Arrive at Haridwar by the morning Shatabdi. Alternatively, you can fly in to the Jolly Grant Airport by 12 noon. Board waiting vehicles to be driven straight to Kuflon Basics in the Assi Ganga valley (7hrs). Breakfast enroute. Overnight at Kuflon.
After breakfast, we depart from Kuflon for a 4 hr drive to Gangotri. This small town is centered around the temple of the goddess Ganga, and the impressive falls of the Bhagirathi at Gauri Kund. Gangotri was built by the Nepalese General Amar Singh Thapain the early 18th century. The aarti ceremony at the Gangotri is a must-see. Overnight Guest House at Gangotri.
We leave after an early meal and walk on the trail leading to the lake of Kedartal. The trail goes through birch forests and is steep all the way to the small campsite at Bhoj Kharak (3780m). Back to Gangotri late afternoon. Overnight Guest House at Gangotri.
Have an early morning breakfast and set off on the true left of the Bhagirathi River. Walk for about half an hour before turning south towards the Rudragaira Nalla. Looking back we get beautiful views of Chirbas Parbat, Matri, Yogeshwar and the other snow capped mountains. The climb is a gradual uphill through the forests of birch and maple. Nalla Camp is just above the tree-line and can get chilly during the night.
The day starts off with a steep climb to a huge meadow followed by a river crossing and another steep climb right up to the Rudragaira Base Camp. After lunch at the grassy campsite we continue over the glacial moraine to the Gangotri I Base Camp.
A day to relax and acclimatise, read, relax, or take a short walk near camp, or try and spot some wildlife. Overnight at Gangotri I Base Camp.
We proceed towards the head of the valley with the Gangotri Range to the north and Jogin group to the south. Auden’s Col is at the head of the valley in the depression between the two massifs. We camp at the foot of the Col.
We leave very early today, to make the climb to the Col easier in the firmer morning snow. The climb is steep and can easily take 4-6 hrs depending on the snow conditions. Auden’s Col offers excellent views of the Khatling Glacier, and the mountain peaks of Jaonli, Kedarnath, Jogin & Gangotri. From the Col we abseil down near-vertical walls of ice on fixed ropes to the heavily crevassed Khatling Glacier.
Today is a very long day. This is one of the best days of the trek where we are surrounded by high mountains massifs, with small glaciers feeding the main trunk of the Khatlingglacier, as we descend towards the snout of the Khatling, negotiating crevasses along with way. We will be roped up initially for the overall safety of the group.
We descend through moraine to get to the snout of the Khatling Glacier, from the mouth of which emerges the Bhilangana river, a tributary of the Bhagirathi.We continue to camp on the true right of the river near a natural cave.
We have a rest / contingency day to allow for bad weather and to have some flexibility in the itinerary. Overnight at Camp.
We walk through dense mixed Himalayan Forests of oak, birch, deodar, fir & rhododendron. The gradient is gradual and this walk in the woods gives a great opportunity to commune with nature. People are allowed to enjoy the walk at their own pace and guides spread out a bit. Kharsoli has a beautiful campsite in a clearing next to a gushing stream. It’s hard to resist the temptation of jumping into the stream. We will find plenty of driftwood by the stream to enjoy a big campfire in the evening.
The walk continues through dense forest, shepherd hutments and the first signs of civilisation. Overnight at Camp / GMVN Guest House at Gangi.
During a long day’s walk, we slowly descend to pine forests and go past the village of Reeh to finish the trek at the roadhead, 4kms upstream of Ghuttu. The road has come quite close to the village of Reeh. Overnight at Camp / GMVN Guest House at Ghuttu.
Have a relaxed start, pack up, drive from Ghuttu to Haridwar and board the evening Shatabdi to be back in Delhi by 10:45 pm. Trip Ends!
All arrangements for staying and camping while on trip
Accommodation on twin sharing basis in Tents/Rest House/Hotel
All meals as mentioned in itinerary & safe drinking water
All group climbing gear (Ropes, Anchors, Slings, etc) And individual climbing gear – hired (Ice Axe, Crampons, etc)
All trekking arrangements with India’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff and cooks
Porterage upto 15kg/ person
peak fee/sanctuary fee/royalty/permits where applicable
Any transfers or meals outside of itinerary
Items of personal clothing
Expenses of any personal nature (laundry/phone calls/alcohol/cigarettes/insurance/camera fee/etc)
Any expense incurred due to force of nature such as landslides, bad weather or reasons beyond our control
Tips & gratuities (we recommend 5 - 10% of your trip cost - to be distributed among the team) – personal choice
We are one of India’s leading adventure tour operator, that specialises in Treks & River Rafting in the Indian Himalayas and beyond. Offering personalized itineraries and routes you’d be hard pressed to find a more experienced, fun loving, safety conscious tour operator in India.
We are the only Indian adventure outfitter to be on the 2008 & 2009 list of the world’s best adventure travel outfitters in the first Authoritative Rating of Adventure Tour Operators, selected and conducted in a global survey by National Geographic Society.
If you’ve dreamt of a particular journey or an adventure in India, let us know. We’ll make it happen. No matter how bizarre or wild or difficult. If you choose to travel with us all you have to worry about is having the time of your life.
We have been running trips and tours for the discerning traveller throughout the Indian Himalayas since 1995, yet the experience of our travel personnel dates well beyond that, to years of leading trips throughout the Indian Himalayan belt. We believe that an adventure travel outfit is only as good as its guides. Good equipment, food and guides is what makes an outdoor trip an experience to savour.
Trip Terms & Conditions
The tour price is payable 45 days prior to departure. Failure to pay by that date entitles Aquaterra Adventures to cancel your booking without notice and without refund of the deposit if deemed necessary. Prices may be quoted in Rupees / US dollars / Euros. For some special trips, the booking date may be up to 2 months before departure.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply to cancellation:
If cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 120; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
If cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip);
and If cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.
Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.
The tour price is quoted as a package.
No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used.
We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.
Health and Fitness Requirements
Commitment to Hygiene and Safety Protocol:
I commit to disclose my travel and quarantine history to Aquaterra Adventures, and decide to not travel should I have symptoms of infection related to Covid19 or other disease that may spread due to my participation, thereby endangering other people. I also commit to follow guidelines and protocols set up by Aquaterra Adventures, and overseen implementation by its guides, trip leaders on my journey. If I do not, I understand that I may be asked to do so or leave the trip/expedition/journey, to maintain our hygiene and safety protocol.
Participants must be in good health and reasonable physical condition. It is vital that participants with medical problems make them known to us well before departure. If you suffer from severe muscular, chest, heart or bronchial disorders, or if you are a severe asthmatic, or have high blood pressure, you are strongly advised against participating. Expeditions generally take place in remote areas where there is little or no access to normal medical services or hospital facilities for serious problems. Where necessary, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult and expensive. Medical and evacuation expenses will be the responsibility of the participant.
Our Tour Leaders take their responsibilities seriously and if a tour leader believes in his/her judgment that you should not participate in the trip, before your departure, even if you pass your medical, he/she may exclude you from the trip. In this circumstance, you will be offered the option of taking another trip considered suitable for you or a full refund. If during a trip the tour leader considers you should not participate further he/she may direct you not to continue and you must follow the tour leader’s instructions. In this case, you will not be entitled to any refund. Travel insurance may compensate you depending on the circumstances.
Route Changes/Postponement or Delay
Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. may for any reason change the date of departure or conclusion of the tour, or it is possible that a route change, postponement or delay (either in relation to departure or to the duration of the expedition) may become necessary due to inclement weather, snow and ice conditions, political restrictions, epidemics or pandemics or any other cause. In the event of a change, postponement or delay, participants have no right to refund of the tour price (in whole or in part) or other compensation for any injury, loss or damage. Package Prices Package prices are based on ground costs, airfares and exchange rates. Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. tries its utmost not to increase tour prices (in full or part), however sometimes increases are outside its control. We reserve the right to amend tour prices (or any part) without notice at any time before and including the departure date. Amendments may be necessitated for many reasons including, but not limited to, exchange rate fluctuations, increased fuel costs, airfares, airport charges etc. Any increase in tour prices must be paid prior to the departure date. Exclusions From Tour Price The following items are excluded from the tour price: visa, passport and vaccination charges; departure, airport and airline taxes; extra meals not included in the itinerary; laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, personal travel insurance and items of a personal nature; emergency evacuation charges; and tips and excess baggage charges. Refer to our trip notes for full details responsibility/liability.
If you book an Aquaterra Adventures trek or expedition and then wish to cancel, you will receive a full credit on your current payments for a future trip on the towards one of our already scheduled 2021 departures. You just need to let us know by 45 days before your trip so that we have the opportunity to re-sell spaces and give staff and guides time to plan. Also, if you can’t make a trip within the 45 day period because of travel restrictions that affect your ability to make the trip, we will give a full credit of payments towards a future trip.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
By my online signature/acknowledgement as set forth on the booking form I acknowledge and confirm the following:
I waive any and all claims I may now and in the future have against, and release from all liability and agree not to sue Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. and its officers, employees, guides, agents or representatives (collectively its staff) or the licensor for any personal injury, death, property damage, or loss sustained by me as a result of my participation in an adventure trip with them, due to any cause whatsoever, including without any limitation, negligence on the part of Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd., its staff and licensor.
I am aware that the adventure trip, in addition to the usual dangers and risks inherent, has certain additional dangers and risks, some of which may include: physical exertion for which I may not be prepared; weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected change; remoteness from normal medical services; evacuation difficulties if I am disabled. I accept all the inherent risks of the proposed adventure trip and the possibility of personal injury, death or property damage or loss resulting therefrom.
I acknowledge that the enjoyment and excitement of adventure travel is derived in part from the inherent risks incurred by travel and the activity beyond the accepted safety of life at home or work and that these inherent risks contribute to such enjoyment and excitement, being a reason for my participation.
I agree that if I suffer injury or illness Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd, can, at my cost, arrange medical treatment and emergency evacuation service, as they deem essential for my safety. In entering into this Agreement, I am not relying on any oral, written nor visual representations or statements by Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. or its staff or any other inducement or coercion to go on an adventure trip, hence, only of my own free will.
I confirm that I have read and understood the terms and conditions of the contract and this agreement prior to signing it and agree that this Agreement will be binding upon my heirs, next of kin, executors, administrators, and successors.
The Auden’s Col expedition is unarguably one of the most difficult and least-explored treks across the Garhwal Himalayas. So, if you wish to challenge your limits and embark on a difficult yet non-technical journey in the Himalayas, Auden’s Col Trek is the perfect one for you. The treacherous terrain consisting of massive boulders, endless glaciers and moraines, deep crevasses, narrow cliffs, and rugged mountain ridges will challenge trekkers with considerable high-altitude expedition experiences. But all these hardships will be meaningful once you reach the Auden’s Col pass and get the unearthly views of the Khatling Glacier and the surrounding mountain peaks of the Gangotri, Jogin, and Bhagirathi group. Camping amidst the wilderness and greenery of the Bhilangana valley is also worth a lifetime’s chance.
The most crucial consideration for Auden’s Col Trek is your experience and expertise in high-altitude mountain expeditions. To accomplish this level of difficulty, you should have enough understanding of such challenging expeditions.
Next in line comes your fitness level. The crossover trail through passes has a maximum altitude of 5490 meters, and the total distance is 95 kilometers. This difficult trek is also quite long, with a duration of 15 days. Every day, you need to cover at least 7 to 8 kilometers and gain a good amount of altitude - around 2500 meters within five days. To keep up with the terrain that is full of surprises at each step, you need to be immensely fit, both physically and mentally. Therefore, you should prepare ideally for this high-altitude expedition with a combination of distance and speed targets.
To increase your cardiovascular endurance for this trip, you should start with brisk jogging, skipping, running over undulating terrain, cycling, swimming, and gradually increase your stamina. Stair climbing for hours also helps build cardiovascular endurance, stamina, balance, and lower body strength. Try reaching a target of climbing three storeys with ten reps within 15 minutes by the 3rd week of the stair climbing regime. Before the start of the trek, you should be able to cover at least 10 kilometers within an hour or less on foot or cycle at the pace of 25 kilometers per hour. Strength training for your core and legs is critical since you will be doing all the hard work with backpacks. Thus, start with three sets of squats with eight squats per set and try reaching a target of 4 sets of squats with 20 squats per set within three weeks. Since it is crucial to arrive at the slopes with your muscles relaxed, you should work on your flexibility by stretching your shoulders, hamstrings, lower back muscles, quadriceps, hip flexors regularly.
But one of the essential criteria of training is the mental part, which most people miss out on. Since the Auden’s Col expedition is a high-altitude one with a tremendously challenging terrain full of hazards at each step, there could be unexpected problems springing up every now and then. Also, there is the possibility of AMS. Thus, your mental resolve should be rock-solid. One good way of keeping yourself motivated in the time of difficulty is thinking about the accomplishments that lie ahead. Regular meditation and restorative practices like yoga help with both physical and psychological conditioning.
Your gear guide and packing list are also essential for the Auden’s Col Trek. The bare necessities are a pair of high-quality and sturdy hiking boots with good grip as there will be a lot of loose soil, moraines, rocks, and boulders on your path. Good quality and robust walking sticks or poles and a 50-60 liter backpack with a strong frame, comfortable straps, and rain cover come next in the list of essential equipment.
You should have four layers of warm clothes consisting of thermal inner, full-sleeve, quick-dry t-shirts, two light fleece jackets, and one heavy, padded shell jacket. Carry extra pairs of quick-dry hiking pants and full-sleeve, quick-dry t-shirts for the trek. Since the climatic conditions in these high altitudes are prone to change drastically, carry a waterproof poncho. Your mandatory pieces of accessory should include sunglasses, suncap, synthetic, water-resistant fleece or woolen hand gloves, extra pairs of socks, balaclava, headlamps, torches, etc., apart from the trekking poles and backpacks.
Carry water bottles to avoid littering the Himalayas with disposable plastic. You can refill these at suitable places. Women should bring back the sanitary wastes like sanitary napkins in ziplock pouches to the plains or use menstrual cups instead. Amongst the other essential toiletries, you should carry lip balm, sunscreen, moisturizers, hand sanitizers, extra toilet papers and wet wipes, light and quick-dry towels, toothpaste and toothbrush, etc. Carry a personal medical kit as well as a first-aid box.
The best time to visit Auden’s Col is during the pre-monsoon/summers between May and June and post-monsoon/autumn between September and October. The latter has more reliable weather conditions and clear skies for good views. One of the most critical trip considerations is the Auden’s Col Trek cost. It is a very expensive trek, even if you travel with the most cost-effective tour operator or travel agency. Thus, you need to plan your finances in advance if you want to embark on Auden’s Col Trek.