Auden’s Col is a high altitude mountain pass connecting Rudugaira valley and Bhilangna valley. It is situated at 5490m altitude and connects the ridge coming from Gangotri III (6580m) peak on the north-west and the ridge coming from Jogin I (6465m) on the east, and also binds a glacier coming from Jogin I on the north side of Rudugaira valley, and deadly Khatling glacier on the south side of Bhilangna valley.
Rudra ganga stream or Rudragairu (gairu means deep) or Rudugaira gad drains Rudugaira glacier and eventually flows into Bhagirathi (Ganga) river near Gangotri, and Bhilangna river originates from Khatling glacier and meets Bhagirathi near Old Tehri.
The pass is named after John Bicknell Auden, a British Geographical Survey officer, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939.
Auden’s Col is one of the most dangerous passes in Garhwal Himalaya as the pass and the Khatling glacier are heavily infested with crevasses. Also, by crossing Auden’s Col and then Mayali Pass, one can trek from Gangotri to Kedarnath, both among holiest Hindu temples.
The Khatling glacier also seen as the Hanging Glacier is one of the most arduous high altitude treks of Himalayan Mountains.
The courage and skills needed to negotiate the Auden’s Col trek should be exemplary. The rewards are indeed very high as the trek offers an unsurpassed experience of nature’s crude power.