Situated in Beas Kund area of Pir Panjal range at an altitude of 5289m, Friendship peak is an ideal non-technical trekking peak for those with limited or no mountaineering experience but definately requires good fitness.Facing several other peaks like Hanuman Tibba, Shitidhar,Indra Asan and Deo Tibba, the summit of this Friendship offers spectacular panoramic views of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges.The best time to climb this peak is from May to June and September to October. We trek from Solang to Bakarthach and setup a base camp here.Then we move to advance base camp & attempt the summit.
|1||Region||Kullu ( Himachal Pradesh )|
|2||Nearest Roadhead||Solang Nala (18Kms from Manali)|
|4||Highest Altitude||5289 M|
|5||What is included in the fee||Hotel stay in Manali on the first day
All Meals starting from Dinner on the first day to Lunch on the last day.
Permits and forest charges, if any.
Technical equipment such as crampons,Ixe Axe, etc.
Services of a certified mountaineer as expedition leader.
Services of an expert team (cook, helpers, porters/mules etc.)
|6||What is not included in the fee||Any kind of Insurance.
Meals during road journeys, if any.
Carriage of personal rucksack.
Stay at Manali on the last day.
Personal expenses of any kind.
Anything not mentioned in the inclusions section.
Today the team arrives in Manali latest by 11 am. The day is critical not just because we can acclimatize a bit but also because we need to assemble as a team and get certain permits for the expedition. Although Friendship peak is listed as a Trekking peak by IMF but the new process established by IMF in Manali region prescribes that the team provides an intimation along with copies of ID proofs of all participants and Guide. IMF has designated a regional office in Manali for trekking in the upper Himalayan stretches. Once we have a receiving on this intimation from IMF regional office, we need 2 more permits, 1 from BRO and other from SDM. These two permits are required only to use a vehicle on the road between Solang Nala & Dhundi. In case we do not get these two permits we will hike from Solang Nala to Dhundi which is 7 Kms walk on the road along the River. Team members stay at a common hotel in Manali and spend some nice prep time in the evening together for better understanding of each other.
Today we start early morning in a vehicle to Dhundi and reach there by 8 am. The common luggage and ration would be carried by mules for us today till Bakkarthatch where we set up base camp. The trek is fairly easy today with a steady incline trail. We cross 3-4 fixed camps in Dhundi where “sailanis” should be visible around the year. Initially the trail is on the true left side of the Beas River that flows alongside through the day. Soon, we cross a wooden bridge without any “railings”. If you have any phobia from water, this bridge can be a bit exciting for you. From here, we keep walking through the lush green trail on the true right side of the Beas River. In the months of May and June, you may spot some snow on the ridges on the far left side. As you near Bakkarthatch, you would cross 2-3 small streams of tributaries of the main river. We should reach here by around 12 noon. Post lunch, we start setting up our base camp here. Few things that need to be taken care of are:
Load ferry is important for any expedition for two reasons, first and the more obvious one is that we can set up our advance camp better before we finally shift our base to ABC but the other reason is that this is a great way of acclimatization. The route for the day is extremely beautiful starting with moraine, crossing rivers, moving through green patches, and finally ending with a gorgeous top view of the Beas Kund. Initial route is completely through moraine and can be a bit taxing on the knees. The trick is to be light on your feet, jump over large boulders and avoid smaller ones. Be very mindful of the cairns that have been marked by the mountaineering institute professionals. The region is full of glacial ice (that you can see from certain places) and many boulders are grounded on such ice due to which these boulders can be quite unstable. After around 1 to 1.5 hours of hike, you would reach at a local top point from where the moraine would end and we start walking on soil or snow patch (depending upon season). The point is very soothing for a quick break and some camera work. It is marked by a rejected steel cage shaped flag and has a full 360* view. Starting from Patalsu ridge & peak, you can spot Friendship Peak, Shitidhar Peak, Ladhakhi Peak, Rocky Challenger 1 & 2, Hanuman Tibba, and Seven Sisters. From here, we move a bit downwards to the plains of the Beas river. The view is open and extremely amazing, small streams of water coming from various snow clad ridges around trying to merge into one powerful river, green grass and pretty yellow flowers in between, towering summits all around, and their reflections in flowing water, you should not want to leave the place. You might have to remove your shoes to cross the streams that can have a lot of water with force in the day time. Human chains may also be required at places. Once we cross the open area, we take the climb from the right side of the Beas Kund. Our direct route towards Lady Leg would avoid Beas Kund. The climb would be moderate and steady through grass patches, be careful of the rich vegetation on this patch while walking and try not to damage them. After around 1.5 hours of hike, you would reach a gully from where you cross to the other side of this spur, towards the Lady Leg camp. This is also a very beautiful point from where you get a top view of the Beas Kund along with Hanuman Tibba peak in the background. Once you cross this small gully, we move a little downhill to our camp site at Lady Leg. The target for the day is to offload the stuff that you are carrying and set up the kitchen here. One of our cooks and his help staff would stay here itself while all other members of the team move back to base Camp.
Today we start early around 6.30 am because we need to reach ABC early for camp set up and to learn Snowcraft there. With light breakfast, we reach our camp early enough to have hot lunch there itself, by around 11.30 am. We now set up the camps here for the team and take a small rest for couple of hours. No sleep is prescribed here as early as now because AMS starts kicking in easily. If weather permits in the afternoon, we move to snow stretches in front of the camp site for our Snowcarft. We will learn a few critical things today – Ascending & descending on heavy snow, Using Ice Axe for temporary anchor, Self-arrest using an ice axe, roping up, and using technical mountaineering equipment.
Morning of the day is reserved for practice of the craft that we learned yesterday. We shall start moving towards our Summit Camp in the afternoon. The hike is short (around 1 hour) till the Summit Camp where we set up our tents. We go a bit higher from the large hum where we set our Summit camp for acclimatization and come down to rest at the Summit Camp. Summit Camp may be set up higher in case snow is less. The idea is basically to cut the time from Summit attempt.
This is the day we all have planned all this show for! We start at around 2 am in morning, all geared up with Snow boots, gaiters, harness, helmet, and head torch. Please be careful in bringing a head torch for the expedition because it would be very difficult to manage Ice Axe and torch in two hands during the climb. From our summit camp we move on the default side with the shoulder of the peak. The route is mostly clear till we reach the shoulder. The gradient of the climb is steep but roping up or fix rope should not be required. If you are climbing in the month of May, then crampons would be needed on this patch (till the shoulder). The climb till here should take around 4 to 5 hours and by the time you reach here, it might be morning. Summit trail from the shoulder is almost vertical. You cannot go zig zag because the patch is full of crevasses on the front side. Fix rope would be needed from here if the team has new climbers. After climbing for another 2 to 3 hours, one would reach the Solo Summit (Alt. 5000 mts). You would take a small diversion towards north and after around 30 minutes of climbing, you reach a black rock that needs to be carefully negotiated. Summit is not far from here and one should reach the Summit by around 9 am or 10 am. Celebrate your moment and click picture but be careful since the platform at the Summit is not too wide.
Descending early (around 10 am) is important because the way back is also long. Once the snow gets slushy, descent would become difficult.
While climbing down till the shoulder, fix rope is again needed.
As we reach our Summit Camp, we gather our breath and have some quick bites. We quickly wrap up our tents and move to the ABC.
If the team has enough energy after the celebratory lunch at ABC, then we can move to Base Camp on the same day. The way down would take only 2 -3 hours and the comfort of Base camp can be quite tempting!
Today we trace our way back to Dhundi from the Base camp and move to Manali in a vehicle. Evening reserved for grand Summit celebration where we all go dutch : )