Reasons to do a Winter Trek in the Himalayas
When it comes to trekking nothing can fall short of the perfect settings you have been dreaming about. Imagine anything and the Himalayan landscapes will fulfill it. The Winter Treks are gaining popularity because of the exotic nature of the winter trails in the Himalayas.
From frozen lakes and rivers, knee-deep snow glistening like diamonds, snow smeared peaks, white carpeted trails, frozen waterfalls to the scintillating beauty of a white Christmas like landscape, a Winter Trek in the Himalayas is the ultimate experience of a lifetime.
You will be delighted to choose from some of the most popular Himalayan winter treks like Kedarkantha, Chadar and Brahmatal; the relatively less popular yet stunning treks like Markha Valley Winter Trek, Spiti Homestay Winter Trail, and Panwali Kantha to fantastic summit winter treks like Pangarchulla and Nag Tibba.
We tell you why you have to take a Winter Trek in the Himalayas at least once in your lifetime.
INCOMPARABLY GORGEOUS SETTINGS
The winter laden landscapes and trails bring out an entirely different side of the Himalayas, one that sets it apart from all else. With everything submerged under a thick blanket of snow, the valleys have a fairy-tale like appearance.
Every step you take on the crisp white snow sends echoes that shatter the solitude of the Himalayas.
Quite dramatic isn’t it?
That’s how monumental it is.
Frozen waterfalls, rivers and lakes make you wonder how everything just bolsters the beauty as they complement the background so gracefully.
The trees are sprinkled with snow showing the alternate green and white colors that just so flawlessly stand out in the oceans of white snow spreading across the mighty winter landscapes and peaks.
While some may argue that the best of Himalayan beauty is during the summer season for obvious reasons like a much more detailed trail, gushing rives, wildlife and greenery everywhere. There are those who choose to see the true beauty of the mountains which come alive during winter when the land is painted white with the winters might. Both seasons have their fair share of amazing characteristics.
Winter treks prove to be a great learning experience when it comes to preparation, packing and techniques needed to ascend and descend on the trail. Along with these prerequisites, you will also learn about how to pitch tents on snow and the use of gaiters and microspikes all of which will enhance your trekking skills and make the best use of what is available to you in such harsh conditions.
The most important thing is to be both physically and mentally prepared to face the brutal cold of the Himalayan winters when temperatures dip to as low of -30 deg Celsius in case of chadar trek whereas the other winter treks in Uttarakhand and Sikkim will face a minimum of -15 deg Celsius. When food gets cold in a jiffy and water stored in bottles and cans freeze in a second, that when you realize the brutal reality of these conditions. It is imperative that you understand how to layer up properly to prevent the body heat from escaping and succumb to high altitude conditions. It is given that your clothes, gloves, shoes and socks will get wet. The feet will be cold and numb. But your mental preparedness will help you get through it and your prior knowledge on how to take care of yourself in such situations will come in handy.
How mentally and physically prepared you are for a winter trek will either make or break your experience of the same. And, remember you have chosen to trek in the winter for a reason. You will surely enjoy it to the fullest in spite of all these hurdles. After all, you cannot challenge nature.
But on a positive note, these incidents will only add to your supreme experience and make the trek all the more rich and sublime. Moments to cherish are unlimited and unforgettable.
These learning experiences are you strongest assets and will help your personal growth. You will be proud of yourself and your ability to deal with obstacles.
Do you consider the campsites to be the highlight of a trek?
We agree with you. The campsites of Winter Treks have a distinctive charm, one that separates them from the other seasons. The color combination of yellow, blue and red tents pitched in the midst of acres of white snowfield is simply mesmerizing.
In some instances, you will have a frozen lake or a river in front of you. Surrounded by crystal white peaks and mountains the utter silence of the campsites is the definition of tranquility.
Every one of us has always dreamt of experiencing snowfall at its best and the moment it happens at these locations, you will be left spellbound. With a layer of snow on the tents and mist everywhere, brings out the inner child in you and you surrender to nature and let go of your emotions.
Having that hot cup of chai or a delicious bowl of soup when it is snowing in the picture-perfect surroundings is the best thing you could’ve asked for.
CHALLENGING YET FACILE
On treks like Pangarchulla peak, Markha Valley Winter Trek, Chadar Trek and Kedarkantha, walking on thick snow can prove to be taxing. During peak winters, these trails see a significant amount of snow which is sometimes knee-deep. Navigating your way through such terrain can be tiring and toe numbing.
But how often in life do you get to summit a mountain in winters or walk on a frozen river?
Such opportunities can prove to be absolutely glorious. These natural phenomena will test your limits and give you a sense of achievement.
The bitter cold and chilling winds will be a struggle as well but if you are layered up well then it will not be a problem. With a freezing environment, you will learn to appreciate the presence of sun even more as it illuminates the crisp white landscape and gives you an awe-inspiring scenery.
COLD all the time. WET most of the time. Such will be your thoughts during the trek. But your adrenaline and excitement will keep you going. And after the trek when you are in your warm and soft bed, that is when you will realize how epic the adventure was. You will keep on talking about it all the time until the time you go for your next winter trek.
It’s all about facing the challenges and coming out strong with a smile etched in your face. Such is the magic of snow.
Once you have ventured on a Himalayan trail in the heart of Winter, it feels like the purpose of your life has been completed.
Trust us. We are not exaggerating.
There is something special that is simply put, indescribable. You have to see it to believe it. The memories will stick to you like the winter snow in the mountains.