A very snowy Christmas – Latest updates from the Himalayas

What a jolly week! The weather gods have decked the slopes with snow this Christmas! It is not just Kedarkantha, Kuari Pass and Deoriatal; our eastern slope has reported snowfall too. It snowed at Sandakphu yesterday!

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Even the snowman is celebrating! Chopta campsite at Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek. PC our Trek Leader Karthik Maddineni

Weather update from all winter treks

With the first spell of snow of the winter season, it has become bone-chillingly cold. Temperatures are getting down to sub-zero in Kuari Pass. The meadows of Gorson Bugyal are especially windy.  On our other winter treks, the days are sunny but the nights are hard to combat without sensible layering. If you are confused about what to layer yourself with for the coming January treks, we have just the video you need. In this  Trek with Swathi video, Swathi speaks to Ravi- a Product Trainer for Mountain Sports at Decathlon- to help you choose the layers.

Kedarkantha

Our Kedarkantha winter trekkers are returning and can’t stop raving about their experience. Here’s what one of them had to say.

“I am very impressed by the philosophy of Indiahikes – the approach, safety before all else attitude, green trails commitment, pre-briefing, ground co-ordination, etc. Lot of this was translated on the ground and executed extremely well. From the quality of briefing, infrastructure and camp sites selection and upkeep, food, motivated support staff– knowledgeable and keen to help- always.

We had an outstanding trek leader in Abhirup Paul. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, knew how to manage a very diverse group like ours – knowing when to let go and when to hold back and rein in the group.  In particular, he took great care to ensure my comfort, confidence and well being through the trek, given my age and that I was re-entering the circuit. His constant attention and personalization was overwhelming. He gelled very well with the team. I would not hesitate in saying that it will be a great pleasure to do another trek with IH under Abhirup’s leadership “ Raman Subramanium, Kedarkantha, 19th Dec 2016 batch

 

Sandakphu

Moving to the east, with the snow fall, Sandakphu has become a misty affair.  However, the grand sunsets and sunrises of this trek are still breaking through the haze. Sandakphu is a trek that is known for its sunrises and sunsets. The video our Trek leader Dushyant has shot will illustrate why:

Instagram #IHTimelapse Contest

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Click on the image to buy the Mountain Lover’s Gold Calendar of 2017

Speaking of timelapse videos, have you posted your entries for  #IHTimelapse contest yet? The winner gets a free Mountain Lover’s Gold Calendar 2017 and a chance to be a photo trekker! Click here to read the rules.

Which brings me to the calendar. Have you ordered your copy yet? It’s been hardly ten days and we have sold out half our stock. So order your copy quickly. If you’ve already got one for yourself, perhaps pick it up as a New Year gift for a friend!

 

Stories from Kuari Pass

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A souvenir from Kuari Pass.

The holidays are here indeed. One of the perks of working at Indiahikes is that you get to go on lovely Himalayan treks, bring back souvenirs for the rest of the Indiahikes team and make them jealous as hell with your stories.

At the Indiahikes office, we have a tradition (one of many). Once someone returns from a trek, we have a story session. Akanksha just returned from Kuari Pass. Sitting on a chair we keep reserved for these sessions, she had so many stories to share! She also got us these lovely polaroids from the trek.

She had few very interesting bits to share.

“In the morning, we saw garbage trucks that go around Joshimath. They had speakers on the truck which kept saying, ‘Joshimath aap ka ghar hai, isko saaf rakhiye’. They already have a system in place. They have a segregation centre! It makes the Green Trails work there a lot easier,” Akanksha said.

However, while there is a wonderful system in place in Joshimath, the villages on the trek route paint a sad picture. An hour before Dhak, the exit point of the trek, is a waterfall filled with filth. Our trekkers did a clean up of the waterfall and the trail along the villages. 

Kirti Rawat from December 2016 Kuari Pass batch said, “At the village we were cleaning trash not managed appropriately by the villagers. When the villagers got uncomfortable because we were cleaning their trash, our Trek leader Indrajit was able to sensitize them on why it is important for them to manage their trash and not burn it.”

Hiking Club

Back in Bangalore, the Hiking Club had taken out kids from an NGO Makkala Jagriti to Nandi One last week. This is what Makkala Jagriti had to say:

The trek organised by Indiahikes put 30 children from our Binnipet Community Center through a test of mental and physical challenges. Children were taught the true spirit of trekking by instilling in them the responsibility to ensure that they leave the trail in a better state. The effort put by the children to complete the trek and keep the trail clean was exceptional.  We would like to thank Indiahikes, specially Suhas, Chandrakanth & Pooja from team Indiahikes for organizing the trek and taking good care of our children. Special mention to our Makkala Jagriti facilitators Munniraju, Maithri and Annamal for being brave enough to trek along with the children and supporting them throughout the trip.

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The Hiking Club team at Nandi One. PC: Sunayana Chatrapathy

“Personally, it was a big thing for me. The kind of reactions and learnings they took was great to see. They had this innocence about them that was heartening. These kids are from underprivileged background- so they seemed lot less jaded about things. Small things got them excited. They were also super fit and we completed the trek very quickly!” said Suhas, our Ground Coordinator.

The learnings from outdoors for kids and adults like are many. Last week, we conducted the Himalayan Mountain Challenge Program for IIM Lucknow. We are waiting to hear what the students thought of the experience!

Stay tuned to our website for more updates from the Himalayas.

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Aswati Anand

Aswati Anand is a journalist in love with the Himalayas. She is interested in stories of resilience from difficult terrains and sustainable living. When not mooning over the mountains, she can be seen doodling in her sketchbook.

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