Stairway To Heaven: The Most Challenging Treks Ever In India

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Stairway To Heaven: The Most Challenging Treks Ever In India


Snow Leopard Trek, Ladakh

This magical trek is something so unique that it must be added onto one’s bucket list. However, the trek to see the elusive Snow Cat is even harder than actually spotting one once on the top.


Perched at 4100 m, Snow Leopard trek is one of the hardest ones you will ever come across. The trails will take you through the slippery pathways all covered with pristine white snow. At one point the incline is so steep that you might have to stop every ten seconds to get used to it.

Before going this majestic trek you must acclimatise yourself with the elevation and the increasing altitudes.

But, as the trek gets more and more difficult the beauty increases by two-fold. The path will take you right through the famous Hemis National Park where you can come face to face with some majestic yet rare species like the red fox, Tibetan Wolf and many more.

Once you climb your way to the top you will be flabbergasted by just seeing the mystical and gorgeous beauty that this trek has to offer.

While very few people have been able to spot the Snow Leopard, the place itself is worth to keep you motivated.

The trek will usually take a professional trekker around 13 days, and the temperatures are always below zero. Along with expert trekking skills you should be armed with proper warm clothes.

Pin Parvati Pass, Himachal Pradesh

Nestled in the midst of some of the most breathtaking valleys, dense forests, and vibrant flowers, the wondrous Pin Parvati Pass proudly sits at a staggering elevation of 5320 m above sea level. If the mere elevation doesn’t scare you then imagine having to climb increasingly steep slopes, tolerating the spine freezing chilling winds, and the avalanche of snowfalls and the extremely rough terrain- it truly sounds terrifying.

source: Himalayan Frontiers

Yet, these perils and dangerous throughout the path is what makes this trek so thrilling. The beauty throughout your journey is so mesmerising, and the feeling you get the moment you step foot on your final destination is just beautiful. Your entire body will feel a sense of great achievement and victory as you stare at the gorgeous view that lies ahead of you.

The entire trek which starts from Manikaran usually takes about 12 days, but make sure you take the weather into consideration and only venture out when the weather is favourable for a climb of this stature.

Chadar Trek (the Zanskar Gorge), Ladakh

While this resplendent and stunning trek is located at a lesser altitude than the previous two, still the Chadar Trek will challenge your body physically and mentally. You will have to walk through a completely frozen Zanskar River which can get extremely slippery if even for once you lose your focus.

source: Rahul Kardam

To reach to the top and enjoy the scintillating view of the Shanti Stupa and the frozen river, you will have to battle steep elevations, bitterly cold weather, layers, and layers of slippery snow, and chilly water.

However, the beauty of the trek not only lies in the view from the top but also in the fact that the beautiful frozen Zanskar River changes its colours every couple of hours.

You have to start this trek from Leh and it should take about six days to reach to the top.

Goecha La Trek, Sikkim

The virgin mountains of the North East are filled with such romantic and mesmerising treks. These treks are unexplored and untouched by the commercial hands of the tourists.

source: Himalayan Frontiers

The famous Goecha La Trek in Sikkim is said to be one of the most beautiful and one of the most challenging treks to undertake.

This lovely trek has trails through the majestic green mountains, and you will be walking across sapphire coloured lakes and huge rhododendron forests- the aroma of these forests are enough to keep you motivated throughout the trip.

The mighty trek is located at 5643 m, and you will pass through some rustic yet endearing villages of Bhakim, Tshoka, Dzongri, Thansing, Lamuney, and Goechala.

What really adds to the allure are the wonderful sunrises and sunsets that you will witness throughout your journey. The glistening peaks of Kanchenjunga just make everything more prepossessing.

The trek will take about 10 days.

Stok Kangri Trek, Ladakh

Located at a massive herculean height of 6153 m, the Stok Kangri Trek is actually the tightest trekking summit in India. This excruciatingly difficult trek is the Achilles heels for even the most experienced trekkers. To conquer this beast one has to fully and properly acclimatise to the altitude. Along with that, you will have to bear cliffs that are dangerously positioned, the frozen slipper yet glittering glaciers and the lack of oxygen.

source: Michelle Rousell

This trek is not for the faint-hearted and only people who are up for the challenge with physically and emotionally should even think to embark on this trek.

If you do plan to take up this challenge make sure you spend enough time to acclimatise yourself with the elevation.

Nanda Devi Base Camp, Uttarakhand

Away from the maddening crowd and from the hordes of the trekkers, this wonderful trek both moves like a butterfly and then stings like a bee.

source: Aloke Surin

The Nanda Devi Trek is filled to the brim with some of the most glorious avenues and bewitching valleys. The towering Himalayas serve as the perfect backdrop for such captivating beauty.

While the trek starts off easy, it gradually starts to show off its true colours and you will find yourself gasping for breath after Munsiyari.

The trek actually starts off at Munsiyari, and you just stay here for a few days. This will not only help you to get used to the increasing heights but also the town is blessed with nature’s bounty.

You will usually take about 12 days to conquer this trek.

Lamkhaga Pass, Sankari Range Garhwal

This trek is so far away from a livelihood that you will actually require special permission from the Indian government before starting on this trek.

source: Romesh Bhattacharji

The entire trail is isolated and will take you through some unexplored and uncharted territories that will leave you mesmerised. The altitude is pretty hight at 5284 m.

Through your journey you will be greeted by eternally flowing streams, large rocks, spilling waterfalls and acres and acres of green meadows.

While it might sound simple and extremely scenic- the former is certainly not true. Most trekkers have even gone to the extent of calling this one of the most dangerous treks ever in this country.

Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand

source: Tarun Gupta

This transcendental trek is not only famous for the scenic route that it takes you through but also for its infamous Roopkund Lake which is covered with skeletal remains. Situated at 4785 m, this tree will make you climb over layers and layers of snow, pass through enchanting yet eerie forests, walk over massive meadows and walk across jetting streams.

What really makes Roopkund trek dangerous is the unpredictability of the weather here. You will find yourself all of a sudden caught in a hailstorm even though there were no former warning. While this trek is less challenging than the rest, one must make sure that they keep in mind the weather changes before continuing on.

Sinchita Mitra
Sinchita Mitra
Sinchita is a student, who has always dabbled with a bit of writing here and there. She has always made herself look into things in a different way than others, which has allowed her to explore certain feelings and emotions which many cannot. She is a bold writer and believes in the saying, 'a pen is mightier than the sword'. She strongly believes that the writing should be so compelling that the writer feels that they are on a journey they read through the article. The writing must make the reader feel something, otherwise it pointless

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