Pin Parvati Trek Information

General Information:

‘Pin Parvati Pass’ is a high altitude pass located at a height of 5319 meters (17450 feet) above sea-level, connecting the Parvati Valley in Kullu district to the Pin Valley in Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh in India. This trek is a trans-Himalayan expedition – it was first undertaken in August 1884 by Sir Louis Dane in search of an alternate route from and to the Spiti valley.

The Mountain Walker team successfully completed this trek in 7 days in September 2017, camping at Khirganga, Tundabhuj, Oddithach, Maantalai, Parvati Base Camp, Vickrungthach and ending the trek in Mudh. It is advisable to attempt this trek in 10 days.

Altitude Information:

Location

Altitude in meters

Altitude in feet

Barshaini

2174

7132

Khir Ganga

3100

10170

Tundabhuj

3285

10777

Thakurkuan

3560

11679

Oddithach

3755

12319

Maantalai

4107

13474

Parvati Base Camp

4617

15147

Pin Parvati Pass

5319

17450

Vikrungthach

4516

14816

Mudh

3700

12139

Distance Information:

From

To

Approximate Distance (km)

Barshaini

Khir Ganga

11

Khir Ganga

Tundabhuj

11

Tundabhuj

Thakurkuan

8

Thakurkuan

Oddithach

7

Oddithach

Maantalai

18

Maantalai

Parvati Base Camp

6

Parvati Base Camp

Pin Parvati Pass

5

Pin Parvati Pass

Vikrungthach

7

Vikrungthach

Mudh

30

Difficulty Level:

Moderate to Strenuous

Trail:

WM Pin Parvati Map1
Pin Parvati Complete Trek Route
  • Barshaini to Khir Ganga

WM Pin Parvati Map2
Barshaini to Khir Ganga Trek Route

The trek starts from the road-head at Barshaini (2174 meters / 7132 feet) in Kullu district. The first day camp is at Khir Ganga (3100 meters / 10170 feet) at a distance of approximately 11 km from Barshaini. The trail is well defined as it is frequented by pilgrims due to the religious importance of Khir Ganga (also spelled ‘Kheer Ganga’ and ‘Kheerganga’). The trail has a mix of flat sections and gradual climbs till Nakthan village, where one can find the first water source on the route, as well as a small market. Rudranag Waterfall lies a little distance from Nakthan and also houses a few food stalls. Just after Rudranag Waterfall, the trail crosses a short bridge over the Parvati River, and from there on starts a steep ascent till Khir Ganga, which is a sloping meadow atop a hill surrounded by pine forests. The main attraction at Khir Ganga is the hot springs, which is considered holy by Hindus and Sikhs. In addition to campsites where tents can be pitched, various home-stays and paid camps are also available at Khir Ganga.

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  • Khir Ganga to Tundabhuj

WM Pin Parvati Map3
Khir Ganga to Tundabhuj Trek Route

The second day of the trek is from Khir Ganga to Tundabhuj (3285 meters/ 10777 feet) over a distance of approximately 11 km. The trail is well defined (apart from a few landslip areas ahead of Khir Ganga) with a mix of flat and gradual ascent sections through alpine forests and meadows. A few water streams along the way are sources of drinking water. Tundabhuj is located above the tree-line and campsites are located on either side of a water stream.

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  • Tundabhuj to Thakurkuan

WM Pin Parvati Map9
Tundabhuj to Thakurkuan Trek Route

It is advisable to set the campsite on the third day at Thakurkuan (3560 meters/ 11679 feet) – [The Mountain Walker team camped at Oddithach on Day 3 during their September 2017 trek, covering 2 days of distance at a single stretch]. Up till 2016, the trail to Thakurkuan was across a wooden bridge (called “Teda Pul” due to its twisted shape) over to the true right bank of Parvati River, along a gradual ascent through alpine meadows and finally crossing back to the true left bank over a “Trolley Bridge”. Unfortunately both the bridges broke in 2017 and an alternative route has been opened along the true left side of the Parvati River. This new route requires climbing over rocky sections at a few places, followed by a small steep section and then continuing on to join the old trail near Thakurkuan. Drinking water can be replenished at streams along the route.

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  • Thakurkuan to Oddithach

WM Pin Parvati Map8
Thakurkuan to Oddithach Trek Route

On the fourth day, the route ahead of Thakurkuan ascends to Pandupul, a series of two natural rock bridges over the Parvati River. Bouldering is required to cross the bridges and experienced guides are necessary for supervision to ensure safe passage. After Pandupul, the trail has a series of gradual ascents and descents till Oddithach (3755 meters/ 12319 feet). The campsite at Oddithach is surrounded by sheer cliffs on the north and south sides, with the raging Parvati River carving its way through the meadows from east to west.

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  • Oddithach to Maantalai

WM Pin Parvati Map5
Oddithach to Maantalai Trek Route

The walk on the fifth day from Oddithach to Maantalai (4107 meters/ 13474 feet) is through a series of meadows with minimal gradient. The final climb and subsequent descent to this mesmerising high altitude water body is through moraines. The lake is nurtured by numerous glacial streams at its upper end, with the Parvati River originating from the other end. There is a small temple with a Shivling at the shore of Maantalai. The trail continues alongside the banks of Maantalai, with several streams flowing across the grassy stretches. Camps can be set in these grassy stretches and the streams suffice as water sources. The sixth day can be set aside as rest and acclimatisation day at Maantalai.

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  • Maantalai to Parvati Base Camp

WM Pin Parvati Map4
Maantalai to Parvati Base Camp Trek Route

The trail from Maantalai till Parvati Base Camp (4617 meters/ 15147 feet) on the seventh day is a long steep climb of 6 km across the mountain face on the true right side of Maantalai. The initial section of the climb is through rocky section, followed by steep ascent on grassy section. After the ascent, the gradient of the route is relatively low till the base camp. The trail continues through a valley of moraines enclosed by high mountains on both sides and a stream flowing through the middle. The campsite is located on the west bank of the stream that also serves as the water source.

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  • Parvati Base Camp to Pin Parvati Pass

WM Pin Parvati Map6
Parvati Base Camp to Pin Parvati Pass Trek Route

Above Parvati Base Camp, the climb for the eighth day is through moraines. Atop the moraines is the start of snow-line and the route continues across a snow slope leading to a glacier. Across this glacier, the trail descends and ascends through another moraine section ending into a second glacier. There are open crevasses on this second glacier and care must be taken while crossing the crevasses. Pin Parvati Pass at an altitude of 5319 meters/ 17450 feet lies above this second glacier and the final approach is through a small 35-40 degree climb over a wet scree section. The distance from Parvati Base Camp to Pin Parvati Pass is approximately 5 km. Pin Parvati Pass presents unique contrasting views on either side, with spellbinding snow covered peaks and glaciers towards the Parvati valley, and colourful barren mountains on the Pin valley side.

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  • Pin Parvati Pass to Vickrungthach

WM Pin Parvati Map7
Pin Parvati Pass to Vickrungthach Trek Route

Continuing on the eight day, the initial descent from the Pin Parvati Pass is over the Pin Glacier. After descending the Pin Glacier, the trail passes thorough a moraine section and on to the Pin Base Camp site, which is a campsite for groups attempting the route from the Pin valley side. Crossing this campsite, the route proceeds across a water stream originating from the Pin Glacier, continuing steeply downwards along the true left bank of the stream till the campsite at Vickrungthach (4516 meters/ 14816 feet). The distance to the Vickrungthach campsite from the Pin Parvati Pass is around 7 km. Vickrungthach campsite is located at the confluence of the water stream originating from Pin Glacier with another stream coming from a nearby glacier. Both these streams act as the source of water at the campsite.

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  • Vickrungthach to Mudh

WM Pin Parvati Map10
Vickrungthach to Mudh Trek Route

The distance from Vickrungthach campsite to Mudh is around 30 km and this section can be covered on the ninth and tenth day [The Mountain Walker team covered this stretch in a single day during their September 2017 trek]. This route is along the true left bank of the Pin River till Mudh. The initial 16 km of the route till Tiya has very gradual ascents and descents. There are several water streams along the way which have to be crossed by walking through shin-deep to knee-deep glacial waters. At Tiya, the mountain trail ends and a wide unpaved road starts. The last 14 km stretch of this trek is a walk on this relatively flat unpaved road till Mudh.

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