‘Into nature, for nature, from nature’: In search of a digital detox, India’s tech czars embark on a trekking expedition through Kashmir’s alpine lakes

Srinagar: Ritwika Sen, a 26-year-old technician from Kolkata, is currently staying with a host family in Srinagar. She has bonded with local adventure groups and plans to go on weekly hiking expeditions this spring and hike to the great alpine lakes in the valley in the summer.

“The last two years of the pandemic and the work-from-home cycle have been mentally draining. I can’t wait to finally relax and experience the silence and solitude of nature. To finally be in the mountains after being cooped up at home for so long is therapeutic,” Sen said.

Sen is not just an enthusiastic hiker. With winter winding down, locals and non-locals alike, especially in the IT industry, are eager to join adventure groups and traveler communities in the Valley this spring and summer for digital detox and Hobbies.

‘In nature, for nature, from nature’: In search of a digital detox, India’s tech czars embark on a trekking expedition through Kashmir’s alpine lakes 4

Arshid Majid, senior member of Alpine Adventures, said their job is to provide a platform for adventure seekers and turn them into new generations of climbers.

“We believe in nature, for nature and from nature. Safety, discipline in the mountains, absence of traces and respect for ethical behavior are our fundamental values. We are engaged in weekend getaways in the form of trekking expeditions,” Arshid said.

Post-Covid, the group plans to welcome more participants. “Previously we only entered 10 to 15 hikers in a group, but we will now increase the number this year. More importantly, we encourage the participation of female hikers,” he said.

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‘Into the wild, for the wild, from the wild’: In search of a digital detox, India’s tech czars embark on a trekking expedition through Kashmir’s alpine lakes 5

Majid said the group’s travel itinerary this year includes treks to mountain peaks like Harmukh with a peak elevation of 5,142 meters (16,870 feet) in Ganderbal district and Tatakooti a peak elevation of 4,765 meters, in Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Danish Mir, travel blogger and founder of “Being Kashmiri”, said that our team recently received many inquiries about upcoming spring adventure activities.

“People want to go on adventures like trekking and hiking. Since they don’t have many ideas about trekking and everything, unlike online information, we are the ones providing them with first-hand information,” he said.

He said the new generation of travel enthusiasts are curious to visit the offbeat places in Kashmir and not the typical “touristy” places.

Meanwhile, the government has issued a circular allowing only registered tour groups to undertake commercial trekking expeditions, while the maximum limit is expected to be 75 trekkers per day and 15 backpackers per day on a route, at the exclusion of staff such as cooks, guides, etc.

“Any adventure tour operator will only be allowed to conduct two trekking groups per week on the same route. Prospective trekkers must apply for permission ten days before departure. At the time of applying for permission, adventure tour operators /hikers must agree that campsites/trails will not be littered and no damage will be caused to wildlife Permission must be accompanied by a list of do’s and don’ts Sanitation / Trekking Fee Rs. 500 / Trekker Both (foreign and domestic) and Rs.100 Trekker (local) will be charged,” the circular states.

“The checkpoint should ensure that hikers pick up all leftovers, including trash, and deposit them at the designated place/area. The maximum load to be carried by a pony used for trekking is 40 kg. There will be a total ban on carrying plastic bags, polyethylene and burning waste on the trails and in the mountain pastures,” the circular adds.

Sen is not just an enthusiastic hiker. Locals and non-locals alike, especially in the IT industry, are eager to join adventure groups and traveler communities in the Valley this spring for digital detox and recreation.

Arshid Majid, senior member of Alpine Adventures, said their job is to provide a platform for adventure seekers and turn them into new generations of climbers.

“We believe in nature, for nature and from nature. Safety, discipline in the mountains, absence of traces and respect for ethical behavior are our fundamental values. We are engaged in weekend getaways in the form of trekking expeditions,” said Arshid Majid, who is one of the core members

Post-Covid, the group plans to welcome more participants. “We used to only hire 10-15 hikers in a group, but we will now be increasing the number this spring. More importantly, we encourage the participation of female hikers,” he said.

Majid said the group’s travel itinerary this year includes treks to mountain peaks like Harmukh with a peak elevation of 5,142 meters (16,870 feet) in Ganderbal district and Tatakooti a peak elevation of 4,765 meters, in Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Danish Mir, travel blogger and founder of “Being Kashmiri”, said that our team recently received many inquiries about upcoming spring adventure activities.

“People want to go on adventures like trekking and hiking. Since they don’t have many ideas about trekking and everything, unlike online information, we are the ones providing them with first-hand information,” he said.

He said the new generation of travel enthusiasts are curious to visit the offbeat places in Kashmir and not the typical “touristy” places.

Meanwhile, the government has issued a circular allowing only registered tour groups to undertake commercial trekking expeditions, while the maximum limit is expected to be 75 trekkers per day and 15 backpackers per day on a route, at the exclusion of staff such as cooks, guides, etc.

“Any adventure tour operator will only be allowed to conduct two trekking groups per week on the same route. Prospective trekkers must apply for permission ten days before departure. At the time of applying for permission, adventure tour operators /hikers must agree that campsites/trails will not be littered and no damage will be caused to wildlife Permission must be accompanied by a list of do’s and don’ts Sanitation / Trekking Fee Rs. 500 / Trekker Both (foreign and domestic) and Rs.100 Trekker (local) will be charged,” the circular states.

“The checkpoint should ensure that hikers pick up all leftovers, including trash, and deposit them at the designated place/area. The maximum load to be carried by a pony used for trekking is 40 kg. There will be a total ban on carrying plastic bags, polyethylene and burning waste on the trails and in the mountain pastures,” the circular adds.

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