The Kedartal Trek best time lies around the pre-monsoon/summers and the post-monsoons/autumns. The summer season stretches from mid-May to mid-June and offers snowy trails, a frozen Kedartal Lake, and occasional bursts of bad weather. On the other hand, the post-monsoon/autumn season has the most danger-loving trekkers and seasoned hikers embarking on this journey because of several superb offerings. These include the reflection of Mt. Thalay Sagar on the quiet waters of the Kedartal, excellent mountain views amidst clear blue skies and pleasant weather, and a rare chance to witness Bharal.
It is a one-way trail type, starting and ending at the pilgrim town of Gangotri, with the 50-kilometer trekking distance taking you to a maximum elevation of 4750 meters at the Kedartal across a span of 7 days. You need to hike for four days and have at least one day for high-altitude acclimatization. While you are hiking the trail, the only place to stay is in campsites. Traveling with a reputed tour guide or operator will ensure that your Kedartal Trek cost includes accommodation and meals.
Amongst the list of essentials that you need to carry on the Kedartal Trek, a pair of sturdy, well-made hiking boots with defined ankles and good grip is the most important. You will encounter a steep hike across the rock face of the Bhoj Kharak, and your shoes should be made to endure all that strain. A 50-60-liter backpack, warm clothes including a couple of full-sleeved quick-dry shirts, three insulation layers- 2 light fleece layers and one light, full-sleeve sweater, an outer, regular padded/shell jacket on the outside keeps the wind out, raincoats/ponchos, windcheaters and a pair of quality hiking pants made from the same quick-dry, waterproof material as your full-sleeved shirts should comprise your packing list.
Carry other essentials, including a pair of sunglasses for UV protection, suncap, balaclava, synthetic and woolen hand gloves, a few pairs of underwear, extra pairs of socks, and a sports bra (for women), rain cover for the backpack, a smaller daypack for offloading, etc.
Right from day one, the Kedartal Trek consists of rocky paths, boulders, steep ascents, and descents, and these continue for 3 to 4 days. There is a thin ledge on a 60-degrees rock face, and the trek’s difficulty keeps on increasing. Hence, carrying a pair of well-made trekking poles is essential. Apart from these, take basic toiletries consisting of biodegradable soaps, excess toilet paper rolls, moisturizers, lip balms, etc., along with medicines and first-aid kits. It would be best to carry water bottles and hydration packs to avoid polluting the Greater Himalayas with disposable plastic. Pack for all eventualities, yet keep your luggage lightweight.
There are several tour operators and acclaimed travel agencies offering the Kedartal trek package. But all of them insist that this is not a trek for the faint-hearted. Only seasoned campaigners who have done several high-altitude adventures and Himalayan expeditions can participate in this trek. Therefore, the trek demands you to stay in maximum physical and mental fitness. You can keep increasing your physical fitness through cardiovascular endurance exercises like swimming, jogging, staircase jumping, light running sessions along with custom indoor fitness routines, irregular-terrain climbing, etc. You should also do strength and conditioning exercises to stay at the peak of your fitness levels.