BASMAI TREK – HIMALAYAS OF KASHMIR

 

The trek and more about us.

 

The Basmai Trek will lead you to glaciers, torquoise freshwater lakes, via high altitude passes thru the breathtaking scenery of the Kashmir Himalayas. If you choose us as your tour operator there is nothing you need to organize. We do that all for you. It already starts with the pick up at Srinagar airport, continues with all the transports required for this trek, goes on with all the equipment like tent, kitchen gear, food, ponies to carry the gear (not your own, but can be arranged) and doesn´t even finish with a beer/wine beside the logfire at night. All we ask you to do is to enjoy the beautiful scenery of our mountains. Our crew loves the nature as much as you do and is therefore able to tell you a lot about the local geology, botany and the native animals which live along our trekking route. All our guides are locals of Kashmir and therefore know the routes and the mountains like the back of one´s hand. The tour includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner on every day.

Basmai Trek – overview.

 

Name: Basmai Trek

Duration: 9 – 11 days

Trek grade: difficult

Highest altitude: 4.300 – 4.570 meters above sealevel

Routing: starts in Sonamarg – ends in Sumbal

Trip dates: 31st of May – 5th of October 2014, starts Saturdays

Includes: all transports
all camping gear
porters, ponies, guides
pick up at Srinagar Airport
drop off at Srinagar Airport
last night on houseboat on Dal Lake
optional: visit Gulmarg

 

 

A brief itinerary.

Day 1 : Arrival in Srinagar – proceeding towards your hotel in Sonamarg
Day 2 : trek from Sonamarg to the Basmai Valley
Day 3 : trek towards Soun Valley for a day trip and return to Basmai camp
Day 4 : trek to Satlanjan via Basmai Lake
Day 5 : from Satlanjan continue to Lidderwat Valley – passing Mt. Kolahoi
Day 6 : trek from Lidderwat Valley to Sekhwass (Tarsar Lake)
Day 7 : from Sekhwass moving on to Marsar Lake and Sonmus
Day 8 : trek towards Sumbal and travel to your houseboat on Dal Lake in Srinagar – optional from Sumbal to           Gulmarg – depending on your flight schedule / further travel plans.

Day 9 : Srinagar – leaving the house boat and proceed to Srinagar airport

Day 9 : Gulmarg – riding the worlds highest Gondola towards Mt. Apharwat – having a picnic on 14,000 ft and enjoying the view of the Gulmarg meadows with the scenery of Nanga Prabat and Mt. Harmukh
Day 10: drive from Gulmarg to Dal Lake in Srinagar and spending the last night on a houseboat.
Day 11:  leaving the house boat and proceed to Srinagar airport

About the trek.

The Basmai trail starts in Sonamarg and is moving across valleys and high altitude passes and their glaciers where the melting water is feeding the lakes. The beauty and calmness of this trail is simply breathtaking. The trail takes you to one of the highest peaks – Mt. Kolahoi (17,800 ft) – which is surrounding the Kashmir Valley. After this highlight you´ll be moving on to the famous lakes of Tarsar and Marsar. Those two lakes are only accessible in summer as due to the high altitude the trail is most of the year covered in snow. On this trek you will also get to see cultural highlights – such as shepherd villages. You will come across their families and herds druing the trek. The interaction with the people tells you a lot about the harsh and exhausting life in the Kashmir Himalayas. The trek is rated as difficult. So be prepared for breathtaking but long and tough walks.

Detailed description of the Basmai trek.

Day 1 – Arriving in Srinagar
We will welcome your group personally at the airport of Srinagar and proceed together to our hotel in Sonamarg. The drive takes approx 3 hours. We have organized the car with a safe and experienced driver already. You will stay there in a hotel have a rest and can refersh yourself after your long journey. If the time allows we will show you the Thajiwas glacier.

Day 2 – moving towards Basmai valley
After breakfast in the lush green meadows and rising sun from the peaks we will move towards Basmai valley. 
It is a mid ascent of about 4 – 5 hours and we will put up our first night camp here. After our crew has pitched the tents we will prepare for our overnight stay. A log fire should not be missed and we will enjoy the sunset with a beer or wine.

Day 3 – proceeding to Soun valley
On the third day our group will move on towards the hidden Soun valley. You will interact with the local sherperds and their families and explore the place around. It´s an steep ascend of 1 – 2 hours and after that a gradual descent which is followed by a gradual walk along a great green meadow. After exploring the Soun valley we will return to Basmai and stay there overnight.

Day 4 – crossing Basmai Pass
After a powerful breakfast we are ready to cross Basmai pass with its altitude of approx 12,990 ft. above sea level. After crossing the top we will go downhill and get to see Basmai lake. Now we are officially entering the district of South Kashmir – Pahalgam. We will descent and proceed towards Satlanjan where 7 streams meet. The whole day walk will take us around 4 – 5 hours. 

Day 5 – visiting Satlanjan valley
The trek will move to Kolahoi glacier and will see Mt. Kolahoi with its peak of 17,800 ft height. The Kolahoi glacier is very famous as it´s one of the sources of the Lidder river which later on merges into Jhelum and continues to Pakistan. To reach Kolahoi glacier from Satlanjan will take us around 3 hours. In the afternoon we will return to our camp in Satlanjan and the same day we move down to Lidderwath valley and pitch our camp there for the overnight. Of course a delicious dinner by the logfire will not be missed.

Day 6 – Lidderwath to Sekhwass
Get ready for an adventurous day. We will start with and mid to steep ascent towards Sekhwass pass which has an altitude of approximately 11,500 to 12,500 ft. We will pitch our night camp here already. But at the same day we will go to the high altitude lake called Tarsar, which is feeding the Jhelum river in Srinagar. For the night we return back to Sekhwass – it will take us around 2 hours from Sekhwass to Tarsar lake.

Day 7  – Sekhwass to Marsar Lake
From Sekhwass on we will move towards Marsar lake which will take us approximately 4 – 5 hours. It´s an medium ascent. After exploring Marsar Lake we will descend to Sonmus valley where we will have our overnight camp. It´s a beautiful green shepherds valley where they grace their animals. From Marsar Lake to reach Sonmus camp will take another 2 -3 hours.

Day 8 – Trek towards Sumbal
Today is the last day in the wilderness. Our group will move to the final destination which is Sumbal. It will take us an approx 4 hours of an difficult ascend to reach Sumbal from Sonmus. Sumbal lays in the district of Ganderbal, which is located 30 kilometers before Sonamarg.
The end point of the trek will be here. At the end the entire group will assemble and we have a little surprise for you. Your overnight stay will be either in Srinagar on a romantic housebaot or you choose the Gulmarg option and proceed from Sonamarg in our arranged taxi straight to Gulmarg. The drive to Gulmarg will take you around 3 hours. The drive to the houseboat in Srinagar is of course arranged as well and will take you around 3 hours. You have the option to choose.

Day 9 : Srinagar – after you spent the night on a handcrafted wooden house boat you should make the effort and get up early in the morning to enjoy the picturesque flaoting market on Dal Lake. Your holiday in Kashmir has unfortunately come to an end and our driver will bring you to Srinagar airport.

Day 9 : Gulmarg – In Gulmarg you get to ride the worlds highest Gondola towards Mt. Apharwat (14,000 ft.). We will take you for a picnic on 14,000 ft and you will enjoy the view of Gulmarg meadows with the scenery of Nanga Prabat and Mt. Harmukh in the background. We can also hike to frozen Lake which takes approx. an easy 2 hours walk from the Gondola and hike down to Gulmarg. If your legs are tired from all the hiking in the last couple of days no worries – we have a Gondola in Gulmarg. :-)

Day 10: drive from Gulmarg to Dal Lake in Srinagar to spend the last night on a houseboat.

Day 11: After you spent the night on a handcrafted wooden house boat you should make the effort and get up early in the morning to enjoy the picturesque flaoting market on Dal Lake. Your holiday in Kashmir has unfortunately come to an end and our driver wil leaving the house boat and proceed to Srinagar airport.

About Gulmarg.

Gulmarg is not just a ski resort in winter. No it´s also worth a visit in summer. With pleasant temperatures around 20 – 30°C, Gulmarg is perfect for outdoor activities like trekking, mountain biking, horese riding fishing or golfing. Yeah that´s right Gulmarg has the highest golf course in the world.

Gulmarg means “meadow of flowers” if you translate it. And of course so it is. It´s beautiful lush green surrounded by pine trees and high rising mountains. Just an impressive scenery. Gulmarg has been the location for shooting of lots of Bollywood movies.

Apart from that you can ride the worlds highest Gondola up to the 14,000 ft high Mt. Apharwat.

Also if you just go down a little bit from Gulmarg towards Tangmarg you will bump into Baba reshi which has a shrine and Baba reshi is a typical kashmiri village.

Gulmarg is located west of Srinagar at a distance of around 50 kilometers and nestled on an altitude of 8,500 ft.. The drive from Srinagar to Gulmarg will take approximately one hour depending on the traffic.

The hotels are built in a typical design only found in Kashmir. Most of them are covered in pine wood and have colorful roofs. All hotels are outfitted with a so called “Bhukari”  which is a typical wood fired oven in the living room. It gives the room a very cozy and warm feeling if needed in summer. After a tasteful and traditional dinner with herbs, spices and meal combinations you’ll find nowhere else in this world you can enjoy for e.g. the markets in Gulmarg “downtown” and buy some souvenirs or just get some food if you like to.

The local bank offers currency exchange for you to change your foreign currency into Indian rupees. All hotels provide a Wi-Fi connection for their customers. At the markets in Gulmarg you’ll find a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for a decent price. Typically Kashmiri handicraft and pashmina shawls are also available in a huge variety at several stores.

The location.

The routing.

Impressions of the Basmai Trek – Kashmir Himalayas.

 

Good to know.

When is the best time for the Great Lakes Trek in Kashmir ?
The best time to do the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is from  July  – November. All thru those months you will get a clear view oft he entire mountain range.

How difficult is the Kashmir Great Lake trek ?
Kashmir great Lake trek is moderate and recommended to first timer also. Most of the days you will cross 10,000 ft – 12,000 ft passes.

What are the temperatures like during the trek ?
The higher we get, the colder it will be. So please make sure to have some very good cloth with you which keeps you warm in minus temperatures at night time. From July to August during the day time it will be around 25 – 30°C. Some nights go down to 1°C and in extreme cases it can be -4°C at night time.

How long do we walk each day ?
It varies each day. In an average we walk around 5 – 7 hours each day.

Who is included in the crew and who will be the leader ?
The trek is always led by one of our professional guides. The have a degree in mountaineering but more important a very good education in first aid training. We always take one riding pony along with us which can carry you in the worst case you have an injury. Of course our crew is joned by chefs as well as lots of other helpers and porters.

What´s the size of our trekking group?
Our aim is quality not quantity.  We want to make this an unforgettable trekking holiday for you. So as a maximum we take 10 people.  Therefore you will get a personalized atmosphere within the group thruout the whole trip. Also your guide can tell you a lot about Kashmir and the local area as they are all locals and grew up here. We need a minimum of 6 people to start the trip on our fixed dates.

How many trekkers will be in one tent?
Our tents are 3 men tents. But we put 2 poeple in one tent. Unless you have a different number, just let us know.

Can you arrange that someone will carry my gear?
Sure, that´s no problem at all. But please let us know well in advance so we can organize a porter/pony for your equipment.

What kind of shoes do you recommend for the trek?
Good trekking shoes are very important. So don´t save some money in this item. They should be waterproof and go well over your ankle. The sole should have a sufficient profile and the most important thing: wear them in before you come trekking with us.

What is the level of fitness required?
A high fitness level is of a big advantage. In general you should of course be sportish without any issues. But the most important thing: you should enjoy sport and the nature.

What kind of food will we have during the trek?
We will serve typically kashmiri food which will be prepared on an open fire. Depending on you food preference we can make it vegeterian or non vegetarian.

Where do we get the drinking water from during the trek?
We get our drinking water during our trek from the fresh water streams and safe to drink. However we can boil the same water if required. We also carry chlorine tabs with us – just in case.

What type of ground transportation is used on your tours?
The vehicles we are using is called Sumo or Tavera in which 6 people fit in comfortably. They are not airconditioned, but our summer temperatures are pleasant so there´s no need for it.

Will a doctor accompany us?
No. But your tour guides all have undergone a first aid course and are aware ot high altitude sickness. Apart from that we carry along a first aid kit which includes all important medicine. We also have one riding pony along with us in case of injury or any other requirement.

Shall I bring some medicine with me?

It´s always advisable to have some „standard“ medication like, aspirin, diclofenac or medicine against diarrhea. Also you should carry along some tape, wound plasters and plaster against blisters on your feet.

Travel information.

Our TRAVEL INFORMATION will provide you with all the necessary facts about how to get to Srinagar wehter if you come from overseas or somewhere within India.

Important essentials.

• a good and comfortable backpack for your belongings
• rubber grip, ankle high shoes which are water proof
• rain Coat and / or Umbrella.
• water bottle for refilling
• warm Jacket which is water proof
• sweater / warmer / pullover
• torch / headtorch
• cap
• trekking poles
• medicine like Paracetamol, etc.
• sun sreen
• camera
• passport / ID-Card

 

Contact us.

Within our company we will answer your questions personally and process your bookings by ourselfes. So it´s simple: you just write us an E-mail and tell us how many of you want to come and  which trek option you would like to choose. Please also mention the dates you are ready for your adventure. We are happy to tell you that we have contact partners in Kashmir and Germany. Don´t hesitate to call or contact us for your trekking adventure in the Kashmir Himalayas.

We are looking forward to welcome you soon in Kashmir.

Book the trek

The package – overview.

Our prices.

 

• pick up / drop off at Srinagar airport
• all transports
• hotel in Sonamarg – and Gulmarg if option chosen –
• all camping gear
• all porters incl. ponies to carry the gear
• all meals veg. + non veg.
• last night on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Srinagar
• logfire at our night camp
• trekking permits
• experienced, fluent in english and funny trekking guides
– all locals of Kashmir –
• small groups – max. 10 trekkers per guide –
• extra riding pony in case of injury
• a wonderful trekking holiday at a special place on earth

• domestic or international air tickets
• Visa fees – FYI if you are a non indian resident you need
to apply for a Visa –
• tips
• drinks

TREK OPTIONS

from - to
  • includes Gulmarg
  • per person

9 days

Sat - Sun
  • no
  • only 759* USD / 49,999 INR

11 days

Sat - Tue
  • yes
  • only 955 USD* / 59,900 INR
 
*) USD depending on the daily exchange rate.

We kindly advise you that the payment must be the amount in Indian Rupees. Your booking is confirmed when the complete funds are received and processed by Kashmir Heliski.