Kuari Pass trek – day 0

by site editor Rick McCharles

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6

The trek over the Kuari (“doorway“) Pass in the Indian Himalaya was the route followed by Shipton and Tilman and other early mountaineers en route to the peaks on the Indo-Tibetan border.

It is also called the Curzon Trail as the famous former Viceroy of India traveled this route in 1905. (Some say Curzon abandoned that adventure after being attacked by wild bees.)

Frank Smythe:

We breasted the slope and halted, silent on the path. No words would express our delight. The Himalayas were arrayed before us in a stupendous arc“. (1931)

The tag line for Kuari is “best mountain vista in the Himalayas“.

Kuari panorama

Click over to kuaripass.co.uk to see the entire panorama, the best I’ve seen online. 7000m peaks are lined up like soldiers for your inspection.

Kuari, as well, is one of the best two treks for those, like me, who want to see famed, mysterious Nandi Devi. Not quite visible from the Pass.

Nanda Devi

This is Arnaldur Indridason from Norway.

Kuari day 5

Call him Alf.

Alf and I both signed on separately for the Kuari Trek with Red Chilli Adventure out of Rishikesh. (trip details PDF)

Red Chilli’s Vipin Sharma returned our emails. Gave us clear answers and specific prices. That’s a very professional company.

Cost $600 each for 2 hikers. (Price drops up to a maximum of 10 hikers.)

• 82km over 6 days of hiking
• 8 days all inclusive (Oct 18-25, 2013)
• 34,000 rupees + 3.1% because I paid with credit card
• tips to 2 drivers, 2 mule drivers, cook and guide

Animal trackers, gun bearers and skinners are extra. 😦

Note: Lonely Planet recommends this hike in the opposite direction. LP got that WRONG. There’s not one single reason to start in Joshimath. Especially if you are not acclimatized to altitude.

We wisely started at Ghat 1330m, slowly and steadily working our way up to over 3500m.

Alf and I did not meet until the morning of departure. Always a gamble, it turned out that Alf and I had many common interests. We were both travellers. Both hikers. We’d both done Milford Track in New Zealand and Huayhuash in Peru, for example.

Red Chili provided an excellent vehicle and a safe driver for the 8hr trip up into the Himalayan foothills.


I stayed awake for almost all of that. There are many interesting sites en route.


Well past monsoon, the roads were in good repair. We had no delay longer than a few minutes.


It’s rare to find a valley in the Indian Himalayas without people. During the trip we bought last minute provisions at roadside villages.



It began to rain as we arrived at our trailhead campsite.


First order of business in all things India is … Chai.


This fellow needed to climb to turn on the Village electricity for the evening.


Road repair and animal grazing. Those seem to be the two main industries in roadside Himalayan villages.



The youngest babies rode along on mules.


So far, so good … 🙂

See all high resolution photos from this day.

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6

2 Replies to “Kuari Pass trek – day 0”

  1. Beautifully Covered !
    I went to Triund, Himachal Pradesh Recently With Adwentur and It Was a nice experience.
    Next I’m planning Trek To Kareri Lake, and Kheerganga, Himachal Pradesh.

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