Pangarchulla is a 4575 m high rocky hump enclosed from north-west,north and north-east by river gorges of Alakananda , Dhouli ganga and Rishi ganga, respectively. Although the trekking peak is merely one of thousands of Himalayan small peaks, it demands special mention and attention. Why ? Cause, not only the summit of Pangarchulla , but the whole Pangarchulla trail offers views of an astonishing array of mountain peaks. All these peaks are massive in scale, enigmatic in reputation , most of them are mountaineer’s subject of pursuit.
Before I take you to a visual tour of the Pangarchulla horizon, let us know exactly how the trek commands such views which 90 per cent of other treks can not. Due to its topographic position. As I already mentioned , north-west, north and north-east of Pangarchulla are deep wide river gorges. Beyond the distant river gorges rise the highest mountains from all three sides. With nothing standing in-between , mountains behind Mandakini valley (to extreme west), around Gangotri glacier (to north west), beyond Gangotri (north west), beyond Badri nath (north) , from circle of Nandadevi Sanctuary (to the east) , all can be seen.
Let us start from the extreme east , which is reasonable , as the trek generally starts from Auli , goes through Gorson bugiyal which offers east view. To the east-south-east we can see the Ronti spires, Bethartoli himal, Trishul (partially). Gorson offers grand west face of Nandadevi to witness behind the treacherous Rishi ganga gorge. Towards the north-east, from Gorson we can see mighty Dunagiri , flanked by faraway giants like Trishuli, Hardeol , Chang bang (partial view) and Kalanka (partial view). All these peaks mentioned , that are seen from Gorson, are part of Nandadevi inner sanctuary’s ring of mountains.
After Gorson, your next camp could be at Khulara. From here , peaks behind valley of flowers (Ghori, Hati) , peaks to the north-east of Badrinath (Kamet, Mukut, Mana, Deoban, Nilgiri etc) are visible.
From Khulara , it generally takes two more days to reach the top of Pangarchulla. The summit push is exhilarating and moderately challenging, but we are talking the view today, we’ll stick to it. As you get to the top of Pangarchulla, You can see peaks like Kedarnath, Kharchakund, Chaukhamba , Parvati parbat to the west; Nilkantha, Arwa tower , Avalanch peak to north; Sawaswati , Kamet , Mana, Mandir , Deoban, Rataban , Nilgiri , Ghori , Hati to the north-north-east. Dunagiri to north-east can also be seen.
Some of the other epic and priceless views from the trail –