Spiti: Exploratory Ice-climbing Trip @ January 2014
I had been on a 2 week ice-climbing trip to Spiti in January. It was a team of three (me and two good friends, who turned out to be wonderful mates as the days progressed; that to me, a recreational/amateur climber, was far more important than climbing prowess). The pampered, wimp of an alpinist that I am, I struggled with the Himalayan hardships (open loo at -15C being the hardest of them, seriously!). I caught a flu during return journey, and also had a ton of work and family commitments to catch up, somehow never got the time or motivation to write a proper report. I will come back and update this report. The main goal was exploration, with any actual possible climbing as a bonus. I had taken it as a training trip, so didn't even bother carrying a camera, in hindsight I am kicking myself for that because my buddies don't have any pics of themselves from a 2 week trip! And I have one!: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153325042796515&l=b1dba285a7
I intentionally posted this on "Rock-climbing" forum. This is because Indian Mountaineers does not have a forum for Ice-climbing! They have one for Mountaineering, which they dedicate to "Discussions on the most passionate sport of reaching the top!". To my mind ice-climbing is diametrically opposite to that ethos; reaching the top is perhaps the least important aspect of it all (at least for me); what matters is how you climbed, the form and aesthetics and ethics. Rather, it has a lot more in common with rock-climbing, which IM describes as: "Strength, endurance, agility & balance - The demanding sport of Rock Climbing!"
With this useless background, in the coming weeks/months, I will come back and try to add some practical info for those who may want to go ice-climbing or winter hiking there.
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With climbing being one of the fastest growing recreational sports in India, millions of amateur trekking and climbing enthusiasts are exploring the adrenaline rush of this mentally and physically stimulating sport. Thousand's of certified Mountaineers are graduating from the 4 premium National Mountaineering Institutes in India annually and are exploring the largest and youngest mountain range in the world, standing sentinel across the North of our country.