Foreign and local climbers made different season choices in 1980:
- Foreign climbers preferred July-October for mountaineering expeditions.
- Indians preferred May-June and September-October.
- Indian climbers began and ended their expeditions to the Sikkim Himalaya in April, May, and October.
- Foreigners did not climb in Sikkim.
Preferred months to start expeditions
Foreign mountaineers’ excitement mounted as the third quarter approached. Most of the foreign expeditions (83.61%) settled at various base camps in the Indian Himalayas. The busiest season for the base camps was August when the highest number of foreign expeditions (24) experienced camp life. September (14) was the second most busy season, followed by July (13).
May (4), April (3), June (2), and October (1) received the remaining foreign expeditions.
Indians preferred May (11), June (5), and September (19). These three months recorded beginning of about 76% expeditions. The remaining 24% Indian expeditions were scattered over five months: August (4), October (3), April (2), July (1), and November (1).
The Himalaya-driven adrenaline rush among both local and foreign climbers plummeted in November. The adrenaline of foreign climbers completely froze. Only one group of Indian mountaineers dared to start a climb.
State wise starting of expeditions
Just nine (9) expeditions each were started in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in September.
In eight months (April-November), Jammu and Kashmir registered start of only one Indian expedition and twenty-four (24) foreign expeditions. The start of 60% expeditions to the State was recorded in August.
Uttarakhand welcomed at least one foreign expedition per month from April to October.
Indian climbers began their expeditions to Sikkim Himalaya in April, May, and October. Foreign mountaineers did not explore the State even once during April-November 1980.
About 76.66% (82) expeditions began during South West Monsoon season stretching from June-September.
Winding climbing expeditions up
More than three fourth (78.68%) of foreign expeditions were ended during August-October. Indians also wound more than three fourth (78.26%) expeditions up in three months: September (19), June (11), and October (6).
State wise preferences to end expeditions
Himachal Pradesh recorded closure of the highest number of Indian expeditions (11) in September and the highest number of foreign expeditions (5) in August.
In Jammu and Kashmir, foreign mountaineers wound expeditions up in August (16), September (4), and July (3).
In Uttarakhand, completion of the expeditions was stretched over seven months: April-October. Equal number of expeditions packed up their mountaineering gear and went home in September and October: nine in each month.
Indians ended their Uttarakhand expeditions in May-June and September-October.
Indian climbers selected April, May, and October to close the expeditions in Sikkim.
Foreign mountaineers’ preferred climbing season
Foreign mountaineers started and wound maximum number of expeditions (24 | 39.34%) up in August. September was the second most preferred month to start and close expeditions (14, 13 | 22.95%, 21.31%).
July was the third most popular month to start (13 | 21.31%) and the fourth preferred month to wind expeditions (6 | 9.83%) up.
Although October welcomed the lowest number of expeditions (1), it said good bye to about 18% (11) expeditions.
In fine, foreign climbers preferred July-October for attempting peaks in the Indian Himalayas.
Months popular among Indian climbers
The data analysis showed interesting patterns in climbing season choices of Indians:
- September witnessed start and end of equal number of expeditions (19 | 41.30%).
- May welcomed eleven expeditions (23.91%) and said good bye to five expeditions (10.86%).
- Opposite of May happened in the next month. Five expeditions (10.86%) were started in June and eleven expeditions (23.91%) were wound up.
- The number of the expeditions (6 | 13.04%) wound up in October was twice the number of the expeditions (3 | 6.52%) started.
It can thus be concluded that Indians preferred May-June and September-October. They avoided peak rainy months: July and August.