Expedition takes unfamiliar route from Ladakh to Kishtwar

A group of mountaineers have successfully completed the first-of-its-kind ‘Himalayan Traverse’ from the higher reaches of Ladakh to upper Kishtwar in the Jammu region.

Expedition takes unfamiliar route from Ladakh to KishtwarThough several expeditions are usually undertaken in the Himalayas of Kashmir and Ladakh, the trekkers of this traverse took an unconventional route which was not properly documented.

The trekkers and officials believe that the expedition will open new vistas for serious adventurers and give a boost to adventure tourism in the state, especially in the untapped upper Kishtwar area.

“This Himalayan Traverse was completed in seven days. The route taken was unconventional, not the one taken by adventurers in the past. This route lacked proper documentation in travel guide books. It is for the first time in recent history that an expedition on this route was conducted, which can now be used by serious adventurers,” said Wiqar Bashir, member of the J&K Mountaineering and Hiking Club (JKMHC), which organised the expedition along with the Tourism Department.

Wiqar, who led the expedition with Sheikh Jameel, also a member of the JKHMC, said an eight-member team started its journey from Gulmatango in the Suru valley and finally reached Madhwa in Kishtwar after traversing a difficult track laden with glaciers, steep cliffs and river crossings.

“After ascending the Shafat Nullah and traversing the Shafat glacier, we crossed the great Himalayas at Z ridge (16,500 feet) that stretches between the famous Nun Kun peak (23,000 feet ) and the Z1 peak (20,000 feet). The team crossed the Fariabad glacier and the Z1 glacier, steep cliffs and threatening loose rocks while descending in to the Krish Nai valley on the other side of the Himalayas,” said Wiqar, who was also the expedition doctor.

“The team then travelled through meadows and dense forests crossing Fariabad Nai, Krish Nai, Mandik Sar and Rin Nai to reach Tatawoin and further Astangam in the Madhwa area of upper Kishtwar”.

Tourism Officer, Kargil, Gulam Rasool Lal, who was part of the group, said the expedition was a ‘milestone’ for adventure tourism lovers.

“It adds another milestone to adventure tourism of J&K. This is a wonderful adventurous trekking route for mountaineers and professional trekkers from the base and advance base camps of famous Nun Kun, White Needle and Pinnacle peaks of the Suru valley (Kargil) by passing 16,500 feet to beautiful and virgin Krish nullah and Marwah valley,” Lal said. He said the route was also home to wild animals such as the Himalayan fox, deer, brown bear, marmot, snow leopard, jackal and eagle.

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