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
Mountaineering accentuates and exercises the quality of self-reliance,
leadership and discipline and determination amongst adventure sports
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
Classification of Mountaineering Categories
Mountaineering routes are graded, according to the degree of difficulty
and accessibility. Prior medical examination is essential. The permanent
snowline, generally being in the region of 5,200 m, the degree of
difficulty of mountaineering routes, can broadly be defined as :
Requiring knowledge of basic mountaineering techniques, such as those
imparted by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi, the
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling, and the Western
Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering at Manali.
For this category of peaks, it is necessary to be in top physical
condition, and to possess advanced mountaineering skills, either through
the advanced courses of mountaineering institutes, or through expedition
experience. Within this category, further demarcation is possible, till
the highest degrees of difficulty.
Mountaineering Sites in The Himalayas
The Suru and Zanskar valleys provide some of the more spectacular and
difficult climbing in Ladakh. The Nun Kun Massif is one of the most
frequent climbing areas of the region and is booked out for months
ahead, sometimes years, by climbing expeditions. The approach to the
twin peaks is from the Kargil-Padum Road, about 70-km south of Kargil.
The main approach is either from Tangole or Gulmadong. Some expeditions
have also approached from Parkutse along the Kangri Glacier. To reach
the base camp for Kun it is for the climbers necessary to cross the Suru
Pir Panjal mountaineering range is situated south of the Himalayas. The
vale of Kashmir is sandwiched between the Pir Panjals and the Himalayas.
Similarly the Lahaul valley, north of Manali and south of Ladakh, is
sandwiched between the two ranges.
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.
Peak - Sikkim's Guardian Deity
Shrouded in heavy mist, the guardian deity Kangchenjunga both protects
and terrifies the inhabitants of the magical kingdom of Sikkim . An
awe-inspiring mass of rock clothed in dazzling white snow, this
Himalayan giant is world's third highest peak at 8,590m (28,199ft). The
name itself means 'House of Five Treasures' represented by its five
Darjeeling is the dreamland of the east and boasts of extraordinary
natural splendor. At an altitude of 8,586 meters, the Darjeeling hills
are the highest mountains in India. This beautiful hill station is
largely under forest cover and surrounded by tea plantations. Buddhist
monasteries dot the land.
The dense alpine trees, beautiful orchids, panoramic lakes etc. provide
the perfect setting for long hikes. A mountaineer trek to the Tiger Hill
is highly recommended. The panoramic glimpse of Mt. Everest and
breathtaking view of the sunrise over Kanchenjunga are exhilarating.