Pin Parvati trek in August 2018 - How mother Parvati ensured I did it solo style.
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Pin Parvati trek in August 2018 - How mother Parvati ensured I did it solo style.

Backdrop: Right when I got the list of holidays for this year at the office and saw two holidays in consecutive weeks, my eyes lit up. I decided right away that I have to do a trek during this time. Next question was which one.
I like doing my treks solo style, and with no mountaineering experience, I thought I will try a difficult level trek. Many options were open, but I decided six months before August to do the Pin Parvati trek.

I started mentally and physically preparing for it from that day itself. Started to buy the stuff needed. Thanks to the Indiamike forum for all the support on this.

Jump to the 10th of August.
For the first time, I expressed my fear about the trek to my father. From the bus journey to the airport in Bangalore to the flight to Delhi to the overnight bus journey to Manikaran. Not once had I smiled because of this fear. I hadn't even told many of my friends that I was doing the trek.

Jump to the 12th of August.
In the same state I was in, I reached Manikaran. The plan was to look for other solo travelers who were looking for company as well. And I thought Barsheini would be the better place to start the search since that is the starting point of this trek. Once I reached there, in my head I decided that I was going to hire a guide(and a porter) just for myself even if it meant it was just for me. I started enquiring at the only trek agency there, and their rates were too high for me. Fear increased. Dejected, I walked across to a cafe there to have my lunch. And this is when a group of 25-30 people(who I later came to know were porters for the TTH group) walked past me, and out of curiosity, I asked them where they were going, and they told me they are doing the Pin Parvati pass trek. God sent. I asked them whether I could join them, and without hesitation, they said yes. For the first time in close to 48 hours, I had smiled.

Day 0: Barsheini to Pulga (30 mins)
- Short walk
- Views of the dam.

Day 1: Pulga to Kheerganga (8-9 kms, 5 hours)
Difficulty level: Moderate.
- Lot of waterfalls on the route.
- Landslides, depending on the month you are going, will be very tricky sections.
- The only day it rained during the trek, and it rained during the night till late morning the next day.
- Last day you might find food to eat in dhabas.

NOTE: With the recent high court order, a lot of them have been closed. One might find one or two on the way now on the Pulga-Kheerganga route.

Day 2: Kheerganga to Tunda Bhuj (9-10 kms, 5 hours)
Difficulty level: Moderate.
- One section with very steep and slippery ascent. Difficult to deal with.
- The waterfall views get more majestic.
- I had a late start to this day, and reached the campsite by 6 in the evening.

Day 3: Tunda Bhuj to Thakur Kuan (9-10 kms, 5 hours)
Difficulty level: Moderate.
- Valley opens very beautifully and marks the end of the forest trail. Walking through meadows becomes the norm.
- The blooming flowers make your day.
- Thakur Kuan is one of the most scenic campsites.

Day 4: Thakur Kuan to Odi thach(9-10 kms, 5 hours)
Difficulty level: Difficult. (Mainly because of Pandu Pul, and doing it solo)
- Easy to moderate level trek all day, except for the Pandu Pul (junior and senior). I remember doing the first one and thinking the tough part is over, and then seeing the bigger version.
- Odi Thach is the most scenic campsite(according to me) on this trek.

Day 5: Odi thach to Mantalai(9-10 kms, 6 hours)
Difficulty level: Moderate.
- The transformation of the furious and fast flowing Parvati river to the super-mellowed down Mantalai lake is stunning.
- Mantalai campsite is a further hour away from the lake.

Off topic: This was the day I realized how lucky I was to have the porters' support and the TTH group to fall back on if anything was required. When I was praying at the temple on the banks of the lake, that moment was surreal. I cried. I could feel Mother Parvati smiling at me.

Day 6: Mantalai to Parvati base camp(7-8 kms, 8 hours)
Difficulty level: Difficult.
- Most difficult day of the trek, and most chances of getting lost.
- Steep climb right after a river crossing(easy) for 4-5 hours with sections with inclinations up to 60-70 degrees.
- Another steep climb after a river crossing which is after some time with amazing views of the valley.
- Parvati base camp is very rocky. If there are groups doing it with you, reach campsite early.

Day 7: Summit day - Parvati base camp to Pin base camp(6-7 kms, 7-8 hours)
Difficulty level: Difficult.
- You meet the glacier almost immediately when you start today. Navigating through the glacier is difficult. The ideal scenario would be following a group, or have enough power to use a map on the phone.
- Start your day very early. 6 AM or earlier.
- Having crampons is an advantage. ( I did it without ).
- The views from the summit are surreal. Even the views during the ascent and the descent are amazing.
- One needs to be very careful with the descent.
Any fool can climb a mountain. A good mountaineer descends safely.
First, you meet a lot of fresh snow, which could be knee deep(even in late August). Add to that, deep crevasses. Next come the river crossings. These are very difficult to cross because the water is fresh from the glacier. Cold and fast flowing.

Day 8: Pin base camp to Tia campsite(10-11kms, 5-6 hours)
Difficulty level: Moderate.
- A lot of river crossings during this day as well.
- Long walks with small ascents and descents, which are tiring(because it's been 7 days since the trek).
- Fantastic views of Pin valley during the whole day.

Off topic: Had my first proper meal after 8 days. Rice and dal and palak subzi made from wild palak found on the way to Tia. No, I didn't cook it. The Nepali porters who were friends by now forced me to eat with them, and I accepted their offer. (They had offered food on every day of the trek!)

Day 9: Tia campsite to Pagal nalah(and to Mudh). (2-3 kms, 1-1.5 hours)
Difficulty level: Moderate.
- Marked as moderate because of Pagal Nala. I have seen it grow to 5 times its size within a couple of hours.
- People skip Tia campsite usually and move towards Mudh, but the views from here are too majestic. The Pin Bhabha trek intersects at this campsite, and getting to see that is a grand view!
- Hitched a ride to Mudh.

This trek was possible due to a lot of people and I owe them a lot for it!
- The Nepali porters
- The TTH guides.
- A lot of IndiaMikers, especially @solotekker1 for the kml files of the Pin Parvati trek(and Mt. Kanamo) and the advice!
- Saravana K ( . Great stuff on his channel)
- DevilOnWheels ( Great and up to date information!)

Do let me know your views, and feel free to PM me for any sort of information. Would love to help to whatever extent I can.
Kheerganga | Stok Kangri, Sep 2017(Base Camp) | Pin Parvati, August 2018(Solo style) | Mt. Kanamo, August 2018 (Solo style)

2 Replies

| The Silent One

Pin Parvati trek in August 2018 - How mother Parvati ensured I did it solo style.

Congratulations on completing and enjoying the trek. :)
Sar Pass Trek , Rohtang, Munnar, Badrinath Kedarnath, Vaishnodevi, Goa, VOF, Kedarkantha, Kuari Pass, Brahmatal Trek
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Two more things :

1. Solotrekker1 is the one I wanted to mention in the post. (How do we tag users in a post on here?)
2. If anybody wants to watch videos I made(first proper attempt) from the trek, its on Youtube.
Kheerganga | Stok Kangri, Sep 2017(Base Camp) | Pin Parvati, August 2018(Solo style) | Mt. Kanamo, August 2018 (Solo style)

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