Why Indiahikes Is Not Running The Pin Parvati Pass trek

In the past week, we have received at least 20 mails and calls asking about the Pin Parvati trek.

However, at Indiahikes we have stopped running the Pin Parvati Pass trek. And it is for a very worrying reason.

Pin Parvati is not just another difficult trek. It’s an extremely high-risk trek. No matter how many safety precautions you take, you just cannot make the trek safe.

I’ll tell you exactly why this trek is so dangerous. Later, I’ll also tell you about the Pin Bhaba Pass trek in the same region that can be a good alternative..

But first, the perils of the Pin Parvati trek:

Tricky sections

This is what our senior trek leader Dushyant Sharma says. “There are 3 very tricky sections on the trek. The trail hangs precariously over the furious Parvati river, which is hardly 50 ft below. The trail is narrow; even two people cannot walk side by side. Sometimes you have to cross vertical rock faces over the river. The footholds on these big rocks are so small that even the palm of your hand won’t fit in. One wrong step and you’re history.” Dushyant is a trained mountaineer and a seasoned trek leader. When he talks, we listen.

A narrow trail with hardly any footholds runs over the Parvati River

Tough terrain

If these narrow sections are not enough there are rock fall and landslide prone areas, some frightening river-crossings (where you can be swept away), and a glacier crossing with deep crevasses.

It’s not rare to find deep crevasses while walking over the glacier on the Pin Parvati Pass trek. Picture by Ian Chung

Impossible Evacuation

Add to it the altitude. The trek climbs to 17,500 ft, no small number. But that’s still ok.

“God forbid if someone gets AMS, evacuation is almost impossible. The trails are too narrow to carry stretchers on them. Besides, the trek is so remote that it takes days to reach any form of civilization. On a 118 km trek, if you’re 50 km into the trek and get AMS, you’re a goner,” says Sandhya UC, our co-founder.

Just last year, one of our old trekkers went on this trek. Unfortunately, she suffered AMS and could not be evacuated. She passed away. She went with another organisation and no one could do anything about it.

It was painful to hear that yet another trekker was no more because of this trek.

The remoteness of the Pin Parvati Pass trek makes it extremely difficult to evacuate someone in times of emergency.

Lack of safety

Challenges enamour many trekkers. But challenges are one thing and being silly is another.

On the Pin Parvati trek, there’s nothing any expert can do to secure your life. No matter how many safety protocols we put in place, how many harnesses we use, we cannot ensure your safety. Nobody can.

One slip is all it takes.

It’s very easy to be swept away by the Parvati river on the trek. One wrong step is all it takes

Our stance

“It’s true that as trekkers, we all love adventure. But there’s a big difference between adventure and plain risk. As an organisation that promises safety, we cannot take the risk and we don’t want to take the risk. No trek is worth a trekker’s life,” says Arjun Majumdar, our founder.

Do the Pin Bhaba Pass trek instead.

This brings me to the Pin Bhaba Pass trek. The trek is in the same region as the Pin Parvati (the name is very similar, isn’t it?). You get the same allure of Spiti that everyone craves for. In fact the trek ends in Mud, where the Pin Parvati ends too.

The Pin Bhaba has terrific adventure — it climbs to 16,100 feet. Good level of challenge, superb stunning scenery, minus the life-threatening sections.

A view of Spiti upon crossing the Pin Bhaba Pass. Picture by Jagadeesh DM

Frankly, people who have done both treks find the Pin Bhaba more beautiful. Our founders say the variety is more on the Pin Bhaba trek.

Click here to find details about the Pin Bhaba Pass trek here. Go through it, see the pictures too.

If you need help planning your trek out, just write in the comments below. I’ll help you.

But don’t risk your life. It’s not worth it. Not for you, your friends or your family.

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Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy is the Chief Editor at Indiahikes. She heads the content team and runs a video series called Trek With Swathi. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates that mind like nothing else can. Through her work at Indiahikes, she hopes to let more people experience this sense of liberation, by spreading information about trekking and by instilling the right spirit of trekking in them.Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.

10 thoughts on “Why Indiahikes Is Not Running The Pin Parvati Pass trek

  1. This detailed write-up about the risks and the alternatives mentioned in the right authoritative note gained you my respect and trust on you!
    Cheers!

    1. Not convinced. Pin parvati is great trek. Just because you dont want to do it doesnt mean its very risky. In that matter even roopkund is also risky.

  2. About below,
    Frankly, people who have done both treks find the Pin Bhaba more beautiful. Our founders say the variety is higher on the Pin Bhaba trek.

    ^^^^
    I can surely vouch for this.
    I have done both routes in back to back years.
    Pin bhaba is new terrain every day.
    Pin Parvati is kind of monotonous for 3-4 days till mantalai.

  3. Does indiahikes run a mantalai lake trek from barshini by any chance? My last attempt in 2017 with another group had to be abandoned after tunda bhuj because the pulley bridge was broken and alternates involving using a cable over Parvati river or crossing a waterfall were just too dangerous! Are there any other routes that indiahikes may be able to organize to mantalai lake?

    1. Hi Vivek,
      We do not run the Manatalai Lake trek. It used to fall on our Pin Parvati Pass trek route but we are not running Pin Parvati this year.

  4. Hi, I just went through the indiahikes itinerary and on day 4 of the trek, you are already at 4500 meters! The biggest mistake is so start this trek from Spiti.
    Starting from Parvati valley makes this much safer in terms of acclimatization.
    Moreover, ropes can be used on the boulder crossing making it safe. In the mountains one cannot expect to have a trail everywhere.

    It is very unfair for Indiahikes, India’s biggest trekking company to write off this beautiful trek and call it dangerous.

    1. Hi Ajay, it is possible, but we wouldn’t recommend it. It is a very tough trek, especially the pass crossing day. It can take the wind out of even our Trek Leaders. Prior experience really comes into play here. So I would strongly advise you to go for it only after getting some high altitude trek experience.

  5. I Agree with the Risks mentioned but its exaggerated here because it cannot run with indiahikes like numbers. We just did this and seriously there is no alternatives for this trek. Must do trek for any hardcore trekker.

  6. It is sad that India hikes does not run this trek. I would agree that taking a herd of trekkers on this route would be a nightmare for trek leaders. But if you can filter out the trekkers and pick a limited number of experienced trekkers, this is a very beautiful trek.. All the risks that trekkers take are rewarded, the reward being the experience and fantastic views. The views are even sweeter due to the fact that you took more risk to get there. But one must be warned about limited options when it comes to evacuation due to illness, it is indeed a big risk. I did this trail this year in September and it was best one I have done till date. I am comparing it with Stok Kangri. It is tougher than Stok Kangri but equally rewarding. I did the route that India Hikes mentioned here and I think that is the best route to do this rather than start from Bahrsheni

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