Jaan Kynnap

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Jaan Künnap


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Jaan Künnap Jaan Künnap (born February 9, 1948, Kõue is an Estonian mountaineer, photographer, and sports coach. Künnap went to school in Kose, as well as in Tallinn, where he has lived since 1969.

In 1971–1994 he worked as a deep-sea diver on a rescue ship. During this time he logged over 3,000 hours of diving time and recorded depths of up to 80 m. He has climbed to the top of over 150 mountains. Künnap received the Snow Leopard award in 1987. In 1999, a film was made about him with the same name (Lumeleopard; 1999). He was the president of the Tallinn Alpinism Club between 1983 and 1988 and since 1999 he has led the mountaineering club that bears his name.

He has climbed to the top of several seven-thousanders (and in the case of some of them, like Communism Peak, he has successfully summited several times). He has technically climbed over 8,000 m; however, he has not successfully reached the summit of an eight-thousander. During his climb of Cho Oyu, the eight-thousander he has climbed, he went above 8,000 m, but started coming down before reaching the top.

Künnap has participated in over 50 photography exhibitions and has reached the podium in numerous photography competitions. He has written two books and served as an producer for several documentaries. Since 1998, he has worked as a photographer for the Tallinn City Museum.

In 1987, he received the Snow Leopard award together with Kalev Muru and Alfred Lõhmus. In 2001, he was honored with the 3rd class of the Order of the Estonian Red Cross.