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Why Snowscapes Expeditions are unique….

Our Mission: Promote the joy of exploration and learning in wilderness and make Himalayan exploration safe, modern, informative and pioneering while providing the latest facilities and resources that modern technology has to offer. 

The direct and indirect experiences of Nepal Himalayas, Peruvian Andes and European Alps prompted us to think along these lines almost a decade back and we have been planning our own expeditions in the fashion we desire for almost a decade now.

Safe

We believe and can support this with facts that, in the last decade or so, after a new generation of youth started showing interest in adventure sports, a multitude of agencies / experts mushroomed across the length and breadth of the Indian Himalayas. While this was good for local employment, lack of regulation and certification processes did bring in many inexperienced or inadequately experience operators into the field. While this is okay for hikes in lesser altitudes and fine weather in high altitude situations and on the face of unstable weather it has had many unfortunate incidents that could have been avoided. The death toll in the Gangotri – Badrinath route averages about 7 deaths every year for the last 10 years. This finally prompted the Government to clamp down on free riding in extreme altitudes. The relevant threads in Indiamike.com can be checked to see glimpses of this discussion. So we take extreme care to plan an expedition, plan the logistics and equipment, Medical gears and paramedic and brief the members regularly and make sure that we have resources that are familiar, trusted, trained and experienced in handling themselves in most difficult situations. Most people including porters have been in our expeditions for about a decade now. In case of any emergency or discomfort on part of any team member/members, the camp leaders decision is final about returning the said member/members back to safety. Details about previous health history of the participants are sought before the commencement of the expedition. Medical Support: We do carry a fully equipped medical gear in the trek to handle unforeseen and difficult circumstances. One paramedic goes with the team to provide medical support to team members in case of emergency. In the view of overall safety, a medical briefing is given to the team before the start of the trek and a medical health check of the entire team is done every evening. In case of any emergency or discomfort on part of any team member, the camp leaders decision is final about returning the said members back to safety. Details about medical allergies are sought before the commencement of the expedition.

Modern

In the age of Internet, Google, GPS , Radios and Remote sensing weather satellites, time has come to infuse technology into adventure travel and make it easier to explore nature than it was in the days of Shipton and Hillary. The promoters of Snowscapes were perhaps the first in the history of mountaineering in India to use Internet for Pre-expedition teaming, Google for accurate mapping of paths, GPS for navigation, Radios of inter team communication and Internet resources for weather prediction in the trekking and exploration domain. Earlier too some forms of these technologies were available, but were used in the rare large national and International expeditions. As technology got democratized, we started making use of it almost a decade back. It’s another thing that many of the techniques we use to prepare for navigating and exploring the terrains are still not widely used yet by very many people.

Informative

During a trek to Tapovan area almost a decade back, a freak incident brought this aspect into focus about which our founder members are extremely sensitive. On that occasion, we saw a local tour guide, explaining to a bunch of school children the names of the majestic Bhagirathi Peaks. He named the Bhagirathi sisters as “Himalaya 1 /2/3”!! The unsuspecting children would have come back home believing entirely the information of the trek leader who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Recently we corrected many entries in the Facebook discussion forums where erroneous information was provided about the topography. We believe, understanding Himalayas and Himalayan topography, the impact of current situations, information about flora and fauna as an integral education during an adventure hike. Thus we make every possible effort to make our tour groups comparatively higher educated than others, supported by documented facts and maps. Weather predictions: Weather prediction on daily basis. The one factor- weather can make a huge difference in either achieving or not achieving the adventure objectives. Although the world has not yet seen the most accurate weather prediction mechanism, we have experienced that many of the resources that we have referred to in the past for weather have been most reliable in many trying circumstances and thereby sometimes saving us from life-threatening situations.

Pioneering

In the more than a decade of experience in exploring the high mountains and studying the experiences of great British and Indian explorers, we found that in the modern day, true sense of exploration is missing. In the recent days we see inordinately high number of people crowding the usual and famous trails. This not only puts too much pressure on ecology in one area, but also does not allow for controlled and equitable balance between conservation and economic activity. We also found that, the documented explorations in the Indian Himalayas are sadly very little compared to what could have been done. Thus we focused all our efforts during all our expeditions to discover new routes, some of which are documented in our blogsite.

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