Stories about the expedition, the training and preparation and related mountain adventures...

May 14, 2017

The highest summit of the expedition (5475 m) – days 8-9

Day 8 – Moving camp and remote powder

A part of me was relieved when we woke up at 4 AM under a moderate snowfall, on the short term I earned a couple of hours of extra sleep, on the long term we might have had to change our plan of moving the camp. Outi shared my feelings and we fell asleep immediately leaving all the worries for later. Marcello can’t sleep more than 8 hours per night therefore he had to kill the time reading and taking pictures. At 7 AM it was still snowing, we had breakfast and with a perfect timing the sun came out of the clouds when we were done. We were determined to get the best out of this window of good weather, at this point of the expedition we did not have any idea of general meteorological situation, the most reliable forecast available was looking at the sky and see in which direction the clouds were moving. (more…)

May 8, 2017

Moving camp, heavy backpacks and back above 5000 – days 6-7

Day 6: Moving camp

The first two ski-days of the expedition have been a complete success, we found perfect snow condition for ascending and descending and we summited a 5000er realizing a likely first ascent (First turns above 5000m; days 4-5). Even more, we found perfect weather that allowed us to chill and relax in the sun during the afternoons while trying to spot (unsuccessfully) the snow leopards that inhabit the valley. We were not the only moving form of life at the camp, unmistakable white-capped water redstarts (Chaimarrornis leucocephalus), larks and numerous crows were very active, constantly flying around, singing and calling. Also a majestic Lammergaier (Gypaetus barbatos) and a juvenile golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) glided down the valley in two different afternoons not giving a bit of their attention to the two orange tents and the three bipeds. (more…)

May 4, 2017

First turns above 5000m – days 4-5

Day 4 – The first 5000er

We woke up excited at 4 am as we had identified the objective on the map the day before. The plan was to skin in the south direction from basecamp to pass the first slope. There the valley would open and we would have two options: A peak that was marked 5071 m on the map and would be on our left or, further to the end of the valley, a peak marked as 5400 m. Basecamp was at 3550 m so it would be a long day regardless of the objective. 


April 30, 2017

The start of the expedition – days 1-3

Logistics and preparation

The orignal plan for the week before the expedition was abruptly halted by the police (The ski criminals), and therefore we spent five days of gorgeous weather walking up and down Manali and perfecting the organization of the Parvati expedition. Unfortunately Juan was called back to Switzerland by urgent business matters. He is the CEO of a small and growing startup so such things can happen without too much notice. We were left in three, Fabrizio, Outi and myself.

For the fourteen days planned camping we gathered the following supplies in no particular order


April 29, 2017

The ski criminals

On April 10th, we were on our first of 4 planned camping days in the the Rohtang pass to ski the local peaks as adviced in the book by Spooner “Ski-touring in the Kullu valley”. We wanted to camp at high altitude to get the right acclimatization for the Parvati expedition. After a very tiring day in the mountains we finally got back to the camp and we were looking forward to the well-deserved hot dinner. We saw a group of people walking towards the camp in the snow and we were rather surprised. At first we thought they were tourists but that was strange as we were over 5 h walk from the police road block in Gulaba that does not allow cars to pass over the Rohtang pass as the army was still clearing the road from the snow. We then realized they were in uniform and we got a bit worried. (more…)