When you trek with MHE, you can be assured that we are backed by many years in the business of providing safe and sustainable adventure trips. The staff you deal with in the office, all the way through to the guides and porters on trek, have years of experience in safe and enjoyable trekking behind them. We can advise you on the right gear, the right training, and no question is too crazy for us to answer.
Our trips are designed for your maximum enjoyment and comfort, taking into consideration the environment and conditions, wherever you are. And since we firmly believe that an "army marches on its stomach", our chefs on the expedition will try their best to cook up a storm!
We use the best available camping and safety equipment and try to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Please remember though, that you are in a remote and difficult location, and your expectations should be reduced accordingly.
We believe in sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism. Our guides are all CPR-trained and First Aid certified, the porters receive above standard wages, and we do not allow them to carry more than 30 kg (the international standard set by IPPG). Our crew are all insured, and provided with suitable clothing and equipment.
We support the local economy wherever possible, and do NOT encourage giving any gifts of sweets, pens etc to the charming local children you meet along the trail. If you are really interested to donate something, please discuss with us first.
Our "all inclusive" trip means that you aren't constantly rummaging for money, and you know up front what is included.
Trip starts from: Dehradun No. of days of the trip: 9 No. of trekking days: 5
DAY 1: FLY TO DEHRADUN
Fly to Dehradun and transfer to hotel on arrival. Dinner and overnight stay at Camp or Hotel.
DAY 2: DRIVE TO UTTARKASHI (1150m)
After breakfast drive to Uttarkashi (145 kms / 08 hrs). Lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in Tourist Bungalow or Deluxe camp.
DAY 3: UTTARKASHI - GANGOTRI (3140m)
After breakfast drive to Gangotri covering 97 kms in approx. 05 hrs. along the Bhagirathi River passing Harsil enroute which has a Buddhist colony. Lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in Rest house.
DAY 4: TREK TO CHIRBASA (11,549ft/3606mts). Approx. 3-4 hours.
The walk begins with gradual ascent through pine trees, alongside the roaring Bhagirathi river with towering cliffs on your left hand side. Soon after you leave Gangotri, you pass a check post for the Gangotri Conservation Project. The money they collect from your guide on your behalf goes towards projects such as collection of litter, re-planting birch trees, and an awareness campaign for trekkers on eco-sensitive tourism. Today’s walk is quite short to help with acclimatisation. Chirbasa means pine trees. Here you have superb views of Manda peak (20,853ft/6511m), Hanuman Tibba (17,186ft/5366m), Bhrigu Parbat (19,217ft/6000m), Bhagirathi I, II and III (21,958ft/6856m, 20,857ft/6512m, and 20,671ft/6454m respectively). You could well spot herds of Bharal roaming the hillside above Chirbasa. Overnight camp.
DAY 5: TREK TO GAUMUKH (3892m). Approx. 4 hours.
It takes approximately 1-2 hours to reach Bhojbasa (12,145ft/3792m) which has an ashram, a tourist guest house and police post. Here the majestic soaring peak of Shivling (20,956ft/6543m) comes into view. The trek from Bhojbasa to Gaumauk is a fairly gradual ascent. “Gau” means cow, and “Mauk” means mouth. At Gaumauk, you can dip your hands and toes in the revered holy water of the Ganges, and you may well find your guide collecting holy water here on the decent for a puja. Gangotri used to be the source, but the glacier has receded now to just beyond Gaumauk.
DAY 6: TREK TO TAPOVAN (14,294ft/4463m). Approx. 3 hours
Although relatively short in distance, today’s walk will feel strenuous with the combined effects of the altitude, the ascent to be gained, the glacier crossing, and the steep, rocky terrain on the final climb to Tapovan. You begin by trekking over boulders on your approach to the glacier. The trail steepens noticeably as you ascend slowly over the rocky terrain. The glacier is covered by morraine so you do not need any technical equipment, although a steadying trekking pole is definitely handy. As you take your last step up the steep rocky path to enter the Tapovan meadow, you are greeted with the most spectacular view of Mount Shivling, rising like a great deity before you and inspiring awe. Meru, Manda, the the Bhagirathi sister peaks also dominate your view. Gazing down proudly at your ascent, you can see Gangotri glacier. Overnight camp.
DAY 7: TREK TO CHIRBASA. Approx. 5/6 hours.
Rise early, exit from your canvass kingdom, and you will be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic setting. Watch the sunrise on the surrounding 6000m peaks. Shivling is undoubtedly the star of the show, commanding instant attention as it soars dramatically into the sky, dwarfing its neighbours. Today you will retrace your steps to Chirbasa. A steep descent down to the glacier is followed by a rocky traverse of the glacier. Continue your gradual descent to Chirbasa where you will camp for the night in the birch trees grove. Overnight camp.
DAY 8: TREK TO GANGOTRI. DRIVE TO UTTARKASHI
Retrace your steps from Chirbasa to Malla (3 hours approx.). Drive to Uttarkashi (approx. 5/6 hours). Uttarkashi is an attractive small town situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi at an altitude of about 4,964ft/1,550m. The temples and ghats have names almost identical to those in Varanasi, a historical city in the Indian plains. The most important temple dedicated to Shiva is known as Vishwanath Mandir, where stands a magnificent Trishul (trident), one meter in circumference and made of copper. It supports a trident four meters long. Each prong is about two meters in length. Uttarkashi is known for its temples dedicated to Parhsuram, Datatryea, Annapurna, Devi, Kali Bhairon and other gods and goddesses. At one time, there were 365 temples in this town. Uttarkashi is also known as Barahat, literally meaning "a big market place". In olden days Kedarnath was a 12 days' trek away, Gangotri 7 days, Yamunotri 5 days and Srinagar 6 days away. Nowadays, motorable roads go to most of these places.
Uttarkashi also has a number of ashrams for the sanyasis and mendicants who occupy the banks of the holy river for penance and prayers. It is a modern town with facilities. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is located here. It is situated at a spur at Ladari, dominating the beautiful town and overlooking the entire valley. This national institute imparts mountaineering training to young people to inculcate the spirit of adventure among the youth of the country. The institute at Uttarkashi is the second Nehru Mountaineering Institute which conducts basic and advanced mountaineering courses. Uttarkashi has developed rapidly due to the construction of the Maneri Valley Hydroelectric Project.
DAY 9: UTTARKASHI - Dehradun
After early morning breakfast, drive to Dehradun to catch your afternoon flight back home.
Eight nights accommodation in expedition camping tents on twin sharing basis and hotels.
8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, and 8 Dinners.
All government taxes included.
Costs Do Not Include:
International/Domestic air fare or train fare.
Pick up and drop off from airport/railway stations not included. We can arrange for it however, so let us know if you need to get picked up or dropped off. Nominal charges apply.
Unforeseen expenses that demand a change in itinerary like natural forces, changes in weather, road blockages, flight/train cancellations and illness.
Medical, Travel, or Evacuation insurance.
Expenses of a personal nature - tips, laundry, phone calls, beverages.
When we have groups of 4+ people we supply a comprehensive first aid kit carried by your guide. For individual trekkers and small groups (less than 4 people) we supply a basic first aid kit carried by your guide.
All guides and porters are fully equipped with gear and clothing (snow gear, warm gear, sleeping gear).
Sleeping bag and inner based on the altitude (this is supplied is most of our treks. Do check the inclusions under price details to be doubly sure).
What gear you will need to bring with you:
Sleeping bag and liner – a 3 or 4 season bag is recommended, depending on your trek (if it's not in your inclusions already or if you prfer to use yopur personal one).
Down jacket – need for this depends on the season and where you are going.
Kit / duffel bag – required to pack your gear in (suitcases are not suitable).
Please note: Unless you advise us otherwise we will assume you are bringing these items with you. If you need help to buy or rent them, please just let us know, we’re more than happy to help.
Other items that we recommend you take on trek:
Loose comfortable T-Shirts NOT COTTON or long sleeved shirts for sun protection
Long trousers (for cultural reasons, we request you not to wear tight pants or
shorts. If you really want to wear shorts, please make them loose fitting and long)
A warm jacket / fleece pullover
A thermal layer (shirt and pants)
A water and wind proof layer (jacket and pants)
Woollen or thermal gloves
Sun hat and sun glasses
Woollen or fleece hat
Scarf / stretchy ‘buff’
Socks – depending on the season bring either warm, woollen socks or cool, breathable cotton socks
Comfortable and worn in trekking boots
Sandals or flip flops for camp
A comfortable day pack with adjustable waist and shoulder straps
Personal toiletries - shampoo, soap, shavers, moisturizer, travel towel, etc
Ziplock bags are handy for convenient leak-proof storage
Sun block and lip balm
Dust mask/ scarf / stretchy ‘buff’ for dusty trails
Personal first aid kit + any personal medications you need to take + water treatment tablets/drops
Camera, batteries and charger, music, book
Airtight and waterproof ‘dry bags’ are great for 1) keeping your clothes dry and 2) storing your dirty
laundry separate from clean clothes!
Sleeping bag liner – either silk, cotton or fleece
WATER BOTTLES - please be able to carry 2 litres of water and have bottles that can handle boiling/hot water
HEAD TORCH and spare batteries
Your sense of humour and adventure!
What to take with you in your day pack:
Please carry the following in your day pack, as a minimum:
2 litres of water (please make sure your water bottles will take boiling/hot water)
Sunscreen, sun glasses, sun hat, lip balm, dust mask / scarf / ‘buff’ to help on dusty trails
Warm fleece or thermal layer and gloves
Water proof layer
Any money you want for snacks/drinks along the trail
CRITICAL – take any personal medications you require during the day – you will not see your kit bag until evening.
The rest you can put into your kit bag which will be carried by the porters, whom you won’t see until camp in the evening. It’s a great idea to use dry bags (ie airtight/waterproof) in your kit bag to store your dry clothes in to keep them DRY in case it rains and one to put your dirty laundry in (to keep from making everything else in your bag smell bad!).
Food on trek:
You will probably be surprised by the menu items on an MHE trek. We know how important food is, and we don't stint by giving you 2-minute noodles and Cup a Soup. You'll get real food, home cooked style. And plenty of it!
If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us when booking your trek so that we can cater for you. Note: sometimes not all dietary requirements are able to be met, but please inform us and we will certainly do our best!
Some tips for staying healthy:
Do NOT drink or brush your teeth with tap water or untreated water!
Drink only properly boiled water or use water purification tablets, such as iodine. Bottled water is available, but as the plastic cannot be recycled we request you to consider the waste impact of your bottles – we recommend you drink boiled water or use iodine.
Your hands are perhaps your biggest enemy in terms of your health as they get very dirty during the day. Wash your hands before every meal or snack. People often think they get sick from the food, but it’s far more likely they forgot to wash their hands!
During the trek DO NOT try to test your fitness and walk too high, too quickly! Listen to your guide and take their advice as they are trained to look after your safety. Altitude sickness is a killer and you MUST take it seriously.
It is recommended that your personal medical kit includes not only your preferred painkillers, but also throat lozenges, plasters, strapping tape for blisters, etc. If you are taking regular medication you MUST bring those medicines with you PLUS an extra supply in case one pack is lost.
If you have any allergies and/or take any medications, you MUST advise us when booking your trek!
Trekking trails vary from wide, road-like avenues to narrow, slippery paths built out over enormous drops. In many places, a fall from the trail would be fatal. One must pay attention at all times to where you are placing your feet. Be especially careful not to move while looking through the view finder of your camera!
Be prepared for the weather:
Each altitude has its own weather, from tropical heat to arctic cold. In the main trekking seasons in the spring and autumn, the weather is generally stable and even the high passes may be free of snow and relatively easy to traverse at times.
Some trekkers who have encountered an easy day at altitude may spread the word that boots and warm clothing are not required. This is a mistake. Sudden storms occur at any time, dumping snow on the passes without warning. At that point, anyone poorly equipped will not be able to proceed and may even be stranded for a number of days risking their life and the lives of others.
You are heading into the worlds highest mountain range. Be prepared for changes in temperature and weather!!
Altitude and preventing Altitude Sickness
Being in a hurry in the mountains can be deadly. Acclimatization is the word used to describe the adjustments your body makes as it ascends to higher altitudes.
Ascending slowly, with appropriate rest days and drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways not to get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Data indicates that drinking 3-4 litres of fluids (water, soup etc) per day to avoid dehydration helps in the acclimatization process.
You should not plan to go to high altitude if you have heart disease, difficulty breathing at sea level or are pregnant. You should consult your doctor about any known medical conditions if you are considering trekking in high altitude (over 2500m).
Avoid sleeping pills, alcohol and smoking while at altitude as they tend to decrease breathing and lead to AMS.
The first aid kit carried by your guide includes Diamox and other altitude medications and he/she is trained in the identification of AMS symptoms and their treatment. You MUST take their advice. If anything happens to your guide the first aid kit has a Wilderness Medicine handbook with comprehensive information about altitude sickness and other ailments.
When relevant, your pre-trek briefing will include information about what to expect and what to do to avoid AMS before embarking on your trek.
While all main meals are provided on trek, do not forget to bring some money for drinks or snacks that you might purchase on the way. You will be surprised by what is available on the popular trekking routes.
The amount to carry on the trekking routes depends on the area you are going to trek in, so please ask your guide for advice. Tipping is now common but there is no strict rule about how much the tip should be. Needless to say, you should only tip if you are satisfied with the service.
Photographing and interacting with local people:
During your trek you will have many opportunities to photograph local people and the amazing scenery and you will use tons of film/memory space! When you want to take a photo of a person, please ask them first and respect their right to refuse – you will be surprised how easy it is to convey the request to take someone’s photo even when you don’t share a common language!
If you have a digital camera it is considerate (and fun!) to show them their photo and if it’s possible to arrange to have copies printed and sent to them this is an amazing gift! However do not promise to do so if you are not sure you can deliver on the promise, so please talk to your guide about this! Photos can be a brilliant way to establish a connection with local people, but please respect their right to privacy.
Refrain from giving money or food to children. There are many good organisations working to help these children and we recommend you support them instead of encouraging them to beg. One other way is to collect books, pencils and other such articles and donate them to village schools you will find on your way.
Considering the Environment: There are many ways you can help to conserve the environment of the area in which you trek. Here are some simple tips.
While trekking you have to be careful not to destroy the very environment you are enjoying so much. It is not only for your enjoyment - people and wildlife rely on this environment for their drinking water and food supply and many places are of enormous religious significance to local people.
Pick up any litter along the trail.
Burn all your toilet paper and bury your faeces when not in camp, make sure you go at least 50m away from any water source.
Try and avoid making a campfire - if you must, be sure to use only fallen wood. Do not consume food cooked on wood fires.
Drink boiled/treated water instead of mineral water as the plastic bottles are a problem.
Stick to the trails to prevent erosion and damage to fragile alpine flora.
Ensure all rubbish is packed out (or burnt/buried if appropriate).
All tour participants should obtain their own personal insurance which covers medical and emergency evacuation at a minimum. You will of course also want cover for loss or damage to personal effects, flight or trip cancellation etc.