Stok Kangri is one of the highest peaks famous for trekking. The peak is at the height of 20100 ft. which is even higher than the highest one in Europe, Mt. Elbrus (18510 ft). Trekking this high peak of India is not an easy one, it falls under the difficult band of treks in India. The toughest is the summit day, it exposes you to drastically freezing temperatures, and trek on glaciers and ridges for hours. The journey has challenging conditions of intolerable cold, inconsistent weather, headaches of high altitude, and whatnot. But at the same time, the peak mends all the cracks and takes you to a natural panoramic view of Zanskar and Indus valley.
The Stok kangri trek is not for beginners & it is essential for the trekkers to have experience of at least 2-3 treks of the height of around 15000ft. The entire journey of 9 days will treat your eyes with magnificent views of trails, ridges, glaciers, barren grey land, grassy pockets, also the Zasker and Karakoram range. During the entire journey, you will experience a perfect blend of difficulty and natural beauty. The Stok village itself is full of natural aesthetics, cultural bliss, and plenty of scenic views all around.
Get started with the thrill at Leh and let's take a deep dive into all the dimensions of these 9 days of adventure.
Maximum altitude: Stok Kangri is at 20180 ft. or 6,070m. It is the highest in the stock range of the Ladakh region.
Grade: - Difficult. The trek is considered to be difficult as it includes harsh climatic conditions.
Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights.
Trekking distance: Mt Stok Kangri trek and Ladakh trekking are about 40 km.
Trail type: Trekking Mountain
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh. Go Air, Air India have flights every day from New Delhi to Leh.
Snow Season: The summit is always covered in snow. September or October are the months with adverse weather conditions.
Service from: The service starts and ends at Leh.
Base camp: At 16300 ft. Few hours trek from Mankorma.
Stok Kangri Trek Best Season: Summer months, from June to September are better to plan the trip.
Region: Ladakh region
Who can participate: A climber and trekker with experience of treks above 15000ft .
The trek is of 8-9 challenging days filled with thrill, fun and adventure.
Day-1 Land at Leh, at a height of 3500m (11500 ft.)
Day-2 Adapt and Explore the land of monasteries (Leh)
Day-3 Drive to Stok Village (11800 ft.) and Trek to Chang Ma (13087 ft.)
Day-4 Chang Ma (13087 ft.) to Mankorma (14200 ft.)
Day-5 Mankorma (14200 ft.) to Base camp (16300 ft.)
Day-6 Acclimatization and training at base camp
Day-7 Base camp (16300 ft.) to Stok kangri (20180 ft.) back to base camp
Day-8 Base camp to Stok Village and drive to Leh
Day-9 Departure day from Leh
Land at Leh, at a height of 3500m (11500 ft.)
Day one includes a lot of fun excitement and sufficient relaxation with a cup of tea/ coffee in the lap of Leh.
The excitement of hiking stock kangri gets a head start with your arrival at Leh.
Get into the hotel and relax.
Before having a rigorous trek it is very important to get acclimatized to have a healthy and enjoyable journey.
Relax overnight at the hotel.
Overnight stay at Leh.
Adapt and Explore the land of monasteries (Leh)
The trip is designed in such a way that it gives sufficient time to the trekkers to adapt to the climate for a healthy experience.
The first three days of the trip are reserved for acclimatization.
Enjoy breakfast in the morning, and get ready for a hike of 3-4 hours.
Post the hiking, you can roam around Leh.
Do unravel the famous monasteries Shey and Thiksey.
Overnight stay at Leh.
Drive to Stok Village (11800 ft.) and Trek to Chang Ma (13087 ft.)
Get ready to experience the dream trek. Leh is one of the sites that everyone dreams of to trek on, and no doubt it fills your experience with absolute thrill and excitement.
Day 3 will take you to Stok village while exploring the roads and a trek as well.
The drive will take you from one of the imaginative scenes of natural beauty. It is full of exotic views and lush green trees.
The weather conditions are perfect during summer.
The Stok village is known to be the residing place of the crowned king and the Royal palace. The palace also has a museum of religious artefacts.
Drive to the Stok village is followed by the trek to Chang Ma.
You may find the trek difficult as it may surprise you with some snow.
The night stay will be at Chang Ma, under the sky full of glittering stars in tents on open land.
Chang Ma (13087 ft.) to Mankorma (14200 ft.)
Days 4 and 5 will give the best gift of your patience. Get ready for the trek of the trip.
This trek will give all the answers to why Ladakh is at the top of the list and why it is a cold desert.
The trek from Chang Ma to Mankorma is all about the grey and barren land of Ladakh.
On the way, you will get a chance to cross some small streams.
The trek is not that tough.
The night stay is a Mankorma and again filled with stars and cozy tents.
Mankorma (14200 ft.) to Base camp (16300 ft.)
Day 5 will take you to a pleasurable place between the barren land and mountains, the “Base camp”. Placed in green grassy land, surrounded by water bodies like lakes and streams the base camp will set you on fire with peacefulness right before the trek.
After reaching the base camp, you can explore and enjoy the surroundings, and enjoy a short trek to peaks like Parcha kangri, Gulap kangri, and many other nearby peaks.
Or just chill at the camp and enjoy the blissful view all around.
The next few days are challenging, it is a day to acclimatize you to the weather conditions.
In the next few days, you may experience a drastic change in the surrounding air and climate. Might even experience a lack of oxygen up there.
You will get enough warm clothes to moderate the temperature within tents.
The night stay will be at base camp.
Acclimatization and training at base camp
Day 6 is an opportunity for you to enjoy the place much better.
The day starts with a complete list of challenges difficulties possibilities and threats involved in the trek
The leader will guide you about all the difficulties on the train and how to manage all of them.
Before starting the track you need to have adequate training knowledge and experience to enter such trek locations.
It is essential to know the surrounding conditions prior as you may face difficult situations like sinking snow.
This day will prepare you for the extreme conditions of the upcoming day.
Again the overnight stay would be in tents at base camp.
Base camp (16300 ft.) to Stok kangri (20180 ft.) back to base camp
It’s showtime. Day 7 is the day you were waiting for, the day of the Stok kangri trek.
Having a day of rest and rigorous training has prepared you for this day of challenges.
Wake up early and start the route through glaciers and steep slopes.
Be mentally and psychologically strong for this long and steep climb.
This would take from 9 to 10 hours slow climbers may even take 23 hours more.
Within a couple of hours, you should reach the summit of Ridge which gives you a view of the Karakoram range towards the north.
Witness the scenic beauty of the Zanskar range in the south, and Saser Kangri with the Karakoram in the north overpowering the sky.
Base camp to Stok Village and drive to Leh
It's not over yet! Day 8 will be the ultimate day of high-altitude trekking.
Before turning your back to the mountains, don't forget to capture them in your eyes fully.
Ranges covered with snow and dominating the sky, a view one would never forget.
As the day rises, gather all your courage to step down from the base camp to Leh.
While coming back you have to step down to Stok village.
From there a nostalgic mountainous drive to Leh.
The drive will sum up the mixture of harsh and blissful experiences of the past 8 days.
Overnight stay at Leh.
Departure day from Leh
A day of nostalgia.
Take the return flight to your destination from Leh airport and enjoy the journey while embracing the adventurous memories.
Stok kangri trek is an enduring challenge. Don't forget to gather all your courage, excitement, adventure spirit, and patience, along with these packable things:
Before going on one of the most difficult treks, you must know a few things.
Choose the best time to go: explore the mountains when the sun makes it a bit easy to trek. Choose the best time between June and September to explore the Stok Kangri trek.
Get aware of the harsh and unusual climatic conditions in the high altitude. Do take sufficient time to acclimatize to the region.
Mentally prepare yourself for this challenging and extremely uneasy trek. You won't get any facilities, hotel beds, bathrooms, fancy breakfast, or anything. Even minimum amenities may become difficult to get.
Be prepared for extreme weather conditions. The temperature even touches minus 30 at the summit.
Rising altitude may bring you mesmerizing views along with some headaches. Do take prescribed medication if needed. Stay strong, keep going.
Sunburns are common at such high altitudes, must apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses.
Don't forget to bring a camera along with your phone and extra batteries. After the initial days, you will have to stay in tents at such times extra batteries will become lifesavers for your phone and cameras.
Do visit a physician to have a regular checkup to confirm fitness for trekking.
Don't forget to keep adequate warm clothes.
Trekking is possible only with the right kind of shoes in such areas so get yourself the correct ones.
Try to keep luggage minimum.
Do take sufficient breaks and hydrate yourself.
Take protein bars with you and have them when you feel exhausted.
Avoid using plastic anyway.
Do remember to maintain eco-friendly behavior; do not litter.
To start the Stok kangri trek you need to travel to Leh. To reach Leh you can take the following mode of travel:
Take a flight to Leh:You can take a flight from New Delhi to Leh. Go Air, jet Airways, and Air India provide flights every day. Enjoy the journey while flying over the scenic mountains of the region and get ready to witness them closely.
Take the road to Leh:You can take a bus or taxi from Manali to Leh, but the road is only open during summer. The road trip takes from 2 to 4 days depending upon the weather conditions prevailing. Don't forget to bring extra tyers if traveling by car and sleeping bags if traveling by bus, as it may stop literally anywhere anytime and you may even have to stay overnight in the middle of your journey. All are subject to weather conditions.
You may also take the route to Leh via Srinagar, this route also takes 2-3 days. On this route, you will find some famous villages like Khalsa and Kargi.
The best seasons are :- Monsoon treks in July and August - Autumn treks in September, October, and November.
Stok Kangri is in the region of intolerable cold weather. At times it even experiences zero degrees and makes it too tough for the trekkers. But it also has a bright shiny window during the summer months. From June to September you can experience an absolutely clear sky with mesmerizing views of the Karakoram range and the Zanskar range.
How difficult is the Stok Kangri Trek?
Before getting on to a decision of going on a trek “Stok Kangri” you must check about the challenges, difficulties and fitness required for the trek.The entire trek from Stok village is lush green and filled with natural bliss. From Chang Ma to the base camp you will find water bodies and the opportunity to stay in tents near them. After this, the tough section of the trip will begin, with 9-10 hours of the trek on glaciers and ridges. After facing the rough and harsh conditions while climbing, you will be amazed to experience the view at the summit. Witness the Karakoram range towards the north and Zanskar range in the south.
Stok Kangri is an expedition with high altitude, terrible cold, harsh Himalayan weather, and an exhausting trek experience. This arid region experiences drastic temperature variations. It even falls from 0 degree Celsius to minus 30 degrees at the summit. You have to be mentally prepared and strong enough to face the harsh conditions and the climate of the region along with minimal available amenities.
What do I need to take while going to Stok kangri?
The treks are usually without any facilities or amenities, and you are expected to survive in the bare minimum conditions. And the Stok kangri trek expects the same from you. And to survive in such conditions you and your bag should be loaded with require assets and gadgets. some of the important things you should have are:
How many days do I need to go for the Stok Kangri trek?
To explore the region and acclimatize yourself while reaching the peak of Stok Kangri, you require 8-9 days.