Ronti Saddle Trek With Roopkund And Homkund

Ronti Saddle Trek With Roopkund and Homkund

Beyond Roopkund lies the true Himalayan High in the lap of Nanda Ghungti and the mighty Trishul

Details Of The Ronti Saddle Trek

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Key Himalayan Geographical Offerings Of The Ronti Saddle Trek


11 Popular Peaks:
Changabang ( 6864m ), Chaukhamba I ( 7138m ), Chaukhamba II ( 7058m ), Chaukhamba III ( 6974m ), Chaukhamba IV ( 6854m ), Dunagiri ( 7066m ), Nanda Devi ( 7816m ), Nanda Ghunti ( 6309m ), Trisul I ( 7120m ), Trisul II ( 6690m ), Trisul III ( 6008m )
2 High Passes:
Junargali ( 5150m ), Ronti Saddle ( 5300m )
2 Serene Lakes:
Home Kund ( 4602m ), Roopkund ( 4784m )
1 Mind-boggling Glaciers:
Sheela Samudra Glacier
3 Tranquil Rivers:
Nandakini , Neel Ganga, Rupkini
5 Beautiful Remote Villages:
Wan, Kulling, Didina, Sutol, Sitel
1 National Parks Or Forest Reserve:
Nanda Devi Outer Sanctuary

Why Should You Do The Ronti Saddle Trek

  • Grand views of Nanda Ghungti(6309m), Trisul I (7120m), II (6690m), III (6007m)
  • Ronti Saddle - a saddle between the 2 grand mountains stand at 5200 meters and offers you enough challenge to reach it. However, on reaching there, you may decide which of the 2 mountains to touch !!
  • The mystery and history of the Skeletal Lake - Roopkund. Its a small circular high altitude glacial lake surrounded by snow on most part of the year. The lake is surrounded by human bones which reveals itself mostly when the snow cover is lesser.
  • The best bugiyals or meadows of the Himalayas - Bedni Bugiyal and Ali Bugiyal.
  • Sheela Samudra - the glacier of Mt Trishul. A glacier full of tarns and boulders. Witnessing avalanche is a normal thing here opposite to your camp in the glacier.
  • Homkund is another high altitude glacial lake just below Mt. Nandaghungti and Ronti Saddle.
  • Keeda Jadi or Yartsa Gumba and its crazy drive amongst the locals during June, July.
  • The lovely villages of Sutol and Sitel and beautiful campsites and remoteness of the trail
  • 📅 Duration: 12 days/ 12 nights, Kathgodam to Rishikesh
  • 🔼 Highest Altitude: 5300m
  • 🛑 Grade: Strenuous ( know trek grades )
  • 👍 Best Time: May June, Sep Oct
  • 🌄 Terrain: Meadows, forest , snow field, glacier, boulders
  • 🏃 Activity Type: Trek
  • 🔄 Trail Type: Different Entry Exit Point
  • 🚩 Starts From: Lohajung
  • 🚩 Ends In: Ghat
  • 🌏 Region: India - Uttrakhand
  • 🎌 Country: India
  • 🛪 Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehraoon, Uttrakhand
  • 🚉 Nearest Rail Head: Kathgodam, Uttrakhand
  • 🙏 Travel Guide: Where and How To Reach Lohajung
  • 📶 Mobile Network:
  • 🌐 Internet Option: No
  • 🌞 Temperatures:
  • 🔒 Is Cloak Room Available: No
  • 🍵 Generic Food Menu: Indian, Garwali, Nepalese

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Excellent: 397
Very Good: 34
Good: 5
Average: 1
Bad: 3

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Ronti Saddle Trek

Ronti Saddle is a saddle between the glorious Himalayan peaks of Nanda Ghungti and Trishul closer to the Nanda Devi Inner Sanctuary.

The trek to Ronti Saddle is approached from the more popular Roopkund side and you enter the Sheela Samudra valley once you cross over the Junairagali Pass above Roopkund. A sharp descend from the Junairagali pass gets you to the vast and remote grassland of the Sheela Samudra. The name Sheela ( rocks ) Samudra ( sea ) translates to 'Sea of Rocks' and is given to the glacier coming down from the might Trishul. If there is some noise in this valley, it is of the frequent ice breaking and falling down from Trishul, feeding the Sheela Samudra glacier. Here, you will only find yourself and few 'Keeda Jadi, Yartse Gumba' pluckers during the months of June.

The trek after Sheela Samudra climbs up following the Nandakini river to the campsite of Do Dang ( 2 rocks ). It then treks over a broken ridge with sharp verticle fall on one side to takes us to Homkund - a small lake mostly under snow. From Homkund, the trek starts climbing to Ronti Saddle.

Ronti Saddle Homkund Trek
just below ronti saddle at homkund

We can either cross over the Saddle ( recently a team of Bengali Trekkers has done that in September), but mostly will come back to Do Dang and exit via Ghat, trekking through the deep forest cover of Lata Khopri and the villages of Sutol and Sitel, following the Nandakini River.

Roopkund - The Skeletal Lake

The sight of the beautiful circular glacial lake, emerald in colour, in the covering of snow all round it with tall mountain walls rising over it. This sight inspires a mixed feeling - fearful, unbelievable, surprising, exquisite and what not !!

The Lake does look appealing to the eyes and is definitely photogenic, but what gives the lake its real worth is the name which it has got for itself - The Skeletal Lake. There are lots of other lakes in the Himalayas much beautiful than the Roopkund, but this lake is special. The mystery surrounding the lake due to lots of scattered human bones which are too big for the current generation of Indians, is what makes Roopkund one of the most sought after trek in the Himalayas. It took the World by its imaginations and lots of theories are available on the cause of the mass death around the lake. Recently, the theory reasoning a pilgrimage hit by a massive hail storm causing the tragic death is more believable as per a research study.

 

 

Bedni Bugyal - Ali Bugyal

In this trek, we come across 2 of the most beautiful meadows in Uttrakhand - the Bedni Bugyal and Ali Bugyal. The soft mattress of green grasses feels just wonderful, and is even beautiful with sheep grazing on them. Hovered by beautiful snow covered peaks of Chowkhambha, Trishul, and others, this is one of the most photogenic Bugyals you may come across.

 

 

The Sad Story Of Roopkund

Roopkund is perhaps one of the best treks to do in the Himalayas. Until recently, it was peaceful with few odd trekkers trekking in self organized small groups. The current scenario of this trek is very saddening. With unsurpassed and unregulated rise of irresponsible trekking agencies in India, and the false hype created by the online content marketing websites has made a huge negative impact on this trek. 

The situation is such that in the pre-monsoon season of May-Jun, atleast 100 trekkers camp on each campsite, everyday on this trek. Few of the bigger operators and some of the pioneers bring bulk of trekkers to this wonderland. Most of this crown is not Nature Friendly. The rush is such that the local operators and these big companies cannot meet the demand. So, there lots of other small operators who get their groups too, most of these are nonprofessionals. Also, there are self organized groups too.

Then there are local resources to add to, like mules, mules-men, guides, porters, cooks, helpers, etc which accompany the groups. The trekker's hut built by the Government for the trekkers permanently occupied by bigger companies to use as kitchen. What kind of push is it on the Nature to accommodate that huge rush ?? I have no imaginations for it, hence I leave it upto the readers.

All these spoil the ambiance of the trek and we don't like organizing the Roopkund trek until situation betters. We are more in favour of the Ronti Saddle Trek which is much peaceful once we cross the tourist spot of the Roopkund trek.

Ronti Saddle Trek Package - Daywise Detailed Itinerary

Day 1Arrival In Lohajung ( 222 Kms,7 - 8 hours )

Drive Day

Brief Details Of The Day:

Early morning, board your vehicle to get you to Lohajung Its a long journey and reaching Lohajung early will help

Day 2From Lohajung To Didina ( 10 Kms,4 - 5 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today after breakfast, we have a small briefing on the trek and most importantly the team introduction. After we wrap up formalities quicly, we get ready for the trek. Our loads are packed and there we are, ready to hit the trail.

Our trail for the day is easier as compared to the entire trek and soon we get lost in the beauty of it. We trek through the forest following the Neel Ganga. The trail is initially easy which then starts to climb up steadily.  As the trek continues, we get set into it and start negotiating the climb to Ali Bugiyal. After a good climb, we reach our destination for the day.

Didina is a beautiful campsite and we spend rest of the time exploring the place. 

Day 3From Didina To Bedni Bugiyal, Via - Ali Bugiyal ( 12 Kms,6 - 7 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

As we start the day, to leave our campsite at Didina behind and begin with an easy trek up to Tolapani. Tolapani is a cluster of some 6/7 huts of shepherds. It makes the place very picturesque and we spend some time here.

After Tolapani, we now start to negotiate switch-backs through the forest for about 2 hour which brings us to one of the best Himalayan meadows - Ali Bugyal. Its a lovely meadow amidst the forest and takes our heart instantly. We spend some good time here depending upon the weather.

One more of a finest bugyals is waiting for us and we head towards i, yes - The Bedni Bugyal. It takes some good walk of around 2.5 hours to reach Bedni Bugyal from Ali Bugyal. Once we reach we know why it is regarded as one of the best campsites in the Himalayas.

In the evening, do not forget to click some reflection of the beautiful Trishul on the Bedni Kund, a small lake in the campsite.

Day 4From Bedni Bugiyal To Baghuabasa, Via - Ghora Lotani, Pattharnachauni ( 12 Kms,6 - 7 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
  • Bedni Bugiyal: 3600 meters / 11808 feet
  • Ghora Lotani: 3703 meters / 12146 feet
  • Pattharnachauni: 3887 meters / 12750 feet
  • Baghuabasa: 4300 meters / 14104 feet
Brief Details Of The Day:

Our morning is delightful today with views of great number of Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Nandaghungti. Chaukhamba and Nilkantha. The sight definitely energizes us all as we prepare to start the trek for the day. We can see our route through the mountains as we are above tree line now. The trail is a easy walk and soon reach Ghora Lotani.

From Ghora Lotani, Patharnachauni is a gradual ascend. It is marked by the green trekker's hut built by the Forest Department for trekkers to rest for the night. From here our climb becomes tougher as we now start negotiating the switch backs to ascend Kullu Vinayak. Its a 2 hour steep climb. This stretch tests our mental stamina and physical health too. The Kalu Vinayaka top is marked by a small temple of lord Ganesha.

Baghua Basa is an easy walk from Kalu Vinayak top. The trail gently climbs down and take a slow left turn to reach the campsite of Baghua Basa, which too has green Trekker's hut.

Enjoy the beauty around !!

Day 5From Baghuabasa To Sheela Samudra, Via - Roopkund, Junairagali Pass ( 12 Kms,7 - 8 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today is a special day for us. We begin our climb to Roopkund which takes us around 3 hours. The trail climbs up steadily and the last stretch is a good steep climb for an hour. We will find many trekkers walking on this trail and once we reach, we spend some time resting and enjoying the place

We are to cross the Junargali and hence do not have much time to kill. Much difficult task is still to be completed and we get ready for it and that's climbing the Junairagali Pass. We are up against a very steep wall of hard snow and is difficult to climb without support of ice axe. The fall is exposed and a slip can be fatal. Hence rope is necessary. Anti slip traction crampons can help if there is too much hard snow. Its takes about an hour to climb to the top.

The descend from the pass top to Sheela Samudra is a sharp one initially which requires good concentration. Snow makes it further trickier. Its best advised to follow the trusted steps of your guide here. Around 2 hours of continuous descend brings us to our campsite marked by a huge boulder which acts like a wind shield.

Its been a tiring but rewarding day. So rest out the day glancing the beauty of Trishul which is so close by from here.

Day 6Rest / Acclimatization / Local Exploration Day

Rest Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Rest and local exploration day. 

Sheela Samudra, as the name means - sea of rocks. The name could not be perfect. The view of the glacier flowing down Trishul is nothing but a huge system with lots of broken tarns and huge boulders. Gushing wind, Sounds of cracking avalanches and waterfalls which starts flowing in afternoon and freezes out again by evening are very common here.

Sighting vultures and other birds are another common thing. Bring your camera to good use on this day. This day also helps us serve the important acclimatization.

Day 7From Sheela Samudra To Dodang, Via - Gheuthappan ( 8 Kms,5 - 6 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

We feel fresh after a rest day and are fully prepared to tackle the day. We start off slowly and soon find ourself crossing the boulders of Sheela Samudra. We witness numeric tarns of the once a mighty glacier. The route then follows the  Nandakini river climbing gradually upwards, though some part of the trail is unmarked and very slippery with almost no distinct trail. We need to be careful in these sections.

Our campsite is marked by a huge boulder forming a cave.  Look back at Junargali from here and you will be thrilled. Rest the day out.

Day 8From Dodang To Dodang , Via - Homekund, Ronti Saddle ( 10 Kms,6 - 8 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Its a difficult, but most important day today for us, as we hit the trail to reach our goal for this trek - The Ronti Saddle.

We start our trek early. After some easy trek we come across a sharp ridge breaking down from its right hand side, almost like a 90 degree slab of mud. We take the trail little downside on the left side of the ridge which looks safer. The rigde slowly turns right to bring you to Homkund.

After offering prayers, we start to climb up the steep snowy climb to the Ronti Saddle. Initial scrambles and walk over the boulders for some 2 kilometers and then zig zakking through the snow field, we reach the top. Its a 2 hour steep and strenuous climb from Homkund to Ronti Saddle. 

The views offered from the top of Ronti Saddle is breath taking. Ronti Peaks 1, 2 ; Trishul 1, 2, 3 ; Nanda Ghungti ; Dronagiri looks just amazing and a sight only the lucky few gets. The summit of Nandaghungti looks quite teasing from this point. We spend as much time as possible keeping the weather in mind, as this is the day and the place we worked hard for, all these days !!

We start to descend the same route and it takes us couple of hours to reach back Do Dang from here. We have returned with a fulfilling experience. The sight and achievement does not leave our mind. 

Day 9From Dodang To Latakhopri , Via - Chandaniya Ghat ( 16 Kms,6 - 7 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

This is an eventful day with a eventful river crossing to do. Its a long day and the river crossing is the trickier part. Once thats done, we take it easy to reach our campsite at Lata Khopri. The trek passes through some of the deep lush green forest of the Nanda Devi Biosphere. Its a beautiful campsite amidst the deep jungle.

With all views blocked by the jungle, today is the time to do some macro photography.

Day 10From Latakhopri To Sutol ( 12 Kms,5 - 6 hours )

Trek Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

The descend down to Sutol is a picturesque one which descends down through the forest. Sutol is a beautiful village with a temple, shop and few homes. Do use your camera to the fullest as after a hard trek, you get to see some locals, houses, river, bridge, temples, domestic animals and conversations with the locals. You may chose to take a bath in the river as well.

Day 11From Sutol To Ghat , Via - Sitel ( 11 Kms,5 - 6 hours )

Trek, Drive Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Our descend back to civilization ends today as we hit the trail with great energy. There comes few shops on the way where we can satisfy our crunch for normal eateries. About 4 hours of walk get you down to the motor head where your cab will be waiting to take you down to Ghat, where our trek ends.

It has been a wonderful trek with wonderful people all around and offcourse the Mighty and Godly Himalayas were there always to motivate and support you. Congratulations for completing a wonderful trek. 

Yes Yes, we do have a blasting party to celebrate it.

Day 12From Ghat To Rishikesh ( 220 Kms,7 - 8 hours )

Drive Day

Altitude Profile And Geo-Coordinates:
  • Ghat: 1331 meters / 4366 feet
  • Rishikesh: 442 meters / 1450 feet
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today we drive back to Rishikesh ending our beautiful trek

Covid19 Safety Protocol For Himalayan Treks

We had started our treks from October 2020 and since then we have served many trekkers without any problems related to covid. Thanks to our safety protocol and SOW.

Covid Negative RT-PCR Test Report or Vaccination Certificate Is Mandatory To Trek With Us.

All our permanent staffs have completed their vaccination and we ensure we hire other vaccinated local resources only.

Read more on Safe trekking in the Himalayas during COVID-19
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+ Short Travel Itinerary

** click on the DayNumber to read detailed itinerary for the day

  • Day 1

    Drive

    Arrival Day
    From Kathgodam (554m ) To Lohajung (2300m ), Via - Debal (1372m ), Mundoli (2125m ). 7 - 8 Hrs. 222 Kms
    Overnight In: Lohajung (2300m )
    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals Included: Evening Snacks, Dinner
    Cost Of Transport Included: NO
  • Day 2

    Trek

    From Lohajung (2300m ) To Didina (2450m ) . 4 - 5 Hrs. 10 Kms
    Overnight In: Didina (2450m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 3

    Trek

    From Didina (2450m ) To Bedni Bugiyal (3600m ), Via - Ali Bugiyal (3400m ) . 6 - 7 Hrs. 12 Kms
    Overnight In: Bedni Bugiyal (3600m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 4

    Trek

    From Bedni Bugiyal (3600m ) To Baghuabasa (4300m ), Via - Ghora Lotani (3703m ), Pattharnachauni (3887m ). 6 - 7 Hrs. 12 Kms
    Overnight In: Baghuabasa (4300m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 5

    Trek

    From Baghuabasa (4300m ) To Sheela Samudra (4000m ), Via - Roopkund (4930m ), Junairagali Pass (5150m ). 7 - 8 Hrs. 12 Kms
    Overnight In: Sheela Samudra (4000m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 6

    Rest / Acclimatization / Local Exploration Day

    Overnight In: Sheela Samudra (4000m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 7

    Trek

    From Sheela Samudra (4000m ) To Dodang (4484m ), Via - Gheuthappan (4202m ) . 5 - 6 Hrs. 8 Kms
    Overnight In: Dodang (4484m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 8

    Trek

    From Dodang (4484m ) To Dodang (4484m ), Via - Homekund (4060m ), Ronti Saddle (5300m ). 6 - 8 Hrs. 10 Kms
    Overnight In: Dodang (4484m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 9

    Trek

    From Dodang (4484m ) To Latakhopri (3100m ), Via - Chandaniya Ghat (3600m ) . 6 - 7 Hrs. 16 Kms
    Overnight In: Latakhopri (3100m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 10

    Trek

    From Latakhopri (3100m ) To Sutol (2192m ) . 5 - 6 Hrs. 12 Kms
    Overnight In: Sutol (2192m )
    Accommodation: Tents
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 11

    Trek, Drive

    From Sutol (2192m ) To Ghat (1331m ), Via - Sitel (1915m ) . 5 - 6 Hrs. 11 Kms
    Overnight In: Ghat (1331m )
    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 12

    Drive

    From Ghat (1331m ) To Rishikesh (442m ) . 7 - 8 Hrs. 220 Kms
    Overnight In: Rishikesh (442m )
    Accommodation: None
    Meals Included: Breakfast
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Good: 5
Average: 1
Bad: 3

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