Hiking - Destination

Kanamo Peak: The Snow-bound Mountain Ridge in Spiti Valley

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Adventure buffs, if you are looking for an exhilarating trekking experience then Kanamo Peak is just for you. Standing tall at 19,600ft, Kanamo Peak is one majestic mountain of the Spiti Valley that challenges the trekkers of their endurance, strength and patience. The trek starts from the world's inhabited and third highest village, Kibber. Your journey will take you to old monasteries decorated with prayer flags, villages that have wonderful stories to share. The route to the arid desert mountain boasts of snow clad peaks, sparse vegetation that is bound to transport you to a whole new world.

Even if you plan this trek in the months of summer, you will receive a lot of snow-clad areas. From the top of this peak, you can see the views of Kullu, Kinnaur, Ladakh and Spiti! Along with this trek, you can combine Chandartal trek and get an ultimate adventure fun. So, what’s the wait, let's find out the best route, time and physical level to trek the spectacular Kanamo Peak. 

Know more here:

The Kanamo Peak: An Overview 

kanamo peak
Discover the roof of the world (source)

Where it is Located: Himachal Pradesh 
Number of Trekking Days: 8 days 
Difficulty of the Trek: Moderate
Maximum Altitude: 19,600 feet
Trail Type: Out and back trek
Trekking Distance: 27 km
Best Time to Visit: June- October 
Average temperature: Daytime: 16°C-20°C; Night time: -4°C-4°C
Livingit Rank: Enthusiast to Elite

About the Kanamo Peak

If you want to reach the top of the mountains in short time, the Mount Kanamo is just for you. This high altitude, whit clad summit is bound to mesmerize you. In fact, the Kanamo peak has a very interesting meaning behind it. According to the locals of the gorgeous Spiti Valley, Kanamo means White Lady or White Hostess. 'Ka' means white and 'Namo' means lady or hostess! And that’s why when you reach the summit you will feel overwhelmed and welcoming vibes.

Best Time to Visit Kanamo Peak

The ideal months to visit the Kanamo Peak is June to October. Plan your trip in the August month which is the harvest season. The weather is pleasant and you can get a view rich green pastures which is an oasis in the mountain desert.  

Average Temperature:

Summer: 12 to 20 degree Celsius (day); -4 to 6 degree Celsius (night)
Winter: 12 to 18 degree Celsius (day); -6 to 4 degree Celsius (night)

kanamo peak best time to visit
Melange of green grasslands and white snow (source)

Kanamo Peak Map 

The Kanamo Peak trek starts from Kaza which is a small town in the Spiti valley. You can reach Kaza by taking an overnight bus from Delhi or Chandigarh to Manali. 

kanamo peak map
Route from Manali to Kibber (source)

Best Routes to Kanamo Peak

Kaza is the base camp of your trek. You should first reach Manali and then drive to Kaza. You can reach Manali by road, air or rail. 

By Road

Manali is well connected to different cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala, Dehradun by road. You can either book state-run or private bus from Delhi to Manali or self-drive or book a taxi from Delhi which will take about 14 hours. 

By Rail

Manali does not have a railway station. However, you can book a train till Jogindernagar which is 50 km from Manali. 

By Air

Manali does not have an airport, thus you need to book a flight to Bhuntar in Kullu and then take a taxi or bus to Manali. The distance between Bhuntar and Manali is 52 km. 

Once you reach Manali you need to drive to Kaza and from there, your trekking expedition will begin. 

Kanamo Peak: 8 Days of Adrenaline Rush

Day 1 - Drive from New Delhi to Manali

Altitude: 709 feet to 6,725 feet
Time taken: 14 hours, 554 km

The closest township to the base camp of Kaza is Manali. It is a hill station in the north tip of the Kullu valley. It is important that you take good rest here because the next 8 days are going to be a lot of journey and adventure. 

Day 2: Drive from Manali to Kaza

Altitude: 6,725 feet to 12,467 feet
Time taken: 10 hours, 204 km. 

As you will be crossing the Kunzum and Rohtang pass, you will come across a lot of traffic jams for which they are known for! It is important that you leave Manali as early as possible, maybe even 5 am. You can either self-drive or opt for Manali to Kaza bus. You need to take the route towards Batal from Manali via Rohtang and go towards them Manali – Leh highway. This is mostly a bumpy ride. Once you reach Gramphu, take the diversion and start your drive towards the Gramphu – Batal - Kaza Road. 

Once you reach Batal, you will see the enchanting views of the Spiti Valley. You will notice small villages, mountains, beautiful landscapes and lush green and yellow grasslands which grow peas and barley! Spiti Valley offers you once in a lifetime experience and thus the best time to visit Spiti Valley is during months of mid-May to mid-October.  You need to stay at Kaza to get acclimatized to the altitude and the weather conditions. Kaza height is 12, 470 ft and the Kaza temperature drops to sub-zero temperature and this acclimatization is highly important. 

manali to kaza route
Route between the barren lands (source)

Day 3: Drive from Kaza to Kibber

Altitude: 12,467 feet to 14,108 feet
Time taken: 1 hour, 19 km (drive)

Once you get acclimatized to Kaza temperature, you can proceed ahead to the Kibber village. This is a short and a beautiful drive to Kibber. You will need around an hour to reach here, the road trip from Kaza height to Kibber is arresting. In fact, Kibber is a small village located in a valley and is considered as one of the highest inhabited villages in the world! This village is located at an altitude of 14,108 feet! You can choose a homestay at Kibber and then plan a visit to the Key Monastery. This is a beautiful ancient sight and looks absolutely stunning and is one of the most treasured moments of the Kanamo Peak trek. The Key Monastery is a medieval place of worship which sits on top of a hill in the Spiti region surrounded by a river. You can also speak to old monks, read ancient manuscripts and visit the prayer room. On some days, they also serve a delicious herbal tea made here. You can return to your homestay for lunch. Post lunch, you need to start your walk up the desert mountain. It is a rocky climb and you may take close to two hours to finish it. This is mostly called as the acclimatization walk as the next few days are going to be similar. Once you are back, you can explore Kibber. This is one of the largest villages in Spiti that has about 80 houses. They are built using stones and follow the same colour and architecture. It is beautifully made village! 

Vishi Bansal blogger of Wandering Soul shares her thoughts on the route to Kibber- "The entire route from here is as if straight from a picture postcard. Tiny villages with mud houses and roofs covered with grass, windows in red and blue colour. Arid mountains dotted with green and yellow patches that are fields of green peas and barley. Kibber is supposed to be the highest inhabited village in the world, at an altitude of 4300 mt., but as we hiked above Kibber later in the day, we saw a village called Chicham which looked much higher, but well, the records said it differently. We were treated to delicious green peas as we hiked in the evening on reaching Kibber. We camped on an open ground next to a school in Kibber, surrounded by houses on all sides, and of course, the mountains! Kibber is one of the large villages in Spiti valley with about 80 houses. All the houses in Spiti valley follow the same design and a set of colours. It all looked picture postcard like, and at night the bulbs in the houses competed with the stars above."

Kaza (source)

Day 4: Trek from Kibber to Kanamo Basecamp 

Altitude: 14,108 feet to 15,748 feet
Time taken: 6.5 hours, 5km

On this day, you will begin the trek to the Kanamo Peak base camp. It is a constant ascent for about 7 hours which is mostly windy, has a lot of rocky slopes, desert mountains and lush green grasslands. This walk has it all! You will go higher by 1650 feet today. You will see many fields of green peas here and if it is the season of harvest the locals will also offer them to you. You will also come across two beautiful lakes which are a water resource for the residents of Kaza village. In the final two hours of your trek, you will see a unique variety of the flower ‘Bhrama Kamal’ and some other pretty flowers as well. 

On your way, you will also find some unique shaped stones and animal fossils. The trek guides will share all the information about this to you. The remains and fossils are in the radius of 1 km. from the base camp of the Kanamo Peak trek. 

manali to kaza route
World's third highest village- Kibber (source)

Day 5: Acclimatization day at Kanamo base camp

As the trek ahead is going to demanding and exhausting, it is important to acclimatize at Kanamo base camp. Make sure your body is prepared for the vigorous trek else you might face Acute Mountain Sickness, altitude sickness, and other dreadful health conditions. 

Day 6: Kanamo base camp to Kanamo peak and back to base camp

Altitude: 15,748 feet to 19,553 feet and back to 15,748 feet
Time taken: 12 -13 hours to climb and return

You need to start your climb as early as you can. 3 am is the ideal time to begin your trek. You need to cross the first shoulder of mountains at dawn and the second shoulder of mountains by the sunrise. The temperature is very low and the winds are extremely chilled here. This is a 5-hour walk. Once you reach the top you will witness the most beautiful view ever. You can see the greater Himalayas from here. You can also see the Parang La pass leading to Ladakh, Pin Parvati pass leading to Kullu valley, ranges of Kinnaur, Lahaul, and Spiti from the summit.

Livingit Tip
Kanamo is a twin peak and its sister Shila is right next to it. Shila is always covered with snow whereas Kanamo has snow only at its peak. 

Day 7: Kanamo base camp to Kaza via Kibber 

Altitude: 15,748 feet to 12,467 ft via 14,108 feet
Time taken: 6 hours, including drive to Kaza from Kibber

Today you will trek back to Kibber. This again is an amazingly gorgeous walk. The Spiti valley is extremely inviting and the mountains surrounding it will astound you! You can have lunch at a local Kibber restaurant and then return to Kaza. You can see the Key Monastery here again and pay a visit there again. On your way back, you will see – Chicham, the lovely village of Spiti valley which is connected to the road by a pulley-operated trolley. You can reach Kaza by evening and stay at the homes near the guesthouse and enjoy the local Spiti dishes. 

Livingit Tip
You can go further to Hikkim which is the world’s highest post office! The drive is beautiful with a lot of historic values attached. 

Hikkim the world's higest post office (source)

Day 8: Kaza to Manali 

Altitude: 12,467 feet to 6,677 feet 

Begin your return journey to Manali early by 4 am so that you reach Delhi in time and we are sure you will have beautiful memories in your life of the Kanamo Peak trek which will be cherished forever! 

Trek Essentials for Kanamo Peak

You need to take the following essentials for this 8-day trek:

  • Backpack 40 – 60 litres
  • Daypack - 20 litres
  • Trekking shoes with good grip and sturdy sole
  • Warm layers as the temperature drops a lot in the region. Jacket, scarf and a woollen cap is recommended
  • Trek pants which are comfortable and thick
  • Thermals and t-shirts
  • Sunglasses with a good UV protection to keep you away from night blindness
  • Sun cap, hand gloves, and socks
  • Toiletries, Cutlery and a personal medical kit
  • Torch with batteries and water bottle

Getting Fit for the Kanamo Peak

This is a high-intensity trek and requires a lot of endurance and a fit body to complete the trek. The route of this trek is an intense climb which requires the body to be highly flexible and should have a good cardiovascular strength. This trek climb is very challenging and requires a lot of commitment to be completed. You will find rocky paths and roads filled with snow, for which you will need a very agile body. You need to start building on your core strength by doing squats, exercises for the abs and planks. These exercises will help you in building your core muscle strength. Along with these you can indulge in pre trekking exercises and get in shape for the trek. You also need to build your flexibility and this can be done by doing regular yoga or dance therapies like Zumba or Aerobics. You can also start jogging, cycling or swimming to tighten your leg and hand muscles for a better and a fitter body. 

Summing Up

The Kanamo Peak Trek is one of the most unique and beautiful treks in the Himachal Pradesh belt. This is a trek which is a mix of snow and boulder terrain and is a must to for every trekking enthusiast. If you have done a few high altitude difficult trek then this trek should be on your list soon!  This is a trek which will give you a good amount adrenaline rush in very low time and you will witness the beauty of nature since the very beginning. Snow clad mountains, desert mountains and the Rocky Mountains this trek has it all. Tibetan culture and warm-hearted locals make this trek a memorable one for every visitor! Plan this trek soon so that you too can become a beautiful storyteller and get this beauty off your bucket list.  

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