Pin Parvati Pass trek is one of the most famous treks in Himalayas. Categorized as challenging and difficult, this trek can be done from two sides. 1) Kasol to Kaza ( Parvati to Pin) and from 2) Kaza to Kasol ( Pin to Parvati). Some people find it easy to clamber from Pin to Parvati but I choose otherwise. Here are few reasons why you should opt for Kasol as your starting point:
1) Something to look forward for relatively longer period of time:
So you have been training yourself for quite a few months, did all that heavy shopping to survive the extreme weather, perhaps even bought a new camera, what for ? For the D-DAY, for the summit, for the feel of standing alright at the height of 5330m and that’s what you came for and trust me there’s no fun in achieving that in just 2 days and then treading your feet for 7 days down the hill just to reach the base( as will happen in case you choose to do Pin to Parvati).
Crossing the summit, that’s what excites you, fills you with energy and mainly that’s what you look forward to. While Trekking from Kasol side you will be crossing the summit on 7th day thereby those 6 days will be a crazy journey with having a mission in your mind and will SEEMS to be less tiresome
2) Gradual height gain thus get fairly acclimatize:
After crossing the tree line, the air becomes thin and if your body is not properly acclimatize then there is a fair chance of suffering from AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness).While trekking from Kasol, you gradually gain the height, nearly 200mts a day after crossing the tree line thus your body gets acclimatize thereby reducing the chance of AMS and increasing the chance of you making it to the summit 🙂
3) Rescuing is easier if happens to suffer from AMS at summit:
There is a fair chance that you will develop symptoms of AMS at the summit because the oxygen is really less. If you have started your trek from Kasol side, you need not to worry much about those headaches at summit because you will be descending down to the base camp II at the height of 4900m which is comparatively at less altitude than the site where you will be camping if going from Pin to Parvati and in worst conditions if needed to hospitalize then roads are more easily accessible if you are at Pin side of valley rather than at Parvati side. Now this all applies the same even if you trek from Kaza as well (except if you develop AMS at (which will be) camp II while doing Pin to Parvati, you are royally fucked!!) but then you will be coming back the same way you went up!! Just ensuring you complete your trek even in the worst case \m/
(It is my experience speaking here :P)
4) You get to cover monasteries of Kaza and Spiti :
Majority of people have visited Manali, Kasol already and if not, it can be done anytime due to easy accessibility of these places via roads but Kaza is not the place that you can go whenever you want. If you have started your trek from Kasol, you will be getting down at Kaza which means you can club the trekking and visiting key places of Kaza and Spiti. Now you can’t do that while starting from Kaza because of strict timeframe of starting the expedition and the pressure of long voyage ahead. But if Kaza is your last stop then definitely you will be much more relaxed, you would have made friends with your leaders and can convince to cover few places on the way back. Don’t miss the Key Monastery, Kunzum Pass at Spiti and Chacha Chachi Dhaba at Batal.
5) Test your endurance : Physically and mentally challenging
If you are not settling down on just Pin Parvati trek and plan to do many more difficult treks in future then you must start your trek from Kasol rather than from Kaza.
It is true that the ascending part is more from Kasol side rather than from Kaza side. You ascend 2490m on foot where as from Kaza side you ascend just 1330m rest all is descend. But then since when easy started sounding as fun? Test your endurance and boost your confidence by trekking from Kasol side. This will prepare you for many more difficult treks like Everest Base Camp and you will surely get to know about your capacity
6) Pin side is rocky and dusty thus increase the chances of ankle twist and injuries:
The terrain towards Pin side is rather rocky in comparison to cushy green of Parvati side thereby more chances of ankle twist and injuries. Surely you don’t want to have them in the starting days of your trek. The dusty terrains will make your cloths brown no matter what color they are of and then you have to spend your rest of the 7 days in those dirty, dusty cloths!! So it’s better to have your ankles twisted or the cloths dirty towards the end of your trek 🙂
If you love challenges, a real trekker by heart and “easy” is not your choice then you know which way to choose.
To all the trek enthusiasts!
PC: Arun Bose, Shalin Thakur, Shaiwal Thakur, Pooja Dhiman
Where to Book: There are numerous Travel companies out there that organize the Pin Parvati Pass trek and Bikatadventures is one of the few that spurs on the challenge of conducting this trek from Kasol to Kaza. I recommend trekking with them purely based on my personal Experience.Stay tuned for my upcoming article on “Why Bikatadventures” and you will be convinced too 🙂