Auden’s Col & Mayali Pass Trek | Across Khatling Glacier

A trekker watching Thalayasagar peak from Kedartal lake shore
Witnessing the infectious charm and mystery of Mt. Thalayasagar peak(6904 meters AMSL)

Auden’s Col is a pass that connects Rudugaira Valley (Gangotri) to the Bhilangna Valley (Kedarnath). The itinerary & route of Auden’s Col trek includes 3 passes and the infamous Khatling glacier. The Col (saddle-shaped pass joining two surrounding peaks) connects Jogin I (6465 m) and Gangotri III peak(6580 m).

Auden’s Col Trek

The pass is located at an elevation of approximately 5400 meters above sea level. It also connects two glaciers on the opposite side. The Khatling Glacier is the first, and the Jogin I glacier is the second.

Auden’s Col trek begins from Gangotri and one can follow Auden’s Col and Khatling Glacier route to reach Kedarnath. The name of the Auden’s Col comes from J. B. Auden (brother of Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden), who first crossed it for the first time in 1939-40.

Auden’s Col: The 3 Pass Trek Expedition In Uttarakhand

The summit is at 5490m altitude and it connects the ridge coming from Gangotri III (6580m) peak on the north-west and the ridge coming from Jogin I (6465m) on the east and also binds a glacier coming from Jogin I on the north side of Rudugaira valley, and infamous Khatling glacier on the south side of Bhilangna valley.

One can read more about the 3-Pass Trek on the blog written by Neelima Vallangi. Anshul Chourasia and Sridevi Nair have also written a blog about Auden’s Col trek of June 2017 and Auden’s Col Trek expedition of 2018.

Rudraganga stream or Rudragairu (gairu means deep) or Rudugaira Gad (a small stream is English interpretation of Gad) drains Rudugaira glacier and eventually flows into the Bhagirathi river near Gangotri, and Bhilangna river originates from Khatling glacier and meets the Bhagirathi near Old Tehri in Garhwal region.

Auden’s Col Trek Permit

A permit is mandated by the local administration of Uttarkashi for all trek and adventure operators. Entry into Gangotri National Park is allowed only if one has a copy of the entry permit authorized by the office of the director of Gangotri National Park at Uttarkashi. Our Auden’s Col trek cost includes charges incurred to obtain the permits.

Auden’s Col Trek Route

First, we would take a side trip to visit Kedartal at a height of 4,780 meters. Then we would climb atop Patangani Dhar (4,900 meters) to get down into Rudragaira valley which provides access to Auden’s Col. Auden’s Col at 5490 meters above the sea level, is nestled between Gangotri and Jogin mountain ranges.

We can manage to cross Auden’s Col and Khatling glacier in a single stretch. Thereafter, we’ll descend to Chowki campsite the next day.

Auden's Col & Mayali pass trek route map
Auden’s Col & Mayali pass trek map

From Chowki we would take a left turn upwards and reach Mayali Pass (5,050 meters) in the next two days, and then camp next to Vasuki Tal. From there we would descend to the Kedarnath shrine and get back into civilization.

What is Col?

The word ‘Col’ is a geographical term for a saddle-like depression in a ridge between two peaks.

Mountain Col

Auden’s Col lies between Gangotri III (6537m) & Jogin I (6465m) and the crossing is one of the finest high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas.

How Much Does Auden’s Col Trek Cost?

Auden’s Col trek price starts from 55,000 INR. The final price will be determined by factors such as group size, pick-up location (Dehradun or Uttarkashi), departure date (pre-monsoon in June or post-monsoon in September), and add-ons such as backpack offloading, gear (crampons and gaiters), hotel accommodations before and after the trek, and drop-off location (Rishikesh or Haridwar). Drop an email to avail group & early birds’ offer.

Auden’s Col trek cost inclusion

  • All arrangements for overnight stays during the trip.
  • Camping, Climbing, and Communication(two-way radios) gear.
  • All food expenses.
  • Food will usually consist of morning breakfast, lunch, evening high tea, and dinner.
  • All food will be vegetarian.
  • Trained & certified guides who have long experience of trekking & climbing high altitude Himalayan terrains & in handling emergency situations.
  • Local guides and support staff with in-depth knowledge about the terrain, trekking trails & routes.
  • One luggage per person will be carried & transported by the porters.
  • Inner line permits(ILP) and other permit arrangements en route will be arranged by the operator.
  • All stays and lodging on a twin sharing basis shall be provided.

Garhwal Himalayas

The valleys of Garhwal and Kumaon border China and Nepal and are the most famous for their holy shrines including Gangotri — the source of India’s most sacred River Ganga.

Positioned at the very center of the great Himalayan chain, Garhwal and Kumaon contain a host of 7,000-meter peaks such as Nanda Devi, Kamet, and Trishul, and sub-7,000-meter expedition peaks such as the stunning Shivling, as well as over 250 peaks above 5500 meters.

The Garhwal Himalayas are characterized by unsurpassed mountain scenery with soaring ridges, deep valleys, and huge glaciers and this trek takes us right into the heart of the Garhwal Himalayas.

Auden’s Col Trek Itinerary

Kedar Kharak campsite during dusk!
Kedar Kharak campsite during dusk

Kedar Kharak is one of the most beautiful campsites of the 3 Passes Trek i.e. Patangini Dhar, Auden’s Col & Mayali Pass.

This camp-site serves as a basecamp site for two magnificent treks of Gangotri National Park:

  • Kedartal (4614 meters) trek.
  • Patangini Dhar (5085 meters) trek.

With magnificent views of Brigupanth Peak, Thalay Sagar peak and other surrounding peaks at Gangotri National Park, this campsite will become a memorable lifetime experience for any adventure seekers for sure!

  • Day 0: Reach Gangotri (2940 m). Acclimatization trek, visit the temple.
  • Day #1: Trek to Bhoj Kharak (3415 m).
  • Day #2: Trek to Kedar Kharak (4270 m).
  • Day #3: Trek to Kedar Tal (4760 m) and back to Kedar Kharak.
  • Day #4: Trek to Patangini Dhar base campsite (4540 m).
  • Day #5: Cross Patangini Dhar (5085 m) and reach Dhabba Camp Site (4685 m) in Rudugaira valley.
  • Day #6: Trek to Rudugaira / Auden’s Col Advanced Base Camp (4975 m).
  • Day #7: Cross Auden’s Col (5490 m), trek on Khatling, and reach Khatling Glacier campsite (4970 m).
  • Day #8: Trek the rest of the Khatling Glacier, cross the waterfall area (4300 m), and reach Khatling Base camp (3765 m).
  • Day #9: Cross Bhilangna river (3480 m), and reach Chowki campsite (3630 m).
  • Day #10: Trek to Masar Tal (4550 m).
  • Day #11: Trek to Masar Top (4695 m), Cross Mayali Pass (4990 m) and camp (4335 m) near Vasuki Tal.
  • Day #12: Trek Vasuki Tal (4210 m), trek to Vasuki Top (4480 m), and descend to Kedarnath (3530 m).
  • Day #13: Buffer day. It is mandatory to have this extra day as any bad weather or rain will delay your pass crossing. In case we use the buffer day, the trekkers would have to pay extra.

NOTE: Trekkers must reach the base camp of the trek (i.e. Gangotri town) at their own expense and everyone should keep two buffer days in an unforeseeable event (Heavy rain/snow or landslips etc.).

Ice falls of Khatling glacier
Amazing Khatling Glacier with Iconic Rabbit Ears!

Khatling  — one of the most notoriously difficult glaciers to negotiate in the western Himalayas of Uttarakhand.

The landform is strikingly similar to the Khumbu Icefalls of the Everest region.

Captured this surreal landscape while walking on Khatling Glacier during the noon hours of June 10th, 2018. Location: Khatling Glacier, Gangotri National Park, Uttarakhand, India

Criterion for Auden’s Col & Mayali pass trek.

You must have done at least one high altitude trek before. Those who do not have the requisite trek experience of high altitude passes should not apply.

You must be physically fit to do the 12-day Himalayan trek. The trek leads you up to 18,000 feet high Col of Auden’s and through deep crevasses of Khatling glacier. At this altitude the air is thin and the rigors of the mountain can grind you down. You must give yourself enough time to prepare yourself for the trek.

NOTE: Trekkers are required to bring a medical certificate deeming them fit for high-altitude trekking at the start of the trek.

Backpack carrying: A porter will carry your backpack, please do not bring extra items but only the essentials needed for high altitude trek. Besides detailed planning, taking care of all the logistics, food, and good equipment, packing a backpack efficiently and carrying essential things play a key role in the success of an expedition.

Auden’s Col trek bare essentials

  • A pair of good quality waterproof trekking boots.
  • Three pairs of socks.
  • Two pairs of waterproof hiking pants.
  • A pair of shorts
  • Two pairs of fleece jumpers. 
  • Two pairs of thermal tops and bottoms
  • One down jacket.
  • Headgear (1 beanie/skull cap, 1 buff, and 1 trekking cap). 
  • A pair of thick gloves
  • Personal hygiene essentials (alcohol-based gel, hand sanitizer, soap, towels, toilet paper, baby wipes, etc.) 
  • UV-block sunglasses.
  • First aid kit.
  • Water purifier and filtration bottle.

Auden’s Col & Mayali Pass trek FAQs

No. We carry good quality 4 season sleeping bags(up to -10℃ comfort range), mattresses and pillows.

Generally, it is not required. The water from mountain streams is already purified and much better than the tap water you get in cities. You can carry a filter-fitted water bottle like Lifestraw Go Reusable Personal Filter Water Bottle.

Our trek leader is going to carry a first aid kit. We recommend that you bring a small personal kit of your own to deal with any bruises, scrapes or blisters that you may pick up along the way. The more difficult a trek is, the more exhaustive your personal first aid kit should be.

We have a camp crew who set up the tents and also take care of the cooking and clearing up the trash.

The key to preventing altitude sickness is to acclimatize properly. In high altitude areas, you should not gain more than 600-800 m of altitude. We advise you to take things easy and not to trek in a hurry.

Regular hydration of at least 5 liters of water a day is a must. Diamox (acetazolamide) is not recommended. Diamox simply tricks the body into breathing faster (by increasing the blood Ph slightly) and in fact avoids symptoms. Acclimatization is the only treatment for high altitude sickness. Take medication only if it is recommended by your doctor.

You need to carry the backpack/daypack. The daypack consists of essentials like water, a camera, snacks, and rain gear. The heavy luggage will get carried by a porter.


  1. I will do this trek in July..can you provide the details for this trek..itinerary + cost + when are you organising this trek ?

  2. Hi,
    Can cost be emailed to me. Am planning this in month of sept or whatever dates suitable post monsoon.

    1. Hi Sonu ji
      Kindly forward details regarding departure date and cost for solo trekker.

  3. Hii..i am subham.I am interested about this of my dream trek..please send me details.thank you.

  4. If you are an extreme high altitude trekker and if Himalaya’s most adventurous, most secluded, less explored yet scenic routes fascinate you then trust me, Sonu Negi and his team are the best people for such extremely high altitude expeditions. His approach, meticulous plan, and execution are beyond excellence. I have done 3 passes expedition with him (Auden’s col being one of them) and I was awed with the kind of of efforts he and his team had behind the success of the same. I have seen few other trek operators canceling the expedition during the same time duration because of trail condition and excessive snow condition, but Sonu’s well-prepared team and his effort made this year’s first (and only) summit of Auden’s col. I would highly recommend him for his excellent service at high altitude, his mountaineering knowledge and his safety measurements.

  5. Hey!
    I would like to make some inquiries about the upcoming winter treks.
    I would be obliged if u could send me the itenary of the various treks and their respective costs.
    Thank you!

  6. Sir, i haven’t received the mailed. could you please be share details of Auden col-2020 all details once again.

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