The Trekking Issue in Maharashtra

Trekking is booming and how? As different districts in Maharashtra are opening up and we see a lot of trekkers and trekking groups going to various trekking spots in huge numbers.

It is understandable that with the current scenario, everyone is eager to trek in Sahyadris especially during the monsoons because of the beautiful nature it creates and of course because of the photos and videos shared on social media by various social media pages like ourselves.

Our 2 cents on this issue and how everyone can work together to have a good trekking experience for everyone

Recently, on social media we saw photos of trekking groups taking people in numbers of 100s which unfortunately led to a ban of the trekking spot.

The Trekking Groups

  • Every trekking group, be it well-established or new and upcoming, should be well aware of how delicate the ecosystem is, taking 100s of people to one spot is not a burden on the trekking spot, but also it’s risking the lives of trekkers who are new and would require constant guidance, which is not possible when you have to look after 100s of trekkers.
  • Everyone has been hit with the pandemic, everyone wants their business to pick up and go back to normal, instead of taking 100 trekkers to one spot, one can explore an option to have 3-4 spots, Maharashtra is huge and there are 100s of trekking spots for all levels, the groups can work with the locals as they already have contacts. This will not only spread out the crowd and will also be less risky and will lead to a better experience for the trekkers.
  • Most of the trekking groups are aware of which trekking is group is going where, it is quite possible to work with each other and make sure they do not overcrowd one specific spot and plan their trips accordingly, there are enough trekking groups, trekkers, and trekking spots.
  • You can take 100 people on one trek, but there is also a possibility of out of those 100 people, 50 will have a bad experience and might not want to trek with you again because of the crowding or far worse, might not want to trek at all. These mountains are for everyone and not just a chosen few who are experienced and are aware of the mountain etiquettes.

The Trekkers

  • We saw a lot of experienced trekkers posting about how one can trek on their own with guidance and online knowledge. It is possible, but it is easier said than done. Yes, there is information available, but one has to realize, not everyone is courageous enough to do treks on their own, and with the current restrictions of traveling via public transport, it is not possible for everyone to travel via their private vehicle and to take care of the entire logistics on their own.
  • If you’re a new trekker or have only recently started out, you can start by reaching out to multiple trekking groups and ask them about the batch sizes they take on. You can enquire about the different trekking spots they are going to for that weekend. There are 100s of trekking groups out there, do your research and choose accordingly. No one wants to be stranded on top of a mountain with 100s of other trekkers, it’s just an unfavorable experience for you and your friends.
  • The monsoons in Sahyadris last until September first week, so if you think there will be many people on a given date, you can try and go on a different weekend. Google or do your own research about the trekking groups, trekking spots, trekking basics, etc. This will only benefit you and make your experience better while trekking.

Travel Influencers/Social Media Pages

  • Social Media pages and travel influencers are equally responsible and accountable for the recent issues of overcrowding and growth of the trekking scene in India.
  • Start by educating the followers on your page about trekking etiquettes by posting stories and reels along with the trekking reels and photos.
  • Provide information about the various trekking spots and trekking groups that are available.
  • Let us not only show the good side of trekking but also provide the reality, this might not result in likes and comments, but it will start a conversation that leads to a better experience and a sustainable trekking industry.

To summarize it, we all love the mountains, we all love trekking, we all want to visit these beautiful spots and have our own escape. We know it is easier said than done, but we can all start it one step at a time and make trekking sustainable and provide a good experience to the new trekkers which in turn will only grow the trekking industry in the near future.

We are no experts, but we love trekking and we love the mountains and we want everyone to have the experience we had which led to us falling in love with trekking. Do comment and let us know your thoughts.

Happy Trekking! 🙂

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