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Stok Kangri

Stok Kangri 6153m - Indian Himalaya

Stok Kangri is the highest mountain in the Stok range of the Himalaya in the northwest of India. The peak is located in Hemis National Park 20 km southwest of the Ladakhi capital of Leh.

This remote and sparsely populated region, sandwiched between the Kuen Lun and the Great Himalaya mountain ranges, lives up to its Tibetan name ‘the land of the high passes’. The area is renowned for its remote mountain beauty, arid landscapes, crumbling gompers and snow capped peaks. It is the last bastion of Tibetian culture and religion.

Stok Kangri is a non-technical, high altitude mountaineering objective. The main difficulties of the climb come on summit day when we cross a glacier and climb scree slopes to reach the narrow south ridge, which leads to the summit. Crampons and an ice axe will be needed.

From the summit you can see as far as the Karakoram, Pakistan's great mountain range.

Although the route up Stok Kangri is technically easy, it's a big 'un. You'll spend a long period of time camping out in the wilds of the Indian Himalaya and the climb from the highest camp to the summit is quite a grunt! It's only suitable for first timers who are fit and well-motivated. Grizzly mountain vets with impressive beards, steely resolve and 1000 yard stares will be right at home here!


 


Expedition Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Delhi. You will be met at the airport and transferred to a hotel near nearby (30 min drive).

Day 2 We make a 4AM start to take the flight to Leh. The flight takes us over the Greater Himalaya and lands at one of the highest airports in the world. We get excellent views of Stok Kangri as we fly-in. Guest House.

Day 3 Free day to explore Leh (3500m). We have two days to relax and allow the effects of the altitude to wear off. This is an important period of acclimatization. There are plenty of distractions in Leh including the 11th century monastery at Alchi and the famous Khardung La (the highest motorable road in the world at 5360m). You can hire a mountain bike, or a motor bike, or just chillax by the bar!

Day 4 Free day or sightseeing in Leh. Guest House.

Day 5 Leh to Chilling to Siku (3450m). After breakfast we drive to the village of Chilling situated on the banks of Zanaskar river. Chilling is renowned for its blacksmiths and craftsmen who work with copper, tin and silver. We cross the Zanaskar river by rope trolley and start our trek to Skiu . 3 – 4hrs of easy walking on mostly flat terrain. Dress in light clothing, it's hot in the valleys.

Day 6 Siku to Ganda La Base (4450m). A long day of trekking through impressive Gorges to the base of Gandala pass. 6-7 hrs walking.

Day 7 Ganda La Base to Rumbuk (3850m), via the Ganda La (4900m). A steep climb gets us to the Ganda La pass in about an hour - stunning views of the Karakorm and Stok ranges. We then descend to Rumbuk to camp. This is a tough day in the hills.

Day 8 Rumbuk to Mankarmo (4380m) via the Stok La (4900m). Today we cross another high pass, the Stok La, and descend to Mankarmo. Steep paths and spectacular views. 7-8 hrs walking. Another tough day, slogging up to the Stok La is a bit of a grunt (and that's putting it mildly).

Day 9 Mankarmo to Stok Kangri Basecamp (5000m). An easy half-day walk to base camp. 3hrs walking.

Day 10 Rest/ Buffer Day at basecamp. If you're feeling good, go for the summit (group decision).

Day 11 Summit Day. The climb begins at about midnight. We scramble over scree and boulders to the glacier. Here we put on crampons, rope-up and push on to the south ridge. It is narrow, exposed and groovy. The summit gives superb views in every direction. We then yomp to back to base camp and rest for an hour before trekking out to the trailhead at the village of Stok. Our transport meets us here to take us back to the guesthouse in Leh.

Day 12 Return flight to Delhi. Services end after your transfer to Leh airport. Onward flight home or spend the night in Delhi.

Day 13 Arrive back in the UK.


Notes

  • Ladakh’s trekking season starts around the middle of June and lasts until the middle of September. There’s something to be said for waiting until the middle or the end of the season before heading to Stok Kangri, as this will give time for the snow to clear from the high passes and make the trekking less strenuous.
  • If you’re not short on time, consider travelling from Delhi to Leh overland, by bus or Jeep Taxi. This 1000km journey passes through astounding, high altitude scenery and is a great way to pre-acclimatize.