Nun Kun Peak Climbing Expedition: The Suru & the Zanskar valleys in Ladakh are adorned with a number of majestic mountain peaks but it is the Nun Kun Massif which dominates the skyline and remains the focus of mountaineering in this region. The twin peaks of Nun (7135m) and Kun (7077m) are the highest in the Zanskar range. The two peaks are separated by a snowy plateau of about 4km in length. Pinnacle Peak (6930m) is the third highest mountain in this group. We aim to climb Kun which was first climbed by Italian mountaineer Mario Piacenza in 1913. It was only 58 years later that the mountain was successfully climbed again by an Indian Army Expedition. A 7000-er / 23,000 footer, Kun is a magnificent mountain & a formidable undertaking. The six day trek going over Kanji La is the best way to acclimatize for this high altitude climb. The climbing route includes a complex glacier approach, high angled snow slopes and a sharp ridge to the summit. At just over 7000m, the effect of high altitude is a significant factor, as is the remote location and possibility of extreme weather.
Trip Duration: 26 days
Places Visited: Delhi, Leh, Kargil, Srinagar
Highlights: One of the highest mountain in the Zanskar Range in Ladakh. A perfect mountain to make a transition from 6000m to 7000m. Acclimatization trek through Kanji Valley. A night in a houseboat at Dal Lake in Srinagar at the end of the Tour.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi, expedition briefing at IMF (Indian Mountaineering Foundation)
Day 2: Fly Delhi-Leh (3500m)
Day 3-4: Acclimatization & Sightseeing in Leh (3500m)
Day 5: Drive Leh to Kanji Village (3850m)
Day 6: Trek to base of Kanji La (4400m)
Day 7: Cross Kanji La (5,250m) and camp (4200m)
Day 8: End trek at Rangdum (4040m) and drive to Shafat / Gulmatongas (3650m)
Day 9: Sort out equipment and trek to Chasme (3995m)
Day 10: Trek Chasme to Base Camp (4300m)
Day 11-22: Climbing Period, Set up 3 camps above Base Camp (C1- 5300m, C2-6000m, C3-6300m)
Day 23: Trek Base Camp to Shafat (3650m)
Day 24: Drive Shafat to Kargil
Day 25: Drive Kargil to Srinagar
Day 26: Fly Srinagar to Delhi
Contact us for Detailed Itinerary.
Cost Per Person (min 4-6 people on a private trip) Quote – On Request
What to expect: Low temperatures & high altitudes are going to be our main concerns on this trip and we must be adequately prepared to deal with them.
Temperatures: High mountains usually generate and attract their own weather making it impossible to predict. Ladakh in general lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas and is completely dry & arid region but in the last couple of years due to inexplicable weather changes it has witnessed
Intermittent rainfall too. We should be prepared for the worst of the weather conditions.
The best part about climbing in the summers is that we have a lot of daylight, right from 5am to about 7pm. Be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions from -20 deg C in the nights, to hurricane force winds, to bright sunshine intensified by high altitude. This wide fluctuation in temperatures makes it especially important to bring everything on the equipment list.
Altitude: Once we get up to heights above 3000m, altitude star ts to become a concern a nd one must deal with it carefully. Our bodies slowly g et used to the lower levels of oxygen in the air and the individuals who have acclimatized properly are able to climb to altitudes as high as Everest without a ny aided oxygen. This process of adaptation or acclimatization does take time and the most important rule is to gain height slowly. The trip itinerary has been very well thought over and gives everyone plenty of time to get acclimatized for the summit bid.
Our trip leader s are widely experienced in these matters related to acclimatization & altitude sicknesses and will be able to give you good advice to help minimize any temporary discomfort that you might experience. If you have suffered serious problems at altitude before, y ou should seek the advice of y our doc tor or a specialist. We are always ready to give adv ice on this subject.
What to carry : Right from the start of the trek we would expect everyone to carry atleast 10-12 kgs so one doesn’t get weighed down at the higher altitudes. Apart from carrying rain proof gear, a light fleece, water, packed lunch, cameras etc. its recommended that everyone carry their sleeping bag, mattress and their thick jackets too. The idea is to get used to carrying a slightly heavier backpack which everyone needs to ca rry above Base Camp . So all you need is a 70-75L back pack and a duffel bag to go with the porters. A day pack would come in handy for your road tr avel. In y our main bag , pack similar things such a s clothes, washing thing s, camping equipment, climbing equipment etc. in separate stuff sacks or polythene bags so they are easier to pull out and add to the waterproofing in y our bag. Your main bag should be a tough one with a lock, it would be carried by a porter. Once we leave the ABC we will have no porter support and one would be carrying one’s own clothes/sleeping bags/toiletries etc. Since every gram of what you are carrying matters on a climb like this its important to use your discretion while picking up equipment for this trip. For instance – one could have a super heavy duty sleeping bag meant for -25 deg C but it could easily weigh a kg more than a good -10 deg C bag. Pack your things needed for the climb in y our back pac k and see how much it weighs. It would feel thrice as heavy on the mountain. At the time of booking, we would be sending you a detailed checklist of things to bring.
Route : The expedition commences from Delhi. From there we fl y North to Leh , the capital of Ladakh in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. We spend the first three day s at Leh to do our first stage of acclimatization. A three days trek over Kanji -La brings us to the upper Suru valley where we have the Nun Kun massif. After crossing the Suru river it is 2 easy day’s walk to the Base Camp. Above Base Camp we would be setting up three more camps on the mountain. On the summit day we start the climb on the South East Ridge and finally get on to the East ridg e to get to the summit. We would be fixing 1000-1200m of ropes on our route between Camp1- II & between Camp III & summit. A small team of sherpas would accompany the expedition t o haul up the gear on the mountain and offer camping support a t the hig h camps.
Level of Climbing Skills needed : A fierce determination and a burning desire to climb the mountain are the essential pre -requisites for joining this expedition. One must have done a few high altitude treks and must have climbed some glaciated peaks above 6000m. One needs to be familiar with walking in snow and ice and must have a good standard of fitness. You should be familiar with Ice Axe arrest and crampon skills, the use of ascenders (jumar ) and descenders, and how to use your particular harness.
Pre-trip Conditioning: We suggest that you begin your training program at least 2 months prior to departure. Being physically ready is more important than years of climbing experience. Any form of aerobic training, such a s running, cycling, swimming, along with some strength training will help you a lot on the climb. Strength training with a pack is the most valuable thing you can do to prepare yourself. The best method is to g o on long hikes or climbs with a heav y pack a couple of times in a week. S inc e mountains are not eas ily accessible to most of us, climbing stair s with heavy backpack is recommended. Begin with a light pack and wor k your way up to approx. 50% of your body weight. At the time of booking, we would be sending you a training schedule to help you reac h high fitness levels for the climb. If you are not prepared, you may not be allowed to continue the climb.
Mental Preparation: Besides being physically fit and having climbing skills, you need to have the proper attitude and mental discipline. You will need to b e willing to work hard day after day, with few comforts. You may need to dig deep into y our reserves after a long day of climbing in bad weather to help set up camp, help a team member, or help with cooking at high camps. We would be melting snow to make water at high camps (7-9 days) and will have basic food to survive on. For every tent we would have butane gas with a burner each and people would be expected to make their own water and food (noodles / soup etc) in bad weather conditions. This climb is a s much about mental ability as it is about physical ability. 7 -9 days on the mountain would be very demanding but high motivation ca n overcome most of the difficulties. Waiting out storms and bad weather is quite difficult, especially at high altitude. Everyone must learn patience and relax!
Food: We will have a full serviced camp with camp cooks till Base Camp. On high camps each tent pair is expected to melt snow to make its own water and do some basic cooking. We will have a team of sherpas assist us with cooking at high camps. You could bring things which you enjoy eating – chocolates, power bars, dry fruits, candies, other snacks etc.
Equipment List : At the time of booking you would be sent a detailed list of clothing and equipment required for the climb.
Documentation & Photograph : Each climbing member would be required to fill a Bio -Data form and provide us 4PP size photographs along with a copy of Passport for various permits. Each climber would also be required to sign an indemnity .
Medical Examination : Expedition members would be required to get a thorough medical examination from a doctor. The information would be treated with full confidentiality and would assist the Expedition Leader in decision making on the mountain.