Menthosa Peak – Expedition Blog 1
over the next few weeks we will take you along on an adventurous paragliding expedition into the heart of the Indian Himalaya. It combines bivouac flying with high altitude mountaineering and yet some unknown. But first let us introduce ourselves.
Our team consists of two people, Nicolas Manthos and myself, Markus Anders. Nicolas’s profession is paragliding instructor. Besides that he climbs 4000m peaks in the alps since he is 10 years old and occasionally jumps of a cliff in his wingsuit. I am a competition pilot participating mostly in hike & fly races. This year I and my team participated in the Red Bull X-Alps 2019. Beside that I’m working for skywalk Paragliders.
We started paragliding together and both share the passion for being in the mountains and going out for adventurous flights in new areas all around the world. We climbed several mountains together and shared a lot of time in the air. Our biggest project so far was a 3 weeks bivouac trip through the southern alps of New Zealand just hiking and flying – carrying all our gear and food by ourselves.
Last year I had the opportunity to visit the Indian Himalaya for paragliding, especially bivouac flying. The area offers super nice conditions after the end of rain season in October. I was super fascinated by all the high mountains. So while flying there it came to my mind to climb one of these big peaks. Nico was in on the adventure right away.
The problem is that usually one has to organize a big expedition which goes along with a lot of effort, carrying a lot of gear and spending a lot of time and money on one mountain. That is not the kind of mountaineering we are interested in. Instead of using vehicles and porters to get to the mountain we want to use our paragliders as they nowadays are realy light and well performing to cover big distances in the air. Climbing gear, bivouac gear, food and flight equipment is all we need.
Our goal is to climb the 6443m high Menthosa peak in Lahaul-Spiti province in Himachal Pradesh. After getting acclimatized we start in the famous paragliding site Bir Billing and fly 150km towards the north to our planned destination. This will take us approximately 2 days. We will topland between 5000 to 6000 meters where we will set up our basecamp. From there it will take us just a short time to climb the mountain and get back to our camp. After succeeding with our attempt, we will fly back to Bir.
Next week we’ll talk about the gear we are taking with us and how we fit everything in our harnesses.