Mt. Deo Tibba is quite the trickster – a Denis the Menace of the mountains, if you will. You never know what its thinking or what it will throw your way next! The schemer that it is, it draws you all in with the irresistible beauty of its first few campsites. The meadows, wildflowers and the free flowing river, the horses and the Dolomite-like mountain ranges in the background – you can’t fault its views even if you tried! Once it’s got you trapped in the illusion of its warm and sunny days and comfortable temperature, that’s when the games begin – it is one crazy surprise after the other.
Although we highly recommend that you bring yourself to this world of beauty and surprise to experience its many quirks firsthand, we will do you the kindness to show you around a little if that’s what it will take to get you here!
1) A Campsite for Every Mood
If you are a climber, we got a question for you: have you come to Deo Tibba (6,001M) yet? The route to the base camp of this magnificent peak takes you through the most gorgeous terrain of massive meadows with the most beautiful spread of colorful wild flowers, a panoramic view of the entire range of mountains and the clouds putting on a dramatic show all throughout the trail. Beyond base camp, the beauty is in the challenge the peak throws at you at every turn.
This mountain may be unpredictable but one thing you can count on is it offering some of the most visually satisfying landscapes and housing you amid a different kind of beauty with each campsite.
a) Chikka (3,175M): The first campsite at Chikka sits right in the middle of an impressively picturesque setting. With the Jagatsukh nala flowing noisily right alongside, horses grazing on the bright green grass, a wide open land at the end of the forest and the pointy, barren mountain structures in the backdrop; there’s nothing that you could think of that’s missing here.
b) Seri (3,700M): We reach the second campsite, which is Seri after crossing the enthusiastic nala twice. Crossing over is quite an adventure but it is nothing compared to the gorgeousness of the campsite itself. A massive meadow rife with wildflowers scattered across its floors, Seri gives you the first glimpse of the dome of Deo Tibba. Right under the dome is a massive waterfall just joyously making its way to the floor of the meadow and spreading into the veins of the nala to water the land. If you think this is beautiful, we can say this with a high degree of certainty that you will lose your mind when you witness this exact same setting as the sky turns all shades of orange and purple with the setting sun. As the colours dance around in the many small streams around the campsite – it is the dance of the land with the high mountains as its audience.
c) Base Camp (4,480M): At basecamp is when things get raw. The tree line now miles below, the land here is all rocky and cold. With the colours of the sky to compliment the monotone of the land, it makes for the best place to be around at during dawn and dusk. It doesn’t hurt that you are in the constant presence of Deo Tibba now standing guard.
d) Camp 1 (5,100M): Camp 1 is the infamous Duhangan Col which is an excruciating climb. But this open land that provides for some of the most magnificent views of the peaks in the range is worth all the pain.
e) Camp 2 (5,600M): Open snowfield, Deo Tibba standing right alongside the mighty Mt. Indrasan and the summit well within reach – what else can one ask for?
2) Comfortable to Not
Like we mentioned in the Highlights article, Mt.Deo Tiba has easy days and hard days (subject to the mood of the mountain which could very easily spin the easy days into the most challenging in no time)!
However, if all is well, it's a smooth ride till you get to the Base Camp of Deo Tibba at 4,880M but from then on the mountain throws at you one curve ball after another. Each day you spend on the mountain beyond the Base Camp is going to seem like the most challenging day ever. But like we said, that's only if you are lucky. If Deo Tibba decides to run with one of its ever-changing moods, as it is known to do, the days below base camp could become difficult too. The mountain starts to have fun at your expense right from the base camp where as you shiver under your many layers of clothes for the dropping temperature, Deo Tibba stands beside you and guffaws in the form of its many rockfalls and avalanches all throughout the day AND night.
On our post-monsoon expedition in 2022, after fair weather for 8 days, it suddenly took a turn and snowed for 3 days straight making the descent of our team all the way to Manali seem harder than the summit push. It's the unpredictability of this mountain, though, that calls out to us over and over again.
3) You Had Better Know Your Stuff
Deo Tibba is a technically challenging peak. Navigating its multiple ice gullies and its alternating sections of rock and ice require the use of technical equipment and a fair bit of technical know-how. Towering just over Jagathsukh village, getting to the trail head of this peak is a mere one hour ride from the tourist heavy city of Manali. It's easy to get to but just as hard to get up on. If you are looking to move into the range of the 6000s, we'd strongly suggest you give Deo Tibba a shot to know all that mountaineering entails.
4) Duhangan Col and the Other Ice Gully
One look at each of these gullies is enough to make you shake like a leaf. The gradient, the size of the gullies and the impossible-looking terrain make the story of this climb more interesting than ever!
(Read: Who is this expedition meant for to know more about the challenges of climbing these gullies and other difficulties that make this mountain appealing.)
5) Chota Chandratal
Chota Chandratal is a high-altitude lake near the base of Mt. Deo Tibba. For its placement and its electric blue waters resting bang in the middle of snow clad mountains, this placid lake is a fairly popular trekking destination. Not only is it just an hour’s hike away from our base camp and makes for one of the best acclimatization walks ever, the expedition to Deo Tibba also gives you the view of this pot of magnificence from various angles including a bird’s eye view from Duhangan Col.
6) The Mountain of the Gods
The mountain has a story for each of its corners. It gets its name for being the conference room of the Gods to discuss important matters of turning the world on its axis and such. It is a divine mountain and for its deific status it definitely acts it too. It allows you at its feet, but makes you sweat in its bone-chilling cold weather to get to its crown. To reach the summit of Deo Tibba (6,001M) is a massive achievement because it is THAT difficult. More than grit alone, it is also rare that the mountain allows it. Believed to be godly, you feel the full force of the mountain only when you are in the thick of it.
To read more about the fables and tales attached to this magnificent peak, read Legends Untold of Deo Tibba Base Camp Trek
If you are a climber, we have a question for you. When are you getting yourself to Mt. Deo Tibba?