Mountaineering in India



Mountaineering Destination Map

Mountaineering Destination Map
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*Map showing Mountaineering spots in India. Disclaimer

India, being a country with diverse geographical conditions across its length and breadth, is the perfect spot for adventure sports and other kinds of exciting activities. While the subcontinent is full of serene locations that are veritable havens for peaceful tourists looking to cool their heels and take a break from the humdrum of city life, more adventurous travelers and thrill-seekers can find some of the most exciting spots that will satiate their taste for excitement.

India is dotted with high mountains, the Himalayas being the main mountain range, and thousands of travelers from all over the world throng the country though the year to scale their peaks. Mountaineering has been one of the chief adventure sports in India, getting a great amount of support from many private agencies and the apex national body, Indian Mountaineering Federation. All through the year there are many mountaineering expeditions organised under proper supervision, both for amateurs as well as highly trained professional mountaineers, across the many mountain ranges of India. But it should be kept in mind that mountaineering is an extremely rigorous sport and needs a great amount of physical fitness, stamina and long hours of training.

Mountaineering Destinations in India



Nanda Devi

Nanda Devi is one of the highest peaks in the Himalayan range. Standing imposingly tall at 7,434 metres above sea level, it is perhaps one of the most challenging expeditions in the country. While Nanda Devi itself consists of two main peaks, the Nanda Devi East and the main Nanda Devi peak, there are various other peaks surrounding the mountain, all of which rise majestically to 7,000 metres above sea level. This is the reason why Nanda Devi is very difficult to access. Tenzing Norgay, the mountaineer who scaled the Mount Everest, had once admitted that it was Nanda Devi that he found most difficult to scale. Most of the Nanda Devi expeditions need tremendous amount of professional training and proper physical fitness programs. The expeditions are generally one-and-a-half to two-month-long, and happen between the months of September and October, which has optimal climbing climates.

Kamet

Kamet is a remote peak close to the Tibetan Plateau and is second only to Nanda Devi in steepness and lack of access. Kamet is situated in the state of Uttarakhand on the craggy Zanskar range, a haven for adventurers and thrill-seekers. While originally Kamet could only be accessed via Ranikhet and climbers had to trek through a long winding route through a dense mountainous forest, the spot has become approachable from closer now, and the ascent, while still quite challenging for an amateur climber, is easier and more straightforward to scale. Rising to the impressive height of 7,620 metres above sea level, the Kamet summit has a standard approach route through the East Kamet or Purbi Kamet glacier going on to higher ground through Meade’s Col. The approach route to the Kamet Peak is full of interesting geographical formations that are a climber's delight. There are various adventurously steep gullies, a rock wall and several glacier climbs en route.

Dunagiri

Dunagiri is a mountain situated in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, deep within the Garhwal Himalayan ranges. It lies at the north western corner of the Sanctuary Wall, which is a wall-like formation of many mountain peaks surrounding and radiating out of the Nanda Devi and containing the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. One of the main approaches to Dunagiri is through the various ridges all around the main peaks, and one of the most popularly attempted peaks of Dunagiri is Purbi Dunagiri. The main peak rises up to 7066 Kms and has slowly become one of the preferred climbs for Alpine-style mountaineers.  Dunagiri is famous for steep ice-and-rock style of climbing and is excellent for climbers who are interested in that style of climbing. As is the case with other glacial expedition kind of climbing, the Dunagiri tour also involves a huge amount of physical preparation, fitness watching and altitude training.  

  Hanuman Tibba

Hanuman Tibba is situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh and is the highest among the five peaks in the Beas Kund crown of mountains. It rises up to an imposing height of 5,892 metres above sea level, and is a mountaineer’s favorite. It is especially popular because of the beautiful approach route which takes climber through silver birch forests of the Himachal and up till the vast and expansive dry grasslands of Beas Kund, which is the most popular base camp site for the Hanuman Tibba expeditions as well. The expeditions last till about three to four weeks and take climbers through some of the most adventurous and exciting geographical formations. The infamous Tentu Pass falls en route Hanuman Tibba and while it is not particularly dangerous, it provides climbing parties with a great amount of thrill and excitement. Without being particularly challenging, Hanuman Tibba is still unsuitable for anyone without some experience in professional mountaineering or climbing.

Manali

Manali, the crown gem of Himachal Pradesh, offers a wildly popular range of activities for all kinds of tourists. The charming hill town is thronged with tourists all through the year, who come here in search of all kinds of excitement. Among these attractions is mountaineering, climbing, trekking and other such activities. The mountains surrounding the Kullu valley, in which Manali is situated, are perfect for mountaineering, and see climbers, both local and international, thronging throughout the year. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, situated in Manali, offers many courses, both long- and short-term, on mountaineering. It also provides safety gear and professional training for adventurous tourists. The peaks around Manali have an average height of 5,000 to 6,000 metres above sea level. The most preferred mountaineering spots around Manali are Deo Tibba, the lower stretches of Hanuman Tibba, and the Beas Kund region. These stretches are also perfect for amateur climbers.

Kufri

Kufri is a charming hill station near Shimla, the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Kufri is a great summer destination because of its mountain weather and beautiful snowcapped peaks. Kufri is famous for mountaineering, trekking and especially for skiing and other such associated sports that it offers to adventurous tourists. Himachal Tourism offers short-term courses in Kufri for tourists who are interested in getting some professional training for activities like mountaineering, climbing or skiing. Most of the peaks and mountaineering patches bordering Kufri are suitable for Alpine style of climbing and are quite suitable for beginners and amateurs. The Mahasu Peak, which is the highest peak in Kufri, is thronged by tourists through the year because of its relative accessibility, ease of climb, and the beautiful approach through the famed lush coniferous forests of Himachal Pradesh which are carpeted with snow during the winter seasons.

Kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga, one of the most humbling and majestic peaks of the Himalayan Range and the third highest peak in the world, is situated in the state of Sikkim in northeastern India. It is one of the most difficult ranges for mountaineers to scale and tourists from all over the world spend hours just trying to spot its rose-hued peaks from a distance. The word Kanchenjunga literally means ‘knees made of gold’, because of the interesting shapes that the peaks form. Rising up to a height of 8,586 metres above sea level, the Kanchenjunga poses innumerable challenges to even the most seasoned climbers who throng the place throughout the year. Expeditions to Kanchenjunga, being one of the most difficult expeditions, last up to three to four months. There are some agencies which provide support and guidance for strictly professional climbers and equip them with international-standard gear and provide acclimatisation or other kinds of preparatory training. It is not at all possible for anyone apart from very highly trained professionals to go on this expedition as it is extremely risky.

Rathong

Rathong is an icy glacier situated in the western part of the hilly north eastern state of Sikkim. The Rathong Glacier is an important mountaineering site which sees amateur and professional climbers thronging during peak climbing season. The Mount Rathong peak rises up to a height of 6,678 metres and is a favourite of many semi-professional and professional climbers. The nearby peaks around the Kabru region and its ice falls are also popular with many mountain climbers. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute based in Darjeeling conducts many expeditions to the Rathong region and provides professional guidance, international-standard equipment and other services to interested climbers visiting Rathong. The institute has set up a permanent base camp at the Chowrikiang Valley and facilitates training camps. The area has been regularly scaled and explored and therefore it is easier to navigate and suitable for amateurs as well.

Talung

The Talung Peak, which is set deep into the Himalayan Range that borders the Indian state of Sikkim and the neighbouring country of Nepal, is one of the most elusive peaks and has been rarely scaled till date. Rising up to a height of 7,349 metres, Talung falls directly south of the great Kanchenjunga, and poses several obstacles to climbers who attempt to scale it. The Talung Peak is definitely not every mountaineer’s cup of tea, given that it is still called a “virgin” peak, without many established approach routes, and mostly international climbers attempt the long and remote route. The route has to be climbed mostly in an Alpine style of climbing, and is peppered with many ridges, cols, neves and other interesting geographical formations which not only make the ascent interesting but also quite dangerous. It is advised that only very well trained professional climbers with rigorous prior physical training attempt this climb, not just because of the difficulty but also because of the fact that the area has not been explored very thoroughly.



Last Updated on : February 27, 2014





     


     

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