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Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Dhaarna Kukreja

Last updated: 20-07-2017

It gives us an immense pleasure to announce that Bikat Adventures have entered into the league extraordinaire after attempting our first ever Auden's Col Expedition. On 10th June 2017, 3 participants from India and one from Singapore embarked upon the difficult expedition. The expedition turned out to be extreme indeed. While two of our heroes reached all the way to the Col at an altitude of 18,011 ft despite all odds, one participant had to be rescued back to base after psychological breakdown and another stayed at the base camp and did not attempt the summit. However, due to harsh weather conditions, the team couldn't cross to the other side and had to retrace the path back to Gangotri.

Kudos to the spirit and determination of the team!

In the same month, a successful attempt to Friendship Peak was also made. Despite the bad weather and challenging paths, the team was able to reach the top i.e. 5289 meters, two days prior the Summit Day. The dynamic participation of the trekkers led to the early completion of the trek. The whole team showed a great example of self-sustainable trekking all along the expedition by carrying all their stuff and ration.

Congratulations to the team on successful completion of the trek!

Leaders waving the Indian flag at Auden's Col

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

From the Trail

And now, updates from The Himalayan Nagri!

Despite being a rain shadow region, the regions of Spiti and Ladakh Valley observed unexpectedly higher rainfall this year as compared to previous years. Leh received a rainfall of 113 mm over a period of 19 days in June while its average annual rainfall is 103 mm. The rainfall did pose an obstruction on our Himalayan expeditions but everything went successfully well.

The first seasonal batch of Manali-Leh Cycling Expedition (24 June - 3 July) has been successfully accomplished. The weather showed different forms from day to day. Heavy rains were observed on the first day in Rohtang Pass. However, it was sunny in Ladakh region. Despite the landslides between the regions of Patseo and Zing Zing Bar, the participants completed the whole expedition. Lahaul region has not received such levels of rainfall in the last 10 years. Their determination was hard-nosed and their enthusiasm feisty.

The cycling participants also learned some cool skills and mannerisms. Our participant, Yeshwant learned “Camping... setting up and removing tents. sleeping properly in a sleeping bag. washing/cleaning the cycle... fixing tire puncture, basic camping” 

We are so happy to get feedback on including more learning modules like how another group member, Mathew, shared “Next time please also include some technical aspect of the bike, gear shifting, etc“

Well done, guys! Thanks for making our season opening so special despite all odds. You deserve a pat on your back.

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Our participants sipping hot tea after a cold tiring day

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Our beloved Travel Writer, Cambria, got injured during the Manali-Leh Cycling Expedition while descending from Lato camp site towards Leh. Thank god, she was wearing a helmet that saved her life. Our team rushed her to the nearest hospital in Leh and flew her back to Delhi for further treatment. Feeling better now, she has only one advice to all cyclists for the season - ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET.

The second batch of Manali-Leh Cycling Expedition has already left. Wish best of luck to all the participants!

The first batch of Manali-Chandratal Cycling (1st July-6 July) has also been completed successfully. Our Expedition Leader Jeelani reported heavy downpour in Rohtang Pass on the first day. On the following days, the sky was clear and the sun was back in its form. Rain streams formed due to heavy showers posed a hurdle but it did not deter the zeal of our participants. Located to the right of Chandra River, Bedi Khuri was the last campsite where the participants relished the views of barren mountains and greenery around the river. Our long time buddy and regular trekker - Sonu Goyat who is a Level 3 (Leader) member of Bikat community and tried cycling for the first time, finished the ride in style.

"Cycling had been on top of my head for quite some time and the Manali-Chandrataal Expedition was the best fit to my craving. Riding a bicycle through that NO ROAD zone was definitely a big challenge but worth every effort. My expedition leader Jeelani was very supportive. I learned a great deal about disc alignment and brake pad, gear shift, and basic maintenance of MTB."

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Hampta Pass was also organized in the first week of July. Due to the advent of monsoons, there were heavy downpours at Chika and Balu Ka Gera campsites as reported by our Trek Leader Sarthak. But the scenery was oh so amazing! The weather was clear on Pass Day.  Since the route was closed, very few vehicles have been able to reach Chandratal.

Traffic Jams are becoming a regular havoc now in Manali, especially on weekends. Therefore, it is highly recommended that whosoever is planning to do treks starting from Manali - Hampta Pass, Bhrigu Lake or Beas Kund; should reach Manali one day prior the trekking day.

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Meanwhile, Bhrigu Lake Trek has been picking up steam and more and more trekkers are flocking to the lake. The meadows of Gulaba and forward were sprawling with trees and green vegetation after the June rains. A good amount of snow was seen around the lake and in the last ascend. There was even a thin sheet of ice over the lake. The trail from Pandu Ropa to Vashisht still hasn’t opened yet due to heavy snow on the other side. A downpour occurred on the last day of the trek as reported by our Trek Leader.

Looking at the amount of rain and mix of snow at this point, we gave a bit of pause to Bhrigu. Lake trek batches. Next upcoming batches would start from August 5, when the predictions are better and we can complete the circular itinerary of the trek (ending in Vashsisht).

Our Trek Leader Lalit sitting by the side of frozen Bhrigu Lake

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Himalayan Hall of Fame

Shout out to the first Indian recipient of Self Sufficiency Cash Back from the Bikat saving principles, Vignesh Upendran. The avid trekker carried his own sleeping mat and bag all the while on Friendship Peak Summit demonstrating the ideal behavior of alpine trekking and mountaineering mannerisms. Because of his self-reliant attitude on the trek, he has been rewarded with 20% cash back of his booking amount. 

Working as a Risk Analyst with a large foreign bank, Vignesh has scaled Sahyadri Ranges in Maharashtra, Rupin Pass and Hampta Circle in the Himalayas. After the success of Friendship Peak, he now wants to complete his mountaineering course and attempt more challenging expeditions.

Congratulations to you, Vignesh! You are a rockstar and a huge inspiration to the fellow trekkers.

Blog Updates

Monsoons are up!

If you think that monsoons bar you from entering into the mountains, let the monsoon treks in India change your mind. I am pretty sure that you won’t get to see that rainbow from your room’s window. At high altitude amidst nature, your chances are good.

The charm of alpine flora and fauna is at its peak in the monsoons. All around you, you can notice innumerable hues of green. The sky is clear. The lofty mountains are wrapped in the clouds. The views of the mountains one get to see in monsoons are all worth getting drenched.

Yes, trekking in monsoons can be a bit of a hassle UNLESS you follow these trekking tips in monsoons to the T.

Check out what’s new on Bikat Blog

New on the Block

Our trekkers are back from Kedar Taal Recce and cannot stop praising hymns for the place. A trek high on ROI, Kedar Taal is one of the least explored glacial lakes which makes it all the more reason to sign up for this adventure. These photos of Kedar Taal are sure gonna drop your jaw!

Get out of your comfort zone, pass through Gangotri Trailhead, crawl through the spider wall, and reach all the way to the top at an altitude of 4,750 meters. The third day gives you the ultimate reward where the pristine blue lake awaits you. All that discomfort and fatigue are gone as soon as you lay eyes on Kedar Taal.
If you think you are brave enough, take up the Kedar Tal Challenge this year. The first batch of Kedar Tal leaves in September.

The pristine waters of Kedar Taal

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Calling out all the mountaineers out there!

We cannot explain the level of excitement we have for entering into the Mountaineering era of BIkat Adventures. After gaining good exposure in semi-expeditions like Friendship Peak, Stok kAngri, etc. Gangotri III has become the chosen one for us! The peak has been booked for 2nd September and we have 3 participants (Babita, Kush, and Vamini). Only 3 more seats are available and the last date for registration is 15th August. All course qualified mountaineers can avail the special 5K rebate on the expedition cost of INR 50K.

Let the mountaineering begin... Gangotri III Expedition

Contest Alert

Attention adventure junkies!

Adventure Blog Contest is up. If you have got any adventure stories to tell the world, let this adventure blog contest be your platform. Your words sure have the power to ignite the flame of adventure in others.

Also, there are prizes worth INR 20,000 in addition to the INR 2000/- benefit on each successful entry!

Yes, it’s true!

The entries are open until 31st July 2017. Check out the rules and regulations for taking part in the contest here.

Bikat blog awaits your trekking tales and experiences to share with our readers. Send in your entries ASAP!

Coming Up Next!

Spiti Region

Are you ready for one of the most beautiful and challenging treks in the Himalayas?

If yes, then sign up for Pin Parvati Pass Trek. Bookings are open for the 1st batch starting 5th August 2017.

It is one the best Trans-Himalayan Trek that gives you best of both worlds - the lush green Parvati Valley and the arid Pin Valley. Standing on the pass with bird's eye views of both valleys is an overwhelming feeling. Parvati South Ridge, Snow Peak, Ridge Peak, Pyramid Peak, Kullu Makalu, Bara Shigri, Kinner Kailash and Shrikhand Mahadev all lined up to give you the perfect Panorama.

This is a trek that is open for a very short window and we have seats left only in 4 more batches. So, Hurry! before all the batches are full.

Crossing stream in Pin Parvati Pass Trek

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Our first batch to Kanamo Peak is also starting on 12th Aug 2017. The trek is an easier alternative to Stok Kangri trek with the max altitude of 5960 mts. The trek starts from Kaza in Spiti valley and offers the unique landscapes of Spiti along with the experience of Peak climbing (non-technical of course) in just 7 days.

Ladakh Region

Ladakh treks are now open and getting seeing much a lot of craze this time around. The batches of Markha Valley and Stok Kangri are open now.

The current batch of Markha valley started on 15th July. Escape into the cultural retreat in the place known as Land of Lamas. Enjoy the experience of cultural homestays and shepherd’s life in the villages of Markha Valley. This one is a unique trek where you cross two high altitude passes, Ganda La (4900 mts) and Kongmaru La (5200 mts). If you really want to experience Ladakh’s lifestyle along with a perfect balance of thrills of high altitude trekking, then this is what you got. Next upcoming batch with seats available for booking starts on 12th Aug 2017.

Markha Valley: Batches open for 05 August 2017

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Meanwhile, you can still expect snowfall in the Stok Ranges as you ascend high. Next two batches of Stok Kangri are already full and only a few seats are remaining in 5th Aug & 12th August batches. If you have been dreaming to scales the highest trekkable peak in India, then this is your chance.

Sign up for the next batch here.

Manali Region

Batches for Hampta Pass and Bhrigu Lake are also open. While Hampta Pass is known for its dramatic scenery and surreal landscapes, Bhrigu Lake is a high altitude alpine lake that is known for changing its color and formation every season. While the 15th August long weekend is attracting a lot of people, we are strongly recommending all of you to reach one day prior to the trek departure date you are planning for, to avoid the expected traffic congestion.

The surreal landsacpe of Hampta Pass

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Trekkers ascending up to Bhrigu Lake- Batches open!

Adventure Bulletin : June-July Updates

Hiking is Pun (Intended)! wink

If My Friends Ask My Plans For Today’s Hike, I’ll Summit Up Nicely.

I Came Across Two Talking Stones While I Was Out Hiking. One Was Big But Shy. The Other Was A Little Boulder.

I Bought A New Pair Of Hiking Boots From A Drug Dealer. I’m Not Sure What He Laced Them With But I’ve Been Tripping All Day.

Have You Heard The Story About The Hill? I Couldn’t Get Over It.

You think you are punnier than us?! ;) Comment your own hiking puns & jokes at the end of this page (Comment section). We will not just feature the best ones in our next newsletter but also reward the winner with an INR 2000 Bikat voucher! 

Yes! we are that crazy :)


In Other News

Our condolences to the victims of recent Amarnath Yatra Terror Attack. On 10 July 2017, militants attacked a bus filled with pilgrims from Gujarat in Anantnag district of Kashmir. 7 pilgrims were killed, including six women and 19 people were injured. This is the worst pilgrimage attack since 2001. We pray and hope for the safety of the pilgrims and peace in the region.

That’s all for now, folks!

We will bring you more updates soon expectedly by 5th August.

Stay tuned till then. Ciao!

Dhaarna Kukreja

Heart of a writer. Soul of a gypsie. Read more

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