Going for a stroll on 5200m Shittadar Peak.

By:  Sam
March 30, 2010

Two alarms were required to wake us in the morning, but when we finally did wake up the air temperature and wind were both surprisingly mild. We sat in our sleeping bags for almost an hour scarfing down peanut butter and nutella sandwiches before finally getting out the door and starting our hike at 2:15 am.

Despite trying to memorize what the route looked like during the previous afternoon, we encountered several route-finding challenges. The slope we intended to start day on turned out to be too steep and icy to skin, so we abandoned our original plan in favor of a more direct route up a chute. Once at the top of the chute, we were faced with a strange, rolling yet slowly climbing, slope in front of us that, as we hiked along, continually defied all estimations of scale, especially in the total darkness of a moonless Himalayan night.

Me, getting my skis on my backpack in preparation for bootpacking. (Photo: Allen Taylor)

Himalayan sunrises are pretty cool.

Me (to Amit): You know, this trip really surprised me, I would have thought the Himalayas would have been colder
Me (several hours later, pictured above), eating those words with an extra big spoon.

Booting up the steep, icy, slope. We left crampons and axes at home to save weight, which turned out to be a questionable move.

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Read about the author:   Sam
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Cross Country Move


  1. powhounddd
    wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 10:20 pm  

    Just amazing! I can’t say anything else. Loss of skin at the very very end is just karmic. And the mountains let you come and go home unscathed — very blessed trip.

  2. Adrian
    wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 10:21 pm  

    That trip sounds beyond incredible and the photos are very awesome too!

  3. Greg
    wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 10:28 pm  


    seriously incredible

  4. jb
    wrote on March 30th, 2010 at 10:51 pm  

    caw! caw! great write up. beautiful shots. those ones are spectacular! thanks for sharing

  5. Anonymous
    wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 8:41 am  

    totally badass…trip of a lifetime

    • Sam
      wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 8:46 am  

      I appreciate the complements, but “trip of a lifetime” always touches me off a little. This trip was amazingly affordable and with a little schedule magic, there isn’t a reason one couldn’t spend every winter in Manali. In short, i hope it isn’t a trip of a lifetime, only the trip of the season.

      Glad you liked the TR!

    • christian
      wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 10:59 am  

      that was me (my internet forum skills are freakin’ awesome). didn’t mean to hit a bad nerve sam, but if you out-do this trip next season…i will give you 100 high fives.

    • Sam
      wrote on May 11th, 2010 at 12:08 pm  

      challenge accepted.

  6. TheBEast
    wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 9:15 am  

    Outstanding….Himalayan views all capture my imagination.

  7. Ben
    wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 10:25 am  

    Amazing! The scale of those mountains is just so different…

  8. Gregg L
    wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 10:30 am  

    Pretty amazing trip! I’ve really enjoyed reading the TR’s and the pics are outstanding. Great job getting after it!

  9. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 3:02 pm  

    Really sweet but one question:

    “After four and a half hours of climbing by headlamp, just as the first rays of pre-dawn light were brightening the sky and the wind, which had been gaining force all morning, reached the height of it’s strength, we came to the base of slope too icy to skin and even a little sketchy to boot pack up. As we got our gear ready for the hike, I began to get intolerably cold, but Allen graciously lent me his mittens, saving my day.”

    What Mittens were these! (Wink Wink)

  10. Porter Haney
    wrote on March 31st, 2010 at 9:15 pm  

    Granite counter tops in the backcountry. That’s fantastic.

    Great write up Sam. Makes me want to go root around those adjacent valleys.

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