Sep 24, 2014 - Sunand Sampath    No Comments


Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa. It is also the tallest free standing mountain in the world. rising 15,100 feet (4,600 meters) from base to summit. Kilimanjaro is also the most prominent mountain in Africa.



Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 19,340 feet (5,895 meters); Mawenzi 16,896 feet (5,149 meters); and Shira 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim.

The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is Keats Boyd, an American who trekked up Uhuru Peak at age 7. What’s impressive is that he managed to dodge the 10-year-old minimum age limit!

It is to Be led by a Highly experienced Mountaineering Leader and supported by well experienced Guides and Friendly Staff.

Day 1: 7th Feb 2015.
Arrival – Arusha

Day 2: 8th Feb 2015.
Stay at Arusha get acclimatized.

Day 3: 9th Feb 2015.
Machame Gate (1490m) – Machame camp (2980m

Day 4: 10th Feb 2015
Machame camp (2980m) – Shira camp (3840m)

Day 5: 11th Feb 2015.
Shira (3840m) – Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 15 km’s | Habitat: Semi desert.

Day 6: 12th Feb2015.
Barranco camp (3950m) – Barafu camp (4550m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 13 km’s | Habitat: Alpine desert.

Day 7: 13th Feb 2015.
SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Barafu camp (4550m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m).Hiking time: 8 hours | Distance: About 7 km’s | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.

Day 8: 14th Feb 2015.
Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 3 hours | Distance: About 15 km’s |Habitat: Forest

Day 9: 15th Feb 2015.
End Of Expedition . Drop At the Airport for departures. Good Byes.

Day 10: 16th Feb 2015,
On this day you will awake to the breath taking view from the camp or lodge at the crater rim. After breakfast,
continue with your drive into Serengeti, past the Olduvai gorge and on to the Seronera.

Day 11: 17th Feb 2015,
On this day, you will spend the entire day at the Serengeti. You can also experience the migration of the wildebeest , zebra and Thompson gazelle.

DAY 12 : 18th Feb 2015,
Departing the park and heading on to the border of Kenya and Tanzania from where you will exit Tanzania and enter into Kenya.

DAY 13 : 19th Feb 2015,
A full day will spent at the park. You have the choice of a full day of game drive
The Mara is home to the Big Five as well as many other animals and birds. You can also have a drive to the Mara river which is home to many hippos and crocodile.

DAY 14 : 20th Feb 2015,
This will be another full day spent at the Mara having morning and afternoon drives within the park.

DAY 15 : 21st Feb 2015, MASAI MARA / NAIROBI
Have an early morning pre- breakfast drive within the park, you will then return for breakfast followed by departure for your drive

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


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.


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





Established by a strong group of Professionals, iQuest Adventures is committed to producing adventurous challenges, professional events and learning programs that are fused with our unique brand of fun and creativity.


Over the years, our team has become one of India’s Leading Adventure Companies by providing excellent customer service, a trustworthy standard of safety, and above all, by bringing a pioneering vision to the activities we feel so passionate about.


The dzongri trek takes you up-close for a spectacular view amidst a majestic panorama of the Himalayan giants within its range of mountains.


It’s a beautiful journey  through  a very spectacular  range of  Mountains Meadows ,  This trek is suitable for first timers, beginners and those with less holidays

9th to 16th November 2014

ARRIVAL AT  Bagdogra ON 9th Nov, 2014.

Day 1

Arrive at Bagdogra in the morning & depart to Yuksam. Arrive in Yuksam by evening & check into hotel

Day 2

Explore Yuksam & get acclimatized to clean air

Day 3

Trek to Bakkim or Tshoka

Day 4

Tshoka to Dzongri

Day 5

Dzongri Acclimatizing Day

Day 6

Dzongri to Tshoka

Day 7

Tshoka to Yuksum

Day 8

Yuksum to NJP or bagdogra



Rs. 17,000/- Service Tax Extra


Age Group:-

15 and above

Minimum number of participants : 10 nos.

Cost Includes:-

● Highly experienced, Leaders, High Altitude Guides, Cooks and support Staff

● Transportation [Train, Jeep & local transportations]

 ● Accommodation [hotels when in city, during the trek in tents on sharing basis]

● Food [3 Veg meals a day, tea/coffee, Snacks

● Porters and Yaks [ruck sacks will be carried by porters and yaks

● Trekker needs to carry the day pack with minimal must haves]

● Certificates and expedition t-shirts


Cost Excludes:-

  • All the personal expenses like drinks, tips etc.
  • ● Cost of any form of insurance, rescue, evacuation, hospitalization, etc.
  • Travel fare up to Kolkatta and Back (iQuest can assist in getting reservations for travel)

Register now  : Contact

Sunand sampath : +91 9448476683

Email :



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….


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.


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???


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.



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.”


Camp is “Great”!!!

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


 Contact  now:

Contact   :  Sunand Sampath

Mobile    :   + 91 9448476683

Email       :

Website :

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.…

cover image

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…




1 3

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 .






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.   .

7     24





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 ,


17 23  25  22

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. .


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 ….



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 .


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 ,


One of the holy Temples right after crossing the Thorung la



One of the most Bumpiest bus rides ever


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 ….


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

A Travelogue by

Expedition Leader Rotarian  Sunand Sampath



The Goecha La trek takes you up-close for a spectacular view of the mighty Kanchenjunga amidst a majestic panorama of the other Himalayan giants within its range of mountains.


This is an extension of the Dzongri trek — and trekking beyond the meadows of Dzongri is raw adventure at its best where the visitor is taken into the realm of towering mountain peaks directly above and camp is set amidst the view of rumbling avalanches and high mountain glaciers.

8th to 20th November 2014


Day 1: 8th Nov 2014

Meet at Kolkata Railway Station & travel to New Jalpaiguri by Darjeeling mail in the evening.

Day 2: 9th Nov 2014

Arrive at NJP in the morning & depart to Yuksam. Arrive in Yuksam by evening & check into hotel

Day 3: 10th Nov 2014

Explore Yuksam & get acclimatized to clean air

Day 4: 11th Nov 2014

Trek to Bakkim or Tshoka

Day 5: 12th Nov 2014

Tshoka to Dzongri

Day 6: 13th Nov 2014

Dzongri Acclimatizing Day

Day 7: 14th Nov 2014

Dzongri to Thansing

Day 8: 15th Nov 2014

Thansing to Samiti / Chemathang

Day 9: 16th Nov 2014

Samiti – Goecha la-Thansing

Day 10: 17th Nov 2014  


Day 11: 18th Nov 2014


Day 12: 19th Nov 2014

Yuksam—New Jaipaiguri—Train to Kolkata.Overnight by Darjeeling mail.

Day 13: 20th Nov 2014

Morning Kolkata- Good byes!!!


Rs. 23,500/- Service Tax Extra

Age Group 15 and above

Minimum number of Participants:  10 nos.

Cost Includes:-

  • Highly experienced, Leaders, High Altitude Guides, Cooks and support Staff
  • Transportation [Train, Jeep & local transportations]
  • Accommodation [hotels when in city, during the trek in tents on sharing basis] 
  • Food [3 Veg meals a day, tea/coffee,
  • Snacks] and Insurance coverage for the trek period
  • Porters and Yaks [ruck sacks will be carried by porters and yaks
  • Trekker needs to carry the day pack with minimal must haves]
  •  Certificates and expedition t-shirts
  • Cost mention for Indian national only for others ,the cost may vary depending on local rules and regulations.

 Cost Excludes:-

  • All the personal expenses like drinks, tips etc
  • Cost of any form of insurance, rescue, evacuation, hospitalization, etc.
  • Travel fare up to Kolkatta and Back (iQuest can assist in getting reservations for travel)


Registration Form, Risk Certificate & Packing list, will be emailed and a Detailed,pre-briefing on the Expedition will be done to All Confirmed Participants.


Cancellation Charges:

  • 50% of the Total Charges on Cancellation between 17th Oct and 27th Oct 2014.
  • No Refunds on cancellations or not attending the Trip or if the Participant has to leave during any point of the trip after 27th Oct  2014.
  • No refunds will be made if the program gets cancelled due to Unavoidable  circumstances out of the control of the organizers like Natural calamities, bundh’s, strikes , etc.
  • Non-Indians will have to bear extra cost wherever applicable .


Mar 26, 2014 - Sunand Sampath, Travel    No Comments

A look into Western Ghats!!!

The Western Ghats are breath-taking in their beauty. It  is one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India.

A total of thirty nine properties including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites by UNESCO.

Iquest Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Consultants specialized in designing and organizing tailor made packages to Western Ghats.

We undertake packages for groups of various types, whether you are a honeymooner, seeking a truly exotic experience  or a corporate team looking for a stimulating engaging and refreshing experience for your team. You might be looking out for a family outing or group of friends , we will design an experience for you………

Just contact us NOW.. !!!!



Its splendid flora and fauna will introduce you to the pristine beauty called Mother Nature.  Here are things you need to know about these charming hills…

The Western Ghats are not true mountains, but are the faulted edge of the Deccan Plateau. They are believed to have been formed during the break-up of the super continent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago.

The Ghats stretch massively from the Satpura Range in the north and then continue towards the south, till Kerala. If you want to pay a visit to the dense forests, you will have to decide between three mountain ranges namely,

  • Sahyadris.
  • Nilgiris .
  • Anaimalai Hills.


The majority of streams draining the Western Ghats and joining the Rivers Krishna and Kaveri carry water during monsoon months only and have been dammed for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes.

It  is great habitat for n number of rare bird species and butterflies. Of the 508 species of birds found in the Western Ghats, about 500 can be seen in Karnataka’s Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. About 102 species of fish are found in the water bodies of Western Ghats.

Hill stations like Ooty, Mahabaleshwar, Lonavla-Khandala, Munnar, Ponmudi, Wayanad are tourist hotspots in Western Ghats. Mathikettan Shola National Park, Pampadam Shola National Park, Begur Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thattekad, Phansad Bird Sanctuary and Karnala Bird Sanctuary are some of the wildlife reserves located in the Western Ghats. Kodaikanal, Lovedale, Coonoor, Yercaud, Meghmalai, Valparai, Kumily, Thenmala, Sulthan Bathery, are some of the prominent towns located in the mountain range.

“Adventure holidays in Western Ghats have everything covered, for discovery, inspiration and for the greatest joy of all: the spirit of adventure”!!!!


Rumtse is a village in Ladakh, where the first human settlement on the way from Lahaul to Ladakh after Taglang Pass. Rumtse, like the rest of Ladakh is known for its barren landscape and scenic beauty. This region, known as the land of the nomads, will give you an experience to last a traditional lifestyle along the incredible oval shaped bank of Tso moriri.

Tso moriri lake is Also Known as ‘Mountain Lake’, it is located in the Rupshu valley situated in Changthang. The Lake is about 28 km in length from north to south and is about 4-6 km in breadth and about 100 (max-248) feet in depth. Tso Moriri is a very fine sheet of a deep blue and crystal clear water.



Tso moriri lake

It is to Be led by a Highly experienced Mountaineering Leader and supported by well experienced Guides and Friendly Staff.

Dates : 19th July to 28th July 2014, Leh to Leh,
Type of Trek : Moderate
Highest point: 5450 meters.
Focus : Villages, wildlife, high passes, and dramatic landscape of  the ladaki                                            place
Grade : Moderate.

Day to day:-

Day 1: 19th July: ARRIVAL TO LEH
You will be picked up at the airport or in the city ( if coming by road) check in to hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the Leh market area and getting acclimatized to fresh air .

Day 2: 20th July : LEH TO RUMTSE
From Leh to Rumtse by car takes 3 hrs. We start hiking towards to Kyamar & its takes 4 hrs (approx). Camp site alit is 4380 mts. 1st Day camp is near the spring.

Day3: 21st July : KYMAR TO TISALING (6-7)
Alt at camp site 4200 mts , there is 2 pass fist Kymar la its altitude (4800) and the second is Mandalchan la (4850mtrs) . From 1st pass there is spectacular view of the Changthang rang with colo full rife of the mountain. After 1st pass you will meet next pass. From this pass its easy descend to the camp site at Tinseling, its little wind region.

Day 4: 22nd July :TISALING TO PANGUNAGU (5-6hrs)
Altitude at camp site 4430 mtrs. It only one passes to day its called Shibuk la its altitude is (4900 mtrs) . Reach the pass its take 2 hrs approx. From the top you will see a wonder full view of the Tsokar Lake. Camping site is wind area.

Day 5: 23rd  July : PANGUNAGU TO NURUCHA (6-7)
Day is little hot Day, are walking on sandy jeep road via Tsokar Lake. Along the salty shores of the lake; we have an impeccable opportunity to see some of the endangered migratory birds of the world, From here we carry on along the trail to the right side of the lake, keeping to a barrelhead until Nuruchan, where you welcome by a grassy land with stream. Camping site altitude is 4300mtrs.

Day 6: 24th July : NURUCHAN TO RAJUNG KARU (4-5hrs)
We will cross the cold stream by Nuruchn. Before gradually ascending a gently trail to Horlam Kongka la (5000mtrs) from the pass, we will have a good view of the turquoise blue Tsokar. It is also a good chance of spotting kiang (Wild donkey) here, After an easy walk down from the pass , we will follow a wide and Lush valley to Rajung Karu. We will encounter several Tibetan nomad families of the Chinese invaded Tibet , they and their animals faced numerous hardships, fighting biting cold and losing many lives while fleeing into Ladakh from Tibet,
We will find our campsite here tonight and there will be lots of time to visit the nomads and explore the area.

Day 7: 25th July : RUJUNG KARU – GYAMAR (6-7hrs)
We will start our Day by climbing the challenging Kyamyuru la pass (54300mtrs), but the magnificent view from the top makes it well worth all strenuous efforts, from the top of the pass, a gentle trail leads down to Gyarmar Barma (5150mtrs),it is an amazing place , this is a high altitude valley, with herds of grazing yaks and surrounded by snowcapped mountains . From here we will climb another small pass, Kartse la (5300 meters) from where a trail will lead us down to the green valley of Gyamar 5100 meters and probably more nomads. Here we will camp for the night .

Day 8; 26th July :GYAMAR – KORZOK (6-7hrs)
Yalung Nyaulung la. (5450 mtrs ) is the highest and final pass on our trek . From the top of the pass, the sapphire blue , freshwater lake of Tso moriri (4500mtrs) will shine like a jewel in this brown , barren landscape. This lake is approx 40 km long is situated at 4500mtrs and is Trans Himalaya and the Greater Himalaya .There is an interesting legend behind Tso moriri name well .
It is side that a women , possibly a chomo ( a Buddhist nun ), riding on a yak , was somehow carried into the lake. The yak could not swim and started sinking into the water
The women cried out for help : RI , RI – an exclamation of fear – until she drowned . Thus the legend says the lake got its name – chomoriri .

Descending steeply for a couple of hours to Korzok phu, we will encounter the summer pasture of the Korzok people . Our trek ends at the village of Korzok , overlooking Tso moriri and inhabited by a small , permanent settlement of Changpa nomads. At an altitude of 4572mtrs it is one of the highest permanent villages in the world , The monastery at Korzok is more than 500 years old and lying on trading route between Spiti and Ladakh. It was visited by many of the early explorers.

Day 9: 27th July : KORZOK – LEH (7 hrs )
We drive back to Leh , crossing the duty plains of Rupshu before entering the green Indus valley , and at last Leh.

Day:10 :28th July : Drop to The Airport and good byes….!!!

Cost :27000/- INR

Registration Form, Risk Certificate & Packing list, will be emailed and a Detailed pre-briefing on the Expedition will be done to All Confirmed Participants.
Advance payment of Rs. 13500/- before 18th June, and the Balance amount to be paid before 30th June.

Cancellation Charges:

Cancellation charges [before 30th June] Rs 7000/- or the actual expenses, whichever is high.
No Refunds on cancellations , or not attending the event or if the Participant has to leave During any point of the event.
No refunds will be made if the program gets cancelled due to Unavoidable circumstances out of the control of the organizers like Natural calamities, bundh’s, strikes , etc.
Non-Indians will have to bear extra cost wherever applicable .

Cost Includes:-

  • Highly experienced Leaders, High Altitude Guides.
  • Accommodation (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.
  • Transportation [Train, Jeep
  • & local transportations]
  • Porters
  • Expedition Leader
  • All entry charges

Cost Excludes:-

  • All the personal expenses like drinks, tips etc.
  • Cost of any form of insurance, rescue, evacuation, hospitalization, etc.
  • Travel fare up to Leh 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.
  • Boating in the Lake.
  • Other charges which is not mentioned in itinerary.

KINDLY NOTE: Incase 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 accommodation, 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 participants.

Register now:-!!!!
Contact Sunand Sampath
Mobile: +91 9448476683