Kamet is the second highest mountain in the Garhwal region of India, after Nanda Devi. It lies in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, close to the border with Tibet. It is the third highest mountain in India (according to India however, the rank is much lower as it includes in its list of mountains all those in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and the 29th highest in the world. Kamet is most properly considered part of (and the highest summit in) the Zaskar (or Zanskar) Range, which lies north of the main chain of the Himalaya, between the Suru River and the upper Karnali River. In appearance it resembles a giant pyramid topped by a flat summit area with two peaks.
Due to its position near the Tibetan Plateau, Kamet is remote and not as accessible as some Himalayan peaks. It also receives a great deal of wind from the Plateau. However, by modern standards, it is a relatively straightforward ascent for such a high mountain. Early explorers of the region faced long approach marches of around 200 miles from Ranikhet through dense mountain forest; access is easier today.
While attempts to climb Kamet began in 1855, the first ascent was not made until 1931 by Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton, R.L. Holdsworth and Lewa Sherpa, members of a British expedition. Kamet was the first summit over 25,000 ft (7,620m) to be climbed, and was the highest summit reached until the first ascent of Nanda Devi five years later. (However, far higher non-summit altitudes had been reached on the north side of Mount Everest in the 1920s.)
The standard route begins from the East Kamet (or Purbi Kamet) Glacier, ascending via Meade's Col (c. 7,100m/23,300 ft), the saddle between Kamet and its northern outlier Abi Gamin. From Meade's Col the route ascends the northeast edge of the north face. The ascent to Meade's col involves steep gullies, a rock wall, and several glacier climbs. Five camps are usually placed en route. The final ascent to the summit involves steep snow, possibly icy.