So we spent the second night at Sunil’s family home, from which we could look straight across the valley (and down a bit) at our place, three beeline kms away, but we had to descend from around 2600 m down to cross the Chugounti river at 1720 m then back up to the farm at 2000 m. The whole circuit, according to Google, is roughly 50 kms, although I have to say it seemed a lot more. The highest point is Hatu at 3400 m.
The route is quite varied – some patches of tarmac road, some good former bridleway, some extremely rough track only kept open by animals.
From Sunil’s place we headed off straight down the mountain through steeply terraced orchards, but a quarter of the way down were dissuaded by some locals who said it soon went straight down a cliff, difficult to follow and even they found it dangerous. So we doubled back a bit to drop down into Ramnagar at the bottom of the nullah, and followed that river down to Kaltunullah, where you can have a decent lunch for 50 rupees at Silky’s dhaba, as we did last March, 2017. We then dropped down even further through orchards on ‘paths’ 6 inches wide to the Chugounti, across the metal footbridge and back up the hillside on the other side – most of which is along a newly dug jeepable track, although it’s presently impassable on account of the cloudburst and consequent multiple landslides of a couple of weeks ago.
I would have to go along with a couple of pots of blue and white paint to mark the trail very clearly for others to follow. Bits are very steep, and some paths very narrow, but no doubt could be done by tough trail runners and/or mountain bikers, who relish such hardships. Even then, there are a few bits where mountain bikers would probably have to get off and push/carry. Camping equipment could be taken round by jeep/taxi. I’d have to lengthen it a bit to find more user-friendly tracks here and there, especially through the orchards.