It's been long since I got in touch with you. Last month had been a little sluggish in terms of trekking due to festivities and change in the season. But we at Bikat kept ourselves engaged with new explorations and drafting plans for the new term.
2017 has been a great year for all of us, I hope. We are going to enter into a new year with some new and exciting plans for Bikat and our fellow trekkers. Ritvij Srivastava, the co-founder of Bikat Adventures, reflects back on the year and shares his vision for the upcoming term.
Voice of Bikat
The year is about to end and its been such a learning curve for the Bikats. We had a fair share of challenges and I am happy to reflect now that we faced them with a brave face as would you expect from the Bikats!
However, the year did not go without Bikat Adventures creating new ripples in the adventure community. We once again tripled our community (done for 3 years back to back), launched many exclusive expeditions like Auden's Col, launched a whole new adventure activity (Mountaineering), loaded our website with more exciting features, created a brilliant fleet of Expedition Leaders, a new office for Bikats and so much more.
Now, as we face a new year that hosts new possibilities, we are all geared up to bring much more - a new and better-structured itinerary page, Skiing as a new adventure activity, another battery of exclusive expeditions, and much more.
Meanwhile, the trekking community is evolving at rocketing speed. More and more people are flocking the pretty trails of the Himalayas and the volumes at some treks are huge. In this evolving phase, cheaper alternatives are developing but unfortunately, due to lack of any regulation, trekkers are never sure of what should be the minimum that is mandatory. The ecological impact is also a concern. We have felt a lot of pressure during the past year but I am happy that we maintained the highest standard of trekking by making small groups (max 15 avg 10), no fixed camps, 8:1 participant to leader ratio, discouraging offloading of bags to minimise additional labour, hiring passionate Expedition leaders who are here to stay and make long-term careers, investing in their training & best in class equipment - both safety and logistical, and most importantly creating new trekking alternatives through explorations. You would have seen the list in our newsletters - Kedar Tal, Hamta Circle for winters, Auden's Col, Sundardunga Glacier, and the remotest Green Lake Trek.
In the end, I just want to wish you all a very happy upcoming winter trekking. Early Deepawali this year would mean early snowfall. So, plan early and have fun in the Himalayas.
From the trail
Our participants on this trek in Sikkim received awesome weather and clear views of Kanchenjunga Peak. The trail onwards Dzongri is covered with ice. Come December, it will all be covered in snow.
The weather on the recent trek was clear and the participants even spotted Banderpoonch and Black Peak from the top.
Kuari Pass has been up and running from November. All the batches have been pretty lucky to experience snowfall. The snow trail looks more beautiful than ever. Our participant from the first batch also explored the combined itinerary of Kuari Pass and Pangarchulla Peak which is high on ROI.
Our participants could not go ahead Tapovan because there was no water at Nandanvan, the next campsite. It was friggin' cold that all the water in Nandanvan froze. The temperatures dropped to -10 degrees Celsius in the night. One could see the peaks like Shivling, Bhagirathi 1,2,3, and Meru glacier from Tapovan.
Our exploration leaders set out in the wilderness to explore new trails and treks in the Himalayas so that avid trekkers have always something new to look forward to.
This time, our leaders blazed the trails in Sikkim, Uttrakhand, and Himachal Pradesh to discover treks which are high on adventures, landscapes, and beautiful views.
Green Lakes (4,900 m)
For 10 days, our trek leader Sandeep was in the wilderness of Sikkim region in search of Green Lake. As told by him, the trail goes through bamboo forests of North Sikkim. On various days, he camped at Talem, Jakthang, Yabuk, and Green Lake with most amazing scenic views around.
Though the lake dried up many years ago, the landscape sure is possessing. Mt. Kanchenjunga is so close to you that you almost feel sitting in its lap. A Himalayan Golden Eagle was also spotted by him, which is a rare sight. Though there was quite a snowfall in October, the best time would be around June-July.
Sunderdunga Glacier Trek
Our exploration leader, Sandeep, next raided the Kumaon mountains on his trek to Sunderdunga. Lying in Bageshwar region, Sunderdunga Trek gives you a taste of trekking in Kumaon hills. This 7-day trek will take you closer to nature and local culture of Kumaoni villages. The easy trail goes all along Sunderdunga River through bamboo and pine forests. The trail also gives you the views of peaks like Maktoli, Panwali Dwar, Nandakot, and a sneak-peek of Pindari Glacier.
This trek will give you an experience of local homestays where you can enjoy Siddus and Bhaang ki Chutney, the famous mountain delicacies. Though the views were clear in November, the best time would be after monsoons when flora is at its highest charm.
We are working on the itineraries and will soon. come up with new treks in the upcoming season.
Coming up Next
Did you hear?
The snow-show has begun. The Himalayas have welcomed its first snowfall. From Dhauladhar to Garhwal Ranges, the mountains and trails are donned with snow and it all looks absolutely adorable.
If you have been waiting for snowfall all this year, your wait is finally over!
Chadar Trek 2018 is back! Stop cribbing about your canceled plans from the last year and sign up for one of the most thrilling treks in the Himalayas. The trek is already gaining momentum and selling like hot cakes. Get your seat booked NOW!
In search of something offbeat? If yes, Brahmatal Trek should deserve your attention this season. This 6-day easy trek (12,500 ft) is an offbeat destination for trekkers including camping by the side of two beautiful lakes on two consecutive days.
We at Bikat like to associate ourselves with an adventure community. As an adventure community, we always strive to engage ourselves and people into the world of trekking, hiking, and cycling.
Recently, we organized various workshops and adventure events in association with Decathlon at their various centers across India. Here is the update:
Green Trail Workshop at Decathlon, New Delhi
Decathlon, Shahadra organized a workshop on 29 October for its employees to educate and enlighten them about trekking nuances. The event was a successful one where people took away the knowledge about eco-friendly trekking tips, Packing List for Winter Treks, and How to Pack for a trek. We also gifted vouchers to the attendees at the event.
Sports Utsav at Decathlon, Huda City Centre, Gurgaon
Sports Utsav is the biggest sports festival that is organized by Decathlon, India every year. This year on, we held a workshop at Sports Utsav that held on 11-12 November where we taught people the basics about trekking like how to pack for snow treks, leaving mountains clean, & camping basics.
We were overwhelmed with people’s response and their earnestness to learn about the basic mountaineering skills. This way we know that we are one step closer in our aim to implement sustainable trekking.
Rock Climbing Session for Decathlon Employees, Lucknow
In August, we organized a trek to Bhrigu Lake for the employees of Decathlon, Lucknow. They had so much fun in the mountains that we are coming together again for a rock climbing session in Damdama Lake.
Attention, all youngsters!!!
We have a launched a new program for all the college students out there- a chance to become a leader and associate with India’s fastest-growing adventure start-up.
The new initiative has been launched to give college students to hone leadership abilities in them and learn about adventure travel.
You will find all the details about the program and how to apply HERE.
Going to Kedarkantha Trek? Here are all the things you should do on Kedarkantha Trek to make it more fun than ever.
Kuari Pass is a 3-day retreat in wilderness where you come across a number of beautiful campsites on Kuari Pass. Find all the information about the nature about the campsites on the blog.
And,if you are also wondering the history about why Kuari Pass is called Lord Curzon Trail, I have found the answer for you.
Vasuki Tal draws top-notch climbers and spiritual seekers from all over the world. Not only you get to see a variety of flora and fauna on Vasuki Tal but you also come across some legendary peaks on this trek.
We held a season 3 of our Winter Quiz Contest recently and as always received a humongous response from the people.
And, the lucky winners who bagged exciting vouchers are:
Winner: Shraddha Jain won a Bikat voucher of INR 7,000.
1st Runner-up: Nisha Chugh won a Bikat voucher of INR 5,000
2nd Runner-up: Rachit Joshi won a Bikat voucher of INR 3,000
Here are the Quiz questions and their answers.
Also, ADVENTURE BLOG CONTEST 2017 is up!
In Other News
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the reconstruction projects for Kedarnath worth INR 700 crores. The reconstruction project aims to revive Kedarpuri, the township of Kedarnath after it was devastated in 2013 floods. The scheme has been launched to equip better facilities for pilgrims and tourists and to make Uttrakhand the best state for tourism. The reconstruction project has been assigned to NIM, Uttarakhand (National Institute of Mountaineering).