One of the most accessible glaciers in the Kumaon region, the Pindari Glacier stretches more than 3km in length and almost 500m in width. Passing through pristine high mountain country and a host of tiny Himalayan villages, the trail follows the Pindar River to its source, offering views along the way of the region’s giants, among them Nanda Kot (6861m), Panwali Dwar (6663m) and Maiktoli (6803m).
Beginning and ending in Song (1600m), the trail covers about 90km roundtrip and takes six days to complete, crossing over the Dhakuri Pass (2680m) and beyond the final settlement of Khati to reach Zero Point at the edge of the Pindari Glacier (3660m).
The whole route can be done teahouse style, as basic government lodges dot the trail. Camping equipment and sleeping bags are highly recommended. Near the glacier itself, you can stay with Swami Dharmanand or Babaji, whose NGO, Himalayan Villages Education And Development Program (Whimved.org), pays the salaries of teachers at local schools threatened with closure. Guides and porters are easily arranged in Song, connected to Bageshwar by jeeps (1hr 30min) and buses (2hr). The Pindari Glacier has also caught the attention of mountain-bikers: two-wheel tours are run by Mountain Bike Kerala in April and October.