Kanamo Peak Trek – 19,553 ft | Intriguing Summit Climb Attempt

It was time for the summit hike to Kanamo Peak, which stands at 19,600 feet, after spending a day in Kanamo Basecamp. Even though the weather had been awful the day before, it seemed to be fine on the summit day, and our trip leader gave us the go-ahead.
Also check: Hike from Kibber village to Mount Kanamo Basecamp

Kanamo Peak
Kanamo Peak standing tall at 19,600 feet above sea level, Kibber, Himachal, India

The terrain along the Kanamo Peak trail

This hill has a steep grade, and many people develop high altitude sickness if they are not well equipped. It is also a continuous rise to the summit, with the final seven hours consisting of a nearly vertical slope on a steep inclination entirely on scree. As there is no option to camp anywhere in between, you will have to descent back to Kanamo Basecamp which will take around 3 hours, provided everything goes as per the plan. Note that there is no water source anywhere around and the nearest water source is at Kanamo Basecamp. A proper cold weather jacket is a must at this altitude since the early morning breeze is ice cold.

Landscape around Kanamo
The landscape around Kanamo Peak

Wildlife and fossile

The summit attempt starts as early as 3-4 AM. Early in the morning, you traverse the first section of the mountain. Keep an eye out for distant mountain ranges and the sky’s ever-changing golden hour colors. On the way up we could see the Wild Himalayan Yak and the Himalayan Ibex. In rare cases, you might even find Himalayan snow leopards. There are tours organized by the locals, a visit to the Kibber wildlife sanctuary during winter in the month of March.

Wild Himalayan Yak
Himalayan Yak

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Look for fascinating stones in this section as you go on since many of them are likely to be plant or animal fossils. There are several fossil repositories that can be found. Here is what we found – check the video below, whale and fish fossils and a few shells up in the Himalayan mountains, which were once undersea.

Himalayan Ibex
Himalayan Ibex

High Altitude Sickness

We were soon on our way to the mountain’s second section. The last stage of the climb to Kanamo Peak, a hard rise of around 70-80 degrees on the scree slopes – takes about 4 to 5 hours. From here, the entire ascent is on scree. This is where I could no longer climb and could clearly see the signs of altitude sickness. Only a few could make it to the summit. I could hardly see anything around and had to almost get our trek lead’s support to stand still.

Chicham village in the background on the way back from Kanamo Peak
Chicham village in the background & that’s me on the way back from Kanamo Peak

Altitude sickness is dangerous and can even cause death. I did not want to take any kind of risk. I can clearly see that most of us were not acclimatized and almost half the team had the same trouble. We were now close to 18000 feet. I could hardly capture any photos here and my only aim at this time was not the summit but to get back to a lower altitude in order to recover from the altitude sickness.

Wildflowers on the way to Kanamo
Wildflowers on the way to Kanamo Peak

I finally managed to get back to KBC and spent the evening inside my tent lying still. I recovered the next morning and resumed my journey to Kibber village the following day. From here we explored the scary super adventurous ropeway ride across Parilungbo Canyon, on the way to Chicham in Spiti Valley. As of this writing, this ropeway is now replaced with a bridge, which was under construction when I visited the place. This bridge is now completed, which is the tallest bridge in Asia at 13,596 feet high.

That was my story of an attempt to climb the Kanamo Summit which is almost 70% the height of Everest. By the way, while hiking, I had come across a few who opted for Kanamo Peak trek Solo. You may hire a local guide who can also cook for you and the trek can be completed in 2 days if you are acclimatized. Hope you enjoyed watching the video. By the way, here is the camera gear that I take along when I travel. Support my work by SUBSCRIBING to my Youtube channel.

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