10 most asked Questions about Pin Parvati Pass Trek

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Pin Parvati Pass is the most glamorous Trans-Himalayan Trek in India. It is rated as one of the most coveted treks by experienced Trekkers. At the same time, the trek throws back quite a few challenges.

Based on our experience, we have prepared an FAQ on 10 most asked questions about Pin Parvati Pass Trek.

Question #1. Should Pin Parvati Pass be approached from Parvati Valley (Bursheni/Kullu) or Pin Valley (Mudh/Spiti)?

The answer to this question is tricky. Both approaches are worthy. This is one rare trek that should be done from both sides. The perspective gained are so different, even if the route is the same.

One reason for this is due to the stark contrast of both the Valleys. Parvati Valley of Kullu is an enchanted Green Paradise. Everything here is larger than life. The trees, the cascading waterfalls, the meadows, the mountainous topography. After the crossover, the barren Cold Desert of Pin Valley is an outlandish beauty. The twist is brutal, almost poetic. It takes a while to grasp the change. It seems you been doing two different journeys. When one ends and the other began you just don’t get to fathom.

We recommend starting the trek from Parvati Valley. It is more beautiful by entering the green valley than exiting it. You get more time to absorb its beauty this way. As you enter deeper, the grounds of Odi Thach and Mantalai reveals secrets never have seen before. It also helps you to acclimatize better.

 

Question #2. Is Pin Parvati Pass Trek for Experienced Trekkers only?

Pin Parvati is not a trek for those new to trekking. Prior experience of a high altitude Trek is essential. By that, we mean a trek of at least 7 days of actual trekking at an elevation of over 15,000 feet.

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Crossing a raging stream at Odi Thach. Pic. Credit: Karan Sandhu

If you want to do Pin Parvati Pass, we recommend doing, at least, one high altitude Pass Crossing Trek.

We tell trekkers who have done treks like Roopkund to not go for this trek. Attempt a High altitude Pass Crossing Trek before doing this. Rupin Pass is a good option.

Question #3. What are the risks associated with this trek?

Pin Parvati is a 110 kilometer of roller coaster ride that comes with its share of risks. The trails are ill-defined and badly washed out during monsoon. Finding the route inside the dense forest can confuse even the most experienced trekker. Crossing the Parvati River and its tributaries can be a harrowing experience. Traversing the un-roped deceptive crevasses of the Pass has its risks.

Apart from that, a 10-day trekking with a 15 kg backpack can break even a fit trekker. With no scope of rescue option available, you are totally on your own.

Question #4. Can Pin Parvati Pass Trek be done in less duration?

Pin Parvati Pass is approximately 110-kilometer trek. It takes 10 days of actual trekking. This does not include any rest days. We have heard local shepherds and foreign hikers do it in 6 to 7 days.

Having said that doing it in such haste is not advisable. The terrain is harsh and the distance is sizable. The altitude gain in itself is from 7,000 feet to 17,500 feet. Even a fit person can get sick. Altitude sickness, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems are common.

We recommend a total of 12 days for Pin Parvati Pass Trek.

 

Question #5. What is the best time to do Pin Parvati Pass Trek?

Pin Parvati Pass Trek has two best seasons. The first is from the third week of June till Second week Of July. The Second window is from the third week of August till First week of September.

The difference in both windows is to do with the level of snow around the Pin Parvati Pass. Attempting this trek in late September and October has become tricky. The weather in the valley makes pass crossing difficult during these late months.

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Entering the Parvati Valley. Pic. Credit: Srinadhi H.

Question #6. What contingency planning one needs for Pin Parvati Pass Trek?

Due to the remoteness and difficulty of the trek, few important things need working out.

  1. Rescue/Emergency evacuation plan. Define how a medical rescue is going to happen. Assign the men who will  administer CPR/Medical aid. Find out how many porters you need for the rescue. What are the medical and logistical supplies required? A stretcher, Oxygen Cylinder, Antibiotics, Steroids for treating an acute case of altitude sickness.
  2. Keeping Buffer days in the itinerary. You need to have a few optional days in the itinerary for safe measures. They may be used for acclimatization purpose. Or taking a rest day. Sometimes crossing the pass will get delayed due to bad weather. In such cases having extra days is always useful. We recommend 2 extra buffer days for Pin Parvati Pass Trek.

Question #7.  Where to find a reliable Guide and Support Team for Pin Parvati Pass Trek?

The best Guides for Pin Parvati Pass Trek are from Kullu, Manali or Reckong Peo, Kaza. It is wise to confirm Nepali Porters for this trek. Guides can be spotted at Manali Main Mall and Bus Stand area. One can always request for a Guide reference on an online forum like Indiamike.

Question #8. How is the weather during the trekking season?

The Parvati Valley has a vibrant weather. The Green Valley has an unpredictable weather pattern which brings a lot of spell of rain. Some of them are intense. The rains have immediate implications. The rivers and its tributaries swell up. On many occasions, they wash away makeshift bridges on the route. The weather is intense at the higher altitude. It may cause a spell of heavy snow and blizzard making pass crossing difficult.

During June and July, there is generous snow at an elevation of 4,000 meters and above. The day temperature remains pleasant. At night, the temperature may dip to sub zero.

In the post-monsoon months (late August till early September), expect spells of rainfall. Trekking in Rain here is not ideal. Rain turns the whole trail into a mud trail. Carry a Gaitor to protect your track pants and shoes from mud.

During the rainy season, rock fall ahead of Mantalai to Pin Parvati Pass is common. Carry a headgear (helmet) for protection.

Pin Parvati Pass Trek 348
Pin Valley, Spiti. Pic. Credits. Amitava Chakraborty

 

Question #9. What things do I need to carry in the backpack for this Trek?

  • Backpack (70-90 liter) for multi days treks.
  • Trekking Boots – High ankle support boots.
  • Trek Gaiter – To prevent snow/moisture seeping inside the boot.
  • Trekking Pole
  • Down Jacket – Thick, windproof material, fleece and feather based recommended.
  • Trek Pants – (at least 3 Trek Pants), no Jeans. Synthetic, Quick Dry fabric based Trek Pants are ideal.
  • Full sleeve woolen/fleece – (at least 2)
  • Full sleeve T-Shirts – (at least 4)
  • Thermal Inner – (for Lower body recommended/ upper is optional)
  • Balaclava
  • Sunglasses – Is a must for snow trek. UV rated ones.
  • Handgloves
  • Socks – (3 pair of woolen and 4 pairs of cotton socks)
  • Waterbottle – (2 water bottle, each 1 liter). Avoid plastic drinking bottles.
  • Toiletries (Sunscreen – SPF 60+, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm/chap stick, small soap, toilet paper, wet tissue)
  • Headlamp/LED Torch
  • Cutlery – Carry a plate, spoon, coffee mug & a lunch box.
  • Gunny Bag – (To stash nonbiodegradable waste for disposal in the nearest town/city)
  • A multi-utility knife/Swiss Knife.
  • Energy bars/dry fruits.
  • Repair kit – (needle & thread)
  • Medicine Kit
  • Whistle
  • Helmet (Headgear for protection from rock fall)
  • 50 metre Rope and a Carabiner (For river crossing, roping in, making a harness etc.)

Question #10. How to physically train for Pin Parvati Pass Trek?

Pin Parvati Pass Trek requires Expedition like preparedness. This includes the physical training. Trekking for over 10 days, 110 kilometer with a 15 kg Backpack requires stamina and core strength. The maximum elevation is over 17,000 feet. Your body needs proper training to handle such extreme conditions.

You need to train keeping the following in mind.

1. Strengthen your core muscles. Train the weak links of your body.

You need to build on your back, legs, arms, stomach muscles. Add strength training along your routine Cardio coupling for best results.

2. Simulate field conditions in your training regime.

Try doing drills that can simulate the uphill and downhill trekking routine. Climbing staircases are the best way to start training. Start with 15 minutes with a set of 2 rounds. Increase it to 30 minutes, 4 sets with a break of 2 minutes between each in the 3rd week of training.

If you have ascending tracks around your neighborhood, try running or brisk walking. Start your running for 1 hour on a flat surface for a week. Increase the duration to 2 hours in your second week. Keep an hour of workout on an inclined track.

You can simulate the same on an inclined treadmill. A Gym Trainer can guide you here.

Start carrying a backpack with a pre-defined load while doing brisk walking. Start with a 4-kilogram weight load for 30 minutes for a week. You can work on building endurance by walking on a treadmill with 2 to 5 percent incline with a 4 kg backpack load.

3. Eat nutritious Food, take appropriate rest days.

For a detailed 12-week training Regime, refer the following manual. We recommend at least 9 weeks of training for Pin Parvati Pass Trek.

For any unanswered query on this trek, contact us for a quick revert by clicking here.

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50 thoughts on “10 most asked Questions about Pin Parvati Pass Trek

    1. You can reach Kaza and after overnight stay take a drop till Mudh in a shared Jeep or bus. You can trek till the first camp ahead of Mudh the same day. This is not a tea house trek. After Mudh the only place for such option is at Kheerganga.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you have done Stok Kangri then Pin Parvati can be your trek to consider. The risks at Pin Parvati is its remoteness and duration. As you move away from Kheerganga, the number of campers on route drops drastically. You will not find support you see at Stok ABC. The terrain requires multiple river crossing. Sometimes bridges are washed out meaning crossing over the hard way. Carry rope, carabineers for such endeavours. The weather can make the valley very dangerous. Rivers can flood just by a day of rainfall. Sometimes it may rain for multiple days. Then you are in trouble. It snows at Pin Parvati then. There is no rescue options. No body will look for you in case of an accident or illness. Rockfalls are common at Mantalai and ahead till Parvati base camp. Helmets should be worn here like at Stok Kangri. If you are doing solo have a guide along. Unless you have experience of trekking solo in the wild, I do not recommend that. Risks are reasonable till the time you are reasonable in how you conduct yourself in the trek. Rest one lesson you learn is how powerless you are in front of nature. Do this trek when things around you crumble and I assure you it will make you a humble man.

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      1. Good advice and I totally agree. I have done this trek last year and the bridge was broken. You have to take alternate path which was very dangerous and damm scary :). You will slip into mighty Parvati river if you commit any error. I can give more details if anyone wants.

        Good luck and do it if you like true adventure 🙂

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  1. Wonder why my trek pix got included in the blog that we both participated but the trek turned a total 360 degrees and started from Sagnam and Mudh instead of the Pulga Kheerganga route I originally told them to take. Is it due to the drug trade and people disappearing in the Kullu region that the wind changed ?

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    1. That was done so that they could accommodate unfit trekkers and fill their big batch size. In their estimation, trekking from Mudh is easier as trekking down the Parvati Valley from Mantalai, Odi Thach to Pulga is easier than otherwise you got to haul longer days climbing and climbing. Anyways your page is no longer an account but a business page for filling their batches.

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  2. The bridge is still not built as on 2015 September, so rock climbing is the only option to reach Thakur Kuan….However, my guide said some big political guy was soon to visit the place to allocate budget for the bridge….not sure what is the status now.This rock face and the Pandu pool are two real fun places in this route !

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  3. We three guys are planning to this trek on 3rd week of august this year.we all are not doing any trek(except previous year kheerganga).
    Is this safe to do this on august for us?

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  4. Hey! I was planning to go Pin Parvati Pass with my friends, we are just a group of four.
    We want to go by ourselves by not taking any packages to go there and we are also not experienced much
    Just went to tosh and a but further to a waterfall.
    But having a passion of trekking, also went by foot to tosh from manikaran.
    So, we are just going by on our own.
    Will it be safe?
    Thanks in advance. I will really appreciate your help.

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    1. If you read the whole FAQ’s carefully, the gist of it is that Pin Parvati is a trek meant for experienced trekker. If you are not then you need a strong Support Team to maximise your chances and to ensure your safety. If you are lucky, you can pull it off. But keep in mind, nothing is SAFE in the wilderness. Even a twist in weather or an accident, or altitude related sickness can become life threatening due to remoteness and toughness of the trek. There are no rescue provisions available once you are inside the valley. Unless you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast who is trained in survival and rescue skills, you can get into serious trouble. You want my counsel, don’t do this trek without an experience GUIDE and a meticulous planning on your provisions, medical kit, gear etc as mentioned in the FAQ. Be safe, don’t be hasty, learn step by step and don’t compromise on your well being by an adrenaline rush of overt passion, less reasoning.

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  5. Thanks for the great info buddy!
    I have done a couple of moderate treks including Roopkund/Junargali (longest till date). Am planning for pin parvati in June last week along with three friends of mine (2 girls). I would be glad if you could answer a few questions for me:
    1. Do we have any camps on the trek route, as there were in roopkund, on which we can rely for tea and food? Or we have to rely completely on the food supplies we carry?
    2. Hiring a porter to carry our camping stuff would be sufficient, or we need to hire a guide as well?
    3. Is water abundant on the trek?
    4. Are there any permissions required from the forest department? If yes, can you please let me know the details for the same? (camping charges, porter/trekker entry charges, etc)
    5. How can one reach back to Manali from Kaza?

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    1. 1. This is not a tea house trek. There are no accomodation/food availability after Kheerganga (until you reach the base camp -Mudh in Spiti). 2. You need a guide, unless you are skilled in route finding/handling challenges thrown to you by nature in the wilderness. 3. Water is available in all campsite. You may have to melt snow at the higher base camp of Pin Parvati if you are trekking pre monsoon season. 4. Permissions are to be obtained from Forest Department. You can get them at the base camp or in Kullu Forest Department Office. 5. From Kaza you can take a shared Jeep or the morning bus for Manali. Again Abeer your whole concept of doing this trek needs Rethinking. You seem to not have an exposure over doing a trek that requires experience OR a strong Support/leadership Team/Staff. If you are adamant about doing it then I STRONGLY ADVISE to take a experience Guide along. This is a true Wilderness Trek. Don’t confuse it with Roopkund.

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  6. Thanks for the write up, really very useful, always look forward to your posts. Friend (Wriju who has commented on this post) and another two of us will be going on this trek during the 3rd week of August. 2016. We have done Rupin Pass together (Sep 2015) and Wriju has done the BMC from HMI. We plan to do this trek on our own, without a guide or porters, using GPS and the maps printed from the one available at http://himalayamaps.com. We will include a buffer day or two on the trek since we aren’t trying to rush through it. How much food (weight wise) do you think should be sufficient? We are taking a kerosene stove along, and rice, noodles, potatoes, milk powder, ghee etc. as staples. Any opinions, advice on this would be very useful and welcome.

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      1. Hi! Thanks for the reply, please send the check list to surja.gain at gmail
        Looking forward to it 🙂

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  7. Hiya, Great Blog. I am planning for this trek on this 26 June with some trekking hiking agency. Highest trek, I have ever done is kheerganga. I would request you to suggest me would it be okay for me to go on this trek or should I choose a moderate trek before this trek. I am an himachali guy, I do regularly exercise and I am practicing yoga breathing for this trek, would it add some points to go for this trek.
    Thanks
    Himanshu

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  8. I’ve done a lot of high altitude treks in the himalayas and am planning my next expedition to pin parvati pass between 3rd week of August to 2nd week of September. I wanted to know if the trek route is clear enough or is taking a local guide most advisable.
    If there is a proper trek route with less number of deviations i will be able to manage it on my own.
    I’m also looking forward to anyone who’s interested in this trek and if they can join me. Email:rakshith7@gmail.com

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    1. Advantage of having a guide is the assurity that comes with navigating an uncertain route that needs knowledge and trail experience. Unless you are an experienced explorer skilled in making sound calls on route finding in case of uncertain terrain dictated by weather and external elements I would advise having a guide along. People getting lost doing unguided self treks without having core experience is so common these days. Why take a chance on an uncertain, unpredictable trail like Pin Parvati.

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  9. Very informative blog… Thank you!
    4 of us are planning to do this on August 1st week.. We are low on budget.. Although we are planning to take a guide along, we are thinking about the number of porters we actually need to carry and also the amount of food. . We will be carrying our own backpacks… Do you think one guide cum cook and one porter be enough for the trek?
    Also.. If you can suggest someone who can be a guide cum cook, that would really be helpful… Thanks!!
    My email is sraj1806@gmail.com

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    1. A porter will haul not more than 20 to 25 kg. As for the Guide, he would like to travel a little light (say 15 – 17 kg) so that he can do guiding work. So I suppose, you may need one more support staff (making it 3 in total). If you guys are carrying your own backpack, sleeping bag and mats then you may be well off. You need to check with your Guide. Also ask for Nepali Porters, they are sincere and are willing to carry more load than the local ones from Kullu. Speak with Polu Ram from Manali. He runs as a guide for Pin Parvati trek. You can tell him he was referred by Vaibhav Chauhan from Indiahikes. He will help you out. Mobile: 9816891591 / 9817318684. If his phone is not reachable, it maybe due to he leading a trek batch. Wait for a week and try again.

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    1. Plan a rest day either around Kullu or Kheerganga for acclimatization. People travel directly to Bursheni from Delhi and then start the trek the very next day. A rest day before Kheerganga will be even better in that case. Explore Kasol and Manikaran on this day.

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  10. Hello Wanderer,

    Was wondering if an ice-axe is necessary on this trail for the snowy portion.
    I usually want the axe for different reasons other than ice and snow, but it is a good 1/2 kg.

    Thanks

    Navendu

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends on the snow condition on the pass crossing day! It is useful in pre-monsoon season. In the latter months, you can do without it. P.S – This year the snowfall been dismal. Hardly any snow on Pin Parvati route in the month of June-July.

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  11. A very informative and responsible overview of the Trek. Just wanted to express my gratitude to “Himalyan Wanderer” for sharing the knowledge and being so responsive to queries of other trekkers.
    This trek has been on my mind for long now. Pehle time tha to paisa nai tha, abhi paisa hai to time nai hai…hahahah…. but sooner or later i will do it…from kullu to spiti…in the lap of parvati….@_@
    Once again, thanks a lot HW. I hope we meet some day wandering in the Himalayas…heh

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi,we are starting the trek on 4th of august.i have checked the weather forecast.rain has been predicted most of the days . Can we finish the trek even though it’s raining.we are taking guide and a porter. is it worth it to complete the trek if it’s raining most of the days.we have the gear necessary.looking forward to your response

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    1. Now this is going to be an interesting adventure. Rains will add drama. Are you willing to hike in a pool of Cattle excreta and Wet Mud? The trail from Bursheni – Kheerganga to Tunda Bhuj campsite is going to be a messy affair. If you like Mudding, you will enjoy this. Also, with continuous rains, the Parvati River turns into a nasty bugger. Finding broken bridges will be routine. You probably will have to take the tricky (and longer) route. In any case, carry a 50-meter rope along Carabiners, you may need it for fording the river. A good rain protection gear will get you past this. Keep supplies for a couple of extra days (including cooking fuel, food provisions). The rains can damper the spirit. You would have to keep the spirits of your support staff (Guide and Porters). Once you cross over the Pass, you will be in a dry terrain.

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  13. Hi i have completed Sar pass last year (around 14k and moderate one). Do you think is it safe to go with experienced Guide and with profession group. Planning to go on 26th August,2016. Any suggestion?

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    1. Are you planning of doing it Solo or with a team? I suggest hiring a local Guide. First, check the weather forecast in Kullu Valley. In the first week of October, your main concern will be the weather condition ahead of Manatalai to the Parvati B.C and the pass crossing day. There is hardly much snow at the pass this year so no issues with the Crevasses. Second concern will the river crossing and the conditions of Bridges. Keep food, fuel and supplies for an additional day stocked.

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    2. Going to try it around October, 15 from Manikaran if weather allows.. where is the place to inquire about snow conditions – Kheer Ganga?

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  14. Pin Parvati Trek is the most beautiful and adventurous, because of its high Pin Parvati Pass Which separates the Pin & Parvati valleys. Trek that one can take from the parvati valley in kullu to the pin valley in Spiti across the 5319m. One need to be extremely fit and very well prepared for this trek as there is absolutely no habitation along its entire length. Trek commences from gwacha, a tiny hamlet high up the Parvati Valley, past Manikaran. From there the route follows the Parvati river upstream for three days with night halt at Khir Ganga(Hot water spring). Pandupul(Steeped in the Pandava mythology) and Mantalai.

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  15. Hey! Me and my friends are planning to do the pin Parvati trek around 24th June 2017. Is it a good time? People are saying this year snow has been more ? We are also planning to do it from kaza side .

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    1. Hi Viraj, Your assessment about snow is true. We expect further snowfall at higher regions inside Parvati Valley. June last week is do-able. Keep in mind you need to have a few climbing gear with you. Carry a ice-axe and a climbing rope and carabiner.

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