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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19 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!

    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.

      1. Pin Parvati is like no other trek… it is risky for a group operation, but alpinist can traverse on their own… kudos to team Indiahikes for understanding the trek in so detailed vision. Rajesh best wishes…. do Pin nParvati with your friends.

  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.

      1. Hi Swathi, have you read the book called ‘The Ochre Border’ by Justine Hardy? There were 6 girls and one male, the photographer and friend of Justine, Will Curtis. The book was written on the Pin Parbati trek I organised that through my company, Paddy’s Treks way back in 1996 and the group loved the challenge. Have another group wanting to do the same trek next July, after having read this book. I have also done the Bhaba – Pin Parbati trek. But among the most beautiful treks I have done was the Barabanghal trek from Manali and coming out at Bir in Kangra

    2. Exaggerated. I haven’t done it myself yet but i have watched way too many videos multiple times. And still keeping my lack of experience aside. I would say a slip is all it needs even on a flat road to break anyone’s head open. And saying that any experienced mountaineer can’t do anything is laughable, i mean seriously, at least please stop joking around with people. You can make every narrow stretch at least a number of times more safer, it just needs more efforts, time and may be more technical mountaineers for the group. Pin parvati is very much doable and it has much higher probability that you’ll return safe and sound than some other high altitude non technical treks.

  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

  7. I am planning for a trek in July month and I am a beginner in trekking. Please suggest me my first trekking destination which I would enjoy the most. P.S. I don’t want to trek in heavy rain.

  8. Pin Parvati Trek !!! Haa, A lot have been said and written above about this trek. I am a hardcore IH fan, but, when I knew IH stopped PP Trek, I was really disappointed, so as Stock Kangdi, Markha Valley. Any way I wanted to do Pin Parvati and I made it recently this year, I just completed the trek and presently, am in a recovery stage. No doubt, whatever said by IH or any other trekker are very true, like unnecessary risk, monotonous, dangerous etc. But it is trek worth doing, I just loved this trek. More then 13 treks I had done in last 4 years, this trek made me so satisfying and accomplished. It is a risk worth taking.