mountain ranges are both Alpine and Himalayan and can be grouped into four
distinct re-gions: Kashmir, Kishtwar, Zanskar and Ladakh.
The most well known peaks are Kolahoi (5,425 m) known as the Matterhorn of Kashmir; Harmukh (5,148 m) whose north face resembles Eiger; Tattakuti (4,742 m); Sunset (4,745 m) the highest peak in the Pir Panjal range, and numerous small peaks in Sonamarg and Pahalgam. One can climb these peaks quickly, making Alpine style ascents.
Kishtwar represents small Himalayan peaks of great technical difficulty involving week long trek-king to the base camps. The popular peaks in this re-gion are Sickle Moon (6,575 m); Eiger (6,001 m); Brammah-I (6,416 m); Brammah's Wife (5,297 m); Crooked Finger (5,630 m); Flat Top (6,100 m); Ca-thedral (5,370 m); Barnaj-I (6,100 m); Barnaj-II (6,290 m); Arjuna (6,200 m); Agyasol (6,200 m) and Shivling (6,000 m).
The Zanskar Range encompasses the famous massif of Nun-Kun. This group of mountains has been ex-plored since 1898 by Bruce, Sillem, the Bullock-Workmans, Piacenza, Harrison and Waller. Kun (7,077 m) was first climbed by the Italian climber Pia-cenza in 1913 and Nun (7,135 m) by the Swiss climber, late Madame Claude Kogan, in 1953. This is the only climbing group accessible by a day's trekking from the road head. One can reach the base camp of Nun in two days from the airport in Srinagar. The other signific-ant peaks in this range are the White Needle (6,500 m); Pinnacle (6,930 m); Z-1 (6,400 m); Z-2 (6,175 m); Z-3 (6,270 m); Z-8 (6,050 m); D-41 (5,813 m); N-8 (6,392 m); Bien Guapa (6,006 m); Bobang (5,971 m). In addition, the range has many unnamed peaks over-looking the Durung Drung glacier.
The Ladakh range comprises the peaks of Stok area - Stok Kangri 6,135 m, Parcha Kangri 6,065 m, Gulap Kangri 5,900 m; and some peaks of Nimaling area such as the famous Kang Yissay-6,400 m.
Recently, the Karakorams have also been thrown open to selected joint expeditions. Three expeditions are allowed every year to three groups - Saser Group, Rimo Group and Momostong Group in Nubra Val-ley. Some of these peaks overlook the Siachin glacier, among the longest in the world.
The climbing period extends from mid May till mid October. The monsoons do not affect the Ladakh peaks and the main climbing season is July/August when most of the Himalayas remain closed.
One need not worry about emergencies in the mountains. The Army and the Air Force are autho-rised to assist climbers and trekkers in distress. Most of the climbing regions are linked by high-frequency radio to Srinagar - the base of rescue operations. Some very daring and dramatic helicopter evacua-tions have been undertaken by the pilots of the Indian Air Force in recent years.
All foreign mountaineering expeditions to India have to obtain permission in writing from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation who charge a booking fee depending upon the height of the peak. A Liaison Officer is provided with each team.