Auden’s Col an Introduction Col is a mountain pass which connects Jogin I (6465m) and Gangotri III (6580m) peaks and is reportedly situated at a height of around 5400m. It also binds two glaciers on the opposite sides. One is Khatling glacier and the other one looks like the glacier belonging to Jogin I. Auden’s Col is approachable from Gangotri and one can trek up to Kedarnath following Auden’s Col and Khatling glacier. Auden’s Col gets its name from J B Auden, who first crossed it in 1939-40. This pass was then explored only after late eighties.
Trekking route, schedule, and plan depends on a trekker’s ability, experience, as well as prevailing weather condition. Since the trek is strenuous and dangerous, it is advisable to secure, well in advance, services of a guide who has firsthand knowledge of the trek, and possibly has done it several times. A typical route plan in good weather condition is as following.
Meet and Assit by Company Driver atDehradun and drive to Gangotri in the early morning. Breakfast will be on the way. Gangotri is around 240 km from Dehradun and it takes around 7-8 hours to reach there. The road upto Uttarkashi is in good condition. After Uttarkashi, the road traverses a steep gorge to Gangotri. Overnight stay in Guest house on twin/triple sharing basis
We have an early morning breakfast and wait for porter’s to arrive and distribute the loads amongst themselves. We set of on the true left of the Bhagirathi river and walk for about half an hour before we turn south towards the Rudragaira Nalla. Looking back we get beautiful views of the snow capped mountains. The climb is a gradual uphill through the forests of birch and maple. Nalla Camp is just above the tree line and can get quite chilly during the night. Overnight in Tent & Dinner.
Birch forests give way to green meadows. There are steep climbs and rock fall zones and a river crossing on the way to Rudugaira Base Camp site. Camp site offers views of Rudugaira peak, Gangotri I, Gangotri II, Gangotri III, and Jogin I.
Rest and Acclimatization day at rudragaira bc (4350 mt. / 14270 ft.)
Today hike involves moraine and technical surface to be accustomed. The path is gradual throughout but challenging at times. Approach near the camp makes you feel cherished and refreshed with the gorgeous views of Gangotri I, II & III peaks. Overnight in the tent & dinner.
Post breakfast, continue on the same trail through the moraines, today’s destination is the Auden’s Col base camp. Climbing up and down the boulders, it will take another 5 odd hours to reach the campsite for today. Overnight in tents & Dinner.
We start before dawn to take advantage of walking on firm snow. The climb is quite steep through deep snow and could easily take 4-6 hrs depending on the snow conditions. Once we get to the col there are sweeping views of the Khatling Glacier, and the mountain peaks of Jaonli, Kedarnath, Jogin & Gangotri. From the col we descend down near-vertical walls of ice on fixed ropes to the heavily crevassed Khatling Glacier. We hope that there is enough snow on this section to cover the underlying surface of loose rocks and boulders otherwise the descent could be very technical and dangerous. Once we are down, we walk a further half an hour before we find a flat space on the glacier, suitable for camping. Overnight – Khatling Glacier Camp (5110m)
Today’s trek is one of the most demanding and longest days of the expedition. After walking down the glacier another 2 kms, we will reach the moraine. From here, there are no carins or marked trails till the snout of the glacier. The route consists of loose gravel and scree over steep, sometimes exposed, black ice. Just before the snout, we will leave the glacier, descending to a small stream on the right (true right) of the valley and climbing up the valley slopes. After a short climb, you will reach an established trail and follow it down to the campsite at the snout of the Khatling glacier.
We will continue our trek along the river valley. After a walk of 3 km, we will reach a meadow. We will rest for a while in the meadow and continue our trek towards Chowki. The campsite at Chowki is around 4 km from the meadow. Chowki is a good campsite with grassy surface. Overnight stay in camps.
Initially we will ascend a steep section with views of Thalay Sagar and cross a ridge above the valley. The route is well defined as we approach the beautiful Masar Tal. After reaching the site, we will pitch our tents near the scenic lake
The day continues with the ascend of 3 km to reach ridge, followed by a series of switch backs descend that brings you to picturesque lake of Vasukital. Arrive and camp by the lake. Overnight in the tents.
Trek towards one of the famous and much revered temple pilgrimage center in India. Its descend of 5 km and takes approximately 3 hours. On arrival one can essence the spiritual environment of Hindu culture. The Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the temple has an architecture which is unparallel. Evening visit the temple. Overnight in the hotel.
Awake with a morning full of religious environment follow by a descend of 18 km. towords Gaurikund. Countinue to descend further to reach Gaurikund.From here to drive for 04 hrs.to reach Rudrapryag, another revered religious place, on the confluence of river Mandakini and Alaknanda.Overnight in Hotel & Dinner.
We will board a vehicle for Rishikesh/Dehradun. The drive to Rishikesh is along the River Ganges. Board overnight Bus for Delhi from Rishikesh/Dehradun.