Sports in Kashmir
mountain ranges are both Alpine and Himalayan and
can be grouped into four distinct regions:
Kashmir, Kishtwar, Zanskar and Ladakh.
The most well known peaks
are Kolahoi (5,425 m) known as the Matterhorn of
Kashmir; Harmukh (5,148 m) whose north face
resembles Eiger; Tattakuti (4,742 m); Sunset
(4,745 m) the highest peak in the Pir Panjal
range, and numerous small peaks in Sonamarg and
Pahalgam. One can climb these peaks quickly,
making Alpine style ascents.
Kishtwar represents small
Himalayan peaks of great technical difficulty
involving week long trek-king to the base camps.
The popular peaks in this region are Sickle Moon
(6,575 m); Eiger (6,001 m); Brammah-I (6,416 m);
Brammah's Wife (5,297 m); Crooked Finger (5,630
m); Flat Top (6,100 m); Cathedral (5,370 m);
Barnaj-I (6,100 m); Barnaj-II (6,290 m); Arjuna
(6,200 m); Agyasol (6,200 m) and Shivling (6,000
The Zanskar Range
encompasses the famous massif of Nun-Kun. This
group of mountains has been explored since 1898
by Bruce, Sillem, the Bullock-Workmans, Piacenza,
Harrison and Waller. Kun (7,077 m) was first
climbed by the Italian climber Piacenza in 1913
and Nun (7,135 m) by the Swiss climber, late
Madame Claude Kogan, in 1953. This is the only
climbing group accessible by a day's trekking from
the road head. One can reach the base camp of Nun
in two days from the airport in Srinagar. The
other significant peaks in this range are the
White Needle (6,500 m); Pinnacle (6,930 m); Z-1
(6,400 m); Z-2 (6,175 m); Z-3 (6,270 m); Z-8
(6,050 m); D-41 (5,813 m); N-8 (6,392 m); Bien
Guapa (6,006 m); Bobang (5,971 m). In addition,
the range has many unnamed peaks over-looking the
Durung Drung glacier.
The Ladakh range
comprises the peaks of Stok area - Stok
Kangri 6,135 m, Parcha Kangri 6,065 m, Gulap
Kangri 5,900 m; and some peaks of Nimaling area
such as the famous Kang Yissay-6,400 m.
Recently, the Karakorams
have also been thrown open to selected joint
expeditions. Three expeditions are allowed every
year to three groups - Saser Group, Rimo Group and
Momostong Group in Nubra Valley. Some of these
peaks overlook the Siachin glacier, among the
longest in the world.
The climbing period
extends from mid May till mid October. The
monsoons do not affect the Ladakh peaks and the
main climbing season is July/August when most of
the Himalayas remain closed.
One need not worry about
emergencies in the mountains. The Army and the Air
Force are authorised to assist climbers and
trekkers in distress. Most of the climbing regions
are linked by high-frequency radio to Srinagar -
the base of rescue operations. Some very daring
and dramatic helicopter evacuations have been
undertaken by the pilots of the Indian Air Force
in recent years.
mountaineering expeditions to India have to obtain
permission in writing from the Indian
Mountaineering Foundation who charge a booking fee
depending upon the height of the peak. A Liaison
Officer is provided with each team.