First stop will be the Indian Mountaineering Foundation Building in Delhi. Here we will meet our Liaison Officer and go through a briefing process where we are told what we can and can’t do. All being well we will be told that we can climb the mountain we have a permit for!
The IMF building in Delhi – the nerve centre of Indian Mountaineering.
That’s not quite such a silly statement as it sounds. The area we are heading for is quite sensitive and if troubles flare up then it is quite possible that officials will withdraw our special permits. In 1993 such problems caused a whole week of delay in Delhi. The other thing we will be reminded of is that satellite phones are prohibited on mountaineering trips. In the past Victor has seen the inside of Indian police cells for this so there will be no satellite phones on this trip (I like that actually) and you will be spared a stream of updates on how things are going.
Once we are suitably briefed the plan is for the three of us to take the night bus to the holiday town of Manali, meet our cook and kitchen boy, cross the Rhotang La pass, head down the Chenab gorge and then walk in for a couple of days to a base camp. All of this is subject to road and weather conditions. With luck the monsoon will be finishing but landslides causing huge delays are not at all uncommon.
Typical Himalayan landslide. Hope we aren’t held up by too many.
All being well we will be back in Manali on 10th October so there will a healthy silence from us until then at the earliest.
Keep your fingers crossed for us!