Flying into the Ladakhi capital of Leh, the shapely peak of Stok Kangri (6153m) is prominent on the southern skyline. Stok Kangri climbing holiday offers the opportunity to make an ascent of this technically straightforward peak as a climax to a superb week of exploration and trekking in Ladakh. During the holiday to mt Stok Kangri, we visit Leh and surrounding monasteries. To reach our climbing objective we trek on a high-level trail, to reach Stok Kangri base camp. The ascent of Mt Stok Kangri is objectively very safe and is technically straightforward, involving easy-angled scree and snow slopes with a short section of ridge climbing, to a perfect summit dome, bedecked with prayer flags and with wide-ranging views. Mount Stok Kangri climbing perfectly suited to someone seeking their first Himalayan summit or for those who want a 6000 meter climbing holiday in the summer!
After spending 2 days acclimatizing to the altitude in Ladakh (3500 meters), during which time we will explore Leh and surrounding monasteries and walk around the city, the time that we actually spend on Stok Kangri trekking and climbing will be 5 days. The approach to our base camp traverses a wild area where trails are not always well-defined. In normal conditions, the ascent of Mt Stok Kangri involves no technical climbing. It may be necessary to rope up to cross a small glacier before starting the ascent which will mainly be over easy-angled scree and boulder slopes. The final 100 - 200 meters may require the use of crampons on snow slopes up to about 35 degrees and along a short rocky ridge where the guides may use safety ropes depending on the conditions on the day. Although this is not a technically demanding climb, at an altitude of over 6000 meters, it will be physically demanding. Previous crampon experience is preferable but not essential.
Meet at the group hotel in Leh. A single group transfer at 10.30am from Leh Airport to the group hotel is provided. During our climb to mt Stok Kangri, the first day is reserved for acclimatization and you will be advised to rest, eat and keep yourself hydrated as much as possible. A short walk around the city to Leh Palace in the evening can be organized.
Today is our second day of climbing Mt Stok Kangri. We will make an early start after tea and breakfast to catch the morning prayers at Thiksey Monastery. Affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it is situated on top of the hill in Thiksey village and is noted for its resemblance to Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. We will then head towards Shey where a picnic lunch will be awaiting us. After lunch, we will rest a bit and then head for Shey Palace and surrounding areas. You will be given some time to yourself to explore on your own. We will then visit Shanti Stupa and head back to our hotel for dinner.
From Leh, we drive past Spituk Monastery to Zingchen which is an hour away. Here we meet our mules and trekking crew, and then trek towards Markha Valley. The trek follows into the Zingchen gorge as we cross the stream a few times. We experience the craggy yet colorful terrain of Ladakh with colors of purple, red, green and blue shining bright. We enter Rumbak village to green pastures and pass many 'chortens' (stupas) as we cross this magnificent village to our campsite at the base of Stok la.
Today will be the first big challenge, Stok La ! After an early breakfast, we climb steadily towards the top the high pass. We get some fantastic first views of the Stok peak and then descend into the upper reaches of the lovely Stok valley, a high and wild area visited only by climbing groups and by the local shepherds who spend the summer months in temporary stone huts. We make our camp tonight near one of these huts at Smankarmo (4380m)
After tea and breakfast, we
will make our way to Base camp of Stok Kangri. You can get up early to catch
some good views of the peak in the first rays in the morning. We make our way to Base camp which will take
us about 2-3 hours.. Walk slowly and easily as we will be reaching 5000m in
altitude today and the air will get thinner. You will be able to spot marmots
as you are reaching the base camp and a Tibetan fox, if lucky. Jackdaws will
keep you company throughout the walk and you might catch sight of the stunning
Lammergeier and the HImalayan Griffin
vulture. We will reach base camp by lunch. After lunch we can go for a short walk and climb around
100-150 m to aid our acclimatization. Evening at leisure
This is a day for rest and acclimatization prior to our ascent. Our guide will also give basic instruction on the simple techniques we will require for the Mt Stok Kangri climb. Afterwards, there will be opportunities for walks above the campsite. The small col directly above to the north-west provides a striking view of our objective.
From base camp the trail climbs over a ridge then follows the glacier at first beside the moraine and finally across rubble-covered ice to the lower slopes of the mountain. In normal conditions, much of the Stok Kangri climb involves walking across scree and boulder slopes. The final 100 - 200 meters will involve the use of crampons on snow slopes up to about 35 degrees and along a short rocky ridge where the guides may use safety ropes depending on the conditions on the day. At any time of the year but especially late in the season, the snow may extend to the glacier in which case we may use ropes to cross and crampons will be worn for the whole of the Mt Stok Kangri climb. Although this is not a technically demanding climb, at an altitude of over 6000 meters, it will be very strenuous. Once on the summit beside the cairn and streaming colorful prayer flags, the views are spectacular and extensive, stretching from the Karakoram peaks to the north to a number of almost unknown 6000 meter peaks in Tibet to the north-east, and including a bird’s eye view of the Indus Valley and Leh below us to the north. Having taken our photographs, we make the descent by the same route back to the glacier and across the ridge to reach the base camp.
From our base camp, we will descend directly to the upper reaches of Stok Village, with its fields of barley and buckwheat. We have time to look around the village. At Stok, we will meet our transport and make the relatively short drive back to our hotel in Leh.
After an early breakfast we will be transferred by private vehicle to the airport. If you want to extend your stay to visit Pangong Tso lake , Nubra Valley or Tso Moriri, please contact our staff.