The Bhagirathi peaks from Gaumukh, source of the River Ganges - Satopanth expedition
We are Britain's only guiding business to offer climbs and treks exclusively in the magnificent Indian Himalaya. For the past 24 years we have expeditioned in the Garhwal, Kumaon, Himachal, Spiti and Ladakh regions, climbing peaks up to 7500m in altitude, pioneering new routes and making treks far off the beaten trails. Here are endless ranges offering exploration and challenge where few Western parties ever visit.
Moran Mountain is proud that our expeditions and clients have made a significant contribution to the exploration of new peaks and passes and to the development of responsible adventure tourism in these areas. Each year we run three or four trips - each with a new and challenging itinerary.
Many of our expedition members have developed their mountain skills and experience with the help of our courses in Scotland and the Alps before moving to the grander arena of the Himalaya. Every trip is led by qualified British Mountain Guides or Mountain Instructor with long experience in the expedition field
Our mountaineering and trekking expertise is coupled with superb support services from Mr C.S.Pandey and staff of Himalayan Run & Trek Pvt Ltd - our agent in India since 1992.
In 2017 and 2018 we invite you to join more exciting trips. Follow the links for full details and itineraries:
CHILUNG-LALUNG PEAKS Unclimbed peaks to 6300m and exploration of a remote corner of Zanskar Himalaya - with an approach journey through spectacular high mountain desert. A good first Himalayan venture for climbers with solid experience; different technical levels can be offered on this trip according to experience 24 days 15th June-9th July 2018 Price £4,400 Grade: C Leader: Martin Moran
TRISUL (7120m) One of India's iconic 7000m peaks - and the first 7000er in the world to be climbed - with a challenging route on snow and ice up its West Ridge ; a magnificent objective achievable in a 30 day itinerary; for more experienced high-altitude mountaineers 15th Sept-15th Oct 2017 Price £5,450 grade: D Leader: Mark Thomas
Early booking offers, group reductions and past - client discounts are available on all our trips
Photos and Videos from our recent Indian adventures
Ladakh-Kang Yatze 2014 ; Adi Kailash Alpine-style Expedition 2014 ; Vishnu's Fortress 2016
Trip Grades: We offer four levels of expedition. In some cases a trip may offer options or variations at two different levels, and can appeal to a wider range of experience and ambition. Approximate definitions are as follows:-
A: Mountain Treks and Easy Trekking Peaks: The treks may be long and cumulatively strenuous, but the terrain is generally well-graded and not usually exposed. Trails are mainly clear and easy to follow. Any peaks climbed are non-expedition peaks of a height under 6400m and of easier technical grade (Alpine F to PD or Scottish Grade I) with some glacier travel and snow climbing to 45-50 deg max angle. They can often be done in a day-climb from base to summit. These trips are typical of the drier regions north of the main Himalayan range such as Ladakh and Spiti. Trip members must have a good level of hill fitness and at minimum two or three prior training days on snow or ice terrain. Prior
trekking experience to 4000m and above is advised.
B Adventure treks and Alpine Trekking Peaks: The trekking phases of these expeditions may be steeper and continuously rougher with exposed loose sections in gorges or on the crossing of passes. Climbs may be attempted on glaciated and snow-covered peaks from 5500m up to 6500m altitude with technical difficulties up to Alpine AD and serious glacier terrain, requiring at least one intermediate camp from base to summit. Technical difficulties will be in range Alpine PD to AD, Scottish grade II, with some scrambling of grade 2 to 3 standard. Members on these trips need robust fitness and experience of roped mountaineering in the UK and/or the Alps. Previous ascents to 4000m and above are advised,
but not essential if you have a good background of home winter mountaineering.
C Standard Expedition Peaks and Pioneering Climbs: On standard expedition trips we attempt peaks from 6000m to 7000m with at least two intermediate camps between base and summit, sustained and complex glacier travel, the possibility of short sections of fixed rope and techincal difficulties of Alpine PD to AD, Scottish grade II/III plus rock climbing of Diff/VDiff standard (UIAA II and III). On pioneering expeditions members must be trained and prepared for alpne-style climbing on rock, mixed and ice terrain up to Scottish grade IV and of Alpine AD or D in overall difficulty. These trips will generally be of 23-28 days' duration. Members must have previous Alpine ascents to 4000m and above plus rock climbing and snow and ice mountaineering experience to the technical level specified on the trip dossier..
D Higher Expedition Mountains and Technical Climbs: Level D trips fall into two types: a) attempts on peaks above 7000m requiring three or more intermediate camps and a four to five week duration. Although technical difficulties may be modest (Alpine PD to AD, Scottish grade II), all members must have prior altitude experience above 4000m on Alpine peaks (and preferably higher), together with robust mountain fitness, mental strength and endurance. b) technical climbs on lower mountains of Alpine D to TD in difficulty with snow and ice terrain to 60 deg or more (Scottish grade IV) and rock to grade Severe/Very Severe (UIAA IV to V). These climbs may involve exposed bivouacs, abseil descents
and sections of jumaring. They require extensive prior experience in technical mountaineering, including technical Alpine ascents at 3500m or above.
Our Achievements on past expeditions have included:-
- 7 members make the first ascent of Vishnu Killa (Vishnu's Citadel) (5968m) in Garhwal Himalaya (Alpine PD+) - May 2016
- First ascent of Cheepaydang (the Peacock Mountain) (6220m) in the Adi Kailash range (Alpine D standard) by 3 members of our 2014 expedition; our fourth trip to pioneer this unexplored range of 6000 metre peaks in Eastern Kumaon, India
- Ascent of West Ridge of Peak Nun (7135m) by six members of our 2013 expedition
- First ascent of Tharang I (6010m) and Tharang Fang (5650m) on the 2012 Himachal expedition
- Traverse of Kang La (5450m), Poat La (5500m) and Sersank La (5130m) together with first ascent of 6117m Eva's Peak in a journey of 150km - Himachal Pioneer 2011
- First ascent of virgin peak Changuch (6322m) in Nanda Devi range (Alpine D) and crossing of the remote Traill's Pass in 2009
- Ascent of new route up W Face of Gangsthang (6162m) (Alpine D-) in Lahaul Himalaya in 2007
- second ascent of the remote Chiring We (6559m) near the Tibetan border by 9 members in Sept 2004
- 1st ascent of the magnificent West Ridge of 6596m Nilkanth (Alpine TD), a virgin 5919m summit and a new pass on our Spring 2000 expedition
- the first ascent of the South Face of Nanda Kot (6,861 m) (Alpine D+) in 1995 - a major pioneering effort
- the 3rd ascent (and first in alpine-style) of the pin-sharp Panwali Dwar (6,663 m) in the Nanda Devi range
Summit of Tharang I after the first ascent - Himachal Pioneer 2012
Peak Nun (7135m) in Zanskar Himalaya - climbed by six members of our 2013 expedition
Expedition Climbing with Moran Mountain: Style, Ethics and Responsibilities: Our Himalayan expeditions run with different expectations and demands on clients to the normal practices of guided climbs in Scotland and the Alps. All members of our trips must be aware and prepared for these, in particular:-
- Self-reliance and initiative are required from all members in organisation of personal kit, setting up camps and cooking; some carrying of communal kit is expected within the capacities of individual members
- Independence: Members are sometimes required to move between lower camps independently and form their own rope on glacial terrain; so must be competent in route-finding, route-memorisation and glacier ropework, especially crevasse rescue skills. Ropework and rescue skills will be coached during a trip and our leaders will only entrust such responsibilities to those members with adequate experience and competence in the skills.
- Climbing ratios are not fixed. Circumstances on expeditions are unpredictable. There is often a natural wastage in the number of clients who are fit for a summit attempt. Conversely, a guide may become sick and unable to climb. Trip leaders will deal with such eventualities in a fair and logical manner. Suitably experienced members may be asked if they want to form their own rope, following the guide's rope and using the guide's belays; this can be challenging and rewarding to clients who have the necessary ability. On occasion a guide may do a route twice in order to ensure that all fit members are able to achieve a summit on a safe ratio. In 20 years of running these expeditions we have never
been forced to deny a fit and able member a summit attempt because of excessive ratios.
- Fixed Ropes: Our expeditions climb largely in alpine-style, with minimum use of fixed ropes. We believe wholesale fixed rope climbing to be contrary to the style and ideals of classical mountaineering, potentially dangerous and detrimental to the environment. Where any fixed roping is necessary we will usually place all rope and anchors ourselves and remove them at the end of the trip. If old fixed ropes are used the members of the team will additionally be protected by a climbing rope linked to the leader and attached to belays, both in ascent and descent. If any use of fixed ropes is anticipated on a trip members will be advised to learn and practice the techniques of jumaring and abseiling (this
requires several sessions), and instruction will be given at the pre-trip meet or early in the expedition.
- Physiological demands and psychological stress. High-altitude trekking and climbing places abnormal physiological demands on the body and this causes occasional psychological stress with raised emotions, lapses of concentration and more radical reaction in case of dispute or disappointment. Our leaders have the experience to understand and compensate in these situations, particularly in safeguarding all members. For their part clients must themselves realise that judgement - both emotional and practical - can be impaired, and must exercise restraint and compassion when dealing with stressful situations, for example when handling the inevitable imbalances in fitness, work-rate and technical ability
within the team.
- Ethics, Teamwork and Personal Reward. At Moran Mountain we try to foster values of aesthetic appreciation of the mountains, teamwork, co-operation, and personal development.Even if we achieve a 1st ascent all members must appreciate that any public reward is fleeting and ephemeral. Whether or not ultimate success is gained on a peak or trek we want all our clients to return feeling that they have achieved deeper personal gains.
Have a look at our forthcoming trips and join our Himalayan adventures
"This divine wilderness is the trekker's delight, the mountaineer's challenge, the photographer's paradise, Nature's own botanical garden and a sanctuary of variegated fauna" Dr Tom Longstaff - pioneer of the Indian Himalaya