Guiding since the beginning of organised and serious adventure travel in the country, he has been at the forefront of conceiving, planning and executing trips that were considered too audacious to run.
Aquaterra was an idea formed on a mountain climb in Ladakh. Solil Paul (our initial co-founder) and Vaibhav were guiding for over 3-4 years then and they saw a clear gap in adventure travel on the sheer size of offerings. Tunnel vision, or just simple opportunity, companies were not willing to move away from what was tried and tested ground. Appetite for risk, and promoting new products was non-existent. Those were the days of the telex, fax and shell accounts were barely getting through.
We are different in terms of sheer range of trips, the consistency with which they are run, and the quality and safety of each trip. Our trips are less flash-in-the-pan and more consistent departures, into more and more remote regions, valleys and trails.
He is responsible for opening up remote Himalayan valleys to adventure tourism, and has helped open up Indian river running like none before – with rivers like the Tons 19 years after it was run in its entirety, the Siang (Upper Brahmaputra), Subansari, Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh, the Pindar. Several of these trips are run by our company alone.
There is growing acceptance amongst domestic guests to holiday differently. A growing segment, that has been there and done that, wants to collect experiences that are different.
He has guided on the big international biggies like the Yangtze in Yunan, Karnali in Nepal’s wild west, Zambezi in the Batoka gorge, the Futaleufu in Chile and the Colorado in the Grand Canyon. Belonging to the Garhwal Himlaya himself, he has been on climbing expeditions in the Himalaya, including Stok Kangri, CB 13, Bhartekhunta, Bhetiara ka Danda, Auden’s Col, Sahasratal, and one of the most elusive mountains in recent time, Gya, which was eventually located through Kala’s-Nullah. Vaibhav has now finished setting up our Activotel Resort – Atali, Ganga