“At a reflex level, trekking is a physical challenge: a simple desire to pick a path and measure up to the terrain and the elements. The adventure component adds the spice of uncertainty, raising the stakes for you to test yourself in unfamiliar territory. On a deeper level, trekking is a bridge between ancient lifestyles: the fixed vision of a settler counterbalanced by the transient motion of a nomad. As an evolution from a simple walk into more self sufficient venture, trekking requires simplification, a reduction to portable basic and implicit trust in your ability to define what you need to live”
These beautiful lines by Robert Straus basically sum up what trekking means to us at Himalayan Freaks. For us adventure is way too profound and deep to be considered just an outdoor activity or adrenaline rushing feat. What comes to your mind when you think of the work trekking? What do you really look forward to on a trekking trip? It is very important that you understand the real meaning of trekking before you embark with us on a wonderful and insightful journey.
- It is breaking your comfort zone and stepping outside. It is not just about exploring the wilderness but your own wild and adventurous side that has gotten suppressed in the mad rat race of busy city life.
- It is about rediscovering yourself and your inner power and strength and looking at this world as a world of limitless possibilities
- It is about conquering your fears and entering in the realm of the unknown and achieving feats that you never imagined you were capable of
- It is about achieving a confidence by looking at the awe inspiring mountains in the eye and climbing them!
- It is about exiting the concrete jungle for spending some time in the quiet lap of nature and breathing fresh air
- It is about you believing in your abilities and your dreams. Also the fact that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought!
- It is about baring your soul and becoming one with nature
We really believe that trekking is not just a physical activity but a spiritual journey that takes one through ups and downs and easy and difficult terrains of the wild only to expose him to unreal and outlandish beauty upon finishing the journey successfully. This beauty is the reward you earn for having pushed yourself every moment during the course of the trek. It is your reward for believing in yourself. And that is what trekking with Himalayan Freaks is all about! If you are looking to explore the mountains, relish the outdoors and step out of your comfort circle then Himalayan Freak is the last stop for you! Your final destination! We are happy to inform you that your search for the ultimate trekking experience is over! If you have trekked before or not, if this is your first outdoorsy endeavor or you are an adventure, we guarantee you experiences of lifetime! We promise that we have to offer what nobody in this industry does and that is our wisdom from years of having lived in mountains and the perfection in execution that comes from our belonging to the very mountain we take you to. We are not just ANY trekking organization. We are born trekkers! Outdoor survival is in our DNA and trekking is in our blood!
THE TEAMWe are a team of passionate outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers who are working hard night and day towards creating a community of responsible and ethical travelers like us! We worship these mountains and approach them with a sense of modesty and gratitude. And this is the learning we impart to our trek participants as well. We take immense pride in the fact that we BELONG here! Our team comprises of experts who understand the nature of mountains inside out. Most of them have spent their childhood growing up in these rugged trails surrounded by massive and awe inspiring snowy peaks! Traversing in difficult terrains is like a daily routine for them. These fearless men and women can lead you through the extremely dicey terrains with utmost ease. The team is conditioned to not only survive the harsh reality of mountains but also to ensure that any outsider visiting feels protected safe and secure at all times. And this is the core belief of the team. They are instinctively protective of any guest who comes to explore the beauty of their home. And this is exactly how you will be made to feel at all times. Protected, safe and at home and at the same time motivated and encouraged to perform to the best of your abilities. Our team is a very interesting mix of people. We have some of the best outdoor professionals in the country which makes for a delightful dream team to trek with. As we like to call ourselves. We are a perfect mix of professional and emotional. We have everyone from the best mountaineers in the country to certified outdoor experts and naturalists. Our team comprises of young enthusiastic locals to senior guides with years of experience in the field of trekking. Their family has been in the industry for generations and their forefathers have been guides too! What you need to know is that every person has an assigned job and they do full justification to sit. Not a single day at Himalayan Freaks feels like work to these people because everybody simply loves what they do!
LEADERSThese are trained and certified mountaineers with years of work experience in the field of trekking, camping and mountaineering. They have a degree in Basic and/or Advance mountaineering from the top mountaineering institutes of the country. Some of these are
- Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Skiing, Manali
- Jawaharalal Institute of Mountaineering, Pehelgam
GUIDESUnderstand that leaders are not always guides and vice versa. A guide is a person who will literally physically lead the trek which means that he is first in life. This job, therefore, mostly comes in the kitty of very senior, trained and experienced locals who know the route at the back of their hand. They can literally lead you to your summit blindfolded! That is how familiar our guides are with the routes and trails of mountains. Most of our guides are residents of nearby villages and utterly familiar with the history and geography of the place. These are the people who have seen the mountains in their best and worst form. They know if it is going to rain or when it will rain/snow just by looking at the sky! They literally are moving and living compasses and barometers! Their weather forecast and predicting abilities are phenomenal. They can quickly judge a group in terms of their ability to trek and lead the trek accordingly. When not leading the trek, they are the best storytellers and have the most amazing experiences, fables and local folklore to share!
CO GUIDESThese people probably serve the most important part in a trek which is of making sure that nobody is left behind. They are present at the end of the trail so usually the slow walkers are going to be best friends with them by the end of the trek. They do a great job motivating the team especially the slow walkers and are extremely obviously patient and positive in nature
PORTERS AND SHERPASAny trek is incomplete without the help of these fantastic people. These superhuman locals pick weight that is beyond our imagination and literally can run with that kind of weight uphill! You will be awestruck by the agility and ease with which they trek. They have in them trekking and climbing genes and are born experts. Their contribution in the team is priceless and they are undoubtedly the most hard working and perseverant of the lot. Also these are who we majorly rely on in case of any emergency be it carrying someone’s bag or carrying an injured individual back to camp!
KITCHENFood is everything and we all know that. Providing a big team of hungry and tired people with amazingly delicious food at high altitude is a commendable task in itself. The first ones to wake up in the morning, the first to reach a campsite and the last to sleep at night, the kitchen team cannot be thanked enough. Our kitchen staff comprises of the trained chefs as well as local men with cooking skills of world class! Their culinary skills are truly unmatched! They will treat you like family and cook with the warmth of motherly love. What else does one need in the cold mountains!
OPERATIONSBehind everything that goes on during, before and after a trek is a backend team of hard working professionals. They might not always be physically present for the trek but they take care of lodging, costing and so much more! Without their support the team is nothing and this is why we call them the backbone of our organization.
Eco Tourism and responsible trekkingDid you know that several trekkers camp and trek in the Himalayas every year! Can you imagine the impact it causes on the environment? With thousands of people camping, pitching tents, eating, and defecating in the mountains? This is where responsible tourism comes in picture. It is very easy to travel and trek and camp just about wherever you like. It is very easy to abuse nature’s resources for your own personal enjoyment and fun. You will come across hundreds of businesses and tour operators conducting treks in the Himalayas But how many of these work towards causing the minimum possible impact to outdoors and maintaining its purity and sanctity? It deeply saddens us that with the increase and sudden popularity of trekking and camping culture in India, a lot of times nature is abused at the hands of business minded individuals, tour operators, agents and big trekking organizations. The greed for money, lack of awareness and utter inconsideration for Mother Nature has led to the exploitation of Himalayas for a long time now! With our treks we at Himalayan Freaks also wish to build a community of NATURE WARRIORS who will make sure that the mountains and outdoors stay clean and their beauty remains untouched. We not only believe in being nature lovers but also nature healers and we operate our treks keeping that in mind. Each leader, guide and staff member of ours is very sensitive to the issue of maintaining cleanliness while trekking or camping in the hills. They are hard wired to making sure that no one pollutes the environment. Our leaders are not just technical and trained mountaineers but highly emotional nature lovers who cannot tolerate the thought of defiling the environment THE MOUNTAINS ARE OUR HOME. THIS IS WHERE WE BELONG AND WE WILL TO GO ANY LENGTHS TO MAINTAIN THEIR PURITY! The LEAVE NO TRACE POLICY followed by Himalayan Freaks ensures maximum enjoyment and learning with minimum harm to the environment. *refer to the LNT principles at the end of the page So come join us as responsible travelers and not tourists on a beautiful journey of the body mind and soul to what we call our home: the mighty Himalayas. We guarantee you an experience filled with fun, adventure, learning and lifetime of joyful memories that you will cherish for years to come and beauty that you will not be able to erase from your mind ever.
LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLESThese are the Mantras for a safe as well as responsible trek:
- Walking on established trails: a lot of times what regular tour operators elsewhere do not tell trekkers is he rule of walking on an established route which means that trekking is supposed to be done only on already existing trails. This is so that vegetation is not harmed every time a new group treks. Also it is safe as it is an easy and guaranteed safe route.
- Minimizing campfire impact: sometimes people do not realize the hazardous impact of a simple fire in outdoors. Many a time jungle fires have taken place because of the irresponsible work of some. We ensure that campfire started of any purpose is extinguished properly
- Disposing off of waste properly: Basically Trash the Trash is the key! Please remember that it is not only about throwing garbage and waste but also doing it in a proper manner keeping in mind the surroundings. All waste should be disposed in a pit and the pit has to be dug away from tents. Also all the cat holes dug for defecation should be covered properly. There should be no sign of tissue papers and other litter like food wrappers once the group leaves.
- Leave What You Find:Do not mess with nature. Do not pluck flowers, tree leaves. Leave what you find where it belongs, in nature. We strongly condemn any kind of harm caused to flora and fauna and ensure that it does not take place. The idea is to leave the place as you found it!
- Respect Wildlife: We ensure that participants learn that it is us humans who are in the territory of other animals and beings so their privacy is not disturbed. Encroachment of their territory and disturbing wildlife for any reason, even photography is prohibited. It is unethical and unsafe. Loud music is a big No!