Sato (meaning truth) and panth (meaning path) literally translates to true path. It is the second highest mountain in the Gangotri group in Uttarakhand and is quite a formidable undertaking.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeTrekking
Activity Level Demanding
Group Size Medium Group
Sato (meaning truth) and panth (meaning path) literally translates to true path. It is the second highest mountain in the Gangotri group in Uttarakhand and is quite a formidable undertaking. The route includes a complex glacier approach, high angled snow slopes and knife edge ridge, before the final section to the summit. At just over 7000m, the effect of high altitude is a significant factor, as is the remote location and possibility of extreme weather.
Overnight train from Delhi
Arrive early morning in Delhi. Visit IMF office for the final formalities and meet the Liaison Officer. Board the overnight NZM Dehradun AC Special leaving Delhi at 11:55pm to be in Haridwar by 4:00am.
Board the waiting vehicles to be driven straight to Uttarkashi (7hrs). Breakfast enroute. Check out personal climbing kit at the Guest House. Overnight Guest House.
After having a relaxed breakfast set off for a long drive to Gangotri. This pretty drive is now marred with a hydro electric project coming up on the upper Bhagirathi valley. What used to be a scenic drive is now busy with construction activity. However towards the end as we get out of the construction area the drive gets pretty with the views of high mountains straight in front. Overnight GMVN Guest House at Bhaironghati, 10kms short of Gangotri.
Acclimatisation day in Gangotri (3048m)
After an early morning breakfast we drive 10 kms to Gangotri and start walking on the steep trail leading to the lake of Kedartal. The trail goes through birch forests and is steep all the way to the small campsite at Bhoj Kharak (3780m). We will carry packed food with us and after having gained some altitude would come back to Gangotri and drive to Bhaironghati. Overnight GMVN Guest House at Bhaironghati.
Trek Gangotri-Chirbasa (3548m)
Visit the temple and the start the 4 hr walk up towards Gaumukh, the source of the river Ganges. The trail keeps following the river and and just short of Chirbasa one gets the first views of the Bhagirathi Peaks. Chirbasa (3600m), literally meaning the home of pine is now a cluster of shops and some pine trees. Walk down from the main trail and setup camp close to the river.
Trek Chirbase to Bhojbasa (3784m)
Have a relaxed day with only about 3 hrs of walk. Reach the campsite of Bhojbasa(3800m), home of birch (now only a few left in the much denuded area) and setup camp. Evening walk to one of the high points closeby is recommended for better acclimatisation. Don’t forget to carry your cameras along, you just might chance upon a group of ibexes or a beautiful sunset
Trek Bhojbasa-Nandanvan (4420m)
Walk along the river till we get to Gaumukh, the snout of the Gangotri glacier. From here we walk up on the glacial moraine to the meadow of Nandanvan at the base of Bhagirathi group of peaks. The camp offers majestic views of Shivling – the Matterhorn of the Himalayas.
Acclimatize in Nandanvan
A day to Acclimatize in Nandanvan (4420m)
Trek Nandanvan-Vasukital , the Base Camp (4850m)
Walk along a stream with views of Meru and Bhrigupanth. After 5kms, we bypass the outlet of the valley leading towards Bhagirathi and come to a deep gorge eroded by the glacier. Descend diagonally towards the snout of the lateral glacier to reach Vasukital, the base camp for our climb. Camp near the lake at the foot of the North-west ridge of Vasuki Parbat.
Rest & Acclimatise at Base Camp (4850m)
HAPs do a load ferry to Advance Base Camp (ABC)
Shift Base Camp – ABC (5130m)
Walk along the narrow ridge with Chaturangi glacier to the left and Vasuki Parbat to the right. We descend to the Sundar glacier from the ridge and get the first glimpse of the majestic Satopanth. The Advanced Base Camp is on the true right side of the glacier.
Acclimatise at ABC
A day to acclimatise at ABC (5130m)
Shift ABC-Camp 1 (5800m)
The technical part starts here, the climb starts with negotiating a rock band followed by an icy gully and a steep snow slope till Camp 2. We will have ropes fixed on this section and one would be using jumars (ascenders) to get up.
Rest day at Camp 1 (5800m)
HAPs load ferry Camp 1 – Camp 2 & Members rest & acclimatise at Camp 1(6000m)
Shift Camp 1 – Camp 2 (6200m)
Climb to the top of the hump and then traverse the razor sharp ridge with steep slopes on either side to get on to the face of the mountain. We will have ropes fixed on this part too.
Camp 2 (6200m) – Summit (7075m) – Camp 2 (6200m)
Descend Camp 2 - Camp 1 (5800m)
Descend Camp 1 – Base Camp (4850m) Wind up ABC enroute.
Trek Base Camp-Nandanvan (4420m)
Trek Nandanvan – Chirbasa (3548m)
Trek Chirbasa – Gangotri (3048m) and drive 4 hrs to Uttarkashi
Trek Chirbasa – Gangotri (3048m) and drive 4 hrs to Uttarkashi. Overnight Hotel / Guest House at Uttarkashi. Get the much awaited / deserved shower.
Drive Uttarkashi – Haridwar
Drive Uttarkashi – Haridwar and take the evening Shatabdi Express to Delhi.
Day 22-24 : Contingency days for bad weather etc
We believe that along with the privilege of adventure in the Himalaya comes a serious responsibility, the responsibility to protect and contribute to its ecology, cultures and its tremendous beauty. The “Leave No Trace” philosophy is followed to the letter and we work to minimize the environmental impact of our trips. We are scrupulous in our camping, cooking and sanitation practices; we limit the number of trekkers we allow to join us on our trips and the number of trips we lead in a given area.>
In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else.
Please take a few minutes to read the following:
The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.
Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardiovascular sort contributing to improved endurance – helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.
Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.
Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.
Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: “ the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’
In other words – be safe.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.
Grading of Trips
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
- Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
- Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
- Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
- Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at [email protected] to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).
Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.
- All transport from Delhi back to Delhi by road / rail as applicable (non AC car & AC chair car on the train).
- All Accommodation on twin share basis in tents / rest houses / hotels.
- All meals on the trip
- Group tents & Cooking Gear
- Climbing Permits
- Gangotri National Park Entry Fee
- Group climbing gear (Ropes, Anchors, Shovels, Slings etc)
- Individual Climbing Gear Rental
- Climbing Boots, Gaiters, Crampons – 1 pair each
- Ice Axe, Ascender -Jumar, Descender-Fig of 8, Harness & Helmet – 1 each
- Carabiners – 2 screw & 2 plain
- Porterage of all the equipment / supplies/ & personal baggage of max 18 kgs per member.
- Services of experienced guide, cook & camp staff
- Railway Station / Airport transfers in Delhi
- Any stay & meals in Delhi
- Sleeping Bag & items of personal clothing
- Expenses of personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, insurance, camera fee
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Booking conditions: All bookings are subject to availability of space at Camp. We book space on a 100% advance. All payments by wire transfer, cash or cheque/draft in favor of “Aquaterra Adventures (I) Pvt. Ltd.”
Tips & Gratuities: Our recommendation is a minimum 5-10% of your trip cost for tips to be distributed amongst the team that makes your adventure safe and successful. This includes drivers, guides, cook, kitchen team, porters and horsemen. Of course, this remains a personal choice.
a) Kayakers to bring own boat and gear. We can provide kayaks for US$ 250 if you do not want to carry your boat out (choose from Liquid Logic HOSS, Session Plus, Dagger, Necky and Perception boats). This river demands solid boaters with Class 4+ skills and experience in big water.
b) Cost does not include transfers and hotels in Delhi, as there are several options. Airport transfers in Delhi and Delhi hotels can be arranged on request. An airport transfer costs Rs. 2500 (US $40) per transfer. Delhi hotels : The place which we have been using is close to our office, (and where we put up most of our river guests) in a quiet part of South Delhi (about 30 mins from Connaught Place, but equidistant from the airport). They charge Rs. 6000 (US$ 95) for a double room per day.
c) The US $ conversion equivalents are calculated using the exchange rates averaged over the previous year. Please check for any foreign exchange fluctuations at the time of booking.
Rates quoted are on twin share. If you prefer single accommodation, the single supplement is Rs. 15,500/-
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodation, we will try our best to find you a roommate. If that is not possible, a “forced” single supplement of Rs. 9750 will be applicable.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply on cancellation:
- if cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit
- will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 77 ; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
- if cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the
- tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip); and
- if cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.
Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.
The tour price is quoted as a package. No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.