Name: Sar Pass Trek
Approx elevation: 13,800 ft
Starting Point: Kasol
Trek Day 1 : Kasol to Grahan village
The Sar pass trek offers an absolute escapade and is recommended for beginners and moderate level trekkers. The trek route originates from Kasol and ends at Barshaini comprising four campsites in between. Grahan village is the first campsite. The trail from Kasol to Grahan village goes through lovely pine forests coupled with rocky terrain. After Grahan nalah the trail becomes quite uphill and goes deep into the forest, away from the right bank of the river. Buras (Rhododendrons) grows in the forest here. Grahan is a beautiful village located at the height of 7,700 ft and has around 50 houses with population of 350-400 villagers. Consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in the village. Mobile connectivity is intermittent in the village and it is better to make your phone calls before beginning the trek. Trekkers usually return with legendary stories, about the beauty of the village, its awesome culture, and new friendships formed with fellow trekkers.
Trek Day 2 : Grahan village to Mung thach
The climb to Mung thach camp starts towards the north of Grahan campsite. The trail becomes steeper and leads into the woods and path is confusing in some places. Mung thach campsite is important because it is the first to be truly secluded from civilisation and unlike Grahan, it is zero network zone. There are plenty of lovely spots amongst the trees, with a nice shelter which makes you feel lost within the dense forest. After crossing the forest, you will arrive to Mung Thach. It is a campsite placed on a patch of the mountain that is surrounded by trees, free and open, vast and spacious. It truly offers a unique camping experience. A cup of warm tea with friends around is all you need to admire the magnificence of the Himalayan ranges surrounding the campsite.
Trek Day 3 : Mung thach to Nagaru
The trek from Mung Thach to Nagaru is short and exciting but a difficult part. Just after leaving Mun thach camp, the route cuts left at a small temple and goes steep for most part of the trail. The most beautiful experience of this route is to face the towering peaks and simultaneously feel the force of biting wind that literally pushes you to scale even further. Apart from providing clear and majestic views of ice-covered peaks, the simplicity of the place will leave you spellbound. The mountain ranges are at eye level, the air is fresh, the wind is steady, the views are spectacular, and the company is comforting. After crossing steep slope for a couple of hours, comes Nagaru campsite. You can see tents from distant which acts as a good motivator for till reaching the camp. After reaching the highest camp site of the trek, it feels exhilarating. The best part over here is availability of mobile networks and you can make a video call too. Nagaru is a 100% snowclad camp site. This is your opportunity to play, slide, take pictures, fall and have fun. Waking up at 3 in the morning in Nagaru is another experience. The trail till sar pass ridge takes around 5-6 hrs hours to reach, so the early start is necessary to avoid walking in soft snow which is hectic and time consuming. Nagaru is relentless and beautiful at the same time. No matter which direction one chooses to appreciate, a sense of intense euphoria is guaranteed. There is a certain feeling that is associated with trekking that high, a feeling of achievement, survival, something primal that traces back millions of years. There is nothing better for a human mind than to be exposed to the elements of nature, to get in touch with one’s roots.
Trek Day 4 : Nagaru to Biskeri thach (crossing sar pass)
Next day we have to make an early start, as the climb is steep and through the snow which slows you down. As one reaches the top, the view is exhilarating. Sar pass ridge and the elevated peaks of the Tosh valley are now visible. Snow blizzard, -15 temperature, hailstorm, rain, snowfall, sunburns, you could witness all of these in this stretch of the trek. The last patch is steep climb to the ridge but short and not very difficult. One thing to remember here is to follow everything the guides tell you. Don’t try to break any rules as it can be fatal. After reaching the sar pass ridge the slide is the most fun part and completely safe as long as some precautions are taken. The slide takes one as far as a kilometer to a gentler slope of the valley. The initial descend is a crazy slope. You can’t walk – You HAVE to slide. That’s when you will feel snow on your face, your shades could fly away, you could topple down few times before finally reaching the end point, and your friends will be there to tell you it was a great ride and that they all came down the same way. Valley arrives after walking for an hour from sliding point. Continue the trek through rhododendron bushes towards Biskeri Thach campsite
Trek Day 5 : Biskeri thach to Barshaini
Biskeri presents a sublime view of the pine forests, the majestic mountains and the lovely grasslands. From Biskeri we will descend towards Pulga village. The descend is easy and takes around 4-5 hours to reach Pulga. The entire stretch is green with scenic walkways, plateaus for good breaks, beautiful burass red flowers to make the whole stretch magical. From Pulga we will continue to descend to cross Parvati river and then climb to reach village Barshaini. The villages of Tosh, Pulga-Tulga, Barshaini, and Nakthan can be seen in the valley below. The first sight of houses you see makes you realise you are back to civilization and a dam construction at Barshaini rudely shakes you up from the dream.