Latest Trek News from the Mountains

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Latest Trek News from the Mountains

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By Latika Payak

2023-02-27

New Indiahikes campus for Kuari Pass and Pangarchulla treks!

Last week, was special for us. We finally opened our new campus for the Kuari Pass trekkers!

The team going to the trek in the 9th March batch was the first set of trekkers stepping inside our campus. It was a very emotional moment for our slope team present there. 🙂

Our CEO & founder, Arjun Majumdar shares: "This is very emotional for me, to see the birth of our Kuari campus It's been almost 3 years since we began this hunt for a campus at Kuari Pass. So many of us, especially our ex-slope manager Krupa went up and down over many villages to find our campus. And finally, Manish Ji who’s a senior member at Indiahikes worked his magic and got us this lovely campus. To work here in our own campus, with the Lohajung campus being made, completes our entire Uttarakhand circuit.”

Our slope manager, Nishant (@the_intrepid_bull) who’s been an active part in setting up the campus shares : "The place which we finalized was in a semi-built condition when we found it. We had to build it to the Indiahikes standard level before our trekkers arrived on 9th March. To make this happen, the entire team came together and worked relentlessly. I felt quite overwhelmed to be part of this process because Kuari Pass has been close to my heart since I started my journey with Indiahikes as an Assistant Trek Leader. To finally have a campus of our own is something remarkable.

Trekkers were really happy with the setup and one of them even said this gives me a feeling of Janglik Basecamp of Buran Ghati and I did not even feel that this has been set up a few days ago.

We planted an apple tree on our campus to mark this new beginning of growth. :)”

Our co-founder was invited for a talk by the Indian School of Business on the occasion of Women's Day

Our co-founder Sandhya UC (@sandhyauc) was invited for a fireside chat by the Indian School of Business on the occasion of Women’s Day

Although Sandhya was initially invited as a keynote speaker for the women’s day program at ISB she couldn’t go to their campus.

This was a fireside chat that happened online between Sandhya and another entrepreneur Saloni Sacheti who is working with tribal women of India to make products out of Bamboo.

Sandhya shares: “In the conversation, we broadly covered topics like motherhood, challenges we face in entrepreneurship, working long distance, and how people perceive work-life balance.

The audience had a lot of people who have trekked with Indiahikes, so they had questions about Indiahikes, how we go about our work, green trails, our safety protocols, and how we document our treks. There were a lot of things which they wanted to know about.

Since ISB itself has a lot of women working at the managerial level they would go through similar situations. So this talk aimed to help them learn from our entrepreneurial experience and gain value from it in the future.”

Sandhya has been a huge pioneer in growing Indiahikes over the years, we’re really happy that the young students and management of a prestigious institute like ISB honoured her journey.

We hope that the learnings she shared inspire many young entrepreneurs in the future. :)

Indiahikes' First Women Only Trekking Group: Success!

Our Special Women’s Trek Team reached the Kedarkantha summit today! International Women’s Day became extremely special for all of us as we got the news of all women successfully reaching the summit of the Kedarkantha trek. You can see all of them happily flaunting their Arcadia II Jacket sent by Columbia. (@columbiasportswear_in)

We also had two local women guide joining us for this trek. :)

Here’s what our founder & CEO Arjun Majumdar had to say on this occasion.

“For me, Women's Day is not just a day to celebrate the achievements of women, but also an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made and the work that still needs to be done. It is a reminder that we all have a role to play in creating a more inclusive and equitable society within our team and beyond.

I want to encourage each and every one of you to take some time to reflect on what Women's Day means to you and how you can contribute to advancing gender equality. Whether through education, advocacy, or simply being mindful of our biases and assumptions, we all have the power to make a difference.”

Team Indiahikes wishes all the Women Trekker’s a very happy Women’s Day!

Indiahikes Slope Managers Undergo Training to Enhance Growth and Collaboration

Last week we had five slope managers traveling from their respective slopes to our Bangalore office for special training. The slope managers were here for 5 days in order to work in person with different teams in the Bangalore office and set objectives for the coming year as per the organizational goals.

Lakshmi Selvalkumaran (@zerowaste_vegan_desi) who’s the head of the Learning & Development team shares : “It had been a long time since the slope managers got the opportunity to come to our Bangalore office and spend time with different teams in person.

While we do have regular meetings and discussions online, sometimes this distance can result in many gaps in how they look at growing their work.

So we thought of having this training with them to improve internal communication and give all of them a direction in growing our slopes in the coming year.”

“This was our second visit to the Bangalore office and how we spent time with each team over the whole week has helped us open up to people in the office a lot more. I feel much more at ease sharing my concerns with them and even receiving feedback from them.” shares Slope Manager, Naresh Balotia (@theindianboots)

“For me, the sessions were insightful and intense every day. I got a deeper understanding of how can we practice our culture at the slopes, how it can be passed on to our trekkers through the trek leaders more effectively.” shares Slope Manager, Sanket Shitole. (@the_rustic_explorer)

“I think the training went really well. The slope managers usually do not get an opportunity to come and discuss their work-related problems in a candid way. Or share stories about their personal life.

They also felt a lot more connected with people at the office through these interactions.

They also learnt how different teams are progressing in their work at present and how can they collaborate with each team to take the organization forward.” adds Lakshmi.

We're happy to see the bond between the slope managers and Bangalore office teams growing stronger because of this training. It will have a direct impact on our trek leaders & local staffs growth in the organisation. :)

Indiahikes Sari Campus Completes Two Years!

On March 3rd, 2023 we celebrated the second anniversary of our Sari Campus! 🥳 Here’s what Manisha Hegde (@emmhegde), our chief architect of the Sari Campus had to share:

“Sari will always hold a special place at Indiahikes. It is not just a landmark (literally), it is also a pivotal landmark in Indiahikes history and the history of Sari as a slope.

Before, we would rent out places on our bases. It was a place to gather trekkers. Post covid, we relooked at everything we were doing at Indiahikes. We shifted to an improved Indiahikes 2.0. Indiahikes 2.0 meant we looked at everything as an experience. On treks, we would do it, but we started thinking beyond that. What can we do at the base camp?

I still remember, I reached Sari on 14th Feb, 2021. I felt like was in a foreign place. Not because of the unfamiliar place, but because our own team felt unfamiliar. For three weeks, a team of 6 members worked nonstop, with our hands, to make the campus. It didn’t matter who you were, you just jumped in and did it.

When the core team from the office and other slopes came for the annual meeting on 2nd March, you would not believe the transformation in the atmosphere at the campus. It was a homecoming.

Over three weeks, the thoughts of what a community campus can be materialized. Over the next few weeks, we saw the impact it had on trekkers. Trekkers who would hole up in their rooms before and after the trek were now hanging out speaking to each other in the common spaces. The team was forming without them realising what was happening.

Our Indiahikes team members had a home in the mountains. Not just a bed to crash in after a trek. This is why it was a pivotal shift in thought. After Sari, a basecamp is meh, and a campus is a hell yes!

On the second anniversary of Sari campus, we have so many learnings about how we look at our bases. We have 2 more campuses in Kotgaon and Raithal. We are in the process of making our 4th in Lohajung.

It’s a momentum that has gained. We might be defining a new typology of spaces in the trekking world. It is an exciting chapter to experience first-hand. I am incredibly grateful to have a front seat for this journey.”

Another Adventure Therapy Trek Achieves Huge Success!

On 21st Feb we commenced our second group of Adventure Therapy Trek on the Dayara Bugyal trek. The trek was facilitated by Izzat Yaganagi (@izzat.yaganagi) , who is a Psychological Counselor with a practice of over 13 years. She heads the Experiential Learning division at Indiahikes.

Swarada Ghangurde (@gswarada), who’s a trainer and senior trek leader at Indiahikes was leading this trek.

Last year we introduced our Adventure Therapy treks. The response to it was unexpectedly overwhelming.

In his paper on outdoor therapy, Stephan Natynczuk, one of the foremost adventure therapists, writes on different ways of adventure therapy — “Some rely on nature as a co-therapist; others on experiential learning. Some utilise talking therapy and others successfully blend each of these with an adventurous journey.”

At Indiahikes, we are building on this thought of blending nature therapy, talking therapy and experiential learning to help those struggling with personal issues.

Here’s what Izzat Yaganagi shared about this trek experience. “What an eventful and intense last 6 days it has been! 14 individuals came, some with hope and some with curiosity. They bared their hearts, untangled their thoughts and worked courageously towards healing, clarity, acceptance, understanding and lightness of spirit. The weather was absolutely perfect on all 4 days - bracketed with rain and storm on the day they arrived and the end of day 4. Throughout the trek, raw nature was the ever-present co-therapist, allowing the participants to draw myriad lessons and truths from her stillness and her movement. The group came together on day 1 itself which provided the space for each one to put down their burdens for a while and share it with those willing to step into their lives for a brief moment. Listening to someone into healing is a wonder to witness. Swarada and I were witnesses to this change, movement, and transformation, and it has been a true privilege. I feel deep gratitude to have been a part of this process.”

We’re really happy to hear about the experience this team had. It gives us more confidence to keep growing adventure therapy treks at Indiahikes. :)

40 Indiahikes Trek Leaders Undergo a Workshop to Build a Stronger Team

A few days ago we finished a workshop with our trek leaders which was conducted at our Raithal Campus in two batches. It was a 6 days workshop led by the Learning & Development team.

Lakshmi Selvakumaran, who’s the head of the L&D team shares, “The goal of the workshop was to get the entire trek leaders team together.

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We took a team of Saks employees on a trek to Bidarakatte

Last weekend we took 7 Saks team members on a day trek to Bidakrakatte near Ramanagra.

Saks India is a fundamental part of Saks, the premier digital platform for luxury fashion in

Mr Shishir, who’s a senior manager at Saks wanted to go for an outing with his team for a long time. He realised that this opportunity can be used to bring the team together using the outdoors as a medium. That’s how he got to know about Indiahikes.

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Indiahikes Conducts An Intense Equipment Maintenance and Repair Training at Dehradun

A few days back, nine Indiahikes store incharge underwent a four-day equipment maintenance & repair training.

The training happened at our old Dehradun office and was conducted by Ravi Ranjan, (@bothardexplorer ) our Operations Manager.

“At Indiahikes, equipment plays a massive role in providing a safe Indiahikes experience to trekkers. These equipment take months of research & development to be finally put to use in the outdoors,"

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Feb 14 | Trek Program for DPS School, Bengauru (North) Ends Successfully!

In the month of January, we took the students of 5th, 6th & 7th standard on the Harihara Betta trek. The team, comprised our office and mountain staff along with some interns.

This program was a wonderful opportunity for our office team members to collaborate and bond through the shared experience of guiding and educating the students.

Despite the weather being harsh, trekking to Harihara Betta was an excellent opportunity for the students to learn about sustainability, build confidence, empathy, and appreciate nature.

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Feb 7 | Indiahikes First Seniors Trek -- A Huge Success!

Our first team of senior trekkers recently came back from the Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek.

While having a trek for a group of seniors was already a special moment for us, our founder
Arjun Majumdar decided to make it even more special by accompanying the whole team on this journey.

Here’s what he had to share “Seniors trekking is a very emotional feeling for me personally. My parents had introduced me to trekking so having a special trek for them is a way of giving it back to the seniors. When I saw seniors on this trek I could see them finding new meaning in their life. The joy they got out of trekking has surely added many more years to their life. This is the reason why I want seniors to trek and I’m so happy that we’ll be having more of these special batches for seniors.”

Along with him, Nandana Kamasani, head of Experience Coordinators team was also a part of this trek.

The trek was led by Ramon Rajan. He came back from the trek in very high spirits.

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Feb 1 | Advanced Safety Skills Training for Trek Leaders: Success!

We recently conducted a Trek Leader’s Training Program at our Raithal Campus - the base camp of the Dayara Bugyal trek.
The training was conducted by Chetan 'Dawa' Mathur, a Senior Trek Leader & Trainer at Indiahikes.

Four of our trek leaders were a part of it.

The main objectives of the training were to refresh their knowledge of patient assessment, splinting, casualty coil, and stretcher making. Shweta shares, “The training involved a mock drill of patient assessment and evacuation processes. During these sessions, we learned and practiced upper-body splinting. This method is used to protect and support the injured part of the body.

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Jan 29 | Lakshmi Selvakumaran invited to deliver TEDx Talk at NM College, Mumbai

We're delighted to announce that Lakshmi Selvakumaran, Head of Experience at Indiahikes has been invited to deliver a TEDx Talk at the prestigious NM College in Mumbai. Topic for the talk is An Extra Mile.

In the talk, Lakshmi is preparing to share her journey and some instances where going 'an extra mile' has made all the difference. The talk is scheduled to happen on January 30, 2023.

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Jan 28 | Our Office Collected 12.4 kg of E-Waste During an E-Waste Drive

We recently launched an E-waste drive at the office, which is headed by Sharwari Brahme (@sharwarrior), head of the Green Tails Initiative.

Our motive is to leave the mountains better than we find them. However, Sharwari also recognized the importance of promoting sustainable practices within the office.

The drive was started to bring back discussions and group activities about sustainability, and to create a sense of community within the office as they work towards being more environmentally conscious.

Sharwari, trainer & mentor at Indiahikes, says, “I researched organisations that accept E-waste in Bangalore and ultimately partnered with Wasted 360 Solutions. (@indiawasted).

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Jan 24 | Nepal Earthquake: Tremors felt, but all trekkers are safe

Today afternoon we heard the news about tremors in the northern part of the country. The epicentre for this earthquake lay in Nepal.

Our teams immediately got into action to ensure all trekkers are safe. Updates started pouring in from the mountains confirming that trekkers are safe.

To get an insight, watch this video where Indiahikes Team Members from the mountains are relaying the latest updates.

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Click on the image to view the Video

Stay cued to this space for more updates from the mountains.

Jan 20 | Indiahikes is now registered as a Trained Activity Provider with IAYP

We're delighted to announce that in mid-January 2023 Indiahikes was officially registered as a Trained Activity Provider with the International Award for Young People (IAYP). IAYP delivers the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in India to offer our schools new ways to broaden their curriculum.

IAYP operates in more than 130 countries and territories. In India, there are only 12 registered TAP centres under IAYP. Indiahikes is one of them.

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Jan 19 | Cold Wave Alert: Prepare for Train/Flight Delays Due to Extreme Fog

Northern India is currently experiencing signs of cold waves across the region. Cold waves lead to extreme fog and drop in temperature. This is due to the western disturbance acting as a trough in the middle tropospheric westerlies. 

Simply put, Tropospheric westerlies are winds that blow across the earth and western disturbance is a weather system that can affect these winds and cause change in temperature and precipitation in a region.

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Extreme fog in the northern regions due to the cold waves.

Extreme fog in the northern regions due to the cold waves. Photo by Shreenath Ramachandramurthy.

Jan 19 | DPS Bangalore - North Students Take the Lead & Cleaned Up 18.16 kg of waste from the Harihara Betta Trek! 

A group of school students from Delhi Public School (Bangalore, North), recently came together on their trek to clean up a mountain as part of the "Green Trails" initiative started by Indiahikes. 

The initiative aims to leave the mountains in better condition than they were found.

The students were inspired to take action after watching the Green Trails skit which was performed by our team. They were made to think deeply about the problem that was presented in the skit and come up with solutions. 

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Jan 16 | DPS Bangalore - North students are back to hiking around Bangalore!

We're excited to announce that our trek program for the students of Delhi Public School, Bangalore - North, is back in full swing this week!

Our experienced team will take the 6th and 7th standard students on the Harihara Betta trek! The team, comprising of our office and mountain staff along with some interns, has undergone extensive training to help the students get the best out of the trek experience!

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Jan 10 | Dayara Bugyal Covered in Snow, Temperatures Drop to -10°C

Dayara Bugyal was covered in a few centimetres of snow after the first snowfall of the season on 29th and 30th December.

“Most of the snow at Dayara Bugyal will remain due to low temperatures”, says Trek Leader Diptarka Gupta, noting that it is currently very cold with temperatures dropping to -10°C.

Trekkers must be ready for anything: Proper planning is crucial for winter treks, especially in the face of extreme conditions.

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A winter scene of Dayara Bugyal, with freshly laid footprints on the snowy terrain and stunning views of the Himalayan peaks in the background.

The tranquility of Dayara Bugyal during winter, where the snow-covered landscapes, the footprints and the Himalayan peak views create an unforgettable experience!

Jan 10 | Trekkers Clear 29.88 kgs of Polluting Waste from Brahmatal Trek in Just 20 Minutes!

Our team of trekkers on the Brahmatal Trek in December collected an alarming 29.88 kgs of waste in just 20 minutes. Trek Leader Amit, who was leading the group, was shocked to find such a large amount of waste in a place known for its natural beauty.

Amit says, “During the briefing, I suggested to my team members that since we had successfully completed the trek and had a smooth experience, with no safety or climate issues, the least we could do was clean up as much waste as possible. We need to give back to the mountains that gave us such a wonderful experience.”

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 Jan 9 | Trekkers Bond Over An Innovative ‘Rope Course’ at Raithal!

 

On December 1, 2022, Indiahikes put up a rope course at Raithal – the base camp of the Dayara Bugyal trek. What's inspiring is that this process has delivered astounding outcomes!

A rope course is an outdoor activity where you have to overcome different obstacles. These obstacles are usually mounted on a series of ropes, cables, and other elements that are suspended above the ground.

Completing a rope course requires team spirit. Everyone must work together and use each person's strengths. There are also rules that everyone must follow.'

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Jan 9 | The First Big Snow Arrives at Kedarkantha!

Winter wonderland alert! For all the trekking enthusiasts out there, the wait is finally over!

Kedarkantha, one of the most sought-after trekking destinations in India, has finally received its second snowfall of the season. This means that the trails are now covered in a blanket of snow, making it the perfect time to trek!

The clouds began to gather yesterday evening, and by 10 pm, the snowfall had begun. The peak amount of snowfall occurred between 1 am and 4 am, transforming the campsite of Julota where our team was camping.

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Kedarkantha campsite covered in snow.

The snowfall of the season adds a magical touch to Kedarkantha trek!

Latika Payak

Senior Content Writer

About the author

Latika is a Senior Content Writer and one of the rare team members who has seen Indiahikes from its initial days. She was among the first few to begin creating content at Indiahikes, documenting treks around Maharasthra, interviewing trekkers and writing their stories.

Latika started trekking after joining Indiahikes and has trekked to Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Kedarkantha, Dayara Bugyal, Tarsar Marsar, and Har Ki Dun.

With a strong background in print media and have worked with several publications. Latika is always hunting for great stories hidden in the folds of the mountains. Horror stories from ancient routes and villages of the Himalayas are her favourite.

She is presently working on bringing out news from the remote trekking regions of our country.

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