Home - About Martin Moran - News and Offers - Scottish Courses - Norway Ice Climbing - Arctic Norway - Himalayan Expeditions

Alpine Guiding - Photos & Reports - Books & Lectures - Prices - Enquiry Form - Secure Booking Form - Blog - Links




Exploration and Pioneering in Zanskar Himalaya

15th JUNE – 9th JULY 2018

Join us to explore recently-opened 6000-metre peaks in the wilds of Zanskar Himalaya. The Lalung and Chilung groups are impressive snow and mixed peaks on the Pundum Glacier south of the Pensi La pass. We suspect that some of these peaks are unclimbed - the highest are Chilung I (6349m), Chilung II (6253m) Lalung I (6243m), Lalung II (6157m) and Lalung III (6126m), and there are numerous other summits around the glacier between 5500-6100m in altitude. The only recent recorded climbing in the area was an attempt by a strong American team on the NE Ridge of C-II in Sept 2015.

The journey begins with a one-hour flight from Delhi to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. After acclimatisation we will drive the National Highway 1 road through high mountain desert to Kargil then up the beautiful Suru valley and past Nun-Kun peaks. Our road-head is close to the 4400m pass of Pensi La a few miles beyond the Buddhist monastery of Ringdom Gompa. Base camp will be at the snout of the Pundum Glacier at 4200m, a one-day trek of 7-8 km. We then have up to thirteen days available for climbing exploration of the peaks.  

At the end of the trip some members may like to walk back to Ladakh over the 5250m Kanja La or we may make a col crossing to the Pensi or Darung Drung Glaciers. The journey finishes back at Ladakh's capital, Leh, from where the team will fly direct back to Delhi.

The expedition is adventurous and explores remote country. Technical difficulties will vary according to the peaks chosen. With two guides a variety of objectives of different grades can be tackled. All members should have a solid foundation of snow and mixed mountaineering at minimum Scottish grade II/Alpine PD level. Climbers with higher technical level (ie Scottsh IV/ Alpine D-TD) will also find excellent challenges on these peaks. Previous altitude experience to 4000m+ is recommended, and robust fitness must be combined witjh load-carrying ability. This is a great trip for a first visit to the Himalaya for suitably experienced mountaineers and the itinerary offers amazing adventure in a 24 day package. Trip grade: B/C.

2.5% early booking discount on reservations made before 31st Oct 2017; up to 5% discounts available for past-clients and groups

Left: Chilung I and II (photo: Jay Smith)

Above: Lalung II (photo Jack Tackle)


Fri-Sat 15th – 16th June: Flights to Delhi; organise kit and complete formalities with Indian Mountaineering Foundation
Sun 17th June: Early morning flights to Leh; rest and acclimatisation in Leh city
Mon 18th June: Shopping for provisions and equipment in Leh; acclimatisation walks; sightseeing tours
Tues 19th June: Road journey to Kargil (7-8hr); stay overnight in Suru valley; organise porters and yaks/horses for base camp trek
Wed 20th June: Complete road journey to Ringdom Gompa and Pensi La pass (4-5hr); unload and set camp by Sankpo river
Thurs 21st June: Trek to base camp (4250m) at snout of Lalung Glacier (8km).
Fri – Sat 22nd-23rd June: Acclimatisation at base camp and exploration of glacier
Sun-Mon 24th – 25th June: Establish advanced camp at 4700m on Lalung Glacier under Chilung and Lalung peaks.
Tues 26th June – Wed 4th July: Climbing phase of trip – attempts on Lalung Peaks and Chilung I.
Thurs 5th July: Trek out to Pensi La road and drive back to Suru
Fri 6th July: Road journey back to Leh
Sat-Sun 7th-8th July: Flights Leh-Delhi; rest and sightseeing in Delhi
Mon 8th-9th July: Flights back to home destinations

Trip Leader: Martin Moran (BMG/IFMGA Guide), will lead the trip assisted by another experienced British Guide or MIC Instructor if number of members exceeds 5. We will also take a highly-skilled Indian climber/instructor or Sherpa if numbers exceed 7

Trip Grade: B/C; Maximum number of members: 9 with 2 British guides

Price: £4,400: Deposit: £600 booking deposit required. Balance payable on or before 15th Mar 2018

Discounts: 2½% to past-Scottish/Alpine clients; 5% to past Himalayan-clients, 5% to groups of 3 or more; deduct £550 for land-only price

Price includes Flights UK-Delhi, Delhi-Leh, Peak Permit fees, Travel in India, all food and meals on trek and climb, British Guides, Indian staff, bed & breakfast in Delhi/Leh Hotels, and hotels/resthouses on journey to roadhead, use of Equipment/Tents. 15% discount on equipment purchases from Cotswold Outdoor Not included: Personal Insurance, Visas, Tips, Drinks, Hotel meals, Lunches on the road.

Lalung-Pundum Glacier and surrounding peaks (photo: Jack Tackle)


BOOKING DEADLINE: Bookings must be received before 15th March 2018 in order to secure flight bookings and to make staff and accommodation arrangements. Later bookings will be considered with a 10% surcharge to cover the extra costs of these services when booked at short notice.

TRAVEL: International Flight schedules: We will book flights according to your preference and current fare pricing with the main carriers. In past years we have regularly used BA from Heathrow to Delhi and Emirates from Manchester or Glasgow to Delhi via Dubai. Lufthansa, KLM and Air India are alternatives. We must charge a flight supplement for regional UK departures if the fares exceed the standard fare available from London Heathrow. Members wishing to book their own flights should deduct £550 for a land-only price. Delhi-Leh flights: we book standard domestic flights with GoAir or Jet Airways; flight time is 1hr 15min.

PRE-TRIP MEET: We will hold a pre-expedition training meet in Scotland, provisionally scheduled for 27-28 Jan 2018, when all members can meet together for training and a full briefing in the skills and physical preparation required for this expedition. The pre-trip meet has great benefit in establishing team cohesion and spirit, and we encourage all members to attend. Price £380 incl 2 nights' full-board accommodation, 2 days' guided training and climbing, briefings and picture shows

TRAINING: All members must endeavour to be in the best possible state of physical training before the trip. Plenty of mountain walking with a pack weight of 12-16kg and daily distances of 16-20km is recommended together with local training running, cycling, gym training or whatever you prefer. Those who have had a lay-off from the mountains must make special efforts to get back to good fitness. Short trips to the Alps will be highly useful if time/finances allow. There is no substitute for getting out on the hills and mountains in UK and Europe in preceding months. There is only limited time to acclimatise and get fit on the expedition. At high altitude any lack in physical preparation is quickly exposed.

INSURANCE: All team members must have Rescue, Medical and Repatriation Insurance cover. In addition, cover for Cancellation/Curtailment, Personal Baggage, 3rd party Liability and Personal Accident is strongly recommended.
UK-resident members can take out comprehensive Expedition-level insurance with the BMC www.thebmc.co.uk  (2017 premium for up to 31 days c.£400 plus BMC membership). As this is a pioneering trip the Alpine and Ski level of cover is not sufficient.
Rescue-only insurance is available from www.globalrescue.com

INOCULATIONS: Tetanus, TB (BCG inoculation), Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Diptheria – essential.
Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B – recommended but optional.
Anti-malarials – not recommended.
We will detail these fully after you book. Can all be obtained in 3 mths before departure.

MONEY IN INDIA: You should take $400 in cash to cover Drinks, Tips, Evening Meals in hotels and Personal Sundries plus a credit card for use in Delhi. 

PERMITS: The peaks of this range are open peaks on the Indian Mountaineering Foundation listings; permits are required and each member must submit bio-data and photos after booking for this purpose. We will send you a pro-forma.

INDIAN VISA: A Tourist Visa is required for entry to India and application can be made on-line with collection by appointment at your local Visa Application Centre or by post. The eTourist Visa offers a cheap option for this short-duration trip. Details are on Refer to http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk for full information and on-line application. Full advice on the application process will be given after booking.

EQUIPMENT: Boots must be warm enough to sustain a week of living above the snowline. Scarpa Phantom 6000 fabric boots or La Sportiva Spantik plastic boots are recommended. Light trekking shoes or trainers can be worn for all travel and trekking below 4500m altitude. Axe, Crampons, Helmet and lightweight Harness are required for the climbs. A 4 season sleeping bag, and a down jacket, are essential for warmth. Clothing must withstand a big temperature range from -10degC at night to +25degC by day. Take a 60-80 litre Rucksack to carry.

MAPS: Google Earth software provides the best current topographic information on the area.
Topographic map: 1:150000 Ladakh South and Central sheets (published by Olizane) – we will send you an extract from this map on application.
Trekking Map: Leomann Trekking Series 1:200000 sheet No 2 Jammu and Kashmir (Kargil, Zanskar and Nun-Kun area) – basic line map with indication of main trek routes – now out of date but still available from specialist map shops.

ACCLIMATISATION AND ALTITUDE PROFILE: The schedule allows 2 days to acclimatise at 3400m in Leh before the jounrey to the base camp at 4200m.

WEATHER AND CLIMBING CONDITIONS: The Zanskar massif generally offers fine weather in early summer, and is only rarely affected by the Indian monsoon. There is likelihood of afternoon storms on some days. In the early days of the trip cool air from central Asia may predominate but temperatures will quickly warm up. Night temperatures on the mountain will still be cold - down to minus 20degC at 6000m. Snow cover on glaciers will be substantial allowing safer movement through crevasse fields.

LIFE DURING THE EXPEDITION: Accommodation: We provide 4/5* hotel or hostel/resthouse with twin en-suite rooms in Delhi, Leh and Kargil/Suru. There is a £240 single room supplement.
Load-carrying: During the trek to base camp members should carry personal effects and clothing, enough to get fit and acclimatized (12-14kg.). On the climbs above base camp members must carry personal kit and some communal kit. Loads of up to 16kg may be required to establish a high camps, but our high-altitude porters, will carry the bulk of communal equipment, food and fuel. Above 5300m all climbing will be done in lightweight style with minimum bivouac equipment.
Provisions for medical treatment: We carry a full field medical kit and advertise for a doctor or paramedic to join the team. All Guides have mountain first aid certificates, and long experience of expedition ailments.
Food: The food on the trip will be largely vegetarian. Our cook will provide a wholesome diet:-
Breakfast: Porage, Muesli, Omelettes, Pancakes, Paranthas, Chapattis
Dinners: Vegetable or Egg Curry, Puris, Pakora, Rice/Dahl/Soya Stew, Spaghetti Bolognese, Chow Mein, Apples/Custard, Jelly and Fruit Cake
Lunch Food: Dried fruit, nuts, oatcakes/biscuits/paranthas, cheese, pate, salamis, jam, honey, peanut butter, chocolate, protein bars, boiled sweets
Drinks: Soup, Fruit Drinks, Drinking Chocolate/Ovaltine, Tea, Coffee, Herbal Tea.
Indian staff: We will have a Cook/Field Executive from our agent, Himalayan Run & Trek Pvt. Ltd and two or three high altitude porters. All the staff are regulars on our trips and have achieved a very high reputation for service, support and team spirit.
Tents: We will provide tents for the mountain camps and can provide tents for trek and base camp on basis of two or three persons sharing. However, we recommend that you take your own lightweight personal tent for use at base camp and on trek, giving you privacy and space for rest and recovery when not climbing.

Kishtwar and Zanskar mountains from peak Nun (the Chiling and Lalung groups are in mid-distance)

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the expedition

Join our mailing list for news and special offers - select your areas of interest
Moran Mountain Ltd - Park Cottage - Achintee - Strathcarron - Ross-shire - IV54 8YX
Tel/Fax 01520 722361    
E-mail moranmountain@icloud.com
Director: Martin Moran
IFMGA and BMG Guide

UIAGM guide
BMG Guide

alps climbing coursesalps mountain guideshimalayas expeditionshimalayas treksice climbing coursesindia himalayas expeditionsclimbingrock climbing courseswinter mountaineering coursesscotland mountaineering coursesscotland mountain guidesskye mountain guideswinter mountain courses