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Uttarkashi to Uttarkashi
Mt. Satopanth is the second highest mountain in the Gangotri group of mountains in Uttarakhand. At 7075 M, this peak which in local dialect means "True Path", is quite a daunting expedition. The route includes a complex glacier approach, high angled snow slopes, and a technical knife-edge ridge, before the final section to the summit. This expedition is meant only for aspiring mountaineers with prior knowledge of the use of ice axes, crampons, roping up procedures and jumar climbing. The extremely unpredictable weather conditions and a challenging terrain encountered while undertaking this expedition demands the aspirant to be extremely physically fit with a high level of mental endurance. Mt. Satopanth serves as a preparatory expedition for many Indian mountaineers who wish to conquer 8000M+ peaks and possibly Mt. Everest. This expedition perfectly transitions a mountaineer from trekking to peaks to climbing summits. The best time to undertake this expedition is in August and September. Mt. Satopanth is the ultimate choice for those mountaineers who have already scaled 6500M+ peaks and are looking to push their limits. Stay on this page to get details on Mt. Satopanth expedition such as itinerary, eligibility criteria for this expedition and FAQs.
Uttarkashi to Gangotri (10200 ft) - 100 km Drive
Today we will pick you up from Uttarkashi and drive from Uttarkashi to Gangotri. Stay at Gangotri for the night.
Acclimatisation in Gangotri
Rest and acclimatisation at Gangotri.
Gangotri to Bhojwasa (12500 ft) - 14 km Trek
We start in the morning, after breakfast to trek towards Chirbasa (3600 m). From Gangotri you may move along the beaten track towards Chirbasa, which is on tree line. The entire trek till Chirbasa is along the roaring Bhagirathi River. We can have our pack lunch in Chirbasa. From Chirbasa, we trek further to Bhojwasa today. The trek is going to be moderate for the day. The terrain, after Chirbasa, becomes really desolate and barren. In fact, it has been referred to as Arctic Tundra by many trekkers. Entire trail passes through dense forest till Bhojwasa. There is a small temple and a potential campsite near the river. Good place to camp for the day. Excellent sunset on Bhagirathi group of peaks to delight you in the evening.
Bhojwasa to Tapovan (14600 ft) - 13 km Trek
Early in the Morning enjoy the panoramic view of Bhagirathi group of peaks. After breakfast trek to Gomukh (3890mt), the source of the Ganges. Gomukh is where the water of Ganga trickles down from the glaciers. The sages called it 'Gomukh', because in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow's mouth. Explore the area and trek to Tapovan, one of the finest high altitude alpine meadows in the area. The trek from Gomukh to Tapovan is ascent steep, and as we climb, the view of the surrounding peaks becomes clearer. Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base camp of the Shivling peak, Tapovan is a very pleasant surprised spot with a large meadow complete with bubbling streams, wildflowers and campsites. Herds of Bharal (blue mountain goats) are a common sight from here on mountain ridges. On the far side of the glacier the Bhagirathi I, II, III (6454mt), provide an equally impressive backdrop. It is also the little wonder where Sadhus and saints choose this spot for extended meditation during the long summer month. Arrive Tapovan and camp. Dinner and overnight stay in camp.
Tapovan to Nandanvan (14300 ft) - 8 km Trek
On this day we start early & head to the great Meru Glacier. After a brief halt to explore Meru Glacier, we trace back to Nandanvan via Gomukh glacier. The route from Tapovan leads from the upper section of the meadow till down and onto the glacier. From Gomukh turn towards Nandanvan (4340m) and steering on right one will be on top of the Gangotri glacier. The glacier runs between two ranges and the landslides make a layer of rocky moraine on the ice which makes the walking easier. The glacier walk is very slippery and a slight lack of concentration would be dangerous. Huge crevasses gaped here and there. After a walking for about a kilometer there is a vertical ascent. Big rocks enroute offer grips and foot - holds but many of them are deceptive too. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Nandanvan to Vasuki Tal [Base Camp] (16000 ft) - 6 km Trek
Morning trek along with Chaturangi Glacier to reach Vasuki Tal, a beautiful base for Mt Satopanth and Mt Vasuki Parbat with a small lake. The trek is steady upward.
Acclimatisation at Base Camp
Rest and acclimatisation at Vasuki Tal
Vasuki Tal to Camp 1 (16830 ft)
We walk on a narrow ridge, with the curiously named Chaturangi glacier on the left and Vasuki Parbat on the right. Just at the edge of the ridge, we get a glimpse of the majestic Satopanth. From here we descend to the Sundar glacier, and after a long moraine walk we reach Camp 1.
Acclimatisation at Camp 1
Rest and acclimatisation at Camp 1
Camp 1 to Camp 2 (19000 ft)
The technical climb starts today. After a short walk on the glacier for about an hour and half, we negotiate a rock band and then an ice gully. From here we traverse a couple of gentle humps to reach camp 1. We would be using ropes for this section and ascenders as well.
Acclimatisation at Camp 2
Rest and acclimatisation at Camp 2
Camp 2 to Summit Camp (20340 ft)
After a short steep walk, we reach the infamous “knife ridge”. We would have ropes fixed on this part as well. Progress is slow on this section, so work on your calves while you still can. Once we are through with the ridge, we are on the steep icy face of the mountain. We set up camp just above a hanging glacier.
Acclimatisation at Summit Camp
Rest and acclimatisation at Summit Camp
Summit Push (23200 ft)
We normally start the summit attempt around midnight so we are up on the summit early enough. It depends a lot on the weather conditions on that day. All climbers will need to be well protected for the cold conditions on the summit night. We normally have fixed ropes only on certain sections on the summit day as the gradient is not very steep on the south face leading to the summit. The summit offers great views of the Garhwal Himalaya on the south and the Tibetan plateau on the north. Sometimes, the summit attempt is also made from C2.
Summit Camp to Camp 1
Retrace your route back to Camp 1
Camp 1 to Vasuki Tal
Return to Base Camp
Vasuki Tal to Nandanvan - 6 km Trek
Return to Nandanvan
Nandanvan to Chirwasa - 26 km Trek
Return to Chirwasa
Chirwasa to Uttarkashi - 8 km Trek, 100 km Drive
Return to Gangotri. Drive back to Uttarkashi. Overnight in hotel.
Depart from Uttarkashi
In accordance with the rules and regulation set forth by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) for mountaineering expeditions, out of 12 seats per batch:
- 6 seats are reserved for aspirants with a certificate in Advanced Mountaineering Course (AMC)
- 4 seats are reserved for aspirants with a certificate in Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)
- The remaining 2 seats are reserved for aspirants with previous trekking experience of expeditions above 6000 meters
Foreign Nationals - Due to a specific set of guidelines for Foreign Nationals it is recommended to call our support team to gain information on the list of documents and procedure involved in booking a mountaineering expedition with us.
Mt. Sathopanth Expedition is made only for trekkers with previous mountaineering experience and wants to test their limits. The challenges faced in the expedition should not be underestimated. You should attempt this expedition only If you have already done climbs over 6000 m and have completed a Basic Mountaineering Course. It is recommended not to opt this trek if you cannot get acclimatized in the high altitudes. The climb required expeditionary tactics, experience with glacier trek, high angled snow slopes, and technical ridge all of which is a strenuous endeavor. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete this trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
A basic mountaineering course is recommended though not mandatory in case of people who have previously been on an expedition to a technical 6000 m peak. At least 4-5 challenging treks along with 30+ total trekking days in the Himalayas. Experience with glacier trekking and high altitude mountaineering are essential for Mt. Sathopanth. Medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
How to use an Ice Axe
How to use Climbing boots & Crampons
How to rope up & follow queued climbing/descending
How to self-arrest using an ice axe
Knowledge of Basic First aid
The best months for this expedition are May, June, September, and October. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold make this expedition impossible in winters.
Click here for packing list.
The base for Mt. Sathopanth expedition is Gangotri, around 500 km from Delhi.
Reach Gangotri By Air: At a distance of around 226 km from Gangotri is located the closest airport named Jolly Grant Airport. Situated in Dehradun, the airport has regular flights from India's capital city of Delhi. So, you can catch a flight to the airport and then you can hire a cab from there to reach the sacred town of Gangotri. Taxi or cab charges will cost you around Rs 4,000.
Reach Gangotri By Train: If you like traveling by train, you'll need to reach the Rishikesh railway station which is also the closest at 250 km from Gangotri. After arriving at the railway station, you'll see plenty of cabs ready to take you to your destination. You'll need to pay anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000 as cab charges.
Reach Gangotri By Road: The holy town of Gangotri is also well connected by road with all the popular tourist places in the state of Uttarakhand and outside the state. From places like Yamunotri, Mussoorie, and Tehri, you can easily catch tourist buses to reach Gangotri. There are both private deluxe buses and state buses to reach the town.
Gangotri has coverage for all major networks. There is no cellular network beyond Gangotri.
Gangotri Temple: Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda.
Places to visit near the Gangotri Temple
Bhagirath Shila is believed to be the holy rock where King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva.
Pandava Gufa, located 1.5 km from Gangotri, is the place where the Pandavas are believed to have meditated and rested en route Kailash. Pilgrims will have to trek up to the Pandava Gufa.
The minimum age limit is 16 years. However, minors aged 16 and 17 years should be accompanied by their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking and mountaineering.
Guesthouse/Hotel accommodation in Delhi, Uttarkashi, and Gangotri on Days 1, 2, 3, 21, and 22 will be provided as per our itinerary. During the expedition, accommodation will be in 4 season tents on twin sharing basis.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accommodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees Celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek. These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
Since this is a technical climb at extremely high altitudes on snow and ice, all required technical equipment such as Ropes, Helmet, Ice Axe, Crampons, Mountaineering Boots, Jumar, Descender, Harness will be provided. You can refer to the inclusions section for more details.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfill the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread, and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on the journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent the following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
Since this is a technical climb at 7000 m, you can expect snow and ice on the expedition.
You can expect temperatures to drop to as low as -15°C to -25°C at higher camps on the climb. The more altitude we gain the colder it gets. However, the weather is always unpredictable so be prepared with all the essential layers required to keep yourself warm and dry.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior to the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However, offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
A team of participants will be led by an IMF certified mountaineering guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain a 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
Yes, the trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Yes, there are stores/shops in Uttarkashi and Gangotri from where you can buy necessary stuff. Though it is recommended that you come prepared with all the stuff. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for a solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing a tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
You will be picked from and dropped to your hotel in Delhi.
Expect to be free by the afternoon on the last day of the expedition. So plan all your journeys post 1800 hours or from the next day.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried), Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) and Photocopy of ID Proof and passport size photos are the mandatory documents required for the trek.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure