The Great Himalayan Survival Trek Itinerary

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Itinerary  

 

Day 1 - Arrival Delhi, India

On arrival in Delhi, you will be met by one of our representatives and taken directly to the hotel where you can rest from your long flight(s).

 

Accommodations:  The Visaya Hotel

 

Day 2 - Delhi to Chengah

Early in the morning, we will head to the airport to take a short flight from Delhi to Kullu valley, where upon landing we will drive to a riverside cafe for breakfast and meet with our team of guides and porters.  Afterwards, we will do a short walk of 2 miles to Chengah, a beautiful campsite in the Sainj Valley Wild Life Sanctuary and the starting point of the trek.  In the afternoon we will take an acclimatization walk to the nearby hills, and during the evening we will have an overview of the program and what to expect over the next three weeks.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 3 – Chengah to Shakti

Today we begin the first day of the trek which is a moderate 9 mile accent (6 hours) to Shakti, a remote village still without roads or electricity at an elevation of 6,900 feet in a semi-tropical environment.  Upon arrival you will have the opportunity to explore the caves nearby, visit the local temple, meet the villagers, and visit their homes to get an insight into their life and culture.  Afterwards, we will setup our camp in preparation for our first survival training.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Days 4, 5 & 6 – Shakti Survival Camp

We will spend the next three days in Shakti, where we will learn and practice survival strategies in the semi-tropical forest that surrounds us.  Some of the skills we will focus on include:

 

  • Primitive shelter construction

  • Creating friction fire using various primitive methods

  • Locating, capturing and purifying water

  • Making survival bows, rabbit sticks, and spears

  • Making snares and traps for small game

  • Creating and using primitive fishing implements

  • Identifying and foraging for edible and medicinal plants

  • Making cordage and other useful tools out of local plants

  • Observing cloud formations and predicting future weather events

  • Navigating across unknown landscapes without a compass/map

  • Learning techniques for surviving mountain storms and extreme weather events

 

During the evenings, we will gather around a group campfire to cook our meal and unwind for the day.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7 – Shakti to Homkhani

Today we will leave the Shakti camp and hike 6 miles (5 hours) through think jungles, transitioning into the temperate forest zone of Homkhani at 9,200 feet.  We will setup our survival camp for the next four days near a meadow that is famous for wildlife views, especially of the Himalayan black bear.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Days 8, 9, & 10 – Homkhani Survival Camp

We will spend the next three days in Shakti, where we will learn and practice survival strategies in the temperate forest that surrounds us.  Some of the skills we will focus on include:

 

  • Primitive shelter construction

  • Creating friction fire using various primitive methods

  • Locating, capturing and purifying water

  • Making survival bows, rabbit sticks, and spears

  • Making snares and traps for small game

  • Creating and using primitive fishing implements

  • Identifying and foraging for edible and medicinal plants

  • Making cordage and other useful tools out of local plants

  • Observing cloud formations and predicting future weather events

  • Navigating across unknown landscapes without a compass/map

  • Learning techniques for surviving mountain storms and extreme weather events

 

During the evenings, we will gather around a group campfire to cook our meal and unwind for the day.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 11 – Homkhani to Dhel

We depart the Homkhani camp in the morning and undertake a strenuous 4 mile hike (3 hours), climbing repeatedly over ridges and back down into valleys until we reach Dhel thatch, a high alpine meadow located at an elevation of 11,500 feet.  The ascent is through a dense forest of walnut trees and conifers dotted with a variety of medicinal herbs.  

 

On the way there you will have a chance to spot the highly endangered Monal Pheasant and the Western Tragopan or Jujurana (meaning king of the birds…local legend has it that when the creator made this pheasant all the birds in the universe donated a feather each to give it its unparalleled color).  Great mountain vistas abound with numerous opportunities for observing other wildlife including the Himalayan brown bear and the musk deer.  Our medicinal expert will lead an exploration into the meadow to search for its unique medicinal herbs along with a profusion of wild orchids.  We will setup our survival camp here to spend the next three days. 

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Days 12, 13, & 14 – Dhel Survival Camp

We will spend the next three days in Dhel thatch, where we will learn and practice survival strategies in the alpine meadows surrounded by snow-bound peaks exceeding 20,000 feet.  We will learn how to survive in this wilderness with minimal food, just living on the wild plants and fruits available in this habitat.  Some of the skills we will focus on include:

 

  • Identifying and foraging for edible and medicinal plants

  • Finding shelter and staying warm

  • Locating, capturing and purifying water

  • Setting traps for catching small game

  • Observing cloud formations and predicting future weather events

  • Navigating across unknown landscapes without a compass/map

  • Learning techniques for surviving mountain storms and extreme weather events

 

During the evenings, we will gather around a group campfire to cook our meal and unwind for the day.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 15 – Dhel to Ghuntarao

We will break our last survival camp in the morning and leave Dhel, undertaking another strenuous hike of 7.5 miles (5 hours) and ultimately climbing above 13,000 feet before descending down to our campsite at Ghuntarao, situated at 12,500 feet.  This is one of the highlights of the trek with traverses across high Himalayan ridges, waterfalls and a 'heart in your mouth' experience while negotiating a one mile precipice along the mountain ridge!  

 

It is also an excellent area for bird watching and opportunities to spot rare wildlife abound.  We will traverse the ridge line looking at the two valleys on either side, and along the way be on the lookout for animal tracks and sign including those of the snow leopard.  We will finish the day by passing over a steep cliff edge in a harness, and then head back down to the meadow at Ghuntarao.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 16 – Ghuntarao to Shilt

We will depart from our camp at Ghuntarao in the morning and trek for 7.5 miles (6 hours) towards our next campsite at Shilt, situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet.  This hike will be mostly downhill with a gradual descent and some intermittent climbing over several mountain slopes.  Throughout the day we will be examining the flora and fauna of the GHNP and looking for animal sign.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 17 – Shilt to Tirthan

Today we leave Shilt and progress downhill on a long 10.5 mile (7 hours) trek through thick temperate forest to our final campsite at Tirthan, at an elevation 5,000 feet.  Along the way, we will be on the lookout for the monal pheasant, a large plump bird with a loud, ringing call that is easily sighted (males have an iridescent blue/green mantle, rufous neck, and orange tail).  After we make camp, we will enjoy a traditional dance around the fire performed by some of our local staff. 

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 18 & 19 – Shilt to Tirthan

We will spend our last two days of the trek in the Tirthan valley unwinding from our long journey and practicing primitive fishing skills as taught by our guides.  The Tirthan River is a stunning stream full of trout that were originally brought over by the British Raj, and hence offers ample angling opportunities.  Additionally, we will study the various plants and animals in this fascinating valley water ecosystem and their uses in survival situations.

 

Accommodations:  Tent Camping

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 20 – Tirthan to Delhi

We will break camp early in the morning and drive to Kullu airport to board our flight back to Delhi where we will check in at the hotel and then relax for a few hours.  Later in the afternoon we will head out to old Delhi, driving through central areas to explore the former British capital dotted with buildings built during the British rule in India.  We will continue on to the southern parts of the city visiting the impressive Mughal monuments including Qutab Minar, the tower of victory, and Humayun's tomb.  Afterwards, we will return to the hotel for dinner and then rest before your flight(s) back home.

 

Accommodations:  The Visaya Hotel

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Days 21 – Depart from Delhi

Our staff will transfer you from the hotel to the airport for your flight(s) home.  As you board the plane, you will feel pride in your accomplishment of finishing the long trek and will be taking with you many great memories of your experiences in GHNP along with your new found knowledge and skills of how to survive in a challenging mountainous environment!

 

End of Trip

The Great Himalayan Survival Trek

Naturalist Ventures

Austin, Texas, USA

info@naturalistventures.com

+1.512.763.0764

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