Mountaineers from foreign countries spent 1,372 days in the Indian Himalayas in 2014. During this period forty-five (45) attempts were made on thirty-three (33) peaks. Therefore, on an average, each peak attempt required 41.58 days.
Foreign mountaineers’ stay in the Indian Himalaya aggregated to 45.11 months or 3.76 years during 2014.
Based on peak booking period, the climbing expedition duration varied from 15 to 59 days. We categorized the duration data in three groups: 15-29, 30-44, and 45-59 days. Maximum number of expeditions (27 | 66%) took 30-44 days for the completion. Twelve expeditions’ duration ranged from 15-29 days. Only two expeditions took 45-59 days. Of 41 expeditions, 13 were in progress at the time of data compilation.
A mountaineering holiday at least needs fifteen (54) days.
In most of the cases, this time consuming hard adventure requires one and a half month.
The data did not show any direct relationship between the peak altitude and expedition duration.
The 30-44 days expeditions attempted 14 peaks ranging from 6,000-6,999 meters. The altitude of the two peaks was between 5,000 and 5,999 meters.
Thirteen expeditions attempted peaks taller than 7,000 meters. Six of these expeditions took 15-29 days, whereas another six completed expeditions in 30-44 days. Only one expedition took 45-59 days.
Austrian, French, German, and two joint expeditions made five attempts to Kun East Ridge during 2014. However, each of these expeditions took different amount of time. For example, Austrian mountaineers took the highest time (39 days), followed by Germans (30 days), French (28 days), India-Netherlands expedition (26 days), and Austria-German-Switzerland expedition (20 days). Austrian and Austrian-German-Switzerland joint expeditions were successful.
Two British expeditions attempted Mt Satopanth. One expedition took just 15 days, whereas other took more than double (32 days).
Shivling received four expeditions that took 143 days. However, five expeditions to Kun East Ridge spent 142 days. There is thus no direct relationship between the number of expeditions and total time per expedition.
Preferred Climbing Season
September recorded start of maximum number of expeditions (16), followed by July (11), and August (7). October was the most preferred month to wind up the expeditions (17 | 41.46%). August (8 | 19.51%) and September (7 | 17.07%) were the second and the third most popular months to end expeditions.
The most preferred mountaineering season thus spread from July to October.
Not even single expedition started during November. However, two expeditions were stretched to November.
The peak climbing season for single-country expeditions from 14 different countries started in July (10) and September (14) with the beginning of maximum number of expeditions. Ten (10 | 71%) countries began the expeditions in September: France, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
October (15) and August (7) recorded end of the highest number of single-country expeditions. Nine (9 | 64%) countries ended expeditions in October: France, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States of America. However, climbing began in April and stretched up to October.
In Jammu and Kashmir, 58% expeditions were started in July, whereas 67% expeditions started in September in Uttarakhand. During seven months starting from April except July, at least one expedition began in every month in Uttarakhand.
July-August was peak climbing season in Jammu and Kashmir. The peak season stretched over three months (last week of August-October) in Uttarakhand. In Himachal Pradesh, expeditions were scattered over five months (June-October).