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Indian women army off to Mt Everest

The Indian Army on Monday announced it is sending all Women Expedition to Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world.

The 22 members team was flagged off by Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, AVSM, SM, DCOAS (IS&T) on Monday. He addressed the team of selected and experienced mountaineers wishing them good luck for the extreme and demanding adventure activity that they have been assigned.

Army Mt Everest expedition

 

The team will take off for Kathmandu (Nepal) from Delhi on 22 Mar. After a 17-day trek they will reach Base Camp on 12 Apr which is at 17500 ft altitude. Four camps will be established enroute and after completing the load ferries and acclimatization process, the summit attempts will be made between 15 – 20 May.

Seven out of nine open peaks of above 8000 M already scaled, South Pole conquered last year and an expedition to North Pole already on its way.

Mt Everest was conquered for the first time by an Indian Army Expedition in 2001.

The first army women team had summited Mt Everest through North (Tibet) in 2005 and now another such team will attempt for the first time through South (Nepal) which is known as the traditional route, from which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had first climbed.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Adventure, Travel

 

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Adventure tourism reaches a new high

Three years ago, Preeti Ralhan, a 41-year-old homemaker from Gurgaon, was holidaying in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with her family. While they had no plans for adventure, their guide insisted they try a 5-km zip line tour atop the rainforest. “Suspended from cables, zipping past trees and cliffs, we had the time of our lives,” says Ralhan.

They wanted to zip-line again, but didn’t want to go all the way to Thailand. And then, they heard of Flying Fox, a service that offers zip-lining tours in Neemrana, 100 km from Delhi. So, last month, the family drove to the heritage town for a zip-lining tour that cost just Rs 1,500 per person. “Three years ago, we thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But now, we know we can afford to do it twice a year,” says Ralhan. She adds that the Neemrana zip line was more picturesque than the Chiang Mai one because of the view of the heritage fort and the rocky terrain around it.

If you are an adventure junkie, you needn’t pack your bags and take a flight out of India. You can now go zipping at Neemrana, Jodhpur and Kikar Lodge near Chandigarh, or scuba diving off Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Goa and at Angria Bank in Maharashtra; paragliding at various places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan; hot-air-balloon-riding in Rajasthan; parasailing in Haryana, mountain biking at Jalori Pass in Himachal, Manali and Narkanda, heli-skiing in Kashmir, or skiing in Manali.

Even though adventure tourism has been around for at least a decade, lately, it has seen several new companies offering tours in offbeat sports like sky diving, zip lining, and heli-skiing to consumers that include corporate managers, youngsters and families. Mukul Ronak Das, CEO of Bangalore-based Waltair Escapade Thrills, the company that launched commercial sky diving for the first time in India in October 2011 (in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra late last year and Punjab in February), says that five years ago, adventure sports contributed not more than 35-40 per cent to the tourism revenue, and most of it came from conventional sports such as skiing and rafting. Now, new and sophisticated sports such as sky diving, heli-skiing, and zip lining are also doing well. And the government realises the potential of promoting the country as an adventure destination. “Out of the 48-second recent Incredible India ad on TV, 60 per cent time is devoted to snapshots of adventure activities,” says Das.

While there were already around 35,000-40,000 big and small adventure operators in India, the last six months have seen them getting more organised and professionally managed. Flying Fox, which began in 2007 in Neemrana, has, over the years, spread to Jodhpur and Chandigarh. Delhi-based Wanderlust Camps and Resorts, which claims to be “the first company to bring bungee jumping to India (in 1999), hot air ballooning in 1989 and sky-walking in 2005” and is run by ex-Army officer Captain SK Yadav, has been organising camps for companies and now even families. Their camps are priced between Rs 999 and Rs 1,999 per person per night. “Adventure activities were first brought into the Indian corporate culture as part of team-building exercises. They used activities, such as valley crossing and flying fox, which the army uses to train its officers and jawans,” says Yadav. One of the most unique activities they have organised so far is sky walking. Participants were harnessed and made to walk vertically on the exteriors of some tall office buildings in Gurgaon.

Trained adventure professionals from abroad have also set up shop in India. India’s first 83-metre-high bungee jump, in Rishi-kesh, has been designed and is run by a team of bungee experts from New Zealand, and the Flying Fox zip lining tours are run by two British nationals. “Since these are not native adventure activities, you need to bring in foreign skills because there’s no domestic expertise to draw upon,” says Flying Fox Asia director Richard McCullum.

Obviously, commercial interests are driving the adrenaline boom in India. ­Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head at ­travel portal expedia.co.in, says, “Indians travel overseas a lot, and consume a lot of adventure there. Even foreign tourists, who come to India mainly for cultural and spiritual consumption, end up indulging in adventure activities here, especially in Manali and Ladakh.”

Ajeet Bajaj, the first Indian to have scaled both the North and the South Pole, and who runs one of India’s oldest adventure tour companies, Snow Leopard Adventures, agrees: “There are no exact figures but estimates say that there are no less than two million adventure consumers in India every year — domestic as well as foreign.” Vikas Arora, administrator, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, pegs that number to be increasing at a rate of 20-25 per cent annually, thanks to “corporate getaways and family tourism fuelling the demand.”

Women, he says, are big drivers of adventure tourism. “More than 25 per cent of adventure travellers are women in the 35-60 age group,” says Arora. Chandigarh-based Kanika Khanna and her four college friends, for example, celebrated their graduation by bungee-jumping in Rishikesh, offered by Jumpin Heights, which also organises an 83-metre-high swing and a 1-km-long zip line. “The first sight of that sky-high platform from where I was supposed to jump off , even though the coach had harnessed me well, gave me butterflies in the stomach. I almost chickened out but when I saw another girl my age jumping off the platform without any inhibition, I took heart and gave it a shot. The next day, we took the combo package and enjoyed all three activities in one day for Rs 4,000 per person,” she recalls.

India’s vast terrain makes it an ideal adventure spot. Says Das, “We have the mountains with snow-clad peaks, beaches and coasts, rocks and plains — each state has something to offer,” he says.

The topography apart, affordability lures domestic tourists. Arup Bhowmick, a 32-year-old investment banker from Delhi, went scuba diving in Goa last May, after his “very expensive” adventures abroad, including bungee jumping in Poland and scuba diving in Mala in 2008, and sky diving in California in 2010. “I wouldn’t say that the Goa experience was better than Malaysia — the marine life is equally divine at both places, but we saved a lot of time and money. My Goa trip cost just 25 per cent of my Malaysia one,” he say

Sky Walking in Gurgaon – Indian Express.

http://www.renokadventures.com

 

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Gulmarg to host India’s 1st Music, Adventure Festival

Indian, local artists to highlight art, culture in the 4-day, 3-nights event from March 9

Sajad Kralyari
Amid snow capped mountains and silvery pine trees, Kashmir Valley will host India’s first ever Music and Adventure Winter Festival at the world’s famous ski resort Gulmarg.

 The music will flow from the tuneful voices from the wide spectrum of Indian artists including the local Kashmiri new breed of bands while traditional artists will entertain the audience with folklore, chakri, Rouf, ladishah and sufiana kalam using traditional musical instruments.

India’s leading rock bands, reggae artists, jazz & blues bands, will bring warmth to the sub zero temperature on the white carpet at 10000 feet high snow carpet with music fusion.
The festival will begin with business conference on March 8 which will be followed by other events including film festival, extreme adventure sports, arts and culture. The 4-days and 3-nights festival will be organized by a Noida based travel company Synapses Adventures which has already witnessed a great response for the events from the tourists from different parts of India.
“The event is aimed to bring new experience to locals and showcase local ethnic culture and lifestyle. The event will also be great boost to highlight music, adventure of this place to outside world besides promoting Gulmarg as the best winter destination,” said the organizer Aditya Shinde of Synapses Adventures.

Business Conference:
“In the business exhibition, the distributors and retailers from outside the state will showcase the adventure gear. The exhibition will also be attended by local tourism fraternity including the people associated with travel and trade and the community from social media to promote business and create networking opportunities,” said Aditya.
The exhibition will primarily boost the sports industry around the country and Kashmir region.

Music @ Gulmarg Winter Festival
The event will enliven the snow bowl with, mix of classical, sufi, jazz, fusion, rock performances by renowned artists.
“Besides artists from outside the state, the local music bands and artists will also perform. They will highlight local music. Locals will perform folklore, chakri, rouf, ladishah and sufiana kalam. This will also be a biggest platform for the upcoming talents of the country and also locals.”
“The event also offers opportunities for local artists, musicians to be showcased amongst some of India’s leading artists. Local talent can also interact with the upcoming generation of artists, musicians.”

Film Festival
Synapses Adventures will showcase eight short films on subject like music, adventure, culture and environment from the best in new cinema and creative films.
“The films will also be a chance to promote Gulmarg as a winter sports destination.”

Kashmir Art and Culture
Kashmiri’s mouth-watering traditional cuisine -Wazwan- will also be the main highlight of the festival. The tourists will get to taste Wazwan and also local popular beverage Kawah which will be showcased by locals.
‘Wazwan and Kahwa are the pride of Kashmiri and its identity. The tourists will be enjoying best of the most authentic and delicious delicacies during the event.”
The locals will also be highlighting their handicraft including carpets, shawls, paper machie.
“The local will also show their skills to crave out master pieces of Kashmiri art and craft. This will be opportunity for them to promote the traditional trade.”

Gulmarg Winter Sports
Synapses Adventures will also organize adventure sports competitions in skiing, snowboarding through competitions and exhibitions.
“There will be no other place than Gulmarg to host competitions in skiing and snowboarding which has world’s highest Gondola,” said Aditya.
The organizers have roped in the local skiers especially from Tangmarg who earn their livelihood as adventure sports guides and trainers during winter months in Gulmarg.
“The competition will be open for local and India skiers. The adventure sports competition will promote Gulmarg as the winter sports destination besides promoting tourism.”
The organizers will first hold preliminary rounds on Gulmarg slopes and the shortlisted skiers will be taken to Mary Shoulder on ski-lifts for final competition.

Green Event
“This will be a zero plastic event. We will encourage visitors and guests to use their own bottles instead of buying plastic bottled water,” said Aditya.
The organizer will be using renewable sources of energy, using minimum power (bio fuel) for lights.
The festivals will begin from 11am to 5pm which will feature culture and food fiesta, flea bazaar, photography workshop, music, adventure and recreational activities while as from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm will feature one hour movie screening as part of the Soul Film Festival.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Adventure, Travel

 

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India Discovery Adventure Organized By Unicef

The UN agency that looks after children, Unicef Open Unicef in a new window, is organizing an adventure motorcycle trip in India.

Planned for November 2012, 20 odd adventurers will be setting out on classic Royal Enfield  Bullet motorcycles (plus vintage Ambassador cars) to discover parts of India.

The week long itinerary will see you go past several Unicef projects in the country, so you can see the good work they do.

This is a quote on part of their program:

The 1,000 km route takes you along Kerala’s coast, inland to Mysore, through the tiger reserves of Bandipur and Mudumallai and up through 36 hairpin bends to a vast expanse of tea plantations. The trip ends back in the serene backwaters of Kerala – an exquisite conclusion to a remarkable adventure.

Charley Boorman

The trip is planned for 30 November to 9 December. It’s not cheap, since it the trip supports the Unicef work, so it’s worth it.

Cost: UK£4,995 (including flights, accommodation, most food and bike rental). The trip will be accompanied by mechanics and a doctor. Unicef will give you plenty of ideas how to raise money to fund the trip.

So if you are in for a motorcycle adventure holiday, and eating loads of Indian food, this is your chance. On top of that, you are contributing to one of world’s leading children aid agencies.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Adventure, Renok Adventure, Travel

 

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Beginner’s Delight – Hampta Pass

Escape to the natural wonders of Great Himalayas, just south of Manali, for an unforgettable experience. Hampta Passtrek is the beginners delight in every way easy access, dense pine forest, beautiful meadows, adrenaline pumping river crossings and a high altitude mountain pass called Hampta. It got its name from the Hampta village and shepherds and villagers used this pass to enter in Lahaul Spiti valley of Himachal. This was traditional alternative route between Lahaul and Kullu Valley before the road was made over Rohtang Pass.

Smile

Hampta Pass is a moderate trek with a scope of mixing lot of other adventure activities to suit varying duration and interest of trekkers. It start from the Prini village and takes us to the majestic foothills of The Great Hiamalayas, the Pir Panjal Range which is the largest range of the lower Himalayas. Over this trek one will see different hues of nature as you gain altitude from thick green pine forest to awe inspiring view of Mt. Deo Tibba and Mt.Indrasan and their snaking down glaciers to the barren landscape of Lahaul and Spiti valley.

With the Support Team

Trek Begins

The trail for the trek begins after you cross the hydel power project buildings, it takes you into the pine forest with occasional bunch of other trees like Maple, Walnut, Oak and Alder. After walking for sometime with a mild gradient you have to cross a beautiful nala  over a wooden bridge can stop here for water and a photography break.

How Can I remove these wires?

This trail leads to a open meadow with river Hampta flowing on one side, here you will get the first view of Deo Tibba and Indrasan. On the other side of river you will see beautiful rock faces and above those there lies the manali lake.

Sweet Home

Damn the Dam

This meadow is called Chikka and is the Camp for the day. Chikka has lush green grass so you will find some sheeps or grazing there, nestled in between of rocky mountain face and pine and maple trees. On one side Rani River is flowing and few small ponds and nice and flat camping places. On top of that majestic views of snow clad mountains and evening might see the twinkling lights of Manali town from some spots.

Our Camp

You can do campfire here for that team work is required go into the forest and collect dry logs of wood in further camps no wood is available. After having pitched your tent, traverse the meadow, climb the hill for height gain and have bonfire with the hot fantastic dinner.

Reflections

Our Campsite from near by hillCampfire – We worked hard for the woods

After the excellent quality sleep, be ready for the next destination Balu Ka Gera which is about 4-5 hours gradual ascent from Chikka. Have a heavy breakfast start your day with a small walk and then crossing the river over the huge logs put by shepherds.

River CrossingSun StarYoungest member of the group Dr Suresh

Keep watching the Gendarme (mountaineering term which is a pinnacle of rock on a mountain ridge) right infront of you, keep walking on left bank of river. This entire walk will be through the rocks and boulders. On the way you will get some superb boulders to try your hands and hone your skills on bouldering. After few hours of walk you take a right turn and here come the thrill and chill the crossing of nullah. Take of your shoes and just take the plunge…no only knee depth only. The water is icy cold so don’t stay in water for too long. Now you are just halfway from your destination.

Our feet were almost frozen…tinglingWoWAltimeter – 1114Standing TallOur Campsite at Balu Ka GeraCairn – I made it…

This is me!!Gendarme

On one side you have superb rock face and river flowing beneath them and right in front of you valley full of snow and trees are left behind only small bushes. Walk along the river through boulder you will reach Balu ka Gera which means Heaps of Sand. This is flat ground with river flowing one side and a nice water stream just near the campsite. Its water will be used for drinking and for food. In the night from here you can try your hands on night photography of stars with snow clad mountains.

Sky in the nightNight Landscape (Illuminated tent )

Next desination is Shea Goru after crossing the highest point of trekHamptaPass.

Morning Excercise

Todays trek would be moderately steep and then steep descent from the Hampta pass. While approaching the Hampta pass you can see some the wonders of mountains like Cornice formation, Glaciers and their snouts and of course snow along the way. Stay at Hampta for your lunch at an altitude of 14500ft and be ready to careful steep descent and wear your backpack in case you fall your backpack will save your back.

The TEAM

I was carrying two bags – full preparation for Basic course

From top you will be able to see your campsite, it seems very near but it takes good two hours to reach there.  Tall snow clad mountains surround you from three sides and the open side leads you to Sheagoru. Again you have the river flowing to your right. Choose a nice camp site close to the river and retire happily for the day after crossing HamptaPass.

Hampta Pass

 

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National Geographic ranked Bosnia in the top 10 adventure tourism destinations

National Geographic ranked Bosnia and Herzegovina among the 10 best adventure destinations for 2012. Among the destinations that offer excellent rafting, mountaineering, skiing and other adrenaline sports, B&H was named as offering the best mountain biking trails.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has potential become Eastern Europe’s year-round center for adventure. Since then, skiers, hikers, and whitewater enthusiasts have indeed made their mark and now mountain bikers are starting to do the same.

The ancient highland caravan routes that linked mountain towns for centuries now make for a heavenly single-track system for the knobby-tire set.

British outfitter Exodus leads weeklong mountain-biking trips starting in Sarajevo that incorporate Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman culture with present-day adventure. Highlights include a ride into Lukomir, the country’s highest village at nearly 5,000 feet, and an exploration of a region near the Prenj massif, known as the Herzegovina Himalaya.

The country is mostly landlocked, but Exodus’s route hits several lakes and culminates with a climb to a waterfall followed by a screaming, 4,200-foot mountain bike descent, and eventually, a return to Sarajevo.

Source: BH Daily News

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Travel

 

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New Govt Project aims to promote adventure sports in Northeast

The states in the North Eastern Region offer tremendous potential for various outdoor adventure activities viz. Mountaineering, Trekking and camping, Rock climbing and Rappelling, Jeep Safaris, Cultural Tours, Village Home stay, community tourism, Bird watching, Angling, water skiing, White Water Rafting, Canoeing, kayaking, etc.

Keeping this in mind a pilot project namedYouth to the Edge was launched on Monday 30 January, 2012 in a function held at Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi, by Paban Singh Ghatowar, Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

The project is aimed to promote adventure activities in the remote areas of North East Region (NER). The volunteers from National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will participate in the adventure activities under the project.

Taking advantage of this potential, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, under the pilot project Youth to the Edge, proposes to promote adventure activities in the remote areas of North East Region, in which around 3000 youth (1500 from North Eastern Region + 1500 from other States) will participate in adventure and cultural activities.

On a trial basis, 03 trekking trails (02 in Arunachal & 01 in Nagaland) have been planned for the volunteers from National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The pilot scheme is being launched with the Motto Adventure to the Paradise Unexplored.

Under the Capacity Building of NER youth, they will be trained through the National Mountaineering Institutes and other adventure training organizations. After completion of the courses, they will get opportunity to work as escorts and guides on their own.

Following are the Trekking Trails details that will be covered under the pilot project:

Three Trekking Trails to be established in NER – Arunachal Pradesh–2, Nagaland-1
1500 Students from Rest of India to participate in 45 Camps of 6 days each.
250 Students from NER to participate with youth from Rest of India.
220 Students from NER to visit rest of India to participate in adventure camps.
22 Students from NER to undergo Skill Development Training at National Mountaineering Institutes.

Adventure Camps will channelize Youth Energy in positive direction, develop overall personality, enhance self confidence, endurance and team spirit, improve leadership qualities and promote National Integration.

The project involves an expenditure of Rs.2.87 crore. It will be funded by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region through North Eastern Council (NEC) and executed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports through National Service Scheme (NSS).

Source:iSikkim

 
 

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