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Useful Informations

Dos & Don'ts
  1. The garbage generated by the expedition/trekking shall be removed by them.
  2. Carry a bag for collection of garbage and other litter. Pack out all non-biodegradable rubbish.
  3. Ask before photographing people. Do not pay money for it.
  4. Use toilets wherever available. Where toilets are not available, use areas at least 20-30 m from streams and water sources. Dispose off washing and bathing water well away from streams, use biodegradable soaps.
  5. Wear good hiking shoes/boots as trails can be slippery and rocky. Do not go off the trail. This will lead to soil erosion. Follow only the approved routes.
  6. Use non-wood fuel for cooking, heating and lighting.
  7. Don't destroy, trample, collect or remove any plant and animal specimen whether live or dead or any geological specimen.
  8. Don't carry and introduce any alien seeds or propagation material of any plant species and don't carry and introduce any exotic animals or pets.
  9. Don't try to feed any wild animal.
  10. Don't deface, put sign boards, write or paint on the tree trunks/rocks/trees or any infrastructure (camping huts, boundary walls and pillars).
  11. Don't carry instruments, implements, tools, arms, firearms or chemicals harmful to wildlife and vegetation.


It's a good idea to pack your clothes in a plastic bag or zip-lock bags inside your pack. I've also had good experience using the airtight vacuum-sealed packing bags. They allow you to compact your clothes in a small space and are reusable. When selecting clothing think about dual-purpose clothes and about layering for warmth and keeping dry. It is better to have several layers you can take off and put on one at a time versus one heavy layer.
  • 1 daypack (or backpack for self-guided Haute Route)
  • 1 pair hiking boots or shoes
  • 1 pair trekking poles (optional)
  • 1 set raingear – tops and bottoms, or poncho
  • 1 lightweight fleece sweater or fleece vest.
  • 1 mid-weight fleece sweater or soft-shell jacket
  • 1-2 pair synthetic hiking pants or shorts.
  • 1-2 T-shirts – with wicking properties.
  • 1 pair long pants
  • 1 long sleeve shirt.
  • 2-3 pair hiking socks – Wool or wool-blend preferred
  • 1 pair extra shoes for wearing at end of day and in town
  • 1 hat

1 liter water bottle or Camelback (hydration system)
Sun glasses
Small towel
Small headlamp
Personal toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sun screen, razor, lip balm (soap and shampoo is available at all hotels, but not at mountain huts).
knit hat for cold weather or headband to keep your ears warm

Optional Items:
Ear plugs for use in the mountain huts
Lightweight gaiters
1 lightweight warm hat
1 pair lightweight gloves

Group gear:

Your guide will carry the following items which are available for your use on the trail and throughout the trip:
First aid kit
Trail maps
Multifunction knife
Compass, thermometer, altimeter
water purification table
Toilet paper

Altitude Sickness (Most Important information)

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, "the altitude bends", or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 meters. It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can ascend to 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) without difficulty.


Acute mountain sickness is caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes.The faster you climb to a high altitude, the more likely you will get acute mountain sickness.
You are at higher risk for acute mountain sickness if:
Dehydration due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes
Rapid ascent, altitude attained, amount of physical activity at high altitude, as well as individual susceptibility, are contributing factors to the onset and severity of high-altitude illness.
You live at or near sea level and travel to a high altitude

Signs and symptoms

Your symptoms will also depend on the speed of your climb and how hard you push (exert) yourself. Symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. They can affect the nervous system, lungs, muscles, and heart.
Primary symptoms
Difficulty sleeping
Dizziness or light-headedness
Loss of appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Rapid pulse (heart rate)
Shortness of breath with exertion

Severe symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate life-threatening altitude sickness include:
Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
Symptoms similar to bronchitis
Persistent dry cough
Shortness of breath even when resting
Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)
Gradual loss of consciousness
Increased nausea
Retinal hemorrhage
Blue color to the skin (cyanosis)
Chest tightness or congestion
Coughing up blood
Gray or pale complexion
Cannot walk in a straight line, or walk at all


Keys to preventing acute mountain sickness include:

Climb the mountain gradually
Stop for a day or two of rest for every 2,000 feet (600 meters) above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters)
Sleep at a lower altitude when possible
Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness
If you are traveling above 9,840 feet (3,000 meters), you should carry enough oxygen for several days.

If you plan on quickly climbing to a high altitude, ask your doctor about a medication called acetazolamide (Diamox). This drug helps your body get used to higher altitudes more quickly, and reduces minor symptoms. It should be taken the day before you climb, and then for the next 1 to 2 days.

If you are at risk for a low red blood cell count (anemia), ask your doctor if an iron supplement is right for you. Anemia lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood. This makes you more likely to have mountain sickness.

While climbing:

Drink plenty of fluids
Avoid alcohol
Eat regular meals, high in carbohydrates
You should avoid high altitudes if you have heart or lung disease.


Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages.

The main treatment for all forms of mountain sickness is to climb down (descend) to a lower altitude as rapidly and safely as possible. You should not continue climbing if you develop symptoms.

Extra oxygen should be given, if available.

People with severe mountain sickness may need to be admitted to a hospital.

Acetazolamide (Diamox) may be given to help you breathe better. It can help reduce mild symptoms. This medicine can make you urinate more often. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug. This medication works best when taken before reaching a high altitude.

If you have fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema), treatment may include:

A high blood pressure medicine called nifedipine
Beta agonist inhalers to open the airways
Breathing machine in severe cases
Medicine to increase blood flow to the lungs called phosphodiesterase inhibitor (such as sildenafil)
Dexamethasone (Decadron) may help reduce swelling in the brain (cerebral edema).

Portable hyperbaric chambers allow hikers to simulate conditions at lower altitudes without actually moving from their location on the mountain. These devices are very helpful if bad weather or other factors make climbing down the mountain impossible.

XRA Cottage

Stay in the lap of nature !

We take this opportunity to introduce our Cottage, nestled amidst apple orchid, at an altitude of 6700 feet. The Cottage is just 8 kms from Joshimath, and Auli         read more