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.
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.