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Thailand : something more to know

THAILAND  a True international destination

 

The Kingdom of Thailand is an independent country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Laos and Myanmar, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and Myanmar. 

The capital and largest city of Thailand is Bangkok. It is also the country’s center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. In Thai, the city is referred to as “Krung Thep”, meaning “City of Angels”. 

 

Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country in terms of total area, roughly equal in size to Spain, with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 20th most-populous country, with approximately 63 million people. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thais, 14% are of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay, the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers, and various hill tribes. The country’s official language is Thai.

 

Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced by more than 95% of all Thais. 

 

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, as the ruling monarch. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch and the longest reigning current monarch in the world. The King is recognized as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, the Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of the Faith. 

 

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been ruled by a European power. However, during the Second World War, and while claiming neutrality, Thailand was occupied by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan who built the infamous ‘Death Railway’.

 

The Evaluation of Outbound Learning Program in the Workplace.

It was seen  that the outbound activities brought  great trust among members,   openness,  & people were  more approachable.

It increase the team cohesion, at an individual level,  employees who underwent  the training  programs  around 87% of people felt  they had a  new and refreshing experience.

Read till the end to get an idea of how the outbound learning helps….

 

thuralii mountain

Introduction:

The most elementary reason for providing learning and development opportunities is to ensure that an employee is able to carry out their current role which would be in sync to the organizations goal and objectives. Organizations believe that adding value to an employee, will benefit in having skilled and knowledgeable employees.

Organizations which are keen to increase their productivity, efficiency and profitability will look to move beyond obligatory and traditional training methods and look at more diverse and innovative learning and development practices which will enable the employees to capitalize on their potential and prove to be a valuable resource for the organization.

Learning activities can be a source where employees gain new knowledge and skills. Which provides a strong argument for organization to invest in their employees so that they can benefit and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

What do we mean by Evaluation of learning and development?

Training evaluation can be described as a systematic process of collecting and analyzing information for and about a training program which can be used for planning and influencing decision making as well as assessing the relevance, effectiveness and the impact of various training components.

The evaluation of training is the systematic and impartial collection of data for managers and all other interested parties. This information equips them to particular training measures as a way of achieving organizational objectives, implementing policy and promoting organizational learning.

The importance of evaluating learning and development activities

Mann States “with the huge investment in developing training strategies, the question is no longer “should we train” but rather “is the training worthwhile and effective?”

For the Organization:

  • To help make decisions about what interventions should be duplicated in the future.
  • To establish the value that interventions bring to the organization
  • As part of business efficiency considerations
  • To reinforce the importance of an evaluation process when testing new programs for employees
  • To assist in determining who should attend training programs

To Individuals:

Evaluation provides employees with the opportunity to give feedback to their trainers; Individuals can also benefit from the evaluation process if feedback is acted upon for the benefit of the program.

To trainers/Facilitators:

Evaluation data may be used as a performance indicator which justifies the presence of a training department and invest in trainers. Independent trainers may also depend on their feedback to gain future business and to engage with potential new clients as an indicator of the quality of their provision and delivery.

The purpose of evaluation:

APSC provide a simple overview of the purpose of evaluation and state that it has the following four objectives.

  • Assess if proposed learning objective have been met
  • Continuous enhancement of learning interventions
  • Assess whether resources are used judiciously
  • Assess the value for money of the learning interventions
  • Linking learning, development and evaluation to business strategy

Learning can provide a crucial link between an organization’s  human resource strategy and overall business strategy by ensuring that the organization’s employees have the relevant skills and knowledge needed to be able to execute the HR Strategy. As strategies are updated it will be necessary to review the learning and development process and therefore an ongoing dialogue is needed between those responsible for learning and senior management.

Models of Evaluation:

The Kirkpatrick model

In the 1960’s Donald Kirkpatrick wrote a series of articles on evaluation where he identified four stages. Despite its age, Kirkpatrick’s model continues to be used in contemporary research. Kirkpatrick divided the evaluation process into four segments or stages as shown below.

 

 

Figure 1

Stage one-Reaction How do the participants feel about the program they attended? 
Stage Two-Learning To what extent have the trainees learned the information and skills? 
Stage Three- Behavior To what extent has their job behavior changed as a result of attending the training program? 
Stage Four-Results To what extent have results been affected by the training program? 

 

Alternative model

The CIRO model focuses on three questions as shown below figure 2 and the main difference from Kirkpatrick’s model in that it focuses on measurements taken before and after the training has been carried out. Perhaps a key strength of this model is that it takes into account the resources of the organization and their objectives thereby responding to some of the critique this model by highlighting that it does not take behaviors  into account  they also believe that it is suitable for managerial focused training programmes rather than those that are less specialized and perhaps aimed at people working at lower levels in the organization. The CIRO approach was originally developed be Warr, Bird and Racham.

 

Figure 2

Context Evaluation What needs to be addressed? 
Input Evaluation What is likely to bring about the changes? 
Reaction Evaluation How did the learners react to the training? 
Outcome Evaluation What are immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes? 

 

Context Evaluation

Context evaluation involves collecting information about performance deficiency, assessing that information to establish training needs and on the basis of those findings, setting of objectives. Context of the learning event concerns with procuring and using information about the current functional situation on order to determine training needs and objectives. This evaluation  determines if training is needed. During this process three types of objectives may be evaluated.

Input evaluation

It concerns with how well the learning intervention was planned, organized, designed and delivered.

It involves determining cost efficiency & cost effectiveness, feasibility and other major inputs are. It involves analyzing the available resources and determining how they can be deployed in order to achieve desired objectives.

Reaction Evaluation

Reaction evaluation concerns with obtaining and using information about participants reactions to improve the intervention. The distinguishing feature inputs of participants. This can be helpful when collected and used in systematic and objective manner.

Outcome evaluation

This involves assessing what actually happened as a result of learning event, This can be seen as changes in individual’s knowledge, skills and attitudes, comparing it at the beginning and at the completion of the training. At work place level this can be measured by appraisal, observation, discussion with the manager of learner. This involves identifying changes that take place in team, department or units as a result of learning event. Changes at departmental level may include change in departmental output, costs, clash rates, absenteeism, staff turnover ect.

The Iquest Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Consultants  follows  some of the above models to evaluate the training programmes . 93% felt  their learning projectives from the programme were met. Almost everyone has to say that these kind of event must happern more often .

Post event evaluation from teams that are scattered graphicallyIn one sentence  we can say , the  team has a better understanding of  each other,   and the synergy increased .

Post event evaluation from  newly merged teams

With people  from different  team working styles,  different team cultures,   and different  backgrounds  coming together  as one team , the organization  has a  goal to get them together and on one platform and move ahead ,

After  the Out Bound Learning  program we conduct,  we found greater  amount of trust among members, greater  willingness to help each other,   and better utility of resources.

Conclusion

Although Post  Training evaluation  involve cost, and effort,  the effort is worth  it, and helps  the organization in many ways .

 

Voluntary Eco drive…. Lets give a thought!

 

iQuest Adventure is Proud to propose a Voluntary Clean Up Drive to the Nature Enthusiasts…!!!

  A good   opportunity to spare your time with the nature in its service.

Here is a Call to the Passionate of the Nature, Rocks and Greenery to join in….

eco

About Turahalli:

This is a reserved forest very close to Bangalore . Also the closest rock climbing area , boasting of a variety of granite formations for climbing . Wildlife sightings such as peacocks,  and other as well as a lot of birdlife.

Turahalli hillock is a place with lot of boulders and wildlife,  Just off  Kanakapura road, around 8 kilo meters from Banashankari Temple in Bangalore South. It has been the practising ground for the rock climbers in and around Bangalore for many decades.

thuralii mountain

At present it is very sad to know that, general public do not care for the preservation of this important natural site. It has  been littered heavily by the general visitors.  And this is causing a threat to very existence of this natural spot in Bangalore.

spring-clean

Therefore, a “Clean Up Drive” will do a multi fold task.

  1.  Reduce garbage, thus increasing the greenery and also .
  2. To increase awareness among the communities about the nature.

iQuest Adventure  conducts its activity with the main emphasis on learning take away’s.

Click here to download  one day proposal.

How does “Children’s Camp” helps Children???

Hi!!!

Have you been to any camp before ???

If  you’re then, you will not be surprised when you hear about the advantages of the camp. Experiencing life at camp yourself as a child, you know the profound optimistic effects that still matter to you as an adult, and you also know that you want the same thing for your own kids:-)!!!

But if you didn’t go to camp as a child, you may not realize just how good the experience is for children. You may not know why so many parents are committed to sending their kids to camp. So here is a list of the most important reasons to send your kids to camp.

 

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At camp, children Expertise, Experience and Explore To New Things Like;

1.      Children spend their day being physically active !

As children spend so much time these days inside and mostly sitting down, it provides a wonderful opportunity to move. Running, swimming, jumping, hiking, climbing!

2.       Camp Enables to experience success and become more confident !

Camp helps children build self-confidence and self-esteem by removing the kind of academic, athletic and social competition that shapes their lives at school. With its non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed, camp life is a real boost for young people. There’s accomplishment every day.

3.      Camp helps conquer fears & Gain resiliency !

The kind of encouragement and nurture kids receive at camp makes it a great environment to endure setbacks, try new (and thereby maybe a little frightening) things, and see that improvement comes when you give something another try.

4.       Camp is real Unplugged  from technology!

When kids take a break from TV, cell phones, and the Internet, they rediscover their creative powers and engage the real world— real people, real activities, and real emotions. They realize, there’s always plenty to do.

5.      Camp  help inDeveloping  life-long skills !

Camps provide the right instruction, equipment and facilities for kids to enhance their sports abilities, their artistic talents, and their adventure skills. The sheer variety of activities offered at camp, makes it easy for kids to discover and develop what they like to do.

6.       Camp helps kids to Grow more independent !

Camp is the perfect place for kids to practice making decisions for themselves without parents and teachers guiding every move. Managing their daily choices in the safe, caring environment of camp, children welcome this as a freedom to blossom in new directions.

7.      Have free time for unstructured play !

Free from the overly-structured, overly-scheduled routines of home and school, life at camp gives children much needed free time to just play. It is a slice of carefree living where kids can relax, laugh, and be silly all day long.

8.      Camp builds teamwork!

Coming to camp means joining a close-knit community where everyone must agree to cooperate and respect each other. When they live in a cabin with others, kids share chores, resolve disagreements, and see firsthand the importance of sincere communication.

9.      Reconnect with nature !

It’s a wonderful antidote to “nature deficit disorder,” to the narrow experience of modern indoor life. Outdoor experience enriches kid’s perception of the world and supports healthy child development.

10. camp creates friendships!.

Camp is the place where kids make their very best friends. Free from the social expectations pressuring them at school, It encourages kids to relax and make friends easily. All the fun at camp draws everyone together— singing, laughing, talking, playing, doing almost everything together  “Everyday.”

See?

Camp is “Great”!!!

So wait no more to give an unique experience to your child.

 

 Contact  now:

Contact   :  Sunand Sampath

Mobile    :   + 91 9448476683

Email       :   contact@iquestindia.com

Website :    www.iquestindia.com

Iquest Adventures Annapurna Circuit Trek , Nepal… An expedition with a difference

Education  and mountaineering are in so many ways connected …  both lead to a more peaceful way of life , more understanding and self awareness ,  and  both have their own share of hurdles , challenges and summits to be reached , both  are  addictive , both are explorative.…

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The Rotary Club  has taken a huge and gigantic step towards its mission to eradicate illiteracy  in South Asia,  one of its Major project TEACH  which stands for  ‘Teacher empowerment, E-Learning, Adult-Literacy, Child Development  and Happy school’ ,  is an initiative to eradicate  Illiteracy from the face of South Asia.

Iquest Outdoor leadership and Adventure consultants one of the leading mountaineering Organizations  took up this cause  to spread awareness through the Annapurna Circuit Trekking expedition .

Below is an account on our trek which is rightly counted among the top 10 treks in the world.

Some circuits are complete only when there is a soul flowing in it .   and when complete it creates  a sense of enlightenment …

Such is the Annapurna circuit trek ……..

The mighty Himalayas offers  life  in all its  forms ,  every aspect , every element  is  so positive ,  vibrant  with  diverse cultures , rituals , values ,

This circuit had been evading me for quite some time  and  we were in two minds  on selecting the major trail for this season , until…  I remember on a casual talk with Hemant  that we decided that Annapurna circuit trek it is .

And with it started the preparations,

Hemant , Sabina and Yogita  already having  experienced in High altitude Himalayan expeditions   were more then ready  and eager for this expedition ,   For Varun  it had been a dream to Trek in the Himalayas  although an ardent nature lover  he was always instrumental in promoting outdoors  from his college days  itself. It was to make a decision based on his work availability etc ,  Varun  convinced Sri also residing  in Dubai for whom too it was a not so difficult decision to make   inspite ofholding major responsibilities at work

All the participants  were leaders in their own respective professions,

Being  a leader of this trekking expedition was a special  occasion  for me  for many reasons . Hemant was the deputy Leader  as he too had a lot of mountain experience .

An air of excitement at Iquest adventures as this was the first time we were organizing an expedition to the Annapurna region ,   Although Nepal  is not new to us  having organized  many expeditions to the Everest Base camp since 2007…

Kathmandu  the meeting point    I would say the melting point   as most tourists  land here and  disperse into thin air  for some Himalayan indulgence ….

With Varun and Sri arriving from Dubai  and Hemant , Yogita and Sabina   arriving from Bangalore and Mumbai via delhi ,   and their flights separated by just about less then an hour , It became easy for me to receive  them at the  Airport with traditional garlands.

As is a norm with me to reach the base city a day or two in advance  and look into some prior arrangements , this time too I was in Kathmandu 2 days before others arrived .

Thamel — about 20 minutes drive  from the Airport ,   always hustling with activities , shops selling everything a tourist would need  both services and goods ,   this tourist ghetto is most popular for expedition teams to stay  and so did we ,

With so many restaurant options, cafes, most places offering free wi-fi , different variety of food to try from , one doesn’t take long for  some global indulgence or local  experience…

We take one day off before the trek starts  so we can  do final  purchases required for the trek ,   and this involves running up and down the streets of thamel , bargaining ,  choosing the right  material ,  ofcourse  taking permits is also the important task for the day ,

With many restaurants playing live music we decided to choose one randomly  for the dinner   and we decide to hit the bed after our final packing and separating the dump kit that would remain in Kathmandu,

 

Day 1

An early morning  awaits us to start our journey  , we head to Bishishahar  from where we plan to  take a local jeep to reach our first  village  sachi   ,  it takes  us  a whole 8 hoiurs to reach this village ,  and we encounter some heavy rains , hail , during the jeep ride along the beautiful Marsyangdi River … we reach syange located at 1400 mtrs  and stay there   that’s the starting point of our trek    ,

Day 2

Chame to dharopani  at an altitude  of 1920 mtrs

At this point I would make a short mention on The LNT ( Leave No Traces ) principles

  1. 1.       Plan Ahead and Prepare

2.       2 Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

3.       Dispose of Waste Properly

4.       Leave What You Find

5.       Minimize Campfire Impacts

6.       Respect Wildlife

7.       Be Considerate of Other Visitors

 

 

Dharapani a beautiful village belongs to the Gandaki zone of Manang  district..  it is the continuation of the trail  that gradually climbs  uphill…

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Dharapani to Chame

 

We start  this day  with a gradual trek through forests and tree line towards  chame

Chame is a unique village  with distinct structures  also the district head quarters of Manang .

Chame is at an altitude of 2630 Mtrs  and this day we get stunning views of the Annapurna ranges , the snow clad peaks ,  the ridges give an extra  pack of energy  to move ahead .

 

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Day 4

Chame to Upper  pisang   –  this day involves a relatively long trek of about 15 kms approx , gaining altitude gradually ,  Upper Pisang at an altitude of 3310 Mtrs  has quaint old-school lodging and an active Tibetan Buddhist Monastery worth visiting for the Sunset and Sunrise chants. And an amazing spectacular view of the surrounding  mountains and landscapes. Furthermore, the villages along the upper trail are full of character and the views along the trail are perhaps the best of the whole circuit , it takes a little extra effort to take this trail  as there is an alternative trail to continue the trek  , however I strongly recommend this trail  and a visit to this  place .. when there  do try the Tibetan tea.   .

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Day 5

 

Pisang to manang  —  at this point of the expedition we are getting into the High altitude zone  which means  managing  acclimatization  is the key,  A few tips  for proper acclimatization are as follows

 

  1. Hydrate  properly
  2. Enough sleep during night and active during  day
  3. Slow and gradual gain in altitude
  4. Enough rest and acclimatization days
  5. Checking health and look for symptoms in the initial stages itself .
  6. Good appetite, healthy food  is very important.
  7. A very positive mental state  is a must. Humor helps…
  8. Follow the basic rules ‘climb high sleep low ‘

 

The trek from Pisang to Manang  is the continuation  of the previous days trek  similar terrain  one can expect some snowfall or rain, so be prepared  ,  the  views change  after every small  distance

 

Manang  is a lovely town  and is well established to  Himalayan standards, it has video parlors, Bakeries offering delightful  bakery items ranging fro apple crumbles to pizzas, cakes and  various english delights,

 

A place where the trekker gets a much needed break  and gets ready for the second phase of the big expedition  which is more tough and  goes higher ,

 

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Day 5

Manangthis is a rest day  and I recommend an acclimatization walk  to the Lake and  the high  point  we gain an altitude of about  100 mtrs and come back to our  tea house ,  trekkers  are adviced to drink lot of fluids , soups ,  etc .   there is a health check up[ point ,  and the Himalayan association runs regular talks  on High altitude  awareness , one can alsop visit the museum  there which showcases the local life style and  a glimpse of its history and culture. .

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Day 7

Manang to Yak katka – Yak khatka is at 4200 mtrs  a very tiny village   and not a distant trail ,  it has only about 4 tea houses   a few prayer wheels ,  but this could be an important stop considering acclimatization process and is advisable to stay over ….

 

Day 8

Yak katka to torung phedi at this point we are on the snow line  at 4500Mtrs thorung phedi which is the base camp for the final push to the pass  ,  the short distance may take about 4 hours of trek ,  a narrow trail at places gets dangerous with falling stones and splinters , the trekkers are advised to be extra cautious  during this  trail ,  thorung phedi has a Helipad for emergency evac  facilities .   here we have an early lunch    and followed by an early dinner  and all move to our respective cabins  to prepare for the  early morning push the next day .    a cold night  awaits ….

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Day 9

 

Thorung la   this is the longest and toughest day of this whole expedition ,  an extra layer of thermal  wear , comes into play before sleep , and most warm gear   are mainly for this  days hike ,  head gear, gloves , wind stoppers , goretex, etc etc … the list is big …

 

We plan to wake up at 3 am  get ready by 3:30 am have  a cup of tea , pack cinnamon rolls and a few boiled eggs , fill the bottles with water, head-lamps  light up our trail ,  and  at 3:45 am we start our  climb  slowly and gradually  a steep  incline is negotiated   and in about  3 hours we reach the high camp  at 4850 mtrs … a small rest and we continue  our trek landscape changes into a snow  terrain ,  what looks like never ending sheet of snow laid of the mountains , sometime slippery , sometime shallow ,  sometime deep ,  many times funny and frustrating to many a  hikers ….

 

Utmost care is to be taken while trekking in these  terrains …   with a focus on the  highest  point of thorung la   we keep moving , slowly and steadily  one step at a time , some trekkers complain of headaches ,  tiredness etc   this is very common  and the relief is  after a while its just descend ,

 

The snow line remains for quite some time  offering  surreal views  of the surrounding mountains ,  the formations ,  the clouds ,  everything falls in its own place very elegantly .    although one is adviced to wear UV protection glasses to avoid  over exposure to Glare from sunlight .

 

The Highest point at 5400 mtrs   looks like a big relief   there is a mark  where one can pose for photographs  tie Tibetan  prayer flags  take some rest  it seems like the toughest part is over … but hang on.  the  descend is  not yet over …  the trek must go on …   usually descend is more risky when compared to asends  and more accidents happen while descends ,    my team  descend  slowly  care is taken at the  snow filled terrain  as we do not use crampons and ice axe  which is not needed  here.

 

The descend  is to an altitude of 3800 mtrs to Mukthinath   a spiritual town which has the  famous Muktinath temple  considered as one of the holy pilgrimage by Hindus,

 

The town has many street vendors who sell Tibetan hand made jewelry , souvenirs , wollen shawls and warm clothes  , Saligram a sacred black stone ,  apart from a couple of fancy restaurants which offer  even free wifi facilities.

 

The temple visit  is almost a must  as this simple shrine  holds  major importance to Hindus  it houses Vishnus deity , the 108 taps from which water  falls around the temple  is also considered  sacred to take bath in .

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Day 10

Mukthinath to Tathopaani   taking a vehicle ride is recommended  for this stretch    we go from Mukthinath to Jomsum by jeep , , take a bus to Ghasa  and thereon change to another bus  to Thatopaani ,  this bus ride was one of the most Bumpiest ride ever ,    and add to it heavy rainfall ,  we had a stone fall from the cliff  and smash the windscreen of our bus , , the bus passes through  some very scenic terrain  we get to see the Annapurna ranges in all its glory ,  and the river below   is always flowing along  the narrow bus trail …

Thatopaani  at 1200 Mtrs is famous for its Hot springs , tourists stay their for an extra day to enjoy a  bath in the hot spring ,   we are in the Mastang district now ,

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One of the holy Temples right after crossing the Thorung la

 

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One of the most Bumpiest bus rides ever

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Tathopani to Ghorepani   a long  day  this covers a rich beautiful  trail  a steadily  inclined  path leads through various small villages ,  with children playing , fields , Huts  and small tea houses offering  refreshments ,  the stunning views  are  worth mentioning ,  a photographers paradise ,   a dreamers heaven ,

This trail passes through  Ghara , Shika , Chitre  among some of the prominent villages .

One gets to see  a typical Mountain village life  ,

If one has more days  this trail can be broken down into two days as well .

Almost a 9 hours trek  we reach Gorepani at al altitude of 2800 Mtrs … again to be received by a magnificent view of the Daulagiri ranges

Poon hill   is a must visit  High point  in this trail , an early morning  climb of 400 Mtrs  from Gore pani  , offers  spectacle so enchanting  that one gets into a deep  mesmerism, the  rising sun makes the mountain ranges  very beautiful  , the clear skies,   the mix of Dusk  shades on the distant  ranges is worth a visit ,  the photographers love it ….

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The beautiful terrain and the river that flows by almost thropughout the trail

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Day 12

Grorepani to Helay to  Nayapul   to Pokhara  – The last day of the expedition is all about descending ,  there are steps , and at times it gets taxing on the knees, advisable to use walking sticks  or hiking poles …  as usual of this  region the views are never ending it simply amazes one as we hike down hill through those many villages  , the different shades of green , blues ,  the flowers ,  Fauna, birds ,   everything seems to have come together  in a perfect synch .

We trek upto Helay and take a jeep  to Nayapul  and from there  ride to Pokhara .

Pokhara is a silent city also called the adventure capital of Nepal , perfect to spend post trek days chilling out at  its many restaurants ,  indulging in adventure activities ,  or just doing nothing  and staring at the distant mountains  over a cuppa  hot  tea.

During this trail we see many  facets of Himalayan life , their culture , children, schools ,  some  new schools coming up ,  newer hospitals and health care centers  ,  the people who have lived there for generations and the  visitors and trekkers  like me and my team .

There is always some inner strength that  drives a trekker to move ahead , this time it was the strong  urge and desire  from our group to raise awareness  towards Rotary’s project on  Literacy ,  lot of help is needed to make  this dream come true … lot of hands  must join together  in driving  many initiatives  to make  this region  completely literate .

Mountaineering is a  very indulging  activity,  and It becomes a  big responsibility for every trekker   or visitor to the mountains  to be as responsible  as possible and come back with nothing but only memories …  one must remember that we have borrowed  this  from our future generations.

For people wanting to  go on a trek in this trail  they can contact sunand sampath at 9448476683 email tosunand@gmail.com

A Travelogue by

Expedition Leader Rotarian  Sunand Sampath

 

Expedition Behavior

Helping a fellow student get through a rough day by carrying some of their weight, turning back due to bad weather, bringing your tent mate a hot drink, or keeping a smile on your face during five days of torrential rains are just a few examples of Expedition Behavior in action.

“Expedition Behavior” has evolved into a catchphrase—and an even shorter acronym, “EB”—that carries with it endless implications. In 1965 they were just two words Paul used to explain a suite of behavioral concepts, as simple as using the word “teamwork” on a football squad. Today, expedition behavior stands as an integral part of the NOLS curriculum, describing behaviors that help a group cooperate and attain goals.

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Expedition Behavior

  • Serve the mission and goals of the group.
  • Be as concerned for others as you are for yourself.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Support leadership and growth in everyone.
  • Respect the cultures you contact.
  • Be kind and open-hearted.
  • Do your share and stay organized.
  • Help others, but don’t routinely do their work.
  • Model integrity by being honest and accountable.
  • Admit and correct your mistakes.

A good expedition team is like a powerful, finely tuned marriage. Members cook meals together, face challenges together and finally go to bed together. A bad expedition, on the other hand, is an ugly, embarrassing thing characterized by bickering, filth, frustration and crispy macaroni.

 

Nearly all bad expeditions  have one thing in common: poor expedition behavior (EB). This is true even if team members follow the stated rules, such as No Standing on the Rope, No Kerosene in the Food, No Soap in the River, No Raccoons in the Tent, and Keep Your Goddam Ice Axe Out of My Eye.

 

Unfortunately, too many rules of expedition behavior remain unspoken. Some leaders seem to assume that their team members already have strong and generous characters like their own. But judging from a few of the campers we’ve encountered, more rules ought to be spelled out. Here are ten of them.

 

RULE #1

Get the hell out of bed.

 Suppose your tent mates get up early to fetch water and fire up the stove while you lie comatose in your sleeping bag. As they run an extensive equipment check, coil ropes and fix your breakfast, they hear you start to snore. Last night you were their buddy; now they’re listing things about you that make them want to spit. They will devise cruel punishments for you. You have earned them. Had you gotten out of bed, nobody would have had to suffer.

RULE #2

 Do not be cheerful before breakfast.

 Some people wake up perky and happy as fluffy bunny rabbits. They put stress on those who wake up mean as rabid wolverines. Exhortations such as “Rise and shine, sugar!” and “Greet the dawn, pumpkin!” have been known to provoke pungent expletives from wolverine types. These curses, in turn, may offend fluffy bunny types. Indeed, they are issued with the sincere intent to offend. Thus, the day begins with flying fur and hurt feelings. The best early-morning EB is simple: Be quiet.

 

RULE #3

 Do not complain. About anything. Ever.

It’s ten below zero, visibility is four inches and wind-driven hailstones are embedded in your face. Must you mention it? Do you think your friends haven’t noticed the weather? Make a suggestion. Tell a joke. Lead a prayer. Do not lodge a complaint. Yes, your pack weighs 87 pounds and your cheap backpack straps are actually cutting into your flesh. Were you promised a personal Sherpa? Did somebody cheat you out of a mule team? If you can’t carry your weight, get a motor home.

 

RULE #

4 Learn to cook at least one thing right.

 One expedition trick is so old that it is no longer amusing: on the first cooking assignment, the clever cook prepares a dish that resembles, say, Burnt Sock en le Sauce Toxique. The cook hopes to be relieved permanently from cooking duties. This is the childish approach to a problem that’s been with us since people first started throwing lizards on the fire. Tricks are not a part of a team spirit. If you don’t like to cook, offer to wash dishes and prepare the one thing you do know how to cook. Even if it’s only tea. Remember that talented camp cooks sometimes get invited to join major expeditions in Nepal, all expenses paid.

 

RULE #5

 Either A) shampoo, or B) do not remove your hat for any reason.

After a week or so on the trail, without shampooing, hair forms angry clumps and wads. These leave the person beneath looking like an escapee from a mental ward. Such an appearance could shake a team’s confidence in your judgment. If you can’t shampoo, pull a wool hat down over your ears and leave it there, night and day, for the entire expedition.

 

RULE #6

Do not ask if anybody’s seen your stuff.

Experienced adventures have systems for organizing their gear. They rarely leave it strewn around camp or lying back on the trail. One of the most damning things you can do is ask your teammates if they’ve seen the tent poles you thought you packed 20 miles ago. Even in the unlikely event you get home alive, you will not be invited on the next trip. Should you ever leave the tent poles 20 miles away, do not ask if anybody’s seen them. Simply announce, with a good-natured chuckle, that you are about to set off in the dark on a 40-mile hike to retrieve them, and that you are sorry. It’s unprofessional to lose your spoon or your toothbrush. If something like that happens, don’t mention it to anyone.

 

RULE #7

Never ask where you are.

 If you want to know where you are, look at the map. Try to figure it out yourself. If you’re still confused, feel free to discuss the identity of landmarks around you and how they correspond to the cartography. If you A) suspect that a mistake has been made; and B) have experience interpreting topographical maps, and C) are certain that your group leader is a novice or on drugs, speak up. Otherwise, follow the group like sheep.

 

RULE #8

 Always carry more than your fair share.

 When the trip is over, would you rather be remembered as a rock or a wuss? Keep in mind that a pound or two of extra weight in your pack won’t make your back hurt any more than it already does. In any given group of flatlanders, somebody is bound to bicker about weight. When an argument begins, take the extra weight yourself. Then shake your head and gaze with pity upon the slothful one. This is the mature response to childish behavior. On the trail that day, during a break, load the tenderfoot’s pack with 20 pounds of gravel.

 

RULE #9

Do not get sunburned.

Sunburn is not only painful and unattractive—it’s also and obvious sign of inexperience. Most greenhorns wait too long before applying sunscreen. Once you’ve burned on an expedition, you may not have a chance to get out of the sun. Then the burn gets burned, skin peels away, blisters sprout on the already swollen lips. You get the idea. Wear zinc oxide. You can see exactly where and how thickly it’s applied and it gives you just about 100% protection. It does get on your sunglasses, all over your clothes and in your mouth. But that’s OK. Unlike sunshine, zinc oxide is non-toxic.

 

RULE #10

 Do not get killed.

Suppose you make the summit , chain-smoking Gilanes and carrying the complete works of Hemingway in hardcover. Pretty macho, huh? Suppose now that you take a vertical detour down a crevasse and never make it back to camp. Would you still qualify as a hero? And would it matter? Nobody’s going to run any fingers through your new chest hair. The worst thing to have on your outdoor resume is a list of the possible locations of your body. Besides, your demise might distract your team members from enjoying what’s left of their vacations.

 

All expedition behavior really flows from this one principle: Think of your team, the beautiful machine, first. You are merely a cog in that machine. If you have something to prove, forget about joining an expedition. Your team will never have more than one member.

Climbers Dictionary

  “Here are few  abbreviations associated with rock climbing.

This might be helpful answer  for some questions of rock

climbers or help you feel more familiar with the scenario.”

 

dic

  • Aid Climbing – The use of anything other than the natural features to ascend up the rock.
  • Anchor – The point where the rope is fixed into the rock.
  • Barn Door – An off balance move that causes a climber to pivot on two points of contact. The result looks like you are opening the barn door.
  • Belay – To keep the climber safe by controlling the rope.
  • Belayer – The person keeping the climber safe by controlling the rope.
  • Belay Device – Usually a metal device which the belayer uses to control the rope. There ae several types of devices, all creating friction against the rope, allowing the belayer to catch a falling climber.
  • Belay Betty or Belay Bob – The significant other of an addictive rock climber.
  • Big wall – A long route that takes many pitches or rope lengths to ascend.
  • Biner – Short for  “carabiner”, a short loop of metal with a gate that can attach things together.
  • Boulder – A rock short enough to climb relatively safely without a rope.
  • Bouldering – Climbing low to the ground and without a rope.
  • Brake Hand – The hand that holds the rope securely.
  • Camming Device – A removable, portable protection that helps stop a climber if they fall.
  • Carabiner – A removable, portable protection that helps stop a climber if they fall.
  • Crack climbing – Climbing continuous cracks in rocks, requiring specific techniques and protection methods.
  • Crimp – Gripping so that the fingertips contact the hold with slightly raised knuckles.
  • Crimping on the Way Radical Tiny Gnarlies – climbing a route with really small holds.
  • Cross through – Reaching with a hand or foot that crosses the other appendage.
  • Crux – The most crucial., difficult part of the climb.
  • Descender – The device used for rappelling.
  • Dirt Me – Climbing speak for “Let me down”, after finishing or giving up on a top rope climb.
  • Don’t Slap Rude if You’re Shaky at the Crux – duh… Don’t slap rude if you’re shaky at the crux… Dude!
  • Downclimb – Climbing downward rather than upward.
  • Dyno – Climbing move in which the climber jumps from one hold to another.
  • 8-Ring – A common rappel / belay device shaped like the number “8”.
  • Elvis leg – A leg shaking uncontrollably during a climb, usually due to nerves or over contraction of the muscles. Sometimes called sewing machine leg.
  • Enscarfment – A food break at the edge of a cliff.
  • Epic – The story of an ordinary, well planned, climb that suddenly turns into an adventure thriller!  With an eventual happy ending.  As the drama unfolds around the campfires at night or to a wide-eyed audience in the local tavern, it becomes increasingly difficult to sift the fact from the fiction.
  • Figure 8 knot – The most common knot used to attach the climber’s harness to the rope.
  • Flag – Dangling a leg to improve balance.
  • 4th Classing – see Free Solo
  • Free Climb – To climb upward using only the natural rock features, and only using man made gear for protection.
  • Free Solo – To free climb without the use of any manmade protection.
  • Going To Church – Climbing on Sunday.
  • Gravical – The adrenaline high a climber may experiences upon a lot of air between climber and the ground level.  ( i.e., “This is gravical, dude!”)
  • Gumbie – An inexperienced or new rock climber.
  • Hang Dog – To rest on the rope while climbing.
  • Lead – Starting with the rope on the ground, climbing by clipping into protection points on the way up.
  • Poser – Someone trying to make you believe that they climb much better than they actually do.
  • Rack – The climbing gear carried during an ascent.
  • Rappel – Descending down the length of a rope.
  • Rarppele – One who enjoys sliding down ropes instead of climbing up rocks.
  • “Rock!” – A warning yelled to anyone below when a piece of rock is falling on a climb.
  • Scrambling – Easy climbing, usually unroped.
  • Slab – A climb that is less than vertical.
  • Summit – The top of a mountain or rock.
  • Sling n : A sewn, typically shoulder-length nylon runner used to clip in long to protection, build anchors, carry gear, etc.
  • Sloper n : A downsloping handhold that relies on skin friction and an open-hand grip.
  • Smear n, v : To apply your entire forefoot (and not just toe) to the rock, often while slab climbing, stemming, or on large, sloping features.
  • Sport climbing n : Gymnastic face and overhang free climbing, with the climbs typically having fixed protection like bolts (usually equipped top down with a power drill). Another key feature is the acceptance of hang dogging.
  • Squeeze chimney n : Bigger than an off-width but smaller than a chimney, a squeeze chimney (12 to 18 inches or so) is a crack up which you must wriggle; these are infamous for provoking claustrophobia. A wise climber will ensure that his torso squeezes through unimpaired, even on a full in-breath.
  • Stem n, v : To splay and oppose your legs, {sansV}-like, across a dihedral or to otherwise enter a splits position.
  • Traditional climbing n : Before sport climbing, all climbing was traditional climbing, in which you started on the ground, placing pro as you went. Today’s slightly modified meaning seems to encompass all gear-protected (natural) leads.
  • Under cling n, v : Any hold used by turning your palm upside-down, as if receiving alms, and walking the feet up.

The IQUEST ADVENTURES – ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK (NEPAL)

ATC

Annapurna circuit trek …. !!!!

This trek takes you through distinct regional scenery of rivers, flora, fauna and above all – mountains.    There are four regions that are passed through on the trek; Lamjung, Manang, Mustang and Myagdi.

Lamjung and Myagdi of the lower elevations are both predominantly Hindu and with lush green subtropical valleys with villages and terraced farming. Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations and are predominantly Tibetan Buddhist.

The trek goes counter-clockwise reaches its summit in Thorung La (pass) at the height of 5416m, or 17,769 feet.  The route goes past the  mountains,      passing through the world’s deepest gorge in between those two 8,000-plus meter peaks. Poon Hill, at the end of the trek, affords views of those two mountains, as well as South Annapurna and Macchupucchre, the “Fishtail Mountain.”

The trek also goes through Buddhist villages and Hindu holy sites, most notably the village of Muktinath, a holy site for both Buddhists and Hindus, and Braga, one of the oldest monasteries in the region. From Dharapani to
Kagbeni you will be walking the Annapurna section of The Great Himalaya Trail, a long distance trekking route that connects Nepal from East to West.
To Be led by a Highly experienced Mountaineering Leader and supported by well experienced Guides and Friendly Staff…!

Dates : 5th April to 20th April 2014 ,KTM to KTM.
Type of Trek : Tea House.
Highest point:  17873 ft/5416 mts.
Focus : Villages, monasteries, wildlife, high passes, and dramatic landscape.
Grade : Physical Challenge, Hard trek overall, so physical fitness is recommended.

Day to Day Itinerary:-

Day 01: 5th April 2014: Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arriving in Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport), a representative will meet you and help you transfer to your hotel by private bus. Enjoy a free evening to explore Kathmandu and recover from your jet-lag. Meet the our trip leader during a short pre-tour briefing before dinner.

Day 02: 6th April: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley and preparation for the trip. Travel to Pokhara proceed to syangje and stay.

Day 03: 7th April: Trek from Syange to Dharapani [1,960m/6,430ft]: 7-8 hrs. A leisurely trekking pace takes us into the Manang district with its fields of barley, rice, potato and pine forests. We pass the village of Kodo and will overnight in Dharapani.

Day 04: 8th April: Trek from Dharapani to Chame [2,710m/8,891ft]: 5-6 hrs. On the way to Chame we climb a few steep, forested ridges and are treated by some of the most sensational mountain views: Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525m/24,688ft). At our destination a few small hot springs bring relief to our taxed muscles.

Day 05: 9th April: Trek from Chame to Pisang [3,300m/10824ft]: 5-6 hrs.
Today we trek higher along a steep and narrow, densely forest path that leads to a rock face that soars 1500m/4,920 ft above the river. We reach at Pisang finally.

Day 06: 10th April: Trek from Upper Pisang to Manang [3,500m/11,482ft]: 6-7 hrs. Out of the two routes to choose, we select the upper one (through Upper Pisang and Geru) where the sceneries are unmatched. Majestic peaks tower all around us are Annapurna, Pisang peak, and several others. As we trek higher the landscape and vegetation change with the colder and dryer environment. It’s not all hard work though, since we will visit the Barge monastery (largest in the district of Manang).

Day 07: 11th April: Trek from Manang: Acclimatization Day
To allow our body chemistry to change, adapt to the lower levels of oxygen at altitude, this will be an acclimatization day. We will take a few short walks to higher ground. Great destinations are the Bhojo Gompa, Gangapurna Lake, the Himalayan Rescue Association and even the small old, monastery village of Vraga. This day is important since the next two are challenging with a rapid gain in altitude.

Day 8: 12th April: Trek from Manag to Yak Kharka ,3,110m/13,484ft]: 3-4 hrs.  We climb out of the Marshyangdi Valley toward Jarsang Khola and Ghunsa. We pass a few pastures, a patch of juniper trees, and the flat mud roofs. After crossing a small river, we pass an ancient old Mani wall (religious carvings on stone slabs) before entering the small village of Yak Kharka.

Day 9: 13th April: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi [4,600m/15,092ft]: 3-4 hrs.  Thorong Pedi is close to the foot of the pass, Thorong La. This ‘trekker/climber’ village caters to the needs of these adventures souls. Some people hike higher to make the “pass-day” easier and risk contracting Altitude Sickness. We stop here to avoid this and potentially get a better night’s sleep.

Day 10: 14th April: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Muktinath [3,800/12,467ft]: 7-8 hrs. Thorong La (5,416 m/17,769 ft), an unforgettable experience, is clearly the climax of our Annapurna Circuit trek. It is in our grasp today. Yes, we will be huffing and puffing, and at the same time exulting in the experience; our own human performance and the unimaginable majesty of this place that few Westerners see. We reach Muktinath with the setting sun. Muktinath hosts a Vishnu temple and a Buddhist Monastery and is often referred to as an example of the religions harmony in Nepal.

Day 11: 15th April: Trek from Muktinath to Tatopani [1,200m/3937ft]: 6-8 hrs. Today, we drive along a plateau above the Kali Gandaki – world`s deepest gorge. We will be using the local private jeep of bus to Ghasa and then change another vehicle to Tatopani. The road is gravel and unfortunately rough and dusty. At Tatopani another treat awaits us, and everyone is anxious to relax their weary muscles in one of the hot spring pools.

Day 12: 16th April: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani [2,850m/9,350ft].: 7-8 hrs. The trek to Ghorepani takes us past the Pun Magar villages of Ghara and Sikha and their terraced farmlands, through Phalate and Chitre, and through beautiful rhododendron, birch, and magnolia stands. The surrounding peaks look wonderful, almost ominous, as they tower above.

Day 13: 17th April: Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Nayapul and then drive to Pokhara. And stay
An early ascent of Poon Hill (3,210m. /10,531ft) takes us to the top to witness a spectacular moment in time: sunrise over the whole Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs. We then return back to our lodge for the breakfast. And then, we trek downhill to Nayapul via Ulleri and Birethanti. We drive to Pokhara from Nayapul, which take approx. an hour and half.

Day 14: 18th April Buffer Day 1
Day 15 : 19th April Buffer Day 2
Day 16 : 20th April: Final Departure from Kathmandu

Note:-

  • Cost :40000/- INR
  • Last Date for Registration : 15th March 2014                                                 [Registration through an advance payment of 50% of the total charges , Balance to be paid before 15th March 2014]
  • Age Group: 15 and above
  • Minimum number of participants : 5 nos.
  • Contact for registration:-
  • Sunand Sampath ( Expedition Coordinator )
  • Email contact@iquestindia.com phone +91 80 40930357 ( 15:00 to 19:00 hrs on week days )
  • Mobil: 9448476683

Cost Includes:-

  • Highly experienced Leaders, High Altitude Guides.
  • Hotels when in city, during the trek in tents on sharing basis.
  • Food :3 Veg meals a day while trekking.
  • Certificates and expedition t-shirts.
  • Flight to and fro Pokhara
  • 3 night accommodation in Kathmandu in non star hotel.
  • 2 Night Accommodation in Pokhara non star (without meals)

Cost Excludes:-

  • All the personal expenses like drinks, tips etc.
  • Cost of any form of insurance, rescue, evacuation, hospitalization, etc.
  • Travel fare up to KTM and Back (iQuest can assist in getting reservations for travel).
  • Any Insurance. Any item apart from that indicated in the itinerary.
  • Sightseeing and other charges in Kathmandu.
  • Meals in Kathmandu and in Pokhara
  • Any Temple entry fee

Cancellation Charges:-

  • 25% of the total charges of the actual cost incurred , whichever is higher if cancelled before 15th March 2014.
  • 50% of the total charges If cancelled between 16th March and 25th March 2014.
  • 75% of the total charges if cancelled between 26th March and 31st March 2014.
  • 100% charges if cancelled on or after 1st April 2014 , No refunds will be made if the participant has to return back at any point of the programme or does not attend the programme due to any reason what-so-ever .

KINDLY NOTE:-

In case of circumstance out of our control like, natural calamities, local law and order situation,etc.,which may result in change in itinerary, additional booking of accommdation,transport,logistic etc., causing an increase in expenses, and also in case of any fuel price hike .The additional cost thus incurred shall be borne by the participant.