Guided spring trekking in India

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of August 28-September 3, 1997
Hostelling across the Unites States
Guided spring trekking in India
Enrolling in mountaineering school
Biking, fishing trips near Illinois

Guided spring trekking in India
Question: I want to do some trekking, riding, and biking in India — north or south — at the beginning of next year (February to March). I want to go for about three or four weeks. Do any travel agencies offer this sort of trip?

Isabelle Deperrut
Geneva, Switzerland
[email protected]

India offers many smiling young faces
as spring begins to warm the country

Adventure Adviser: How flexible is your schedule? I've run across a few awesome trips, but neither of them seem to fall in the months you're looking to go. Both, however, are offered by a number of outfitters, so chances are you'll find a trip departure that coincides with the dates you specified.

The first trip is an 18- to 25-day trek in Rupshu, where you'll spend most of your days hiking the high-altitude desert of Ladakh. The scenery on this trip promises to be unforgettable with high valleys and passes flanked by alpine lakes and 20,000-foot peaks. Interestingly, this trip has only been available for two years because, until recently, Rupshu was closed to visitors due to its position on the Indo-Tibetan border.

If this trip is appealing and you feel you're in good enough shape to brave high-altitude hiking for days on end, you'll have quite a few tour operators to choose from: Asian Pacific Adventures (213-935-3156), Geographic Expeditions (415-922-0448), Ibex Expeditions (541-345-1289), KE Adventure Travel (970-925-8368), Myths and Mountains (702-832-5454), Snow Lion (801-355-6555). Land-only prices range from $2,300 to $3,600.

Option number two is a 10- to 20-day mountain-biking trip in which you'll ride as high as 12,000 feet up bone-jarring passes and down the hair-raising switchbacks of Ladakh, Sikkim, and the Garwhal Himalayas. This is also considered a pretty strenuous trip, so be forewarned. Again, this trip is offered by a number of companies including Asian Pacific Adventures (see phone above), Bike Treks International (503-286-0233), Destination Himalaya (415-922-0448), Force 10 (520-333-4840), Himalayan Mountain Bikes (307-733-8812), and KE Adventure Travel (see phone number above). Land-only prices range from $1,400 to $3,700.

If neither of these trips sound interesting, call one of the above-mentioned outfitters. Each offer a number of variations on the same theme, one of which will work for you.

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