India opens 137 new Himalayan peaks to climb in 2019

new-climbing-mountaineering-peaks-are-open-in-india-2019

On the eve of independence day, Indian govt announced to open 137 new mountaineering and trekking peaks to climb in Indian Himalayas. This is surely a welcome move in favour of global mountaineering and climbing fraternity.

Prior to this, very few of the newly opened peaks were accessible to mountaineers following a lengthy process through IMF and in turn approval from GOI. As a result of this new announcement, enlisted peaks should be easily accessible to Indians and foreigners directly through IMF.

The new order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has more cause to cheer for the foreign climbers. An easy Mountaineering Visa (MX) is proposed instead a labyrinthine process of moving from one department to another. Read the order from GOI and entire list of peaks which are now open to the climbers of the world.  These are in addition to the already “open peaks“.

As per our understanding peaks which are 6000 m or above are classified as “mountaineering” and below 6000 m are referred to as “trekking”. Probably this is to keep it simple, rather than the technical aspect  of climbing a peak or a particular face.

Highlights and takeaways for mountaineers and climbers:

  • A broad spectrum of mountaineers and climbers can choose suitable peak(s) from a variety of peaks ranging between 6000 m to 7000 m.
  • Top professional climbers will get new challenging peaks nda faces to attempt. A host of 7000 m peaks are now open in Sikkim, few of which are unclimbed.
  • Rock climbers now can easily get the “trekking permits” of peaks which are less than 6000 m but technically challenging. E.g. Kishtwar/Kalidhar spires, Kullu Eiger and similar peaks.

Here is a snapshot for your understanding:

Summary of newly opened peaks in India 2019
Region New Peaks 7000 m + 6500 m + 6000 m+
Sikkim 24 10 8 4
Uttarakhand 51 2 14 23
Himachal Pradesh 47 0 2 23
Jammu & Kashmir 15 0 0 9
Total 137 12 24 59

Note: As per the the list, Kanchenjunga, world’s 3rd highest peak looks open from Sikkim side. However valuing the  public belief of Sikkim,  IMF will probably not give a permit to climb this 8000 m from Sikkim side.

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