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Stok Kangri trek is one of the famous spots for Leh and Ladakh trekking. It is meant for seriously experienced trekkers. Stok Kangri is the highest peak of Stok ranges of the Himalayas in the north-west region of Ladakh.
It is undoubtedly one of the tough trek, which tests your mettle and grit to keep going. Stok Kangri peak is located at an altitude of 6,153 mt / 20,182 ft. It is a challenging trek and not meant for beginners, without any significant Ladakh trekking experience. Ladakh trekking is categorised as one of the difficult treks of India. Hence few days of acclimatisation is necessary before starting the Stok Kangri trek.
No doubt, this trek is rewarding to all those who took the pain and conquered the Summit. Once at the top, it provides the breathtaking view of the valley and you can view the Karakoram Range to your north and Zanskar Range to your south. It is among one the daunting trek which challenges you at every step, with ever-increasing pressure as you approach the summit.
It requires the trekkers to have a good fitness level, months of preparation to tackle physical and psychological challenges encountered while trekking the insurmountable peak. To gauge, the entire stretch of Stok Kangri trek, have a look at the Ladakh map. You will be able to trace the trek path from Stok Village all the way up to the point of the summit.
If you are an experienced trekker and want to push the bar to the next level, Stok Kangri trek is here to pose you that challenge. With the maximum elevation of 20,184 ft at the peak, it is not for the week hearted person. Though there is no major equipment and gears needed for this basic trek, some of the items are listed below in things to carry for trekkers comfort.
The best time to trek Stok Kangri is from July to October. But based on when and how you reach Ladakh, you will have a different experience everytime you visit this amazing place. Outside July to October window, the mountain is usually covered with the think layer of snow, which makes it difficult to trek.
The trek starts once you reach Leh. Spend a day to acclimatise yourself and cherish the beauty and weather. Leh is the place where you get the perfect combination of natural exquisiteness with cultural beauty. Staying overnight here in the tents is a lifetime experience. If you ask adventurous trekkers how to reach Ladakh, they prefer coming from Manali to Leh via Chandratal. Chandratal is a beautiful lake at the altitude of 4325 m. Doing the chandratal trek before Stok Kangri better helps one acclimatisation.
Getting From/To To begin Stok Kangri trek, you need to reach Leh and Ladakh. Leh Palace was one the capital of Royal kingdom of Ladakh. How to reach Ladakh is worth pondering upon. Leh can be seen as a town on Ladakh map. It is at an altitude of 3,524 metres (11,562 ft). You may reach Leh by following two routes.
8 Days | 7 Nights
Day 01: Reporting in Leh and check-in to Hotel.
The journey begins when you reach Leh and report your arrival. On arrival in the town, you will need to provide your travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pickup and transfer. The overnight stay will be in comfort of the hotel. The first-day stay is meant to acclimatise to learn more about Leh and Ladakh trekking. You can explore Leh Palace, a symbol of Royal Kingdom of Ladakh. You may also visit the famous Lamayuru, a Buddhist monastery. Lamayuru is also famous for having a view of Moonland, a landscape which appears as if we are on Moon. Don't miss it.
Day 02: Orientation & Briefing of the Trek Preparation
The second day at Leh is to prepare for the Stok Kangri trek. It starts with orientation and briefing about the trek. You can use this day to take a walk around the town and for acclimatisation. You will be required to gather energy for the long walk uphill trekking the mighty stok Kangri peak. The acclimatisation is needed to get your body used to the cold weather, high altitude and diminishing oxygen levels. You can also utilise this time to go shopping and learn about the culture, visiting numerous Buddhist stupas and monasteries nearby.
Day 03: Reach Stok village after 30 mins drive from Leh. Start trek to Mankarmo (4,250 mtrs/13,940 ft).
The first day you will start the trek. It starts with the 30 min drive from Leh to Stok village. Only necessary rucksack and items need for the trek will be carried along. On reaching Stok village, a briefing by the trek captain is done to educate and align our expectations out of this trek. Post briefing the walk from Stok village to Mankarmo begins. The trails of Leh and Ladakh trekking has a magnificent attracting power.The natural grandeur of Leh Ladakh region is amazingly beautiful and picturesque landscapes with diff colour peaks of Ladakh region. Most of the Ladakh map area is known for its cold desert. We will experience the cold desert on our way up trekking. While trekking you will cross the 2-3 times small streams. Approximate trek time for this day is around 4-5 hours. It is a fairly easy trek along with the river and you would love the overnight stay in tents.
Day 04: Trek to Stok Kangri Base Camp (5000 mtrs/16,400 ft).
This day the trekking will be relatively difficult compared to yesterday's trek. We are going to trek for approximately 2-3 hours. The preparation done in this trek is going to be crucial for the summit and for the remaining day's trek. Today we will trek from Mankorma to the base camp of the summit. It will be a difficult ascent as the continuous gain in altitude will result in lessening levels of Oxygen. All along the hike, you will find rocky and narrow mountainous trails. From now the hike will be challenging due to a decrease in oxygen pressure. However, we will be rewarded generously with an amazing view of mother nature. After you cross a hissing river, the trail will become wider and smoother. We will observe several alpine lakes reflecting the beautiful waves of bright sunlight. Once we reach base camp, we will reset and enjoy the sumptuous lunch. We can then spend the rest of the day at leisure admiring beautiful mountains. The base camp is at the height of 16400 ft. The evening brief walk is done to acclimatise for preparing yourself for the next day trek. The latter half of even is spent having dinner and resting in the tents
Day 05: Acclimatization walk (5,400 mtrs/17,700 ft) and back to Base Camp.
This is one of the most important days of your excursion. It is meant to do preparation for summit trek we do next day. One of the biggest challenges is the trekker facing AMS while scaling altitude in short span of time. In order for your body to sustain the physical and psychological pressure, this trek will do the needful to acclimatize to the weather and topographical conditions. In the way, the trek captain will guide you through all the necessary information needed for scaling the summit. The team leader will brief you about the different challenges and hazards you might face during the climb. You can ask him questions and clarify any doubts you have in mind. Once you are back from the acclimatise trek, relax and enjoy the evening. You may want to click pictures and rest overnight in your tents.
Day 06: Base camp to Stok Kangri Summit and return
This is the day we have been preparing for all this time. The morning will start the trek and the being rigorous mountaineering. This overall final uphill trek is divided into a number of smaller sections for trekkers to take a quick rest break after each section. We will need to trek for 3 hours to the glacier, which originates at the peak. It starts with a sharp and lengthy accent, after which the altitude gain will become lesser till you arrive at the magnificent river of ice. The real climb to the summit of Mount Stok Kangri begins here. To reach the top, you will climb for about two hours more along the southern face of the mountain. The gradient of the slope here is almost 75 degrees, and the path contains loads of small rocks and enormous boulders. One has to be very very careful with each step. You will know that you are almost there once you see a clear view of the summit and colourful Buddhist prayer flags decorating it. These last few 100 metres will test your grit and patience like you never experienced before. So give it your best and make it to the summit. On reaching the top, congratulate yourself, congratulate others for making it to the summit. You can cherish the amazing view of Karakoram mountain range in the north and the Zanskar mountain range in the south. The summit marks you with the glory of pride of conquering the toughest peak at 12,182 ft. Post enjoying your success and clicking photos, and spend time celebrating your success. Prepare to start your reverse trek back to the base camp. The walk down the hill will be too fast due to the downhill and gravity pressure. So try to control your velocity and walk at a constant pace. On arriving at the base camp, relax and enjoy your overnight stay.
Day 07: Base camp to Stok Village and Drive to Leh.
The last day of trek begins with the walk of 12 km downhill back till you reach the village of Stok. It is going to take approximately 4 to 5 hours walk to cover the distance. On arrival in the village, board a vehicle and drive back to Leh and Ladakh. The 30 min drive back to Leh will be really relaxing followed by the trek of last few days. During the transit, you will have time to cherish the moments captured all through the Stok Kangri trek. On reaching the Leh, retire into your hotel room and relax for the rest of the evening.
Day 08: Group get together for breakfast.
In the morning we will meet again over the breakfast. The group will share their experiences of the Stok Kangri trek. Post breakfast, we will conclude the stok kangri trek and disburse for the further journey. Those who had come on a bike trip from Manali to Ladakh using take a round trip back to Manali. Rest usually take the flight or road trip to Delhi.
Difficult trek prefered for experienced trekkers.
Winter temperatures can dip to -4⁰C at night. The trail can be quite windy, especially in the higher areas which are open. Highly recommended wearing appropriate layers (at least 3 to 5 layers) of winter trek cloth to overcome the chill.
3-day accommodation at the hotel room and tented accommodation throughout the 4-day trek.
All veg meals starting from day 1 dinner to day 8 breakfast. We provide hot breakfast and hot dinner. On trekking days, packed lunch will be provided.
There is no ATM facility at Stok. The nearest ATM is in Leh, where plenty of ATM is available.
There are required entry fees at a certain checkpoint, permit for trek and obligatory forest camping charges in the region for the entire length of the trek.
Following are the list of items which should be carried personally.
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