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Auden's Col Trek

Auden’s Col Trek

  • 16 Days
  • Group : 8 People
  • Guided Trek
  • Challenging
  • Start: Dehradun
  • Altitude
    Max Altitude: 5,490 m

Auden’s Col trek in the Garhwal region of the Indian Himalayas is not for the faint of heart. At an elevation of 5490 m (18010 ft), it is one of the highest and most challenging treks in Uttarakhand.

Named after John Bicknell Auden of the Geological Survey of India, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939, Auden’s Col connects two famous pilgrimage sites of Gangotri and Kedarnath via two daunting high-altitude passes, Auden’s Col and Mayali Pass.

But it’s not just the altitude that makes this trek difficult. The region is heavily glaciated, and the trail crosses the critical and dangerous Khatling glacier of the Western Himalayas, which is 10 km long and loaded with thick layers of snow and ice and multiple intimidating crevasses. Every step is filled with fear and danger, but the unmatched scenic beauty of the mountains and landscapes of this region makes it worth the effort.

The trek is still one of the least explored treks in Uttarakhand, making it a challenge for even the most experienced trekkers. This ridge connecting the peaks of Gangotri III (21,590 ft) and Jogin I (21,210 ft) forms the lowest connecting point between two valleys and can also be referred to as a mountain pass. The shorter route via Gangi village skips the Mayali Pass, making it an option for those looking to skip a bit of the adventure.

One thing is for sure, to complete this trek, you need to be prepared mentally and physically for the challenges it presents. But for those who are up for the challenge, the experience and the sense of achievement at the end make it all worthwhile.

Departure & Return Location

Dehradun I.S.B.T (Google Map)

Departure Time

6 A.M

Price Includes

  • Activity: Trekking, Camping, etc
  • Accommodation during Trek (Camping)
  • Meals during Trek (Veg)
  • All season Camping tents on twin sharing basis, Sleeping bags with adequate sub-zero temperature rating, comfortable mattress
  • Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys, ice-axe, micro-spikes, slings
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission – up to the amount charged for Indian Nationals.
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid knowledge
  • Experienced Local guide, cook, helpers
  • Porters or mules for carrying common luggage
  • Exhaustive First Aid kit including portable oxygen cylinder, oximeter

Price Excludes

  • Transportation from Dehradun
  • Meals during the road journey
  • Any expenses of personal nature
  • Mules or porter to carry personal luggage. (extra luggage, if any can be left at the base camp with the authorities)
  • Cost Escalation due to natural reasons
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
Highlights of Auden's Col Trek
  • Panoramic Mountain Views and Alpine LakesBut the trek is equally rewarding, with awe-inspiring views of the Gangotri group of peaks, the Jogin group, the Bhagirathi group, Thalay Sagar, Rudragaira, and Kedar Dome. On the other side of Auden’s Col are mesmerizing Masar Tal and VasukiTal lakes. This is a trek only for experienced high-altitude trekkers or mountaineers looking for a challenge to test their limits and patience with incredible views of Himalayan mountains and glaciers.
  • Auden's ColThe Auden's Col Pass is the highlight of this trek, located at an altitude of 5490 meters. It connects the Rudragaira and Bhilangana valleys, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.
  • Challenging TrekThere are steep glacial slopes and crevasses, treacherous ridges, and sections with huge boulders and moraines along the entire trail. For most of the trek, there is no defined trail. The weather in this region also varies with each step, so the trek becomes even more difficult even for a seasoned trekker. Dangers lurk around every corner, and the challenges test even the toughest of hearts and minds.
  • The Khatling Glacier The trek takes you across the Khatling Glacier, which in itself is a surreal experience. You will witness a vast expanse of ice as you trek across this magnificent glacier.
Auden's Col Trek Itinerary

Day 1Dehradun to Gangotri

Distance: 290 km
Time Taken: 12-hour drive
Gangotri Altitude:
3,200 m (10,500 ft)

The trek starts from Gangotri, a holy mountain city in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, and is a journey that takes you on a mystical adventure. This majestic town, situated at an altitude of 3,200 m, is wrapped in the Greater Himalayan Range and is home to the origin of the holy river Ganga. Legend says that this is where Goddess Ganga descended when Lord Shiva released the river from the locks of his hair. A scenic mountain city on the banks of River Bhagirathi, Gangotri invites you to be a part of its rich mythology.

If you’ve booked your transportation with Advenchar from Dehradun to Gangotri, the day starts early, and excitement is already in the air. The meeting point comes alive with fellow adventurers at the crack of dawn, 7 am, eager for the journey up the winding mountains that lead to the elusive city of Gangotri.

The history of Gangotri and its significance in Hindu mythology are shared with enthusiastic participants by knowledgeable guides, who take pride in their work. Everything is made more enticing by these tidbits of lore. Having this context makes the journey about much more than just getting to the destination – it adds a whole new layer of mystery.

The journey takes between ten to twelve hours, and the drive begins through narrow, labyrinthine roads that wind around the intricate hills of the mountain range. It’s a road not taken by the faint-hearted, but drivers navigate the tracks with utmost ease and safety.

Reaching Gangotri is no small feat, so it is advisable to start the journey as early as possible. Firstly, to reach there before nightfall, and secondly, to ensure we have enough time to rest and recuperate for the adventure that lies ahead. These are the reasons why Advenchar’s meticulously planned itinerary accounts for any unforeseen delays and roadblocks.

On arrival at Gangotri, you will feel the pure mountain air and a sense of spirituality that is often locked away from the hustle-bustle of city life. It’s the perfect place to rejuvenate your soul and escape into a world of profound beauty. And you’ll appreciate the comfortable accommodations selected by Advenchar, allowing you to relax in comfort and recharge your batteries.

Day 2Rest and Acclimatization

The second day of the trek is reserved for rest and acclimatization to the high altitude. It is essential to allow your body to adapt to its new surroundings and reduce the chances of adverse health conditions. But don’t worry, there’s plenty to do to acclimatize and explore.

To start your day right, head out of your guesthouse and wander over to the market. Peruse the vibrant colors and immerse yourself in the rich culture of this high-mountain town. Try some local cuisine or take in the sights and sounds that surround you. It’s essential to take it easy today, so don’t overdo it, but some light exercise in the morning can help you acclimatize better.

While your body adjusts, you’ll have a chance to connect with the group during the briefing session. Here, you’ll have a chance to get to know other members of the group and learn what to expect over the next few days – what’s on the schedule, do’s and don’ts while in the mountains, and how to preserve the mountain’s sanctity.

In the evening, enjoy a short acclimatization walk to adapt to the new environment. Take in the scenery and serenity of the beautiful surroundings while your body continues to adjust to the altitude. Use your downtime to go through your checklist and do some last-minute shopping for any supplies you might be missing for the trek ahead.

Day 3Gangotri to Nala Camp

Distance: 7 km
Time Taken: 6 hours
Nala Camp Altitude: 3,760 m (12,335 ft)

Our adventure starts with a challenging climb of nearly 500 meters as we begin trekking on rough terrain. During most of our trek, we will be walking through thick forests that sometimes open up to small grasslands, allowing us to enjoy the clear sky above.

We will begin our trek from Gangotri and head southwest along the main valley for approximately 2 kilometers. Then, we will turn east into the Rudugaira Valley. Throughout our route, we will pass through dense oak and birch forests and appreciate the serene surroundings.

As we move past the Nala, the number of trees reduces, and we are presented with vast meadows and grazing areas. Our exhaustion fades away as we finally reach the last campsite of the day. The spectacular view of Gangotri III and Jogin II, resembling a shark fin when viewed from a particular angle, makes the tiring trek worth it.

We take a moment to rest and refuel with some hot food at the campsite before heading out for an acclimatization walk early evening. Trust us, we wouldn’t want to miss out on the beauty this region has to offer.

Day 4Nala Camp to Rudugaira Camp

Distance: 4 km
Time Taken: 8 hours
Altitude: 4,350 m (14,271 ft)

Today’s adventure takes us on a challenging trek to Rudugaira Base Camp, situated about 4 km away from Nala Camp. Brace yourselves for an exhausting climb up the steep slope with a total altitude gain of around 600 meters. Make sure to take your time as we traverse through a steep trail that leads us to the upper grazing grounds where you can catch a glimpse of the magnificent Bharal (Himalayan Mountain Goats) darting in and out of their natural habitat.

As we trek through the picturesque landscape, we will cross several gushing streams before we reach the foot of the Rudugaira Base Camp. The climb up the steep spur will leave you breathless, but we will make sure to take plenty of breaks to soak in the awe-inspiring views of the majestic Gangotri I, II, III, and Jogin III peaks.

After making it through the challenging trek, we will finally arrive at Rudugaira Base Camp. It is a spectacular campsite surrounded by snow that is sure to take your breath away. We’ll pitch our tents and settle in for the night while we savor the breathtaking views of the peaks and the starry night sky.

Day 5Rest and Acclimatization at Rudugaira Base Camp

We’ve dedicated this day to acclimating to the new altitude since we’ve gained a lot of altitude in the past two days to get used to the harsh terrain of high altitude.

We start the day with a relaxed breakfast, after which, we go for an acclimatization walk. Even though we only climb a few hundred meters from the campsite, it’s a challenge to climb at this altitude. Once we reach the viewpoint, we’ll receive our first spectacular view of Auden’s Col, which is captivating beyond comparison.

As we make our way back, already feeling the thrill of the journey, we end the day early so as to get ample rest. A good night’s rest is essential in the mountains, especially when altitude sickness is a concern.

This course of action not only aids in acclimatizing your body but also allows you to take in the breathtaking surroundings, enabling you to enjoy the trek – and all that comes with it – to the fullest.

Day 6Rudugaira Base Camp to Auden’s Col Base Camp via Gangotri Base Camp

Distance: 8 km
Time Taken: 8 hours
Gangotri Base Camp Altitude: 4,500 m (14,765 ft)
Auden’s Col Base Camp Altitude: 4,720 m (15,485 ft)

We start our trek early today. It’s a 4 km uphill ascent to Gangotri Base Camp from our campsite. As we make our way, we see a breathtaking view of Auden’s Col. Its white snow-capped peak looks serene as it stretches between the mighty Jogin I on the east and Gangotri III peak on the North West ridge.

Moving onwards, we leave the slopes of the valley behind and enter a world of moraines. The trek to the Auden’s Col base camp is relatively short but difficult because of the altitude, terrain, and snow. After a few hours of trudging through the snow-covered moraines, we finally reach the wild and desolate Auden’s Col Base Camp. On our way here today, we come across a high-altitude lake called Sukha Tal. It’s a beautiful azure lake hidden in a moraine bowl.

The trek to the base camp is not for the faint-hearted. Trekking through the rough terrain and snowy landscapes requires perseverance and determination. But the challenging trail is worth it when you see the beauty of the mountainous surroundings. We feel a sense of accomplishment as we settle into our base camp, knowing that we made it through one of the most challenging parts of our trek.

Day 7Auden's Col Base Camp to Khatling Glacier Camp via Auden's Col

Distance: 5 km
Time Taken:
10 hours
Auden’s Col Altitude: 5,490 m (18,012 ft)
Khatling Glacier Camp Altitude: 5,000 m (16,404 ft)

Today’s the day – it’s time to tackle the great Auden’s Col, a formidable and awe-inspiring mountain pass. We’ll be flanked on either side by Jogin I and Gangotri III, with the Jogin glacier behind us and Khatling in front. Expect a grueling yet rewarding experience.

We’ll start the day with a long trek on rocky terrain, cautiously making our way to the glacier. Once we’re on the glacier, we’ll face a steep and winding ascent. It’ll be crucial to rope up for safety as we make our way up this 1.5 km patch of ground with a 30-50 degree gradient. It may take three hours to make it to the col, but the climb up won’t be our greatest challenge.

Our main challenge will come on the descent from the col. It’s a narrow and winding gully, inclined at a steep angle of 70-75 degrees. We’ll need to navigate it with utmost care and caution. But once we make it through, we’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the region’s massive icefalls, glaciers, and formidable peaks. As we walk down the glacier, the valley will broaden before us, leading us to our campsite for the night.

Day 8Khatling Glacier Camp to Zero Point

Distance:10 km
Time Taken:
8 hours
Zero Point Altitude: 3,870 m (12,697 ft)

The Auden’s Col is conquered, but the trek has just begun. Today is set to be a grueling and lengthy day, with a steep challenge ahead of us. We must traverse the daunting Khatling glacier, an almost 10-kilometer-long frozen obstacle that presents a merciless landscape to conquer.

The Khatling glacier reigns as one of India’s most heavily glaciated regions, and it stands true to its treacherous reputation. The frozen expanse of this moraine-laden terrain is riddled with crevasses – hidden, open, and deep ones – scattered across the whole 10 kilometers of an unmarked route that we must now navigate. With unstable gravel and steep inclines, we must be especially careful with each step forward.

But the end is not as far as it seems. As we almost come to a close, we’ll be reunited with a marked trail, which leads us to the Snout of the Khatling glacier. It is the spot where the torrential glacial melt transforms into the Bhilangna River. From there, our path to the camp is short, and we’ll get to rest our weary limbs under the shadow of the mighty Auden’s Col.

Day 9Rest and acclimatization day at Zero Point

Since the past few days have been very tiring, we will take a break today and rest at Zero Point.



Day 10Zero Point to Chowki

Distance: 8 km
Time Taken:
5 hours
Altitude: 3,580 m (11,745 ft)

Today marks the tenth day of our trek, we are set to leave the cold embrace of the snowy mountain behind as we make our way toward the sweet warmth of the valley.

As we continue along the river for three kilometers, we are welcomed by the lush greenery of the meadows seemingly stretching before us. While our bodies have become accustomed to the harsh frozen terrain, the warm sunrays dancing on our skin renew our strength and drive.

Our next destination is Chowki, a picturesque grassy campsite that is a four-kilometer walk from the meadows. It is here that we will finally rest after spending days navigating our way through the treacherous rocks and unforgiving snow.

Day 11Chowki to Masar Tal

Distance: 8 km
ime Taken: 5 hours
Masar Tal Altitude: 4,135 m (13,566 ft)

Today marks our trek to Masar Tal, which many consider being one of the most isolated lakes in the Garhwal region. Nestled at a height of 4,135 m, this pristine freshwater lake is situated southeast of the snowy Khatling glacier.

Our trek begins with an invigorating ascent that leads to a spellbinding view of Thalay Sagar- an incredibly beautiful 6,904 m towering peak that rests 10 kilometers southwest of the sacred Gaumukh site.

Once we ascend to the top, we will traverse across the ridge over the captivating valley, which will take us to our ultimate destination for the day: Masar Tal.

Finally, we will have the opportunity to camp by the scenic Masar Tal, taking in the mesmerizing views. You’ll find nothing short of awe-inspiring natural beauty in this region.

Day 12Masar Tal to Vasuki Tal via Mayali Pass

Distance: 12 km
Time Taken:
7 hours
Mayali Pass Altitude: 5,000 m (16,404 ft)
Vasuki Tal Altitude:
4,220 m (13,845 ft)

On Day 12 of the trek, we will be embarking on an adventurous trek from Masar Tal to Vasuki Tal via the Mayali Pass. Our trekking distance for the day is 12 km which we will be covering in about 7-8 hours.

The trail to today’s destination is nothing short of exciting. It commences with a steep climb over boulders on a ridge, leading to the Masar Top from where you can marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

The path then descends slightly before an ascent through the glacier to reach the top of the Mayali Pass. This hidden gem of Uttarakhand sits at an altitude of 5,000 m and is a sight to behold.

The descent from the pass is as exhilarating as the initial climb. But be warned; it is precarious, and hence, we will need to use fixed ropes to rappel down. This section of the trek is not for the faint-hearted!

Finally, after navigating through the treacherous terrain, we will reach the breathtaking Vasuki Tal. With an altitude of 4,220 m, it is another glacial lake and an excellent camping site for the day.

All in all, it’s going to be a day packed with adventure, breathtaking views, and a few scary moments.

Day 13Vasuki Tal to Kedarnath

Distance: 5 km
Time Taken: 3 hours
Kedarnath Altitude:
3,583 m (11,755 ft)

We are now on Day 13 of our epic trek through the spectacular Himalayas, and today is the day we reach Kedarnath, one of the holiest shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva! It’s an awe-inspiring destination that sees a lot of pilgrims throughout the year, so we feel very privileged to be making this trek.

Kedarnath is located about 3,583 meters above sea level, and it’s a 7 km trek from Vasuki Tal, the starting point for today’s journey. The trek takes approximately 4 hours, during which time you’ll be delighted by the breathtaking views.

As we make our way toward Kedarnath, we’ll pass through some of the most striking landscapes that the Himalayas have to offer. You might find yourself stopping frequently to take photos or simply to catch your breath as you take in the amazing vistas that surround us. After days of sleeping on cold, uneven surfaces, we’ll have a chance to retreat to the warmth and comfort of a hotel in Kedarnath.

In the evening, we’ll visit Kedarnath Temple, which is a truly unforgettable experience. The temple’s architecture is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the builders who constructed it, and it’s impossible not to be moved by the atmosphere of reverence and devotion that permeates the air.

Day 14Kedarnath to Gaurikund

Distance: 14 km
Time Taken:
4 hours
Gaurikund Altitude: 1,982 m (6,502 ft)

Starting our journey at an altitude of 3,583 meters, from Kedarnath, the revered holy town, we will trek down a well-marked and easy trail covering 14 kilometers. Brace yourself for an escape into the realm of breathtaking beauty! As you take each step of this delightful journey through the valleys and hills, grab the opportunity to feast your eyes on the splendid vistas of the majestic Himalayas. Be sure to take in the fresh mountain breeze, and immerse yourself in the calming atmosphere of the serene region.

As the trail unwinds, all roads lead to our final destination – Gaurikund, located at an altitude of 1,982 meters. You will be staying overnight at a guesthouse or hotel, embracing the warmth of unparalleled hospitality. The town is located in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, where you will have the opportunity to witness the sacred confluence of the Mandakini and Ganga rivers.

While trekking down the trail, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come – from crossing Auden’s Col and Mayali Pass to finally now at the end of the road.

Day 15Gaurikund to Dehradun

Distance: 245 km
Time Taken: 9 hours
Dehradun Altitude: 430 m (3,000 ft)

While driving back down towards Dehradun, one gets to experience the mesmerizing beauty of the fierce Ganga River flowing alongside the route. The drive, which is nearly 9 hours long, provides ample opportunities to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the region with several scenic spots to take pitstops and bask in the breathtaking vistas.

The journey from Gaurikund to Dehradun is not just a simple drive, it’s an experience that will leave you awestruck. You will find yourself enveloped by majestic mountain peaks, lush green forests, and pristine valleys. Moreover, the roaring Ganga River is sure to keep you company as it flows alongside the winding roads on the route.

By the time you reach Dehradun, it will be late in the evening, but it will be worth every minute of the long drive.

Day 16Reserve Day

We all know that Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and there might be unforeseeable obstacles that could jeopardize our on-time arrival at the destination. To account for this uncertainty, we have a built-in contingency plan – the Reserve Day.

In a nutshell, Reserve Day is an insurance policy that safeguards our trek to Auden’s Col by providing us with an extra day to counteract any last-minute surprises, such as weather disturbances or unforeseen logistical issues.

While we’re confident that there won’t be any need for Reserve Day, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. If Reserve Day does get used, there will be a nominal additional charge of INR 5000/- per person, which will be collected at the end of the trek.

Auden's Col Trek Map

Auden's Col Photos

What is the best time to do this trek?

The best time and season to do this trek is in the pre-monsoon or post-monsoon seasons.
Pre-Monsoon: May to June 
Post-Monsoon: September to October

What are the requirements for participation?

Auden’s Col is one of the most arduous treks in the Himalayas, spanning over two weeks. The treacherous terrain is very hostile and involves crossing heavily glaciated ice fields with crevasses and moraines, exposed ridges, high passes over 5000 m, and river crossings. Added to this, the weather at such high altitudes is very unpredictable, so the challenges must not be underestimated. 

Auden’s Col is meant for seasoned trekkers having experience hiking at altitudes above 4500 m and with no altitude-related health issues. All participants are expected to be confident that they are physically and mentally fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen event as defined in the itinerary. 

How to make a booking with us?

You can make your booking at our website www.advenchar.com or you can contact us at hello@advenchar.com.

You must be at least 18 years old to make a booking with us. After the booking, our team will send you a confirmation of the booking.

We understand that you may have to change your travel plans due to the Covid-19 situation, so considering this we have introduced a Book Now, Pay Later facility for all the participants. However, you will be required to pay the full amount at least 15 days prior to the departure date.

How do I cancel/modify my booking?

If you wish to cancel/modify your existing booking, you can do so by logging in to www.advenchar.com, and pay through the dashboard or you can drop us a mail at hello@advenchar.com with all the details of your booking, and we’ll cancel it for you.

What is cancellation policy?

You can claim a 100% refund if you choose to cancel your booking before 15 days. The refund will primarily be in the form of a voucher valid for 12 months.  You can also opt for a cash refund provided the booking is not part of a promotional offer or a coupon code provided by Advenchar. 


  • Before 15 days from departure date – 100% refund.
  • Between 15 days and 7 days from departure date  – 70% refund.
  • Less than 7 days from departure date – You can modify your trek free of cost, and transfer it to a friend/family member.
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