India Opens 100+ Peaks

Posted on: April 19, 2010


More than a hundred previously restricted peaks in India's Jammu and Kashmir regions will open to climbing this upcoming season. As reported in the December 29, 2009 NewsWire, the India Mountaineering Federation and India's Ministry of Tourism had proposed the measure last year; now with approval from India's Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Home Affairs, the measure will go into effect this summer, opening at least 104 mountains.

Affected summits range from 3000 to 7800 meters, or 9,842 to 25,590 feet, in altitude. They are located in the eastern Karakoram, primarily in the Leh and Ladakh regions of northern India, near the border with Pakistan and China. Some notable peaks include Lingsarmo (6955m), Rungofarka (6395m), Techafarka (6495m), Pt 6148, Shafat-I (6800m), Photoksar (6080m), Shafat-II (6302m), Shafat-III (6155m), Chiling-I (6349m), Chiling-II (6253m), Hagshu-I (6515m), Kangyarrag (6210m), Kangyassay I (6401m), Lalung-I (6243), Lalung-II (6157) and Lalung-III (6126m).

The Saser Kangri group—which includes one of the world's highest unclimbed peaks, Saser Kangri II Main (aka East, 7513m)—will be accessible, as will sought-after summits in the Rimo, Apsaras and Ghaint groups.

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While classified as "restricted," in large part due to the India-Pakistan conflicts in Kashmir, these peaks were nearly forbidden.

"Due to their 'restricted' status and close proximity to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or the Line of Control (LoC), only 10 joint expeditions or purely Indian expeditions were permitted on these peaks," India Today reported. "And for that, one had to take permission from the defence and home ministries, and the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF). But now, mountaineers simply have to apply to the IMF and book a peak for expedition."

However, the Ministry of Defense has stipulated that the army must authorize approach routes and filming in the newly opened area.

Foreign teams must be accompanied by a liaison officer and have appropriate state government and agency clearances, an official from the defense ministry said.

Sources: in.reuters.com, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, indiatoday.intoday.in

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Comments
BrianA

see Steve Venables book on Cerro Kishtwar

2010-04-26 05:42:03
alpinetimes.com

sounds brilliant - I'll be anxious to hear about any expeditions.

2010-04-20 02:56:12
Damo

This is generally good news, though in reality most of the peaks have been open before. SKII was attempted last year and Indian expeditions have been in there a lot recently. Check out the reports at www.indmount.org

There is also the problems of: a) once on the ground in the area at the time, the Army may still refuse you permission to proceed, regardless of what the government has allowed, and b) the authorities in Delhi may not be familiar with the peaks and the changes and things will get bogged down in red-tape. Often these sorts of changes take a long time to filter through all levels of the bureacracy. Just because it has been announced does not mean it will work in practice any time soon!

Hagshu north face is very impressive. British expeditions climbed a lot of peaks in that area (Kishtwar) in the 1980s. Chiling (Chiring) has also been climbed, as have a few of the others mentioned. 'Kang Yassay' (Kang Yatze, Kang Yissay) has been climbed many times, is quite popular, so it's an odd inclusion in this list.

D

2010-04-19 07:11:40
e9climbing.blogspot.com

Any one knows if any of the new peaks are interesting targets? Pictures?

2010-04-19 05:16:11
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