Fly to Leh, the capital of Ladakh
We make an early start to take the flight to Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. The flight takes us over the Greater Himalaya and makes an exciting landing at one of the highest airports in the world. We can hope to get excellent views of the Zanskar Range as we fly-in and, on a clear day, the great peaks of the Karakoram are visible to the north. We are met at the airport and taken to the Kang Lha Chen. The rest of the day is at leisure. Leh is at an altitude of nearly 3,510m, and you can expect to feel the effects of the rarefied atmosphere.
Exploring the city of Leh
Today is your own to relax and stroll around Leh, to allow the effects of the altitude to wear off. This is an important period, which allows the body to acclimatise. There are plenty of distractions in Leh, varying from scenic and cultural to gastronomic. Alternatively your leader can arrange a short drive out to visit some of the fantastic monasteries that have existed here since the 11th Century.
Drive to Heniskut and trek to Kanji Village (3,870m)
Instead of driving directly to Kun, we will complete a three day trek to the Kanji La (5,280m), partly for the acclimatisation, but also for the opportunity to explore a little of this fascinating region. The drive to Kanji Village is an adventure in itself, firstly along the main highway from Leh to Kashmir, before turning off for the last 10Km through a spectacular gorge. It takes roughly 4 hours to get to Heniskut – which is like driving back into the middle ages. From the road head, the trek to Kanji Village takes 3 hours. This is on rough road, but it’s better to walk than to drive.
Trek to base of Kanji La (4,355m)
From Kanji Village we trek up the floor of the valley, passing fields and seasonal settlements, criss-crossing the river (carry sandals!), to a grassy camp site at the base of Kanji La (6 – 7 hours).
Climb to Kanji La (5,280m)
Soon after leaving camp in the morning we break off heading steeply up the valley side to a pass at 4,600m, then on up a side valley to the final steep slopes which take us to the pass itself with wonderful views of the mountains of the Zanskar (4 hours from camp). A long descent down barren scree slopes to Mapollan is quite tough for the ponies (9 hours).
End trek at Tashitongde and drive to Golmatangol (3,650m)
We overnight at a campsite at Golmatangol.
Trek to Base Camp (4,350m)
It’s an easy walk that should take 5 – 6 hours, including a bridge crossing, to reach Kun base camp.
Preparations in base camp
Climb to camp 1 (5,200m)
The route to camp 1 is across moraine at the base of the Shafath glacier and takes 5 hours. We’ll drop off some gear, before returning to base camp.
Move to Camp 1 (5,200m)
Day 13 to 23
Ascent of Kun
We will use two more camps above camp 1. Camp 2 is located at approximately 6,000m and camp 3 is our high camp at 6,300m. The Sherpas will fix around 1,400m of rope on the steeper sections of the climb. The route between camp 1 and camp 2 crosses the glacier, then follows slopes of around 45 degrees on mixed ground. This is the most technical part of the climb, taking 5 – 7 hours and utilising 1,000m of fixed rope to reach camp 2. From camp 2 to camp 3 we rope up and cross a huge snow plateau, which separates Nun and Kun, to set up camp at the base of the summit ridge. From our high camp at 6,300m, we follow slopes of 35 to 40 degrees onto a saddle on the right-hand skyline ridge (6,500m). From here the ridge is followed to the rounded summit. From the summit, we descend the same way and return to camp 2, before descending to base camp the following day.
Day 24 to 26
Return to Leh
The return journey can be done in three days. We return to the road head at Golmatangol, then drive back to Leh via an overnight at Mulbekh. Please be aware that travel in Ladakh is unpredictable and not for the faint hearted!
Fly Leh to Delhi.
De-brief at the IMF.
Fly from Delhi to Italy
Afternoon flight from Delhi to home