One of the most fascinating places on the planet is Stok Kangri that lies in the beautiful area of Ladakh. Ladakh is located in the northern state of India and is famous for compassion and support of its residents. Leh the capital of Ladakh is situated at the height of 3500-3800 mts of sea level and the most adventurous place for the trekking lovers. Trekking in Leh is the best option for trekking in India and hence it attracts tourist from every corner of the world. Stok Kangri is one such peak that has gain tremendous popularity in the last few years. Illustrating the Himalayan range with a wider perspective, this trek embrace deserted surroundings and offer its trekkers the opportunity to experience the complete peace. The entire trail has incorporated many ridges so you can feel the sudden change in scenery. In winter, the whole landscape attains a perfect magnificence. Stok Kangri peak provides you the entire view of Zanskar and the Indus Valley.
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Day 1 – Arrival at Leh
The fun and excitement of Climbing Stok Kangri begins with your arrival in Leh. Check-in to your stay and relax. Sip on tea/coffee. Do note, since it is very important for you to get acclimatised in order to have a healthy journey, the first three days will be reserved for the same.
Overnight will be spent in hotel.
Day 2 – Acclimatisation and Exploration of Leh
During the first half, indulge in breakfast and dash off for an acclimatisation hike of 3-4 hours. The latter half, you can enjoy unravelling the well-known monasteries around Leh like Shey and Thiksey.
Overnight will be spent in hotel
Day 3 – Stok to Changma
It is one of the best sites that you would have once you have decided to trek this area of land. Trekking in Leh, could be considered by some people to be living their dreams. At any point of time, you might just feel that you are right in the middle of heaven. This is a day when you would enjoy a great drive and have an enjoyable trekking experience.
The day starts with a drive to Stok village. At the start of the drive from Leh, you would go through many exotic and beautiful scenes. The drive to the Stok village is an adventurous one and if full of natural beauty and lush green trees. The weather is perfectly fine for the summer season. The Stok village lies immediately to the south of Leh and it is well known for a royal palace. The recently crowned king of Ladakh lives here. There is also a small museum inside the palace which has beautiful and religious artifacts.
The day 3 is however the day when you trek to Chang Ma. This might be a difficult trek and you may experience the joy of a snow trek. You would like to spend the night here and the overnight stay would be in tents in the open lands.
Overnight will be spent in hotel
Day 4 – Chang Ma (13087 ft.) to Mankorma (14200 ft.)
With three good days spent on acclimatisation, on day 4 and 5 you set off to Stok Kangri trekking.
The whole trek passes through the barren grey landscape of Ladakh. From chang ma trek up to Mankorma, This day will show you the real beauty of ladhak and gives you the answer why ladhak known as cold desert, while trekking you will cross the 2-3 times small streams, it is a fairly easy trek along with the river and you would love the overnight stay in tents.
Overnight for both the days will be spent in tents.
Day 5 – Mankorma (14200 ft.) to Base camp (16300 ft.)
A few hours trek takes you back to the base camp. This exotic base camp is a pleasurable place. It lies in a grassy area. This area has a number of water bodies in the form of lakes and water streams. During the day time, you can walk on the upper areas of the campsite and enjoy the views of the surroundings. There are some beautiful peaks like Gulap Kangri, Parcha Kangri and many others. You can also take rest in the base camp to make sure that the group is ready for the next day’s trek and touring. You would get time to acclimatize to the weather. This is pretty necessary because in the coming days, you wuld find a drastic change in the climate and might experience thin air and lack of oxygen.
The overnight stay, would again be arranged in tents and make sure that you have enough warm clothes for the lowering temperature.
Day 6 – Rest day + training day
This day is an easy day for trekkers. You would enjoy the time for going around and knowing the place to a much better extent. It is essentially a day to train for the upcoming trek and know the possibilities and challenges that are involved in it. Your trek leader and guide would let you know about all the different changes in the terrain.
You need adequate knowledge and experience to go around the mountains. There might be situations where you have to trek in the sinking snow. You would find your legs sinking up to your knees. Therefore it is essential that you know the weather and surrounding conditions. It is also a day when you would to take enough rest so that you are well prepared for the coming excursion. The overnight stay would again be in tents. By now, you should be well familiar to the conditions prevailing during the day and night.
Day 7 – Base camp (16300 ft.) to Stok Kangri (20080 ft.) back to base camp.
Now that you have had rest for a day i.e. the Stok Kangri trek, you should be well prepared for the big climb. You should wakeup early to start the climb. The route goes through glaciers and then comes to steep slopes to the summit ridge. This is a long climb, so you should be mentally strong and prepared psychologically. It would take somewhere between 9 to 10 hours for average climbers. Slow climbers may take another 2 to 3 hours in addition.
At the start of the trek, after a couple of hours, you should reach to the summit of the ridge. The summit offers you great views of the area. The wide and open surroundings give you a royal feeling. Towards the north, you would get a view of the Karakoram range. The Saser Kangri dominates the sky in the north along with the Karakoram, and the Zansker ranges in the south. The overnight stay, as usual, would be in tents.
Day 8 – Base camp to Leh
Day 8 would be the ultimate day of your fantastic trekking experience. The trek which included high altitude trekking mountaineering and expedition would finally come to an end after this day. But before you end the day, you would see a lot of snow clad beauty and memorable view of mountain ranges. The joy of Ladakh trekking can be rejuvenated from this spot. As the day rises, you would have to start coming back from Base camp to Leh.
The trek back could be difficult and you need to perform care and precision. On the same day, after you reach Leh, you would also have to cover up to Stok Village on your feet. Stok village is the final stopping point of trekking. From Stok village to Leh, you would have to take a drive. The drive may make you nostalgic of all the fun that you had while trekking the mountains in the last eight days.
Day 9 – Departure from Leh
Return to your destination with nostalgia of your journey in the mountains.
- Veg Meals on Trekking days
- Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
- Camping tents, Temp rated sleeping bags, mattress
- Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys
- Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with Wilderness Emergency Responder & Rescue.
- First Aid Certified Local guide, cook, helpers
- Porters or mules for carrying common luggage
- Transportation from Leh to Stok and Return
- Ice Axe and Crapons
- Meals during road journeys
- Any kind of Insurance
- Any expense of personal nature
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
- Carriage of personal rucksack
- Meals during Hotel Stay, if any
- Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
- Daypack (20 litres): As this is a crossover trek, you would only need a daypack if you are offloading your backpack.
- Three layers of warm clothes: Carry two sweaters, and a padded jacket. If you are more susceptible to feeling cold, add another layer.
- Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the Pass day.
- Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, preferably quick-dry, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. If you’re too cold, you can wear two tshirts together for more insulation. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandotory. In June, there will be abundant snow on Hampta Pass, and you would need it to protect yourself from snow blindness.
- Suncap: At high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
- Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. You can add a fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
- Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
- Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. If you plan to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you do not leave the used wipes/tissues back in the mountains since these are not biodegradable. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each or 2 litre water bladder.
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Dexamethasone – one strip
- Nifedipine – 5 tablets
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Domperidone – 6 tablets (vomitting)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)