ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

India
Stok Kangri Climb

Overview

Standing at an impressive height of 6,153m, Stok Kangri is the highest peak in the Stok range, visible from the moment you touch down at the airport in Leh, the ancient capital of Ladakh in Northern India. Often referred to as a trekking peak, this climb is anything but easy. We first led an expedition to the summit of Stok Kangri in July 2011 and since then we have had the pleasure of leading aspiring climbers every year back up her lofty heights. Strong trekkers who would like to experience the grit, determination and thrill of climbing a mountain using some technical equipment like an ‘Ice-axe’ and ‘Crampons’, are best suited for attempting Stok Kangri.

This entire experience is divided into three segments. A two-day acclimatization period in Leh in order facilitate better acclimatization; a beautiful trek across the stunning landscapes of the highest cold desert in the world; & finally the lofty snow-covered slopes and ridges of the mountain itself.  During the trek you cross many streams and even attempt a few passes, with panoramic views of the Indus. From the summit, on a clear day you can see as far as the mighty Karakoram and K2, 220Km to the North West. Stok Kangri presents the very essence of ideal conditions, especially for ‘Adventure Enthusiasts’ who are aspiring to take on mountains like Kilimanjaro in Africa, Island Peak in Nepal, Elbrus in Russia and Aconcagua in South America. It is a perfect blend of High altitude climbing with ease of accessibility and connectivity to civilization, unlike most mountains around the world.  This format of expedition style climbing with tented facilities along the way is very different from the Tea-House Trek format found in Switzerland, Nepal and the North East, giving you a good exposure to the life of mountaineering.

Quick Facts

Best Time : July, August and September

Duration : 09 Days

Max. Altitude : 6153 m

Commences At : Leh

Ends At : Leh

  • Arrival in Leh. Check in at Hotel. Rest and acclimatisation.
  • Acclimatisation day in Leh.
  • Check out post breakfast. Drive to Stok Village and trek up to Manokarmo (14,250 ft)
  • Trek from Manokarmo to Stok Kangri Base camp (16,300 ft)
  • Rest & Preparation day at the base camp
  • Stok Kangri Summit climb (20,080 ft) & back to the Base camp
  • Buffer day for bad weather.
  • Base Camp to Stok Village (11,800 ft) & Drive back to Leh
  • Departure from Leh. Trip Ends.

Contact

On arrival at the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, also referred to as the LEH Airport, you will immediately be overcome by a sense of awe and wonder with respect to the stark contrast of the landscape when compared to the Indian and Nepal Himalayas. You immediately notice the cold, the complete absence of vegetation, as well as the effort it takes to possibly walk up or down stairs due to the rarity of the atmospheric oxygen. When you exit the airport, look out for the ADVENTURE PULSE BANNER (that’s us, by the way), which will be your ride to our Hotel, ‘The Himalayan Residency’. The Hotel rooms are comfortable, spacious and allocated on a double sharing basis, unless you would like to upgrade and not share the room with anyone. The first day is spent just resting in and around the hotel so that you allow yourself to acclimatize to the environment and the high altitude. In the evening, we will go for a small walk to the City market, where if you like, you can explore the local culture, purchase souvenirs, and indulge in the local cuisine.
Early on Day two, we will go out for a small hike to Shanti Stupa. The idea is to stretch your legs and get a feel of exerting your muscles, at high altitude. This is a short two hour hike to Shanti Stupa and back post which we will head back to the hotel for breakfast. Post breakfast, depending upon how you are so inclined, you are free to either relax in the hotel, visit a few of the nearby monuments, such as the Kargil War Memorial, the monasteries or visit the market. However, as a word of caution, please do not over exert yourself as this will be detrimental to your fitness during the course of the trek. Evening, we turn in early, and we would encourage you to have dinner at the hotel so that you may then sleep well in time and be ready for our departure, the next morning.
Today is a big day as we end up crossing the Stok La pass at an impressive height of 4900 mtrs. Panoramic vistas open up as we see the Stok range of peaks from Stok la pass, among which is Stok Kangri. After the pass, the trail descends down towards the Stok valley and we set up our campsite at manokarmo.
We make an early start and reach base camp with still most of the day to rest. We have lunch and then take a short climb from base camp to better acclimatize. We climb a further 100 m and then come back down again for rest.
Summit day begins at late night to give you ample time for the climb. The nature of the route depends on the snow cover. From the base Camp, the first check point is the ridge after which is a relatively flat walk to the glacier. It is likely that you do not need crampons for the most part as you scramble over scree and boulders, which lead up to the south ridge. After crossing the glacier we ascend steeply to the summit. This last leg is the most difficult part, where we ascend the shoulder of the mountain to finally reach the summit. The 450m ridge to the summit is exciting and superbly exposed. The panoramic view from the summit is second to none. To the north-west the Karakoram Range, including K2 (8611 m), seems endless. One can also see the Zanskar Range and view Tibet in the distance, an outstanding vista of snow-capped peaks. The summit is festooned with prayer flags and after enjoying the views, you descend to base camp for the night. This is normally a 12 - 14 hour day.
From base camp you trek directly down the valley towards the village of Stok. This is a delightful walk through a dramatic canyon with amazing red sandstone formations (6 hours). Your transport meets you to take you back to Leh. Overnight in hotel.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

  • Assistance upon arrival at Leh airport by our representative.
  • Transportation:
  • Airport pickup and Drop.
  • Internal transfers Return airport and round trip transfers
  • Accommodation:
  • Accommodation in Leh on a MAP plan for 3 Nights.
  • Tented accommodation during trek in 3 man AShaped tent on twin sharing basis.
  • Food:
  • All Meals (Bed Tea, Breakfast, Hot / Pack Lunch, Evening Tea & Dinner) during the course of the trek. (For full board service).
  • Porters/Mule caravan to transport Personal luggage and common climbing Equipment. (For full board service)
  • Currently applicable permit fees and Wildlife fees of INR 2500/ (For full board service).

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

  • Airfare to and from Leh.
  • Additional days either on the trek or in Leh other than the standard itinerary.
  • Any kind of Personal Equipment or Optional Tours/Extra Meals Ordered.
  • Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls.
  • Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated).
  • Guide fee, camera fee, soft or hard drinks, starters.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under the head "Prices included".

1. What are the staying arrangements for this climb?

While in Leh, Adventure-Pulse will put you up in a comfortable hotel – “The Himalayan Residency” on double sharing plan with breakfast included. Once we start the trek to Stok Kangri, the accommodation is in a camp set up. We would have good quality tents on double sharing basis with a separate dinning tent for meals and a separate toilet tent. Sleeping bags and mats are also provided by Adventure-Pulse.

2. What king of Physical shape do I need to be to undertake this climb?

You need to be in good physical shape to climb this mountain. It’s the highest point in the Stok range of Ladakh and does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our physical fitness document for more details on this topic.

3. What are the entry and exit points for this climb?

One needs to fly to Leh for the Stok Kangri trek. There are regular flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Leh. On your arrival in Leh, you will be picked up by an Adventure-Pulse representative and transferred to the hotel. After our 02 day acclimatization at Leh, we would drive to the start point of the trek which is a 01 hour drive from Leh.

4. Do I need any special equipment/climbing gear for this climb?

Even though Stok kangri is a 6000m+ peak mountain, unlike most other 6000m peaks, Stok Kangri requires minimalistic amount of personal climbing gear. The snow conditions on Stok are very favorable during the climbing season (which is July – October) and one can climb up right to the Summit in their regular high ankle hiking shoes. In case there is a need to use specialized climbing shoes or crampons, these can be hired from the base camp just for the Summit day. Other than this, no other personal climbing equipment is required. For list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the Stok Kangri climb.

5. What is the communication system available on the way?

Regular phone and data services work in Leh. But please note that only Post-paid services work on roaming in Leh and Pre-paid services won’t work. Leh has good phone and data connectivity with 3G and 4G services also available on most networks. While on the trek, most days there is no network except at the Stok Kangri base camp. At base camp, there are a few spots where one can get basic phone coverage to call home. But one is disconnected on most days during the course of the trek.

6. What about high altitude acclimatization?

Leh is located at an altitude of 3250m and it’s important we spent the first 48 hours acclimatizing in Leh. We at Adventure-Pulse, consider acclimatization as one of the most important aspects of climbing a mountain and spend enough time to do that. Once you arrive in Leh, the first 2 days are spent acclimatizing. On day 02 morning, we go for a short 02 hour acclimatization hike up to a monastery. In the evening, we walk to the Leh market and walk back to our hotel, thus allowing the body to get used to the conditions around. We move up the mountain slowly giving enough time to our bodies to acclimatize and one full day is spent at Stok Kangri base camp to acclimatize and hike around before the final Summit Push.

7. What are the food arrangements?

The hotel in Leh serves good breakfast which is included in the meal plan. During the day and evening, one can order ala carte service in the hotel or even go to the close by market to try some local cuisine. While on the trek, all meals are included and the meals are usually a good mix of Indian and continental food. Our cooks are very experienced and will be happy to entertain any particular requests you may have for your meals. All the meals are served in the common dinning tent.

8. Will I be able to take a shower or bath during the course of the climb?

Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel in Leh. But while we are higher up on the mountain, shower facility is not available for the climbing period.

9. What are the emergency medical precautions available for this trek?

The Adventure-Pulse staff and guides carry a fully equipped medical kit with necessary medicines and an Oxygen meter. As a standard practice, we check oxygen levels of all our clients twice a day and take necessary precautions if any irregularity is found in the oxygen reading. In case the problem persists, the client is sent down with a qualified guide. In case of an Injury where the trekker is not in a position to walk down, a Pony is organized from base camp to the road head where a vehicle and a doctor visit can be organized.

10. What happens in case of bad weather on the mountain?

Adventure-Pulse usually plans all it treks during the most favorable season on the mountain, but having said that, weather is always an unpredictable factor. We usually look at weather reports before leaving for the Summit push. In case the weather is unfavorable for the Summit push, we delay it to the next day. A buffer day/s is always built in the itinerary as contingency if we get hit by unfavorable weather conditions. In the worse situation, we may have to turn back midway, but safety is always a priority which cannot be compromised on.

Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.

Apparels

  1. Trekking Boots /  Shoes (Preferably up to ankle length & water resistant)
  2. Multiple pairs of Cotton and woollen socks (at least 02/03 pairs of each)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 2)
  4. Thermal inners and Sweater/warm sweat shirt (1 each)
  5. Cotton T-shirts (02 to 03 minimum)
  6. Water proof Jacket/Wind Cheater.
  7. Warm thermal jacket/Down jacket.
  8. 01 Peak Cap  + at least 01 Woollen Cap
  9. Pair of warm gloves.
  10. Sleeping bag (can be hired in Leh approx. at INR 150/- per day)

Accessories

  1. Air bag/Duffel bag (No Suitcases)
  2. Day Back Pack in case you do not want to carry your own rucksack
  3. Drinking Water Bottle 01 Litre
  4. Torch + Batteries
  5. Camera + Batteries
  6. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  7. Nail Cutter / Pocket / Pen Knife
  8. Cold cream
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Chap-stick / Vaseline
  11. Personal toiletries (Tooth Paste / Toilet Paper / Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes etc.)
  12. Medical kit (With basic medicines for headache, upset stomach, sour throat, water purification tablets/drops, band aids, painkillers & Moov/ Iodex, Vics Vaporub, D-Cold etc.)
  13. Any personal medication (Individual specific)
  14. High energy snacks like Dry fruits, Bars of chocolate, Tang, glucose etc.
  15. Good Quality Sun shades
  16. Sun block (SPF40+)

 

Note: If you are unable to procure any of the above mentioned items, then suitable arrangements will be made so that the same can be either bought or rented in Leh based upon actuals.

The trek & Climb to the Summit of Stok Kangri can be steep & strenuous at some places, even though it does not require that you have any previous mountaineering experience in Particular, It’s important that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 5-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to climb to the Summit at 20,000 feet, and walk on broken glacial moraine all the way into Base Camp at 16,000 feet. You will spend 6 - 7 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin. We recommend the following schedule to the participants.
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. Week One/Two: The participants should be develop the habit of being able to get up in the morning and run / brisk walk  for a minimum of 3-4 Km atleast 4-5 days a week. This would represent atleast 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well.  During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (Avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for atleast 4 days a week.
  2. Week Three/Four: Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym.  Avoid heavy weight training.  Focus more on a core workout. These are your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. Week Five/Six: In addition to the week two exercise, one additional feature you should add in Week three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 3-4 kgs. This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week one, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
  4. Week Seven/Eight: Sustenance. Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks/runs and climbing flight of stairs.
  5. Week Nine: Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable.  Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning/evening with a daypack of 2-3 Kg; about 30-35 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and endurance considerably.

Please remember, Consistency is the Key here. Do not do anything to exert yourself or something that will increase chances of Injury. Running / brisk walking 4-5 kms for 5 days in a week is far better than running a 20 km on one day of the week and injuring your Knee / Ligaments in the process. If you can be consistent with above mentioned schedule, The Stok Kangri climb though physically challenging, will become a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!

Contact: info@adventure-pulse.com

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