Nun Kun stands at an elevation of 7135 meter, this peak in Suru Valley watches over the entire Zanskar area. In the Upper Suru Valley, the Nun-Kun massif overlooks the skyline- the highest peaks in the Zanskar range of Ladakh the Kun peak being the lesser of the two at 23, 218 ft. A trenched plateau separates the two peaks, extending to about 4 km. This is one of the key areas when climbing the Nun-Kun peaks jointly. The higher peak in the Nun Kun massif, Mount Nun’s glittering presence could be felt from the moment you set foot in Leh with the twin peaks manifesting brilliantly along the road to Kargil. Intensive glacial formations, icefall slopes, thoroughly crevassed surfaces, knife-edge cliffs, vertical ice walls, and unpredictable weather beset the expedition to Nun with thrills of a thousand kinds.
Landing at Leh is an adventure in itself as the airport strip is between mountains on both the sides. Leh airport is around 6 km from Leh city. Leh is at an altitude of 10,000 feet so acclimatizing yourself to high altitude is important to enjoy trekking in Ladakh. Rest for the first half of the day and in the evening go for a walk to the Leh market.
Our trip starts early this morning after breakfast from Leh. Meandering through a spectacular expanse of cold desert highlands, the Great Himalayan rises and falls starkly on both sides of the road dramatically, a view from which it is hard to take your eyes off. Latter we run into a beautiful blend of aquamarine colors at the confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers. At 30 km off Leh, we will follow through the “magnetic hill” road towards Kargil. As a cautionary measure, come equipped with medicine for motion sickness as the snaky turns of this long journey can make any unaccustomed traveler oozy in the stomach. To beat the threats altitude sickness, make sure to stay thoroughly hydrated. After nightfall we will reach our guest house in Kargil.
We will leave from Kargil early morning; we will off on our way through Suru Valley to the little hamlet of Tangul. On a parallel with the Indus-tributary of Suru River we will inch closer to our mighty destination. The Nun-Kun massif by now will be eclipsing the sky along with the other presences of Zanskar range. A few otherprominent villages that line this way are- Sankhoo, Panikhar and after Tangul, village Parkachik. As we move along towards Tangul, the vision of Nun-Kun magnifies, the details of them revealing. In Tangul, by the end of the road head, we will pitch our first tent in the expedition.
This day of trek is scheduled for 5-6 hour from Tangul to the base of the Nun-Kun massif at 4600 m. The path is free of snow but the experience of the weather will be biting cold. The challenge of today will be our tryst with heavy load carriage and setting up facility at the base.We will be done with the set up by late evening and make sure to remain well rested through the night to start off next day’s challenging expedition.
The route opens to a moraine and ridge sloping steeply up. Where the ridge slope ends, we will run into a glacier, initiating gearing with our technical climbing equipment. Our advances hereon will be on fixed line, and the major challenge in this area will be to tackle an icefall of 200 meters on harnessed walk. Post the precarious icefall region, we will fall into a glacial plateau from where Nun will overshadow. Our advanced camp will be set here in this plane.
From advanced base camp, we will negotiate descending to base camp and coming back up again, thus ferrying goods in two phases. Advanced base camp will make way for a traversing along the base line of the Nun Mountain, continuing to 600 vertical meters on fixed rope harness. The time calculates for covering this area is approximately 6 hour. At a 5800 m, we will establish camp 1, followed by a descent to advanced base camp for night stay.
Further ahead Camp1, a fully equipped technical climb continues to the rocky summit of a subsidiary peak. The highlights of challenge in this stretch will be steep snow slopes and a downward jaunt from a crevassed col. Camp 2 is to be set on a plateau of ice at 6400 meters, in an open area just below the summit climbing stretch of Nun. Ice slope ascent on fixed rope is the most difficult aspect of reaching in high plateau.
The final summit climb will be reserved over one/two days, taking into consideration unsuccessful first attempts and resting gaps. The closing 2300 feet of summit landing is characterized by steep and narrow snow arête which is to be tackled on a fixed rope climbing.
Finally coming back to Camp 1 from the Summit Camp at a very steady speed is necessary. We have to cross steep snow slopes and a downward jaunt from a crevassed col. So, over-night stay at Camp1 is required.
Starting early in the morning, for descend from Camp1 to Advanced Base Camp.
Getting back to the Base Camp from Advanced Base Camp, via same route gives you fantastic and eye catching views.
From base camp, we will descend to Tangul road head and set up camp there.
Starting early in the morning, we will drive from Tangul road head to Leh, a journey full of reminiscing to span over 11 to 12 hours, concluding with a well rested night stay in 3-star establishment.