Himalaya ski expedition


By Arjen on 14 November 2016 · 0

In 1884 Sir Louis Dane was the first man to cross the Pin-Parvati pass (5319m) in Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalaya. 132 years later most of the peaks in this valley remain unclimbed. Next spring a group of intrepid friends from the wepowder community in Zurich will set out to the Parvati basin to explore its peaks and glaciated valleys on skis.

The main goal of the expedition is the ski mountaineering exploration of the Parvati valley and the lateral Dibibokri Nala with the ascent and descent of several peaks higher than 5000m and one over 6000m. The physical demands for the trip will be extreme. The team members will undergo a four month training program starting in late November. Prior to setting camp in the Parvati valley in mid April, the team will spend two weeks in the Kullu valley to train, build a good acclimatization, and ski some more ‘conventional’ routes described in the book “Ski touring in India’s Kullu valley” by C. Spooner.

While logistics in Kullu should be rather simple, setting up a well stocked base camp in the remote Parvati valley will be challenging. Given the time of year (outside the climbing/trekking season) there will be limited possibilities to get help with supplies at lower elevations, and no possibility at higher elevations. Besides, the team will have no access to the excellent weather forecast and avalanche bulletins that we are used to in the Alps. So they will have to be as light as possible to be able to quickly adapt to the conditions on the mountain and move basecamp to different locations. They will also rely on each other in any accident situation.

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