Warning and disclaimer – Paragliding is a hazardous sport with the potential for fatal accidents. The information provided here is to give pilots an idea of what might be out there. Care has been taken to provide as accurate information as possible. The editors take no responsibility for any inaccurate information or problems that may occur from the use of this information.
Shaggy Dog (ShagaDugh Camp) may just be one of those gems for adventure paragliding in the Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. It is a perfect spot to camp and use as a base to explore the Kullu Valley and fly the imposing 6000+ meter peaks lining it. It is also a great place to land and stay if on a longer vol biv trip or circuit.
Where is it?
Shaggy dog is located at 3400m below Patalsu Peak and faces South East to South West. Latitude 32°20’30.22”N, Longitude 77°10’19.46″E.
Launch at camp or walk up higher on the grassy slopes to maximise your chances of snagging that thermal. In late October the thermals were releasing on the southern gully and from the tree line directly to the south-west.
What is good about this spot?
- Doesn’t seem to be affected by Rohtang Pass wind (snow on Rohtang can produce a downward flow)
- Fresh water 20 mins walk from camp
- Warmer at night because of its relatively low altitude of 3400m
- Wood for fires
- House thermal (was working around 10am)
- Escape the southern valley inversion
- Bomb out at Solang Ski Area
- Easy top landing
- Flat campsites
- Can use it as a base to explore the 6000+ meter peaks lining the valley
- Use it as a stepping stone to go further north
How to get there?
Walking: You can walk up from the western side of Patalsu Peak, east of the Beas River, opposite the Solang Valley Ski Lift. Catch a shared taxi from Manali or Vashist to the Shiv Shakti General Store (a couple of bends before the Solang Ski Lift) and walk north-west along the gravel road, cross the Beas river to the east then head up through Solang Village and follow the well used track up the hill. Walking time is anywhere between 3-4 hours with an altitude gain of approximately 840m.
Paragliding from Bir: If base is high enough to reach the Kullu and you have the skills (intermediate or above pilot) then the flight from Bir is fairly straightforward. Take a line to Manali then continue up the valley.
Top landing at shaggy dog is fairly straightforward with a nice grassy patch and many second and third options if you miss your first. If you miss all the options then you can land down at the Solang Nala ski lift and walk up (3-4 hours).
When to go there?
Personally, I would visit late October or early November when Bir becomes inverted. Ensure there is a minimal chance of overdevelopment in the Kullu Valley before you head there.
Bryan Moore, Sebastian Benz and Richard Binstead landed there in late October 2018 almost by accident after an attempt to fly to Manikaran Spires was thwarted by overdevelopment and they were forced north up the Kullu Valley – click to view tracklog. Over the next 5 days the following pilots flew from there on various days – Markus Anders, Sebastian Benz, Richard Binstead, Bryan Moore, Shane Tighe, Kat West and Jean-luc Wolf.
I hope more pilots are drawn to Shaggy Dog in the future so we can gather more information on this potentially great site. Please message me if you have any more information to add to this.