Winter is that time of the year where Mother Nature falls still, animals hibernate and a spell of silence falls across the land. Shrouded by curtains of fog and chills that run up your spine when you walk out the front door, winters brings with it a bundle of joy. There is much more to winters than sipping hot tea cozily wrapped up in a blanket or hitting the snooze button hard every morning.
Winter is not a time to wrap yourself up in the warmth of your home. Instead, it is the time to head out, roam the lands, trek through mountains and the list never ends. Going for Winter treks is one of the best things to do during winters. Braving the cold and pushing your physical boundaries as you venture through the mountains, going to places where you have never been before turns out to be one of the best memories to cherish. Pick up your phone, call in sick at your office and then set off to any one of the following eight destinations. Trust me you will create memories worth remembering.
8. The Lord Curzon / Kuari pass
Named after an adventurous Viceroy’s path the Lord Curzon trail is one of the most amazing treks you can have. You start to feel the mercury dropping as you proceed towards the lush meadows. As cold air fills up your lungs and your eyes sink away in the beauty of the green meadows as the sun sets and the light recedes. The sky turns into a canvas sprawled with light pinkish hue. As the sky turns dusky the Shepherds begin gathering their sheep. The trek resumes as dawn arrives and you will find yourself venturing through the Rhododendron forests. Paths leads to paths and you reach the highest point of the trek. At an altitude of 3650m you are welcomed by the breath taking view of the mighty Himalayas. Neelkanth, Nilgiri, Mukut Parvat and six other Himalayan peaks standing tall with all their might. Words alone won’t be able to explain it, one must be there to know what it feels like.
The way down takes one through the Deodar cedar pine forest and finally the trek comes to an end at Tapovan village.
Total number of Days: 6-7 Difficulty: Moderate
7. Goecha La trek
The months of June to October are the best time to undertake this trek. The trek begins in the beautiful state of Sikkim. After wading through rocky terrain for a day, you will be greeted by snow on the second. You will see snow covered meadows till wherever your sight goes. Kanchenjunga, or K2 world’s third highest peak is the main attraction of this trek. At an altitude of 4950 m, the highest point of this trek you will find yourself above the clouds. The retreat takes you through a beautiful valley and snow covered meadows.
Total number of Days: 10-15 Difficulty: Moderate.
6. Stok Kangri
No prior mountaineering experience is required to undertake this trek but conquering 20,000 feet peak is not a child’s play. The trek starts in a village called Stok, you head through meadows filled with snow but few green stubbles can be seen here and there. Trekking becomes challenging when snow rolls in. Braving the cold and the winds will turn out be worth when one reaches the peak. The peak welcomes the trekkers by offering them a spectacular view of the world down below.
Total number of Days: 9-12 Difficulty: Challenging
5. Chadar Trek
Subzero temperatures freeze Zanskar river turning it into a sheet of ice. The thrill you experience while walking on the ice sheet cannot be explained merely with words. This trek is a visual delight offering you frozen waterfalls, frozen river and frozen water, in your bottle. If you think about breaking the ice in the ineffective way, then fear not, for the sheets are thick enough to support you and your group’s weight. The trek becomes challenging as you will have to use special equipment to traverse the frozen river.
Total number of Days: 10-12 Difficulty: Hell yeah! It’s challenging
4. Markha valley trek
The Markha valley Trek is actually one of the most versatile and delightful treks within the Indian mountain range. Throughout the Markha valley Trek we cross two Himalayan passes and trek through varied piece of landscapes from superb slender valleys to wide open fields of Ladakh. What makes it even a lot of special is that the distinctive Buddhist culture you experience through the trek. The path is embellished with vibrant Tibetan prayer flags. This expertise ends at the known Hemis monastery.
Total number of Days: 9-12 Difficulty: Challenging
3. Roopkund trek
Nanda Devi, standing almost 8000 meters tall, is the central attraction of the trek. This trek offers you cold breath and spectacular views of Nanda Devi. As you trek your way through forests, lakes, meadows and valley you traverse 53 Km. Roopkund lake is another vital point of this trek. You will be greeted by skeletons, a lot of them as you approach the small semi-frozen lake. The Mystery still lingers and nobody knows what happened to those ancient travelers.
Total number of Days: 8 Difficulty: Moderate. Creepy? Yes.
2. Stairway to heaven
This is what the writers wrote about. Just five minutes into the trek and one would say, “If there is heaven on Earth, then it is definitely here” Such is the beauty of this Himalayan valley filled with colorful flowers. As monsoon arrives these flowers start to bloom and fill the place with its sweet smell and charming colours. No wonder, it’s called stairway to heaven.
Total number of Days: 4 Difficulty: It’s really smooth
1. The Great Lakes trek
This seven-day trek is so stunningly beautiful and surreal that you will just stop believing your senses. The lush green meadows sprawled across your vision. The brooks that run through this valley and the beautiful lakes that will enthrall you. The view of seven glaciers lined up one after the other is truly breathtaking.
Total number of Days: 7 Difficulty: Challenging