Nag Tibba is a breathtaking trek resting at 3022 M in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Stretching over 19 km, this trek is ideal for people looking for mesmerising views and a gratifying hike just over a weekend. The trekkers experience varying trails, diverse vegetation and exotic flora and fauna in merely 3 days. The summit offers stunning views of the renowned snow-capped Himalayan ranges such as Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Srikantha, and Gangotri amongst others.
Nag Tibba is a beginners’ trek and can be attempted by anyone with a basic level of fitness seeking a weekend adventure. In this article, we will be discussing the difficulty level of the Nag Tibba trek along with the gear and skills that you will need to do the trek seamlessly.
Difficulty level of the trek:
Nag Tibba is a level 1 trek on the Bikat Rating Scale.
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.
The Trails of Nag Tibba
Being a beginners’ trek, the trails of Nag Tibba are easy to negotiate for anyone with a basic level of fitness. Each day, we cover close to five kilometres spanning anywhere between 4-5 hours in terms of trekking duration.
The trek from Pantwari till campsite has a moderate gradient; the only challenge, if any, lies on the day of the summit. The trek to the summit is challenging because the trail after the Nag Mandir Campsite is steep and engulfed in snow during the winters.
This section especially raises the bar for beginners who are new to Himalayan trekking as they experience hiking over ankle deep snow through dense Oak forests on the second day of the trek itself.
During peak winters, the snow can even run knee deep in some sections requiring the trekker to pull through at every step.
Be prepared for an equally tricky descent from the summit. Generally, on Himalayan treks, the descent takes half the time it takes to ascend to a point.
On the Nag Tibba Trek, the descent takes as much time as the ascent even though we will be retracing the same route from the summit back to the campsite.
Since we will be trekking back to the campsite in the afternoon post lunch, the snow on the trails tends to get slippery in some sections requiring more time while traversing downhill as well.
Note: The Summit is only 2 kilometres from the Nag Mandir Campsite. So, even though descent takes time, the trekking day will still be a short one.
That said, trekkers are guided and trained by trek leaders on how to steer through snow during ascent and descent along with the equipment one can use. We discuss more about this in the section below titled “Skills required for the Nag Tibba Trek”.
Fitness Levels Required for the Nag Tibba Trek
The trails of Nag Tibba are relatively easy to navigate. Since the trek is only a weekend long, our backpacks are relatively lighter. We also have the added advantage of leaving some of our things behind at the campsite on the day of the summit.
That said, you will still need good lung capacity and leg strength to complete the trek. If you are struggling most of the time, you won’t be able to enjoy the trek. With the end goal being enjoying the trek thoroughly and not just completing it, the following is the fitness level we recommend.
Practice jogging/running three days a week and see if you can cover 5 kms in 30-40 minutes. In addition to this, you can also add some resistance workouts for legs (like squats and lunges) and core into your training schedule.
Gear Required for Nag Tibba Trek
While we will be providing most of the equipment needed for trekking (tents, sleeping bags, crampons, snow boots etc), there is some basic gear you will need from your end to get through your hike comfortably.
These are a sturdy, lightweight backpack and comfortable trekking shoes. In case, you plan on purchasing them, please refer to the articles below for some helpful tips on how to go about choosing the right gear for your trek.
A branded backpack can be a hefty spend when it comes to trekking. But this needn’t be the case if you know what to look for when purchasing one.
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. In the article linked above, he shares some helpful tips on what to look for when choosing a trekking backpack.
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. For a trek like Nag Tibba, where you are likely to encounter snow during the winter months, we recommend wearing water resistant shoes to avoid exposing your feet to cold temperatures. Please refer to the guide linked above for some useful tips on choosing trekking shoes.
Trekking poles are not mandatory butcan help take the stress off joints especially during descents and save energy. It is an accessory that helps the trekker with stability and rhythm on rough terrain.
The article linked above explains how to use trekking poles.
Skills required for Nag Tibba 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.
On the Nag Tibba trek, our trek leaders guide and train the group on how to steer through the snow during ascent and descent before attempting the summit. The trekkers are instructed about various trekking equipment that will be used during the trek like gaiters, micro-spikes and trekking pole, all in coordination with one another.
All these equipment except trekking poles will be provided by the Bikat Adventures team for a seamless experience. During descent, the snow becomes slippery adding to the challenges for the trekkers. To avoid slipping, trekkers are taught descent techniques like the right placement of foot, where and how to apply pressure and much more.
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 the skills that are likely to come in handy on a trail like the Nag Tibba.
Although Nag Tibbais a beginners’ trek, the ascent to the summit can be quite challenging. Maintaining the right rhythm and body posture can help avoid injuries and reduce the stress on your ankles and knees. The guide linked above shares some useful tips on how to ascend and descend down trails.
During the Nag Tibba Winter Trek, one is likely to experience subzero temperatures at night. This means you will have to pull out all the winter clothes you have to layer up at the campsite. This in turn will require you to re-pack your backpack in the mornings.
The article linked above shares some useful guidelines you can follow to pack efficiently.
Layering appropriately to protect yourself from the cold is essential. The temperatures at Nag Tibba can dip as low as -7 degree Celsius in the winters. Hence, it is crucial to understand how many layers one needs to carry to have a comfortable trek.
The article linked above 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 trails become slippery because of the snow, microspikes give you the support and balance you will need to navigate these trails efficiently. Since we are likely to be using them on the Nag Tibba Trek, please ensure the shoes you are wearing are compatible for microspikes.
Gaiters are special layers that you wear over your shoes and ankles to prevent dirt, pebbles, and snow from getting inside your shoes. When the snow level is high on the Nag Tibba Trek, Bikat Adventures will also be providing gaiters to trekkers when attempting the summit. The article linked above will give you an idea of how to use them.
We hope this article answers all the questions you may have about the Nag Tibba 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.