A challenging pass-crossing from Har Ki Dun Valley to Yamunotri
Duration: 8 days
Highest Altitude: 4850m
Grade: Moderat ( learn more )
Best Time: May, Jun, Sep, Oct
Train: Meadows, forest , snow field, rocky
Starts At: Sankri
Ends At: Hanuman Chatti
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehraoon, Uttrakhand
Nearest Rail Head: Dehraoon, Uttrakhand
Mobile Network: BSNL
Bali pass was an old trekking route from the Tons river valley to the Yamuna river valley. It continues to attract trekkers during the monsoon season when the snow melts and the pass is approachable from both sides.The pass is more approachable from the Har-ki-Dun valley as the gradient is small and gives good time for the trekkers to acclimatize to the altitude. The trek starts from Sankri and passes through the Govind National Park, which is famous for its wild flowers. It also gives one an opportunity to visit the sacred lake at Ruinsara on the way and to explore the less travelled path over Yamunotri pass to Yamunotri temple.
The meadows near the lake are an ideal place to rest and explore the nearby peaks and passes. Another highlight of this trek is that it gives one the experience of camping above 4,000 m. The area is surrounded by Banderpoonch range and some of the famous peaks are Kalanag, Banderpoonch West and Ruinsara. This region was made popular by Jack Gibson, a teacher at the Doon school in the late 1940s. The surrounding peaks and glaciers in the Swargarohini Range and Banderpoonch range are a mountaineer's delight.
Bali Pass is a breathtaking high altitude pass at 5000 mts offering amphitheater views of Kala Nag, Banderpoonch & Swargarohini peaks. The trek to Bali Pass offer mesmerizing Himalayan views that takes one through verdant meadows, lush green valleys, isolated and peculiar Jaunsari hamlets and deserted terrains to reach Bali Pass.
Wooden architecture of Jaunsar villages, surreal Ruinsara Lake and a visit to Yamunotri Temple makes Bali Pass a must do high altitude trek.
Why Bali Pass?
- A high altitude pass meant for all the trekkers who want to upgrade to expeditions.
- Variation in scenery considering the fact that it starts in Sankri & ends at Janki Chatti.
- A visit to Yamunotri Temple, source of Yamuna River.
- Jaunsar Villages are a beautiful mystery.
- Gets you up, close & personal with lofty Kala Nag, Banderpooch & Swargarohini Peaks.
Region: Bali Pass located in Uttarkashi district and comes under Govind Ballabh Pant Wildlife Sanctuary.
Season: Bali Pass can be approached from Mid May to June End and early September to October Mid. The weather will be unpredictable during monsoon season and during winters the region will be exposed to heaps of snow.
The alpine meadows of Devsu Thach in middle of the Ruinsara Forest are a grand surprise of the trek.
The trail from Devsu Thach to Ruinsara Lake, meandering next to the Ruinsara River
The Ruinsara Lake is a special glacial lake
The challenging approach to Bali Pass
What is included in the tour
- Transport: Dehradun to Dehradun.
- Meals while on trek (Veg. + Egg).
- All necessary entry fees and permits.
- Accommodation:- Guest house, Home stay, camping during Trek.
- Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide, cook and Support staff.
- First aid medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder.
- Trek equipments: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin sharing), kitchen & dinning tent, toilet tent, utensils and crampon (if required).
- Porters/mules to carry central equipment.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Any kind of personal expenses.
- Food during the transit.
- Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
- Any kind of emergency evacuation charges
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.
- Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri ( 8 h drive )
- Day 2: Sankri (1,920 m) to Seema (5 -6hrs)
- DYay 3: Seema (2,560 m) to Roiltia or Waterfall camp ( 6-7 hrs)
- Day 4: Roiltia to Ruinsara lake (2-3 hrs)
- Day 5: hold Day (rest )Ruinsara lake
- Day 6: Ruinsara lake (3,600 m)to Odari( 4-5hrs)
- Day 7: Odari (4,100 m) to upper Dhamni via Bali pass (4,900 m) (7-8 hrs)
- Day 8: Upper Dhamni (4,000 m) to Yamunotri to Janki Chatti (7-8 hrs)
- Day 9: Janki Chatti to Dehradun( 6- 7hrs)
Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
- Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
- Anti fungal powder
How to prepare for the Bali Pass trek
Bali Pass is a Difficult trek. Every day, you cover around 7-8 km on an average and gain a good amount of altitude. Over 5 days, you climb from 5,100 ft to a highest point of 16,207 ft. You gain 10,000 ft over five days of trekking. If you want to do this trek comfortably and enjoy all the surprises it offers, you will need to prepare well.
Cardiovascular endurance – Target 10 km in 70 minutes before the start of the trek
The Bali Pass trek requires a good amount of endurance and stamina. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.
In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
–>Target completing 5 km in 30 minutes when you begin.
–> Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in less than 30 mins.
–>If you are above 45 years and is comfortable with brisk walking, then target covering 10km in 75 minutes.
If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 25 km in 60 minutes.
How to send us a proof of your fitness routine?
Record your run on an app like Nike Run or Strava. Start recording your run when you start running. At the end of your run, hit the stop button.
Take a screenshot of the summary of your run. We will need a detailed split of each kilometre of your run. This is usually integrated in all running apps.
Note: Make sure your GPS is on when you record your run. If the GPS is off, we will not accept the screenshot.
Upload two screenshots 10 days prior to the start of the trek — one of you covering 5km in less than 30 mins along with your picture and the other with splits of your run.
Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each
This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover in high altitude carrying your backpacks. You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
1. Trekking shoes: The Bali Pass trek has different kinds of terrain. A majority of the trail is alpine, with rocks, loose soil and boulders. So its imperative that you have a good pair of trekking shoes. So ensure you wear a good pair of shoes.
2. Backpack (30-40 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. But enough to keep you warm.
1. Four warm layers: The highest altitude you reach in this trek is 16,207 ft and the climate may require you to have more warm clothes. You will need at least three warm layers (two light layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek. In non winter months, two warm layers should suffice.
2. Two trek pants: Two pairs of pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry an extra pair just in case it rains. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry two. Let one of these be a dry fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day.
4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.
1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow closer to the lake, so carry a pair of sunglasses.
2. Suncap: The sun is more hard at high altitudes, which is why a sun cap is mandatory.
3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woollen hand gloves which is water resistant.
4. Balaclava or a woollen cap
5. Socks (3 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
- Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery:Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
- Two water bottles: 1 liter each.
- Plastic covers: While packing, use Ziploc covers to compartmentalization of things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes. You also need ziploc packets to keep soiled sanitary napkins if you use them on the trek.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 1 Strip
- Dexamethasone – 1 strip
- Crocin – 10 tablets
- Avomine (optional, in case of motion sickness)- 1 Strip
- Combiflam- Half Strip
- Muscle relaxant – Half Strip
- Digene – Half Strip
- Avil – 1 strip
- ORS – 6 packs
- Knee Cap (If you are prone to knee injury)
Please carry the below documents. The Disclaimer certificate needs to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.) – It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek. Since Sankri will have limited facilities to photocopy, do not leave this till the end.