Stok Kangri (elevation 6,146 mtr/ 20,162 feet) is the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of northwest India. The peak is located in the Hemis National Park, 12 km southwest of the trailhead at 3,610 m (11,845 feet) in the village of Stok and 24 km southwest of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Despite its altitude, Stok Kangri is a popular peak and is often climbed as an initial non-technical foray into high altitude mountaineering.
Stok Kangri, the highest peak in the Stok Range as seen from a monastery in Leh
The ascent of this 6000mtr 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 altitude as well. After spending the first couple of days acclimatizing in Leh during which time monasteries can also be visited, as also 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 – a high altitude pass – (4890m/ 16039 ft) and then descending to the Stok valley. This approach gives us a little more time to acclimatize and the steep climb up Stok La acts as a good test before the final ascent.
The final climb of Stok Kangri (6146 mtrs/ 20162 ft) will present a challenge to even the fittest. Even after being fully acclimatized, any climb over 6000m will be a tough 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 a sharp rocky ridge to reach the snowy summit. Most of the snow on the mountain melts away by early Aug and crampons are rarely used in Aug departures. However with unpredictable weather one cannot rule out a possibility of dealing with some unexpected snow & ice on the mountain.
Note: Unless all of us are in good physical shape, which also includes no altitude sickness we will not be able to summit on the long last day to the top and back.
Dates: Aug 15th – 25th 2013
Trek: 07 Days
Food: All included
Accommodation: 3 Nights in Leh, 6 Nights Tent
Season: Summer & Winter
Day 01: Delhi to Leh (3500mtrs/ 11480ft). Arrival at Leh airport & then transfer to hotel
Day 02: Free for monastery visits, preparation and official briefing
Day 03: Leh to Rumbak (3870mtrs/ 12694ft) 1hr 30mins drive and 4 to 5 hrs trek
Day 04: Rumbak to Mounkarmo (4250mtrs/ 13940ft) 6 to 7 hrs
Day 05: Rest at the Mounkarmo
Day 06: Mounkarmo to Stok Kangri Base Camp (4975mtrs/ 16318ft) 3 to 4 hrs.
Day 07: Getting ready & rest.
Day 08: Early climb to Stok Kangri (6146mtrs/ 20162ft) and back to base camp. 12 to 15 hrs.
Day 09: Trek to Stok village and drive to Leh. 6 to 7 hrs trek and 1 hr drive.
Day 10: Fly to Delhi.