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Mountaineering in India

Mountaineering in India offers you the choice of climbing some of the highest peaks in the world. Traveling in the mighty Himalayas offers endless adventure, cultural learning and recreation opportunities. Mountaineering and climbing in the Himalayas on some of the world's greatest peaks is the experience of a lifetime. It also provides opportunity to see some of the highest permanent settlements in the world, unveiling preserved cultures and a way of life inimical to modern times.

Standing on the pinnacle of a mountain is only part of the complete pleasure and contentment that one obtains from mountaineering. For majority of the people the Himalayan peaks are not accessible and not climbable. Whenever one thinks of climbing the peaks, images of roaring winds, freezing cold and horrible disasters come to the mind. While on the other hand, there are many mountaineering is a sport, which is so fascinating that one can fall in love with the mountains.

Skills and levels of fitness are necessary for mountaineering. And a basic mountaineering course is a great way to take a vacation as well as get acquainted with India's greatest natural asset and the largest mountain range in the world, the mighty Himalayas, which offer ample doses of adventure, challenge and risk.

Mountaineering can usually be taken up in one of the two ways-either by trekking for a few years and then slowly graduating to climbing, or undergoing a course in mountaineering at one of the climbing institutes. These Institutes run Basic and Advance courses and for a duration of one month.

The sport of mountaineering in India was introduced by the Europeans in the 18th century. Though for many mountaineering is an adventure sport, there are others for whom it is a serious hobby. For mountaineering caters to an atavistic human need to conquer difficult heights and discover new terrains. As a corollary to this, mountaineering and associated adventure sports have given us detailed pictures of the un-friendliest of Indian terrains. Today there are institutes that offer training programs for adventure seekers. The Directorate of Mountaineering & Allied Sports in Himachal Pradesh is one such institute.

Anyone can take up mountaineering for holidaying with adventure though it is vital to maintain a certain levels of physical fitness. People suffering from high/low blood pressure as well as overweight people should avoid participating in high-altitude games and sports. Ideally people between the 18 and 48 years of age should undertake such adventure programs.

India has been blessed with several mountain ranges that are perfect to undertake mountaineering. You can take your pick from the countless peaks in India and even choose your own trekking route for an adventure holiday in India. In case you are seriously planning an adventure filled holiday it is advisable to study maps that provide comprehensive stuff on the mountaineering trails in India. Mountaineering equipment is locally available along with the other support resources in most cases.

Mountaineering is an ideal activity during the summers that lets you escape from the heat of the plains. However, one should avoid the summers as landslides are experienced in several parts of India due to the heavy rains. Some of the best mountaineering spots can be found in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northeast. Num and Kun, and the Zanskar range in Jammu and Kashmir are renowned summits with the mountaineers. Besides amateur mountaineers, technical climbing skills are put to test at Kishtawar at peaks that are as high as 6,500 m above ground level. Lahaul and Spiti in Leh, and the Kullu valley also have several challenging peaks. In India the peaks are categorized into open', 'virgin', 'border', 'trekking', and 'others' and you can make several choices in each category.

We would advise you to consider the following guidelines before opting for mountaineering:

  • Consider the level of difficulty with your physical fitness Participate in peak climbing or high-altitude
  • trekking as may be comfortable.
  • Get the medical fitness test done before hand
  • Learn how to deal with High-altitude sickness or high-altitude madness
  • Gain proper training of handling mountaineering equipment
  • Carry the necessary medicines
  • Follow mountaineering guidelines, high-altitude survival techniques, and first-aid techniques
  • Protect yourself from snow blindness, frostbiting, and sun burning during the expedition
  • Plan the holiday so that you have ample time for altitude acclimatization.
  • With each stage of altitude increase prepare yourself gradually and never hurriedly.

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