13 June, 2021 | Reccy Guide
Known in the climbing community as one of the most rewarding and cost-effective climbs in the Indian Himilayas, the expedition to the top of Deo Tibba is a fantastic choice for experienced climbers looking for a new challenge. At just over 6,000 meters, this famous peak is the second-highest in the Pir Panjal mountain range and offers a rigorous and technical ascent to its unusual summit.
From start to finish, the trek spans around 60km, with most climbers aiming to complete the trail over 14 days. With a rating of PD and plenty of opportunities to use ropes, crampons, and ice axes, this trek is not suitable for beginners. In fact, the peak’s unique terrain and technical requirements have made it a popular climb on numerous mountaineering courses with the ABVIMAS institute, with many climbers using the Deo Tibba trek to level up their skillset.
Deo Tibba is not only an epic test of skill and endurance, it also transports climbers to the spiritual heart of the Manali region. According to local mythology, the snow-covered dome at the summit of Deo Tibba is the official assembly site of the Hindu gods. This celestial reputation is how the mountain earned the name Deo Tibba, which roughly translates as “Gods’ Hill”. And with snow-capped ridges, clear sapphire lakes, and rolling pine forests all around, it's easy to see how this magnificent peak earned such a legendary status.
Most climbers begin the Deo Tibba trek from the high-altitude resort town of Manali. Perched on the banks of the Beas River, the town is a popular vacation spot for locals, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. There are many attractions near Manali, such as the Rohtang Pass, which is located between the Ladakh Valley and the Spiti Valley. The town is also an excellent spot for adventure sports, including white water rafting, snow trekking, and skiing.
On the first day, most climbers combine a short drive with an acclimatizing 5km hike up through the colorful village of Jagatsukh to an overnight campsite at Chika. The trail offers sweeping views of the surrounding meadows and greenery, and a long uphill section through a heavily vegetated forest. As you approach the camp you will pass through the adventure resort of Sethan, and be able to catch glimpses of skiers and snowboarders flying down the powdered slopes.
On day two of the trek, climbers will make their way from Chhikka to Seri via a steady, uphill trail along the banks of the glittering Jagatsukh Nala river. The route also traverses large areas of coniferous forest, where climbers will catch sight of colorful birds including the blue-gray gnatcatcher, wood-pewee, and the great crested flycatcher. In the final stretch of the hike up to Seri, the trail passes under a series of gigantic boulders, giving hikers a sneak peek of the road ahead.
Around 8km of gentle and steep inclines separate Seri from the base camp of Deo Tibba, with major ascents marking the approach to Tainta and Chota Chandratal. The view from the base camp is well worth the effort, with uninterrupted vistas of the Deo Tibba peak. Most tour companies recommend that hikers take at least two days to acclimatize here before beginning their final ascent. The area has a variety of mini trails to explore, and it is a great place to rest and regroup before the most challenging part of the trek.
Once ready, hikers will head to camp 1, climbing around 500 meters. The first hour involves a relatively gradual rise, switching to a steep climb for the remainder of the journey. From here on out the terrain will be covered with deep snow, and you will need proper winter clothing and crampons. From camp 1, you will be able to attempt to summit the peak.
Most people opt to set out at around 3 am to give them plenty of time. The climb begins by navigating a gulley using fixed ropes, followed by a steep and technical climb of around 300 meters. You will begin to see the Indrasen peak as you make your way higher, with the trail getting progressively steeper as you approach the summit. The most striking thing about the Deo Tibba summit is that the final 100 meters of the climb are across the flat roof of the mountain snow-dome. The surrounding peaks and lakes provide breathtaking views from this exposed area.
The most popular descent follows the same trail taken on the way up. That means that hikers will have to navigate sharp declines and will likely need to use crampons.
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