The way away from future ‘ecological doom’ comes from sensitizing the people of tomorrow to as many beautiful ecosystems of the present-day world. The philosophy behind Beyond The Wall’s Discover Himalayas Program is built on this. Having explored the Himalayas for most of our adult lives, we have come to realize that the more we connect with the great outdoors, the better we connect with ourselves. In lands yet untouched by technology, we see the real machinery of local communities working in great rhythm to help us with our travels and keep their lands clean and functional, and calming. Every land we’ve crossed has piqued our curiosity for the charms of the next, and every time we have been spellbound. That is the sense of wonder we aim to inspire.
Be it through rock climbing and challenging our individual strengths, or pitching tents and cooking together in the wilderness, we devised ways to function as a strong team and felt safe sharing ideas. We developed an awareness of simple things like LNT, respecting people, being kind and curious, and exploring the unknown without harming it. We learned to pack our bags right so they don’t weigh us down. Building mud houses, we reveled in our love for all things natural and are progressing towards becoming the guardians of a better world.
The Discover Himalayas Program philosophizes this very journey to becoming masters of the wild, to continually protect the very pillars of Self, Community, Earth, and Wonder.
Below is a month-long program designed specifically for kids from the US, to introduce them to the Himalayas and its wilderness. The chosen locations are two geographically different terrains of the Himalayas, from evergreen forests to a high altitude desert thus curating an experience of a lifetime.
Who is the program for?
Have you ever been curious about the mighty Himalayas? Its magnificent trails, meandering rivers, unique cultures, and delicious local cuisines? Have you also been a part of summer camps in the USA? This one is for you!
The idea behind the Discover Himalayas program is to provide an opportunity to test the skills you've learned and to apply your learnings and outdoor experiences in a broader and different geographical environment. It is designed for those kids who want to experience the might of the Himalayas, immerse themselves in Indian culture, face the adventures it will throw at them, and come out with the knowledge that can be gained by truly being in the Himalayas.
If you or your child are anywhere between 16-18 years old and the above scenario interests you, keep reading! From a high-altitude trekking expedition to whitewater rafting, and community service to a natural building course, this month-long camp is designed to provide a wholesome experience in some of the most challenging environments in India.
Along with this, we also have 5 slots open on a scholarship basis for kids from the South Asian Region to complete this cultural exchange, fostering an environment where they can learn from the kids from the States and vice versa.
July - August 2024
12 July - Campers board an International flight from Denver Airport along with Instructors from the USA.
13 July -The program starts: Reach Delhi International Airport and meet the team of Beyond The Wall. Check-in and rest.
14 July -Acclimatize to the time zone and orientation.
15 July - One-day road trip from Delhi to Agra to visit one of the wonders of the world: The Taj Mahal.
16 July - Fly to Dehradun ( a 45-minute flight) the gateway to the Himalayas from Delhi, From there, a two-hour drive will get us to Mussoorie. End the day with a briefing about the Mussoorie chapter.
17- 19 July - Attend a Wilderness First Aid Course with Hanifl Centre.
20 July - Fly from Dehradun to Leh - A 6-hour journey with a 3-hour layover in Delhi. This will get us to the Greater Himalayas, the location for the rest of the program.
21 July - Since Leh is at an altitude of 11,480 ft we will have an acclimatization day with an excursion walk around the palace.
22 - 23 July - Natural building in a local village along with farming with the local community and interaction with SECMOL.
24 -25 July - River rafting trip and overnight camping in a local remote village.
26 July - Rest and visit Leh Palace.
27 -30 July - Rock Climbing: Get comfortable with top rope climbing and top rope belaying, learn lead climbing and lead belaying, and anchor building.
Mountain Biking: Get comfortable with the 5 core skills of mountain biking(body position, braking, climbing, descending, cornering) and go on a long-distance mountain biking trip.
1 Aug - Planning and Preparation for the long trek to Markha Valley
2 - 8 Aug - Wilderness Backpacking to the high altitude trek in Markha Valley: Planning and Preparation, Navigation, Map and Compass, Food Preparation and Cooking, camp craft. We’ll cover a distance of 40 miles and reach a maximum altitude of 17,060 ft.
9 Aug - Head back to Leh for the closing ceremony and campfire.
10 Aug - Fly from Leh to Delhi and get on to the international flight to USA. ( 1hr 30min).
New Delhi and Agra- The capital city of India is a unique amalgamation of history and modern society. One moment you could be walking amongst tall skyscrapers and suddenly come across an old Mughal fort or a dome. To be honest, it could be a lot to take in as soon as you land, it is the India that is depicted on TV- the crowd, people, noise. But we chose Delhi due to its proximity to the Himalayas and the international airport. It is also close to Agra where we have the mesmerizing Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. After a day's trip to the Taj, we will begin our Himalayan adventure
Mussoorie, Uttarakhand (6,600 ft) - Located eight hours from Delhi, this small Himalayan town is home to the famous writer Ruskin Bond. Surrounded by tall pine trees and dense jungles, this hill station will be a wonderful contrast to the hustle and bustle of Delhi. Discovery of the Himalayas truly begins here. July is the monsoon season, so be prepared to be engulfed in clouds almost all the time. As it is perched on top of the mountain, after sunset, it is the place to be. You get to see a twinkling city of stars - the capital city of Uttrakhand, Dehradun which lies on its foothills, making it a magical place.
After doing Wilderness First Aid certification from HANIFL Centre, you will move towards your first camping experience in the Himalayas.
Leh, Ladakh (11,500 ft) -This high-altitude Himalayan desert region is the complete opposite of the rainy wet evergreen forests of Mussoorie, enabling you to see the ever-changing landscapes of the Himalaya. Double-humped camels, Buddhist monasteries, a dry arid climate, crystal clear lakes, serene rivers, and deep blue skies form the landscape of this region. Traditional houses made with clay/soil are present in abundance, merging towns and villages with their surrounding, making this region very unique. Compared to the rest of India, you won't find the blustering crowded streets or noisy roads here, you just might find peace!
You will undertake most of the outdoor adventures here from rock climbing, mountain biking, and river rafting to the weeklong wilderness backpacking reaching a maximum altitude of 17,000 feet!