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Stok Kangri Grade

Grade: Demanding

Climbing Stok Kangri is an achievable goal for most people, but that doesn't mean it's particularly easy!

You’ll need a reasonable level of cardio-vascular fitness coupled with physical and mental toughness to cope with the rigours of summit day, low temperatures and an extended period of time camping in the wilderness (sometime at high altitude).

Previous experience of mountain travel at high altitude and the use of crampons and an ice axe isn't necessary...but it won't do any harm. It's perfectly possible for people without experience to climb Stok, those who have cut-their-teeth on lower mountains will have a greater chance of success.

What to expect

  • The approach days are generally quite easy. Expect a tough slog up-and-over the Gand La and Stok La high passes. The aim-of-the-game is to arrive at basecamp fit, acclimitised and ready to go for the summit so the pace is leisurely with plenty of breaks.
  • The main difficulties of the expedition come on summit day. During the early hours of the morning we cross a glacier and scree slopes to reach the narrow south ridge, which leads summit. Crampons and an ice axe will be needed, and the going is tough because you'll be at high altitude.
  • Experience with the use of an ice axe and crampons on low-angled terrain is useful.
  • The climb to the summit from the highest camp involves a long, tough slog and almost 1000 meters of vertical height gain followed by long descent back down the mountain. It'll take 10 - 12 hrs tent-to-tent.
  • Expect to experience some of the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness such as headaches and disturbed sleep.
  • With high altitude comes extreme weather and conditions. Specialist equipment will be required to deal with temperatures which can fall as low as minus 10c.
  • Mules will carry equipment and provisions most of the time, and you will usually carry a rucksack which is no more than 5KGs in weight.