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Stok Kangri Expedition

STOK KANGRI (10days) Best Expedition in Ladakh

Though peaking at an impressive 6153 m, Stok Kangri is not a serious challenge for the amateur climber. It is not a technical climb and in season requires no advanced mountaineering equipment. The only difficulty with this climb may be the altitude. The view from the top is one of the best in the Himalaya offering great views of the Zanskar and Karakoram ranges including K2 (8611 m), the second highest peak in the world.

Best Season: June- September

Difficulty: Strenuous due to high altitude

Day 1 -Exploring the city of Leh (3,350m).After arrive in leh we receive you from Airport.
We have two days to relax and stroll around Leh, to allow the effects of the altitude to wear off. This is an important period, which allows the body to acclimatise in preparation for the initial trek. There are plenty of distractions in Leh, varying from scenic and cultural to gastronomic. There are options of visiting the 11th century monastery at Alchi and the famous Khardung La pass (the highest motorable road in the world).
Day 2:Trek to Sumdo (3,800m).
In the morning we will visit the Thiksey Monastery, which is 18Km outside of Leh and continue our drive to the beginning of the trek to Shang. The bird life on our acclimatisation trek is spectacular, with previous teams have spotted Lammergeyer, Peregrine Falcon, Choughs, Indian Griffon Vulture and White-winged Redstart. Our walk begins up a stony valley via a well-defined path. There are several river crossings en route to our camp, which we establish just before the gorge at Sumdo (3,800m). Overall, it should take about 3 hrs to get to camp
Day 3:Trek to Shang Phu (4,365m).
Fom Sumdo, we head directly up the valley to Shang Phu at an altitude of 4,365m to complete a total of 5 to 6 hrs walking. This is one of the most beautiful camp sites on the trek, but do look out for Wolves, as they are quite common in this remote place.
Day 4:Cross the Shang La (4,960m).
Our third day on trek is probably the toughest non summit day of the trip, as we climb 900m to a high point on the Shang La. This part of our acclimatisation trek traverses an area which is very rarely visited and involves the crossing of many spurs and minor passes, with occasional views northwards towards the Indus Valley and the peaks beyond. Following our ascent to the Shang La (4,960m), we then descend to the Tokpo River for lunch. After lunch we trek downhill, contouring around spurs and over a 4,550m pass to our camping place at Gangpoche (4,435m). Today we can expect to walk for 6 to 7 hours.
Day 5:Trek to Smankarmo (4,380m).

It’s another steady climb in the morning, this time up to the Matho La (4,965m). From just before the pass we have our views of Stok Kangri. When it is clear, it is also possible to see the 8,000m Gasherbrum peaks 210 km away in Pakistan. Kashmir is in the narrow gap in the foreground. At the Matho La pass, we can walk 100m southwest on the top of the ridge, just past the first small hill for views of Saltoro Kangri. We 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 who spend some of the summer months in picturesque villages of stone huts, from where they tend their flocks of sheep and goats. We camp near Shepherds huts at

Smankarmo (4,380m) after 4 to 5 hours of walking.

 
Day 6:Trek to Stok Kangri base camp (4,980m).
A two hour trek takes us up to the base camp area for Stok Kangri (Yarlas at 4,980m). This pleasant campsite is on a grassy area beside a meltwater stream. In the afternoon we can walk above our camp for views of the Rimo peaks (adjacent to the Siachen Glacier in the East Karakoram), where the meltwater torrent flows out of the very middle of the Gulap Glacier’s terminal moraine at 5,160m.
Day 7:Acclimatisation walk to 5,400m.
It used to be possible to use an advance base camp at 5,400m below the south face. This is now not allowed, so we spend today walking up towards this site as part of our acclimatisation and to scope out our route. From base camp, we climb straight up the moraine, which stands immediately above our camp. This is tiring work but it soon eases to give a gentle descent and access to the glacier beyond. Depending on snow conditions, we may put on crampons to walk onto the glacier. The surface of the glacier will probably be uneven and furrowed by melt water streams. There are a few, very small crevasses, which are crossed easily. At the top of the glacier the slope steepens as we climb up onto the south face to where the site of the old camp is located, on a promontory of rough ground.
Day 8:A rest day and time for final preparations.
We have a day of relaxing and preparing for the big summit day tomorrow, before spending another night at base camp to complete our acclimatisation.
Day 9:Summit day.
Our summit day begins before dawn, to give us ample time for the climb. Psychologically it will be helpful to have previously covered the ground to the old advance base camp, as we will be doing this section of the ascent in the dark. From the advance base camp, the nature of the route depends on the snow cover. It is most likely that we do not need our crampons for the most part as we scramble over scree and boulders, which lead up to the south ridge. The 1,500 ft ridge that stretches up to the summit is exciting and superbly exposed, although never particularly steep and very straightforward. Most of the ridge is like a steep path, so ropes are not usually necessary, although some scrambling is required. At an altitude approaching 20,000 ft it is extremely tiring and anybody who needs a rope will be able to use one. The summit is a superb reward for your effort, giving magnificent views in every direction. The city of Leh is so small that you can barely see it. After taking photographs and perhaps a bite to eat, we set off back down the hill. The route taken depends on the leader, but it is usually a reversal of the way we went up. Occasionally our groups have descended the South Face, in which case a small abseil is necessary near the top. On reaching the glacier, we return all the way back to base camp.
Day 10:Trek to Stok from base camp.
From base camp we trek directly down the valley towards the village of Stok. This is a delightful walk through a dramatic canyon with amazing red sandstone formations. It is an excellent example of vertical strata showing how plate tectonics can shape mountains so quickly. Alos, look out for Blue Sheep as they scamper across steep rock faces, which most of us wouldn’t venture onto without climbing equipment! We pass several homesteads and numerous ruins of old fortresses, reaching Stok after about six hours walking. Our transport meets us here to take us back to the Hotel in Leh.
Day 11:your choice of day either you fly back or stay and do some

Rafting in Zanskar river to go for another trek.

We require climbing permits from the Office of Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Mentokling Complex, Chanspa, Leh. It takes one day and we need your Passport and Visa number + 1 photograph. Permit costs 2000 INR per person (appro 30 euro).

Tourist Attractions:

Traditional Ladakhi village & culture, ancient monasteries, snow capped mountains in both Himalayan and Zanskar ranges, wild marmot and birds, incredible Himalayan scenery, beautiful campsites in villages & remote location.

Food Details:
All meals + snacks veg / non veg at Leh – breakfast and dinner while climbing – all meals only vegetarian while climbing.
Stok Kangri expedetion