photo by: Rajib Ghose

Auden's Col High Mountain Pass

Located in the beautiful Uttarkashi district at an elevation of 5,490 m, Auden’s Col is one of the least explored treks in Uttarakhand– mainly because of its difficulty. In mountaineering terminology, a col is the lowest point in the ridge between mountains. 

Auden’s Col connects ridge of Gangotri III from the north-west to the Jogin I from the east. It is considered one of the most challenging treks in Uttarakhand that takes around 14 to 15 days to complete. While the trek route to Auden’s Col is a difficult one – with moraines, glaciers, boulders, steep ridges making things difficult, the reward is equally greater. The first-row view of the Himalayan peaks such as Gangotri group, Jogin group, Bhagirathi group as well as Kedar Dome is a sight to behold.

History of Auden's Col Trek

One of the strenuous pass in Uttarakhand is named after British explorer and surveyor John Bicknell Auden who worked for the Geological Survey of India. He discovered the trail in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. Prominent mountaineers Harish Kapadia and Romesh Bhattacharjee repeated the expedition in 1980s.

Auden’s Col Trek Route

 Rishikesh – Gangotri – Nala Camp – Rudragaira BC* - Gangotri BC – Auden’s col BC – Khatling Glacier BC – Waterfall Camp/Zero Point – Chowki – Masar Tal – Vasuki Tal – KedarnathGaurikund

(*BC = Base Camp)

Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Rishikesh – Gangotri (3100 m, 10 hrs)

Leave Rishikesh in the morning for Gangotri, which is located 270 kms from Rishikesh and will take around 8-10 hours depending upon the traffic. Reach Gangotri by the evening and check into the hotel or guesthouse for overnight stay. Visit the revered Gangotri temple in the evening. 

Day 2: Gangotri – Nala Camp (3750 m, 6 hrs)

Leave Gangotri early morning for Nala Camp which takes trekkers amidst verdant forest landscape comprising of pine and cedar and rhodenderon which comes under the Gangotri National Park. After trekking for 5-6 hours we reach Nala Camp and call it a day. Overnight stay will be at Nala Camp near Rudragaira River.

Day 3: Nala Camp – Rudragaira BC (4350m, 8 hrs)

Leave Nala Camp early for Rudragaira Base Camp which is a 7-8 hours of trekking as we climb ridge and walk beside a cascading rivulet. After climbing a steep trail, we reach Rudragaira Base Camp. The mesmerizing view of Rudragaira peak, Jogin peak and Auden’s col from that vantage point is a spectacular sight. Overnight stay in camps.

Day 4: Acclimatization @ Rudragaira BC

The day is reserved for getting acclimatized to the higher altitude as well as atmospheric pressure. Explore and enjoy the campsite surrounded in the magnificent Himalayas. Overnight stay will be in camps.

Day 5: Rudragaira BC – Gangotri BC (6 kms, 5 hrs)

Leave early for Gangotri base camp. The trek route is challenging and comprises of moraines and requires some technical climbing skills. As the campsite gets closer, the majestic view of snow-clad Gangotri group of peaks becomes clear. Overnight stay will be in camps.

Day 6: Gangotri BC – Auden’s col BC (6km, 6 hrs)

The trekking trail from Gangotri to Auden’s col is considered challenging due to the rocky terrain and presence of moraine landscapes. The campsite at Auden’s col is rocky and not well-marked but nevertheless, overnight stay will be in tents.

Day 7: Auden’s col BC – Khatling Glacier BC (12 kms, 10 hrs)

This is the moment we all been preparing for – reaching Khatling Glacier via Auden’s col. Leave for Khatling early in the morning as we trek towards Auden’s col which is located 5 kms from the base camp. Use ropes to climb, if required. Once reaching the col (5490m), sit back and enjoy the beautiful view of Himalayas. After some time at Auden’s col, descend 6km for Khatling Glacier base camp. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 8: Khatling Glacier BC – Waterfall Camp/Zero Point (12 kms, 10 hrs)

The 8-km trek in the Khatling glacier continues towards campsite at Zero Point. The trail is challenging and might require technical gears to continue your journey. Once the glacier is crossed, the trail continues with rocky terrain and moraines. Reach campsite by the evening and overnight will be at stay at camps.

Day 9: Waterfall Camp/Zero Point – Chowki (8kms, 5 hrs)

Start early towards Chowki from the base camp which is located approximately 8 kms away. After trekking 3 kms, we reach a beautiful meadow and relax for a while. After enjoying the view, trek towards Chowki campsite which is 4 kms from the meadow. The grassland at Chowki is ideal for pitching tents. Overnight stay in the tents.

Day 10: Chowki – Masar Tal (8kms, 6-7 hours)

We ascend some kilometres before crossing the ridge and descend towards the mesmerizing Masar Tal located at an elevation of 3,000 meters. We pitch our tents beside the lake and enjoy the scenery. Overnight stay in the tents. 

Day 11: Masar Tal – Vasuki Tal (12 kms, 6-7 hrs)

Leave early for the trekking towards Vasuki Tal (4800 m) which involves ascent for about 3kms. The rest of the distance is a descent towards Vasuki Tal which takes around 6-7 hours. We pitch our tents beside the lake and enjoy the scenery. Overnight stay in the tents. 

Day 12: Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath (5 kms, 3 hrs)

The revered shrine of Kedarnath is located 5 kms from the Vasuki Tal which will take 3-4 hours to reach. Reach Kedarnath by late afternoon and check into hotel/guesthouses. Visit the temple in evening and call it a night. 

Day 13: Kedarnath – Gaurikund (14 kms, 3-4 hrs)

Wake up early morning to enjoy the beautiful sunrise. Post breakfast leave for Gaurikund which is an easy 14-km descent from the Kedarnath temple. Overnight stay in guesthouse in Gaurikund.

Day 14: Gaurikund – Rishikesh

After a nice breakfast, leave Gaurikund for Rishikesh which will take 8-9 hours. Reach Rishikesh in late afternoon. Board overnight bus for Delhi from Rishikesh.

What is Auden's Col Trek famous for?

Auden's Col Trek is famous among tourist as Most dangerous Mountain pass .

Auden's Col Trek is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Trekking.

Location of Auden's Col Trek on Google Map

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