Flying in to the Ladakhi capital of Leh, the shapely peaks of Stok Kangri (6153m) and Golep Kangri (5950m) are prominent on the southern skyline. This initiative provides you with a chance of being part and supporting important social issues of our times. Additionally it will also give you the opportunity to make ascents of these technically straightforward peaks as a climax to a superb week of exploration and trekking in Ladakh. The Team Up for Change initiative wants to bring focus on traveling responsibly and call to action for keeping our environment clean and the impact climate change has been having on our mountains. During the holiday, we will explore Leh valley and surrounding monasteries in the first few days to acclimatize. To reach our climbing objective we trek on a high-level trail, to reach Stok Kangri Base camp. The ascent of Stok Kangri is objectively very safe and is technically uncomplicated, 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. The climb to Golep Kangri summit has a little technical patch towards the peak but is a pretty straight forward high altitude climb till the top. This is a superb climbing holiday, perfectly suited to someone seeking their first Himalayan summits or for those who want a 6000 meter climbing holiday in the summer and also support important social issues. Team up with UFO as we bring a change in the attitude and focus with regards to our environment. We don't want to change or save the world. But we certainly will try and change our approach and thinking towards this planet.
After spending 3 days acclimatizing to the altitude in Ladakh (3500 meters), during which time we will explore Leh, the time that we actually spend trekking and climbing will be 6 days. The approach to our base camp traverses a wild area where trails are not always well-defined. In normal conditions, the ascent of both peaks Stok Kangri and Goleb 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 of both the peaks 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. A good level of fitness will be important in attempting 2 peaks back to back and will help you enjoy this holiday better. Focus on cardio, core and breathing exercises for at least a month.
Meet at the group hotel in Leh. A single group transfer at 10.30 am from Leh Airport to the group hotel is provided. The first day is reserved for acclimatization and you will be advised to rest and drink water as much as possible. A group meeting at the hotel will be held and the itinerary and activities will be spelled out in detail.
After tea and a filling breakfast, we will explore Leh city and also set out for our first day of cleaning up a part of Leh city. We will assemble at a given place and instructions will be given to you with the other people in the initiative for the same. Snacks and juice will be distributed during the day. We will probably start by 10-11 am and finish by 2 pm. After noon is all about rest or going for a walk to Shanti Stupa or Tsemo Gompa. Evening at leisure.
Today is the second day of clean up drive in the city and we will be cleaning up a different part of the city. In keeping with the process of acclimatization, you can we will go scrambling near Leh or a session at a climbing cafe that will help us end the day on a high.
We get up early and after tea and good breakfast, head out to the trekking point in Stok Village. Our cleaning activity all the way till the base camp will start as we leave the trekking point for Smankarmo camp. You will be provided with gloves and garbage bags to collect and clean the trail as much as possible. The group will fan out to cover as much ground as possible. Watch out for Chukar partridges and Bharal (Blue Sheep) on the way.
We leave for the base camp after a hearty breakfast. Our main aim today again will be to clean the trail as much as possible. Make it a point to walk slow and steady as you want to get used to the thin air at 5000m. You will spot marmots as you approach the base camp and if luck, a Tibetan Fox. Himalayan Griffon Vultures and the gigantic Lammergeier can be spotted high up in the sky. Reaching the base camp by lunch, we will rest a bit and then plan our cleaning drive for the next day.
After breakfast, we fan out and clean the basecamp till lunch as much as possible. Small teams will be divided and tasks assigned to them. This will also help us in our acclimatization in the thin air. We have early dinner by 6 pm and rest for our summit attempt of Golep Kangri at midnight. We get great view s of the Karakoram range and also of Stok Kangri from the summit.
We return back from our summit attempt to Golpe kangri by mid morning. After a heave breakfast , we rest the whole day and get ready for the attempt of Stok Kangri. 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 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 climb. 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.
This is a day reserved in case we run into bad weather or the team wants a break between the two summit attempts.. Our guide will also give basic instruction on the simple techniques we will require for the 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 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 , Nubra Valley or Tso Moriri, please contact our staff.