Mount Rudugaira is located in the Rudu Valley inside the Garhwal Himalayas. The Rudu Valley offers an approach for the peaks in the Gangotri Massif as well as for Auden’s Col. Mount Rudugaira Expedition is a good introduction to mountaineering for experienced trekkers who have previous high altitude trekking experience and who wish to take the next step-up in adventure activities.
Name: Mount Rudugaira
Height: 5819 m (19091 feet)
Location: Rudu Valley, Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India
Difficulty: Moderate (Mountaineering Expedition)
Mount Rudugaira Expedition Itinerary:
Details of Mount Rudugaira Expedition:
Gangotri to Nala Camp
Mount Rudugaira Expedition starts from Gangotri and it is a two day march to Base Camp. At Gangotri, we will cross the Bhagirathi River and start walking down away from the town and towards the Rudu Valley. This same trek right up to Base Camp is also the approach to the famous Auden’s Col trek.
Almost the entire trek on this day is through a thick forest of Pine and Deodar trees, which start as soon as we get out of town. Along the route at a distance of around 3 km from Gangotri lies Pandu Gufa (Cave), a large cave where, according to legend, the Pandavas took refuge during their years of exile. Now a Sadhu lives in this cave and meditates.
Near Pandu Gufa there is a fork in the trail and we start climbing up into the forest at this junction. As we walk through this section, we keep the Rudu Ganga to our right and walk for about 4-5 km, till we come to a small log bridge that we use to cross the Rudu Gard. From here on, the river remains on our left till we reach Nala Camp.
Even though the trek is long on this day, it is quite a pleasurable walk. The Rudu Valley, unlike the Gangotri Valley, is green and heavily forested. This aspect coupled with the constant sound of the raging Rudu river is an assault on the senses. The only challenge we will face on this day of the trek is quite close to the Nala Camp, where we shall encounter 3 or 4 landslides which we will have cross to get to the campsite.
The Nala Camp is a small campsite right next to the river.
Nala Camp to Base Camp
The trek on this day to Base Camp is as different from the one to Nala Camp as the sun is from the moon. While the previous day we had walked in a closed valley that was heavily wooded, today we walk along high, open and lush meadows. As soon as we start walking from Nala Camp, we climb up a small hillock that takes 15 minutes to get to the top. Once at the top, enormous green meadows can be sighted till as far as the eye can see and the whole valley opens up.
We continue up and down various nalas that cut across the meadows for some kilometers. The last stretch to Base Camp is the most challenging one, not because it is technical but only because it is a bit steep. After we have crossed the meadow and we reach a final nala, the steep section starts. It takes about an hour and a half to climb up to the top and we reach the Base Camp.
Base Camp is another meadow and from this height, one can not only see the meadow around but also the entire meadow that has been crossed to get here. The path that continues to the Gangotri Base Camp is also visible from here.
Base Camp to Camp I
On this day, the traditional plan is tweaked a bit by doing away with the day of acclimatisation at Base Camp. Instead of staying put, we shift camp a little higher up the mountain. It’s not much of an effort as one can mostly reach camp in less than two hours, and Camp I is not too high up from Base Camp as well.
The initial way is through the meadow and then we take a short traverse of about half an hour across a moraine area, over which Camp I is located.
This move is advantageous as we climb a little higher up the mountain without the walk being too strenuous. This not only aids in acclimatisation but also reduces the distance to be travelled on the next day to the Summit Camp. Once at Camp I, one is free to spend the day as they please – read, chat up with the rest of the team, play cards, anything and everything that suits the individual.
Camp I to Summit Camp
The climb up to Summit Camp takes about 4 hours and is a mixture of rocky and meadow like terrain. There is a slight incline throughout the way. From here on we start seeing a lot of the peaks that surround the area – the three Gangotri peaks, Srikantha, and the trail towards Auden’s Col.
The campsite itself is a small flat grassy area, that affords amazing views of the meadows below more than anything else.
Summit Camp to the Summit
The summit attempt starts early in the morning and the usual call time will be 4 am. The stretch from the Summit Camp up to the Summit is steep and there is a general incline of about 50-60 degrees. As soon as we leave Summit Camp in the morning, we encounter a moraine like area. In fact most of the climb this day is on rocky terrain, unless of course it snows. In any case, in all conditions there will be a lot of snow patches mixed with the rocky patches.
As we start walking from the Summit Camp, we traverse left to catch the ridge that we will follow almost to the Summit. Walking along this ridge, we can see below us the crevasse ridden area that lies below Gangotri I peak. Just as the sun starts to rise, we also see the three Gangotri peaks bathed in orange hues.
Mt Rudugaira has three false summits before the actual summit. These are large humps and as one approaches each, it seems that this might be the summit. Nearing the top of the mountain, we leave the ridge that we have been following and traverse slightly to the right and take a more central line up to the top.
It takes an average of 5 hours to get to the summit from Summit Camp. The three Gangotri peaks that have been with us throughout the climb can be seen in all their majesty. We can also now see far up the Bhagirathi valley, where we can see the three Bhagirathi peaks, Sudarshan, Shivling and many more peaks.
- Stay on twin or triple sharing basis (depending on availability) for 10 days as mentioned in the Itinerary.
- Buffet/Pre-Ordered Vegetarian meals (breakfast, snacks pack/lunch, and dinner) for 10 days as mentioned in the Itinerary.
- Land transport from Dehradun to Dehradun in non-AC Bolero/ Maxx or similar vehicle.
- All equipment required for the expedition – 3 man tents, kitchen tent, dinning tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, personal climbing equipment.
- Experienced, rescue-trained, English speaking climbing leader and deputy leader, 2 climbing guides and 1 High Altitude Porter (HAP).
- All National Park permits and camping fees.
- All porterage charges for porters up to Base Camp. Members’ personal bags will also be carried by the porters till Base Camp.
- Personal Insurance (Extreme Adventure Sport Cover) which includes hospitalisation expenses for injuries, hospitalisation expenses for illness and medical evacuation (helicopter evacuation if required).
- Medical First Aid in case of minor ailments.
- Travel from and to city of origin to Dehradun.
- Meals during onward and return journey from city of origin to Dehradun.
- Stay in Dehradun before and after expedition.
- Extra meals ordered/a-la-carte orders/any meal which is not a part of the package.
- Hiring of extra porters for personal equipment.
- Additional stay and meals due to bad weather.
- Contingency charges in case of delay due to weather/accident, illness of self or any other group member, act of God, or any situation which is out of control of the expedition leader.
- Soft beverages, laundry charges, telephone expenses, souvenirs, collectibles bought during the course of the trip, any and all personal expenses.
- Any item not specifically mentioned in the “Pricing Inclusions” section.
- Tips paid to any party during the course of the trip.
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