INFO, TOPO bouldering in Himalayas - Chattru, Chota Dara, Kyara


The climbing 
A wonderland of boulders with problems and projects for everyone. As soon as you get off the bus you can climb. People who like mantles and slopes love this place but there are crimpy problems as well. On good days when it's cool and dry you will simply 'stick to the rock' for some unknown reason. Chota Dara is at 3800 metres and cold so great friction and less rain than down the valley. Chattru is about 3300m.
 The line on the map is the river but the road follows the valley floor mostly so is never very far away.


How to get there
From Delhi - Most of the travel offices in Main bazaar Pahar ganj book buses to Manali which leave from nearby and in the season will be full of Isrealis and tourists. No guarantee about the condition of the bus or the driver and passengers. A bit more expensive but the best and most reliable bus option of all is the Himachal Tourism bus which is possible to book at the office near Janpath,Connaught Place. Exact address Chandra Lok building, no. 36, Janpath That one is mostly full of well behaved rich Indian tourists and the buses in good condition. For shoestring travellers or just a choice of different government bus options go from Kashmiri gate bus stand which is quite a long way from Pahar ganj. 
 From Delhi its a multi lane highway North until Chandigarh then smaller roads up through the foothills until Mandi, Kullu and finally Manali. That may take between 12 to 15 hours. Hopefully.

 Spend some days in Manali and get stocked for everything extra you might need. If you want to go bouldering get some info about the areas from High Himalayan Adventure office now relocated from Vashist to Old Manali 2 km from New Manali. Ask for Naryn, he knows everything and has pads etc. The most extensive area is in Solang valley 15 km up the road. If you want to just get there avoiding the sticky honeypots of Manali etc. its 83km over the mighty Rohtang pass to Chattru which is where the main concentrated bouldering in that valley begins. 2 Local buses leave from Manali bus station early morning 5-6 am direct to Chattru to hopefully reach at midday if there are no traffic jams, landslides, accidents or road works on Rohtang pass. For late risers  regular buses go to keylong from manali up till 1 or 2pm which can drop you at Gramphu leaving you a 17 km hitchhike to Chattru.  Just stop anything which is going that way. If they have space they will always give you a lift (otherwise offer them money just 100 or 200 rupees !)
If you are a few people group it might be worth it to rent a taxi jeep from Manali which is a big vehicle tata sumo so easy to fit a lot of people inside with luggage and crash pads on top.
 You can get great wholesome breakfasts, snacks and meals. Laloo is friends with the climbers and has a copy of the local bouldering topos also. Chandra dhaba.  
Link to more info and topos with 100 problems.pdf

When to go   
Season - May until late October

Mostly cold. On a clear summer day without wind it can feel blistering hot also but almost always gets windy in the afternoons.Take plenty of warm clothes and a water/windproof if possible. You can use blankets in the dhaba but anywhere else you need a sleeping bag. 

Chota Dara 
An amazing area. A type of 'roadside wonderland' of high altitude boulders. There are a few buildings and a small dhaba. Not like the big dhabas in Chattru but at least you can buy some basic stuff and probably snacks/meals also.   
250 listed problems. 80 problems between 7a and 8a.
Link to boulder problems Topo pdf
Chota Dara

A great area with a serene atmosphere. Chota dara will seem like a busy place after you've been here for a while! Most of the rocks are a few hundred metres from the road. No buildings or dabba but drinking water nearby. 80 listed problems up to 7c but some superb harder problems still to do.
The area is 4km before Chotadara on the way from Chattru. The bus driver won't know what you are talking about just look for a long sprawling boulderfield on a very flat plateau with a striking red coloured boulder in the centre.

Link to boulder problems topo pdf   

In 1873 a European explorer called Andrew Wilson visited the place and said…

 “Looking down the valley immense glaciers were seen flowing down the clefts in the high mural precipices on both sides of the Chandra river and extending from the great beds of snow above down to and sometimes into the river. This was the abode of snow and no mistake, for nothing else but snow, glaciers and rocks was to be seen and the great ice serpents crept over into this dreaded valley as if they were living monsters”

Of course these days with the road the valley is slightly less dreaded (unless a storm comes) and the glaciers have retreated somewhat leaving behind a very interesting place for people who study rocks.
 Beautiful grassy meadows and sandy plateaus but most important, BOULDERS! 

Anybody planning a trip to the wilder areas and wants the info and topos for those areas on the other side of the river Chota Shigri, Shakshom, River meadow, Bara Shigri etc. I can give it.