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Audens Col Trek

Uttarakhand,Uttarakhand
(298+ Reviews)

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Overview

Auden’s Col is the holy grail of trekking in the Western Himalayas - hailed by many as being more difficult than Kalindi Khal, which is one of the most dangerous treks in India. As a mountain pass hanging at the impressive altitude of 5,490M, this impossibly high, glaciated pass between the ginormous Gangotri and Jogin massifs is the climax of a long, treacherous journey between the pilgrimage towns of Gangotri and Kedarnath.

Starting from the high mountain town of Gangotri, which is possibly one of the best trailheads in the country, the trek takes you high in the Garhwal Himalayas in the massive Gangotri glacial region. The mighty Bhagirathi flows loud and proud, from its glacial source at the foot of Chaukhamba, down through vast meadows and dense deodar forests. Auden’s Col is by no means a monotonous landscape. You climb through dense birch and oak forests on the first day, onto vast, unending meadows with panoramic views of the Gangotri and Jogin

Trek Info

Trail Type : A crossover trail through passes

Rail Head : Dehradun Railway Station

Airport :Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun

Base Camp :Gangotri

Best Season :Summer Treks (Mid April - June)

Service From :Gangotri to Gaurikund

Meals :Veg

Stay :Hotel/ Guesthouse/ Camping

Region :Uttarakhand

Duration :15 Days

Grade :Difficult

Maximum Altitude :18000 Ft

Approx Trekking KM :95 Km

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Itinerary

(Uttarakhand To Uttarakhand)
1
Day :1 Make your way to Gangotri (3,415M)
    The trek begins from Gangotri which is a mountain city on the banks of River Bhagirathi and is known to be the origin of the holy River Ganga. Located in the Greater Himalayan Range, legend says that this is where Goddess Ganga descended when Lord Shiva released the river from the locks of his hair. This holy city which lies at an altitude of 3,415M is a 245 km drive away from Dehradun – the closest city with an airport. If you have signed up with Himalayan Daredevils for a drive from Dehradun to Gangotri, the day starts early. Everyone assembles at the meeting point by 7 in the morning so we can start our long drive up to Gangotri, a holy mountain city in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Although there’s nothing more on the agenda for today other than the 8-9 hour drive, it is better to leave as early as possible for two reasons: One, so we can reach as early as possible and give our bodies enough rest for what’s coming the next day. And, two, roads on the mountains are unpredictable and it is always better to account for delays when we start. It is also better to reach before it gets dark.
2
Day :2 Rest and acclimatization at Gangotri (3,415M)
    Day two is reserved for rest and for acclimatization to the altitude. This is important to allow your body to adapt to its new environment and reduce chances of adverse health conditions. You can go around and explore the market, delve into the colors and culture of this high-mountain town and visit some places nearby. A little movement around the city would be good for acclimatization. Also, use this time to go through your checklist and do some last-minute shopping for what you might be missing for the trek. While the body acclimatizes, we take this time to get together with the group for a debriefing session where we get to know each other better and delve into the happenings of the next few days - schedule, what to expect, basic do's and don'ts in the mountains, how to maintain the sanctity of the environment and other such matters of importance. We also go for a short acclimatization walk in the evening to adapt to this new environment better.
3
Day :3 Gangotri (3,415M) to Nala Camp (3,760M)
    Altitude: 10,240 ft – 11,990 ft Distance: 6 km The trek will take approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. The trek from Gangotri to Nala Camp includes a walk to the Rudugaira valley, which is surrounded by pine trees. The trail also takes you past the remnant of the Rudugaira Glacier. You will be able to admire the awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains, including the Gangotri group of peaks. During this hike, you will experience the awe-inspiring beauty of nature and the Himalayan landscape. It’s a beautiful walk through the woods with a view of the Himalayas. The trip to Nala Camp involves an overnight stay at a camp near the Rudragaira River.
4
Day :4 Nala Camp (3,760M) to Gangotri Base Camp (4,500M)
    Distance: 7 km On the agenda today is a 740M altitude gain across a short distance of 7 kms. Needless to say, the ascent up to Gangotri Base camp will be steep and grueling. Going further ahead from the Nala Camp, the trail climbs to the upper grazing grounds which, if you are lucky, will offer up countless herds of Bharal (Himalayan Mountain Goats) sprinting around these high mountain lands. After crossing a few streams, we begin our climb up a steep spur which will take us straight to Rudugaira Base Camp which is surrounded by famous peaks such as Gangotri I, II, III and Jogin III. From here we continue on towards Gangotri base camp which is approximately 4 kms from our campsite. A short while into our trek, we get our first glimpse of Auden’s Col. The view is absolutely spectacular. Covered in white, the col appears benign as it straddles a precarious ridge from the mighty Jogin I on the east and an equally formidable ridge running from the Gangotri III peak on the North West. We pitch our tents at Gangotri Base Camp (4,500M) which is going to be our home for two nights.
5
Day :5 Rest and Acclimatization at Gangotri Base Camp (4,500M)
    Today is reserved for acclimatization to the altitude since we gained quite a bit of height in the last two days and have also entered a much different terrain. After a late breakfast we go for an acclimatization walk. On climbing just a few hundred meters from the campsite, we get our first view of Auden's Col which is inspiring to say the least. We end the day early so as to get optimum rest.
6
Day :6 Gangotri Base Camp (4,500M) to Auden's Col Base Camp (4,720M)
    Altitude: 15,300 ft – 16,090 ft Distance: 5 km Time: 4 hours The next day’s adventure is a six-hour hike to the Auden’s Col Base Camp, which is located at the base of the Auden’s Col. It will take approximately eight hours to traverse the high altitude moraine, cross the Jogin group, and descend to Auden’s Col Base Camp. If you’ve done any kind of mountaineering before, you can consider completing this challenging expedition. The trek from Gangotri to Auden’s Col begins at base camp and ascends to Auden’s Col. The ridge is steep, and difficult, with many rocky climbs and deep valleys. The route also passes through dense Moraine landscapes, which make this a difficult trek, but rewarding. This is one of the more challenging routes in the Garhwal Himalayan region. After a six-hour hike to Auden’s Col Base Camp, you’ll cross the Jogin group and the Gangotri Range. From there, you’ll arrive at the base camp at the foot of Auden’s Coll. The next day, you’ll continue hiking to this ridge, and it’s worth it. The trail is not easy, but the views are spectacular.
7
Day :7 Auden’s Col Base Camp- Auden’s Col- Khatling Glacier Camp
    Altitude: 16,000 ft – 18,030 ft – 16,800 ft Distance: 5 km Time: 10-12 hours Today is THE day. We will be crossing the formidable yet spectacular Auden’s Col which lies at the confluence of four huge massifs: Jogin I and Gangotri III flanking us on either side with the Jogin glacier behind us and Khatling lying in front of us. Expect this to be a tiring day. We continue on the moraine-ridden terrain until we reach the glacier. After a short while on the glacier, we hit a patch of ascent with a gradient between 30-50 degrees which will need to be navigated with caution. We rope up for this steep patch, which spans close to 1.5 kms, for utmost safety. The climb up to the col should take close to 3 hours. However, the climb up is not the main challenge for today. The descent from the col is tricky and requires navigating a steep and narrow gully inclined at an angle of 70-75 degrees. Once this gully is crossed, however, the glacier flattens out – the broadened valley giving way to views of massive icefalls, glaciers and formidable peaks in the region. A short walk down the glacier brings us to our camp for the night.
8
Day :8 Khatling Glacier Camp (5,000M) to Zero Point (3,870M)
    Altitude: 16,800 ft – 12,700 ft1 Distance: 9 km1 Duration 8-9 hours1 To trek to the Zero Point, you must first ascend the mighty Khatling Glacier. This is the longest glacier trek in the world. You will start your journey at the terminal moraine, which is covered with snow. Continue on your way to the Khatling Glacier Camp, which is situated at the end of the steep descent. Then, continue to descend towards the flat land below the moraine. On the ascent, you will follow the icy Auden Col glacier with an inclination of 30 degree – 50A degree. It will take you about 30 minutes to reach Khatling Glacier Camp. At this point, you will have to rappel for 300 meters, which is challenging, but worth it for the spectacular views. To get to Zero Point, you will have to climb up steep slopes. The trek is not strenuous, but it can be long. For instance, if you’re in good shape, it is best to start at an advance base camp. This trail has many crevasses and is 30 degree steep. For this reason, the climb should only be done by experienced guides. You can expect the hike to take between three and five hours, depending on your physical condition and backpack load. During the trek, you can enjoy the breathtaking views from the summit of Zero Point.
9
Day :9 Rest Day at Zero Point (3,870M)
    Since the last couple of days have been extremely taxing, we rest at Zero Point today.
10
Day :10 Zero Point (3,870M) to Chowki (3,580M)
    Distance: 7 km Today we will be leaving the land of snow and making own way to the warmer reaches of the valley. After 3 kms of continuing our walk along the river, we reach the meadows. Chowki, our grassy campsite after spending days in rocks and snow, is a 4 km walk from here.
11
Day :11 Chowki (3,580M) to Masar Tal (4,135M)
    Distance: 8 km We will be making our way to one of the most isolated lakes in the Garhwal region, Masar Tal, today. Stationed at an altitude of 4,135M, this pristine, high-altitude lake rests to the east of the snowy Khatling glacier. The route starts off as a steep ascent with a view of Thalay Sagar- a gorgeous peak of 6,904M that lie 10 kms southwest of the holy site of Gaumukh. After the initial ascent, we cross a ridge over the valley which takes us straight to Masar Tal. We camp by this scenic lake.
12
Day :12 Masar Tal (4,135M) to Vasuki Tal (4,135M) via Mayali Pass (5,000M)
    Distance: 12 km Onwards to another glacial lake today, Vasuki Tal is at an altitude of 4,135M. Today’s trail begins with a steep ascent over boulders on a ridge to Masar Top. The path, then, descends slightly before climbing up the glacier to reach the top of Mayali Pass – another hidden gem of Uttarakhand. The descent from here is as precarious as the one we left behind when we climbed down from Khatling glacier. This section will require the use of fixed ropes on which we will rappel down. We continue our descent down all the way to Vasuki Tal which is our campsite for the day.
13
Day :13 Vasuki Tal (4,135M) to Kedarnath (3,590M)
    Distance: 7 km We will finally be making our way to Kedarnath today – which happens to be one of the holiest shrines to Shiva. As one of the twelve Jyotirlings, Kedarnath sees a lot of pilgrims in the months when the area is not buried under snow. Kedarnath is a 7 km trek from Vasuki Tal which takes about 3-4 hours to cover. We visit the temple in the evening and spend our night in a warm bed in a hotel, after days on cold, uneven surfaces.
14
Day :14 Kedarnath (3,590M) to Gaurikund (1,985M)
    Distance: 14 km We trek down this easy, well-marked trail of 14 kms which takes us directly to Gaurikund. We will be spending our night in a guesthouse/hotel.
15
Day :15 Gaurikund (1,985M) to Dehradun (430M)
    Distance: 252 km Drive The drive back down to Dehradun is alongside the fierce Ganga River. It should take close to 9 hours to reach. Expect to get to Dehradun by late evening.
16
Day :16 Reserve Day
    In case of bad weather or other difficulties which might set us off schedule during the course of the entire expedition, Day 16 is set as a reserve day. This will only get used if unexpected and unforeseeable conditions present themselves at the last minute preventing us from reaching our destination as planned. In case this day is used, there is an extra charge of INR 4500 per person. The same will be collected by the trek leader at the end of trek.

Inclusions

  • Meals During the Expedition (Starting dinner on Day 1 till Dinner on Day 14)
  • Hotel Stay in Gangotri, Kedarnath & Gauri Kund on twin/triple sharing basis
  • Services of a English Speaking Trek Leader certified in AMC (Advance Mountaineering), special rescue course from NIM, Emergency wilderness Responder course
  • Forest fee, permits & Camping Charges (Upto the amount specified for Indian Nationals)
  • 4 season camping tent , Thermal rated sleeping bags & mattress
  • Micro spikes, Ice Axe, Gaiters, Carabiners, Harness, and Helmet, as required
  • UIAA Safety Equipment like Static Rescue Rope, Harnesses, Carabiners & pulleys with the Leader
  • First Aid Certified Local Trek guide with extensive trek experience of the route, Cook, Helper
  • Services of Porters for carrying common camping equipment like tents (twin sharing basis), sleeping bags & Services of kitchen stuff
  • Exhaustive first aid kit with a portable oxygen cylinder of 5 ltrs capacity
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Exclusions

  • Forest Charges for carrying still/video cameras etc.
  • Meals during hotel stay & any kind of road journey
  • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc
  • Travel Insurance, if any
  • Transport- Sumo-8000 Rs oneside (5 to 6 trekkers) Tempotraveller 15000 Rs oneside (Shared by 11 to 12 trekkers)
  • Anything which is not mentioned in Inclusions list
  • 5%GST
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What to carry

  1. Trekking shoes: A good pair of trekking shoes is essential for a comfortable and safe trek. Look for shoes that are sturdy, provide good ankle support, and have a good grip on different types of terrain.
  2. Backpack with rain cover (50-60 ltr): A backpack is necessary to carry all your gear. Make sure it's the right size for your trek, and comes with a rain cover to keep your belongings dry in case of rain.
  3. Thermals (upper and lower): Thermals are lightweight and comfortable base layers that help regulate your body temperature in cold weather. Bring both upper and lower thermals to keep warm.
  4. 3 T-shirts (advisable quick dry): Choose quick-drying T-shirts made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials. This will help keep you cool and dry during your trek.
  5. 2 trek pants: Choose lightweight and comfortable trek pants that are easy to move in and can dry quickly if wet.
  6. Jacket (-10 degrees): A warm jacket is essential for cold weather. Choose a jacket that is waterproof and windproof, and provides good insulation.
  7. Fleece or hood (2): Fleece jackets or hoodies are great mid-layer options to keep warm. Bring at least two, as they can also be used as an extra layer at night.
  8. Sunglasses (UV protected): Protect your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays with sunglasses that are designed for outdoor activities.
  9. Sun cap: A sun cap or hat with a brim will protect your face and neck from the sun.
  10. Hand gloves: Bring a pair of lightweight gloves to keep your hands warm and protected from wind and sunburn.
  11. Woolen cap: A woolen cap will keep your head and ears warm at night or in cold weather.
  12. Socks (3 pairs min): Bring at least three pairs of good quality socks that are moisture-wicking and provide good cushioning and support for your feet.
  13. Headlamp: A headlamp will come in handy if you're hiking in low-light conditions or need to find your way in the dark.
  14. Trekking pole (if needed): Trekking poles can help reduce strain on your legs and provide additional support on steep terrain.
  15. Rain cover\poncho: A rain cover or poncho will keep you and your gear dry during unexpected rain showers.
  16. Day pack (if you plan to offload your bag): If you plan to offload your backpack during the trek, bring a smaller day pack to carry essentials like water, snacks, and a first aid kit.
  17. A toiletry kit: Bring a small kit with personal hygiene items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.
  18. Lunchbox, cup, spoon: If you plan to bring your own food, bring a lunchbox, cup, and spoon to carry and eat your meals.
  19. 2 one-litter bottles: Staying hydrated is crucial, so bring at least two one-liter bottles to carry water.
  20. 2-3 plastic covers to keep your wet or used clothes: Plastic bags are useful for keeping wet or dirty clothes separate from the rest of your belongings. They can also be used to pack out any trash or waste you generate during the trek.
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How to reach

By Air:
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Dehradun by flight, almost 25km from the city. You can find regular flights from Delhi to Dehradun.
However, if you plan to reach Dehradun by flight, it is better to come one day in advance.

By Train:
Two express trains are convenient if you want to reach Dehradun from Delhi by train. With the train, it is an overnight journey. The two trains are mentioned below:

Nandadevi Express – Train no: 12205 (Departure 11:50pm; Arrival – 5:40am)
Dehradun Express – Train no: 12687 (Departure – 9:10pm; Arrival – 5:00am)

By Bus:
From Delhi, you can find a regular bus service to Dehradun. ISBT Kashmere Gate is the central bus station in Delhi, from where you will find both AC and non-AC buses for Dehradun.

Drive from Dehradun to Gangotri. It is a 10-12 hour drive from Dehradun. Gangotri is the base camp for your trek.

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FAQs

Ques: 1 What is the lodging alternatives near Gangotri?

Ans: 1 There are guest houses available in Gangotri. Your guide will assist you in making arrangements.

Ques: 2 Can I go on this as my very first Himalayan trekking?

Ans: 2 No. We don’t recommend taking Auden’s col for your first, or your third or fourth Himalayan trek. It is necessary to have knowledge of the Himalayas for this trek even with a great guide to guide you. You’ll need mountain feet, which is, a knowledge of how to put your feet on the difficult terrain like boulders, moraines glacier, hard ice , etc. This is only feasible when you’ve done hikes that exceed 15, 000 feet, which will take you through the alpine zones.

Ques: 3 Do I require permission to trek up Auden’s Col?

Ans: 3 Yes.However this can be done easily with the help of your guide.

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Cancellation policy

Life is unpredictable and we understand sometimes you have to cancel or change your trip dates and it is our endeavour to make it as easy possible for you. However, please understand we plan everything including guide fees, permits, accommodation and ration in advance. Therefore any cancellation means inconvenience and certain losses to the people involved in various stages of programme. Keeping that in mind, our cancellation charges are as below-

Cancellation prior to 30 days from start of the event: Get monetary refund with 15% of cancellation charges on trek fee.

Cancellation between 30 days and 15 days to the start of event: 50% on trek fee is non refundable and the remaining 50 % will be given as cash voucher which is valid for 1 year.

Cancellation less than 15 days to the start of event: No refund.

Please note cancellation will be only accepted by email.

Note: The Himalayan Daredevils reserves the right to cancel a programme before departure in the event of logistical problems arriving due to natural calamities, strikes, wars on any other circumstances that makes the event inadvisable. In this case, we will refund 50% of the event fees.

Itinerary changes & trip delays:

We plan itineraries based on the information at the time of planning and in rare circumstances, there are subject to change. In the event that the itinerary is changes or delayed due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, landslides etc. We will always aim to give you the best experience possible. However The Himalayan Daredevils are not be held responsible for the cost of delay or changes.

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