An initiative set up for the development of climbing and mountaineering in the Indian Himalayas
The Piti-Dharr International Ice Climbing Festival is an initiative of the Himalayan Outdoor Development Society, a non-profit organization, to share a unique wilderness experience in the remote and cryptic valleys of Lahaul and Spiti.
The festival is a platform seeking to promote the sport of ice climbing in India while preserving the space that we call our playground and involving the local community who’ve opened their homes for us. It is aimed at mountaineers, rock climbers, seasoned high-altitude trekkers, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to experience and learn to navigate on steep, vertical icy terrain and is structured to give you grounding in the technical discipline of water ice climbing. Piti Dharr festival started back in 2018 in Spiti valley and continued in the same for two years. Later in the year 2020 due to the pandemic the Spiti region was closed for outside visitors but that was just an opportunity for us to explore a new length of ice climbing in the Himalayas. Along with local outdoorsmen, we explored new magnificent places in Lahaul and added Lahaul to the ice climbing map of India. Piti Dharr is run by a team of seasoned and experienced climbers, mountaineers and outdoor educators, instructors, and then a few other climbers and mountaineers, and outdoor enthusiasts on volunteers with some local support on the crew. The key organizers and instructors are Bharat Bhushan, Prerna Dangi, and Anil Belwal along with a crew of experienced ice climbers in the community.
When the winter is upon us and it's freezing -15 to - 25 degrees outside, we take the bold road outdoors and climb ice in the Himalayas.