Stok Kangri Expedition
Duration:- 10 days
Max Altitude:- 20080 ft.
Approx Trekking Km:- 60 km.
In the middle of the fascinating area of Ladakh, lies STOK KANGRI which is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is locatedin the northern state of India i.e. Jammu and Kashmir. While the western part of the Jammu and Kashmir is pretty unstable to political conflicts and instability, the eastern parts like Ladakh and Zanskar are stable and safe to travel. Many people are of the view that Jammu and Kashmir is a state of terror and political upheaval but the area of Ladakh is one such place where you will find love and support of the natives. If you intend to travel by bus, you can reach Ladakh through Manali taking the southern route rather than travelling towards the east from Srinagar.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh and lies at an altitude of about 3500- 3800 meters above the sea level. The place still can be said to be engrossed and away from many amenities and just proves an adventurous place for trekking. If you have cultural inclinations, this is a perfect place to start off for trekking, biking, climbing and many excursions. The town is under a strong Buddhist influence, which is very evident from its culture. Though the town also has a great number of Muslims that reside here. There are dozens of beautiful Buddhist monasteries that are located in and around the place which are easily accessible. You can visit these monasteries within a day. In Leh, you can enjoy the game of Polo, right in front of the City Palace.
About the Peak.
Many mountains in this area of the country exceed an altitude of 6000 meters. The reason can be the Indus Valley already running in the area. One of the peaks in the region which has gained considerable popularity is STOK KANGRI and its twin Golep Kangri. You can reach the base of Stok Kangri through a bus or you could hire an taxi. The bus or taxi should take somewhere about an hour to take you to this spot. If you reach the base of Stok Kangri by evening, it would be a good idea to stay for the night in the village of Stok. The village is fairly big enough to look for an accommodation. This is a good place to stay pre/ post your trek. This way, you will benefit on saving some time on your trek and also ward off any unnecessary pain of travelling for a couple of hour. You can spend this saved time on your trek of Stok Kangri in the form of breaks and sight- seeing. On the first day, you trek up to the saddle between the two peaks, which is almost 5200 meters. It would be a good idea to hire a local guide and a couple of mules or donkeys, if you don’t want to carry your heavy backpacks. If you hire a guide, you might invite a situation of being lost in the valleys are pretty confusing. It is also advisable to carry a tent, food for the way and a stove which you can on the mules or horses.
From this point, with the help of ice axe and crampons, you can climb up to Stok Kangri or Golep Kangri. From both of these peaks, you have a great view of the over the Zansker and the Indus Valley. The nearby Chinese and Pakistani mountain ranges are also visible. You should keep the descent back to the base, in one day. However if you intent to climb both the peaks, you should first go for the Golep Kangri as it is among the easier one to trek. The peak is almost 6100 meter high. After you descent back to the base camp, you should be able to call it a day and take rest. You would enjoy the deserted surroundings and fid peace with yourself. This will also acclimatize you perfectly for the next day’s trek to Stok Kangri. Both Stok Kangri and Golep Kangri are perfect trekking destinations for adventurous climbers. The peaks also prove perfect for fit climbers who are looking ahead to trek the Himalayas for the first time. It would give you a wider picture of mountain trekking. Climbers who trek the Stok Kangri and Golep Kangri would be prepared to take the greatest trekking challenge. They are also the main peaks of the Zansker range. The route through the south ridge of Stok Kangri is straight-forward yet challenging. You would find it interesting to confront sudden changes in the path of the ridge. If you are trekking on a clear day, you might just be lucky to have a view of the Karakoram range and might also get a view of the K2 in the far distant.