A mountaineering expedition must be a very well planned and prepared for. It is rather more hazardous and involves more technicalities than low altitude treks. In the Himalayas, of the highest peaks, Nanda Devi and Kanchanjunga hold out challenges for mountaineers from the farthest reaches of the earth . The Garhwal Himalayas are among the finest for mountaineering expeditions, as also are the Zanskar range in J& K . In the Gangotri region a large number of peaks, Sudarshan , Kedar Dome and Chandra - Bhaga , to name but a few, provide ample opportunity for various mountaineering expedition .
As with other adventure sports calling for skill and proficiency, mountaineering routes are graded according to accessibility and degree of difficulty. Those who venture out on such expeditions must undergo prior medical examination. The routes are divided into Moderate and Advanced (in the region of 5,200 mtrs).
This calls for a basic knowledge of mountaineering techniques. Various reputed institute such as the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi, the HMI in Darjeeling and the Western Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering in Manali, impart the knowledge required for this grade.
This grade of routes stipulates knowledge of technique, finely handed skills and ace fitness condition. These may be acquired through the adventure courses that mountaineering institutes offer or through practical expedition experience. This grade is further subdivided up to the most difficult. The best season for mountaineering expeditions is April to November. However, many undertake winter adventure too, despite the bitter cold.
Detailed logistical planning and expert handling are imperative to a successful mountaineering trip. The preparation can be easier the further heads it is divided under, like itinerary, duration, route charting, equipment hire, peak booking, permits, communication system, transportation, ration and food supplies, porters /mules, guides, kitchen staff etc.
Mountaineering as a sport has a history as old as the history of the evolution of human race itself. Mountaineering started when the need was felt for people who could climb difficult heights and terrains to meet people across the border, to trade, or to conquer new territories. In the course of time, man developed new modes of transportation and communication and venturing out on these difficult routes were not needed. Nevertheless, what remained was his nature to take risks and getting pleasure in conquering something totally unknown and unexplored. This inner urge to take up challenges has led man to do things that are quite daring.
Persons with high/low blood pressure and are overweight are advised not to participate in high-altitude games and sports.
Mountaineering Destinations in India
Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast India, and Sikkim are the most important mountaineering destinations in India. The summits that are quite popular with the mountaineers are Num and Kun and the Zanskar range in Jammu and Kashmir. In Kishtawar, there are numerous peaks with altitudes up to 6,500 m that require technical climbing skills. In Himachal Pradesh, the areas of Lahaul and Spiti as well as the Kullu valley have several challenging peaks. The peaks in India have been classified as 'open', 'virgin', 'border', 'trekking', and 'other peaks'. Each category offers a number of choices.