When it comes to trekking in the Himalayas, most people are mesmerized by the countless opportunities that this mountain range offers to enjoy this adventure activity. Stock Kangri trek is just one of these numerous options, which ensure great thrill and excitement for the trekking enthusiasts from the word, go. Located in the majestic Ladakh division of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Stock Kangri trekking attracts countless adventure enthusiasts from around the world.
About The Trek
The Stok Kangri trek is an exciting and challenging trek, with a difficulty level of medium to high. The trek involves climbing the Stok Kangri peak which is one of the highest mountains in the stock range of the Himalayas. Located at 20, 080 ft above sea level, the peak has the same height as 70% of Mt Everest. This is the primary reason why a lot of trekkers consider it to be a difficult trail.
The trek involves facing the challenging climatic conditions that are common at such high altitudes, including handling the thinness of air. Apart from that trekkers need to traverse over a glacier, climb long stretches of mountainous terrain, and maneuver their way through a long and steep ridge. As such the trek requires the participants to not only have high energy levels and great stamina but also a good mental balance to handle the high levels of stress.
Feast For Nature Lovers
The participants of Stok Kangri trek get to enjoy the mesmerizing of nature that forms an integral part of the entire trail. The pristine environment along with the arid landscape and remote valleys often make the trekkers feel like having been transported to an entirely different world. While climbing Stok Kangri, the participants trek through the famous Hemis National Park, which houses the endangered snow leopard. Upon reaching the peak they get a awe-inspiring view of the Zanskar range and the Indus valley, which is a sight to behold in itself. Even the drive to the high motorable pass of Khardung La is proves to be a unique and memorable experience for the participants.
Best Time For Undertaking Stok Kangri Trek
Given the extreme climatic conditions in Ladakh region, people intending to go for the Stok Kangri summit trek should plan well in advance. The best time to undertake the trek is between July and September. During this trimester, the climate in the region is generally dry with minimal rainfall in July and August. This not only minimizes the risk of trekking but also enables the participants to enjoy the beautiful vistas in an elaborate and relaxed manner. However, since the number of trekkers is generally quite high, it is better to make bookings with reliable operators well in advance to avoid any last minute disappointments.
Challenges And Difficulty
The Stok Kangri trek is unlike any other trek and even the most experienced trekkers need to prepare themselves for the challenges and difficulties they might come across. In order to ensure the same, all participants are required to spend a minimum of two days in Leh to give them enough time for acclimatization with environment of the region. Even then the lack of enough oxygen near the summit, forces many participants to turn back without completing the last leg of mounting the peak. The trail is quite exhausting and difficult which is why the participants need to be both physically and mentally b enough to bear the pressures of a tiring climb combined with the harsh climate and unpredictable weather.
The 40 km long trek is generally completed within 9-10 days. The first two days of the trek are reserved for arrival in Leh and acclimatization with the region.
The actual trek starts on the third day when the participants trek to Rumbuk via Zingchan, where the altitude starts from low and gradually increases. The entire stretch requires the participants to walk through the barren lunar landscape that Ladakh is famous for. At the end of the day the trekkers sleep over at Stok La.
On the fourth day, the trekkers move on from Stok La to Mankoma. The participants can enjoy a magnificent view of the Stok Kangri Summit and the route they will take for mounting the peak from the base camp. The night is spent camping at Mankorma.
On the fifth day of the trek, the participants cover the trail from Mankorma to the base camp of Stok Kangri. The trek is started early to ensure that the participants reach the base camp well in time to get further acclimatized with the region. This involves undertaking a climb of 100m towards the peak and coming back to prepare for the last leg on day 6.
On the sixth day, the trekkers start climbing the mountain peak in the early hours to take advantage of the weather conditions. During this last leg, the participants first climb on to a ridge that leads to a large glacier. Having crossed the glacier, trekkers undertake the steep climb to the peak which is extremely difficult and tiring. However, upon reaching the peak, the panoramic view spread before their eyes make these difficulties and challenges worthwhile.
Day seven is generally reserved as a spare summit day in case the trekkers are unable to mount the peak on day 6 due to bad weather. For treks that have been successfully completed on Day 6, the decision of how to spend the spare day rests with the group leader and is generally taken in consultation with the entire group of trekkers.
On the eighth day, the trekkers descend back to Stok La and then move on to Leh. The trek back takes around six hours up to Stok La, where the participants board the stand by vehicles for a two hour drive to Leh. The journey back from the base camp to Stock La requires the participants to pass by the ruins of several old forts and castles.
On the ninth day, the trekkers depart from Leh by air, carrying back their unique experiences and memories of the enthralling Stok Kangri trek.
Important Things To Remember
In order to ensure the safe and a enjoyable trek, the participants need to adhere to the guidelines of their trek leader. In addition they need to keep the following basic things in mind to avoid risking the own live or the loves of other members of their group due to sheer carelessness.
* Even though the participants are not required to have any mountaineering or climbing skills, they should undertake the trek only if they have prior experience in trekking at altitudes above 4000 m.
* Given the difficulty level of the trek, especially in the last leg, the participants should ensure that they are mentally and physically fit for this type of adventure activity.
* For participants on regular medication, it is important to carry all their medicines in ample quantity to last for the entire duration of the trek. It is also advisable to carry this medication in duplicate with one set being placed in the backpack of the trekkers and the other carried in a pouch attached to their body.
* To avoid any untoward incident, consumption of alcohol and other intoxicating products should be strictly prohibited. In fact carrying such products is completely banned by most tour operators for the entire length of the trek.
* Irrespective of their level of experience and physical and mental fitness, participants should never undertake the trek alone or without a guide. The best way to enjoy the trek is with a group of like minded friends or even with strangers who form a part of a well organized group.
* It is extremely critical to heed to advice of the group leader in all matters related to the safety of the trekkers. In case of any doubts, no matter how insignificant, the participants should directly communicate with the group leader rather than making critical decisions on their own.
* Given the extreme climatic conditions of Ladakh, the trekkers should be properly attired. This includes wearing the right kind of clothes and shoes to travel during daytime, when the temperatures can be really hot. In addition, it also involves carrying proper beddings to keep the trekkers warm at night when the temperatures are often freezing cold.
* While making bookings for the trek, the participants should enquire about exact Stok Kangri trek cost and what all it includes. This not only helps the trekkers to plan their trip in a better manner, but also to include the items of necessity that would not be provided by the organizers.
A Final Word
Despite the difficult terrain and other challenges, Stok Kangri trek can prove to be a once in lifetime experience. So the participants should make most of this opportunity and enjoy every moment of the trip. The mesmerizing sights and the enriching experience of this trek make every difficulty and challenge feeble, only if the trekkers are willing to get lost the eternal beauty of this remote Himalayan region that not only relaxes their body and soul but also reminds them of the magical and soothing effects of nature at its best.
Location : Ladakh
Duration : 9 Days
Difficulty Level : 3 (Medium)
Endurance Level : 4 (Difficult)
Best Time : June to October