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Stok Kangri offers the perfect opportunity for fit trekkers without any climbing experience who wish to summit their first Himalayan Peak. It is one of the main peaks of the Zanskar range, situated in the fascinating region of Ladakh. This high and arid landscape has captured the imagination of travelers since it was first opened to visitors in 1974. The expedition travels through remote valleys, scattered high villages and past hilltop monasteries to the base of the mountain.


The South Ridge provides an exhilarating climb in these fantastic surroundings. Although straightforward, the route is challenging and interesting, providing stunning views of the Karakoram Range and on a clear day, even K2 in the far distance.


One of the highlights of the trip is visiting Leh, the ancient capital of Ladakh. The regal air of the city, with its 'potala-like' palace and the charm of the friendly and traditionally dressed Ladakhi people, all contribute to the experience of this expedition.



Day 01: Arrival Leh:Leh
Make an early start to take the flight to Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. The flight would take you over the Greater Himalaya and make an exciting landing at one of the highest airports in the world. One can hope to get excellent views of Stok Kangri as one flies-in and on a clear day the great peaks of the Karakoram are visible to the north. You would be met at the airport by our representative and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is for rest. Leh is at an altitude of nearly 11,000 ft, and you can expect to feel the effects of the rarefied atmosphere. For the first few hours, you may experience a little breathlessness and perhaps a slight headache. These symptoms of altitude sickness are mild and usually disappear quite quickly; however, everyone is advised to take it easy for the first day or two. Press-ups and hill sprints are definitely taboo.


Day 02: Exploring the city of LehExploring the city of Leh
Today is your day 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 culinary.


Day 03: Begin trek up Matho River Valley to Stok Kangri
After an early morning start, you would drive up the Indus Valley to Matho. The duration of the drive would be around 2 hours. This is the start of your approach to Stok Kangri. Returning once again to the barren mountain wilderness, you would trek up the Matho River Valley and set up camp after several hours' walk, at a place called Matho Phul (4,480 mts. / 14,700 ft). After adequate rest in Leh and with you being fully acclimatised, you would be fit and in good shape for the trek to the base camp.


Day 04: Trek to Stok Kangri Base CampTrek to Stok Kangri Base Camp
From Matho Phul, you would continue up the valley making a steep climb over a pass from which you could witness the sheer beauty of Stok Kangri. Also visible below, would be the base camp and the entire route from base camp to the summit. From here, a steady descent would lead to your base camp and home for the two nights at an altitude of approximately 5,000 mts. /16,000 ft.


Day 05: A rest day and time for final preparations
The expedition leader would check the route to the glacier and look for a site for an advanced base camp. It is possible that he may require help to prepare the site for this camp, which is located on the glacier, cradled on the lower slopes of the mountain itself, several hours climb above base camp.


Day 06: Move to Advance Base Camp
From base camp, you would climb straight up the moraine, which stands immediately above your camp. This is tiring work first thing in the day but it soon eases to give a gentle descent and access to the glacier beyond. Depending on snow conditions you may be required to put on crampons as you walk onto the glacier. The surface of the glacier will probably be uneven and furrowed by melted water streams. There are a few, very small crevasses, which you would be required to navigate carefully. At the top of the glacier the slope steepens as you climb up onto the south face where the camp is located on a promontory of rough ground at approximately 5,300 mts. /17,400 ft. Using this high camp also engenders a real 'expedition feel' and heightens the anticipation of the climb itself.


Day 07: Summit day
Your summit day begins before dawn, which gives ample time for the climb. Being several hours above base camp, starting from here considerably shortens the day and increases everyone's chances of reaching the summit. The nature of the climb from advance base camp depends on the snow cover. It is most likely that you would not need your crampons for the most part as you 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 would appear so small that you would barely be able to see it. After taking photographs and perhaps a bite to eat, you set off to return, down the hill. The route taken depends on the leader, but it is usually a reversal of the way you went up. Occasionally groups have descended the South Face, in which case a small abseil is necessary near the top. On reaching the glacier, you would return all the way back to base camp, your advance base camp having been dismantled by your camp staff. The evening meal is to be accompanied by a wee dram to celebrate the occasion!


Day 08: Spare Summit Day
An extra day in case of conditions or situations like bad weather, individual acclimatisation, or anything else which requires more time for the ascent to be completed successfully.


Day 09: 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, passing several homesteads and numerous ruins of old fortresses. We reach Stok after about six hours walking, from where transport meets us and take us back to the Hotel in Leh.


Day 10: Rafting on Indus (15 Km stretch)Rafting on Indus
After breakfast you would leave for the experience of a lifetime. Our jeeps will drop you at Phey – the Raft “Put in” point and will pick you up from Nimmu where you would be soaked with fun and excitement as you raft. After your exhilarating rafting experience you would drive back to your hotel in Leh to relax. The dinner and overnight stay would be at the hotel.


Phey to Nimmu: This route consists mostly of Grade II or III easy rapids. It passes through astoundingly beautiful mountains, many of them with tiny hamlets and imposing old monasteries nestling among the valleys. It starts from Phey Village, about 12 Km from Leh and ends at the Indus-Zanskar confluence at Nimmu, about 36 Km from Leh. This stretch can be undertaken by beginners as well.


Day 11: Excursion to Pangong Lake (280 Kms round trip)
Morning after the breakfast you would drive to Pangong Lake on the Indo-China border. After the trip you would return back to the hotel in Leh for dinner and overnight rest.


Pangong LakePangong Lake
The Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 ft. is a long narrow basin of inland drainage, nearly 6-7 km at its widest point. Visitors are permitted to only around 7 km along the southern shore from the head of the lake as part of Pangong lies in China. Standing there offers stunning views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflection shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake’s brackish water. Also visible above Spangmik are the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Pangong range.


Day 12: Fly from Leh to Delhi
After another spectacular flight, you would return to Delhi for overnight stay.