A Note to Readers: Don’t Be a Militant. Be a Mountaineer.

Because both professions have a common characteristic quality: Hard Risky Action. However, the former leads to Guilt, Shame, and Jail. The latter leads to Contentment, (some) Fame, and Home.  And I am sure nobody likes the three red adjectives. Almost everyone dreams about the three green adjectives.

Unemployment is usually cited as the principal cause of militancy, terrorism, and other misanthropic activities. On this front, mountaineering scores one more point than the modern anti-social activities. This adventure now-a-days offers relatively more opportunities for earning livelihood.

The modern world has two types of mountaineers:

  1. A mountaineer who organizes mountaineering expeditions  for earning livelihood (Supply Side) and
  2. A mountaineer who hires services of the first group of mountaineers for scaling peaks (Demand Side).

The supply side of the mountaineering market also includes Himalayan states offering peaks.

This supply and demand equation of mountaineering has been discussed in November-December issue of our adventure travel blog magazine.

I have analyzed mountaineering data from Indian Mountaineer, an annual publication of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, for five years starting from 2010. The analysis has revealed a number of interesting facts about both sides of the market. These facts will facilitate both business and personal decisions in the adventure travel segment.

I see mountaineering as a constructive alternative to the destructive activities. But I neither refer to nor suggest that you pick your rucksack and rush to Everest. Look beyond Everest. There are many more interesting mountains that will help you in earning three green pleasures and may be much more.

Data Source

  1. Indian Mountaineer, an annual publication of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF). Annual data is collected for all five years except that for 2011. The 2011 Indian expedition data was available for up to October 15.
  2. Websites of 4 Indian mountaineering institutes: ABVIMAS, HMI, JIM & WS, and NIM
  3. Census 2011


How to Read Graphs and Infographics Published in the Magazine

I have used a standard color scheme in all illustrations. So there are no graph-specific legends.

Color Scheme for 4 Himalayan States, the Suppliers


At some places I have used different color schemes. In such case, legends have been included in the illustration for your ready reference.


Abbreviations Used and Meaning of Some Phrases

JK        Jammu and Kashmir

HP       Himachal Pradesh

UK      Uttarakhand

SK       Sikkim

Mixed Expeditions     Multi-peak expeditions that recorded success on one peak (s) failure on other peak (s)


Peak Altitude Categories

All 213 unique peaks attempted were divided into the following six (6) categories based on altitude:

  1. 5000-5499 meter
  2. 5500-5999 meter
  3. 6000-6499 meter
  4. 6500-6999 meter
  5. 7000-7499 meter
  6. 7500-7999 meter


49 Key Findings of 2010-14 Analysis


Indian mountaineering analysis for 2010-14


  1. 491 Indian and foreign expeditions attempted 213 peaks in the Indian Himalayas.
  2. On average, every year 42.6 peaks were attempted.
  3. Small demand for mountaineering holidays was concentrated in a few Indian states and European countries.
  4. Africa, China, and New Zealand did not participate in mountaineering.
  5. Only 2 Indian union territories and 13 states had a share in the demand side.
  6. Average annual expedition rate = 98.2
  7. Limited training facility
  8. Natural and manmade disasters affected demand side.
  9. Indian expeditions accounted for >60% of total 491 expeditions.
  10.  < 45% Indian states organized mountaineering holidays.
  11. About 60% expeditions were 1-peak expeditions.
  12. Mountaineers spent at least 37 years (13,817 days) in the Indian Himalayas.
  13. Expedition duration varied from 4 to 67 days.
  14. 5 months, Jul-Oct, recorded maximum activity.
  15. 50.31% expeditions were successful.
  16. 46 Joint Mountaineering Expeditions to Indian Himalayas during 2010-14

Top Indian Mountaineer States

  1. 4 most adventurous states of India: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, and Uttarakhand
  2. Mountaineers from West Bengal dominated the demand side of the equation.
  3. Foreign climbers did not step in Sikkim even once. Indian mountaineers too did not give much attention to peaks in Sikkim.
  4. Favorite destination of mountaineers from West Bengal was Himachal Pradesh.
  5. Himachal Pradesh was favorite destination of Maharashtrian climbers.
  6. Favorite destination of Delhi climbers: Uttarakhand
  7. Climbers from Uttarakhand formed the 4th largest market for mountaineering tours.
  8. Mountaineering does not depend on socio-economic factors.

Top Climber Countries

  1. Mountaineers from United Kingdom spent more than two years in the Indian Himalayas during the study period.
  2. Spanish mountaineers climbed Stok Kangri 14 times.
  3. Uttarakhand was the favorite destination of Germany mountaineers.
  4. Himachal Pradesh was first choice of Japanese climbers.
  5. French completed 10 expeditions in 308 days.
  6. The United Kingdom tops in six of total nine parameter categories.
  7. India with the lowest GNI ($5,150) among these countries organized the highest number of expeditions (303).

Top Peaks

  1. Top 25 Himalayan peaks
  2. 5 popular peaks in Jammu Kashmir
  3. 10 tops peaks in Himachal Pradesh
  4. 10 top peaks in Uttarakhand
  5. The success rate of top 25 Himalayan peaks of 2010-14 was much less than 60%.
  6. Kun and Stok Kangri were the most favorite peaks of foreign climbers.
  7. Kun was the most favorite peak.
  8. Deo Tibba and Unnamed-6113 (Yunam) were the favorite peaks of the Indian climbers.
  9. Deo Tibba, the meeting place of gods, was the second most popular Himalayan peak during 2010-14.
  10. Asian, Australian, and European mountaineers attempted Nun twenty-two times during the study period.
  11. Indians did not attempt Stok Kangri.
  12. Foreigners did not attempt Yunam.
  13. Satopanth peak shared 5th spot with Yunam during 2010-14.
  14. Foreign expeditions to Shivling (9) were more than double than the Indian expeditions (4).
  15. Four countries took 451 days to complete twelve (12) expeditions to Kamet.

Top Peak Providing States

  1. Himachal Pradesh ruled the domestic segment of supply side of the mini Indian mountaineering market, whereas Jammu and Kashmir ruled the foreign segment.
  2. Top 4 peak providing states
  3. Jammu and Kashmir successfully drew maximum attention of foreign mountaineers during 2010-14
  4. Himachal Pradesh accounted for the largest share of the domestic mountaineering business.


Indian Basic Minimum Standards for Mountaineering

  1. 3 Basic Minimum Standards for commercial mountaineering in India
  2. Indian Basic Minimum Standards for climbing tours
  3. 22 SOPs and operating instructions for commercial climbing expeditions


How to Read the Magazine

Each magazine article is linked with previous and next article. First few words of the article are linked to previous article and the last few words to the next article. Each article have a link to contents at the top.

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