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Mountaineering and Ice Climbing in J and K
There is no substitute of Himalayas in terms of adventure sports. Mountaineering and ice climbing in J & K is an old sport which started in 1960. Over all these years, this sport has grown as one of the most famous winter sports in J & K. The mountains here have distinguished topography which make it hot destination for the mountaineers. The rapid expansion of clubs and institution of these sports has also led to its popularity. One should not mix mountaineering with ice climbing for these two are very different from each other. On one hand where mountaineering demands high altitude peaks, ice climbing on other hand demands frozen waterfalls, cliffs or mountains.
Both of these activities are outdoor sports which need utmost safety and precaution. You need to pay lot of attention while ascending. The Himalayan range of J & K has numerous high altitude peaks which allure the adventurists to come forward and conquer the peaks that are covered with snow. However just learn the basics of these sports before you head out with your zeal and skills.
How to reach J & K
J & K is given the title of Paradise on Earth. Indeed it is home for striking tourists places like Pahalgam, Leh, Ladakh, and Gulmarg. If you wish reaching this destination for mountaineering and ice climbing then pick any of these means of conveyance.
By air: J & K can be reached through air since it has 3 main domestic airports located at Leh, Srinagar and Jammu. All major flights are accessible from these airports.
By road: National Highway 1A connects Jammu to different Indian cities. These roads are very well maintained. Jammu is not far from some prominent north Indian cities like Katra (48kms), Delhi (585 kms), Chandigarh (436 kms) and Amritsar (243 kms). The state corporation of J & K runs its buses on daily basis. These buses can be AC or non AC buses.
By rail: Leh and Srinagar don’t have any train connections so tourists reach J & K via Jammu Tawi railway station which is 305 kms away from Srinagar. This station is linked by its excellent rail network to Pune, Madras, Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta besides other destinations of India.
Mountaineering and Ice Climbing in J & K’s best destination
The mountaineering zone of J & K is divided into four main segments namely – Ladakh, Kishtwar, Zanskar and Kashmir. Mountaineering and ice climbing are extremely popular in these destinations. Climbing in these ranges can be very stimulating and generally it takes one month in completing this expedition. Infact, from these peaks you can also experience an exhilarating view of Tibet and Pakistan. All of these peaks make alpine ascent. The peaks of Kishtwar are not too high but the adventurists generally face lot of difficulty in climbing these. Some of snow covered peaks which remain untouched are: Flat top, Katori, Arjuna, Crooked Finger, Brammah, Riger, and Sickle Moon. In Zanskar, there are two peaks which are perfect destinations for mountaineering and ice climbing – Kun and Nun. Some others are Z-I, Pinacle and White Needle.
All of these hills are located ahead of Ahafat glacier. In Ladakh, there are some mountains peaks which are very popular. These are Kanglcha, Parcha Kangri and Stok Kangri. Earlier these peaks were restricted but now these are open for adventurists who wish visiting these peaks. If you are a foreigner and plan opting for mountaineering then you would need a written permission which is duly stamped by Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
Ideal time to visit J & K for Mountaineering and Ice Climbing!
The climate of J & K is open round the year. The winter season is very enhancing since the natural beauty of these locations is at its best. In winter season, there is snow fall all around Srinagar while in Gulmarg it might get worse. Winters also attracts the tourists due to their winter’s sports which are organized every year. Summers are somewhat hot here. Ideal months to plan your visit here are the months of October, November, December, January, February, March and April. If you wish travelling to upper reaches of Leh or Ladakh then plan your trip in summer months.
How to locally commute in J & K
Leh, Jammu and Srinagar have good roads which are perfectly laid. These roads link to Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Kargil. There are buses which run on regular basis from Lal Chowk. The National Highway of Leh and Srinagar is open from 15th of May to 15th of November each year all depending on the climatic conditions.
Other modes of conveyance for locally commuting around the state are – auto rickshaws, MUVs, tourist cabs, coaches, mini buses and city buses. Rental vehicles and tongas are also available. So pick the map, check the weather and let the adventurist in you climb the peaks of J & K.