Rock Climbing and Mountaineering in Himachal

01 Himachal Rock Climbing Activities

Manali : The area around Manali presently forms the core of mountaineering in Himachal. The Beas Kund region and lower reaches of the Hanuman Tibba (5,930m), the Manali and Shitidhar peaks around the source of the river Beas, and the Deo Tibba (6,001m) area, are suggested for beginners with some experience. Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and is Surrounded by towering peaks from all around. Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. It has a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.

Season : While the mountaineering season tends to be concentrated around the April-November period, a number of climbs are also attempted in winter (December-March) which, though much colder, allows for clearer climbing days.

02 Mountaineering Institutes & Adventure Sports Clubs

The Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at Manali, and its branch at Dharamshala, offer the activity. Courses are also available with the Institute. The conquest of Everest acted as a stimulus to Indian mountaineering and in 1954, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling was established with the late major N.D. Jayal (Nandu) as its first principal. Since then other institutes have been set up at Uttarkashi in Uttaranchal and at Manali in Himachal Pradesh.

In addition to these three institutes, there are a number of small institutions and clubs all over India where short courses on rock climbing etc are available. Basic courses in mountaineering are devoted to theoretical training-consisting of lectures on high altitude physiology, history of mountaineering, mountain fauna and flora, geomorphology, geology, map reading and glaciology.

During the course, films on wildlife, mountaineering expeditions, and allied subjects are shown. The practical side is covered by treks where training on rock, snow and ice is given. This period culminates with a climb to a peak of 5,490m and 6,100m as part of the advanced course, expeditions are organised to peaks such as Kamet, Trisul, etc.

Important : Many climbing accidents occur because of inexperience people taking insufficient precautions. The potential for the advancement of Indian mountaineering in the future is great. As roads penetrate the Himalayas and bring the peaks ever closer to the plains, as the enthusiasm of the pioneers spreads to more and more people, it is difficult to believe that at least some part of the potential will not be realised.

The lure of Himalayas is irresistible for the mountaineers, as the Himalayas are the greatest range of mountains on earth, their beauty, vastness, fascination and mystery will always have an everlasting appeal for those who venture in this region. The captivating landscape, with an incomparable diversity of flora and fauna: Himalayas is regarded as the 'Mountaineers paradise' and, indeed, is a refreshing treat to the Mountaineers. Himalayas is the ultimate destination for a holiday, offering everything from short and easy excursions to the long challenges of the snowy peaks, invoking visions of the spectacular Himalayas, the lush meadows, green woodland and fragrant orchards.