Mountaineering in Kashmir
The terrain of Kashmir offers amazing opportunities for numerous adventure sports, bringing hordes of tourists to this place. Apart from white water rafting, skiing and mountain biking, mountaineering in Kashmir is also gaining a lot of tourist attention. From the Kashmir Valley to the high mountain peaks of the Pir Pinjal, Himalayan and Zanskar Ranges, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has a topography which fascinates all travellers. Numerous mountaineering adventures in Kashmir take you to astonishing elevations of over 20000 feet above sea level. From such heights, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding region. Mountaineering also allow you to learn about the vibrant culture of the locals.
If you are bored with your dull life and are looking for an adventurous getaway, then try your hand at mountaineering in Kashmir to have a memorable experience. Owing to its enchanting natural beauty, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has always been a favoured travel destination among local as well as international tourists. But lately, with so many adventure sports organised in the area, this Indian state has also become a hotspot for adventure lovers. And, one of the popular sports that have gained a lot of attention is mountaineering. The origin of the sport in India is credited to Arthur Foot, a former schoolmaster, who was also a keen mountaineer. Inspired by him, many people have taken up the sport and made a name for themselves.
Whether you are a seasoned mountaineer or trying the sport for the first time, you will find expedition here that suits your skill level. For any easy trip, you can choose to hike to the Markha Valley, or move to the Ripchar Valley for a slightly more exhaustive jaunt.
You can pick a variety of mountaineering adventures in Kashmir, depending on their length and what attractions you want to explore. The Ripchar Valley trek begins from a campsite in Hinju and takes you to an altitude of about 15500 feet over the next two days. During this jaunt, you cross Dungduchun La – a high elevation mountain pass. From atop this pass, relish some marvellous views of the underlying landscape and make sure to capture them in your cameras. Extensive sightseeing included in the tour will take you to some monasteries of Thiksey and Alchi. The Stok Kangri expedition is one of the most popular treks in the area as it takes travellers to the highest mountain peak of the Stok Range. This nine-day jaunt through the mountainous region of Ladakh will challenge and excite you. Some part of this demanding journey will require you to crawl on all your four limbs to conquer slopes of over 75-degree gradient.
You can embark on the Parang La trek from a small town in Himachal Pradesh to travel to astonishing heights of over 18000 feet above sea level. On this trip, you will also get a chance to see Tso Moriri, a stunning lake amidst mighty mountains. Here, you can witness some rare and endangered species of resident and migratory birds before moving on to Leh. One of the major highlights of the Markha Valley trek is a visit to Hemis National Park. On a good day, endangered snow leopards and various other animals that live at such extreme elevations will be visible.
Many villages and passes of this state become inaccessible during the winters, because of which most of the mountaineering expeditions in Kashmir are organised in summers. Though the climbing season extends from May to October, the ideal period for the activity is from June to September.