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. Auden's Col was discovered by John Bicknell Auden, a British Geographical Survey Officer, in 1935. The pass also links two glaciers namely the Khatling glacier and Jogin I glacier which lie opposite to one another. The trek connects two of the holiest pilgrimage sites in India, Gangotri and Kedarnath, which is also a prominent pilgrimage destination and one of the twelve Jyotirlingas located in India. With a strenuous terrain passing through moraines, narrow cliffs, boulders, endless glaciers, and difficult ridges, the Auden's Col trek is meant only for experienced trekkers with high physical fitness and mental endurance. The trek offers magnificent views of peaks such as Rudragaira, Gangotri group, Jogin group, Bhagirathi group of peaks and Kedar Dome which are awe-inspiring, thus making this expedition a once in a lifetime experience. Stay on this page to find the details of Auden's Col Trek - Itinerary, photos, maps, temperature and precipitation charts, FAQs and blogs associated with the trek.
Dehradun to Gangotri (10100 ft) 270 km Drive
We will take a Taxi from Dehradun to Gangotri early in the morning. Breakfast will be on the way. Gangotri is around 290 km from Dehradun and it takes around 7-8 hours to reach there. The road up to Uttarkashi is in good condition. After Uttarkashi, the road traverses a steep gorge to Gangotri. Overnight stay in guesthouse on twin/triple sharing basis.
Rest and acclimatisation at Gangotri (10100 ft)
After driving up to 10000 ft, we will stay at Gangotri today and go for an acclimatization walk towards Gaumukh or Bhoj Kharak during the day. Overnight in Gangotri.
Gangotri to Nala Camp (12335 ft) - 7 km
We will head southwest from Gangotri, walking down the main valley for around 2 km and then turn east into the Rudugaira valley. The trail from here gradually climbs up the valley through thick oak and birch forests. After a while, we cross the nallah and move to the right (true left) of the valley. The tree line begins fading away and we move towards meadows and grazing grounds. We will set camp in a small flat bowl next to the nallah. Just before reaching our campsite, we will get a glimpse of Gangotri III and Jogin II. Overnight at Nala Camp.
Nala Camp to Rudugaira Camp (14800 ft) - 4 km
Today's walk is short but a steep, unbroken climb to Rudugaira Base Camp. Moving away from the nallah, the trail climbs to the upper grazing grounds. We will cross a couple of small streams and then climb a steep spur till Rudugaira Base Camp. Today's camp offers excellent views of the Gangotri and Jogin groups. Overnight at Rudugaira Base Camp.
Rest and Acclimatization at Rudugaira Base Camp (14800 ft)
Having gained almost 5000 ft in the last two days, we will take a rest day at Rudugaira Base Camp. During the day, we will climb towards Rudugaira peak for an acclimatization walk. Once we reach a few hundred meters higher, we will be able to see the notch in the ridge that is Auden's Col. Overnight in Rudugaira Base Camp.
Rudugaira Base Camp to Auden's Col Base Camp (16000 ft) via Gangotri Base Camp - 7 km
A short walk after leaving Rudugaira Base Camp, we will leave the valley slopes and start climbing moraine. After ascending two small moraine ridges, a short descent brings us to Gangotri Base Camp. From here, it is a gradual undulating climb to Auden's Col Base Camp. On the way, we will pass Sukha Tal, a beautiful azure lake hidden in a moraine bowl. Base Camp is set up on a small flat patch of moraine. From here, you will see the gully leading to Auden's Col. Overnight at Auden's Col Base Camp.
Auden's Col Base Camp to Khatling Glacier Camp (16800 ft) via Auden's Col (18000 ft) - 5 km
Today is the day we will cross Auden's Col. The climb begins with a short section of the moraine, after which we reach the glacier. With the Gangotri and Jogin peaks towering on either side, we will slowly make our way up the glacier. As we reach a flat spot on the glacier, which is sometimes used as a high camp, we will rope up and start climbing the 30°-50° slope straight up the gully. The climb should take around 3 hours for a reasonably fit and well-acclimatized group. The descend from the col is down a steep and narrow 70° snow-ice gully. Once we reach the bottom of the gully, the glacier flattens and broadens out, with views of massive icefalls, glaciers and formidable peaks surrounding the valley. A short walk down the glacier brings us to our camp for the night.
Khatling Glacier Camp to Zero Point (12700 ft) - 10 km
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.
After the long descent of Khatling glacier, we will take a rest day at our Zero Point camp.
Waterfall Camp/ Zero Point to Chowki (11750 ft) - 7 km
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.
Chowki to Masar Tal (14960 ft) - 8 km
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.
Masar Tal to Vasuki Tal (14435 ft) via Mayali Pass (16900 ft) - 12 km
Today’s trail begins with a steep ascent over boulders on a steep ridge to Masar top. Then the path descends slightly before climbing up the glacier to the top of Mayali Pass. The descent from Mayali Pass is fairly steep, similar to Auden’s Col on Khatling side, and may require fixing rope and rappelling. Continue the descent all the way to Vasuki Tal.
Vasuki Tal to Kedarnath (11800 ft) - 7 km
Today, we will start our trek towards the Kedarnath, the famous pilgrimage site. Kedarnath is 7 km from Vasuki Tal and it takes around 3-4 hrs to reach there. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve jyotirlingas located in India. After reaching there, we will visit the temple in the evening. Overnight stay in the hotel at Kedarnath.
Kedarnath to Gaurikund (6530 ft) - 14 km
We will descend through the well laid path of 14 kms, which takes us to the Gaurikund. Overnight stay in Guest house in Gaurikund.
Gaurikund to Dehradun - 252 km Drive
We will board a vehicle for Dehradun. The drive to Dehradun is along the River Ganges. Board overnight Bus for Delhi from Dehradun.
This day will only be used if the need arises during the trek due to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances. You are advised to keep a buffer day in your travel plan. If the buffer day is used, you have to pay us Rs. 4500 per day (INR) +5% GST / per person. The amount will be collected by the Trek Leader.
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.
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
June or September are the best months to do the Auden's Col Trek.
Click here for text packing list.
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.
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied with their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for the expedition.
The stay will be in a guesthouse at Gangotri. The rooms will be provided on twin/triple sharing basis. You will receive the details of your accommodation through email a few days prior to the trek. On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accommodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek. These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
Yes, there will be snow on the trek.
The temperatures vary from 20 degree celcius to 8 degree celcius during the months of June and September.
A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
Yes, the trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for a solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing a tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
You will be picked up from Dehradun ISBT bt 7am. Drop off point remains the same.
Expect to reach Dehradun by evening.
Yes, there are stores/shops in Gangotri from where you can buy necessary stuff. Though it is recommended that you come prepared with all the stuff. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
You will be provided with good quality of gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfill the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on the journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent the following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure