Area: Garhwal Himalayas
Duration: 18 Days (5 days travelling and 13 days trekking)
Best Season: Mid May – Mid May – Mid October except July and August
Altitude: 5490 mts
Total Trekking: 115 K.M
Auden’s Col Trek is named after John Bicknell Auden, a British Geographical Survey officer, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. Set at an altitude of 5,490 meters, Auden’s Col is one of the high altitude mountain passes in the Indian Himalayan region of Garhwal that connects the Rudragaira and Bhilangana Valley. Auden’s Col Trek forms a bridge between the north – west ridge of Gangotri III, which stands at an elevation of 6,580 meters and the ridge coming from Jogin I at 6465 meters on the east. The trek to Auden’s Col is one of the toughest treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region and hence it has been least explored. The journey requires acclimatization as it passes through high altitude spots and some of the dangerous moraines, narrow cliffs, stony and snaky paves. The vicinity also includes some of the massive glaciers like the Khatling Glacier, which is at an approximate altitude of 4,200 meters. The Auden’s Col trek is a dream trek for almost every trekker and mountaineer. The trekking trail cuts and runs through the thick forest of alpine trees; meadows dotted with varied species of flowers; innumerable gushing streams; charming villages secluded from the urban of Garhwal Himalaya; and several temples that reflect the religious significance of the Garhwal region. Although a strenuous trail, the journey is rewarded with the majestic view of the hulking high peaks like the Rudragaira, Jogin group, Bhagirathi group of Peaks and Kedar Dome.
The Auden’s Col Trek starts from Gangotri at 3,048 meters, which is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage sites and hosts a shrine that is dedicated to Goddess Ganga, the holiest river in India. From Gangotri the trail heads upward to Nala Camp, which is 8 kilometers of easy trail. The beautiful walk through a Pine and Birch forest gets transformed into a picturesque walk with views of some of the Himalayan peaks i.e. Jogin and Kedartal range. From Nala Camp, the trail continues to Rudragaira Base Camp, which is further 7-8 kilometers gradual climb. Thereafter the route turns to the base of the Gangotri group of peaks and further leads to Auden’s Col, passing through the glaciated tracks. From Auden’s Col the journey goes ahead to Khatling Glacier and thereafter to Chowki, which is one of the alpine meadows. From Chowki the route heads to Masar Tal and thereafter to Vasuki Tal, the two high altitude lakes in Garhwal Himalayan region. From Vasuki Tal, 8 kilometers of downhill trail leads to Kedarnath, which is another important Hindu pilgrimage site and the remotest site of the Char Dham Yatra. Later the Auden’s Col Trekking tour ends at Rishikesh, which can be reached via Gaurikund, Rudraprayag and Devprayag.
Best time to travel to Auden Col Trek is in summers (May – June) and Post Monsoon (September – mid October).
Summers:The weather of Auden Col Trek remains salubrious and pleasing during summers (May – June). The Himalayan range is distinctly visible and the cool breeze adds charm to the vacation. Carrying woolens is advised.
Monsoon:Serenity and solitude are at its best during post monsoon at Auden Col Trek. The region is blessed with heavy snowfall during winters and the accommodation options are also restricted to few. But you can see the best of Auden Col Trek post monsoon as it looks like heaven on earth.
Auden’s Col is a high mountain pass, which is situated in the central Garhwal region. It connects the mountain peaks Jogin I (6465m) and Gangotri III (6580m) and is at an elevation of around 5242m. Auden’s Col bridges 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.