Satopanth Climb


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.

Day 00: Overnight train from Delhi
Arrive early morning in Delhi. Visit IMF office for the final formalities and meet the Liason Officer. Board the overnight NZM Dehradun AC Special leaving Delhi at 11:55pm to be in Haridwar by 4:00am.

Day 01: Delhi-Uttarkashi (1110m)
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.

Day 02: Uttarkashi-Bhaironghati (2850m)
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 infront. Overnight GMVN Guest House at Bhaironghati, 10kms short of Gangotri.

Day 03: 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.

Day 04: 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.

Day 05: 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/

Day 06: 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.

Day 07: A day to aclimatise in Nandanvan (4420m)

Day 08: 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.

Day 09: Rest & Acclimatise at Base Camp (4850m)
HAPs do a load ferry to Advance Base Camp (ABC)

Day 10: 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.

Day 11 : A day to acclimatise at ABC (5130m)

Day 12: 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.

Day 13: Rest day at Camp 1 (5800m)
HAPs load ferry Camp 1 – Camp 2 & Members rest & acclimatise at Camp 1(6000m)

Day 14: 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.

Day 15: Camp 2 (6200m) – Summit (7075m) – Camp 2 (6200m)

Day 16: Descend Camp 2 – Camp 1 (5800m)

Day 17: Descend Camp 1 – Base Camp (4850m)

Wind up ABC enroute.

Day 18: Trek Base Camp-Nandanvan (4420m)

Day 19: Trek Nandanvan – Chirbasa (3548m)

Day 20: Trek Chirbasa – Gangotri (3048m) and drive 4 hrs to Uttarkashi.Overnight Hotel / Guest House at Uttarkashi. Get the much awaited / deserved shower.

Day 21: Drive Uttarkashi – Haridwar and take the evening Shatabdi Express to Delhi.

Day 22-24: Contingency days for bad weather etc.

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Trip Details

Location: Uttarakhand
Duration: 13 Days
Grading: Demanding
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