The Indian Himalayas received 135 expeditions in 2015 as compared to 98 in the previous year. The range recorded this double digit (37.76%) increase in mountaineering traffic for the first time in the last six years (2010-15). The period in fact witnessed fall of more than 8% in 2013.
The year 2015 accounted for the highest share (21.56%) of total expeditions (626) in the period.
Share of Different Types of Mountaineering Traffic
The traffic consisted of three different types of expeditions: Foreign, Indian, and Indo-Foreign in 2015.
The Indian expeditions contributed 62.96% (85) to the total traffic. The foreign expeditions accounted for the one third traffic (33.33% | 45). The share of Indo-foreign expeditions was too small (3.70% | 5).
Share of Indian Himalayan Peak Providing States in Total Mountaineering Traffic
Himachal Pradesh (HP) recorded the highest number of expeditions (34.07% | 46) in 2015. Its neighboring states competed for the second place. The eastern neighbor Uttarakhand accounted for 31.85% (43) of the total expeditions, whereas the western neighbor Jammu and Kashmir (JK) for 31.11% (42) expeditions. The distant cousin of these three Himalayan states Sikkim recorded just three expeditions (2.22%). For the remaining 0.74%, state was not mentioned in the data source, Indian Mountaineer Number 51 published by Indian Mountaineering Foundation in 2015.
The 5-year (2010-14) data analysis, which was theme of our Nov-Dec 2015 adventure travel blog zine, showed that Himachal Pradesh was the top mountaineering destination based on number of expeditions. Uttarakhand and JK scored second and third place respectively.
This hierarchy continued into 2015. However, difference between expeditions recorded by Uttarakhand and JK was just one (74 basis points. 1% is equal to 100 basis points).
Sikkim was the biggest looser. The number of expeditions to Sikkim plummeted by 40% from five (5) in 2010-14 to three (3) in 2015. Like 2010-14, Sikkim did not record foreign expeditions in 2015 too. The share of the state in total Indian expeditions in 2015 was just 4%.
Foreign expeditions dominated the traffic to Jammu and Kashmir Himalayas. These expeditions were 1.7 times more than the Indian expeditions (14). JK with 53% of foreign expeditions in 2015 continued to be the favorite mountaineering spot of foreigners like in 2010-14. Most of the Indo-foreign expeditions (80%) attempted peaks in the state.
Himachal Pradesh received 10.5 times more Indian expeditions than foreign expeditions in 2015. The share of the former was 91% (42) and that of the latter was just 9% (4). The state continued to win hearts of Indian mountaineers like in the previous half decade. HP accounted for 49% of total Indian expeditions to four Indian Himalayan states in 2015. However, its share in total foreign expeditions was just 9%.
Uttarakhand hosted 1.4 times more Indian expeditions than foreign expeditions in 2015. However, the state accounted for 38% of total foreign expeditions to the four states and for 29% of the total Indian expeditions. The state also received 20% of Indo-foreign expeditions. Overall state-specific traffic consisted of all three types of expeditions. The Indian expeditions however dominated the traffic.