Background and Incubation:
Back in the late 90’s since our engineering days we started trekking with friends and amateur clubs. Our early forays into the mighty Himalayas started with Sandakphu, Dzongri and other places in the eastern Himalayas. As the enthusiasm picked up and our love for the Himalayas started growing out of proportion, we also began venturing into Himachal, Kumaon, Garhwal and Ladakh. After doing Pin-Parvati Pass, Kalindi Pass and Roopkund & Ronti Saddle, the first seed of desire to take this up as a profession was planted – especially because it started getting more and more difficult going back to the monotonous corporate world. Saptarshi (Sapta) gave up his career of a ‘software professional’ to get into this uncertain world by starting Himalaya Trekkers in June 2010.
During our days as amateur trekkers, the thing that struck us the most was that, on one hand, treks were either done by a bunch of enthusiastic individuals (like us) or organized by local clubs and led by what we called ‘hardcore’ trekkers. In both cases, it invariably meant using worn out tents and sleeping bags, having meagre and bland meals, finding guides who were often incompetent. These trips were treated more as accomplishments rather than realizing the sense of adventure, awe and togetherness that the mountains evoke.
For us, it always was about soaking in the mind-numbing beauty and enjoying the sheer grandness of the abode of the gods, and, success of the trek lay in completing the trek as a team.
On the other hand, there were agencies which offered fantastic facilities at equally fantastic prices and taking herds of people as part of their package deals. Over 30 people and a disproportionate number of support staff would mean much less attention to individual needs and near zero flexibility during the trek.
What we also found appalling, was the scant respect that seemed to have for the mountains – any camping ground or trail would be strewn with plastic wrappers, packets, bottles and containers, tin cans and glass bottles and jars.
There was also this aura built around ‘trekking’, as if, it is the hallowed turf of a few and not for the much larger population of nature lovers. We felt differently. For us, this brief escape, from civilization and mobile networks, was an addiction that was difficult to shake off. We felt, it must be the same for countless others too. Trekking is not the same as mountaineering expeditions or rock climbing which indeed requires a lot of technical skills – at the end of the day, you just need to walk.
Today, with the experience of over 40 treks all over the Himalayas, Himalaya Trekkers operate on over 15 different routes, at prices that are hard to beat even by individual amateur groups. The USP of Himalaya Trekkers (HT) is in –
- Conducting environmentally clean treks – HT calls them ‘green’
- Using quality equipment that is perfectly suited for the trek
- Providing equal care and attention to all members – Proportionate support staff
- Having good and nutritious food along the way
- Most importantly, enjoying the rendezvous with the ‘big guys’ (read Himalayas)
Saptarshi Roy (Sapta): Founder of Himalaya Trekkers. An engineering graduate, certified from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), travelling and trekking extensively in Himalayas for more than a decade. He brought the leadership and people management skills from his earlier profession in IT and constantly working towards the goal to provide unmatched service during a trek in the Himalayas.He also leads some of the fixed departure treks including the recce treks. His personal interest includes flora and fauna of the Himalayas, Rock climbing and bouldering, travelling to new places which are not restricted to the Himalayas.
Krishnendu Banerjee (Krish): An engineering graduate from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, certified mountaineer from HMI, Darjeeling, and media peer manager by profession. He started his trekking and mountaineering expeditions 15 years back and his passion for mountain is growing strong. He was done expeditions to Mt. Thelu, Mt. Koteshwar, Mt. Deo Tibba, and several high altitude treks. He helps to maintain the back-end activities of Himalaya Trekkers and also takes part in the new route explorations.