Day 1: Make your way to Gangotri (3,415M)
The trek begins from Gangotri which is a mountain city on the banks of River Bhagirathi and is known to be the origin of the holy River Ganga. Located in the Greater Himalayan Range, legend says that this is where Goddess Ganga descended when Lord Shiva released the river from the locks of his hair. This holy city which lies at an altitude of 3,415M is a 245 km drive away from Dehradun – the closest city with an airport.
If you have signed up with Bikat for a drive from Dehradun to Gangotri, the day starts early. Everyone assembles at the meeting point by 7 in the morning so we can start our long drive up to Gangotri, a holy mountain city in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Although there’s nothing more on the agenda for today other than the 8-9 hour drive, it is better to leave as early as possible for two reasons:
One, so we can reach as early as possible and give our bodies enough rest for what’s coming the next day. And, two, roads on the mountains are unpredictable. It is always better to account for delays when we start. It is also better to reach before it gets dark.
Day 2: Rest and acclimatization at Gangotri (3,415M)
Day two is reserved for rest and for acclimatization to the altitude. This is important to allow your body to adapt to its new environment and reduce chances of adverse health conditions. You can go around and explore the market, delve into the colors and culture of this high-mountain town and visit some places nearby. A little movement around the city would be good for acclimatization. Also, use this time to go through your checklist and do some last-minute shopping for what you might be missing for the trek.
While the body acclimatizes, we take this time to get together with the group for a debriefing session where we get to know each other better and delve into the happenings of the next few days - schedule, what to expect, basic do's and don'ts in the mountains, how to maintain the sanctity of the environment and other such matters of importance.
We also go for a short acclimatization walk in the evening to adapt to this new environment better.
Day 3: Gangotri (3,415M) to Nala Camp (3,760M)
Distance: 7 km
Our first day of trekking in this treacherous terrain involves an altitude climb of close to 350M. The trail for most parts runs through dense forests that occasionally open up to miniature grasslands with unclouded views of limpid skies above.
We 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 through thick oak and birch forests. On crossing the nala, the tree line begins to thin out giving way to wider expanses of landscape in the form of meadows and grazing grounds. Our approach to the campsite for the day offers magnificent views of Gangotri III and Jogin II which looks like a shark’s fin when viewed from a certain angle.
On reaching the campsite, we rest our weary selves for a bit, get some fuel in the form of hot food and head out for an acclimatization walk early evening.
Day 4: Nala Camp (3,760M) to Gangotri BC (4,450 m)
With an almost 700M of height gain on the agenda today, we start our day early. Right after an early breakfast, we set off on our trail which, for the first few kilometers is through meadows with small streams flowing down the slopes of Rudugaira peak. After a fairly straight walk, we hit our first section of steep climb on grassy land which will take close to 1.5 hours to cross. This will lead us to the traditional base camp for Rudugaira Peak. From here on, we leave the grassy fields behind and cross an unnamed Glacier coming down from the Col of Mt. Gangotri I & Mt. Rudugaira. Our campsite for today, which serves as our base camp for the expedition lies on flat ground at the confluence of Rudugaira Glacier & the unnamed Glacier. It should take us anywhere between 6-8 hours to reach the base camp.
Day 5: Rest and Acclimatization at Base Camp (4,450M)
Today is reserved for acclimatization to the altitude since we gained quite a bit of height in the last two days and have also entered a much different terrain. After a late breakfast we go for an acclimatization walk. On climbing just a few hundred meters from the campsite, we get our first view of Auden's Col which is inspiring to say the least. We end the day early so as to get optimum rest.
Day 6 – Day 12: Expedition
Since the conditions on high-altitude are unpredictable, there is a constant readjustment of plans to adapt to the situation at the time. Providing fixed day-wise schedules is hence tricky. Mt. Gangotri III has 3 camps between base camp and the summit: Advanced Base Camp (5,050M), Camp 1 (5,500M), and Summit Camp (5,900M).
Given that high-altitude climbs demand a rigorous acclimatization routine, expeditions usually employ the method of making rotation rounds between camps so as to better adapt to the environment. Living the tenet of ‘climb high, sleep low’ which is a golden rule for survival in that altitude, we make multiple rounds between campsites. For Mount Gangotri III, specifically, we make two rounds. The first is when we ferry our load up to the next camp, leave our stuff there and then climb back down to the lower campsite to spend the night. The next day, we climb back up to the camp where we left our stuff and proceed to pitch our tents to now occupy the campsite. What this achieves is a three-fold benefit. Firstly, you can divide your weight between two days so as not to carry a massive amount in one trip. Secondly, it introduces the body to a higher altitude environment but gives it time to better adapt to it by not pushing it to survive in that high altitude. Thirdly, for each time that you climb the same route, it tends to get easier and easier, refining your technique, skill and adaptation.
After load ferry rotations between camps and occupying Summit Camp on Day 10, we will make our first summit attempt on Day 11. By Day 12, we aim to descend back down to Base Camp.
The route between camps is moderately sloped gradients with sections angled at 70 degrees that would need a use of fixed ropes. For certain precarious sections, we will also be roping up for added safety. The route is entirely on ice or snow-covered ice with open and hidden crevasses and hence demands extreme caution on every step. The descent is precarious, too, for we will be climbing down equally steep slopes with depleted energy reserves. If all goes well, we reach back down to Gangotri by Day 13.
Day 13: Depart from Gangotri
Your expedition ends here but not before some celebration. How can we end this adventure without a summit party?
Like we indicated before, the weather on high-altitude is unpredictable as are many other conditions, we would suggest you keep spare days between the end of the expedition and your travel arrangements to head back home.
Day 14 and Day 15: Reserve Days
In case of bad weather or other difficulties which might set us off schedule during the course of the entire expedition, Day 14 and Day 15 are set as a reserve day. These will only get used if unexpected and unforeseeable conditions present themselves at the last minute preventing us from reaching our destination as planned.
Gangotri III Peak is a level 7 adventure on the Bikat Rating Scale.
This makes it mandatory for you to have high-altitude experience of preferably multiple treks marked at level 5 on the BRS. The altitude, the terrain and the nature of the climb demand a certain level of skill and a need for you to be aware of how your body reacts to the various features of high altitude environment.
we will send you a progression chart to help you comfortably get out of your comfort zone in order to level up and ultimately reach your highest potential in the big, bad world of outdoor adventure.
This is a list of essential items for individuals doing the trek with Bikat Adventures. This list contains only those items which the participants are required to bring with them. The list excludes those items which are provided by Bikat Adventures on the trek. We have divided the items into five categories. All the items in the list are essential except for those marked as optional.
Our batch sizes are capped at 15 for smaller treks with the trek leader and trekker ratio of 1:8. This ratio, in our years of experience, has proven to deliver the best trekking experience for individuals as well as groups. Capping the size of the group ensures individual attention to each trekker so that no signs of distress or need during the trek go unnoticed. It also helps to form a more cohesive cohort with better group energy which helps define the rhythm and pace of days on the trek. As you go higher up on the BRS scale, since the stakes are higher, expeditions have an even smaller group size with the ratio of expedition leader to climber set at 1:2.
We follow a rigorous regime of hiring and training our experts in the field. Each trek leader is a certified mountaineer with years of experience in the field. In addition to their qualification, they also go through practical and situational training to tackle any and all kinds of sudden conditions that may present themselves on the ground. Being unpredictable is the core nature of the mountains but being ready for any circumstance as best as possible is a controllable asset that we try to nurture. Our field experts are also trained in basic medicine and first-aid response. Watch: Forerunners - The Making of A Trek Leader At Bikat Adventures
Since Bikat Adventures is a learning-based organization, we help you climb up the ladder of difficulty within the sphere of outdoor adventure systematically. Our on-ground training modules are designed to handhold you through the upskilling process so that you are ready to take on bigger challenges.
All the gear used on our treks and expeditions is tried and tested, maintained for good quality, and is overall top-notch in quality and condition. We are continually looking to obtain the best of everything there is in the market so as to ensure optimum safety.
Along with the staff you see on-ground, we have a team of superheroes working in the background to give you the best experience possible. Our background team also comprises local staff from each area who know the region best. Having local support helps with studying the area, pre-planning, execution, and in receiving timely support in case of emergencies in these remote locations.
Our on-field staff is in constant contact with our teams based in primary locations so as to eliminate any avoidable delay in reaching additional help and support when required. We try to use the best tools for communication available, including satellite phones, in regions where they are not restricted.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Cancellations between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure date
Cancellations within 15 days prior to departure date
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations within 5 days prior to departure date