Indiahikes Treks till May 31st Suspended in light of Covid-19 – Latest Update

Follow this page for the latest updates on trekking during the second wave of Covid. We are updating it as and when we get the latest information.

 

April 30th, 2 pm | IH Treks until May 31st Suspended

Given the widespread Covid-19 situation, we have further suspended all our treks until May 31st. If you have an upcoming trek during this period, look for an email from your Experience Coordinator in your inbox.

If you have a trek after May, our advice is that you hold onto it. We are closely monitoring the Covid situation and will run our treks if we find it safe to do so. If not, your Experience Coordinator will get in touch with you, and share a further plan of action.

If you were planning to sign up for a trek, from June onwards would be the safest time to sign up. We see the vaccination drive going strong in the country, and expect to tide over the crisis by then. So plan treks from June onwards. You’ll find them here.

 


April 21st, 1 pm | Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are suspending all our treks until April 27th

One thing is clear, the virus is spreading viciously in our country. It looks to be more infectious than last year. It is no longer safe to travel or gather in groups. Owing to this, we had to take a hard call.

It was a tough decision for us to take, but we have to keep everyone’s safety in mind, especially our staff in the mountains.

There is very little healthcare support in the mountains. An outbreak of Covid can be disastrous. Already, we have had a few staff members who have been infected. We have managed to isolate them. Any further infections can be terrible.

On the other hand, we are noticing that despite carrying Covid negative RT-PCR test results, more and more trekkers are coming on our treks Covid positive. Perhaps they are catching an infection on the way. 

Even though it was the hardest decision to take (with so many livelihoods dependent on treks), it’s best for all. 

We know that the best thing to do is avoid any sort of travel now. Which is why we are suspending all our treks until April 27th.

If you have an upcoming trek in the next two weeks, your Experience Coordinator will get in touch with you.

Meanwhile, don’t allow this news to dampen your spirits. You don’t have to call off your trek. We are monitoring the Covid situation closely, and will take a call on future treks as per the situation.

On a positive note, the vaccination drive is going strong in our country. We expect to tide over this crisis within a month and a half. So you can continue planning your treks from June onwards, to be on the safe side.

Stay cued to this page for more updates. And do keep a tab on your inbox if you have an upcoming trek.


April 12th, 11 am | COVID (RT-PCR) Test Mandatory for all Indiahikes Trekkers

Starting April 14th, all trekkers trekking with Indiahikes are expected to do COVID (RT-PCR) tests no less than 72 hours before their trek.

All forest departments across Uttarakhand are demanding test reports for trekking and camping permissions (irrespective of which state you are coming from). This applies to Sikkim and West Bengal as well.

With an increase in the number of COVID cases across the country during the second wave of Covid, we notice that more and more trekkers are testing positive (sometimes, much to their own surprise) before their trek. If they hadn’t done a test, it would have gone undetected. This could be a big risk for fellow trekkers and mountain folk.

Which is why we have made it mandatory for all trekkers to come with Covid tests.

In case you test positive, we will give you a Special Covid Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use over the next 1.5 years.

If you cannot do the test in your city, you can take the test at this testing center at Dehradun, which gives results in a day. The test at the center costs Rs 500.

There is a testing centre at Rishikesh as well, which our trekkers are recommending to others — Srl Ltd,  Gali No.-9 Veer Bhadra Road, Near AIIMS, Rishikesh-249201

Without the test, you will not get permissions to do the trek. We will send you a Trek Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use on any trek over the next one year.


March 31st, 1 pm | Uttarakhand makes Covid Report Mandatory for tourists from 12 states

Starting April 1st, the Uttarakhand State Government has made Covid RT-PCR test mandatory for visitors from 12 states. All visitors from these states are expected to carry test reports with them, taken no less than 72 hours before their travel.

The 12 states are as follows: .

  • Maharashtra
  • Kerala
  • Punjab
  • Karnataka
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Delhi
  • Rajasthan

This applies to all visitors coming by road, air and train to Uttarakhand. “District administration shall make arrangement for random COVID-19 testing/ checking at airport, railway station and at all border check posts,” says their latest press release, which you can find here.

This goes in line with our update from March 29th, making RT-PCR tests mandatory for trekkers from 8 states. All 8 states are included in this list.

Our process will remain the same. In case you test positive, we will give you a Special Covid Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use over the next 1.5 years.


March 29th, 4 pm | Indiahikes trekkers from 8 regions expected to bring mandatory RT-PCR Negative Reports from April 1st

Indiahikes has made it mandatory for trekkers from 8 regions to test themselves before their treks. All trekkers coming from these regions are expected to carry a Covid Negative Report (RT-PCR test), which is taken no less than 72 hours before their trek.

  • Maharashtra
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Gujarat
  • Delhi
  • Punjab
  • Chandigarh
  • Madhya Pradesh

Lots of trekkers have recently tested themselves before going to the slopes. Several of them have tested positive (much to their own surprise). If they hadn’t done a test, it would have gone undetected. This could be a big risk for fellow trekkers.

In case you test positive, we will give you a Special Covid Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use over the next 1.5 years.

If you cannot do the test, we will not be able to take you on the trek. We will send you a Trek Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use on any trek over the next one year.

If you have any doubts, drop in a comment on this page. We’ll get back to you.


March 26th, 12.30 pm | Karnataka Makes Negative RT-PCR Report Mandatory for all Interstate Travellers from April 1st

The Karnataka State Government has made a Covid Negative Report mandatory for all interstate travellers starting April 1st.

What does this mean for trekkers? 

This means that any trekkers returning to Karnataka after their treks will need to come with a Negative RT-PCR test.

From our experience, there are two ways to go about this.

1. Test yourself in your drop-off city: After your trek, you can do a test in Dehradun / Siliguri (our Experience Coordinators will recommend good testing centres to get this done). If this proves to be difficult, especially for those who do not have much time after the trek, then refer to Point 2.

2. Test yourself on arrival: The airport and railway stations will set up testing booths to collect swabs of travellers without Covid test reports. “The passenger’s swab will be collected on arrival. Once the RT-PCR test report is available, further action will be taken as per State protocol.” This is what the official report by the airport says.

It might mean waiting for a few hours to get the reports at the airport / station, but this is how it will pan out. It will be possible to enter the state, by doing a test on arrival.

The airport authorities of Karnataka are updating this page with their latest guidelines – https://www.bengaluruairport.com/travellers/passenger-services/faqs-at-blr.html#COVID

We are also in touch with our returning trekkers to see what they experience on arrival in Bangalore. So we will post continuous updates on this page as and when we get new information.


March 25th, 1 pm | Here’s a video answering 5 of the biggest concerns that trekkers have.

1. Are treks running normally?
2. Should I do a Covid test before my trek?
3. What if there’s a lockdown before my trek and I’ve to call my trek off in the last minute?
4. What is Indiahikes doing to keep me safe?
5. What if a country-wide lockdown is announced when I’m on the trek?

If you have any questions outside of these five, don’t hesitate to ask. 

Just drop in a comment on this page and we’ll write back to you.

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27 thoughts on “Indiahikes Treks till May 31st Suspended in light of Covid-19 – Latest Update

  1. I have learnt that Uttarakhand government made it mandatory quarantine period if the stay is more than 7 days in the State, Is it like so? What will be done then? Because most of the treks are duration having more than seven days. And also Covid test is mandatory for reaching Dehradun either by air, rail or road, if not done, the government authority will be doing this on arrival.

    Kindly put light on this matter

    1. Hi Anshuman, what you have heard is not true. We have treks running in Uttarakhand everyday, with trekkers going in and out of the state. There is no requirement of a Covid test / quarantine as of now. You can come in as usual, do your trek and head back.

    1. Hi Girish, since October, we have had 2 trekkers in our tent as the norm. This will be the case even now for all treks below 13,000 ft (that’s treks like Kedarkantha, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Dayara Bugyal, Kuari Pass, Brahmatal, etc).

      For higher altitude treks, we will have three in a tent as the norm. If trekkers wish to, they can opt for staying 2 in a tent at an added cost.

      1. Hello, my son and I are doing the Rupin Pass trek in June. How can we opt for the two persons to a tent. Thank you for your response.

        1. Hi Indraneel, given the Covid situation, we have made 2-per-tent the norm on all our treks. So you’ll not have to do anything additional to opt for it.

  2. Dear Swathi
    Greetings of the Day
    I have done three treks with Indiahikes and learnt a few things for good.
    I would like to bring a particular issue regarding coordinator at India hikes who whimsically tries to change Travel plans at the last moment starting from pickup point to Basecamp.Hope you look into my trek history and solve the issue regarding trek coordinator from your office at Bangalore.

  3. What if someone gets very sick mid way? As treks are intensive on lungs and one may be covid negative before the trek but could still be carrying it (false negative or late symptoms) on trek.

    1. Hi Rahul, it is not likely that someone gets too sick, because from all our tests (BP, Pulse Oxymeter readings, temperature checks), we have a tab on even the slightest abnormalities right from the time they reach the base camp. Even if someone is slightly sick, we either start treating them or taking the required action. So it’s only in very rare cases that people get very sick on our treks.

      In case they are very sick, we will evacuate them from the trek, bring them to the base camp and move them to a hospital (if required). On the trek, our teams always have fully-geared high altitude medical kits and oxygen cylinders for emergencies. Having said that, even if someone is showing Covid symptoms, we have an evacuation protocol, which you can read here – https://indiahikes.com/indiahikes-resumes-trekking/

      1. I have seen this happen on a trek that I did (Kedarkantha in December 2016). One if our trek mates developed AMS (quite serious) during the climb to the summit. The trek leader, Gurdit Singh, if memory serves me right, took charge immediately and started the evacuation. In addition to the oxygen, he was also carrying the person down. Another trek mate, a doctor, accompanied the two. The story had s happy ending as a complete recocery was made.

        I have done half a dozen treks with IH. The professionalism of the trek leaders and the teams in the base camp and in the slopes is remarkable. Respect!

  4. Hello, Swathi! Thank you for being in touch in these times and keeping us updated and hoping!
    Please, a few questions:
    – is India open for foreigners now? Can visa be obtained? Do they require quarantine?
    – does Sikkim have special regulations? do you have treks / tours there?

    Thank you
    Michael

    1. Hi Swathi
      Thanks for the detailed discussion on various important points. Any thoughts on the latest news that from April to enter Bangalore one needs a negative rtpcr report? Most of us have tickets booked already without extra days to spare after the trek.
      Thanks.

      1. From our experience, there are two ways to go about this.
        1. After your trek, you can do a test in Dehradun (our Experience Coordinators are recommending good testing centres to get this done). But this could prove to be very difficult, especially for those who do not have much time after the trek.
        2. The airport and railway stations in Bangalore will set up testing booths to collect swabs of travellers without Covid test reports. “The passenger’s swab will be collected on arrival. Once the RT-PCR test report is available, further action will be taken as per State protocol.” This is what the official report by the airport says.

        It might mean waiting for a few hours to get the reports at the airport / station, but this is how it will pan out. It will be possible to enter the state, by doing a test on arrival.

        The airport authorities are updating this page with their latest guidelines – https://www.bengaluruairport.com/travellers/passenger-services/faqs-at-blr.html#COVID

        We are also in touch with our returning trekkers to see what they experience on arrival in Bangalore. So we will post continuous updates on this page.

    2. Hi Michael, I think India is open to foreign tourists, but they are not encouraging international tourists at the moment, especially during the second wave of Covid. But arriving here is a possibility, yes. You’ll need to quarantine yourself after arrival.

      As for Sikkim, I would strongly advice you not to plan your travel to Sikkim, even though we do have a trek there right now. As it is, the state government has separate rules for foreign nationals — every foreign national must travel in groups of 2 or more foreign travellers. Also, Sikkim is a sensitive state to travel to in terms of Covid as well. They took a long time to open up tourism compared to the rest of India. And they could be the first to close it if the cases rise too high.

      Even if you are visiting India, I would recommend travelling to Uttarakhand or Himachal. It would be a safer bet.

  5. Hi Swathi, thanks for this, it’s very reassuring. Regarding getting trekkers back to the safety of their homes in the case of a lockdown during the trek, would you please elaborate on how this could be executed?

    I’m asking because the question of Karnataka going under lockdown has come in the news several times in the past couple of days. We are quite unsure on whether and when it may be executed. It would be good to know we can still get back to Bangalore. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Anjali, frankly, I don’t think the state will go into a lockdown, given that they are establishing strict rules for entry into the state. They will most likely do COVID tests on arrival for those who do not have a Covid negative report when they come. But I don’t think they’ll close doors to those who are outside, especially residents of the state.

      Even last year, when the lockdown was announced with no warning, all our trekkers made it back home to their home towns despite the lockdown. This year, we have a lot more information and a lot more facilities to test people. So from our experience, it will be handled more easily than last year.

  6. Hello Swati, thanks for this timely and informative update.

    As you may be aware, the Bangalore administration has made it mandatory from April 01 that all incoming persons will need to have an all-clear and valid RT-PCR report on arrival. Given that the test report cannot be more than 72 hours old, how will a returning trekker obtain a fresh RT-PCR report? Will we need to stay in Dehra Dun till we get the report? Can IH help us get the test done?

    I look forward to getting your input on this matter.

    Thanks

    Bringi

    1. Hello Professor, hope you’ve been well!

      It is indeed true that the Karnataka government has made testing positive before people enter the state.

      From our experience, there are two ways to go about this.
      1. After your trek, you can do a test in Dehradun (our Experience Coordinators are recommending good testing centres to get this done). But this could prove to be very difficult, especially for those who do not have much time after the trek.
      2. The airport and railway stations will set up testing booths to collect swabs of travellers without Covid test reports. “The passenger’s swab will be collected on arrival. Once the RT-PCR test report is available, further action will be taken as per State protocol.” This is what the official report by the airport says.

      It might mean waiting for a few hours to get the reports at the airport / station, but this is how it will pan out. It will be possible to enter the state, by doing a test on arrival.

      The airport authorities are updating this page with their latest guidelines – https://www.bengaluruairport.com/travellers/passenger-services/faqs-at-blr.html#COVID

      We are also in touch with our returning trekkers to see what they experience on arrival in Bangalore. So we will post continuous updates on this page.

  7. Hi, my son and I are doing the Rupin Pass trek in June. Please let us know how to get a tent for two persons. Vould not find sny information on the bookings page. Thank you.

    1. Hi Indraneel, it’s wonderful that you’re doing the Rupin Pass trek with your son. 🙂 If you’d like to get a tent for just two persons, please write to [email protected]. She will guide you further with it.

  8. Hi Swati, we had booked the Dayara Bugyal trek for may 2020, but we have postponed the trek due to covid.
    We are now thinking of going for the beas kund trek on Jun-20. We wanted to discuss few things before booking it. Can you give us a call.
    Regards
    Kunjan Vyas.

  9. Hi would someone living in NCR ( Noida) would also be requiring a covid test. I am booked for a trek in june

  10. Hi Swathi,
    Two questions
    a) Once we complete the trek and if we do not get time to do RT PCR in base camp city say Dehradun or NJP (Sikkim) then are we allowed to enter airport ?
    b) If we get chance to do RT PCR in base camp city ( Dehradun/NJP) and test comes out to be positive, do we have to stay in quarantine for 14 days in the base camp city ( Dehradun/NJP) ? In that case where we need to stay and does State Govt bares the expenses ?

    1. Hi Vinayak, your entry to the airport won’t be restricted. But after you reach Maharashtra, you maybe requested to take the test.
      If you get tested at Dehradun/Sikkim and test positive, then yes you will be quarantined there. The state government will not bear the expenses.

  11. It is very nice and truly required that India Hikes make Covid Test mandatory. It is very much required in the present scenario. One thing I wants to know that for Covid test, is it mandatory to take Covid RT-PCR test or can we take the Rapid Antigen test for this purpose? Because I have read that Uttarakhan Government made RT-PCR test mandatory for arrival from few states which includes Maharashtra Also. kindly guide please.