Background and Incubation:
From the early years of this millennia since our college days we started trekking with friends and amateur clubs. Our early forays into the mighty Himalayas started with Sandakphu, Dzongri-Goecha La 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 visiting Pin Parvati Pass, Kalindi Pass, 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 coming back to mountains with increased hassle of logistics to work it out independently. Saptarshi (Sapta) took this challenge and was happy to gave up his career of a ‘software professional’ to get into this realm 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 need to walk.