Nanda Devi & Milam Glacier

19 days
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£2,269
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4.5 / 5 from 11 reviews >
Challenging
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Trip code: 
TGUA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Point-to-point Trips
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–16

See alpine meadows and magnificent panoramic views of peaks and ridges

The little known region of Kumaon, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, is arguably the centerpiece of the Indian Himalaya, dominated by the awe inspiring Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East. The region is often overlooked by trekkers, yet it offers wild unspoiled landscapes and wonderful trekking. Located close to the border of western Nepal and Tibet, we follow an ancient trade route to Tibet and explore a remote corner of Kumaon. Starting in the village of Munsiyari, we trek through small settlements and pristine forests as we follow the Gori Ganga River to the historic settlement of Milam, which before 1962 was a thriving village trading with Tibet. We trek up onto the rocky moraine of the Milam Glacier, with impressive views of Tirsuli and Hardeol and a foray to the Pachu Glacier and Nanda Devi East Base Camp reveals a delightful series of alpine meadows and panoramic views of peaks and ridges that virtually enclose the magnificent mountains with brilliant close up views of Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East.

Highlights

  • Incredible off the beaten track trekking through diverse scenery
  • Tiny remote mountain settlements
  • Giant Himalayan peaks including Nanda Devi and Tirsuli
  • Beautiful river gorges, alpine meadows and high plateau
  • Wild camping under starry skies

Key information

  • 7 nights en suite hotels and 10 nights full-service camping
  • 11 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader and appropriate local staff. Min age 18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 4300m, average 2900m
  • Average 6 to 8 hours walking per day

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)

11

Pace:

6-8 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Remote area; some steep ascents and descents on narrow, rocky trails which may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers

Day by day breakdown
Day 516.0km/9.0miles
Day 615.0km/9.0miles
Day 714.0km/8.0miles
Day 818.0km/11.0miles
Day 96.0km/3.0miles
Day 1016.0km/9.0miles
Day 115.0km/3.0miles
Day 1210.0km/6.0miles
Day 1314.0km/8.0miles
Day 1420.0km/12.0miles
Day 1518.0km/11.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The group flight is an overnight flight and departs London in the evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Delhi.

    The group flights arrive into Delhi in the morning and we join the transfer to our hotel. Rooms in the hotel are usually available at noon. The rest of the day is free to relax and recover from the flight or for individual exploration of Delhi. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. There will be a group briefing in the hotel lobby this evening.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 3

    Train to Kathgodam; drive to the picturesque hill station of Almora.

    We take the early morning train from Delhi for a 5.5hr journey to Kathgodam. From here we have a short drive to lunch at Bhimtal and then in the afternoon we have a picturesque drive (70km) to the pretty hill station of Almora. The drive takes around 3-4 hours.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Drive to Munsiyari (2290m)

    We have a wonderfully scenic drive through the hills to Munsiyari, the start point for our trek. The road winds up and down the spectacular hill scenery of Kumaon to Chaukori for lunch, where on a clear day we may get out first glimpses of the Indian Himalaya. We continue on the roller-coaster ride up and down valleys and further up into the hills, past the huge waterfall at Birthi and finally in the early evening we reach Munsiyari. The town is set dramatically on a hillside above the roaring Gori Ganga River, with excellent views of the snow-capped Panchchuli peaks.

    Distance 208km, 8-9hrs driving
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Trek to Lilam (1850m).

    We start trekking this morning and descend (sometimes on a new road track and sometimes through fields) down to the roadhead at Chilam Dhar. From here a short rocky descent brings us to the river from where we climb up to the small village of Lilam set high above the Gori Ganga. We camp at Lilam or 30mins further on at Pamdeo. We pass through sub-tropical vegetation as we climb towards the Johar Valley.

    Approximate walk profile: distance 16km, 5-5.5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Ascend a spectacular gorge, through thick forest to Bodgwar (2450m).

    From Lilam the trail enters a spectacular gorge. Etched into the cliff face above the Gori Ganga River, the hillsides above are covered in mixed rainforest. We have a hard morning with a very steep climb on a narrow, rocky trail to the Nain Singh Pass at 2670m. The trail is spectacular and on a clear day we can see one of the Panchchuli peaks across the valley. From the pass we descend through thick forest to the Gori Ganga River at Raragiri, where we cross a side river by bridge. From here we follow the Gori Ganga upstream on a rocky trail that undulates high above the river to the small settlement of Bodgwar (2450m). We camp just beyond the rest house.

    Approximate walk profile: distance 15km, 7.5-8 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Follow the Gori Ganga River up the narrowing gorge, passing waterfalls, to Railkot (3140m).

    From Bodgwar we follow the Gori Ganga River all day through more narrow gorges. The trail climbs high above the river. There are rocky parts of the trail and in some places the trail has been repaired and we will find well-made stone steps. After Nahar the trail levels out by the river before climbing again to Mapung where we have lunch. In the afternoon we continue up the valley to Railkot. The scenery is spectacular as the river thunders below us and we pass impressive waterfalls. The valley begins to widen out near Railkot and we camp just beyond the small settlement. Himalayan Tahr (similar to wild goats) are often spotted in this area.

    Approximate walk profile: distance 14kms, 7/7.5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Pass Martoli village to Milam (3450m), the last major settlement before Tibet.

    Today we trek to Milam and the walking becomes a little easier than the past few days. We climb out of Railkot onto a rough jeep track. This takes us gradually up the valley. Just above Railkot are the ruins of the old village which look like a fortress. A little further on we may see Tirsuli on a clear day (from this trek we see Tirsuli mountain, not to be confused with Trisul which is further to the west). We continue along the jeep track to cross a bridge across the Gori Ganga just below Burphu Village. We continue up the valley with tantalising views ahead of Tirsuli, Hardeol and Rishi Pahar. As we come to Bilji village and if the weather is clear, we can see Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East across the valley rising above the Pachu Glacier. It is usually windy and dusty in this part of the valley from 11am to 5pm and we will be glad to reach our camp at Milam. As this is the last village before the border there is quite an army presence here. Milam and the Johar Valley were home to a number of the famous Pundit explorers, the most famous one, Nain Singh lived in Milam and his ruined house is still there. This border region was an active trade route for centuries. Despite the closeness to Tibet, the villagers trace their ancestry back to Rajput tribes, who migrated from Rajastan in the 12th century to Kumaon. In the 16th century they moved up to the Musiyari area and established trade relations with Tibet. Grains such as wheat, barley and rice were exchanged for salt, wool and Tibetan ponies until 1962, when the border was closed.

    Approximate walk profile: distance 18km, 7 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Day walk to explore Milam Glacier with its magnificent views.

    We have a day to explore the Milam Glacier with its magnificent views. The trail continues on past the village for 3km to a vantage point at 3500m, from where we can appreciate the size and extent of the glacier (the glacier is not white ice at the point but covered in rocky moraine). The trail passes through high meadows dotted with sage, juniper, briar roses and miniature gorse high above the terminal moraine. Bharal, or Blue Sheep, are often spotted on the pastures high above the glacier. Peaks at the end of the glacier include Rishi Pahar (6992m), Hardeol (7151m), Tirsuli (7074 m) and Kholi (6114m). There is the option just to walk to the viewpoint and back (6km return trip), or the energetic can continue further to the snout of the rocky moraine of the Milam Glacier. The glacier is not white until much higher up the mountain and there is a small trail up the side of the moraine. It is 6.5km from Milam to the glacier snout and 6.5km back to Milam. We have plenty of time enjoy the views before returning to Milam for the night.

    Approximate walk profile: viewpoint walk distance 6km return, 3 hours walking, walk to the snout of the glacier 13km, 6 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Trek to the small settlement of Ganaghar (3400m); optional walk to twin village of Pachu.

    After breakfast we trek 9km back down the valley to Burphu and cross the river. As we walk down the valley we get our final glimpses of Rishi Pahar, Hardeol and Tirsuli. We turn right at the bridge and head back up the other side of the valley on a pretty trail through grazing areas and farm fields. We pass the village of Mapa, again with many houses in ruins and continue climbing gently to the twin villages of Ganaghar and Pachu. The main crops grown in this area are potatoes, chives and a type of spinach. We camp in Ganaghar and the energetic can visit the village of Pachu on the other side of the river. From camp we may get a tiny glimpse up the valley of Nanda Devi East.

    Approximate walk profile: 16km, 6 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Trek up towards Pachu Glacier; camp at Nanda Devi East Base Camp (3950m).

    There are two base camps for Nanda Devi East, the Pachu base camp and the Lwanl Gali base camp. We visit the Pachu base camp as we are much closer to Nanda Devi East and the views are much better. Today is quite a tough climb as we are now above 3500m but we will be at camp by lunchtime. The trail climbs very steeply out of Ganaghar through rhododendron and juniper bushes. Nanda Devi East soon appears ahead of us and gets bigger the higher we climb. The trail eases out a bit as we climb higher and higher and finally we emerge into an open meadow, where we camp for the night. Ahead is the rocky moraine of the Pachu glacier, Nanda Devi East, Nanda Devi and Lato Dura. We have lunch at camp and can spend the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the views, or the energetic can hike up the hill behind camp towards Nanda Lapak for even better views. The sunsets and sunrises from this camp are not to be missed.

    Approximate walk profile: 5km, 3.5-4 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Optional day walk higher up the valley for even closer views of Nanda Devi East.

    We spend a whole day here with optional walks planned. The campsite consists of a series of meadows, with great views to the peaks of Nanda Devi East and Nanda Devi. We can head further up the valley to the rocky moraine of the Pachu Glacier. We can climb up the left hand side to a ridge for even closer and more spectacular views of Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East.

    Approximate walk profile: 10km, 5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Return to Martoli (3380m).

    After our last spectacular sunrise, we leave base camp and descend back down to Ganaghar. Descending easily below Mapa we come to the road track, which we follow for a few kilometres. We leave the road track and have a very steep climb for the last 45 minutes of the day to our camp in Martoli village. The climb is worth it for our last views of Nanda Devi East up the valley. Set on a grassy plateau high above the confluence of the Gori Ganga and the Lwanl Gad, Martoli is like so many of the villages in the Johar Valley. It is practically deserted, with its stone houses falling into disrepair. Just above Martoli is a small stone temple dedicated to Nanda Devi with great views of the Lwanl Valley. There is an impressive line of bells outside. Many were donated by climbers or people from Munsiyari to placate the goddess of the high mountains.

    Approximate walk profile: 14km, 5-6 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Descend to Bodgwar (2450m).

    We have quite a long day today as we descend the valley. The trail takes us gradually down to the road track, which we follow to Railkot. From here an undulating trail takes us up and down on a roller coaster trail down the Gori Ganga Valley back to Bodgwar.

    Approximate walk profile: 20km, 8 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Trek to Chilam Dhar; drive to Munsiyari.

    A very long day as we walk back to the road head. We start by descending back down to the bridge at Raragiri from where we climb steeply up through the forest to the Nain Singh Pass (2,790m). From the pass look out for Himalayan Griffin Vultures and Lammergeyers circling overhead on the thermals. We then have a very long and steep descent on a rocky stone step cut trail down to Lilam. Just past Lilam we meet the road track for a while and then have a final descent to a side stream and final steep climb for 30 minutes to the road head at Chilim Dhar. Our jeeps will meet us here for a final 30 minutes' drive back to our hotel and welcome hot shower in Munsiyari.

    Approximate walk profile: 18km, 9-10 hours walking.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Drive to Almora.

    Today we have a long drive from Munsiyari to Almora. We spend the night in or near Almora.

    Distance 208km, 9 hours driving.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Short drive to Nainital; afternoon free to explore the town.

    A short (approx. 2.5 hour) drive brings us to Nainital and the rest of the day is free to explore this attractive hill town.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    Transfer to Kathgodam; train to Delhi.

    We have the morning in Nainital and after lunch we have a short 1.5-2 hour drive to the railway station at Kathgodam. The train takes about 5 hours to reach Delhi and we will get to the hotel late evening (about 10pm).
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Fly to London.

    Those on the group flight will depart for London in the morning for the daytime flight, arriving in the UK the same day. Land Only arrangements will finish after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Extend Your Trip

Golden Triangle extension

Code: XBS

A visit to the incredible Taj Mahal and other great Moghul cities close to Delhi is an excellent way to begin or end a visit to Northern India. The five-day Golden Triangle extension can be booked before or after your main itinerary. The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, and is one of the most beautiful sights on earth. Close by is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar with its beautiful courtyards and palaces and let's not forget the deserted royal city of Fatehpur Sikri. The extension also visits the Pink City of Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, which is one of the most attractive and colourful cities in India.

Essential Info

Visas

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. Visa information changes regularly for India; for the latest information on applying for a visa please follow this link: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/India-visa-information.pdf

If your flight arrives into Delhi Airport and you have an e-visa, please follow the overhead signs to the e-visa booth at the back of the immigration hall. You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth. Please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready. These details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions.

Vaccinations

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout plus 11 lunches and 12 dinners.

Please allow about GBP40 (approx. US$60) for the additional meals and drinks. Mineral water, soft and alcoholic drinks are not included and are available in most of the hotels. Soft drinks are generally cheap, but beers can approach Western prices.

Whilst camping, the staff will prepare simple but plentiful and nutritious food. Breakfasts typically include porridge, eggs, cereal, toast and jam and plenty of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Lunch on trek is usually served as a picnic en route, with soup to start, local bread, fruit where available, cheese, eggs and tinned fish. There will be afternoon tea and biscuits on arrival at camp followed by dinner later, which is usually soup to start, a pasta, rice or potato based main course with fresh vegetables, followed by dessert, tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

Boiled water, which is safe to drink, is provided on trek.

Weather

Our departures are carefully timed to take advantage of the best weather conditions, although weather can and does change unseasonably. Delhi will be very hot in the daytime, especially in May and June and it will be pleasant in September and October. Weather on trek will vary with the altitude, but will in general be comfortable for walking during the day (it can be very hot and humid at the lower altitudes when the sun is out, particularly on the spring departure). On trek it can get cold at night, with temperatures as low as -5° Celcius, or lower at the higher camps in late autumn. In late autumn please bring warm clothes for the evenings. Frost must be expected at night at 3,000m on the spring departure, and above 2,000m on the October departure.

Although the departures are timed to coincide when the weather is normally good, you should remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

Almora

Is this trip for you?

This is a Challenging (Activity Level 5) trek with 6-8 hours walking per day, involving 11 days point-to-point trekking on a fully-supported wild camping basis. Some previous experience of hill walking is recommended. If you do not exercise or go hill walking regularly then we recommend undertaking some physical preparation and training beforehand. This is a remote area and some of the trails are rocky. There are some steep ascents and descents and some narrow rocky trails way above the river which may not be suitable for anyone who suffers from vertigo. Good steady-footed walking skills are required. There are some steep trails up stone staircases.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

 The maximum sleeping altitude is 4,300m (the maximum sleeping altitude is 3,950m), with an average of 2,900m. As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes.

Timings stated within the itinerary include photo and water stops but not a lunch stop (usually an hour) and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotels & camping

During this holiday 7 nights are spent in en suite hotels and 10 nights are full-service camping.

We stay in a comfortable hotel in Delhi. In Almora, Nainital and Munsiyari the hotels are simple but all rooms have en suite bathrooms and hot running water.

The trek is on a full-service camping basis, meaning that the camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents, cook and wash up for you. You need only carry your day pack. We use spacious two-person tents, with a dining tent and at least one toilet tent. Most of the camping on this trek is wild camping. You will be camping close to a river or stream and the camp staff will provide bowls of warm water (to wash with). Sleeping mats and bags are not provided.

If you wish to have a single room and tent it is possible to pay a single supplement From £380 - please enquire at the time of booking for availability. Please note that on the first night of the trek at Lilam the campsite is very small and due to the limited space you may have to share a tent here even if you have booked a single supplement.

Expert Blog Entries

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

  • Reviewed November 2016
    Charles Bailey

    Nanda Devi and Milan Glacier

    A very good trip. Harder than the original trip notes suggested, but the grade has been increased to 5 now which is a better indication of the effort required. You will need to do some fitness training before you go. One member of our team was very unfit and this caused significant problems for our guide and the rest of the group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The days spent at Nanda Devi base camp. Amazing views and a very atmospheric location.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajeev, was an excellent leader. He looked after the group well and had to deal with a very challenging situation when 2 members of the group struggled to keep up ( one became unwell a couple of days in but the other person was unfit and probably should not have joined !).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As with all trips of this type, it's a remote area, make sure you're fit and prepared for some level of hardship. If you're not up for it , don't go !!
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Denis Pratt

    An arduous but very enjoyable trek.

    This trek is very challenging and not in my opinion moderate. Rajeev our trek guide was professional, friendly, knowledgeable about the area and great company. He led us at our pace which really increased our enjoyment of this remote, stunning locality. His staff were well led, happy and all very keen to enhance our enjoyment. Also Drew, his sidekick was friendly and full of facts about this area as well. Both worked together for our enjoyment and to get the most out of this trek. I would definitely recommend this trek....but remember it is challenging.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Nanda Devi and all the peaks, also the stunning scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I have said, Rajeev was friendly, professional and great company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit before you travel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fabulous trek, with great people.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Bob lane

    Best ever trek

    The superb, unspoilt Himalayan landscape was more than adequate reward for some long days of walking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunrise over Nanda Devi on a virtually cloud-free morning was pretty spectacular ....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superbly led by Valerie Parkinson and the excellent local leaders Rajeev and Dhruv

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get as fit as possible - I was a little apprehensive when I saw the revised trip notes, and made sure I was fit before we left the UK - this meant that I could enjoy the fantastic scenery. The trip notes were a good predictor of the terrain and our training in the Lake District was very good preparation. Poles are essential for the steep descents

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Excellent, varied and plentiful food, as always with Exodus camping trips in India - not one of our group of 13 had any stomach problems at all.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Frank Mellor

    Nanda Devi and Milam Glacier

    Tougher than I expected - it was given Grade 4 at my time of booking and has since risen to a more realistic Grade 5. To access the upper reaches of the valley a long day with a considerable amount of ascent and descent over the Nain Singh pass is necessary. Once over the pass one is in a remote area with difficulties of communication. The scenery is rugged and awe inspiring and the walking is rough and exposed in places with many ups and downs. The deserted and partially ruined villages are a rather sad reminder that this was once a bustling trade route with Tibet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views of the big peaks in perfect weather. Amazingly clear night skies with a full moon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Myself and another trekker became ill after a few days. Our leader Rajeev, however, was able to sort out the problem and organised transport including trucks and a horse. But for his and the local guide's ingenuity I fear I would still be up there. I felt Rajeev dealt well with a tricky problem and I would be more than happy to trek with him again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My wife and I have done several Himalayan treks and this one is tougher than any of them. Read the trip notes carefully.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For me the under grading at my time of booking caused a lot of problems
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Julia Davenport

    A hard trek in a remote area rewarded by stunning scenery

    I found this trek really hard and I have done the Annapurna circuit and climbed Kilimanjaro so I have some experience. The paths are very stony, uneven and vertiginous so you have to pick your way carefully. I managed but I can't say I enjoyed the 2 hard days up and again on the return. Luckily when you get to Milam it all gets a lot easier and there are 5 days of wonderful scenery and good walking. I only gave this 3 stars because it was so hard to get there!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Nanda Devi base camp - and the food! I can't imagine how the cook and his great team managed to produce the variety and quality of food that they did, in between putting up tents and transporting lunch. Fantastic. Also seeing the sunrise over Nanda Devi. We were really lucky to have fantastic weather.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajeev was great. He dealt with a difficult situation that arose calmly and professionally, he was helpful and anxious that we enjoyed the trip. I felt totally safe with him. He gave me some batteries when I realised that my torch was fading (silly mistake, I know).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully to see if it's for you. Remember, it's a really isolated area and if you are not fit enough you'll cause problems for yourself and the rest of the group. Book a few days after the trip to relax. Don't take too many clothes but make sure you have a warm sleeping bag and clothes for the evenings. The temperature drops like a stone when the sun goes down. Remember spare batteries as there are none to be bought on trek (see above). Walking poles are almost essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take some sweets! Our group was lucky enough to have Victor's seemingly bottomless supply of M & Ms on tap. They made the breaks even nicer.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Pat Sani

    Nanda Devi and Milam Glacier

    This was a fantastic trek, very remote and isolated in most cases. Typical Himalayan rivers, lots of birds, views, glaciers and we were fortunate to see Nanda Devi in all its glory. Good camping, food was excellent and we had great support staff, including 22 ponies.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the whole experience with like minded individuals. Loads of griffin vultures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie Parkinson was great as usual in all aspects.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit to start with, some big ascents in the first few days.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Steve Terry

    Nanda Devi - and getting there and back

    On paper this looked like a potentially tedious trek up a long valley to look at some mountains and then back down the valley again. But the reality was very different. The trek in was wonderful with flocks of griffon vultures soaring close by us on thermals as we crossed the Nain Singh Pass, and then dropped down through mixed forest to the magnificent deeply-cut Gori Ganga river valley with tantalising glimpses of snow-capped peaks as we climbed up past occasional deserted villages towards Milam. From Milam the walk up to the glacier was magnificent, with Hardeol (7151m) and Tirsuli (7074m) stunning. Then back down to Ganaghar and up the Pachu valley to our wonderful spacious campsite with Nanda Devi, Nanda Devi East and Latu Dhura as the awesome back drop. Good to see the peaks and passes that Tilman and Shipton had pioneered in the 1930s. The trek back down to Munsiyari was quick, and the final day quite tough, but we were acclimatised and fit by then! So for 10 days we had the mountains to ourselves. No phones or internet. And no people ... just a few families bringing their sheep and goats down for the winter. Magic! PS One of our fellow-trekkers recorded sightings of 74 different bird species.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were three: watching large numbers of griffon vultures soaring close by us; a magnificent end-to-end rainbow over the Gori Ganga valley; and appreciating the true scale and ruggedness of the Nanda Devi massif from close up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I'd trekked with Valerie in Ladakh a few years ago and we'd had numerous sightings of snow leopards and filmed a 2 minute video of one. So I assumed going with Valerie to Nanda Devi would also be blessed with good fortune - and that was true. She brings knowledge, experience, patience and humour to any trek. She also had Rajiv and Dhruv as local guides/leaders, who were stars!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trek was classified as 4 (moderate/challenging) - but there's a lot of ascent and descent as you climb down and up side valleys and ravines. So make sure you've had lots of practice up and down rocky tracks. There's nowhere to recharge batteries - so bring spares and/or solar panel. A camera with a good zoom brings the mountains (and birds and moneys) to life.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The whole trip went remarkably smoothly. I always worry about getting stomach problems on Himalayan treks, but Johnny the Cook and his team were amazing and produced masses of excellent food (including a magnificent Nanda Devi cake) with no side effects!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Irene Neilson

    Great trekking in wonderful scenery

    Excellent trip which exceeded our expectations. Much of the walking is on open terrain with only a few, predominantly empty, settlements interrupting the vast expanse of the landscape leading to a great feeling of isolation and timelessness. Weather permitting, the views of the snow capped mountains which surround Milam Glacier -Rishi Parvati, Hardeol, Trishuli- and those of the peaks of the Nanda Devi range itself are spectacular and of a similar class to those of Nepal. It is a long two days journeying to the start of the trek at Munsiyari but the scenery from the minibus is lovely and the rail journey to Kathgodam we found an interesting experience - the food and on board service is good. The evening spent at Almora allows time to visit the Nanda Devi temple complex. The first two and last two days of the trek are the hardest involving ascent/descent but in between the walking is relatively straightforward. We felt the trip grading of 4 to be appropriate (but note that this now appears to have changed to 5.)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing can ever beat snow capped mountains!! So first highlight was seeing the full range of Panchchulli at sunrise from Munsiyari at the start of the trip. You realised you were going to see big mountains! The second was the view of Hardeol and the Milam glacier as you came into the campsite at Milam, replicated the next day on the walk to the view point. The third was the first completely clear view of Nanda Devi East/Main from the road as we trekked to Ganaghar. We were so lucky with the weather!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie Parkinson was good fun to trek with. Her tales of treking in India/Nepal were fascinating. Our guide Dhruve and our assistant leader Rajiv were also very good. Dhruve established a good pace for the trek and Rajiv was always really helpful. The rest of the team were also excellent - Johnny's cooking was exemplary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On the practical side here's the list:- (1) Take snacks/fruit pastilles just to break the trek on long days (2) Solar panels can struggle if variable sun/direction of sun awkward (3) Strapping tape useful in case of injury (4) Light to hang on tent as well as head torch (5) Umbrella useful as showers can be sharp, heavy but short (6) Water is boiled so we used very few purification tablets (7) Swimming costume for hotel in Delhi (8) We had wifi in Almora but none in Musiyari. No data signal on trek (9) We did extension to Amritsar-good. Mrs Bhandari's guesthouse was brilliant.(10) We had it warm and dry but cold at night. Other trekkers we met had it wet and misty so need to cover all weather scenarios.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to say again that its a very good trek if you like remote places. Tents were good.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Carole & Neil Mahoney Bowman

    Nanda Devi and Milam Glacier

    Having completed a number of big treks with Exodus, this was different. As well as being challenging in a remote and extremely scenic area, there was the added bonus of local culture in an interesting historical and geopolitical context. Once a thriving trade route between Tibet and India, many of the villages are sadly in decline with one or two deserted altogether. This added to an atmosphere of remoteness, as did the almost total lack of other trekkers. It was a privilege to be there and to be led and looked after by such a superb team.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being so close to the 6-7,000 metre+ peaks of the Nanda Devi range in the warmth of the sun in a cloudless sky. Observing 20-30 Himalayan Griffon Vultures circling both above and below us at close range.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie is second to none! The two local assistant leaders, Rajeev and Dhruv, were indispensable and always there to help when needed on the occasional tricky trails.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that this is a challenging trek with lots of ups and downs on a daily basis, so you need to be physically and mentally prepared. Make sure your knees are up to it!! There are a couple of very long days too, travelling to and from the trailhead. The route from Almora to Munsiyari is very windy as well as long, and this might challenge anyone with a tendency to travel sickness!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were amazingly well fed on trek by Johnny and the kitchen team. We don't know how they do it! Huge thanks to them for the sheer quality, quantity and variety of dishes, which kept us healthy and full of energy throughout!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Jayne Potter

    Nanda Devi

    If you like trekking in remote areas and don't want to meet any other tourists then this trip is for you. The scenery, weather permitting, is breath taking. We were so lucky. Brilliant views of Tirsuli and Nanda Devi mountains highlighted the trip. You do have to be resilient with the travelling, but once you are walking, the views make up for the sore bottom inflicted on you from the three days on transport. We did not meet any Europeans. Only Himalayan Vultures and goats/sheep for company. The gorge walking was spectacular with exciting narrow paths to negotiate. An excellent trip for a mountain escape.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views of Tirsuli and Nanda devi.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie Parkinson as usual was fantastic. Her experience and knowledge of India is incredible. She is so interesting to listen to and provides an brilliant insight in to India's back ground and way of life

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be prepared for typical mountain weather. Hot sunny mornings and showery afternoons. If you like snacks then bring them with you as there are no shops or teas houses selling any European food.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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