Auden's Col Expedition
Auden's Col is arguably one of the most challenging and least explored treks in Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Auden's Col is a high mountain pass that connects Jogin I (6465m) and Gangotri III (6580m) peaks and is situated at a height of 5490 m. The name of this trek is based on a British Geographical Survey Officer named John Bicknell Auden, who discovered the pass in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. The pass also links two glaciers on the opposite sides, viz Khatling glacier and Jogin I glacier. The trek begins from one of the famous pilgrimage sites in India, Gangotri and ends at Kedarnath, which is also a prominent pilgrimage destination and one of the twelve Jyotirlingas located in India. The terrain is strenous and the trail passes through moraines, narrow cliffs, Boulders and difficult ridges. The trek offers magnificent views of peaks such as Rudragaira, Gangotri group, Jogin group, Bhagirathi group of peaks and Kedar Dome.
Auden's Col Expedition is made only for highly experienced trekkers/mountaineers who want to test their limits. The challenges faced on the expedition should not be underestimated. It is recommended not to opt for this expedition if you cannot get acclimatized in high altitude regions. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete the expedition.
June or September
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The starting point for Auden's Col expedition is Gangotri, around 500 km from Delhi.
Reach Gangotri By Air: At a distance of around 226 km from Gangotri is located the closest airport named Jolly Grant Airport. Situated in Dehradun, the airport has regular flights from India's capital city of Delhi. So, you can catch a flight to the airport and then you can hire a cab from there to reach the sacred town of Gangotri. Taxi or cab charges will cost you around Rs 4,000.
Reach Gangotri By Train: If you like travelling by train, you'll need to reach the Rishikesh railway station which is also the closest at 250 km from Gangotri. After arriving at the railway station, you'll see plenty of cabs ready to take you to your destination. You'll need to pay anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000 as cab charges.
Reach Gangotri By Road: The holy town of Gangotri is also well connected by road with all the popular tourist places in the state of Uttarakhand and outside the state. From places like Yamunotri, Mussoorie and Tehri, you can easily catch tourist buses to reach Gangotri. There are both private deluxe buses and state buses to reach the town.
The expedition ends at Badrinath. From Badrinath, Delhi is a 537 km road journey. Alternately, you can drive to Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun (311 km from Badrinath), which has flights connecting to Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai.
Gangotri and Badrinath have coverage for all major networks.
Gangotri Temple: Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda.
Places to visit near the Gangotri Temple
Bhagirath Shila is believed to be the holy rock where King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva.
Pandava Gufa, located 1.5 km from Gangotri, is the place where the Pandavas are believed to have meditated and rested en route Kailash. Pilgrims will have to trek up to the Pandava Gufa.
Auden's Col is made only for experienced trekkers who want to test their limits. The challenges faced in the trek should not be underestimated. You should attempt this trek only If you have already done a trek that climbs to 4700-5000 metres. It is recommended not to opt this trek if you cannot get acclimatized in high altitudes. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete this trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
A basic mountaineering course is recommended though not mandatory in case of highly experienced & skilled trekkers. At least 2-3 challenging treks along with 20 – 25 total trekking days in the Himalayas. Medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins Or Walk continuously for 10 kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better) and
Hold your breath for 40 seconds and
3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch and
Push Ups – 10 and
Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
How to use an Ice Axe
How to use Climbing boots & Crampons
How to rope up & follow queued climbing/descending
How to self-arrest using an ice axe
Knowledge of Basic First aid
Auden's Col is arguably one of the most challenging and least explored treks in Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. The trek offers magnificent views of peaks such as Rudragaira, Gangotri group, Jogin group, Bhagirathi group of peaks and Kedar Dome.