Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Jaan Künnap

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Alpinist fotograaf jaan k nnap ja m ed fotop ev kuressaares 2012

Jaan Künnap (born February 9, 1948 Kõue) is an Estonian mountaineer, photographer and sports coach.



Künnap went to school in Kose and in Tallinn. Since 1969 he lived in Tallinn.

In 1971–1994 he worked as a deep-sea diver on a rescue ship. During this time he was under water for over 3000 h and reached to the depths of up to 80 m.

He has climbed to the top of over 150 mountains. Künnap received the Snow Leopard award in 1987 and a film about him with a same name (Lumeleopard; 1999) has been made. He was the president of Tallinn Alpinism Club between 1983–1988 and since 1999 he leads Mountaineering Club that bears his name.

He has climbed to several seven-thousanders. To some of them (like Communism Peak) for several times. His only eight-thousander has been Cho Oyu, where he went above 8 km, but started coming down before reaching the top.

Künnap has participated with his works in over 50 photography exhibitions and he has reached to a podium on numerous photography competitions. He has written two books and served as an operator for several documentaries. Since 1998 he works as a photographer in Tallinn City Museum.


In 1987 he received Snow Leopard award together with Kalev Muru and Alfred Lõhmus.

In 2001 he received 3rd class of Order of the Estonian Red Cross.


  • Matkaspordi käsiraamat, Jaan Künnapi Alpinismiklubi, 2004. ISBN 9949104122
  • Fotograafia minu elus = Photography in my life, Jaan Künnapi Alpinismiklubi, 2013. ISBN 9789949309030
  • References

    Jaan Künnap Wikipedia