This pre-trip report comes from Pat Goodman who along with climbing partners Dave Sharratt and Freddie Wilkinson will be some of if not the first American climbers to attempt big walls and 6000m peaks in the Miyar Valley of Northern India. Backcountry.com is stoked to help these guys in their effort. Stay tuned for more updates and a post trip report.
It's 6:00 am, I can’t sleep. If I do doze off I have hectic dreams revolving around incomplete
trip-check-lists and wacky, if not nightmarish traveling scenarios. This sort of behavior is something that has become standard fare before my big trips, a prerequisite if you will. I may be rather obsessive; after all, I am a rock climber that has a chalk bag with a used tooth brush in it for cleaning hand holds.India’s Hymachal Pradesh
is the most recent addition to my obsession and the current cause of my insomnia. David Sharratt, Freddie Wilkinson and Myself, have been planning a climbing trip to the Miyar Valley since last fall. All this planning has culminated into this final few weeks prior to our departure and I must admit my apprehension. Hindi, I can speak Hindi – Nameste
, well at least I can say hello and good by.
After all it’s not like we have to travel hundreds of miles through small towns and mountain villages, or wait, yep, we do. Honestly though, I can not think of anything more stunning.
Our expedition will begin in New Delhi with a bus ride to Manali where we plan to stock up on food and last minute items. From there with the assistance of Jeeps and mules we will travel through small villages laden with green fields of barley, potato and peas huddled under the gaze of rugged mountains. I suppose the crux of our “approach” will be crossing the 13,050ft / 3978m high Rohtang Pass, apparently depending on snow fall, it can be impassable. Our route will take us by the famous Trilokinath temple revered by both Buddhists and Hindus and the Mrikula Devi Temple, will make this journey even more outstanding. The village of Chimrat (2090m) marks the beginning of the Miyar Valley
; our climbing destination and home to some of the Himalayas best kept secrets.
We have intentions to establish alpine rock routes – ideally all free
in perfect, low impact alpine style. The possibilities appear to be endless for new routes as many of the peaks (most at or around 6000m) are untouched by climbers. With a bit of luck three weeks in this amazing mountain range will allow us time to climb and explore the vast potential the Miyar valley offers. Our equipment list is quite extensive due in part to the capricious weather and our desire to cover as much terrain as possible. Mountain Hardwear’s
tents (EV 3
and Kiva Light
), sleeping bags (Clouds Rest SL 0
), packs and outerwear will undoubtedly play a huge role in the comfort and survival of this expedition.
As the rain falls outside my home in North Carolina - my head is slightly dizzy with anticipation, as the aches and pains from countless hours of running and climbing surge through my body. I grin big with anticipation of the up coming adventure.
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