Mountaineers from Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh have discovered a new trekking route linking Darma and Vyas valleys through the 5,435-metre high Sin La Pass in the district.
They said that if commissioned, it would give a boost to adventure tourism in the region and create employment opportunities for the locals, preventing migration from border villages.
The picturesque 56-km route begins from Bidang in the Darma valley and goes up to Gunji in the Vyas valley through Sin La Pass with the Jolingkong lake on the way, the organiser of the expedition, Yogesh Garbiyal, who had scaled the Mount Everest in 2015, said.
If commissioned by the government, it would be longest after the 55-km Munsiyari-Milam route, he said.
“We want to use this snowy mountain to attract adventure tourists from across the country and abroad and create employment opportunities for the local youth,” said Garbiyal, adding that noted mountaineer Sheetal, who had climbed the Mt Everest this May, was part of the expedition, ‘Climbing Across Summits’.
Two teams were formed to undertake the expedition. The team led by Sheetal, which set out to Gunji through the route on August 11 from Dharchula reached Sin La Pass on August 13 and Gunji on August 15, Garbiyal said.
The other team, led by mountaineer Chandra Mohan Pandey, began trekking from the Vyas valley on August 17 and reached the Darma valley on August 21.
On the successful completion of the expedition, Sheetal said that its aim was to explore the Darma-Vyas trekking circuit. Sin La Pass, through which the route goes, divides the Darma and Vyas valleys in Dharchula subdivision.
“After exploring the route successfully for the first time, we have now decided to organise trekking camps for local youths in September-October this year, “Garbiyal said.
A proposal was being prepared to seek formal clearance from the state government for officially recognising and commissioning the route, he said.
Seasoned mountaineer PS Dahrmashaktu said the discovery of a new route through Sin La Pass was significant as it would attract adventure sports lovers to the region and generate employment opportunities.