I trekked with India Hikes (IH) to the Goecha La View Point I from Yuksom during April-May, 2018. Quality of the amenities and services provided during the trek varied from average, good to very good.
Sleeping bags were not clean. Some of them stank. Tents were good.
Food served during 10-day trek was poor (50%), average (25%), to good (25%).
Half of the time food served during the trek was poor as white rotis of refined flour were undercooked and lacked nutrition. Undercooked poha, rice, and channa were also an annoyance. On the remaining occasions, food was either average or good.
India Hikes served very good food during Prashar Trek-March 2017. And I was expecting same food standards during the Goecha La Trek-Apr 2018. But I was disappointed.
Brief Stay at View Point I and Samiti Lake: A Disappointment
Entire trail was beautiful and rich. However, time spent at the View Point I and the Samiti Lake was very less. I wish I could spend more time at these destinations. Especially, during fine weather, it is possible to spend more time.
Trek Leader and Lead and Assistant Guides
The guides were very friendly and helpful. The leader, a very good host, was professional, personable, and cheerful. Nevertheless, guides’ and leader’s knowledge about trail geography was poor to average. Or, maybe I had high expectations.
Safety and Privacy
Safety was not an issue. But, health card is an issue. India Hikes team collect health data that is private information. This card should be given back to the trekkers instead of keeping it in the record room of the company.
Mismatch in Certificate and Merchandise and Real World
We actually visited up to Goecha La View Point I (approximately 15,100 ft). Even so, on the certificate and t-shirts, altitude reached is mentioned as 16,000 feet.
Price: Approximately 2,000 per person, per day
The trek price from Yuksom to Goecha La View Point I to Yuksom was quite reasonable, ₹20,081.75 per person, inclusive of food, stay, guide and leader fee, tents and sleeping bags, permit, and porterage.
Award: A Pleasant Surprise
The Trek Leader’s Spirit of Trekking Award was a pleasant surprise on the last day of the trek. IH rewarded two best trekkers from the group with ₹1,000 vouchers. The trekkers can redeem the vouchers against any Himalayan trek organized by the company.
The trekkers were awarded during the Goecha La trek, a long high altitude trek but not during Prashar Trek, a weekend trek.
I may trek with it again.