KOLAHOI GLACIER TREK 3840 m (12600 ft)
“Goddess of Light”
Kolahoi glacier is situated at an elevation of 4700 m (15500 ft) and lies in the northwestern Himalayan range. The glacier is of high importance as it is the main source of 2 rivers Lidder and Jhelum. It is one of the most famous treks in Pahelgam area and that is the reason why the glacier now has become very weak and it is quite dangerous to walk on as compared to before (all credits goes to climate change and unsustainable tourism).
The trek starts from Aru, situated 112 kms from Srinagar. The total trek is approximately 40 kms and trek’s difficulty level is moderate.
DAY 1: Pahelgam to Aru (12 Kms, 1 hour)
The clients will be picked up from Srinagar in a cab and the same cab would take you to Aru valley. We shall be spending the night in Aru valley, which is the famous base camp for 2 treks i.e. Tarsar and Marsar; and Kolahoi Glacier. The Aru Biosphere Reserve is a famous destination for horseback riding and heliskiing in the winters. The last point where you would be getting any network would be Pahelgam. Our camp site would be right next to the mighty Lidder river in the Aru.
DAY 2: Aru to Lidderwat (9-10 Kms, 6-7 hours)
This day we would encounter 9-10 kms of meandering trails of moderate incline through the thick conifer forest. After a 30-40 minutes hike we would be having a panoramic view of the entire Aru valley. We would encounter a lot of people from the Shepard aka “Gujjar” community especially in the spring and summer season. As soon as the thicket of Fir trees becomes a distant image, we will be entering a grassland meadow where there would be a lot of settlements of “Gujjars”. After a steep ascent of 2-3 kms we reach a makeshift log bridge to cross the valley stream. The camp site at Lidderwat is still an hour’s hike from this point. The camp site is situated in densely populated Fir tree and right next to the river which becomes a lullaby at night.
DAY 3: Lidderwat to Dudhsar (8 Kms, 5-6 hours)
We need to cross the Dudhsar valley stream to reach on the trail to Dudhsar Lake, which would be our campsite for the night. “Dudh” in Kashmiri means “Milk” and literally the color of this valley stream is white in color and it is gushing right besides you while trekking up to the Dudhsar Lake. On the way we will reach a place called “Satlunjun”, which in Kashmiri language means seven tributaries. The stream from Rohil breaks into seven tributaries in a long stretch of flat land. We will also come across a small yet picturesque waterfall before our short ascent to Dudhsar Lake.
DAY 4: Dudhsar to Kolahoi Glacier and back to Satlunjun (7 Kms, 5-6 hours)
From Dudsar, it is only 2 Kms to Kolahoi Glacier View point which is actually a crevasse. The glacier has become weak and hollowed up from inside over the years due to Climate Change. So, unluckily this is the last point till we can go. Please don’t let this dishearten you as there is plenty to see and experience along the way. From the viewpoint we descend again to Satlunjun which would be our camping site.
DAY 5: Satlunjun to Aru (14 Kms, 6-7 hours)
This would indeed be the longest day on our trek but a relatively easier day. We would be coming across a lot of mountain streams, dense forests and grasslands. We would be losing an altitude of approximately 3000 ft in one single day.