Mountaineering in Himachal Pradesh
If you are bored of your monotonous life and the hustle and bustle of cities, then pack your bags and participate in mountaineering in Himachal Pradesh. The place will surely rejuvenate your body, mind and soul with its pristine natural beauty. Mountaineering adventures are some of the most sought-after activities in northern India. Be it an easy-going trek for amateurs or high altitude arduous ones for skilled professionals, Himachal Pradesh mountaineering offers a wide range of options to choose from. Snow-covered peaks, deep gorges, green valleys, slow-moving glaciers, scenic lakes and gently sloping meadows make mountaineering expeditions in Himachal Pradesh truly unforgettable.
Himachal Pradesh is a state in northern India, with an area of approximately 55000 sq km. It is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Punjab in the west, Haryana in southwest and Uttarakhand in the southeast. Abundant natural charm and cultural diversity are two of the prime reasons for its popularity as a holiday destination.
Nestled in the Himalayas, the mightiest mountain range on earth, Himachal Pradesh has some spectacular landscapes. As the name suggests (Him meaning snow), it is a land of snow-clad mountain peaks, snow-fed rivers and sparkling streams. This picturesque scenery lures many to this enchanting place, making it a major hub for thrill seekers in North India. Mountaineering in Himachal Pradesh is an important contributor to tourism in the state as trekkers come here from across the globe.
The starting point of numerous hiking and rock climbing activities in Himachal Pradesh is Manali. It serves as a base for those, who want to pursue mountaineering in the Beas Valley. Manali is located at the northern end of the Kullu Valley, and the hordes of trails beginning from here make it an ideal place to start an expedition. Hanuman Tibba, with an elevation of approximately 5300 metres and Deo Tibba (6000 metres) are the most famous peaks in this region to where mountaineers walk.
The Himalayas within Himachal Pradesh has many high peaks and passes. However, owing to their distinct landscapes, some such geographical features have become favourites among mountaineers. The Hampta Pass trek is one such journey in the Himachal Pradesh Mountaineering circuit. Unlike most destinations that are reached by hikes starting from remote villages, Hampta Pass can be accessed via Manali. What makes it so appealing is the fact that it connects the beautiful valleys of Kullu and Lahaul. It is a quintessential excursion for novices and mountaineers with relatively less skill and experience. The maximum elevation that you will touch on this route is approximately 14000 feet.
A mountain range, which has picturesque peaks to scale, is Dhauladhar. It is the southern part of the Himalayas, and its name translates into the White Range. Starting from the north-western end of the state in Dalhousie, the Dhauladhar Range stretches till the banks of Beas River in the Kullu district. The panoramic view of the surrounding area from the highest peak of this range, Hanuman Tibba (approximately 5300 metres), is enchanting and makes the trek unique. Mountaineering expeditions in Himachal Pradesh are a unique experience because of the variety of landscapes they offer. The terrain changes dramatically as you move across the state. There are dense forests in the Kullu Valley and a dry, cold desert-like vast expanse of barren land in the Spiti and Lahaul region.
Manali is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to beginning mountaineering adventures in Himachal Pradesh. The Deo Tibba expedition commences from this town and is one such trip that will give you a thrilling opportunity to experience the sport at its best. It is a challenging expedition and is suitable for those, who have previous trekking and climbing experience. Another expedition, full of incredible sceneries on the way, is the one to Chandratal – a glacial lake.
The varying elevation in the mountains results in a great diversity in climatic and weather conditions. As winters make several mountaineering destinations inaccessible due to snow, the summer season is perfect for the activity.