Stok Kangri Trek
The ascent of this 6000m plus mountain in 10 days is probably the quickest one can climb it, keeping in mind that one needs some time to acclimatize to the altitudes as well. After spending the first couple of days acclimatizing in Leh during which time we also visit some monasteries and the interesting Leh market, we set off for a week long trek.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeTrekking
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Medium Group
The ascent of this 6000m plus mountain in 10 days is probably the quickest one can climb it, keeping in mind that one needs some time to acclimatize to the altitudes as well. After spending the first couple of days acclimatizing in Leh during which time we also visit some monasteries and the interesting Leh market, we set off for a week long trek. Instead of approaching the mountain head-on we travel some distance west and then approach it through a slightly longer route crossing the Stok La (4890m) and then descending to the Stok valley.
This approach gives us a little more time to acclimatize and the steep climb up to Stok La acts as a good test before the final ascent.
The final climb of Stok Kangri will present a challenge to even the fittest of the members. Even after being fully acclimatized and completely in form, one would always find any climb going over 6000m to be a hard one. The climb itself is not technically demanding, and on days with good weather conditions, involves going up a steep rocky scree slope and walking over sharp rocky ridge to reach the snowy summit. Most of the snow on the mountain melts away by early Aug and we have rarely used crampons on our August departures. However with weather becoming more & more unpredictable one cannot rule out a possibility of dealing with some unexpected snow & ice on the mountain. One of the most popular trekking peaks in the Indian Himalayas and on the planet, the proximity to Leh (the capital of Ladakh) brings a lot of people to its summit. Not so difficult peak to climb, this trip has a short acclimatization trek built in where we climb a 4890m/16040ft high pass to get to the base of the mountain.
Note : Unless you are in good physical shape, you will NOT be able to summit in that long last day to the top and back!
: LEH AIRPORT - HOTEL
Board the early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. It takes a little more than an hour to get to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. On a clear day the flight offers excellent views of the mighty Himalayas. Arrive at the hotel for welcome drinks followed by breakfast. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
We spend half the day visiting Shey and Thiksey monasteries around Leh. Return to hotel for lunch and spend the day exploring the Leh market. Overnight Hotel
LEH - SHANG PHU
Drive to Shang Sumdo and trek to Shang Phu. The walk begins up a stony valley and there are several river crossings en route. The next day you head directly up the valley to Shang Phu at an altitude of 4,365m to complete a total of 5 to 6 hrs walking
SHANG PHU - MATHO PHU (ACROSS SHANG LA)
Today we traverse across spurs and passes through an area that is very rarely visited. It’s a 6 – 7-hour day and the toughest non-summit day of the trip, as you climb 900m to a high point on the Shang La. Following the crossing of the pass you descend to the Tokpo River, then trek downhill to camp at the base of Matho La.
MATHO PHU - MOUNKARMO
In the morning cross the Matho La (4,965m) from where we have views of Stok Kangri and then descend into the valley to the north of Stok Village. This lovely valley is a high and wild area, which is visited only by climbing groups and by the local people. You camp near Shepherds huts at Maunkarmo after 4 to 5 hours of walking.
ACCLIMATISATION DAY AT MOUNKARMO
Today we take an acclimatization climb up a side valley to get some real height gain in. Return to camp by late
afternoon for hot lunch. Rest of the day at leisure.
MOUNKARMO - STOK KANGRI BASE CAMP
Now we follow the busy trail up to the Stok Kangri Base Camp. It’s a short day with gradual ascent to the
campsite. The base camp is on a big meadow and is usually full of climbers from all parts of the world. After
lunch, leave for a short and steep hike to gain some altitude and acclimatize.
GETTING READY FOR SUMMIT PUSH
Spend the first half of the day getting your gear ready. We check the entire climbing equipment and ensure that everyone is kitted out properly. Relax in the second half of the day as we leave for the summit in the middle of the night.
BASE CAMP – STOK KANGRI – BASE CAMP
The toughest day of the trip, it would test anyone’s endurance as it’s a long way up from the Base Camp to the Summit (6150m) and back. The climb starts off steep from the Base Camp which flattens out slowly till we cross the glacier. Having crossed the glacier, we climb up the steep slope to the summit ridge. A couple of hours of scrambling on the ridge brings us to the summit of the Stok Kangri which offers wide open views of the Karakoram range on the north with the Saser Kangri dominating the sky and Zanskar ranges on the south. Back at camp for a late lunch.
BASE CAMP - STOK VILLAGE – LEH HOTEL
We exit out of the Stok valley at Stok village. After washing up at the hotel we will have time enough to do last minute shopping in Leh market.
It’s an early morning flight back to Delhi. Trip ends!
We believe that along with the privilege of adventure in the Himalaya comes a serious responsibility, the responsibility to protect and contribute to its ecology, cultures and its tremendous beauty. The “Leave No Trace” philosophy is followed to the letter and we work to minimize the environmental impact of our trips. We are scrupulous in our camping, cooking and sanitation practices; we limit the number of trekkers we allow to join us on our trips and the number of trips we lead in a given area.
In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else.
Please take a few minutes to read the following:
The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.
Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardiovascular sort contributing to improved endurance – helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.
Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.
Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.
Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: “ the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’
In other words – be safe.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.
Grading of Trips
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
- Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
- Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
- Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
- Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at [email protected] to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).
Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.
All travel from arrival at Leh airport on Day 01 till drop at Leh airport on
Day 10(by non ac car), all arrangements for staying and camping while on the trip, accommodation on twin share basis in tents / rest houses / hotels, all meals, professional guide fee, sanctuary fee / royalty / permits where applicable, all trekking arrangements with India’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff, cook etc.
Del-Leh-Del Airfare, railway station / airport transfers in Delhi, any stay and meals in Delhi, sleeping bag, items of personal clothing, beverages at the Leh hotel, individual climbing equipment, expenses of a personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, insurance, camera fee and any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Booking conditions: All bookings are subject to availability of space at Camp. We book space on a 100% advance. All payments by wire transfer, cash or cheque/draft in favor of “Aquaterra Adventures (I) Pvt. Ltd.”
Tips & Gratuities: Our recommendation is a minimum 5-10% of your trip cost for tips to be distributed amongst the team that makes your adventure safe and successful. This includes drivers, guides, cook, kitchen team, porters and horsemen. Of course, this remains a personal choice.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply on cancellation:
- if cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit
- will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 77 ; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
- if cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the
- tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip); and
- if cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.
Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.
The tour price is quoted as a package. No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.