Can a Senior Citizen visit Valley of Flowers?
How should senior citizens manage their trip to Valley of Flowers?
Recently I have been called up by many senior citizens who are willing to go to Valley of Flowers. Generally they have maintained good health and doing some physical exercises daily. They asked me whether they can do this trip of not. The answer is yes. But there are some important things to be taken care of and I will discuss it in following paragraph.
First thing is they should get themselves check from a doctor as they need to trek almost 12-14 kilometers everyday for a minimum of 4 days (although ponies are available for 3 days except the day to Valley of Flowers). Valley of Flowers is at a height of 11000 feet approximately and Hemkund Sahib is at a height of 13500 feet. You should not have had altitude sickness in past.
Following paragraphs tells different ways to skip trekking during Valley of Flowers trip:
Use porters/ponies/helicopter from Govindghat to Ghangaria. From Govindghat to Ghangaria a Senior Citizen should not trek as he should conserve his energy for Valley of Flowers day. There are other options from Govindghat to Ghangaria like porters, ponies or helicopter. Porters can carry a person in a Doli or Palki (Palanquin). (Pic Palki). If a single porter carries as seen in the picture it cost approximately Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000. But if four porters are carraying the cost may be Rs. 6000 to Rs. 8000 for a day. A single pony costs Rs. 600 to Rs. 800 per day. Helicopter costs Rs. 3500 between Govindghat and Ghangaria one way. These prices are of 2012 you may add 10% for every year as inflation.
On the day to Valley of Flowers you do not have option of ponies or helicopter and you need to be dependent on porters. Porters will take only up to 3 kilometers inside the Valley of Flowers. Out of these 3 kilometers approximately 2 kilometers is a steep but beautiful ascent. Depending upon your strength you may trek or take a porter up to 3 kilometers and trek beyond 3 kilometers for about 2 kilometers. You porter may wait at 3 kilometer for you and bring you back to Ghangaria. You may also come back of your own by trekking as coming back will not be difficult being gradual decent.
On the day when you go to Hemkund Sahib you should take ponies or porters as this is very difficult trek. You may also skip to go to Hemkund Sahib as some of you may be tired after trekking to Valley of Flowers.
One of our Senior Citizen customers in 2012 has written a Valley of Flowers trek travelogue. You can read his experience with us. This is original unedited version of travelogue by Dr. Tapan Chakarborti (Check name spelling)