Pin Parvati Pass Trekking Expedition 2019
Known as one of the toughest and scenic trails to trek on, the trek to Pin Parvati Pass is a must for a serious climber. Kugti Pass trek is probably another trek that comes to mind when we talk in grades of difficulty of a trek. Though in all honesty, I personally think it is doable if and only if you are equipped with a basic knowledge of mountaineering, great guides, great team work and the skill and will to navigate one of the toughest and adrenaline pumping trails in the world.
The trans-Himalayan valley of Spiti was once difficult to gain access to. On one side was the Tibetan plateau and the high passes to the north were closed for most of the year. The British administrators, in search an alternate route, opened a new pass that led directly into the Spiti valley from Kullu, a green and fertile land. This high pass was first crossed in august 1884 by Sir Louis Dane. Since then it has been much used by travelers as it halves the distance between the Kullu and Spiti valleys. The route was opened to trekkers in 1993. A guide and proper map are essential, and the pass is always snow-bound.
During the early months of the year, there are chances of snow on high passes, which considerably melts by August. The temperature during the day can vary from 12-20 °C, while the night temperature could be in minus (-2 to 6 °C). The weather in September and October is ideal for trek, a little snow adding to the adventure. With the onset of October, the day temperature hovers around 12-18 °C but the evenings are colder with (- 6) to 4 °C.
Start building your stamina, finish up your shopping, pack your rucksacks, hop on your wheels and reach the base camp.
- Max Altitude: 5319m (17452 ft)
- Grade: Challenging
- Total Trekking: 108 Km
- Best Season: July – September
- Region: Trans-Himalaya (Himachal Pradesh)
- No Hidden Charges: All inclusive price with no hassle of paying on multiple occasions during the trip.
- Fixed Departures: All available dates on the calendar are bookable.
- Trekking Equipment: All trekking gears will be provided - Trekking poles, tents, sleeping bags, ropes, gators and crampons (if required)
- Road Transportation: All road transportation after the reporting point is included in the cost.
Day 1: Report at basecamp in Haripur, Manali | 12 – 14 Hrs drive
The participants will de-board the Bus at ‘Patlikuhl’, 16 km short of New Manali Bus stand. Guests will be welcomed and received at the bus stand by a representative of team and will be driven to basecamp. After refreshments and breakfast,we will hike to the Himalayan Village Retreat and unwind at amidst acres apple orchard while you soak in the sights of the Dhauladhar and sounds gushing streams at this amazing location. Explore the charming village of Soil or go angling (some nice spots around). Please ensure that you are geared up for the trek, else any last minute shopping can be done from Manali. Meet the team and the guides over a lovely dinner around a bonfire and get all your questions pertaining to the trek answered. We will turn in early as we have a big day the next day.
Day 2: Basecamp, Haripur - Jari - Kasol - Manikaran (1697 mts) - Barshaini - Kheer Ganga (2920 mts)
After a hearty breakfast and we get rolling. We will drive to Barshaini from basecamp. En route, we will pass the charming village of Jari, the charming hippie town of Kasol and the holy Manikaran Sahib with the famous Gurudwara and hot springs with reputedly medicinal properties. Manikaran is situated on the banks of River Parvati, which is fierce and in full flow here, rushing down to merge with River Beas near Bhuntar. The trail to the pass follows the Parvati River upstream.
The Trek Begins from Barshaini to Kheer Ganga (3-4 hrs). The first day’s walk is on the right bank, following a gentle trail through a beautiful and thick forest. The trail passes several villages and tea shops. Near Uchich village are the remains of old silver mines, giving this area the name of “Rupi” (silver) Valley. Most of the mine shafts were filled in and hidden at the time of Sikh invasion in 1810 and have never been reopened.
We will walk uphill from here through thick forests and alpine meadows and then, quite unexpectedly, are the open meadows of Kheer Ganga. There is hot springs here and the entire forest range surrounding this meadow is awesome.
We will camp in the open meadow in Kheer Ganga for the night.
Day 3: Kheer Ganga - Tunda Bhuj (3400 mts) | 5-6 Hrs trek
The 12 km walk to Tunda Bhuj from Kheer Ganga feels like butter under your feet. There are a few ups and downs and we will pass the grazing grounds of Mandror Nihara thaches on the way. Steady ascent before the valley then widens and trail crosses several beautiful pastures of wildflowers. There are some Gujjar/Gaddi shepherd encampments and this is the last human settlement on this trail. During the summer months you are likely to meet many several shephards here. And, when you do, make sure you spend some time with them and listen to their stories. They will bowl you over. It is after listening to their tales of adventure that you realize that these gaddis are actually the great grand daddies of trekking and camping.
It is just a matter of perspective.Thunda Bhuj is located in a forest of birch trees and is a great camping ground. We will camp here for the night.
Day 4: Tunda Bhuj to Thakur Kuan | 4-5 Hrs trek
After Thunda Bhuj, we will trek on to Thakur Kuan. The trail now enters a difficult area. The ground is rocky for about 2 km, the route is somewhat tricky and there is an expose slab to cross. But thereafter is a sight not to be forgotten: the Thakur Kuan ground. To the south is the peak of Kullu Eiger (5664 mts). This peak was first scaled in the year 1996. Kullu Eiger is a unique peak as it has a massive north face which rises over 2000 mts. If we now look across the River Parvati, we will be faced with a wide valley which leads to the Dibibokri Glacier and several high peaks such as Dharamsura and Papsura.
Cross over rough rocks and dense vegetation to reach Thakur Kuan where we set up camp for the night.
Day 5: Thakur Kuan – Pando Seo Thach (3780 mts)
After breakfast, we start trekking from Thakur Kuan to Pando Seo Thach. The trail zigzags through Doala and Thuli thach. Here is the first of the Pando bridges, which uses a gigantic natural boulder to cross the Dol Par Khol Nalaah. This trail is exposed and then we will trek on to a small ledge over the river. The main Pando Bridge is also a massive and a naturally crafted boulder which spans the River Parvati. Like on all the trek trails and on all the thaches, the Gaddis (Shepherds) do not seize to surprise you with their keen sense of improvisation. Here, the Gaddis have built a rocky staircase which leads to the bride and connects to the other side.
The bridges have been named after the celebrated “Pandavas” of the epic “Mahabharata”. These bridges are fine examples of local engineering. When I saw and crossed these bridges, the only thought that crossed my mind was how advanced the knowledge of functional science was during those olden times.
After we cross the bridges, we will come on to a wide open ground called Pando Seo Thach and cross Odi Thach on the way. The terrain to Odi Thach along the River Parvati is a bit tough, what with boulders strewn with no mercy all along the way. We will cross some open meadows and sand based terrain before reaching Odi Thach. This is a beautiful spot, like every other spot on the way. There are many waterfalls here which add to its charm. Then, we will head on to Pando Seo Thach. From our start point, it is about 12 km to Pando Seo Thach. So, this makes it a perfect and a rather welcome place to camp for the night.
Day 6: Pando Seo Thach – Mantalai Lake (13,440 ft)
The trek today will be a real pleasure. We will spend some time at the open grounds of Pando Seo Thach as it is a great spot for photography. Then, we will head on to cross the natural bridge, also called Pando Bridge, and trek on the trail which meanders through some ups and downs and then goes through meadows full of flowers. After a walk of about 10 km and a couple of ascents and descents through a broad valley, we will reach Bara Dwari Thach (3920 mts). This is traditionally a good camping spot as this is the last point in the valley where wood is available for fuel.
As we trek on to this broad valley, it will lead to a moraine ridge seen ahead to its left, 5 km on. Mantalai Lake is on this ridge. It is considered to be the origin of the River Parvati. On reaching the lake, we will be welcomed by an open temple and millions of colorful prayer flags. On the right is the Jarayun Dhar with many small peaks. We will walk along the banks of the lake for a bit to reach the campsite and camp there for the night.
To reach Lake Mantalai there’s 200m of steep ascending over boulders which may not be tough for people who have some experience but first timers might find lessons to be learned. The trail to Mantalai is muddy and boulder strewn. It borders on “ankle twisting scree” terrain. J We will also cross many ridges and swamp lands along the river basin. The last ridge is infringed from the left side by River Parvati and is a massive one. Mantalai lake is just behind the ridge.
If we keep trekking on the left side of the valley, the trail will lead to another crest of the mountain from where Mantalai is only a short distance away and can be seen right below. We will descend below to a small Shiva temple on the banks of the lake and keep walking along the banks to reach the place to camp.
Day 7: Acclimatization & Rest day at Mantalai
As later during the trek we would be attaining an altitude of almost 15000 ft, it is imperative that we are in great physical shape and ensure that we at least spend a day trying to acclimatize our bodies at a similar altitude. Oxygen level gradually decreases as we ascend and our body is used to extra oxygen. This makes it difficult to breathe if our body is not used to those climatic and temperature change and breathe in less amount of oxygen. Otherwise, “Altitude Sickness” will set in
Also, there is no worse spoiler for a trek than “Altitude Mountain Sickness” and it can hit anybody, irrespective of our level of fitness. Acclimatization and intake of large quantities of water are the only way to fight it. However, a word of warning, if it gets worse, it is advisable to start descending immediately. Just stroll around the lake for a few hours. This will acclimatize our bodies to the altitude, temperature and level of oxygen. Unwind and enjoy the beautiful and pristine environs of the lake. Retire early and prepare yourself for a bit challenging bit of the trek coming up tomorrow. J
Day 8: Mantalai to Pin-Parvati Base camp (4810 mts) | 6-7 Hrs climb
From high camp, steep 300m climb to a snowfield and then a small col is way to cross this legendary pass. Today will be a bit challenging as the trail is quite an ascent and the terrain changes from tough to navigate moraines to deceptive scree and boulders. We will trek for about 10-12 km. A nonstop trek for about 6 hrs will lead us to the base camp. The initial part of the trail is on level ground. Then, the trail gradually becomes steep over moraines and scree. After crossing an icy cold river on foot, we will reach the base of the mountain from where a steep climb starts. After a challenging climb of about 5 to 6 hrs we will reach the top. The climb, however challenging, is very rewarding as it offers some great sights and sounds of wide valleys and high peaks in the distance.
The flora that we will get to see on our way up is very rare. We might come across fields of Brahmakamal and Losar. Then, we will reach the Pin-Parvati Pass base camp, which is a plateau at an altitude of 15770 ft. the Pin Parvati base camp is also known as Dhumdhar base camp and the trail is primarily through Spiti.
From here we will be able to clearly see Parvati South peak, Pyramid Peak, Snow peak, and Ridge peak.
Day 9: Base to Tia over the Pin-Parvati Pass | 5-6 Hours trek
The climb to the pass is challenging and requires skilled navigation. As it at an altitude of almost 18000 ft, we need to be careful about Altitude Sickness. Crossing terminal moraine and walking by cairns through boulders, a high altitude ritual, which the experienced trekkers will find easy and first timers will be able to learn how to find route among boulders and scree of terminal moraine. There is something for everyone on this trek. After a bit of a walk, the trail crosses an area strewn with massive boulders. Depending on the season, the entire area may be snow-bound and extremely cold. We will be clearly able to see the pass after we cross this rocky terrain. The ascent is steep and on loose scree. It takes almost 5 to 6 hrs and a climb of about 12 km to reach there.
The original pass was the lowest point on the ridge to the right. The pass in the current use is at a point a little higher on the ridge than the one marked on the Survey of India map. It is not advisable to cross the pass in the afternoon as the snow will be softer. The pass is not at the head of this valley; we will take a sharp turn towards the east to enter another valley to the Pin Parvati Pass. We will keep trekking to the left side of the glacier and reach a huge rock. The route will traverse in between the plateau and the rock face till it reaches a wide open snow fields. We will keep climbing up left of the mountain to the top and then to the pass. Make sure you take baby steps and watch every step. Route to Pin Parvati Pass is notorious for its many deep and deceptive crevasses. From the pass, we will be able to see the wide and beautiful Parvati valley just beneath us. The grand peaks of Srikhand Mahadev & Kinner kailash can be seen past the pass. The complex of Bara Shigri – Kulu Makalu, Fluted, Parbati and the Goat head peak, Rubalkhand and peaks of Dibibokri is clearly visible from beyond it.
This is a traditional pass crossed by the gaddis with their flock in the summer months. There is a terrific view from the pass and you can look to the peaks and valleys of Spiti. Form here we will start descending to the village of Tia. The descent is steep and on loose scree. After about 2 hrs, the terrain eases a little and the trail reaches a junction of 3 valleys. The trail is now in the Spiti valley.
Day 10: Last day of the trek Tia to Mudh | 4-5 Hours trek
The trail is now typically Spitian – barren, with patches of grass and scree. We will continue walking on the right side of the river and after a trek of about 6 hrs, we will cross to the left bank, either by a snow-bridge or by fording the ropes. We will start our gradual descent towards the valley floor to village Mudh. Keep trekking on the left bank till we reach a junction of 3 nallaas. The name of this place is a real tongue twister – Chhochhden (4000 mts).
En route, we will come across some ruins on the right bank, where the Bhabha nalaa joins the valley. This was the Lungyati Khar, the remains of an ancient fort built by the Rajas of Kullu. The trail will lead us to the confluence of the Pin and a tiny stream. We will climb up the glacier and descend for about 700 mts to a nalla. This nalla is a bit tricky to cross due to its unpredictable and fierce current. We can cross this either taking the long route to the left or by climbing the glacier on the right.
You might notice ‘Yaks’ and ‘Bharals’ grazing at peace. Mudh is a national park where many animals like the Ibex, Blue sheep, rare Tibetan gazelle, Tibetan wolf, Snowy hare and the Woolly hare takes shelter. The place has an amazing kaleidoscopic view as well; the mountains and peaks have a mix of colors like purple, green, maroon and pink, which gives the landscape an incredible effect. These colors are originally the reflection of the flowers grown here. Long back, Mudh was the only oasis in the Spiti dessert.
Day 11: Mudh to Kaza to Shimla/ Manali
The following day, you would be driven to Kaza. The trip ends here. Cabs can be arrange for those who want to go back to Manali at extra costi. The drive would take 9-10 hours. In between you can stop at Dhabas or local dine for Lunch and refreshment. By night fall, you will be back at the Himalayan Village Retreat in Manali, marking the end of this fantabulous trek.
**Guests can also go to Shimla from Kaza, from where participants can board the bus to Delhi/Chandigarh.
- 2 nights stay at Base Came located in an orchard in Haripur, Manali.
- Pick up and drop from Patlikuhl bus stand, Manali
- Stay in twin/triple tents during trek.
- All meals during the trek (nutritious freshly cooked vegetarian)
- Services of experienced MOI/ BMC qualified lead guide and qualified assistant guide
- Kitchen equipment, cook and helper
- All the Camping arrangements
- Wildlife/ environmental permits and other permits & levies.
- All transportation as per itinerary in local cars and jeeps - Manali to Manali
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Our thoroughly researched itineraries are designed to offer you access to some of the world\'s best-kept secrets. We have personally explored the destinations we offer with in-depth knowledge that goes towards making your experience more than worth your while. However, at times due factors beyond any one’s control, situations may arise which can pose a challenge to the safety and security of the group members. To minimize any negative impact, we subscribe strictly to “Safety Protocol” which is an intensive and comprehensive compilation of safety and security measures undertaken to ensure a seamless and safe experience for its guests. There are factors which are controllable and attention to them ensures lower risks and toned down consequences.
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Some of our own trek leaders are qualified, experienced ladies. All treks are extremely safe for ladies and we have a lot of solo clients who are ladies.
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You need to carry an original ID card and a photograph.
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There are no doctors on the trek; however our trek leaders are experienced in first aid and basic medical protocols.
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There are 3 main pre-requisite to taking expeditions in the mighty Himalayas: 1. You should have done at least 2 high-altitude treks in the Himalayas 2. You should be able to complete at 5 to 7 km run in about 30 mins 3. You should be able to walk with a 10-12 kg weight on your back for up to 6 hours Strength, stamina and strong mindset are key elements of an expedition
Our trip will start from the base camp in Haripur, 14 km short of Manali. If you are travelling by Volvo bus, you are requested to de-board at the Patlikuhal bus stand and we will receive you from there and drive you to the base camp
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The water during the trip is fresh and it is recommended to carry your personal reusable water bottles and filters as well.
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Meet-up Information/Reporting Point
₹ 29900 Per Person