Auden's Col

Exploratory trek – very little is known about this trek connecting the pilgrim centers of Gangotri and Kedarnath. The Col is situated on the connecting ridge of Gangotri III (6577m) and Jogin I (6465 m), we approach the col from Rudugaira glacier and descend through the ice falls and broken up Khatling glacier. Auden's Col is a mountain pass situated in the central Garhwal region.

It connects the mountain peaks Jogin I (6465m) and Gangotri III (6580m) and is at a height of around 5242m. Auden's Col binds two glaciers on either side - Khatling glacier on the south and Jogin Glacier on the north. A little distance lower to Jogin Glacier is the Gangotri III glacial system. Auden's Col is approachable from Gangotri and one can trek up to Kedarnath following Auden's Col and Khatling glacier.

Auden's Col gets its name from J B Auden, a famous British geologist. He first explored the region in the year 1939. Auden's Col is a less frequented trekking route in this region of the Himalaya compared to the Khatling Glacier.

Expedition Facts :

Area: Uttarakhand Himalayas
Duration: 13 night/14 days
Grade: Challenging
Highest Point: 5450 mts.
Highest Camping Point: 4800 mts.
Best Time to Go: Mid Sept – Mid October

Detailed Itinerary :

Day 01: Rishikesh to Uttarkashi (6-7hrs.)

After breakfast, drive to Uttarkashi. Lunch enroute. On arrival check in at hotel.

Day 02: Drive Uttarkashi to Gangotri (3048m), 3-4 hrs

After a relaxed breakfast drive 3-4 hrs to the pilgrim town of Gangotri. With the new dam coming up on the Bhagirathi valley, expect a lot of construction activity. The drive gets picturesque as one approaches the village of Sukhi. Closer to reaching Gangotri one starts getting the views of the snow-capped peaks. On arrival check in at hotel. In evening visit to the Famous Mother Ganges Temple. The temple to the Goddess Ganges built in the 18th century by a Gorkha General, stands dignified surrounded by the mountains and attracts thousands of pilgrims each year.

Day 03: Acclimatization Day at Gangotri (3048 mts)

Day 04 : Trek Gangotri to Nala Camp, (3760 mts)

We will walk along the Rudugaira Ganga. Initially the trail climbs steeply in the jungle and then cross the river over a log bridge. Move with the river on our left. Cross a big waterfall coming from our right and camp at a suitable place. Overnight in tents.

Day 05: Trek Nala Camp to Rudragaira Base Camp (4100 mts)

Today is a steep climb of 200m. followed by gradually climbing trail which is again followed by another 300m. steep climb. We will keep moving ahead to the camping site. Overnight in tents.

Day 06: Rest Day to Acclimatize at Rudragaira Base Camp

After having good breakfast, we will go for acclimatization walk in the morning. The walk goes along the ridge of the Rudragaira peak. From the top we can get a very clear view of the Jogin I, Gangotri I, II, III peaks and Auden’s Col. We return to the camp for lunch, dinner and over night stay.

Day 07: Trek Rudragaira Base Camp to Auden Col’s Base Camp, (4800 mts)

The trek starts early in the morning from Rudugaira Base Camp with packed breakfast. After a good walk of a few kilometers we are able to capture some magical moments of the Gangotri peaks. We will walk along the ridge of the Gangotri mountain and cross some rocky moraines and the Gangotri III glacier. This day trek consisted walking mainly along the steep ridges to reach the Col Base Camp by noon. Overnight Auden Col Base camp.

Day 08 : Trek Auden Col’s Base Camp to Khatling Glacier Camp (4900 mts) via Auden’s Col. (5450 mts, 5/6 hrs)

Early morning trek to cross the Auden’s Col (5450m). Look for crevasses and walk roped up for safety. We will walk at the right side to reach the Col. The top has sufficient space. Move to Col’s left and we’ll see the steep gully going down to the glacier. Once on the glacier walk with care because the glacier is massive here. Move forward keeping in mind that we have to be near the left side of the glacier. On the right there are a lot of crevasses, so we can't move on that side. Camp at a suitable place.

Overnight in tents.

Day 09 : Trek Khatling Glacier Camp to Waterfall Camp, (4100 mts)

Keep moving along the glacier, be still alert for the crevasses and reach the moraine. By afternoon we will reach a place where is ice on the right with a steep fall and there is a waterfall visible on the left side. We will move towards the waterfall and camp just before it, next to a water source.

Overnight in tents.

Day 10: Trek Waterfall Camp to Chowki, (3400 mts)

The walk today involves moving along the trail behind the first waterfall and then negotiating the broken slanting rock with all the care they deserve, fixed by a rope. After that we will cross the second waterfall also with care using a rope.

Keep moving down at the right side of the glacier. Crossover to the other side before water starts from the glacier. Move down with the intention to reach the trail next to the river. Keep moving and cross the huge boulder section. In the distance we will see a raised green section, aim for that and at the end we will camp near to the water.

Overnight in tents.

Day 11: Trek Chowki to Kharsoli, (2880 mts)

Move slowly as in the initial stage the trail may not be that clear. After that we will be on a good enough trail. We will keep moving with the river flowing on our left. The trail moves into a deep jungle and finally we reach a big stream coming from our right. Cross it over a log bridge and we will see a small temple. Camp here for the day.

Day 12: Trek Kharsoli to Gangi, (2650 mts)

The trail is well marked and there is no problem following it. At one place the wider trail moves up. Follow this trail and move along it, in dense jungle for 45 minutes. Which will bring us to Kalyani, from here we get good views of the kush kalyani bugyal. Rest a while and then take the trail moving towards the left (where the river flows). Moving along the trail we will pass a small village and by evening we will be at the village of Gangi.

Day 13: Trek Gangi to Ghuttu, (1550 mts)

The trail is a good one. Easy walking towards the Ghuttu. By late afternoon we will reach Ghuttu. Check in at GMVN rest house.

Day 14: Drive Ghuttu to Rishikesh 8 hrs.

After breakfast drive to Rishikesh. Lunch enroute. On arrival check in at hotel. Trip Ends.

Gallery : Auden's Col