29. August 2016 – 12:50
Another mountain ascent
Due to illness, unfortunately, our planned seven-day trek over the Parangla Pass (5600 m) from the Spiti valley to Ladakh got canceled!
The trek was supposed to start from the 4200 meter high village Kibber, but our guests unfortunately just didn’t feel comfortable with fever and cold and decided to drive directly to Leh.
This was of course very regrettable for all involved, but for such a trek, no one can and must not be forced, so that we had to say goodbye with a heavy heart to the two sufferers in the Spiti Valley and organized a “fast” transport to Leh.
But my trekking guide Jogi and I were already in Kibber. (Horse man, cook and helper we had to send back!). The way back from the Spiti Valley to Manali is not really far with 200 kilometers, but due to poorly developed roads, high passes and adverse conditions, it takes at least eight hours!
Somehow we weren’t so excited to make the way back immediately, especially since we would probably have to take the “local bus”!
So we decided to take advantage of the hospitality of our Homestay owners a little further and also planned a short two-day trip to the 5964 meter high Kanamo summit. Kanamo means “White Lady” The back of the mountain is covered by a thick layer of glacier- that’s way the name. But from the frontside, the summit is rather black.
The summit, although not technical, is quite high, so the ascent to the summit is quite strenuous!
From the village of Kibber you only need two days to climb and in an acclimatized state, locals even make it in just one day!
Jogi and I were of course absolutely thrilled with the idea of going up there! I was also surprised that I had never heard of this mountain before, because it is a very popular trekking peak due to its “simplicity”!
In the early afternoon Jogi and I started towards Basecamp. The locals looked at us a little doubtful when we set out so late and without a load horse. But we had no consideration, after all we were used to carrying our luggage ourselves. Although we did not underestimate the mountain, Jogi in particular was an experienced mountaineer and together we had already climbed some more challenging peaks.
Our homestay chef provided us with Tibetan bread, thick pancakes, boiled eggs, vegetables and sea buckthorn jam. Sea buckthorn grows not only on the native Brandenburg sandy soil in Germany, but also at 3500 meters in the Indian Spiti valley!
The Buddhist owner, told me, that this jam would only be eaten normally by highly spiritual Buddhist lamas (monks)! Well then nothing can go wrong!
So we started the ascent and it actually went straight uphill. Somehow the almost 2000 meters of altitude had to be overcome in two days! The height was also noticeable, but we were acclimatized and hiked without a break. In fact, we took a small detour around a hill. We noticed this when we saw the base camp much further below us. Hhmnn, we didn’t want to descend, because tomorrow we would have to go all up again! So we looked for a water point and dug a flat place for our tent. Very adventurous, but it was fun, to set up our own base camp.
While Jogi was taking a nap, I played cards by myself. The dinner consisted of Tibetan bread with egg and vegetables and relatively early we curld into our sleeping bags. Because we were planning to start early next morning and set the alarm at 4 am.
Well, somehow the alarm clock didn’t ring and we didn’t wake up until 5:30 am. Hups. We got ready quickly and then actually started only 25 minutes later. I was surprised that our waterhole was frozen, the night in the sleeping bag didn’t really seem cold!
We were lucky with the weather, because it was clear the last few days it had been cloudy all the time and had even snowed!
We were still in the shadow of the mountain and it was really cold. Despite wearing gloves, my hands hurt in the cold.
It got quite steep and slower and slower we climbed towards the summit. After the first steep piece it became a bit flatter, but that last piece was then really steep again and it was not so easy to find a firm kick on the loose gravel.
Now the cold and especially the always violent wind really hit me! The high altitude was clearly noticeable near the summit. Between my steps, I needed longer and longer breaks! At first it was still 200 steps that I could take in a row, at some point it only became forty! But then suddenly the Tibetan prayer flags flying in the wind appeared, which marked the summit!
Jaaaahhh!!! We had made it! Together Jogi and me climbed opur fourth summit together.
Oh, but it was so, so cold here. The Kanamo summit had certainly been my easiest mountain, but also the coldest. Up here, exposed to the wind, it was definitely between -10 and -20 C°!!
So we couldn’t stay for a long time, but snapped a few more photos with our deaf fingers and after 10 minutes we went back for the descent!
Three hours of climb, for only 10 minutes! But it was worth it. The descent was much faster. At a wind-protected place, we ate some pancakes and then quickly descended on to the camp!
This was where recovery was on the agenda. After breakfast we just lay in the sun for 1-2 hours and were happy about our summit day!
Then we dismantled our camp and went down to Kibber to our little homestay!
What a beautiful little adventure here in the Spiti Valley!
If you also want to climb a high mountain, but have little technical knowledge, this Kanamo summit is just the thing!!
I created a three-valley tour through Himachal Pradesh, with the four-day Hamta Pass Trek as an entry point, then some cultural sightseeing in the Spiti Valley followed by an ascent to the Kanamo. Afterwards we will continue by car to the beautiful Chandratal lake and trek in three days to the Baralacha Pass (4880 meters) into the Lahaul valley! Get more infos about the tour here.
A beautiful trekking trip through Himachal Pradesh, with some culture and a mountain! A beautiful journey, especially in the monsoon season!