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The Complete Guide to Auden's Col Trek

Auden’s Col is a high mountain pass at an altitude of 18,010 ft above sea level.

The pass is named after John Bicknell Auden of the Geological Survey of India, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. It is on the ridge connecting the peaks of Gangotri III (21,590 ft) and Jogin I (21,210 ft).

Looking back at Audens col after an arduous descent to Khatling Glacier. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

Auden’s Col trek is one of the most challenging non-technical treks in Garhwal, and perhaps in all of Indian Himalayas. There are numerous crevasses, precarious ridges and boulder sections along the long arduous trail. 

But the trek is equally rewarding, with awe inspiring views of the Gangotri group of peaks, the Jogin group, Bhagirathi group, Rudragaira and Kedar Dome. 

If you are an experienced trekker looking for a challenging trek with some incredible mountain views, then this is the trek for you. 

Realities Of Trekking To Auden's Col

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➤ Highlights from the Auden's Col Trek

Rudugaira Campsite

The high meadows of Rudugaira is when the trek opens out, offering incredible mountain views. The mountains seen here are the ones you will spend time in close proximity to while climbing the Auden’s Col.

The Rudugaira campsite overlooking Patangini Dhar. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

To your east, the Gangotri group of peaks rise like a massive ice wall. To your north is the Jogin group of mountains, impressively sitting against the sky. The ridges descending from both the massifs meet at Auden’s Col. This is your first glimpse of where you are going to be trekking towards! 

The view of Khatling Glacier from Auden’s Col

After a long, hard climb to up to Auden’s col, you are rewarded by the view of the magnificent Khatling glacier. This bare, heavily crevassed glacier stretches down the valley as far as your eyes can see, guarded by sharp, snow clad peaks.

A stunning view of Khatling glacier. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

As treacherous as this glacier is to cross, the sight of it from Auden’s col is one of the most incredible sights you will see.

The campsites in Bhilangana valley

After spending days traversing the Auden’s Col & Khatling glacier, the lush Bhilangana valley comes across as a welcome change.  The campsites of Uddar and Jungle Camp are rich with wild greenery.

The Jungle camp. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

From Uddar camp, you can even spot the trail that leads to Mayali Pass and the mountains that guard the Kedarnath valley.

➤ Short Itinerary

Day 1: Rishikesh Gangotri
Distance: 270 km drive
Duration: 9 hours drive

Day 2: Acclimatization at Gangotri
Altitude: 10,240 ft

Day 3: Gangotri  Nala Camp
Altitude: 10,240 ft – 11,990 ft
Distance: 6 km
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 4: Nala Camp  Rudugaira Base Camp
Altitude: 12,340 ft – 13,650 ft
Distance: 3 km
Duration: 3 hours

Day 5: Rudugaira Base Camp – Gangotri Base (Moraine) Camp
Altitude: 13,650 ft – 15,300 ft
Distance: 4 km
Duration: 4 hours

Day 6: Gangotri Base (Moraine) Camp – Auden’s Col Base Camp
Altitude: 15,300 ft – 16,090 ft
Distance: 5 km
Duration: 4 hours

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
Duration: 10-12 hours

Day 8: Khatling Glacier Camp  Zero Point
Altitude: 16,800 ft – 12,700 ft
Distance: 9 km
Duration: 8-9 hours

Day 9: Buffer Day

Day 10: Zero Point  Uddar Camp
Altitude: 12,700 ft – 11,940 ft
Distance: 7 km
Duration: 3-4 hours

Day 11: Uddar Camp  Jungle Camp (Chavni)
Altitude: 11,940 ft – 9,640 ft
Distance: 5 km
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 12: Jungle Camp (Chavni)  Gangi
Altitude: 9,640 ft – 8,700 ft
Distance: 15 km
Duration:  8 hours

Day 13: Gangi – Rishikesh
Distance: 180 km drive
Duration:  8 hours drive

➤ Trail Information

Day 1: Rishikesh to Gangotri

Distance: 270 km drive
Duration: 9 hours drive

The trek starts from Gangotri, a small pilgrim town in Uttarakhand at an elevation of around 10,240 ft above sea level. Located on the banks of the holy Bhagirathi river, it is the last road head for pilgrims heading to Gaumukh-Tapovan as well as for trekkers and mountaineers venturing into the Garhwal Himalayas. It is one of the chota char-dhams of Uttarakhand. 

Direct buses as well as shared taxis are available early in the morning from Rishikesh to Gangotri, and the journey should take about 10 hours. A slightly more expensive but perhaps more comfortable option is to take a shared taxi from Rishikesh to Uttarkashi and then another from Uttarkashi to Gangotri. 

Day 2: Acclimatization day at Gangotri

Altitude: 10,240 ft
GPS coordinates of Gangotri: 30°59’36.55″N, 78°56’29.12″E

Since Gangotri is already at a high altitude of above 10,000 ft, it is highly recommended to spend an acclimatization day at Gangotri before starting your trek. Otherwise you risk getting altitude sickness during your trek.

You will likely reach Gangotri in the evening, so plan to spend the next day there. Doing an acclimatization walk is particularly helpful in adapting your body to the altitude. You can go for a short hike towards Gaumukh or Kedartal.

Day 3: Gangotri to Nala Camp

Altitude: 10,240 ft – 11,990 ft
Distance: 6 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
GPS coordinates of Nala Camp: 30°58’1.24″N, 78°55’4.30″E

Today is the first day of the trek. From Gangotri town head southwest, walking down the main valley for about 2 km before turning east into Rudugaira valley as you start to gain altitude. The steep trail climbs up the valley as you pass through the dense forests of Gangotri National Park, with Pine, Cedar, Rhododendron, and Bhoj trees. 

After about two hours of trekking from Gangotri you will come across a log bridge over Rudugaira river. Cross the bridge to the right (true left) of the valley. The forests begin fading away now as you cross the tree line and move towards grasslands and meadows. 

At the Nala campsite on Day 3 of the trek to Auden's Col. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

After about another two hours of walking you will have to cross another stream in a huge landslide area. A further half an hour’s walk will take you to the campsite of Bhoj Kharak. You can camp here or you can trek further to Nala camp which is a further one hour uphill trek. There is a stream flowing next to Nala camp which serves as the water source for camp.

Day 4: Nalla Camp to Rudugaira Base Camp

Altitude: 12,340 ft – 13,650 ft
Distance: 3 km
Duration: 3 hours
GPS coordinates of Rudugaira Base Camp: 30°56’53.10″N, 78°54’23.76″E

Today’s trek is a short but steep one to Rudugaira Base Camp. The trail moves away from the Nalla to higher grazing grounds, crossing a couple of small streams enroute. You have to start by crossing the stream flowing to your right. You should now be able to get a clear view of Jogini

The Rudugaira valley. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

After a short false climb you descend back to follow the trail ahead. Another one and a half hour of trekking you should come across another small stream. From here the trail climbs steeply to Rudugaira Base Camp. 

From Rudugaira Base Camp, the Gangotri group of peaks rise to the east and the Jogin group to the North, offering some incredible mountain views. The ridges descending from both the massifs meet at Auden’s Col, which is visible from the campsite. 

Rudugaira Base Camp is a small grassy patch in the middle of the rocky terrain. There are many streams near the camp which serve as the water source. 

Day 5: Rudugaira Base Camp to Gangotri Base (Moraine) Camp

Altitude: 13,650 ft – 15,300 ft
Distance: 4 km
Duration: 4 hours
GPS coordinates of Gangotri Base (Moraine) Camp: 30°55’43.03″N, 78°53’58.60″E

Today’s trail leaves the grassy (or snowy, depending on the weather) valley slopes and climbs over two moraine ridges.

The Gangotri Base Camp. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

Climb to the top of the ridge above Rudugaira Base Camp and trek along the ridge. At the end of the ridge descend to Gangotri Base Camp.

Day 6: Gangotri Base (Moraine) Camp to Auden’s Col Base Camp

Altitude: 15,300 ft – 16,090 ft
Distance: 5 km
Duration: 4 hours
GPS coordinates of Auden’s Col Base Camp: 30°53’38.92″N, 78°54’6.38″E

Cross the stream that flows to your left and start ascending along the ridge on this side of the stream. 

On the way you will pass Sukha Tal, a moraine bound lake that apparently dries up in the post monsoon season (hence the name). Follow the moraine ridge till you reach its end and descend to a small flat patch of rocky moraine. 

Heading out of the Gangotri Base Camp. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

This is the base camp for the climb to Auden’s Col. From here you can see a gully leading to Auden’s Col. There is a tiny pond near the base camp which serves as the source of water tonight. 

Day 7: Auden’s Col Base Camp to Auden’s Col and to Khatling Glacier Camp

Altitude: 16,000 ft – 18,030 ft – 16,800 ft
Distance: 5 km
Duration: 10-12 hours
GPS coordinates of Auden’s Col: 30°52’23.79″N, 78°53’28.80″E
GPS coordinates of Khatling Glacier: 30°51’41.33″N, 78°53’54.26″E

Today is the most anticipated day of the trek- the day you will cross Auden’s Col. It will be a long day of trekking so start as early as possible, preferably before dawn. Also keep in mind that the weather in the mountains tends to very unpredictable later in the day so you will be putting yourself at considerable risk if you start late. 

Looking back from Auden's Col. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

The climb begins with crossing a couple of small moraine ridges. It should take you less than two hours to traverse these moraine ridges. Once you cross the ridges, you will be on the glacier. From here another hour of trekking will take you to a flat spot on the glacier which is the advance base camp for Auden’s Col. Some trekkers camp at the advance base camp for an easier ascent to the Col. 

From the advance base camp the trail to Auden’s Col goes up the gully at a steep 30°- 50° slope. Because of the steep gradient, it is recommended to rope up here. There are also many crevasses in this area and you should exercise extreme caution while ascending. It would be foolhardy to attempt this without an experienced guide. 

The climb up the gully could take anywhere between three to five hours depending on your fitness and backpack load. The view of the crevasse ridden Khatling glacier from Auden’s Col is incredible.  The glacier stretches out in the valley as far as your eyes can see. Take some time to relish the view before you begin the treacherous descent.

The descent from Auden’s Col to Khatling glacier is down a very steep 70° gully and you would need to rappel down using ropes on this stretch. Once you reach the bottom of the gully the Khatling glacier flattens out and becomes broader. You get incredible views of the surrounding peaks and icefalls from here. 

Looking back at Audens col after an arduous ascent. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

The walk to the campsite should take another couple of hours trekking along the Khatling glacier. Be careful on this stretch as Khatling glacier is littered with crevasses all around- it is recommended to rope up and move vigilantly towards your camp. The campsite is on a small rocky moraine patch on the Khatling glacier. 

Day 8: Khatling Glacier Camp to Zero Point

Altitude: 16,800 ft – 12,700 ft
Distance: 9 km
Duration: 8-9 hours
GPS coordinates of Zero point: 30°48’52.19″N, 78°56’51.45″E

Today is another long and treacherous day of trekking. If yesterday the challenge was the steep icy terrain, today it is going to be long traverses over moraine and crevasses. To start off the day however, if the weather is clear, you should wake up to some jaw dropping views of the sun lighting up the many peaks around Khatling Glacier. 

The campsite on Khatling Glacier. Picture by Mahesh Srinivasan.

As you start descending along the glacier, you will come across ever more crevasses that you need to negotiate carefully. This portion is heavily crevassed and demands a lot of time and caution. After 2-3 hours of trekking you will reach the end of the glacier, to its terminal moraine.  

The moraine section was earlier (about a decade back) just about one and a half hours long. But part of the trail has collapsed in the recent years rendering it much more difficult. The trail to zero point now involves traversing the lateral moraine to your right. 

The glacier is heavily crevassed and requires a lot of time and attention. Photo by Dr Srinivas

Traversing moraine is difficult as it is, but the moraine here is particularly difficult to traverse. The boulders here are not firm but they move with your body weight. This makes it very difficult and time consuming to get through this moraine section. It could take anywhere between four to six hours to traverse this section. 

The zero point. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan

From here, climb the hill to get to the right side of Bhilangana river. For the first time in days, the trek is on flat ground. Camp here for the night.

Day 9: Buffer Day

You need to keep a buffer day in your itinerary for bad weather or any emergencies on the trek.

Day 10: Zero Point to Uddar Camp

Altitude: 12,700 ft – 11,940 ft
Distance: 7 km
Duration: 3-4 hours

After many days you will finally see some greenery on today’s trek as you descend along the Bhilangana river valley. The greenery, however sparse, is sure to recharge your batteries after all these days of trekking over ice, snow and moraine. 

You can see the route to Mayali Pass from Uddar camp. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

Uddar camp (meaning “cave”) is an easy three-four descent along the valley, with the trail reaching right to the river valley at some points. The river bed here is littered with Bharal carcasses. You will pass a couple of small villages along the way. 

Right opposite the Uddar camp, across the river is Chowki. Trekkers going to Mayali Pass camp here.  You can even spot the steep trail up to Mayali Pass. Kedarnath lies just behind this Pass. Rest for the day at first bountiful, green campsite in days.

Day 11: Uddar Camp to Jungle Camp (Chavni)

Altitude: 11,940 ft – 9,640 ft
Distance: 5 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
GPS coordinates of Jungle Camp (Chavni): 30°44’33.81″N, 78°53’50.86″E

The toughest days of the expedition is behind you and the trail becomes a routinely pleasant walk. You may see shepherds and their herd: sheep, cattle and sometimes, horses. The walk to Jungle Camp begins after crossing a few hard snow patches. The well defined trail goes through a dense forest dotted with few meadows and streams. You will find these streams making small pools on occasion.

The trail to Jungle Camp. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

Most of the trek is through this jungle. The campsite for the day is a clearing that is often used by shepherds. There will be a stone structure that functions as a temporary shepherd shelter marking the clearing. This is Jungle Camp. As often it is in the mountains, this campsite has various alternate names. Camp here for the night.

Day 12: Jungle Camp (Chavni) to Gangi

Altitude: 9,640 ft – 8,700 ft
Distance: 15 km
Duration:  8 hours
GPS coordinates of Gangi: 30°38’10.53″N, 78°51’4.65″E

Today is a long day. It is a strenuous day because of it’s distance, not because of tricky terrain.  The trek is a continuation of the jungle walk from the previous day with lush meadows and dense forests. Once you cross Jungle Camp, the snow patches disappear.  The trail has a gradual ascents and descents throughout the day. The last two hours of the trail towards Gangi is on a steep incline.

The Jungle camp is a clearing that is often used by shepherds. There will be a stone structure that functions as a temporary shepherd shelter marking the clearing. Photo by Mahesh Srinivasan.

Gangi is a quaint village with about 100-150 houses, sitting at an altitude of 8,700 ft.  There is KMVN guest house as well. Stay at the village for the night.

Day 13: Gangi to Rishikesh

Distance: 180 km drive
Duration:  8 hours drive

There is a dirt road that goes all the way down to Ghuttu from Gangi.  You can arrange for local transport to take you to Ghuttu at the cost of Rs 50. Mobile network is available from Ghuttu onwards. From Ghuttu, hire a taxi to Rishikesh.

Gangi is a quaint village with about 100-150 houses, sitting at an altitude of 8,700 ft. 

How to Prepare for the Auden's Col Trek

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Auden’s Col is a Difficult trek. Every day, you cover around 7-8 km on an average and gain a good amount of altitude. Over 5 days, you climb from 10,000 ft to a highest point of 18,050 ft. You gain 8,000 ft over five days of trekking. If you want to do this trek comfortably and enjoy all the surprises it offers, you will need to prepare well.

Cardiovascular endurance – Target 10 km in 70 minutes before the start of the trek
The Auden’s Col trek requires a good amount of endurance and stamina. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.

In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.

Here’s a fitness routine that works:

In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, phase out your distance targets in the following manner –

  • Target completing 5 km in 30 minutes when you begin.
  • Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in less than 30 mins.
  • If you are above 45 years and is comfortable with brisk walking, then target covering 10km in 75 minutes.

If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 25 km in 60 minutes.

Record your run on an app like Nike Run or Strava. Start recording your run when you start running. At the end of your run, hit the stop button.

Note: Make sure your GPS is on when you record your run.

Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each

This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover in high altitude carrying your backpacks.  You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.


Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Here is a chart that you can follow to get fit for your trek.

Working out indoors

If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

➤ What to Take on Your Trek

Useful videos to help you with your gear

Bare necessities:

1. Trekking shoes: The Auden’s Col trek has different kinds of terrain. A majority of the trail is alpine, with rocks, loose soil and boulders. So it’s imperative that you have a good pair of trekking shoes. So ensure you wear a good pair of shoes.

2. Backpack (40-50 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.


On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. But enough to keep you warm.

1. Four warm layers: The highest altitude you reach in this trek is 18,050 ft and the climate may require you to have more warm clothes. You will need at least three warm layers (two light layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek.

2. Two trek pants: Two pairs of pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry an extra pair just in case it rains. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.

3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry two. Let one of these be a dry fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day.

4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.


1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow closer to the lake, so carry a pair of sunglasses.
2. Suncap: The sun is more hard at high altitudes, which is why a sun cap is mandatory.
3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woollen hand gloves which is water resistant.
4. Balaclava or a woollen cap
5. Socks (3 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.


  1. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
  2. Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose sanitary napkins in the mountains.
  3. Cutlery:Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
  4. Two water bottles: 1 liter each.
  5. Plastic covers: While packing, use Ziploc covers to compartmentalization of things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes. You also need ziploc packets to keep soiled sanitary napkins if you use them on the trek.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit

  1. Diamox – 1 Strip
  2. Dexamethasone – 1 strip
  3. Crocin – 10 tablets
  4. Avomine (optional, in case of motion sickness)- 1 Strip
  5. Combiflam- Half Strip
  6. Muscle relaxant – Half Strip
  7. Digene – Half Strip
  8. Avil – 1 strip
  9. ORS – 6 packs
  10. Knee Cap (If you are prone to knee injury)

If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.

Here’s a quick info-graphic to give you an overview of everything you need in your backpack.

➤ Difficult Sections

Auden’s Col is a difficult trek. Only the first two days of the trek, when compared to rest of the sections of the trek, can be marked as relatively easy. That being said, the first two days have a lot of altitude gain as well as sections with broken trail. 

1. The climb from Rudugaira Base Camp up till Auden’s Col Base Camp

You leave last of the vegetation behind at Rudugaira Base Camp and enter moraine country from then on. Most of the trek until next two campsites is on moraine and boulders, which prove very difficult to walk on. 

2. Crossing Auden’s Col

This is perhaps the longest day on the trek. With moraine ridges to cross, a glacier walk and the climb to the col that is at a steep 30- 50 degree slope. It is recommended that the team rope up here as the area is also riddled with crevasses. The descent from the Col is on a 70 degree slope – which means the team will have to rappel down this section.

3. The Khatling Glacier

The Khatling Glacier is notorious for it’s hidden crevasses. The trek over Khatling glacier requires tremendous caution simply because of how heavily crevassed it is and the laborious walk on moraines. It is imperative to have an experienced guide on this trekking expedition.

Here is an article you can read to help you understand the realities of trekking in Auden’s Col.

➤ Emergency contacts

Hospital: There are unfortunately, no hospitals near the base camp or end point of the trek. The closest one is Government Hospital, Uttarkashi. From the other side of the Col, the closest place from where you can get medical aid is Ghansali.

Police station: The police station closest to Auden’s Col is the Gangotri police station.

ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112. However, bear in mind that there’s poor to no network coverage on the trail.

Tip: Jot down the above mentioned contacts on an easy-to-access card. This can come in handy during emergencies.

Elevation Graph:

➤ How to Plan Your Travel

The trek starts at Gangotri and ends at Gangi. The ideal point to start your journey from would be Rishikesh, though you can also start from Dehradun. 

Both Dehradun and Rishikesh are in close proximity to the pilgrim towns of Gangotri and Kedarnath. Gangotri is connected by road, while to exit from Kedarnath you will have to get to the nearest road head Gaurikund. Both Gangotri and Gaurikund are accessible from Rishikesh as well as Dehradun via buses and shared taxis. 

There are buses nearly every half hour in the morning 6 am to 8 am to Gangotri from Rishikesh. The fares are around Rs 250 to 350. 

If you are at Dehradun, take a share cab from Parade grounds to Uttarkashi. These share cabs are available from 5 am to 7.30 am. You may find a cab upto 8.30 am. The journey is about 5½ hours. Fares are around Rs 300 to 350.  Once you reach Uttarkashi, get another share cab to Gangotri. These are available around noon, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. The fares are around Rs 330 to 350. You will reach Gangotri in 2½ hours. 

Dehradun and Rishikesh are easily accessible from Delhi, with regular buses and trains plying on the route. You can also directly fly to Jolly Grant airport, which is around 20 km from Rishikesh and 30 km from Dehradun.

➤ Mobile Network and ATM

Mobile network

The Auden’s col trek passes through possibly the most unfrequented region of the Garhwal Himalayas. Therefore, mobile network connectivity is close to nil throughout the trek.
However, you can get weak coverage in Gangotri. After crossing the pass, Ghansali is the first settlement where you’ll receive proper network.

Nearest ATM

Uttarkashi is the last town where you’ll find ATM on your way to Gangotri.
Whereas after crossing the pass, you’ll come across ATMs at Ghansali.

➤ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I attempt this trek on my own?

No. This trek requires you to have an experienced guide with you.  They are life-savers on the trek that is riddled with hidden crevasses.

What are the accommodation options near Gangotri?

There are guest houses in Gangotri. Your guide can help you with arrangements.

Can I do this trek as my first Himalayan trek?

Absolutely not. We do not recommend doing Auden’s col as your first, or even your second and third Himalayan trek.  You need a sufficient amount of experience in the Himalayas to do this trek – even with a good guide to help you. You need to have mountain feet – that is, an understanding of how to place your foot on tricky sections like moraines, boulders, glaciers, hard ice, etc.  This is only possible if you have done treks that go above 15, 000 ft which take you over alpine zones.

Do I need to obtain permission for trekking to Auden’s Col? 

Yes. However, this can be easily arranged through your guide.

Where can I get a guide for the trek?

You can get good guides of Auden’s Col from Gangotri or even Uttarkashi. We suggest you rely on word of mouth to get a good guide for yourself.  You can get in touch with the blogger here to help you with a guide.

➤ Nearby Places to Visit

The trek ends in Bhilangana valley, which is a very remote, untouched valley.  There aren’t many options for sightseeing. The options for sightseeing opens up when you come back down to Rishikesh.

Places to see in Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhula
The Lakshman Jhula is a suspension bridge over the river Ganga.  It is a bridge that is immediately associated with Rishikesh.  Around Lakshman Jhula, there are temples and cafes you can explore.

Ganga Aarti
Every evening,  Rishikesh, Varanasi and Haridwar observe the Ganga aarti.  It is a ritual to pay respect to the river that is considered to be a lifeline in India – Ganga. The aarti at Rishikesh is a more quieter affair than the ones you would see in Varanasi and Haridwar.

The Ghat on Muni ki Reti side
You can walk on the ghats on the Muni Ki Reti side of Rishikesh. It’s quite a lovely walk!

➤ Trek Contribution

Trek documented by Arun Joshi, Dr. Srinivas, Jayant Gosar, Krithika Mahesh & Mahesh Srinivasan.

Authors: Alok Tiwari & Aswati Anand