Kanamo Peak: A terrific high altitude summit climb that goes up to 20,000ft
There is a certain glamour in a trekkable peak that touches an altitude that most mountaineers climb in. A trekkable peak, after all, does not require any mountaineering skill and can be climbed if you are properly acclimatised. Many trekkers flock to Stok Kangri – around 20,190 ft – for this very hunger for altitude. However, not many people know that there is another, a lesser-known peak that rises to almost the same altitude – the Kanamo Peak (19,600 ft).
The Kanamo Peak looms behind Kibber and Tashi Gang villages, hidden away at the heart of Spiti. This is a region of Spiti that is still untouched by modernity, unperturbed by civilization. Which makes this trek quieter, prettier and an equally challenging alternative to Stok Kangri. Stok Kangri has been unfortunately commercialised.
Now, while Kanamo Peak is a trekkable summit, it is by no means easy. High order of physical fitness is necessary because this trek is an endurance test. It is a relentless climb over scree and boulder moraine from Kanamo base camp to the summit. And in that altitude, just putting one step ahead is an effort. On the summit day, you not only have to ascend 4,500 ft to the peak, but you also need to descend back to basecamp on the same day. That takes almost 12-14 hours, covering around 10 km of trekking through arduous terrain. This trek is for the strongest, fittest and experienced trekkers.
However, the fruit of this hard and adventurous climb is wondrous. At the summit, you see a view that is something you see out of an airline. Standing at what seems like the top of the world, you see ver 35 other summits from Ladakh, Spiti, Kullu and Kinnaur. It is a 360-degree view of equally high mountains. The Shilla Peak, Kanamo’s sister peak is so close, you can almost reach out and feel it. Standing on top of this summit is a gift.
What to watch out for
The summit day
It is not often you will experience an expedition-style summit day like this one. Your day starts at 1 am with a quick breakfast. With three litres of water and packed food, you start off in the darkness. On a clear day, the stars will light up in the sky. The trail is such that it is easy to get lost. So you walk in a single line behind each other on this challenging, barren terrain. The sky starts lightening as you hit 18,000 ft. You toil on in the light of the morning along the slippery slope of the mountain. And then the world opens up below you at 9.30 am. The feeling on top of this summit is indescribable!
Key is the largest monastery in the Spiti Valley region and possibly one of the oldest in the region. Perched on a hilltop, boxes of buildings stacked on top of each other on the mountainside, this monastery is quite a sight! If you are lucky, you will get a tour from a friendly monk and sometimes, a helping of herbal tea.
The villages of Spiti
There is a certain charm to the villages of Spiti. You see these whitewashed mud settlements, perched on the stark brown mountainside, overlooking patches of green farmlands. The villages look like people have made houses on a moonland. After the trek, you can tour these villages. Our picks (apart from Kaza and Kibber, which you will already pass through): Hikkim, Chicham, Langza, Komic and Dhankar.
Day 1: Arrive at Manali at any time and rest.
Day 2: Drive from Manali to Kaza. 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. Cost of Rs.13,000 for a Sumo (5-6 seater) to be shared among trekkers.
Day 3: Short drive from Kaza (12,467 ft) to Kibber (14,108 ft)
Day 4: Acclimatisation day at Kibber
Day 5: Trek from Kibber (14,108 ft) to Kanamo Base camp (15,748 ft); 5 km, 6-7 hr trek
Day 6: Acclimatisation day at Kanamo base camp
Day 7: Kanamo base camp (15,748 ft) to Kanamo peak (19,553 ft) and back to base camp; 12 hr trek; 7 hr ascent, 5 hr descent
Day 8: Trek from Kanamo (15,748 ft) base camp to Kibber (14,108 ft); 5 hours trek
Day 9: Drive from Kibber to Manali. You are expected to reach Manali around 6 pm. Cost of Rs.13,000 a 5-6 seater vehicle to be shared among trekkers.
Please note that you will be staying at guest houses or home stays in Kaza and Kibber. The stay at Kanamo Base Camp is in tents (3 per tent).
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
Day 1: Reach Manali
- Altitude: 709 ft (216 m) to 6,725 ft (2,050 m)
- 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 gruelling road journey to Kaza tomorrow.
You need to reach Manali on your own.
Day 2: Drive from Manali to Kaza
- Altitude: 6,725 ft (2,050 m) to 12,467 ft (3,800 m)
- 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 (3,800 m) to 14,108 ft (4,300 m)
- 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 ascent 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: Acclimatisation day at Kibber
Day 5: Kibber to Kanamo Base camp
- Altitude: 14,108 ft (4,300 m) to 15,748 ft (4,780 m)
- 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 6: Acclimatization day at Kanamo base camp
Day 7: Kanamo base camp to Kanamo peak and back to base camp
- Altitude: 15,748 ft (4,780 m) to 19,553 ft (5,960 m) 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 balaclava 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 8: Kanamo base camp to Kibber
- Altitude: 15,748 ft (4,780 m) to 14,108 ft (4,300 m)
- Time taken: 5 hours
- 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.
Day 9: Kibber to Manali
- Altitude: 14,108 ft (4,300 m) to 6,725 ft (2,050 m)
The journey back to Manali today starts 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.
If you are spending more time in Spiti before or after the trek (on your own), go across the Spiti river. There are 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. You can also visit 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 postmaste of the village.
Another place to visit is the Key monastery, one of the large monasteries in this region. On the way, you will see the lovely village of Chicham, which is connected to the road by a pulley-operated trolley.
Banner image by Shashwat Sharma.
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.13,000 one way. Trekkers can travel together and share this cost.
Kibber → Manali → Delhi/Chandigarh
The trek ends at Kibber. The drive from Kibber to Manali can be arranged by Indiahikes. The transport charges of Rs.13,000 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.
Faint BSNL network available. About half a kilometer from Kibber Base Camp if you walk towards the Kibber Village you will get some network near the stupa. In Kaza you get faint BSNL 2G connectivity.
1/2 kms from Kibber base camp if you walk towards the village you will get network near a pole/stupa; In Kaza you get faint BSNL 2G
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.
As the trek demands a high level of fitness, we have a screening process for our trekkers.
Once you register, you will get a questionnaire from your Trek Coordinator who will ask you to send a screenshot of the GPS track and also the splits.
You need to cover 5 km in 30 mins and record it with splits of the run for the entire week using any fitness app before you register.
You will be able to make the payment only once he/she approves the fitness screenshot.
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 10 km in 75 minutes before the start of the trek
- Gradually bring up your speed to do 5 km in 30 minutes
- Start increasing the distance you jog to 10 km in 75 minutes
Before the start of the trek, you should be able to cover 10 km in 75 minutes.
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
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.
- 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. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. 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 after reaching the campsite 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, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
- Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose 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. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
- 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)
- 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)
- Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
- Anti fungal powder
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
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 at a 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.
The Indiahikes Cancellation Policy
We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that.
Given that, we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.
Take a look at the Indiahikes cancellation policy below. This policy is effective starting January 29th, 2020.
In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher
In the rare event that we cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, government orders, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.
Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable once it has been paid for.
If you cancel any rental gear from our store:
- Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a monetary refund with 4% cancellation charges.
- Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a voucher of the whole amount you have paid for the rental gear. This voucher is applicable on your future treks.
If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:
The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge.
If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee.
Special Cases That Could Occur:
There are some special cases that could occur when you’re on a trek.
1. You may not be able to complete the trek because of bad weather, high snow conditions, or any natural calamity.
2. You may have to leave your trek abruptly (could be due to altitude sickness, abnormal BP, unpreparedness for the trek, any emergencies at home)
In the above two cases, you’re welcome to come back and repeat the same trek any time in future. You do not have to pay us for this. If you’d like to repeat your trek, get in touch with your Trek Coordinator and they’ll help you.
Important note: Your offloading and rental fee will not be refunded in the above two cases.
3. You may not be able to report at the base camp at all (could be due to blocked roads / cancelled flights/curfews), we will try to accommodate you in the next day’s team (if we have one).
In the third case, if we cannot accommodate you in the next day’s trek, we will give you a Trek Voucher of the entire trek fee (including your offloading and rental fee), which you can use on any Indiahikes trek within the next one year.
How to cancel your trek:
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps.
- Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link.
- Find your upcoming trek on your home page.
- Click on “Cancel Trek”
- Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
- Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable).
- Click on “Cancel Booking”
How long does the refund process take?
After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.
If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.
What is a Trek Voucher?
Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.
Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable.
How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?
If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek.
Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Trek Coordinator.
The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)
At Indiahikes, we can’t help but fall in love with a few trekking trails. And we love revisiting them, perhaps in other seasons, when treks take on a totally different hue. In such cases, we do not like the thought of having to pay for it. Our trekkers shouldn’t have to pay either.
So if you have loved a trek that you did with us and want to repeat it, you’re welcome to sign up for the trek. We will not charge you for this. (Many people think this is a rumour, but it’s true.)
To repeat your trek for free, just get in touch with your Trek Coordinator. We’ll help you sign up with no charges.
Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply for our international treks.
Your 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.
Your trek fee does not include:
- 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
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. The trek has long climbs and steep descents on a daily basis. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 30 minutes by the time your trek starts. Alternatively, you can do cycling of 25 km in 60 minutes or walking 10 km in 75 minutes. This is a minimum, mandatory requirement. 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 and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.
Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
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 – Rs 1,200 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 400 per day inclusive of tax. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.
Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.
Discount for a group of 10 and above
If there is a group size of 10 trekkers and above, then we will waive off the trek fee charges for one person.
Note - There is no discount available if the group size is 9 or less than that.
You can register the entire group and send us an email. If the group is registering individually, then the primary participant needs to send an email to the Trek Coordinator with the list of trekkers from the same group.
If you want to make the payment individually, then individual registrations have to be done.
This will be the case for a group of 10 trekkers. So if you have a group of 20 trekkers, then we will waive off the charges for 2 trekkers.
Repeat Trekker Policy
At Indiahikes, we believe that the mountains hold all the aces. The weather could play spoilsport, the altitude could mess with a trekker, the unpredictability of nature itself could turn against him. Whatever the reason might be, it is never nice to turn away from a trek midway.
In the event that a trekker has to come down without completing your trek, they can always head back to the mountain and do the same trek again. If this happens, trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee. They have to just make the optional payment for the insurance amount.
On another note, it could also happen that you love a trek so much that you want to go back time and again. Trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee for repeating a trek.
Note – The Repeat Trekker Policy holds good only for Indian Treks.
It is not valid for treks we run in Nepal.
The transport charges from Manali to Kaza costs Rs. 13,000 per sumo cab. It is also the same charges for return drive from Kibber to Manali. Both the costs are not included in your trek fee. It is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
I am trekking for the first time in the Himalayas. Can I go for this trek?
Kanamo is a difficult trek. This is currently the highest altitude trek that we do. It goes up almost to 20,000 feet.
You need extremely high level of fitness for this trek. Also, you need to know how your body reacts at high altitude.
For this you need exposure to high altitude trekking. It is really not advisable to attempt such a high altitude trek without prior experience, regardless of how fit you are.
We will not be taking first time trekkers on this trek.
I see a lot of acclimatisation days before I actually start trekking. Can I avoid these and shorten my trek?
The days you spend at Manali, Kaza and Kibber are extremely important. These help you acclimatise better and help you complete the trek.
Going up to 19,600 feet is not so easy. You need these few days before you start trekking.
We expect you to be at Manali on the first day of the itinerary.
We want to stay in Kaza, Spiti for a couple of days after the trek. Will we get a vehicle back to Manali?
Kaza is a popular place in the Spiti valley. You get buses and Tempo Travellers from the main Kaza bus stop at 9 am. It is really tough to find transport to Manali, post 10 am.
We will not be able to arrange transport for you if you are staying back in Kaza. Our vehicles leave from Mudh ( where you end the trek ), the next morning.
If you are planning to stay at Kaza, make sure you visit Kibber ( 18.9 kms from Kaza ) to visit the Key Monastery. You can also go to Hikkim ( 15.4 kms from Kaza ) to get to the world’s highest post office.
Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek.
Yes. There is an option to offload your backpack on this trek ( have a porter or a mule carry the bag for you ).
This is going to cost you Rs. 1600 plus 5% GST for the entire duration of the trek.
Make sure the weight of the backpack you are offloading is not more than 9 kgs. Also, the bags should have shoulder straps. You cannot get suitcases or strollers for offloading.
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.
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.
Here is what trekkers have to say about their experience at Kanamo Peak Trek
"With the summit at 5950 meters, this the highest I’ve ever trekked up to. A 360-degree view of the Himalayan range around me, it is the best thing I’ve done all my life. It took both preparation and hard work to make it here, and it was all worth it", writes Rohit Manchanda. Continue reading to see how it...Read full blog
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