking into account their geographical and climatic conditions.
According to this scale, if you are a beginner who is unsure of your fitness level and don’t know what to expect on a trek, a trek rated one will be a good place to start.
If you liked your very first trekking experience and are looking to test your limits next, the treks rated 2 or 3 will do the job for you.
A beginner who is sure of their fitness level on the other hand is welcome to skip the first two levels and directly start with one of the treks rated 3.
From 4 onwards, the rules change a little. It is mandatory to have trekking experience of the previous level to participate in the next level.
Trails of Dodital Darwa Pass Trek:
The scintillating trail of Dodital Darwa Pass trek is a bountiful mix of rugged paths, steep ascents, boulders and river crossings. The path leading to Darwal Pass from Dodital Lake is the real challenge given the high altitude gain within a span of 3-4 hours.
Challenge 1: Bhebra to Manjhi ascent
The shorter steep route from Bhebra village to Manjhi shieling is the first challenge on Day 2 of the trek. This 4 km stretch is laden with steep rocks and some boulder crossings that may become a major challenge for first time trekkers if not prepared. It is important that you meet the fitness benchmarks before embarking on the trek in order to be able to face these challenges and complete the trek smoothly. However, in the event of any difficulty, our trek leaders and guides are always around to help.
Challenge 2: Distance covered each day
With approximately 14 kms covered everyday on the trail, days on the trek are long and strenuous. The route has an ever-changing terrain and major patches of ascent and descent. These patches could potentially tire you out if not adequately prepared for it. While not impossible, this trek does quench your thirst for adventure! Our trek leaders often make the climb fun and interesting and you can feel free to ask them for a break wherever required. It is important that you don’t strain yourself.
Challenge 3: Darwa Pass elevation gain
An elevation gain of 1,127M in a span of four hours while traversing from Dodital Lake to Darwa Pass makes this a moderate level trek. Given the altitude, the environment and for the fact that water bodies may be scarce on this route, it is important to carry at least 2 liters of water on all days, to keep properly hydrated. Proper hydration is an important part of acclimatization. Take ample rest stops and complete the climb at your own pace while being mindful of the time. You will always find company in our guides or trek leaders!
Gears required for Dodital Darwa Pass trek:
While we will be providing most of the technical equipment needed for the trek (tents, sleeping bags, gaiters, microspikes), there is some basic gear you will need from your end to get through your trek comfortably.
Some of the things you will need are:
1) A sturdy, lightweight backpack: A good backpack which sits comfortably on your back without putting too much pressure on it can be the deciding factor between making it to the summit or not. Good, however, is not a synonym for expensive.
One of our founders, Pankaj, purchased a non-branded pack for INR 1100 in 2010 and the pack continues to work just fine for him even today. In the article linked below, he shares some helpful tips on what to look for when choosing a trekking backpack.
2) Comfortable trekking shoes: Happy feet equal a happy trek. Conventional sports shoes don’t suit trekking trails. We recommend wearing high ankle shoes with sturdy soles. These not only provide better support but also reduce the possibility of injuries while hiking. In case, you need help with a list of deciding factors that make for good trekking shoes, please refer to the article below
3) Right Clothing: Any high-altitude trek requires specific kinds of clothing. It should be warm but lightweight. It should also be such that it is easily packaged. On high-altitude treks, we usually employ the layering method where you put on multiple layers of clothing instead of one very heavy, thick jacket. This is for two reasons:
1) The weather in Himalayan regions is unpredictable and changes very quickly. Layering gives you the freedom to adapt to that accordingly where you are not left feeling too hot or too cold.
2) These are easy to carry and are packing-friendly.
Skills required for the trek:
Bikat Adventures is primarily an adventure learning organization. This means our key objective is not just to help trekkers complete their treks but also to ensure they pick up some valuable lessons and skills in trekking along the way.
To achieve this, we have created learning modules and paired them to different levels on the Bikat Rating Scale.
These modules are taught real-time on the trails by our trek leaders.
The following are some skills that are likely to come in handy on a trek like Dodital Darwa Pass.
While you will have all the assistance you need on the trek from our capable trek leaders and guides, we suggest browsing through the articles below to get an idea of what is involved.
As a moderate level trek, prior experience in the world of trekking is recommended.
One needs a good fitness regimen in order to acclimatize to the geographical and weather challenges at Dodital-Darwa Pass trek. Further, knowing small tips and tricks will help you avoid injuries and stress to specific body parts. The guide linked below shares some useful tips on how to ascend and descend on trails.
Given how unpredictable the weather gets in the mountains, you are likely to keep changing your layering frequently along the way. Also, due to the vast difference in day temperature and that at night, you most probably will spend a lot of time packing and re-packing your sack depending on whether you are on-trail or at the campsite, have chanced upon sudden rains or are stuck in a suddenly arrived cold hour. Under such changeable circumstances, accessing your stuff can get a bit messy and confusing.
Also, a sack packed right can facilitate your trekking while incorrect packing can even make an easy trail seem difficult. Worry not, we are here to help. The article linked below shares some useful guidelines you can follow to pack efficiently.
Our trek leaders will be guiding you on how to pitch a tent during the trek. Nevertheless, we are linking the article below for anyone who might be interested in reading about it.
Layering appropriately to protect yourself from the cold is essential. The article linked below will give you a fair idea of the winter layers you will need and guide you on how to layer up at campsites and while hiking.
When you know you are going to be in and around snow or in any high-altitude location where the sun is harsh, you might want to carry a good pair of sunglasses. A lack of these could prove to be fatal. The article below can help you pick out just the right pair.
When on any trek, it is each person’s responsibility to know the requirements of the area, some campsite basics and how to manage our own selves as well as the environment around us. While our trek leaders will keep you abreast about the basic dos and don’ts, do read the article below to brush up on some basic principles before the trek.
We hope this article answers all the questions you may have about Dodital Darwa Pass Trek. In case you need further assistance/information with something, please feel free to reach out to us. We are only a phone call away.