To begin with, Indiahikes wishes you a very Happy New Year! We hope your 2017 is filled with exciting explorations and some great treks! Here is a message from our senior Trek Leader Ankit Naithani – right from meadows of Gorson Bugyal on the Kuari Pass trek.
Before we get onto the new trek that we are opening, let’s look back on the year we have had.
It has been a grand year full of changes. “The year 2016 was eventful for Indiahikes,” says Arjun Majumdar, the founder. “Our treks have become safer as we introduced new safety protocols. I think right now our safety standards are at a very high bar. Our trek leaders are the cream of the lot — everyone seems to be a star! Our cooks are top notch! People seem to be wanting to come on our treks because of the food.
On the other hand, managing the Kashmir season was a nightmare for our staff. We had to cancel most of our batches. Har Ki Dun in December was a no show with the forest department wanting to close the trail from December. But we are here to solve problems, and that’s what we’ll try to do.
Personally, I am looking forward to 2017. There are lots of areas where we are bringing in fundamental changes to trekking.”
We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.
Quick updates: Celebrating New Year with fresh snowfall
The year 2017 started with the second spell of snowfall of the season on all our slopes! The weather gods were in festive mood indeed.
Our Kuari Pass trekkers experienced a whiteout on the slopes. The 30th December batch couldn’t summit the pass because of poor visibility. The evening temperatures of Khullara and Talli were falling to -6 degrees Celsius.
Deoriatal-Chandrashila started with rains and poor visibility. The haze cleared with snowfall at Rohini Bugyal and the peaks shone through the night. The Chandrashila summit gave an uninterrupted view of Garhwal Himalayas.
Sandakphu also reported heavy snowfall on Monday. With the Monday’s snowfall, the surrounding peaks looked like there was a white sheet put on them- highlighting the indents in peaks.
Kedarkantha, as expected, is under a blanket of snow. Most camps report at least 7 to 8 inches of snow! There are dark clouds hovering over Sankri as I type this.
Here is what our trekker from Deoriatal had to say
“This was my first high altitude trek, and I’m glad I chose Indiahikes. The trekking guide, Chaitan, was always helpful. The local staff who cooked and organised other things for us were also wonderful people. The food was much better than expected – we were all set for dal-chawal every day, but were amazed to find gulab jamun! The most awesome surprise was the cake on New Year’s eve. What’s more, it snowed on the last day of our trek! It was wonderful! Overall, it was a New Year to remember. I’m glad I started 2017 this way, and look forward to more adventures with Indiahikes.” – Zeba Siddiqui, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, December 2016 batch
Diogo Felix, who went to Kuari Pass would like to let his camera do the talking
Ending the Kuari Pass and Deoriatal seasons on a Green note
Trekkers collect 261 kg of garbage from the Kuari Pass trail
Kuari Pass season is set to end on a good note. With over 261 kg of garbage collected and ready to be sent to Joshimath’s segregation unit, our trek leader Ankur had an inspiring tidbit to share with us.
“Khirsu is a village that falls enroute Khullara to Dhak – the exit point of the trek. Since there are no proper dustbin facilities here, every batch I took ended up cleaning the village. After the villagers saw us picking up the garbage, they talked to our trekkers and me, asking us why we do this and what we do with the garbage. The villagers are now planning to hold a clean-up drive in association with the Mahila Vikas group of the village,” said Ankur.
Children from Sari participate in a Clean-Up drive
There is a lot going on at Sari as well, the basecamp Deoriatal-Chandrashila. Our Green Trails intern Shivani had managed to rope in school children in clean up activities. “All children were given the responsibility of their area,” says Lakshmi, our Green Trails Head said. “They were vigilantes – a bit like Batman of their area to make sure the place stays clean. We even took them all up to Deoriatal for a clean up drive. I have a lot of high hopes for Sari this year.”
Gearing up for the peak winter season at Brahmatal
In two days, we will be starting our peak winter treks to Brahmatal. Our trek leaders have already moved onto new slopes. Here is a picture our trek leader Ankit Naithani shared yesterday from the drive to Lohajung.
Don’t let the sunny picture deceive you. Lohajung at the moment is chilly. Once you hit Gwaldam from Kathgodam, the wind starts to chill your bones. There are dark clouds gathering over Lohajung and snow is likely to fall anytime. Trekkers heading to Brahmatal this weekend must be prepared.
Indiahikes opens a new trek to Gaumukh Tapovan!
And finally, to our big announcement. We have another new trek opening in 2017. That’s right.
This year, we will be running Gaumukh-Tapovan trek. The journey to the yawning mouth of Gaumukh glacier – the source of the River Ganga- and to the meadows of Tapovan makes this trek a class apart.
We already have a batch open. You can take a look at the dates here.
Arjun Majumdar, who has done this trek twice, believes that the view of the Bhagirathi sisters is reason enough to do this trek. The picture below justifies his statement.
We can’t wait to be here soon! Mark your calendars for this beauty of a trek.
Or you can win a calendar by participating in the #IHTimelapse Contest!
Stay tuned to our website for more updates.