1. What kind of accommodation is provided on the trail and in towns?
On trails, you will live out of large four-man tents. Generally, three people share a tent. In towns, we put you up in nice, clean family-run guesthouses. The rooms are generally on twin-sharing basis and of good quality.
2. What kind of equipment will be provided?
On treks, the only equipment provided, other than tents, will be sleeping bags and carry mats. All our sleeping bags are -10 degree C comfort rated and the carry mats are good quality, thermo foam mattresses. On mountaineering courses and expeditions, we will provide all technical climbing gear - high altitude tents, ice axes, crampons, gaiters, carabiners, jumars, descenders, pulleys, harnesses etc. However, if you have your own personal gear that you wish to use, you are most welcome to do so. On Himalayan Skiing Courses, all ski gear will be provided - skis, ski shoes and ski poles.
3. What kind of food will be served?
Whether treks or Himalayan safaris, if we are camping, the food will be nutritional, vegetarian fare. However, there is no limit to the cuisine - Chinese, North Indian, Continental, South Indian, you get it all. On Himalayan safaris, where we will be staying in guesthouses, however, food is not included.
4. How many people will accompany us on treks?
5. I like one of your treks, but I am short of two days. Can the trek be cut short to fit the number of days I have?
This will depend on the trek you are interested in. Most of our treks are planned in a way to give you time enough to get acclimatized and complete the trek comfortably. However, if your fitness levels are good and you want to do a trek on a fast track, write to us and we will see what can be done.
6. How difficult are the treks?
Most of our treks are graded "moderately challenging", which means they are suited for both veterans and first-timers. However, you cannot discount the altitude difference between where you come from and the Himalayas. Weather conditions - snowfall, heavy rain etc - also could make the trails more strenuous than otherwise.
7. I have signed up on a trek but I am worried about my fitness levels.
Ask yourself two basic questions that should take care of this - "Do you enjoy walking?" And "Can you walk long distances continuously or with short breaks?" If your answer is a yes to both, then we just have one suggestion. About 20 days before the trek, you could start doing regular cardio workouts or take an hour out everyday to go for a brisk walk.
8. Will I have to carry my heavy pack?
No, on treks, horses or porters will carry your heavy sack. But you will have to carry a smaller daypack with water, camera, trail food etc. The exception will be on mountaineering courses and mountaineering expeditions, where you will have to carry all your personal gear as well as distributed group gear above base camp.
9. What kind of bags should I carry?
On treks, you will need a 40-45 liter or bigger rucksack for all your luggage. In addition, a smaller day pack - preferably a backpack - to carry water, camera, trail food etc is recommended. On Himalayan safaris, the luggage will be loaded onto the vehicles. However, most roads are not metalled and are susceptible to landslides. Should we encounter one, we will have to carry the luggage across the landslide to a vehicle on the other side. With this in mind, carry bags that are comfortable for you to carry, atleast over short distances.
10. What kind of footwear will I need? Will my old pair of sneakers do?
Snow is the main concern as far as footwear go. Early or late in the season your chances of snow on trail will be higher. In such cases, sneakers will be slippery and not water resistant either. Any shoe that is water resistant and has a hard sole is what we suggest. If your shoe has already worn out a little, chances are it will give way on the trail. You could either carry an extra pair or invest in a new pair before the trek. However, do make sure that you have broken into the shoes well before you start on your trek or you are in danger of blisters.
11. What kind of and how many clothes will I need on the trek?
On all treks, comfortable, loose clothing is advised. On an 8-10 day trek, you will need three pairs of cotton t-shirts, a thick sweatshirt and a thick fleece / woolen jacket. Track pants or comfort-fit cotton pants are the best to hike in. Jeans are a no-no because they are heavy and get cumbersome if you get soaked. You should also carry thermals - leggings and uppers - especially if you are trekking in the post-monsoon season. Woolen socks, sun cap, cotton socks (3-4 pairs), inner wear, woolen caps, raincoats / ponchos will be the rest of your luggage.
12. Should I carry first aid?
No, we have a well-stocked first aid kit with us on all treks. However, if you are taking any prescription medication, carry them with you. If you have any chronic problems like wheezing, asthma, bronchial, cardiac or any other disorders, do let us know in advance so that we tell you if the trek is suitable for you or not. On the mountains, it doesn't pay to take your health lightly and it's best to be in good shape before setting out.
13. What do I need to know about the dangers of high altitude and how to tackle it?
The most common form of altitude sickness is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Anyone traveling over 3000m will face some amount of stress. Some symptoms of mild AMS are loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, sleeplessness, mild shortness of breath on exercising, interrupted breathing while asleep followed by gasping. These symptoms generally reduce within a couple of days, once your body gets adjusted to the altitude. Severe AMS is the accumulation of fluids in lungs (High altitude pulmonary oedema) or brain tissue (High altitude cerebral oedema), both of with are extremely fatal. Best treatment of AMS is prevention - avoid rapid ascents and take acclimatization symptoms seriously. If your symptoms are severe or are worsening, descend as far and as quickly as possible.
14. How do I make my payment for the trek / Himalayan safari?
All payments need to be 100% in advance along with program confirmation via online bank transfer.
15. I have signed up on a trek and already paid up the money, but I need to pull out now. What will be the cancellation charges?
Sorry, but there will be no refund. If you cancel 45 days before the trip begins, we will retain 30% of the trip cost. If you cancel 30 days before the trip begins, we will retain 50 % of the trip cost. If you cancel less than 30 days before the trip begins, or, are not present when the trip begins, there will be no refund.
16. Can you give me a list of things I need to carry on the trek?
On most treks or Himalayan safaris, make sure you have packed these things:
- Warm track pants / trousers and shirts
- Good walking /hiking shoes
- Flash light with extra batteries
- Suntan lotion and toiletries
- Camera (optional)
- Water bottle
- Warm jacket / pullover
- Warm gloves
- Warm socks
- Personal medication if any
These are in addition to the rucksack and backpack you will need. On Himalayan safaris, of course, you can get more civilized clothes that would be out of place while roughing it out on a trek. Mountaineering Courses and expeditions would typically require you to carry more things, including technical gear and heavier clothing.
17. What will the cost of the program include / exclude?
On treks, the cost would include: 1. Tents (spacious 4-man tents will be used to accomodate 3 people each), Sleeping bags (Holofill) and Carry mats. 2. Nutritious, high calorie vegetarian food will be served. 3. Guide, cook and camp helpers. 4. Horses to carry loads on the route. 5. If the roadhead is away from the reporting town, transport to the roadhead. 6. Hotel accommodation: one day before the trek and in some cases, one day after. And it would exclude: 1. Any expenses of personal nature like phone call etc 2. Food in towns. On Himalayan safaris, the cost includes: 1. All stay in towns, camps etc on twin sharing basis. 2. All transport (four people per vehicle) for sight seeing and if the safari is in Leh, airport pick-up and drop. 3. Food, if stay is in a remote village or camp. 4. A guide who will accompany the group. 5. Entry fees at monasteries etc And the cost excludes: 1. Food in towns or enroute as there are typically many restaurants and you can decide where or what you want to eat everyday. 2. Any expenses of personal nature.
18. How do I get to the roadhead of the trek?
Most of our treks start from Manali, Leh or Rishikesh. Manali is well connected by road to Delhi. Himachal Tourism (they have offices in many cities, the list of which you can get on their website), Himachal Roadways (from ISBT. Their website is:www.sugamhimachal.org) and many private operators have daily luxury and regular buses from Delhi to Manali. The other option would be to fly to Kullu (the airport is in Bhuntar, 51 km from Manali). Kingfisher Red, MDLR, Air India Express (IC) and Jagsons operate daily flights from Delhi. Leh is slightly more difficult to get to. You could come by road via Manali or Srinagar. The drive from either place takes approximately 20 hours and is done over two days. The better option is to fly directly to Leh from Delhi or Chandigarh. Jet Airways, Indian and Kingfisher Red operate daily flights to Leh from Delhi. Rishikesh is the closest to Delhi. You could take a bus or train and reach Rishikesh in 7 hours.
19. I have a question that is not addressed in the FAQ.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question and we will get back to you.