Guided spring trekking in India

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

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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