The area most frequented by
foreign climbers is the "Nun-Kun" massif in the Great Himalayan range. Its easy
accessibility from the Kargil-Padum road & the shortest possible approach march to the
base camps makes this massif the most attractive climbing destination in the Himalayas,
necesitating advance booking years ahead. Among its six known peaks accessible from the
Suru Valley, Nun (7,135 m.) & Kun (7,077 m.) are the highest summits.
The area nearest to Leh is the Stok-Khangri massif in the Zanskar
mountains, south of Leh. The base camp for the various peaks of this massif is about two
days trek from the village of Stok. Among its known peaks, Stok-Khangri (6,150 m.) is the
highest. It offers a spectacular perspective to the central Indus Valley which it
dominates. Other peaks in the area include Gulap Khangri (5,900 m.); Matho West (5,950
m.); & Kantaka (5,275 m.) The much higher Konglacha peak (6,700 m.) lies south-west of
Leh & is reached via Rumbak on the first leg of the Markha valley trek from Stok.
North of Leh, across the Ladakh range & the Nubra valley, lies the
Karakoram range. It soars to a number of known peaks, which are, however, within the
restricted area & so, not freely accessible to foreign climbers. The most prominent
summits in this range, which are accessible from various parts of the Nubra Valley include
Saser-1, Saser-2 & Saser-3, having respective heights of 7,415 m., 7,513 m. &
The climbing season extends from mid-May to mid-October, the ideal
period being from June to September. Foreign climbing expeditions are required to obtain
permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation for climbing all listed peaks. A
booking fee, based on the height & popularity of the allotted peak, is charged & a
liaison officer is assigned to every climbing team. The minimum period for processing
applications is six months.