The Mesmerizing Pin Parvati trek exposes to the drastic change in the landscape from the pristine picture perfect lush green Parvati Valley in Kullu to the rugged, barren and arid Pin Valley in the rainshadow Spiti. It is like two different worlds on either side of the 5400 meters high pass,not only geographically but also culturally. It is the shortest distance between the Kullu and Spiti Valley, first crossed by Sir Loius Dane in August 1884…The Trans-Himalaya trek over the Pin Parvati Pass is still quite rarely visited and is considered as one of the difficult treks of the Himalaya. Truly Overwhelming..
Barsheni to Kheerganga,10 Kms 4-5 Hours (2850 m) – Drive from Kullu to Barsheni .The journey will take around 3 4 hours so it’s better to start early. The trek starts from here at Barsheni till KheerGanga through the beautiful forests and meadows, with the Parvati river flowing on your right till Rudranath. From here the route takes a right turn through pine forests till the campsite at KheerGanga
Kheer Ganga to Tunda Bhuj, 12 Kms 5-6 Hours (3200 m) – Today, its a gradual ascent through the pines. The tree line starts receding slowly from here and the trail crosses pastures, slowly opening up to a wide valley.
Tunda Bhuj to Thakur Kuan, 12 Kms 5-6 Hours (3400 m) – The trail starts with magnificent open valleys and flowery meadows. Today’s walk involves crossing the river on a Pulley bridge and again crossing the river over an almost broken Shepherd Bridge. The treeline is almost gone today, keeping behind a series of boulder strewn fields and meadows along the trail. From here one gets the first glimpse of the snow capped.
Thakur Kuan to Odi Thach, 9 Kms 3-4 Hours (3700m) – The walk today is a little tricky. Though the distance is less, but there are a few river crossings which might take some time. First comes the Bhim Pul. This requires some bouldering over the rocks to cross the Rock Bridge. The next is the Pandu Pul, which is bigger boulder than the Bhim Pul but easier to cross. Legend says that the Padavas had put the rocks to make bridges to cross the river, hence the names. The rest of the walk is through nice meadows with few ups and downs. The Odi Thach gives a wide view of the valley that is left behind where the sky seems to meet the land.
Odi Thach to Mantalai, 11 Kms 3-4 Hours (4070m) – The trail follows the high altitude marshlands along the almost narrow Parvati River. The beautiful Mantalai Range with high peaks ranging above 5000 meters opens up along the trail today. Some nearby large rocks and glaciers are also visible. The walk ends beside Mantalai Lake which is a small glacial lake formed by the terminal moraines. This is one of the most beautiful camp site in the entire route.
Mantalai to Base Camp, 13 Kms 7-8 Hours (4550m) – Today’s walk is a slightly difficult and a tiring one. The trail moves through boulders and glaciers. The uneven trail is quite a steep climb over rocky ice patches. But once you climb higher,the eagles’s nest view of the entire Parvati Valley that it provides, is fantastic and worth all the effort. The campsite is amidst the rocks and glaciers with a wide view the snowcapped Pyramid Peak and White Snow Peak.
Base camp to Base Camp (4520m) via Pin Parvati Pass (5400 m) – The earlier you start the better it is. The trail crosses a nala and continues a steep climb uphill.The amount of snow varies on the weather condition and the season. Depending on the snow condition, it might be required to be roped up as an extra precautionary measure.After almost 3 hours of walk over boulder strewn snow fields, the most desired Pin Parvati Pass is reached finally.The vast open snow fields and the huge mountains of Spiti valley are now wide open with all its grandeur.
The descent on the other side is fairly gradual, but still care need to be take to avoid crevasses.The continues downward till the trail reaches the confluence of 3 valleys which is the base camp in the Pin Valley.
Pin Base Camp to Wickchurung Thach , 10 kms 4-5 hours – The day starts with a glacial river crossing. The trail is not really defined from here, so you just need to stay on the true left of the valley. The trail moves through meadows and high glaciers till the little Buddhist township. Cross the Rampur Pass on the left and reach the Wickchurung Thach.
Wickchurung Thach to Mudh , 10 Kms 4-5 Hours – The trail is better defined from here. This is the Pin National Park where rugged barren Spiti gives an amazing view of the Pin River carving through the valleys.From here the small beautiful village of Mudh can be seen. A jeep will be waiting here for you to take you to Kaza.Nice warm bed and a hot shower is just a few hours away.
Pin Valley is best known for the Siberian ibex and the very rare Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia). The Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica) forms the main prey base for the snow leopard.
The National Park also harbors several other interesting animals. The Tibetan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco), the Tibetan Gazelle (Procapra picticaudata), Bharal or Himalayan Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur), the Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) are some of the species that may be encountered here. The snowshow hare (Lepus americanus), mouse-hare or Royle’s Pika (Ochotona roylei) and the Himalayan marmots (Marmota himalayanus) are far more common. Weasels and lizards also populate the area and the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) moves about stealthily. Several animals migrate to and from their higher Himalayan homes every year. They come down in the winter and migrate to higher altitudes in the summer. Rare birds like the Himalayan Snowcock, Chukar, Snow Partridge, Yellowbilled and Redbilled Choughs, Kestrels and the Tibet Snow Finch flourish in the area. Hill and Snow Pigeons, as well as the Blue Rock Pigeon are found in the area. Water birds and butterflies of astonishing variety are also found here. The Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle and Ravens scour the skies. The wild snow cock is seen cruising along forest paths fearlessly. The common House Sparrow, surprisingly, keeps these exotic birds company, even at these heights.