Warwan Valley Trek

Trek Fee : 19,750 + 5% GST
Difficulty
Difficulty
Difficult
Duration
Duration
10 Days
Altitude
Maximum Altitude
14,550 ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Srinagar
Required Fitness
Base Camp
Panikhar
Age
Minimum Age
18
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
July-Sept

Warwan Valley Trek: India’s Most Exquisite Trek

The Warwan Valley trek is the most exquisite trek of our country. There is no trek you would have done before this one that can match the experience of this trek. And there will be no trek you do after this that comes close. This might sound like a strong statement to make. However, our founders, who explored this trek in 2015, still stand by it. 

After all, Warwan Valley is exceptionally stunning – even for Kashmir. Even if you have traveled to Kashmir before, seen Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other places the valley offers – you are still going to be bowled over by settings of Warwan Valley.  It is very unique to the region.

This beauty is compounded by the valley’s remoteness and isolation.  This is a side of Kashmir that even most Kashmiris haven’t seen. 

What makes getting into Warwan Valley even more special is the crossover trail. It begins in  Trans-Himalayan settings, among barren, purplish mountains around Panikhar. The trail goes through an oasis, river deltas, wildflower meadows and glaciers – all among these stark mountains. It makes for a hauntingly beautiful settings. As the trail slowly moves into the luxuriant greenery of Kashmir, after days of being surrounded by desert mountains, the effect of it is striking.

During the crossover, you experience what we believe is Kashmir’s greatest adventure. It is a great adventure because — outside the astounding beauty there’s a lot of thrill on the trek.  The pass day almost feels endless — it has tricky climb up to the pass. And then it is followed by a 2 km long walk on the magnificent Bracken glacier, navigating it’s crevasses, right up to its snout when it pours over in moraines.

The high adventure on this trail makes getting into glorious greenery of Warwan Valley a gift, after long, hard days of trekking.

However, this means that this trek is not meant for everyone. Though it is the most stunning trek you will ever do, it is also a difficult trek. Not only are you walking close to 20 km every day, there are tough stretches such as glacier walks, moraines, overhangs above the river that require to be navigated. You need to be extremely fit with some prior high altitude trek experience to get on this trail.

What to watch out for

The river delta basin of Sumdo

All the while from your trek from Panikhar, the Nala is tumbling and frothing alongside you. And then, quite suddenly, it goes quiet. What was a gushing river is now a wide river basin over a flat plain. The river splits, forks, rejoins and does this multiple times over the basin. In between these splits and forks are grassy meadows, each more lush than the other. This is Sumdo– the confluence of two rivers.  You will be camping either here, or a little further ahead at Denora. 

Traversing the Bracken glacier

In what is going to be your longest and hardest day, you will encounter the Bracken glacier an hour after you cross over the Lomvilad pass.  You see it first from a ledge, a greyish mass tumbling out of the mountain flanks to the bottom. It is a jaw dropping sight. Fifteen minutes of descent later,  you are on top of this magnificent glacier. You traverse this glacier, walking for about two kilometers on its hard ice surface, until its snout where it falls over in moraines. The sights you see on this day of the trek will stay with you.  

Grasslands between Humpet and Kaintal

The trail to Humpet climbs a hillock which follows a flat grassland. Beyond a hillock is almost always another grassland. These grasslands are the highlights of the day’s trek.

You find grasslands filled with horses grazing in the wild. These grasslands of Sar alternate with a grassy river basin. It is quite an exquisite walk!

The villages of Warwan Valley

The setting of villages in Warwan Valley is too perfect even for pictures. The trail you walk on is bordered with fences. Willow trees jut out between houses. Mud baked lanes crisscross the village. Flower beds line the hills around the houses. To top it, a clear stream runs through the village! All in a way that distinctly resemble the Gaulish village from Asterix comics. This setting is unique to this part of Kashmir.

Warwan Valley has been featured in Bangalore Mirror and also The Greater Kashmir. Take a look!

Here’s a short itinerary for the Warwan Valley trek: 

Day 1: Drive from Srinagar (5,200 ft) to Sonamarg (8,795 ft).
Pick up from Sheikh feroze tours and Travels, Srinagar at 1 pm.
Drive distance: 81 km.
Drive duration: 3 hours.
RouteGoogle maps link

 Day 2: Drive from Sonamarg (8,795 ft) to basecamp Panikhar (10,700 ft) via Kargil (9,056 ft)
Approximate cost of travel from Srinagar to Panikhar via Sonamarg & Kargil would be Rs. 2,000 per head.
Drive distance: 185 km.
Drive duration: 7-8 hours.
Route: Google maps link 

Day 3: Trek from Panikhar (10,700 ft) to Sumdo/Denora (12,350 ft).
Trek distance: 14 km;  2,122 ft ↑ & 420 ft ↓
Trek duration: 5-6 hours

Day 4: Trek from  Denora (12,350 ft) to Kalapari (12,850 ft).
Trek distance: 3 km; 575 ft ↑ & 79 ft ↓
Trek duration: 1.5 hours

Day 5: Trek from Kalapari (12,850 ft) to Kaintal (11,550 ft) via Lomvilad Pass (14,550 ft).
Trek distance: 17 km; 1,950 ft ↑ & 3,281 ft ↓
Trek duration: 11 hours

Day 6: Trek from Kaintal  (11,550 ft) to Humpet (10,900 ft).
Trek distance: 16.5 km; 840 ft ↑ & 1,339 ft ↓
Trek duration: 6 hours

Day 7: Trek from Humpet (10,900 ft) to Sukhnai (9,200 ft).
Trek distance: 16 km; 1,415 ft ↑ & 3,094 ft ↓
Trek duration: 7-8 hours

Day 8: Trek from Sukhnai (9,200 ft) to Basmina/ Chaudraiman (8,300 ft).
Trek distance: 17.5 km; ; 1,096 ft ↑ & 2,094 ft ↓
Trek duration: 6-7 hours.

Drive to Srinagar (5,200 ft) via Inshan (8,250 ft), Larnoo (7,000 ft) & Anantnag (5,250 ft).
Drive distance: 153 km.
Drive duration: 8-9 hours
Route: Google maps link

Day 9:  Buffer day for trek

Day 10: Buffer day for travel

In case of unforeseen circumstances, we might need to use the buffer days for trek and travel. The buffer day, when used for trek, will be charged Rs 2,500+ 5% GST. day.

Day 10: Buffer day for travel 

No charges will be levied by Indiahikes if the buffer day is used for travel purposes. However, the cost of stay after Inshan, till Srinagar, will have to be borne by the trekkers. We will reach Srinagar latest by 8-9 pm on the 10th day.

Please plan your travel back from Srinagar on the 11th day of the trek.

Important points to note:

1. You will be staying in tents overnight (3 per tent).

2. No backpack offloading for this trek.

3. Cost of transport to and from Srinagar is not included in the trek fee. It will be shared equally amongst the trekkers.

4. Keep your original govt. approved ID card with you.

5. In Kashmir, only postpaid sim cards work. You’ll get the best network coverage for BSNL. 

Here is a detailed itinerary for the Warwan Valley trek.

Day 1: Srinagar To Sonamarg

  • Altitude: 5,200 ft to 8,795 ft 
  • Distance: 81 km drive
  • Duration: 3 hour drive. Pick up at 1 pm
  • Route: Google maps link

You will have to reach Srinagar on your own and meet the Indiahikes pick up team at 1 pm. The drive to the Sonamarg will take around 3 hours.  This covers quite a bit of your journey and helps you acclimatise. You will most likely be staying at Shitkadi or Gagangir (a little ahead of Sonamarg), where we have our base camp.

The drive to Sonamarg is extremely picturesque. Watch out for the section from Ganderbal to Sindh river. Paddy fields on either side, willow and poplar trees lining up the road and this is just a taste of Kashmir before the trek starts.

Day 2: Getting to base camp – Panikhar

  • Altitude: 8,795 to 10,700 ft
  • Distance: 185 km drive
  • Duration: 7-8 hour drive
  • Route: Google maps link 
  • GPS Coordinates of Panikhar: 34° 6’54.59″N,  75°57’0.41″E

Panikhar is a village so small that you are already in the next village even before you have stepped out of this one. It is a collection of few houses in typical Zanskari tradition. They are usually double-storeyed with large windows, small balconies and a barn below the sloping roofs. Almost always the houses have their own field where the folks grow their own produce. So none of the houses are clustered. Shops are few here. You can get a few last minute supplies here but not enough for a trek. Make sure you’ve made trek purchases at Kargil, including shopping for groceries and greens.

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Panikhar is a village so small that you are already in the next village even before you have stepped out of this one. Picture by Manoj M N

You can stay at J&K Govt’s tourist bungalow. If that’s full, there are a few lodges at the market. The stay should cost you Rs 700-1,000 per room. Ensure that you arrive a day earlier – it will help you acclimatise well. At 10,800 feet, you are already at a considerable altitude. Take long walks across the valley (Panikhar is in Suru Valley). The barren mountains are a terrific contrast to the lush valley in between. 

Day 3: Panikhar to Denora 

  • Altitude: 10,700 ft to 12,350 ft
  • Distance: 14 km; 2,122 ft ↑ & 420 ft ↓ 
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • GPS Coordinates of Denora: 34° 4’24.15″N, 75°50’29.32″E
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. Continuously but gradually ascending trail.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. Your first water source will be a stream running down the cliffs, 2.5 hours into the trek. This will be followed by several streams from where you can refill your water bottles, if required.

Take the road to the market. Continue past the sub post office on your left. (The BSNL tower is in the fields on your right). The road naturally curves to the left arriving just above the Panikhar Nala. The river is big and strong.

Walk along the road to the bridge that crosses the river in another 10 minutes. Across the bridge veer left following the river upstream. The landscape changes immediately. The village of Panikhar is no longer visible. Up ahead is the narrow valley that you have to trek on. The govt is making a dirt track for four wheelers.

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The trek climbs very gradually on the four wheeler dirt track, inching deeper into the valley, revealing more layers of barren mountains. Photo by Danny Slewe

This was a trekking trail earlier so it becomes fairly easy to walk on. 500 meters into the trek, you’ll find the tents of local authorities check post. Enter your names and details at the check post (very friendly and just a cursory formality) and resume your trek.

The trek climbs very gradually on the four wheeler dirt track, inching deeper into the valley. The landscape ahead continues to reveal more layers of barren mountains. On your right, the milky white river continues to tumble and froth as it nears the confluence with Suru.

Look on your right as the mountains rise almost like cliffs towering many thousands of feet over you ending in jagged ridges that touches the blue sky. The sky, needless to say, is a blue that you have never seen.

Two and a half hours later, the trail suddenly comes across a stream running down the cliffs on your right. This is your first water source for drinking. After this, there is plenty of clear water streams and there is no necessity to fill your bottles.

Ten minutes later, around a small bend, the trail comes up to a wonderful lush green grassy meadows with streams and brooks running across it. A perfect place for a small break, snacks and refill, take a ten minute break here. The locals call it a Doksa ( a meadow).

Further on, the trail continues to climb gradually. Half an hour later, over a bump and another curve, the trail comes across a wide clearing. The first Bakarwal settlements are now visible.

The trail now narrows down to a wide walking track. Continue walking on the trail. Another half hour later, over a wide curve, you get the first glimpse of the two intersecting valley up ahead. Below which is Sumdo, your camp of the day.

You have arrived at Sumdo– the confluence of two rivers.

In a few minutes, the trail suddenly climbs a mound to top over a stream that needs to be crossed. Convenient boulders make the stream easy to cross. If the water is high, walk a few metres upstream to cross over. From the stream, in another twenty minutes, a spectacular change of scenery unfolds. It comes at you suddenly, so keep an eye out.

The Panikhar Nala suddenly goes quiet. What was a gushing river is now a wide river basin over a flat plain. The river splits, distributing, forks, rejoins and does this multiple times over the basin. In between these splits and forks are grassy meadows, each more lush than the other. You have arrived at Sumdo– the confluence of two rivers. Up ahead, the confluence is clearly visible.

Camping is possible in the grassy knolls of Sumdo. Take care to select a knoll that has a slightly higher ground. In the evenings, water levels rise. An alternative to camping at Sumdo is to go ahead slightly along the basin to Denora, which is the farthest end of Sumdo. The same grassy basin exists here – with the added advantage of having gained an extra hour of trek time. Denora is on the basin that faces the valley to the right of the confluence. You don’t see this campsite until you round the bend to face the valley on your right.

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In the evenings, the streams are fuller and laden with more glacier-fed water. Photo by Danny Slewe

Camp here for the day. Avoid crossing the streams to Kalapari. In the evenings, the streams are fuller and laden with more glacier-fed water.

Sumdo/Denora is a dreamy campsite. Getting the opportunity to spend time here is a gift that needs to be cherished.

Day 4: Denora to Kalapari

  • Altitude: 12,350 ft to 12,875 ft
  • Distance: 3 km; 575 ft ↑ & 79 ft ↓
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • GPS Coordinates of Kalapari: 34° 3’21.81″N,  75°51’0.71″E

Start the day by taking off your shoes. Multiple streams need to be crossed to get to the other end of the basin. The direction to take is the valley to the left, sticking to the right of the Nala that rushes down the valley.

A good landmark is the Bakarwal settlements at the bottom of the valley. The trail climbs to the right of the settlement. Crossing the frigid water of the streams take time. Though waters are not very deep, they are icy. After every crossing, you need to give yourself a few minutes to get sensation back in your feet. It takes about a half an hour to cross the basin.

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The climb from the meadows flattens out to a large grassy meadows. Photo by Manoj M N

On the other side, take the trail that leads to the Bakarwal huts. Climb the mound to the right and behind their huts. Five minutes later, the climb flattens out to a large grassy meadows. Looking back, the entire basin of Denora and Sumdo come into view. The panorama is so wide that it takes a complete swivel of the head to capture the entire scenery. The trail from the meadow climbs slightly up to get to another flower decked clearing. If you are in season (July/Aug/Sep), the slopes on your right are carpeted with wild pink flowers.

Half an hour later, the trail climbs out of the mound to reveal the first views of Kalapari meadows. Lovely clear brooks run through meadows making it an ideal place to camp.

Behind again, is the junction of two valleys. Large glaciers dominate the junction of the valley to the right. Ice walls hang almost to the bottom of the mountain. The setting is mammoth and large scale. Waterfalls are on the other side of the river that falls down thousands of feet make the setting complete.

Treat Kalapari as a short rest day, an advanced camp for the pass crossing next day. The pass is on the valley to the right above the gravelly mound. It is not visible from your campsite.

Day 5: Kalapari to Kaintal via Lomvilad Pass

  • Altitude: 12,875 ft to 11,550 ft via 14,550 ft 
  • Distance: 17 km; 1,950 ft ↑ & 3,281 ft ↓
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • GPS Coordinates of Kaintal: 33°59’54.97″N,  75°43’56.59″E
  • GPS Coordinates of Lomvilad Pass: 34° 0’46.11″N,  75°49’9.71″E
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. Initial descent on a snow patch followed by a glacier walk lead to a steep ascent to the pass. A gently sloping, snowy 30 minutes walk brings you to a sharp descent and a series of switchbacks followed by a 2 km walk on the Bracken glacier. Trek through rocky moraines for over 3 hours before finally reaching a regular path that lead you to the campsite in the Kaintal meadows.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You will find streams along the trail to refill your water bottles.

In what is going to be the longest day of your trek, it is imperative you start early. A 7 am start is ideal.

Though there are sections of snow on the day’s trek, no special equipment is required. The snow crossings are not difficult to manage, if you have a trekking pole in hand. Follow the trail that heads out of your campsite to the moraines up ahead. The trail snakes through moraines and is clearly visible.

Half an hour later, the trail tops the moraines at a large rock, below which a voluminous clear stream flows. The view of the Kalapari summit and the glacier in front, from the rock of the meadows you camped in, is superb. Look behind the rock at the towering, glacier-topped mountains that overlooks the setting.

The trail from the rocks evens out. Ten minutes later, look for the first surprise of the day. A large green lake, dotted with chunks of snow and ice comes into view. In front, to the right, large blackish glacier feeds the lake. Ahead,  the towering ice walls of Kalapari peak almost meets the lake from the summit.

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On the right, large blackish glacier feeds the lake dotted with chunks of ice and rock. Photo by Danny Slewe

The trail starts around the lake, getting to a large snow patch. Descend down the snow patch to the blackish glacier below. The glacier is hard ice with enough debris as it gives you firm footing.

The glacier is long, about a kilometre wide. Continue walking until you get to its other edge, half an hour later. Towards its end, walk around some crevasses to climb moraines on your right. Note: The Bracken glacier is locally known as the Kaintal glacier.

The trail through the moraines heads towards the open end of the valley. Again, about forty minutes later, get on to another icy glacier, this time, descending from the mountain face on your right. Walking on the moraines gets you directly below the Kalapari peak.

Cross the glacier, veering slightly to the right, to see the trail climb to a narrow opening in the valley that leads to the pass. Climb the small section of a snow patch and get on to the ridge that takes you to the pass.

The moment you get on the ridge, the view all around changes. You get a commanding view of streams that run down to your left and of lakes that form below. On your right are the flanks of Kalapari. The ridge climbs quickly. In about 20 minutes, it tops the pass. The pass is marked by cairns and stones painted in red of Urdu letters. The pass is at 14, 550 feet. The view on the other side of the pass is spectacular.

Large snow fields lead out from the pass. They are gently sloping and easy to walk on. Get on to the snow field in front, keeping a general direction towards the valley opening towards your right. It takes about half an hour to get there.

On your right, a large lake, almost frozen, is in your view. There is a steep boulder section which can be difficult to negotiate as you descend. This is until you get close to the opening of the valley. At the opening to the valley, you get your first view of what lies in store on the other side.

Thousands of feet below is a greyish moraine-filled glacier. On opposite mountains are greenish grasslands, though sparse and mostly snow laden. Stick to the left most flank of the valley and begin your descent. The descent is easy and sometimes over snow.

Within half an hour you get to ledge with an astounding view. To your right are huge mountain flanks. Out of the flanks emerges a wide glacier that tumbles to the bottom in a greyish, crevasse filled mass. It is a sight that most trekkers have never seen.

From the ledge, the trail descends steeply to the glacier in a series of switchbacks in fifteen minutes. Step on to the icy glacier, avoid the crevasse in front by walking around it to the left. This is the magnificent Bracken glacier.

Descend on the almost flat glacier, keeping a line around the centre of the glacier. The glacier is a rock-hard ice with hundreds of channels of rivulets running over it. Moraines on the surface make it easy to walk on.

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Descend on the almost flat glacier, keeping a line around the centre of the glacier. Photo by Danny Slewe

Continue walking on the glacier for a kilometre or so downstream until the icy surfaces gives way to the boulder-y moraines. Deviate to the left flank of the moraines and continue to descend through the rock. At this stage, you will be able to see the Kaintal valley below.

The valley initially is a rocky basin followed by grasslands. The grasslands are your camping ground target of the day. The descent through the rocky moraines is hard on your legs and knees. The trail is barely perceptible. Keep a general downward direction and you are likely to bump into the barely visible trail now and then.

It takes over two hours to descend through the moraines to get to the edge of the glacier and a faint upper grassy area. It is another hour of descent through very rough moraines before you get to the basin of the river that emerges from  the bottom of the glacier.

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It is easily another hour before you get to your ground target of flat grassy meadows of the initial Kaintal grasslands. Photo by Manoj M N

The trail is still not easy as you need to cover more moraines and boulders. It is easily another hour before you get to your ground target of flat grassy meadows of the initial Kaintal grasslands. The grasslands come in large patches. The trail is now more regular. Continue walking on the trail keeping the river always to your right.

It has been one of the longest and hard days of trekking. The Kaintal meadows is a just reward for the day’s trek. The beauty of the meadows is worth the price of the long descent through the moraines.

Day 6: Kaintal to Humpet

  • Altitude: 11,550 ft to 10,950 ft
  • Distance: 16.5 km; 840 ft ↑ & 1,339 ft ↓
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • GPS Coordinates of Humpet: 34° 4’0.39″N,  75°36’13.00″E
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. Walk in the meadows with several gradual ascents and descents on grassy mounds interspersed along the trail.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at several streams that you will cross today.

Nineteen kilometres can look really long for an average trekker. However, on the Warwan valley trek, such distances are the norm. The walk after the pass crossing is level. Covering such distances don’t take long.

From Kaintal, take the trail that hugs the side of the river. Walk past a few Gujjar huts on your left. Within minutes, you’ll get to a clear stream to hop over. There are plenty of such streams along the trek to Humpet. There really isn’t a necessity to fill water at the camps.

Beyond the stream, the trail opens up to a wide river basin. All around the basin are wide, lush, green meadows. Approximately 2 km long, it takes about a half hour to cover the distance end to end. (You’ll of course stop now and then just to take in the beauty.)

The grassland is filled with horses grazing in the wild – a sight that is a treat for the eyes. Beyond the grassland, a small stream needs to be hopped over. Right after the stream, get on to the trail that climbs the grassy hump in front.

The view from the top of the hump is spectacular. The trail to Humpet is always an alternative between a wide river basin, usually meadow-y, or the trail climbs to a grass hump. If the hump looks too high, take the trail that skirts around the hump on the edge of the river.

Two hours later, approximately 6 km, the trail again drags down to another lovely grassy river basin. This one is especially marked by square rocks that lie on its grassy surface. Almost every large boulder is chiseled like a square. This is the square rocks meadows- a good spot for a short break.

Climbing another hump brings you to a set of Gujjar huts on top. On the other side of the mountain, look for the pass opening of the Bobban Gully trail. This is the alternate, direct trail from Sumdo. The route is shorter but more strenuous. Horses, too, can’t take this trail.

Getting down from the hump brings you to the large Sar grasslands. Sar is usually the grassland where you camp if you’ve descended down the Bobban Gully route.

Sidenote:  There are 7-8 streams to cross, usually at the end of every grassland. Most of these streams are easy to hop over. Two of these streams, however,  require you to take off your shoes and wade across. The water though, is never more than knee-deep, usually lower.

Continue on the Sar grassland as the trail takes a wide curve to the right in a northerly direction. The Bracken glacier finally goes out of view. After the long Sar grassland, the basins become shorter and more gravelly. Towards the north, intersection of two valleys in the distance comes into view. Humpet is at bottom of the intersection on the left. It takes another two hours of crossing three other basins and skirting around edge of humps to finally round the last edge to get to Humpet.

Walking on the overhang in the last stretch before Humpet
Walking on the overhang in the last stretch before Humpet

The view changes completely at Humpet. On the opposite bank of the river is Thangkam, a small Gujjar/Bakarwal settlement. The trail takes a sharp curve to again face West. In the East are the snow-capped barren mountains of Ladakh. On the West are the lush green snow-capped mountains of Kashmir.

Camping at Humpet
Camping at Humpet

Humpet is a many layered grassland. Climb one of the ledges where there is also a clear stream flowing down. Camp on the ledge to get a commanding view of Thangkam, the wide Kaintal river basin and the lovely grasslands of Humpet.

Day 7: Humpet to Sukhnai

  • Altitude: 10,950 ft to 9,225 ft
  • Distance: 16 km; 1,415 ft ↑ & 3,094 ft ↓
  • Duration: 7-8 hours
  • GPS Coordinates of Sukhnai: 33°59’0.39″N,  75°30’52.05″E
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Initial climb followed by continuous descent for about 3.5 hours. This is followed by an undulating trail which culminates in another descent for a couple of hours.
  • Water sources: You will find plenty of streams along the trail to refill your water bottles.

The day’s trek is dramatically different from the day earlier. From the Humpet, the trek descends down two valleys to the meticulous grasslands and the supremely beautiful village of Sukhnai.

Take the trail that heads out of Humpet towards the end of the valley in a westerly direction. The trail initially climbs the mounds behind Humpet, before topping at a ridge. From this ridge, you have clear views of Gujjar huts on your left and the valley below. It is a narrow valley with the Kaintal Nala rushing down in gorges at the very bottom. Silver birch trees come in view. 

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Take the trail that heads out of Humpet towards the end of the valley in a westerly direction.. Photo by Danny Slewe

Get down as the trail leads to the first treeline of silver birch trees. The trail rounds a curve to hang precariously over a very steep edge of the valley that heads to the bottom directly. There are multiple trails. Take the topmost trail, which is relatively safer. Take confident steps, skirt the tricky zone, which is not long. Continue to descend until you get to a small waterfall on your left. This is a good spot to fill water. The descent down the valley is rapid and quick. It takes about an hour and a half to get to the end of the valley. Coniferous trees hang overhead.

At the junction of the valley, a clearer river from the valley on the right joins the Kaintal Nala to form a bigger river. This bigger river now flows south, down the valley on your left. There is small clearing at the end of the valley. Army outposts used to exist here. Now, it is an overgrown clearing which is called Police kothaLook up to the other side of the valley to spot the trail that leads to Sheshnag and to the Amarnath yatra.

At this junction, you have entered the true Warwan valley and Kashmir. Also, for the first time, the trail gets into a North-south direction (all the way to Inshan), the true direction of Warwan valley. Continue on the trail as it begins its descent down the valley. The valley is still very narrow, with only occasional small clearings. For most times, the trail hugs the edge of the valley overlooking the river. There are times, for brief moments, the trail hangs directly over small landslides that leads to the river. Looking down can seem a risky proposition. Take confident steps to clear this tricky section.

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There are times, for brief moments, the trail hangs over the river.. Photo by Danny Slewe

There are plenty of streams to hop over on the descent so water is never really a problem. Two hours into the descent, spot the wooden bridge over the river that crosses over to the Sheshnag trail. If you are early in the season, this will be a snow bridge. Only once the snow bridge has melted, the shepherds put up the wooden bridge that you see later in the season.

The clearing before the bridge is a good spot to take a brief rest before continuing on the trek. Cross the bridge and turn left heading downstream. You are still on a southerly direction but now on the true right of the river. The trail is more distinguished and broader, an indication that it is more frequently used.

Within ten minutes of the bridge, the trail runs into a larger stream that needs to be crossed. If the water is high, you’ll perhaps need to take off your boots to cross over. The trail rises and falls after the stream. In about half an hour, the trail again gets into a zone of overhangs that leads directly into the river. As earlier, confident steps should see you through the tricky patch in ten minutes. 

Beyond the overhangs, you get the first views of the mound of Sukhnai in the distance. It is a lovely view of pristine grasslands that is now a mound in the centre of the valley. It is still a long distance away  but serves as a useful beacon. In another half hour, the trail drops down to the river suddenly. At the bottom is a small grassy clearing right beside the river. Stop at the clearing for lunch- which almost looks like an ideal picnic spot.

After lunch, continue to descend towards the mound of Sukhnai. The trail now opens up to a wider valley with lovely grasslands to view on the other side. Along the way, spot the streams that tumble down the grasslands, besides coniferous trees. Gujjar huts making the setting too perfect even for pictures. It takes another two hours to finally get to the mound of Sukhnai. The grassy  mound is extremely pretty with horses grazing peacefully on it.

The first sight of civilization - Sukhnai village. Pc: Pradeep Kumbashi
The first sight of civilization – Sukhnai village. Pc: Pradeep Kumbashi

The trail veers to the right of the mound, sticking to the bottom and finally emerging at the farmlands of Sukhnai ten minutes later.

This part of the trek is startlingly beautiful, with fences on the border of the trail, with neat farmlands below. Flowers grow abundantly on either side of the trail. The trail climbs a small mound to reveal the first houses of pretty Sukhnai a little distance away. Below on your right, look for the bridge that crosses the river to lead to settlements on the other side. The setting is extremely beautiful.

Continue on the trail that leads to an old stone hut directly above Sukhnai village. It takes another half hour to get to the hut. Topping the hut, reveals for the first time the entire village of Sukhnai below you. It is startling to see a closely packed village settled in such a picturesque setting- almost like the Gaul village of Asterix.

Getting down to Sukhnai, there are many bylanes that takes you deep inside the village. Avoid getting into them. Take the uppermost trail of Sukhnai and climb out of the village, past some houses and shops, to the stream that borders Sukhnai on its southern edge.

Look for a camping ground upstream. There are plenty of spaces to camp.

Camping outside Sukhnai
Camping outside Sukhnai

If you need more privacy, head further down the trail to Inshan trail, crossing the stream over a wooden bridge. You can camp anywhere as the grasslands on your right, but look for a running stream for your water source.

Stay close to Sukhnai- you can replenish supplies, buy tidbits or even chat with locals. There is also a phone booth in Sukhnai where you can make calls. The army also has an outpost at Sukhnai. In an emergency, you can seek the Army’s help. The army is helpful and love interacting with trekkers. The vast pastures of Sukhnai is almost dream-like. The rest of the day can be spent just loitering about and clicking photographs.

Day 8: Sukhnai to Basmina / Chaudraiman

  • Altitude: 9,225 ft to 8,300 ft
  • Distance: 17.5 km; 1,096 ft ↑ & 2,094 ft ↓
  • Duration: 6-7 hours
  • GPS Coordinates of Chaudraiman: 33°51’5.92″N,  75°32’18.43″E
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. The trail gently descends and ascends throughout the day.
  • Water sources: You will pass several streams and villages where you can refill your water bottles.

The trail beyond Sukhnai gets extremely picturesque. You are in a valley, with vast tracks of grasslands, farms and pastures on either side.The Marwah river slices the valley on the left as it meanders its way towards the Chenab.

The valley is populated by villages every 5-6 km. The villages themselves are extremely pretty, almost from another era. The trail is now more frequented by villagers moving from one village to another. Step onto the trail as early in the morning as possible. If you have camped near Sukhnai, there are two streams to cross one after the other. On one of them, if the streams are water laden, you’ll perhaps need to take off your shoes.

Walk on the trail taking in the pastures on the way. In the distance on the other side of the river is the pretty village of Rekenwas.

The bridge to Rikanwas - one of the ancient villages on the trail
The bridge to Rekenwas – one of the ancient villages on the trail

Keep to the right of the river until you get to a wooden bridge over the Marwah river, in about an hour. On the other side of the bridge is the Rekenwas village, perched on top of a hillside.

Across a fallen top on  the other side of the bridge is a shorter trail to the village. Take the trail and cut through the farms around Rekenwas to get to the village in another ten minutes. The village is interesting as it is pretty. The moment you step foot into the village, the sweet smell of pines, of the wooden houses gets to you. The villagers are curious. They may come out of their homes to see an ‘outsider’. Spend ten minutes chatting with them and continue on your way. From the centre of the village, take the upper trail out of the village to get on to the main trail towards Inshan.

Warwan Valley - Manoj M N- Indiahikes 19
Unblemished pastures open up in grand colours all around. Photo by Manoj M N

From Rekenwas, the trail enters another good section of the trek. The ferns and pastures open up in grand colours all around. Vast tracks of land on either side, unblemished as far as the eye can see, stare at you. The trail gently descends. Ten minutes outside the village, two barn houses close to Gumbar village come in view. A small patch of coniferous trees lie beyond the houses. From your spot on the trail, the setting is as perfect as it can be.

Keep to the trail as it get closer to the barn houses. Villagers on horses are common, almost like how people use scooters in the cities. After a while, it isn’t surprising to find horsemen galloping towards a village raising a cloud of dust behind them! Almost like an incredulous scene from a movie.

Warwan-valley-trek (3)
The stunning vistas of Warwan are bound to leave you spellbound.

 

 

Getting closer to the barns, gets you to another barn house on your right. Soon after the barn, the trail splits. Take the trail to the right, avoiding the trail to the left that heads towards Gumbar.

Looking back on the trail at the pretty barn house will remind you of a fairytale countryside that you would have imagined but never been to.

The trail climbs a small mound before descending towards Margi, a village still some distance away. On your left, spot the roofs of some houses of Gumbar village.

The picturesque villages of Warwan

Continue on your trail for the next half hour until you get to a barn made of reddish wood. The trail curves around the barn, gets to its end,  and turns right again, along a stone wall that gets to a wooden bridge over a stream. The setting around the stream is very picturesque, though the water is not too good for drinking. You are just outside Margi village. Cross the wooden bridge, continue on the trail for two-three minutes until you get to another stream. The water is clear and safe for drinking.

Across the stream, the trail bifurcates.  The trail ahead gets into Margi village. On your right, at a right angle is the trail towards a wooden bridge over the Marwah river. Don’t take the trail to Margi, but cross over the Marwah river. Turn left and in short climbing burst, get on the main trail directly opposite Margi on the other side of the river.

Every village is a stunner
Every village is a stunner

Continue on the trail with Marwah on your left and Margi slowly getting out of the view on your left. The trail takes a wide curve towards the right, getting into view of the village of Basmina for the first time.

The village, however, is much further away. Again, vast lands of unbroken green pastures line the heart of the Warwan valley. Rolling hills with carpeted grasslands rise from either end of the valley. Pines dot the hills as its upper fingers. Every fold of the mountain has a shiny, glistening stream running down to meet the ever growing Marwah.

Warwan Valley - Danny Slewe-Indiahikes
Every fold of the mountain has a shiny, glistening stream running down to meet the ever growing Marwah river. Photo by Danny Slewe

It takes close to an hour to get to Basmina village. A clear stream fences the village on one side. Cross the wooden bridge to enter the village. The village is much bigger with shops, people and lot more houses. Run offs from the stream channels through the village, as they supply water to the houses. The villagers, ever curious, will stop you to ask you questions about your trek. The roads have now reached Basmina village and you can now choose to end your trek here.

Warwan Valley - Manoj M N- Indiahikes 22
From Basmina village, it is about 6 kms to Chaudraiman. Photo by Manoj M N

To get to Chaudraiman: Continue on the trail through the village as it leads out of it in ten minutes. Outside the village, the Marwah moves away from the trail towards far left of the valley. The trail on the other hand, takes a path that is sometimes on the centre and at times to the right of the valley. The trail continues along pretty farms with their picket fences on either side. The setting is extremely pretty.

The trail is wide enough for a four-wheeler with multiple walking lanes. It is another 6 km to Chaudraiman- which takes about an hour and half for most trekkers.

The river fans out in the plains near Inshan pc: Pradeep Kumbashi
The river fans out in the plains near Inshan pc: Pradeep Kumbashi

A lovely grassy hump on the right suddenly climbs as you get closer to Chaudraiman. On the other side, the Marwah suddenly spreads out in a wide basin, spewing out distributaries. It is extremely grassy with horses and cattles grazing in the mini meadows that are formed in the basin. Lovely pine trees with shady banks overlook the basin as it threads its way through.

No matter how much your heart wishes to camp, you are forced to move on to Chaudraiman. The village comes into view in another fifteen minutes.

A medical dispensary, few government houses signal the start of the village. Continue on the trail and head towards a side trail on your left that leads to a wooden bridge over a large stream that cuts through the centre of the village. Cross the stream, veer left and get to the taxi stand two minutes later. Chaudraiman is connected by road to Inshan, Larnoo, Anantnag and further onto Srinagar. Shared vehicles are frequent and there isn’t any difficulty in getting vehicles that will take you to Larnoo, across the Mangan Pass.

Larnoo is 4 and half hours away and sometimes takes 5 hours to reach. From Larnoo there are instant connections to Anantnag – another 1 and half hours away. From Anantnag, instant connections are available to Srinagar that usually takes about 2 hours to reach. It does not make any sense to book a vehicle for yourself to Srinagar. It will be expensive. Shared vehicles are common and widely used. It is also possible to book all the seats of a shared vehicle, if you have a lots of trekking gear.

At Chaudraiman, trekkers have completed 84 km of the trek. It is possible to trek further to Inshan, another 6 km away, to complete 90 km of trekking. You can get vehicles at Inshan as well.

The trek from Chaudraiman to Inshan is also pretty as it overhangs the Marwah river. The river below again fans out to a very pretty basin, making it an exquisite sight. Small villages pop out on the left of the trail making the scenery complete.

However, the logical end of the trek is at Chaudraiman. It makes sense to take a vehicle immediately and reach Srinagar by late night, saving a day and ending a trek that will remain one of the most wonderful memories of your life.

Drive to Srinagar (5,200 ft) via Inshan (8,250 ft), Larnoo (7,000 ft) & Anantnag (5,250 ft) 

  • Distance: 153 km drive
  • Duration: 8-9 hour drive. 
  • Route link: Google Map link

We will leave for Srinagar as soon as we reached Chaudraiman. Expect to reach Srinagar by late night. The drive from Chaudraiman to Srinagar is rough – there is no road in most places. However, even with the bumpy journey, you will enjoy the beauty of the settings. Watch out for Margan pass, it connects Warwan valley to Anantnag.  It is extremely picturesque! 

Note: In case of unforeseen circumstances, we might need to use buffer days for trek and travel.

Day 9: Buffer day for trek 

In we use the buffer day for trek, Rs. 2,500+5% GST will be collected from the trekkers. 

Day 10: Buffer day for travel 

No charges will be levied by Indiahikes if the buffer day is used for travel purposes. However, the cost of stay after Inshan, till Srinagar, will have to be borne by the trekkers.

Please plan your travel back from Srinagar on the 11th day of the trek.

 

Trek Map

 

Trail elevation graph

Total trail length: 84 km; Total elevation gain and loss: More than 8,000 ft & 10,000 ft respectively over 6 days of trekking.

How to get to base camp- Panikhar

Srinagar → Kargil → Panikhar

The Warwan Valley trek starts from Panikhar. Panikhar is small oasis in lower Suru Valley, 67 km south of Kargil. We’ll be picking you up in a Sumo/Tavera cab from Srinagar. The pick up with be organised at 1 pm on Day 1 from Sheikh Tours, Sathu Barbara Shah Chowk (near flour mill), Srinagar.  Here is the location of the pick-up point.

Stay will be arranged at Sonamarg.

If you are trekking independently, you can take a shared taxi from Srinagar. Leave Srinagar early as the last shared taxis for Panikhar leave Kargil taxi stand by 1:30-2:00 pm.

On the second day, transport will be arranged from Sonamarg to the basecamp Panikhar via Kargil, a distance  of 188 km. The cost of travelling from Srinagar to Panikhar would have to be borne by the trekkers and it would approximately be Rs. 2,000 per person.

Getting back

Chaudraiman → Larnoo → Anantnag→ Srinagar

The transport is taken again after the trek from Chaudraiman. You will be changing vehicles at Larnoo and then again, at Anantnag.  The travel from Chaudraiman to Srinagar will take 8-9 hours.

The cost of travelling will be borne by the trekkers and it would approximately be Rs. 2,000 per person.

You are expected to reach Srinagar on the last day latest by 8-9 pm. Book your flights for next day if you are planning to leave right after trek.

Network Connectivity
Only BSNL Post paid connectivity available.

 

How to get fit for Warwan Valley trek

 

Warwan Valley has been graded as a difficult trek. On most days, you are covering 20 km in high altitude. Trekking for 20 km each day with a backpack on can tire out even the most hardy trekkers. This trek demands you to be in your top physical condition.

Cardiovascular endurance – Target 10 km in 60 minutes

On the Warwan Valley trek, you are trekking an average of  20 km each day in a terrain that is not too friendly.  To prepare your body, begin by jogging everyday. Ideally, you should be able to jog 10 km in 60 minutes.  It takes time to cover this distance in a given time- so start slow, and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.

Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each set

This is an important area you need to work on. At the end of this trek, you would have completed a 84 km in 6 trekking days.  For a trek like this, you must strengthen your core muscles.

Flexibility

Flexibility determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.
It is an aspect that will help you trek comfortably. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and lower back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back.  On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, for a 84 km trek, can become a strain. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek in 4 weeks.

Also consider HIIT training regime for a trek like this one.

What to take on Warwan Valley trek

On this page, you will find

Useful videos to help you with your gear (Skip to section)
> A list of everything you need for the trek
> A list of medicines for your trek (Skip to section)
> A list of mandatory documents (Skip to section)
> A downloadable checklist (Skip to section)

Useful videos to help you with your gear

Bare necessities

  1. Trekking shoes: The Warwan valley trail with it’s loose mud, moraines and trekking on overhangs requires you to have a shoe with good sole grip and high ankle support for steep climbs. Forclaz 600 from Decathlon would be a good choice. You can watch this video to help you choose the right trekking shoe.
  2. Backpack (40- 60 litres): Backpack with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.

Clothes

  1. Three warm layers:  While the days in deserts of Suru Valley near Zanskar would be warm, the nights will be extremely cold. Carry two sweaters and one padded jacket.
  2. Three trek pants: Three pairs of pants should suffice for this trek. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
  3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sunburns on the neck and arms.
  4.  Thermals:  Carry thermals for use at night.

Accessories

  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness.  
  2. SuncapThe sun is more harsh in high altitude deserts and will zap your energy. So carry a suncap to protect yourself. 
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
  4. Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
  5. Socks (2 pairs):  Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.

Others

  1. Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks. 
  2. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
  3. Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose sanitary napkins in the mountains.
  4. Cutlery:Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
  5. Two water bottles: 1 litre each
  6. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit

  1. Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
  2. Dexamethasone – one strip 
  3. Nifedipine – 5 tablets 
  4. Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  5. Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  6. Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  7. Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
  8. Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
  9. Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  10. Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  11. Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  12. Gauze – 1 small roll
  13. Band aid – 10 strips
  14. Cotton – 1 small roll
  15. ORS – 10 packets
  16. Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  17. Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
  18. Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
  19. Anti fungal powder

Mandatory Documents

 In addition, please carry the below three documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded(PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. Without these documents you will not be allowed on the trek.
 
1. Original and photocopy of government photo identity card – only passport and  voters ID are accepted
2. Medical Certificate – Download PDF
3.Disclaimer- Download PDF
4. 2 passport size photographs
 
Note: These documents are mandatory

If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.

Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek – 

 

Here’s a quick info-graphic to give you an overview of everything you need in your backpack.

 

How safe is Warwan Valley trek?

The Warwan Valley trek is a difficult one. One of the reasons it is a difficult trek is that the you are covering 20 km per day in terrain with loose mud, moraines, overhangs and where the trail is sometimes barely perceptible. There are a lot of tricky sections on this trek. Pushing your body in that high an altitude without being acclimatised may be dangerous. There are very high chances of being hit by  Acute Mountain Sickness.

If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.

What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety

Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.

Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:

1. Fitness criteria before registration

Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Warwan Valley trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Warwan Valley trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.

2. Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the Warwan Valley trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.

  •      Oxygen Level
  •      Pulse Rate

Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.

This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.

Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.

3. High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.

4. High Altitude Trek Equipment

Depending on snow/ice condition of Lomvilad Pass, trekkers are provided micro-spikes for better traction on snow. Trekkers are also provided with gaiters such that no snow enters their shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.

All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.

5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek

You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.

We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.

With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.

Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.

What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Warwan Valley trek

ams-symptoms-indiahikes

Acute Mountain Sickness:

At altitudes above 10,000 ft, the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out.

All the campsites on the Warwan Valley trek are at considerably high altitudes and you walk long distances every day. Trekkers can develop symptoms of altitude sickness at any of the campsites.

At any campsite, inform your trek leader about your condition immediately if you identify any symptom of AMS. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to a lower campsite.

This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours.And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.

Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox

We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.

What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?

If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.

Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.

Exit points on the Warwan Valley trek

There are no easy exit points from this trek. After crossing Lomvilad Pass on Day 4, you are committed to completing this trek – because you are trekking through very inaccessible region. This is part of the charm of trekking in Warwan Valley and also its danger. It is highly imperative you are prepared for this trek.

Most situations are resolved by the trek leader’s intervention. If, however, evacuation is required, it is carried out by the Indiahikes team. The affected participant is moved down to the nearest emergency medical centre as soon as possible. However, evacuation, especially after crossing Lomvilad Pass, will take days. In Warwan Valley, you can only be turned around from Kalapari or Denora via Pankihar. It is important you understand these risks before coming on this trek. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.

Closest hospital

In case of a medical emergency, Kargil has a district medical centre, which can be accessed from the Panikhar side. On the Chaudraiman side, Anantnag has the closest hospital, and Larnoo has a medical centre. Smaller centres are present at Chaudraiman, Inshan and Bismai, but these can provide only very basic treatment. It could take over a day to get to any of these places, depending on which point in the trek you are.

Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks

If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.

Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.

If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.

Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.

You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.

We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader. Only then your trek leader will be able to take steps at the right time.

Acute Mountain Sickness

If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.

For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.

ams-manual-indiahikes-2-pages
Click on the AMS Manual to open and download

 

Trek cancellation policy

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel. Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.

The cancellation charges are as under:
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.

Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.

In the unlikely case of a trek being called off by us at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.

Your trek fee includes:

  1. Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 2 to Day 7 (Panikhar to Sukhnai). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
  2. Meals – All meals from dinner at Panikhar on Day 2 to lunch at Sukhnai on Day 8 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
  3. Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
  4. Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
  5. Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
  6. Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
  7. Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.

Your trek fee does not include:

  1. Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Srinagar and drop you back from Chaudraiman.
  2. Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to and from Aru.
  3. Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed.
  4. Personal expenses of any kind
  5. Anything apart from inclusions
Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please log in to your account and cancel.
Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.

The cancellation charges are as under.
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.

Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.

If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh, etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.

Fitness

Fitness

A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important.

The trek has long climbs and steep descents on a daily basis. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 30 minutes by the time your trek starts. Alternatively, you can do cycling of 25 km in 60 minutes or walking 10 km in 75 minutes. This is a minimum, mandatory requirement. Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.

In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training.

Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.

Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.

Repeat Trekker Policy

At Indiahikes, we believe that the mountains hold all the aces. The weather could play spoilsport, the altitude could mess with a trekker, the unpredictability of nature itself could turn against him. Whatever the reason might be, it is never nice to turn away from a trek midway.

In the event that a trekker has to come down without completing your trek, they can always head back to the mountain and do the same trek again. If this happens, trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee. They have to just make the optional payment for the insurance amount.

On another note, it could also happen that you love a trek so much that you want to go back time and again. Trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee for repeating a trek.

Note – The Repeat Trekker Policy holds good only for Indian Treks.

How is travel arranged before and after trek?

How is travel arranged before and after trek?

Your pick up point for this trek is at Srinagar at 1 pm, on Day 1. On your first day, we will take you to Sonamarg. On Day 2, we will be going to Panikhar, the base camp via Kargil. The cost of travel to base camp would be about Rs 2, 000 per person.

The Warwan valley trek ends at Chaudraiman. From here, we will be arranging local transport to Srinagar. Since the booking of the transport is going to be on the fly, we would advise you to not be in a rush to leave. Keep this day only for travel back to Srinagar. Keep about Rs. 2,000 (per person) for this leg of travel. This is a more cost effective option - as getting a vehicle from Srinagar to Chaudraiman and back is going to skyrocket your transport expenses.

Can a beginner do this trek?

This is a difficult trek. The terrain changes constantly over the days- rubble, glacier, moraines and a narrow path that precariously overhangs the river. Each day is long, covering nearly 20 km. It totals to almost 84 km in six days. The added weight of a backpack can tire out even the most hardy trekkers. It demands high physical fitness and prior high altitude trek experience.

Is there an option to not carry my backpack and do the trek?

Is there an option to not carry my backpack and do the trek?

No. Backpack offloading is not possible for Warwan valley trek. The trail in most places is either barely there, or narrow, or is on an overhang. Mules/ horses cannot walk on this trail.

Why is the buffer day required?

Why is the buffer day required?

The buffer day is required to stave off unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather. It is wiser to keep a buffer day in the picture when planning your travel out of Srinagar after the trek. You are traveling to areas where there is no is tourist infrastructure, so traveling is likely to take time. Keep buffer days in mind.

Is there mobile network on this trek?

Is there mobile network on this trek?

Mobile network will be unreliable beyond Kargil. Please inform anxious family members about poor connectivity during the trek. Prepaid SIMs do not work in Kashmir.

Can I leave my luggage behind? Is there a cloak room facility I can use?

Unfortunately, with Warwan Valley being a crossover trek, we cannot arrange for a cloakroom facility. You can consider leaving your luggage behind at hotel in Srinagar independently, at the hotel of your choosing.

Available dates

We will open up dates shortly. Click here to see other similar treks that might have dates.

Trek Fee

19,750 + 5% GST
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 Complete trek guide

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