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Stok Kangri Trek

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  • 9 Days/8 Nights
  • Hard
  • 16100 ft./4907 m
  • 12 Participants
  • June-September
  • Himachal Pradesh

Stok Kangri Trek Overview

Stok Kangri Trek in Ladakh is known as the toughest trek in India. It is the country’s highest trekkable summit. The trek climbs to a staggering altitude of 20,187 ft and demands technical skills to conquer the final summit push. It traverses a tough terrain and is a challenging trek requiring immense physical fitness, mental preparedness and experience in high-altitude trekking.  

Stok Kangri is a strenuous trek suitable for trekkers who have explored a few high-altitude treks above 15,000ft. As there are high chances of acute mountain sickness, it is important to acclimatise for a required number of days before attempting the summit climb. Though the trek requires 4 to 5 days of actual trekking, it is mandatory to acclimatise before the final push. 

A gruelling 8 to 9 hours of difficult ascent takes you to the summit. The summit presents a 360-degree view of sprawling mountainscape. You witness the towering Karakoram ranges to the north, while the Zankar ranges dominate the south.

Stok Kangri trek offers the thrilling adventure of a lifetime for trekkers who come well-prepared to stand atop at  20,080 ft.

Stok Kangri trek brochure

Inclusions

  • Meals 
    • Breakfast, Lunch and dinners (Day 1 Dinner to Day 9 Breakfast)
  • Accommodation 
    • Tents, Homestays/Dorms
    • Cloakroom charges 
  • Experienced Guides 
    • Trained and Qualified Guides
  • Permits
    • National parks and sanctuaries 
  • Camping Equipment
    • Kitchen tent
    • Toilet tent
    • Dome tents 
    • Sleeping bags
    • Mattresses
  • Technical Equipment
    • Wilderness Medical Kit
    • Climbing Rope 
    • Climbing accessories
    • Oxygen Cylinder
    • BP Meter
    •  Oximeter, thermometer etc.

Exclusions 

  • Travel cost from Pick up point to and from basecamp
  • Transit Meals (Day 1 and Day 9)
  • Personal Expenses 
  • Offloading Charges 
  • Cost incurred due to change in the itinerary 
  • Additional services  (including mules, assistance, health-related support etc.)
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions list. 

Stok Kangri Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Leh (11,450 ft.)

Leh is accessible by air and road. Reach Leh City on Day 1 and indulge in hot garlic soup to begin the acclimatisation. Take a stroll in Leh market if you land in the city early. Avoid exerting before the trek or indulging in junk food. 

Day 2: Acclimatization in Leh (11,450 ft.)

Trekkers are recommended to get acquainted with the weather and altitude in Leh for a minimum of two days after arriving. Head out to explore Leh City and the monasteries nearby. It is strictly prohibited to consume alcohol or smoke. Remember to indulge in hot soups and keep yourself warm. 

Day 3: Leh (11,500 ft.) to Chang Ma (13,087 ft.) via Stok Village (11,800 ft.)

  • Trek Distance – 6 km
  • Time Taken – 4 to 5 hrs

After acclimatising in Leh for two days, trekkers head to Chang Ma via Stok Village. A picturesque drive from Leh leads to Stok village, a postcard-perfect settlement with the royal Stok Palace. Drive from Leh to Stok village passes through picturesque sceneries with rocky mountains and charming landscapes all around. 

Once the team reaches Stok village, the ascent to Chang Ma begins. The distance of 6 km traverses undulated terrain in 4 to 5 hours to reach the first campsite in Chang Ma. 

Day 4: Chang Ma (13,087 ft.) to Mankorma (14,200 ft.)

  • Trek Distance – 5 km
  • Time Taken – 3 to 4 hrs

The trail from Chang Ma to Mankorma takes you on a comfortable hike along a river bed. As the trek progresses, you will witness the raw beauty of Ladakh. From the jagged mountains to the cold desert, it all appears surreal. The day also involves crossing icy cold streams. 

Day 5: Mankorma (14,200 ft.) to Base camp (16,300 ft.)

Trek Distance – 6 km

Time Taken – 4 to 6 hrs

The journey is challenging but rewarding. You will gain a substantial amount of altitude as the team heads to the base camp at 16,000ft. The drill is to go slow and let your body get comfortable with the cold. 

It takes a few hours to reach the base camp from Mankorma. The basecamp offers pretty vistas with snow-studded peaks including Gulap Kangri. While it is extremely cold outside and the oxygen level is low, the basecamp makes a picturesque location with many lakes and water streams all around. Prepare yourself mentally for the big day, the summit climb. 

Day 6: Acclimatization and training day

It is suggested to acclimate at the base camp for two days to adjust your body to thin air and lack of oxygen. There will be a drastic change in altitude on the summit day. It is crucial to learn about the challenges and technical knowledge required to summit Stok Kangri. 

This day is also utilized to train the trekkers in using the technical equipment needed on the summit day. The team will be briefed on the use of an ice axe, crampons, and ropes. After the training, give your body a proper rest before the final push begins. 

Day 7: Base camp (16,300 ft.) to Stok Kangri (20,080 ft.) back to base camp

  • Trek Distance: 12 km 
  • Time Taken: 10 to 14 hrs

The day is long and exhausting. It’s a steep climb to Stok Kangri and the journey begins as early as 1 in the morning. The team examines the weather conditions and prepares for the summit push. 

A steep climb takes you to the top of Stok Kangri, standing tall and glorious at a staggering 20,080 ft. 

Once at the summit, 360-degree views of the majestic mountains and the feeling of standing at 20000 ft above sea level is a glorious moment, that you will reminisce about for years to come. 

From the summit, the Zanskar Ranges majestically glisten in the south, while the Karakoram and Saser Kangri appear serene and magical in the north. After admiring the beauty of these peaks, the team descends to the base camp and rest for the night. 

Day 8: Base Camp to Leh

  • Trek Duration: 12 km
  • Time Taken: 6 to 7 hrs

After creating memories of a lifetime and achieving a great feat, it’s time to head back to civilization. It’s a long day of trekking on a downslope trail to Stok village. It takes roughly 7 hours to reach Stok village.  The drive to Leh city will be fulfilling as you have just summited your 6000mt peak. 

Day 9: Departure from Leh  

It’s time to head back home. Trekkers also opt to stay in Leh for a few more days and explore the beautiful destinations the city has to offer. 

How to reach the basecamp Stok Kangri trek?

Stok Kangri trek begins at a place called Stok village. To begin the Stok Kangri trek, one must reach Leh first. The city is conveniently connected by air to major cities. You can fly directly to Leh or travel by road from Srinagar/Manali. 

The other option to reach Leh is by road. Manali – Leh highway and Srinagar – Leh highway are the two options for travelling to Leh by road. 

You can travel by shared cab or bus from Srinagar to reach Leh. One halt on the way is suggested. The distance of 437 km is covered in 11-14 hrs. You can opt for a night halt in the major towns of Sonmarg, Drass and Kargil. 

If you travel from Manali to Leh by road, you can opt for shared cab or bus services. The other option is to travel by private and HRTC buses from Manali to Leh. The distance between Manali and Leh is around 454 km and it takes approximately 16 hours to cover. 

 

Stok Kangri Trek FAQ

Where is Stok Kangri located ?

Stok Kangri is the highest mountain peak of the Zanskar Range. The mighty Stok Kangri Peak is situated in the Hemis National Park in Ladakh. 

What is the starting point of Pin Bhaba Pass Trek?

Leh is the starting point of Stok Kangri trek. The trek to Stok Kangri begins in Stok Village, approximately 15 km from Leh city. Once you reach Stok, the 6 km trek to Changma begins.  It takes 4 hrs to reach Chang Ma. 

What is the distance of Stok Kangri Trek?

The total distance of the Stok Kangri trek is 40 km. You walk an average of 5 to 7 hours daily.

Is Stok Kangri suitable for beginners?

Stok Kangri takes you to one of the most trekkable summits in India, situated at an altitude of 20,187 ft. The trek is not suitable for beginners. Consider this trek if you are an experienced trekker with prior exposure to high-altitude trek. 

How difficult is Stok Kangri Trek?

It is a difficult trek traversing high-altitude regions and challenging terrain. Stok Kangri has extremely strenuous trails, thin air and a lack of oxygen, making it one of the most difficult treks to attempt. 

What will the temperature be on Stok Kangri trek?

Stok Kangri’s temperature ranges between 7°C to 10°C during the day. Come prepared to brave the freezing night temperatures, dropping to -5°C to -10°C in Stok Kangri. 

What is the best time to visit the Stok Kangri trek?

The best time to visit the Stok Kangri trek is July to September. The weather remains manageable on the trail between July and September.

Will there be snow on the trek?

Yes. You will find snow along the trail and at the summit. 

 

What is the duration of Stok Kangri trek?

Stok Kangri  Trek is a 9-day long, including travel to and from the base camp.

 

What is the altitude of Stok Kangri Trek?

Stok Kangri trek takes you to a staggering altitude of 20,187 ft. Working on your physical stamina is of utmost importance for those planning to attempt the trek. 

 

Can we do the trek on our own?

It is a challenging trek. It is essential to conduct thorough research before finalising your guides if you are planning to go solo. Hiring a local guide well acquainted with the trail is suggested to avoid unforeseen situations. 

Getting Fit for the Trek

Here is a sample fitness routine you can follow to prepare for Stok Kangrii trek 

Preparation is the key to enjoying a trekking experience wholeheartedly. Before embarking on any difficult treks in India, your primary focus should be working on your endurance and strength. The treks traverse demanding terrain accompanied by harsh weather conditions and freezing temperatures. Add the treacherous mountain trails, technically challenging ascents and navigating on boulder sections or icy slopes. Tackling such strenuous walks at higher altitudes demands impeccable endurance. 

We suggest our trekkers begin their preparation at least 3 to 4 months before the trek date. 

Here is a quick workout sample to prepare for the toughest and most challenging treks. 

Sample workout for difficult treks

For difficult treks like Stok Kangri,  Pin Bhaba Pass and Bali Pass, you will traverse challenging terrains for 7 to 12 days. The difficult treks take you to an altitude above 15,000 ft. 

Note – The time duration of each workout is 60 minutes with high intensity. Along with strength-building exercises, improve cardiovascular endurance and time to complete 5 km in 35 to 32 minutes. 

Day 1 

20 minutes Lower Body Strength Training Exercises + 25 minutes Aerobic Exercises + 15 mins Core Exercises 

Day 2 

20 minutes Full (Upper+Lower) Body Strength Training Exercises + 25 minutes Aerobic Exercises + 15 mins Core Exercises 

Day 3

Yoga and Stretching 

Day 4

20 minutes Full (Upper+Lower) Body Strength Training Exercises + 25 minutes Aerobic Exercises + 15 mins Core Exercises 

Day 5

20 minutes Upper Body Strength Training Exercises + 25 minutes Aerobic Exercises + 15 mins Core Exercises

Day 6

Recreational Exercises 

Day 7

Rest Day

Read more about getting fit for different Himalayan treks here. 

Packing List for Stok Kangri Peak trek

What you pack for difficult Himalayan treks decides the experience you will have on the trek. Adhering to a perfect packing guide will help you enjoy the trek to the fullest without any inconvenience due to a lack of gear or trekking clothes. 

Here is a list of trekking essentials you need for any difficult trek.

The Must-Haves

  • Trekking Backpack( 60 to 70 ltrs) – 1
  • Expedition Boots – 01

Trekking Clothes

  • Down Jacket – 01
  • Raincoat/Poncho – 01
  • Thermals – 01
  • Woolen Sweater – 01
  • Fleece – 02
  • Woolen Gloves – 02
  • Waterproof gloves – 01
  • Dry Fit Full Sleeve Tshirts -02
  • Trekking pants/Trousers -02 
  • Woollen socks -03
  • Dry Fit socks – 03
  • Woollen cap -01
  • Sun hat -01
  • Spare undergarments – As per the requirement

Trek accessories 

  • Trekking poles – 02
  • Headtorch
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • Water bottles (1 litre each)
  • Lunch box, spoon, mug
  • First aid kit or personal medication
  • Small biodegradable bags to take the waste/ used clothes 
  • Toilet paper/tissues
  • Toiletries – Lip balm, Mouisteriser, Lightweight towel, toothbrush, toothpaste

Read more about trek essentials for Himalayan treks here. 

FAQ

How should I prepare to avoid AMS?

The most important thing to do on a trek to avoid AMS is to drink water, more than your daily intake. Water is an excellent way to avoid AMS. Along with this, you should also have all the nutritious meals we provide on the trek. If you still are sceptical about getting AMS, we would advise you to carry Diamox tablets with you. However, according to the situation your Outdoor leader will advise whether or not you should take it.

I have a medical condition. Can I join the trek?

We encourage everyone to trek, even if or not they have a medical condition. We have an in-house doctor at OWLS with whom you can discuss your medical condition and accordingly, we can help you better prepare you for the trek.

What document do I need to carry?

Please keep the following documents ready before filling out this form

  1. ID proof
  2. Health form (for all participants of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh treks) and (for all participants <15 and > 60 years of age)
  3. RTPCR for children <15 years/Vaccination certificate for adults (for Nepal treks)

Should I bring snacks to eat on the trek?

Although we provide filling breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with morning tea and evening snacks, you can carry some light snacks for munching on the trail. You can carry protein bars, dry fruits, and homemade snacks like Shakkarpara to help you give that extra energy on the trek. 

Who will be leading my trek?

All our Outdoor Leaders are trained and experienced leaders. They have completed basic Mountaineering Course, and are equipped with basic first-aid knowledge. Our leaders are certified Wilderness First Responder course

Do I need to get my medical kit for the trek?

You don’t need to carry your medical kit. If you have your prescribed medications, you need to carry them on the trek

What kind of arrangement is available for accommodation on the trek?

The accommodation will be on twin sharing basis. One tent will be shared by two trekkers. 

Is there any arrangement for offloading on the trek?

Yes. Communicate your requirement to the trek leaders beforehand, as it will be difficult to arrange to offload at the last minute. The offloading charges will be Rs 350 per bag, and your bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. 

Note: At OWLs, we suggest our participants carry their backpacks and avoid offloading. However, in case of pressing circumstances, you can opt for offloading.

Is there any option to keep our luggage at the base camp?

Yes, you can leave the extra luggage at the base camp. However, do not leave valuables like laptops, jewellery, or any other expensive items in the base camp. 

What will be the toilet facilities on the trek?

The OWLS team will set up a toilet tent near the campsites. The toilets will be dry toilets and you will have to use toilet paper. There will be a pit dug by the team and you will have to cover your nature’s call with dry soil. Avoid using wet wipes, as they are not biodegradable. At OWLS, we thrive to leave no trace in the mountains. 

At the base camp, you will have regular concrete toilets.

What will be the food arrangement on the trek?

The food offered will be as per the nutritional requirements. As you will be walking every day for 4-6 hours, you will be burning a good amount of calories. The team makes sure that the food you will be offered is healthy and helps you sustain through the day. The regular meal comprises eggs, locally grown vegetables, rice, roti, and pulses. The menu changes from day to day. 

Will there be a mobile network on the trek?

Surprisingly, you will have access to the network on some patches of the trail. Airtel surprises you at the summit with a fluctuating network

Are there any ATMs at the base camp?

The last ATM will be in Leh.  

Carry a sufficient amount of cash with them. Since the base camp is situated away from the cities and lacks basic facilities like ATMs and digital payment options, it is always better to be prepared. 

You can carry the cash for cab fare and food to and from the base camp. We suggest carrying a minimum of 5-6k to ensure you have enough funds for your journey.