While we highly recommend that you witness the beauty of this trail first-hand, we do want to start you off on the journey from our end. Nestled comfortably in between all the biggies from the two major ranges - Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar, Friendship Peak is an amphitheater for the tallest mountains in both these ranges. With a bird’s eye view of Manali from the col, to the mountain ranges in Lahaul from its summit; Friendship peak faces Hanuman Tibba on the one side and finds as its neighbours, giants such as Indrasan, Deo Tibba, Priyadarshani, the Seven Sisters to name a few.
Presenting to you, a feast for your eyes of the marvels you are likely to witness on this trek. We hope these convince you that Friendship Peak is more than just a pretty view from the top. The trail of the trek takes you through some soul-cleansing views if only you can tune your inner self to witness wonders the mountain has to offer.
1) Assortment of Landscapes
Just like a bag of assorted chocolates, the trail for Friendship Peak has its own sack of surprises. It reveals these to you in small doses all through to the last day.
The trail starts out lush and green, spread thin in open lands and thick in parts where it pushes you into dense forests.
Be warned! The mountain has got some smooth tricks up its rocky slopes!
The warmth and freshness of the flora are a perfect deception technique the mountain employs to lure you in – leaving you completely oblivious to the reality of entering the bone-chilling cold of its icy slopes just days after.
2) All creatures great and small!
If you think you don’t have an eye for finer details, this trail is sure to teach you a thing or two about yourself. It will draw you in with its classy sense of aesthetics and hold you captive.
From the big and the bold…
To the wild and free….
To a host of smaller beings that pull you down to your knees…
It has spilt its beauty everywhere in an assortment of colors and shapes…
Scattered across the bed of slopes against the backdrop of the mighty peaks of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar...
Your campsites along the way, littered with hundreds of baying sheep, curious dogs, and unfettered horses all taking turns to come sniffing your necks like gentle lovers.
3) Front row seat to a fantastical cloud show
Due to its location, altitude and tendency to host unpredictable weather, you will constantly witness a variety of cloud shows all along the way. You will see them running up the slopes of the mountain, sometimes slowly sneaking up to them like mischievous mates and on yet another time you will find them adding some serious drama to the skies. On occasions, lingering by the cliffsides while on others covering the top of these big mountains like a bedsheet pulled over their heads – sometimes sitting comfortably in the tiny pockets of the mountain-face while at other times blowing out in spurts like puffs from the smoking peaks. The cloud show on the trail is strong and you might want to look up frequently enough so as not to miss their constantly changing tactics.
It would be a crime to miss the comings and going of the sun on the trail.
The views that these times offer could be what magic is truly made of.
5) An all-terrain camping experience
From the dry and rocky to the wet and cold, Friendship Peak has got campsites of all kinds waiting to be explored and experienced. You will spend nights to the noise of howling dogs at lower camps moving on to spending nights in the company of eerie silence on the upper slopes of the mountain.
6) A pretty picture
We can’t help but be awestruck by the beauty of the mountain-faces around Friendship peak with their gorgeous shapes, mesmerizing slopes, and craggy ridges...
Alternating between rock and ice…
And the way the light falls on their formidable structures forming shadows and shapes…
That makes the mountain come alive – like a living, breathing entity with an imposing personality.
7) A land of white
The last leg of the trek takes you bang in the middle of a snowy wonderland – if white had fifty shades, here is where you would find all of them.
Walking the smooth, steep slopes with moody weather and frequent whiteouts give you a taste of high-altitude mountains – its peculiar landscape challenging you in unique ways and providing you a playing ground to learn new skills.
The fierce winds and biting cold make the terrain seem harsh… But it is also kind enough to offer up some of the best views which are likely to remain etched in your memory for a long time to come.
The visual poetry offered up by the trail of Friendship Peak is invigorating through and through. If you are looking for a place where beauty and challenge lie side by side, we would recommend you consider this short seven day trek up the icy slopes of Friendship Peak – your passage between trekking and mountaineering.