After a satisfying fourth day, it was time to move towards the climax on the 5th day of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. It was supposed to be the last day of climb. Satsar campsite is at an altitude of 12,000 ft and Gangabal campsite is at a an altitude of 11,500 ft but on the way we have to cross the Zach pass at an altitude of 13,400 ft.
How to prepare? Read: Thajiwas is a perfect acclimatisation for Great Lakes Trek
So, lets travel through the day’s trek in photos. Starting right from the first light of the day-
Its early morning after a wonderful night of stargazing. You just can’t imagine, how this sky looked like in the night. Its cold still, but all ready to move.
Its climb right from the word- go. A steep fall on the left and cliff on the right. We had to cross through boulders and loose rocks.
Also Read: Kashmir Great Lakes- Romancing the rains at Nichnai PassContemplating the moves! Looks like another peak to climb!! The ridge at the top is the Zach pass, the last high pass of the trek. It would be all down after that hopefully.And than climbing to the top turns out to be a feast for the eyes, when all of a sudden nature turns out to be a big canvas spread right in front of you (see the video below)
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A view to- if not to die than- certainly vie for! #Gangabal and #Nandkhol lakes at the base of #Harmukh peak (5142 metres or 16,870 ft) in Ganderbal district of #Kashmir as seen from the Gangabal pass. This certainly is a view available only to those courageous ones who choose to go for the #GreatLakesTrek – which is without any doubt one of the most beautiful treks in #Himalayas – #travel #adventure #trekking #treks #lakes #peaks #photofotheday #picoftheday #Instapics #photography #Srinagar #Sonamarg
They were indeed moment of pure joy. Everybody assembled on the pass with twin lakes in the background. Tricolour was unfurled and numerous pictures were clicked with every possible angle.
This is Nandkhol lake at the base of Harmukh Peak, it is smaller than Gangabal, but is used more often for the camping.Also read: Paradise regained- As beautiful as it can be
It is now descent of around 1400 ft till the campsite. Looks easy?Not so, if you see from this side… Mules on their way to the campsite at Nandkhol.It isn’t a straightforward descent as well. What we see is the first halt in a valley at the base of Zach Pass in this side. We can see some shepherd huts and a small stream flowing down from Gangabal lake.
Whodunit? A rock as big as this one, cut into two pieces in the manner would have been due to hell of a happening!Finally the campsite on the banks of the Nandkhol lake. Looks so pristine!
The man-made bridge to cross the stream coming from Gangabal lake towards Nandkhol Lake.Finally, the Gangabal lake an altitude of 3570 metres. This fish is home to many types of fishes including rainbow and brown trout.Joy of reaching the climax!July to August is the best time to be here. You will find more snow if you are here in June. You feel so calm and relaxed here.
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Up in the clouds! Gangabal is the last camp on the Great Lakes trek before getting down to Naranag. A grand culmination to a splendid trail. It is also the first camp for all those who climb up from Naranag, but it is quite steep and tough. #trekking #adventure #photography #Himalayas #photooftheday #picoftheday #MyPhotos #InstaPics #travel #Kashmir #GreatLakes #Gangabal #treks #camping #Sonamarg
Having visited the Gangabal lake in he evening itself, there was an urge to go there again in the morning. Campsite was at Nandkhol lake and it is almost a 20 minutes trek between the two lakes. So, quite determined, it was the early in the morning.Mules were getting themselves ready for another hard day.It was getting brighter on one side.And then, there were first golden rays of sun on the Harmukh Peak.
The 4th Day: A tale of seen Lakes – Gadsar to SatsarSun was very quickly to its full glow..Calm waters of Gangabal lake in the morning. But it was still not calm enough to get a clear reflection. You never feel like it is enough of the photographs. Its amazing that how nature keeps changing its colours. Kashmiri Hindus still come to this lake for many rituals or to pay homage to their ancestors. Locals often travel from Naranag to Gangabal for fishing or just a short trek.
Light falls on the Gangabal lake and the whole colour of the nature changes once again.
Also read: Kashmir we know less about – Naranag
Some tents at the banks of the Gangabal Lake.Reminiscent of what would have been a part of a pontoon bridge long time back. It looked quite astonishing as to how these extremely heavy pieces of iron would have been transported here. They seemed too heavy even for a mule to carry it. Its all bright, mules have had their green feast and everybody seems to be ready to move on the final day…You can also watch a video of this 5th day trek on my YouTube channel by clicking on the link below-
Have you been to Kashmir Great Lakes Trek? How was your experience? Please share in the comments section below.
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