A high summit climb in the heart of Spiti
Looming in the background of Kibber and Tashi Gang Village is the Kanamo Peak. This snow bound mountain ridge, also known as “White Hostess”, is a 19,600 feet summit which can be attempted from Kibber. The White Lady peak does not require any mountaineering skill and is one of the few trekkable peaks which are easy to climb once properly acclimatised.
The Kanamo peak requires establishing a Base Camp near Kanamo Lake. The summit approach is from South East side of the ridge. This goes over an incline where you climb over scree and boulder moraine. Expect snow in the early months of summer at the summit. From the summit one gets a 360 degree panoramic view of Ladakh, Spiti, Kullu and Kinnaur peaks!
Day 1: Drive from New Delhi to Manali
- Altitude: 709 feet to 6,725 feet
- Time taken: 14 hours, 554 km
Manali is the closest major township en route to our base camp, Kaza. It is a beautiful hill station tucked away in the northern cusp of the Kullu Valley, which literally translates to ‘end of the habitable world’. The landscape is dominated by apple orchards and snow. Manali is also considered one of the most preferred destinations for skiing.
Manali has a wide range of hotels that you can choose from, according to your budget and preferences. Finding a room to spend the night is not an issue. It is important that you get enough rest today, in preparation for the grueling road journey to Kaza tomorrow.
Day 2: Drive from Manali to Kaza
- Altitude: 6,725 ft to 12,467 ft
- Time taken: 10 hours, 204 km. Transport from Manali at 6:00 AM
The Rohtang and Kunzum passes are known for their notoriously bad traffic jams, making it all the more necessary to leave by 5.00 am. Drive out of Manali, and towards Batal via Rohtang pass on the Manali-Leh Highway. The road is not too good and is bumpy all through. From Gramphu, take a diversion towards the Gramphu – Batal – Kaza road.
From Batal the route winds through the real Spiti Valley. Quaint little village tucked away in the mountains and arid landscapes dotted with green and yellow patches of peas and barley fields greet you. The route from here is straight out of a picture postcard. A hotel or homestay will be arranged for you at Kaza. The acclimatization process starts today.
Day 3: Kaza to Kibber
- Altitude: 12,467 ft to 14,108 ft
- Time taken: 1 hour, 19 km (drive)
The day starts with a short, one hour drive to Kibber. This small village, located in the midst of a narrow valley, is often referred to as one of the highest inhabited villages in the world at an altitude of 14,108 ft. After dropping off your backpacks in the homestay at Kibber, you will visit the much revered Key Monastery. You will get a feeling that you have crawled back into the pages of history. This medieval monastery sits atop a hill while the Spiti river trickles past the desert mountain valleys that stretch as far as your eyes can see.
During your tour of the Key Monastery, you will be able to interact with the monks, visit the prayer room and read old manuscripts. If it’s your lucky day, you will be served some herbal tea. Post your visit, you will head back to the homestay for lunch.
Post lunch, you will have your first acclimatisation walk. It’s a gradual ascend up the desert mountain valley. The route is rocky and it will take you 1.5 hours to complete the climb and half-an-hour to descend. This will give you a sense of what to expect in the days to come, thereby preparing you both mentally and physically for the challenges ahead.
After your acclimatization walk, you can explore the Kibber village to get a sense of their culture and habitat. It is one of the larger villages in Spiti valley, with about 80 houses. All the houses in Spiti valley follow the same design and a set of colours and are built using stones. The village looks exactly like a picture postcard and at night the bulbs in the houses compete with the stars above.
Day 4: Kibber to Kanamo Base camp
- Altitude: 14,108 ft to 15,748 ft
- Time taken: 6.5 hours, 5km
- Trek gradient: Easy to moderate. Steep ascent for the first 3-4 hours after which the trail evens out into a level walk for a short while before ascending gradually.
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Kibber. You can refill your water bottles at a lake, about an hour before reaching Kanamo base camp.
The day starts with a trek to the Kanamo base camp. The trek from Kibber to Kanamo base camp is a continuous ascent for about 6 – 7 hours, as the trail winds through rocky slopes, grass and desert mountain valleys. You gain an altitude of more than 1,640 ft today. Starting with a steep ascent for the first 3-4 hours, the trail evens out a little thereafter. There is some level walk and then a gradual ascent again. Initially, soon after leaving the village, you cross numerous fields growing green peas. If it is the harvest season, you will even be offered delicious fresh peas by the locals. On the way, you pass two lakes, one of which supplies water to Kaza town. The last 2 hours of the trek are particularly picturesque with smaller varieties of Brahma Kamal and multiple types of flowers strewn all over.
Look out for interesting stones in this stretch as many of them are likely to be plant or animal fossils. The trek guides know to identify these, if you have not seen one earlier. Within a radius of about 1 km from the Kanamo base camp you will spot repositories of fossils of all types.
Day 5: Acclimatization day at Kanamo base camp
Day 6: Kanamo base camp to Kanamo peak and back to base camp
- Altitude: 15,748 ft to 19,553 ft and back to 15,748 ft
- Time taken: 12 -13 hours to climb and return
- Trek gradient: Difficult. Continuous ascent to the peak, with the last 4 hours of climbing on a steep incline completely on scree. 2.5-3 hours of descent to return.
- Water sources: None. Carry at least 2-3 litres of water from the base camp.
The summit attempt starts as early as 3:00 am. You cross the first shoulder in the mountain at dawn. Look out for the far off mountain ranges, divine in the sky’s changing colours. Soon you will be heading towards the second shoulder in the mountain. It gets increasingly cold and the wind bites. The bacalava is a must at this altitude, since the early morning breeze is ice cold. This walk of about 4 to 5 hours, is the last leg of the climb – a steep ascent of about 80 degrees on the scree slopes. The entire ascent is on scree from here. It is easy to slip down each time you take a step up. Small steps would be difficult to maintain, so make sure to take large strides to navigate the scree. If you find the last leg of the hike very difficult, be sure to take help from a guide, to avoid a fall. A four hour climb leads to the summit.
The view from the top is breathtaking. An astounding 360 degree view of the greater Himalayas is the best reward for the tough climb. One can see the Parang La pass leading to Ladakh, Pin Parvati pass leading to Kullu valley, ranges of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti from the summit. At the back side of the peak is a huge glacier. Kanamo is actually a twin peak with its sister peak, Shila, next to it. Surprisingly, Shila is generally covered with snow, whereas you see only a small patch of snow on the Kanamo summit.
The descent takes about 2.5- 3 hours.
Day 7: Kanamo base camp to Kaza via Kibber
- Altitude: 15,748 ft to 12,467 ft via 14,108 ft
- Time taken: 6 hours, including drive to Kaza from Kibber
- Gradient: Moderate. Descending trail to Kaza.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. Your only water source will be a lake which you will reach about 1 hour after starting from Kanamo base camp
Trek back to Kibber today. This trek particularly is picturesque. The inviting Spiti valley ahead and the majestic mountains beckoning from behind make for a truly amazing experience. Have lunch at a local restaurant at Kibber and drive to Kaza. Head towards Key monastery – one of the large monasteries in this region. On the way, you will see the lovely village of Spiti valley – Chicham, which is connected to the road by a pulley-operated trolley.
The drive further leads to to Hikkim, which has the world’s highest post office.The post office is nothing but a small box with stamps and files in a mud house – the house of the post master of the village.
The drive to Kaza is one of the most beautiful drives, with deep gorges and the silver Spiti river on one side and sharp, rugged mountains on the other. Across the Spiti river, beautiful villages like Rangrik – with a huge Buddha statue atop a mountain, Pagmo etc come into view. The roads are quite narrow but the local drivers and buses deftly navigated these. Reach Kaza at about 6:00 pm and halt at the guest house next to the beautiful monastery. Do not miss out on the delicious local Spitian dishes.
Day 8: Kaza to Manali
Altitude: 12,467 ft to 6,677 ft
- Next morning is the journey back to Manali at 4:00 am, so you can reach on time to take your bus to Delhi. The return journey is quite nostalgic as you drive through familiar terrain.
Details in this documentation have been contributed by Vishi Bansal.
How to get fit for the Kanamo trek
The Kanamo Trek is a difficult one. There’s no two ways about it. You start the trek at Kibber at 14,100 ft and get to the Kanamo Peak within 48 hours, to 19,560 ft! That’s an incredible amount of altitude gain. Consequently, there will be a lot of steep climbing to do on this trek.
The summit climb to Kanamo is challenging in the presence and in the absence of snow. When there is snow, you’ll have to carve your way to the top using an ice axe, and when there is no snow, you’ll have to walk for hours on moraine sections. Either way, the trek is demanding and requires high levels of fitness.
Cardiovascular endurance – Target 10 km in 60 minutes before the start of the trek
The Kanamo Peak trek requires a good amount of endurance and stamina. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.
In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets. In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your targets in the following manner –
- Target completing 5 km in 35 minutes when you begin
- Gradually bring up your speed to do 5 km in 30 minutes
- Start increasing the distance you jog to get to 10 km in 70 minutes
Before the start of the trek, get to 10 km in 60 minutes. Your aim should be to cover 10 km in 60 minutes once a week and 7 km in 40-45 minutes twice a week for 4 weeks.
Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each
This is another area you should work on. You will need to build strength in your muscles and in your core body. You can do some squats to strengthen your leg muscles. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 15 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks. Apart from this, you can add planks and crunches to your work out.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek in.
Also consider HIIT training regime for a trek like this one.
What to take on the Kanamo Peak trek
The Kanamo Peak trek is especially difficult on the day of the summit climb. There are long sections where you have to climb on boulders. Carrying a trekking pole will be extremely helpful.
- Trekking shoes: There will be several slippery patches on the trail, and you will need trekking shoes with good grip. Sports shoes will not be comfortable enough. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Day pack (20 litres): You will require this on the day of the summit climb, to carry water bottles and snacks
- Three warm layers: At the campsites, especially the higher ones, the temperature after sundown will drop to around 2-6 degrees. You will need at least three warm layers (two lights layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek.
- Three trek pants: Wear one pair and carry two.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow closer to the lake, so carry a pair of sunglasses.
- Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
- Balaclava: You may use woolen scarves instead as well.
- Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp / LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Poncho: When it rains, a poncho will cover you from head to your knees and also cover your backpack.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
Click on the images below to see pictures fullscreen
What you need to know about the trek fee
The trek fee of Rs. 13,450 + 5% GST covers all costs of the trek from Kaza to Kaza.
Here is what the trek fee includes:
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 8 (Kaza to Kibber). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
- Transport – The transport from Kaza to Kibber on Day 3 and Kibber to Kaza on Day 8 is included in the trek fee.
- Meals – All meals from dinner at Kaza on Day 1 to breakfast at Kaza on Day 9 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
- Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
- Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.
Here is what the trek fee excludes:
- Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Manali and drop you back from Kaza. This will cost Rs.10,000 per Tata Sumo. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers.
- Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to and from Kaza.
- Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,200 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Kaza (Rs. 400 per day + 5% GST).
- Stay at Manali on the last day
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
Terms & Conditions
1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel. Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.
The cancellation charges are as under.
- Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
- Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
- Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
2. The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start at the Kaza base camp to the end at Kaza.
3. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from Manali at 5 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group.
4. Transport: Transport from Manali to Kaza and return from Kaza to Manali can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (Rs. 10,000 for a Sumo). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
5. Backpack offloading: Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
Backpack offloading charges will be Rs. 1,200 + 5% GST. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 400 per day + 5% GST. Partial offloading is not allowed.Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
6. Emergency during trek: In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.
Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.
Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.
7. Fitness: A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. You need to be able to jog a distance of 5 km in 30 mins before start of the trek. Unable to do so can make your trek difficult. In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point. Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
8. Non-liability: Indiahikes is not responsible for any loss/damage of your gears/equipment or other belongings on the trek.
9. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.
10. Drinking and smoking during the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, your participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.
11. Safety Protocol:
a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation, most treks in Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and the Indian Himalayan terrain are the reason for this. There are chances that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that your trek leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude.
b.please Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Indiahikes reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Indiahikes trek leaders.
c. This is a high altitude trek with rough, rocky and snowy terrain. It is important that you are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by yourself within a reasonable time. Indiahikes reserves the right to turn around a trekker if in the opinion of our trek leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance. Please realistically self-assess your fitness and suitability for this trek before registering.
What are the risks on the Kanamo Peak Trek?
The Kanamo Peak trek is a difficult one. You start trekking after you’ve already reached a very hight altitude (Kibber – 14,108 ft). Starting from Kaza, you are constantly traveling, staying and sleeping at high altitudes. Thus, everyone on this trek has a high risk of getting AMS despite this being a short trek.
If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Kanamo Peak trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Kanamo Peak trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.
2. Acclimatisation days at Kibber and Kanamo base camp
You will be gaining altitude very quickly on the Kanamo Peak trek. On the day of the summit climb, you will be ascending close to 4,000 ft. Moreover, the trek begins at a very high altitude of 14,108 ft. To help your body get acclimatised, and minimise the risk of AMS, we built in a rest day at Kibber before starting. Trekking to Kanamo base camp from Kibber brings your higher and at such an altitude it also tires you out quickly. Hence you have a second rest and acclimatisation day here before launching the attempt to the summit.
3. Monitoring health on a trek
On the Kanamo Peak trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.
This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.
Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.
4. High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.
5. High Altitude Trek Equipment
To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.
6. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek
You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.
Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.
What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Kanamo Peak trek
Acute Mountain Sickness:
From the time that you reach Kaza, the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out.
All the guest houses / campsites starting from Kaza are a at considerably high altitudes. At Kaza, you’re already at an altitude of 12,467 ft and you gain altitude steadily each day. This means that AMS symptoms can occur at any point on the trek.
At any campsite, inform your trek leader about your condition immediately if you identify any symptom of AMS. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to a lower campsite.
This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours.And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.
Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox
We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.
What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?
If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.
Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.
Exit points on the Kanamo Peak trek:
There are no easy exits on this trek. Descending back to Kibber is the only option.
Kaza, which is a short drive from Kibber, is the closest place to find medical support or a hospital in case of an emergency.
Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks
If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.
Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.
If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.
Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.
You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.
We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader. Only then your trek leader will be able to take steps at the right time.
Acute Mountain Sickness
If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.
For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.
1. What is the style of accommodation in this trek?
Stay at Kaza and Kibber will be arranged in guest houses, where you will be sharing rooms with fellow trekkers. The 2 days at Kanamo Base Camp will be in tents. Each tent accommodates 3 trekkers.
2. Will you provide us with tents and sleeping bags?
Yes, Indiahikes trekkers will be provided with tents and high altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC.
3. What will the temperatures be like during this trek?
Day time temperatures will range from 16-20ºC and night time temperature can go down to -4ºC in July.
4. Will there be snow on this trek?
You might get patches of snow while climbing to the Kanamo Peak summit or on the summit itself.
5. What will we do if it rains?
If it starts raining while you’re trekking, we will continue on the trail as planned. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings. When it rains at the campsite, we usually get together in the dining tent and play games. The tents that you will be staying in, the dining tent, kitchen and toilet tents are all water proof, so you will stay dry inside.
6. How do we reach Kaza?
If you see the itinerary, we mention that you reach Manali on Day 1. We arrange for a pick up to get to Kaza on Day 2. Getting to Manali early will help you with acclimation since Kaza is above 12,000 ft and the drive there takes over 10 hours. The cost of the vehicle will have to be shared amongst the trekkers and paid directly to the driver. This is not a part of your trek fee. A 12 seater Tempo traveler typically costs Rs.16,000 per vehicle one way.
7. How do we get back after the trek?
Indiahikes will arrange for your transport back to Manali. The cost will have to be shared amongst the trekker. You will have to start from Kaza by 4.00 am if you wish to catch a bus back to Delhi on the same day. These usually depart from Manali between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm.
8. Which are the best seasons for the Kanamo Peak trek?
The Kanamo Peak trek is best done in the summer. The access roads to Spiti valley via Rohtang Pass and Kunzum la Pass are covered in snow for the rest of the year and it is very difficult to reach there. Also, it will be too cold in any other season.
9. Are backpacks, raincoats and other equipment available for rent from Indiahikes?
No. There are several websites that rent out trekking equipment. Indiahikes does not rent any equipment. You may purchase trekking poles and other equipment from the Indiahikes store.
10. Is this a good trek for a first timer?
Kanamo Peak is a difficult trek and summit climb. Prior high altitude trekking experience is mandatory before embarking on this one. Irrespective of your prior experience, this trek requires high levels of fitness.
11. If not the Kanamo Peak trek, what is a good alternative trek to do?
The Pin Bhabha pass trek would be a good option for seasoned trekkers since that’s a difficult one. Also, this trek begins in Kinnaur and ends in the Spiti valley, giving you the opportunity to explore the unique landscape of this region.
12. Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?
Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack. This will cost Rs.1,200 + 5% GST if you inform us in advance. If you decide to offload once you reach Kaza, the amount will be Rs.400 per day + 5% GST. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. We suggest you read “5 Tips to make Carrying your Trekking Backpack Easy” before making a decision.
13. Can I take my child along on this trek? What is the age limit?
If you wish to bring children along we suggest the Deoriata, Kedarkantha treks or one of our other easy/moderate treks. The minimum age for this trek is 15 years. Prior high altitude trekking experience and high levels of fitness are mandatory requirements.
14. Who will be with us on the trek from Indiahikes?
An Indiahikes team consisting of a qualified Trek leader, trek guides, porters and cooks will be with you throughout the trek.
15. What are washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?
The guest houses at Kaza and Kibber will have concrete toilets. At Kanamo Base camp, toilet tents will be set up along the campsite. There will be 2 or 4 of these toilet tents depending on the size of the group. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. There will be a room freshener as well. It’s the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not bio-degradable.
16. What kind of food is served on the trek? Should we carry any food?
Indiahikes uses a well planned menu suitable for high altitude treks. Breakfast varies from bread and butter, semia, poha to sandwiches and cornflakes. Lunch mainly comprises of roti or puri with sabzi. Dinner is complete with Dal, rice, roti and dessert. Dry ration of biscuits and chikki will be provided as well. You may carry nuts and dry fruits if necessary.
17. Will there be water sources on the way? Will two litres of water be enough?
Our campsite is pitched near a water source and you will have access to drinking water at the guest houses. While two litres of water should be enough, if you have a 2 litre hydration pack, you could bring an additional water bottle along that you could use on the day of the summit climb. There is one water source during the trek from Kibber to Kanamo Base camp and back. There are none on the Summit climb day.
18. Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?
BSNL network is available up to Kaza. If you’re lucky, you might get it at Kibber as well, but don’t count on it. Inform anxious family members about poor connectivity in the mountains. Electricity charging points will be present at the guest houses in Kaza and Kibber.
19. Do I need special snow shoes on this trek?
You don’t need special snow shoes. A good trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. We recommend shoes that are water resistant. When there is snow, we provide micro spikes and gaiters.
20. Why is the trekking pole necessary?
We suggest you watch this video to for a better understanding of why a trekking pole is necessary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=LXezaCVjEao
21. When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?
Alcohol is dangerous in extreme cold, especially on altitudes as high as 12,000 ft. Contrary to what people believe, alcohol does not make you warmer. Instead it opens your pores making your body colder. Moreover, it dehydrates you very quickly. Hence consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all Indiahikes treks. Anyone found with alcohol is quickly removed from the trek. Smoking, similarly, is not allowed on Indiahikes treks.
22. How long do we trek every day? What is the distance covered?
Day 1 – Reach Manali on your own
Day 2 – You will be picked up from Manali at 6:30 AM for the 10-11 hours drive to Kaza
Day 3 – We’ll have a short drive today to Kibber
Day 4 – This is an acclimatization day at Kibber. You will go on short treks pre and post lunch
Day 5 – Trekking from Kibber to Kanamo Base camp will take you 6-7 hours
Day 6 – This is an acclimation day at Kanamo Base camp, to prepare you for the following day’s summit climb
Day 7 – You will trek for about 12 hours today – 7 hours to climb up to the summit and 5 hours to return
Day 8 – Around 4 hours of trekking to get to Kibber from Kanamo Base camp. Drive to Kaza
You can take a look at the trek itinerary for more details.
23. How do I manage the negative temperatures on the trek? Do I need special jackets?
At high altitudes, temperatures are sure to dip into negative at nights.. For these extreme cold temperatures, you need to keep the rule of 3 in mind. The rule of 3 usually takes care of cold that dip to -10°C. It is a simple formula of wearing 3 layers of woolen, inners and lower wear.
Follow this guide:
Wear one thermal and two T-shirts, three layers of woolens (two sweaters and a jacket). For your lowers wear a thermal inner with two layers of track suit. If you are prone to more cold, just add a layer.
The temperatures dip only late in the evening and early mornings. During the day if the sun is out, then you may even be trekking in your T-shirts. Make sure you use your thermal wear only at night and not while trekking.
A woolen cap/balaclava and gloves are a must.
24. What all do I need to carry on the trek?
Click here to get the list of all the things you need to carry on the trek.
25. Why does the itinerary have so many acclimatization days? Can I skip these?
The transition in altitude from Manali to Kaza is huge – you very quickly gain more than 6,000 ft. Kibber is 2,000 ft higher. Your body gets no time during all this travel to acclimatize. The air at such high levels is very thin and you need to get used to breathing here. Hence, the need for the acclimatization day at Kibber. Kanamo Base camp is over 1,500 ft higher than Kibber. The summit is close to 20,000 ft and this day is very, very tough. The additional day at the Kanamo Base camp is both to help with acclimatization as well as to rest and be prepared for the long haul. So, to put it in short, do not skip these days.
26. Is it safe to trek with Indiahikes?
All high altitude treks come with their share of risks. At Indiahikes, we pay utmost importance to safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure a trekker’s life is safe, we also expect any trekker who is enrolling with us to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it. Before you go on the trek, make sure you’re thoroughly acquainted with the safety procedures followed on a trek.
How to get to the basecamp: Kaza
Delhi/Chandigarh → Manali → Kaza
The Kanamo trek starts at Kaza, a beautiful town along the Spiti river. Snow capped mountain ranges and clear streams surround the town.
To get to Kaza, take an overnight bus from Delhi or Chandigarh to Manali. You will reach Manali early the next morning (travel time from Delhi is 12-14 hours). Tickets can be booked online on www.redbus.in or www.hrtc.gov.in. HRTC or HPTDC buses are usually on schedule.
From Manali to Kaza, Indiahikes can arrange transport upon request. Pick up will be at 5.00 am from Rambagh circle on Mall Road, near Manali bus stand. The exact location at Rambagh circle is the auditorium near the Nehru Statue. It takes about 10 hours to reach Kaza. The transport charges are not included in the trek fee. A Sumo vehicle costs Rs.10,000 one way. Trekkers can travel together and share this cost.
Kaza → Manali → Delhi/Chandigarh
The trek ends at Kaza. The drive from Kaza to Manali can be arranged by Indiahikes. The transport charges of Rs.10,000 for a Sumo one way will be shared by trekkers. It’s a 10-12 hour drive from Kaza to Manali. Buses from Manali to Delhi leave between 4 and 5 pm and you can book in advance online on www.redbus.in or www.hrtc.gov.in. You will reach Delhi the next morning (travel time is 12-14 hours).
Please note: If you are choosing to stay in Manali before or after the trek, please make your hotel booking in advance. Manali is a tourist city and it is extremely difficult to find stay options in the last minute.
Here is what our trekkers have to say about the trek!
“Indiahikes offers the best of all I have seen in other groups! I must admit it that for the first time in my life I did something which took me out of my comfort zone. Not only this trek helped me to learn a lot of things but also helped me to inculcate discipline in my life.” – Abhishek Jain, batch of May 2016
“The trek was really awesome. I personally learnt a lot from the trek. Indiahikes provided us with good services, even at the time of emergencies. Also, the entire team is a group of concerned nature lovers!” –Aishwarya, batch of May 2016
“Indiahikes is by far the most organized and caring trek company I know, if safety is the point then Indiahikes is the best, also you have routes throughout the country.”-Paramahamsa Kolagani, batch of May 2016
“Considering, I was longing for Kashmir and Warwan getting cancelled twice was a big blow. I wasn’t too sure of Kanamo at first however, it turned out to be a trip of my life time. It was challenging, tough and taught me great deal of things.” – Sanjhi Khanna, batch of July 2016