Last week, I had mentioned that our Trek Leaders were away exploring trails. Well, one of them has led to a grand discovery. Indrajit’s explorations in the Kumaon region has left us with a strong desire to leave our desks and head to Uttarakhand immediately.
This February, we are opening a trail to Thakoor Top. It is Indiahikes’s first venture into the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. This weekend trek goes through a host of dense forests: Oak, pine, rhododendron.
“With my mind still reeling with the charm of the forest trails, I reached the summit. Again, I was bowled over! I could see all the major summits of the Garhwal Himalayas,” says Indrajit, who explored this route. “I could not only see most of the trail that I had walked on but right on the horizon was Nanda Devi, Maiktoli, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and even some of the Panchachuli peaks,” he adds.
It is a must-do for anyone living in Delhi. It is in Nainital, so it has easy access from Kathgodam. Instead of spending a day or two in a saturated hill station like Nainital, climb a little higher and you’ll see what a hill station is really supposed to look like.
Talking about the other exploration, our Trek Leader Dushyant is back from rhododendron country with exciting stories from Barsey Sanctuary. The trail is extremely dense with forests and not suitable for comfortable trekking. He will be off on another exploration to find an alternate route.
Meanwhile, he visited Maneybhanjang for a two hour session with local guides on the importance of health and safety. “Out of the 8 guides who turned up for the session, at least 5 of them were interested in taking their learnings further.” he said.
The first batch of Talle Valley returns raving about the forest trails
A little north of West Bengal, in Arunachal Pradesh, 21 trekkers returned from Talle Valley today. What an adventure they had in the tropical jungle trail!
Our Ground Coordinator Prathima, who was a part of the first batch doesn’t want to leave. The adrenaline of a trek gone well is right here in her updates: “I feel like I am in paradise. Such a beautiful trek! Such thick bamboo forests no one would have seen or experienced!” All trekkers have been painting a picture right out of Jungle Book.
We can’t wait to hear more stories from the trek. The next batch leaves on 29th. Let’s see what they have to say.
To give you an idea of the trek, here is a bit about the base camp: Ziro Valley. It has been written by our trekker Sneha Rao. She had trekked till Pangey and roamed quite a bit around Ziro Valley. Her article makes a lovely chai time read. Click here to read it.
Here are some pictures our phones were flooded with this morning!
Updates from Brahmatal
Our winter treks, on the other hand, are running smoothly. Our trek leader, Vishal, has been bowled over by Brahmatal. “It is an amazing trek and definitely one that surpassed my expectations. You can see massive 7000 metre peaks from Brahmatal top. And the forest stretch is so dense! I can’t wait to see it in March when the rhododendrons will be in full bloom.”
It was lightly snowing at Lohajung even this afternoon. If you’re off on this trek, do not forget all your five warm layers! You’ll need your gloves, woollen socks and balaclava as well! Here are some pictures from the trek that will make you feel the chill of bone cold winter.
Trek with Swathi
Swathi has been receiving quite a lot of queries in her inbox. So she has decided to start an offshoot of Trek with Swathi: The FAQs. Here she will be addressing all the questions she gets. You can also write to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your questions answered! Watch the first of the FAQ series here.
What’s new at Indiahikes
Speaking of new things, we finally have an office in Dehradun! Our Trek Leader Sandeep has been working tirelessly to setup the office.
Having a new office close to slopes is going to ease our operations for sure. Our Bangalore office on the other hand, has new guests from the slopes. Our mountain staff- Prahlad, Mukesh and Jairam. They are here to learn the workings of the head office. They are also leading the weekend’s Hiking Club trek to Kopatty with Canadian International School.
We can’t wait to have them experience a trek down south. Bangalore is being chilly – making it a joy to be outdoors.
Hiking Club goes to Kopatty in Coorg
Last weekend saw a breezy trek to Makalidurga with 70 students from Daffodils! That was quite a bit to manage for our team but thankfully, our IIM 2016 volunteers pitched in to help. Trekking does indeed, bring a lot of us closer.
Suhas, our Ground Coordinator told us a story from the very same trek which illustrates what trekking does to friendships. “There was one student who was scared of heights. He was finding the descent difficult. However, his friends descended along with him. All the way through. Each step they were assisting him. It was heartening to see.” he said.
Creating a new Game App for treks
Back in our office in Bangalore, there are a lot of new, exciting things happening. We are currently building an app for trekkers to use on treks. The game app will be tested out on the Kopatty trek with Canadian International School. We can’t wait to see where this app takes trekking!
Founder of Indiahikes, Arjun Majumdar says, “The future looks very enticing. Apps on smartphones are taking the trekking experience forward in ways we have never thought possible. Now it is possible to do a trek without guides, to know the names of summits without anyone telling us, to recognise constellations without being astronomers. Future apps are pushing on building of interactive trail maps, blending virtual reality with trail preparation and experience.”
This app will test your knowledge about trails, give you information about the mountains and landscape you see around you and will ensure you explore more.
Tell us your thoughts on such an app in the comments below. We’re open to suggestions!