Why Ruinsara Tal Is Not A Part Of Our Har Ki Dun Itinerary Anymore?
Har Ki Dun is one of the oldest trekking routes in the Himalayas and gives you glimpses of beautiful snow-capped mountains, forests, meadows, grasslands, streams, and alpine lakes. Har Ki Dun has always been a popular summer trek owing to its inherent beauty and ancient heritage, it organically gathers a lot of attention.
Nowadays, a lot of organizations are adding Ruinsara Taal to the itinerary and we too, get many queries from our trekkers about why we haven’t included Ruinsara Lake in the trek yet. To answer these queries, we would like to talk about a few facts that are often overlooked when adding Ruinsara Tal to the itinerary of Har Ki Dun Trek.
1. Including Ruinsara Lake Makes It A Difficult Grade Trek
Understanding A Moderate Level Trek
Let us begin by understanding what a moderate-level trek is. The trek duration of a moderate level trek is 5-7 days and the maximum trek distance is about 30-40 km, staying at higher camps is avoided as a measure of AMS prevention. In such treks, mostly the higher altitude is reached only as you touch the summit and then return immediately. So, to surmise, a moderate level trek is such that an average fit person can do it easily.
How Ruinsara Tal Makes It Difficult
- When Ruinsara lake is included in the itinerary, the trail changes drastically from moderate to difficult grade. extremely steep, risky, or filled with huge boulders, etc. The trek duration increases from 7 days to 9 days and the distance increases from 40 km to 65 km. Additionally, the hike to Ruinsara Taal and return to the next campsite is the longest of 14 km in a day. It takes only 2-3 hours to climb up to the lake but the way back to the next campsite is longer, even though it is a descent. It takes a total of around 6-7 hours for an average person to complete this distance due to the rocky terrain.
- A delay or slowness on the part of trekkers will only increase the time and the person may reach the campsite as late as in the evening. Keep in mind that the weather is not always predictable and it rains sometimes in summer, this adds to the difficulty of the trek. Two days prior and the next day after Ruinsara Tal also involves walking 10 km, which means 4 days of continuous hiking of more than 10 kms at a high altitude, the perfect ground to invite AMS.
- Increasing the trek duration to 9 days that involves 7 hours of walking almost daily and camping at high altitude makes it a difficult grade trek much like Goechala Or Pin Parvati treks which are two of the most difficult treks of hiking 10 days in challenging terrains. For beginners, kids, or family trekkers it would be very tedious and they will find it difficult to complete the trek instead of enjoying it. There is no point in adding Ruinsara Tal if it is only going to increase the trek difficulty and the fitness level of an average person does not allow it. Har ki Dun being a moderate level trek, is enjoyable for both beginners and seasoned trekkers. We feel, by adding Ruinsara Tal to the itinerary will only take away the chance of exploring the stunning Har Ki Dun valley away from beginners and moderately fit trekkers.
2. Too Much Effort Too Little Enjoyment
Even if we were to include Ruinsara Tal, changing the grading to a more difficult trek, is not worth it. Unlike many lake treks, it is not possible to camp here near the lake. Also, the lake isn’t astonishingly beautiful; 30 to 60 minutes of sightseeing would make up for a 14 km hike. Had it been possible to stay and admire the tranquility at sunrise, sunset, or at night, it would have been totally worth it. So, even if Ruinsara Tal is added, the experience would be like ‘Wow! here it is’ and ‘Oh no, here we go’, which is not worth the effort.
A Better Alternative
And if you think you are extremely fit and you really want to go for Ruinsara Tal, opt for a trek that has Ruinsara Tal in it.
We have a trek that follows almost the same itinerary as Har Ki Dun and provides the exhilarating experience that the adventure lovers want. It is the Bali Pass trek. As you might have heard, Bali Pass Trek is a tough one. This is the ideal trek for Ruinsara Tal seekers, who wish to experience the adrenaline-filled thrills of a challenging trek. The Bali Pass trek route is the one for you.
3. Extreme Exhaustion
Ruinsara Tal comes a day after you cross Har ki Dun. Har Ki Dun is perched at an elevation of 11,700 ft and Ruinsara Lake is also at an elevation of 11,811 ft. This means, 3 days of hiking at a high altitude, which will lead to increased exhaustion of your body. Not to forget that you have to trek 14km on the day of visiting Ruinsara Tal.
For a moderate trek, this is overuse of your strength. “I have seen many trekkers getting really tired by the time they reach Ruinsara Tal and many even quit before that. “If one is to do Ruinsara Tal then Har Ki Dun must be skipped, especially if you are a less experienced or an averagely fit person,” says Nitin, our Senior Trek Leader.
Sandeep Rawat (Operation head at Trek The Himalayas) says, “Making changes in the itinerary just for the sake of it when it may affect other trekkers is never a good idea. We always try to make the treks enjoyable for everyone. Also, when we have an alternative trek for Ruinsara Tal, adding it to another trek will be repetitive and we like to keep every trek extraordinary.”
So, choose your trek wisely.