Trek to Kanamo Peak
After reading quiet a bit on internet, I decided to for the Kanamo Trek in Spiti. It suited my budget and leave planner in office. I decided to go with Wanderers since my friends had done with trek previous year with them and their reviews were fab. Trek to Kanamo peak is at 19,553 ft (5,960 m). This slightly less than Stok Kangri peak which I had done a few years ago and supposedly much easier than Stok.
I contacted them on email and got prompt reply. I registered with them and schedule to meet the team in Manali on 3 rd Aug 2017. So I started from Delhi on 2 nd Aug night. Took the overnight volvo that leaves from ISBT in Delhi and takes approx. 16 hours to reach Manali. Fairly comfortable journey.
We reached Manali at 7 AM and Wanderers team was waiting for us at the bus stop itself. There were more trekkers who had reached. I realized that some of them had been in Manali for 1 or 2 days ahead of time just to chill. We quickly had breakfast at a dhaba and boarded our Tempo Traveler to Kaza. When we started to move, we were introduced to the Trek Lead – Bir. He was going to be our Leader for the trek. He gave us instructions on what to do and what not to do. We filled in the indemnity bond as well. This was going to be a 10 hour journey. I started to talk with fellow trekker and got to know some of them were from Kolkata and had specially come for this trek. We stopped for lunch and tea for some time and then started again. We reached the Kaza village around 6 PM in the evening. I was exhausted with back to back bus journeys and realized why people had taken a break in Manali. We had a homestay reserved for us. I quickly freshen’d up and ate some food and went to sleep.
Next day, I woke up at 6 AM, most of the trekkers were sleeping at that time. I felt much better with all the rest. Peeped outside the window and it was gorgeous sunrise so I walked outside to sit for a while. Pos the morning chores, was ready for breakfast. Some trekkers had woken up already. Bir was up and helping with setting up the breakfast table. He was greeting everyone with smile. We had breakfast of bread, eggs, butter, jam and some poha. We also had tea coffee. Post breakfast, we were back in tempo traveler, and rode for an hour to Kibber. The route is picturesque with mountains on all sides. The weather was slightly cold but pleasant. Kibber is one the highest village in the world. This village also has the famous Key Monastery. The monastery is located on top of a hill. We went to the monastery and interacted with monks as well. Such humble and learned souls. We returned to our homestay in Kibber village for lunch. Post lunch we were huddled up for a briefing. Todays briefing was a little more about the next few days plan. We then went for acclimatization walk. This was gradual hike up the hills. Took almost two hours to reach the top. We sat there admiring the beauty of nature for a while and then back down. We had some tea and then went back to hour homestay. Dinner was served at 7 PM and were all off to sleep by 8:30 Pm.
Next day we woke up at 7 AM and post breakfast went for another acclimatization walk. This time in a different direction. Came back before lunch. Lunch was served at noon. Post lunch we were advised to rest for a while or we could see the village. Me and another trekker decided to walk around the village and it was good fun interacting with the villagers. At 4 PM we again when for short acclimatization walk and came back by 6:30. Dinner and 7 and we were off to bed by 8 PM.
Next day, which was the 5 days on the journey, we were all woken up at 6 AM by loud “Good Morning” calls by Bir. He was loud and chirpy. He was already telling us that breakfast was ready and that we have to make a move by 8 AM. Post breakfast, there was huddle. We were told that today trek will be 5 kms approximately and will take about 5 -6 hours. This was going to a slightly steep climb, but we can rest and move as per our own pace. We filled our water bottles and started our trek at sharp 8 AM. The climb was too steep for me so post 1 km of struggling I off loaded my bag on a mule and started to walk with a day pack only. This was much more comfortable for me. Post 3 kms, the climb was easy and we encountered an easy section. Everyone sat down for quick snack break and rest. We started to climb again in 10 mins. We saw many beautiful bhrama kamal flowers. I had never seen them before. They were beautiful. We reached the base camp site and the tents were already setup. Post resting for a while we had lunch and then rested some more. Early dinner and 7 pm and we were off to sleep by 8 Pm.
Next day we stayed back in the camp to better acclimatize. Went for walks in the surrounding area. The area around the campsite, supposedly has a lot of fossils. We did try to find one but were not lucky. We were briefed today about the next day’s plan. We were going to start our climb with a daypack only around 3 AM. Hence the idea was to ensure we sort out our daypacks with essentials, have dinner by 5 Pm and sleep by 6 PM so that we have enough rest.
The following day we woke with Bir calling us out, at 2 AM. Had a quick coffee and snack breakfast while Bir briefed us about the safety, route etc. We started to trek at 3 AM. It was dark, and everyone had their head torches on. It was cold as well, but the excitement made us all warm. We soon were on the shoulder of the mountain and it was getting difficult to climb with every step. I had a chocolate at this time as I was feeling low on energy. We kept walking and got to the second shoulder of the mountain. We encountered scree at this point and it was the hardest climb of the trek. The last one hour was almost like a vertical climb on scree, difficult to the core but with all the guide, bir and the support staff, we never thought of quitting. Everyone was helping and shouting encouraging words. And finally, we reached the summit. The views were stunning to say the least. The whole 360 degree view was mesmerizing. We spent 30 mins on top, clicking pictures and having a quick bite there. Then descended back to the Kanamo Base camp. Took us almost 13 hours from start to finish. At the base, everyone was cheerful and happy with the achievement. Today as well we had an early dinner and 7 pm and but did not sleep early. We spent time talking and reliving the moments and were chatting till 11 Pm. Sometime in the middle I did sleep off.
Next day we trekked back to kibber, where the transport was waiting for us. Post lunch we took the transport to Kaza. Here we slept at the same place as we had earlier. Today as were there was a lot og chatting and singing all night.
Next day we all headed towards Manali.