Journeys to The Himalaya

Ascent Stok Kangri 6150m .

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Destinations : Ladakh, Delhi

Leh is a colourful and vibrant town full of interest. This morning there is an optional trip by jeep to world’s highest mountain pass, the Khardungla (5660m). In the afternoon there will be a guided walking tour around some of the local landmarks including the Royal Palace and Tsemo Monastery, situated above the town.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP

  • Classic trek in the Indian Himalayas .
  • Climb Stok Kangri 6150m .
  • Road trip to highest motorable pass, Khardung La 5660m .
  • Visit remote villages in Ladakh .

 View on map

STOK KANGRI

Day 01: Arrive Delhi.
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Transfer to Hotel .

Day 02: An early morning flight across the Himalayas to Leh .
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An early morning flight across the Himalayas to Leh – a tremendous experience! There is time to relax and recover in Leh before the trekking starts .

Day 03: Acclimatisation in Leh (3505m) .
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Leh lies on a centuries old trade route along the mighty Indus valley and while the trading has greatly changed the magnificent Buddhist monasteries remain. Today we will visit Thikse monastery, Stok Palace and Hemis monastery .

Day 04: Acclimatisation walks in Leh .
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We take an acclimatization walk in and around the Leh town, with walks to Shankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa and Leh Palace.

Day 05: Acclimatisation in Leh .
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Leh is a colourful and vibrant town full of interest. This morning there is an optional trip by jeep to world’s highest mountain pass, the Khardungla (5660m). In the afternoon there will be a guided walking tour around some of the local landmarks including the Royal Palace and Tsemo Monastery, situated above the town.

Day 06: Drive to Chilling and camp at Skiu .
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Today we leave Leh and drive to Chilling (3150 m), visiting Spituk and Phyang monasteries en route. For a short while we drive along the Indus River before turning off into a tiny track near the confluence with the Zanskar River. The valley narrows into a gorge and the scenery is spectacular. We start the day crossing the Zanskar River in a secure but exciting cableway box to meet up with our ponies and crew. A short and easy walk on a good path leads to our campsite at Skiu (3400m). There will be time to visit Skiu Gompa in the evening. 4 hours.

Day 07: Trek from Skiu to Shingo (4150m) .
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We follow the Shingti River up into an impressive gorge to the village of Shingo. In this barren landscape, the only shade is from the willows that grow near the Shingti River. The valley is quite spectacular and the rock colours range from 3 High Places Ltd. Stok Kangri Trek pale greys and browns through yellows, greens and shades of purple. Around noon we reach our camp, located at 4150 meters in a large green field just before the village of Shingo. The afternoon can be used to relax or take a walk in the area – either on one of the peaks near or a trip to the charming little village of Shingo, where about 10 families cultivate barley.

Day 08: Cross the Ganda La (4,900m) to Rumbak (4,050m) .
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After a hearty breakfast we are ready for our first pass. From the camp we have about four hours ascent gradually up to the pass. At last we see the prayer flags that mark the top. The climb is well worth it and from the top we have breathtaking views of the snowy peaks of both the Zanskar and Stok ranges. The descent is long and winds down the valley – look out for the charming Himalayan marmots and Bharal (Blue Sheep), which roam the area. The trail brings us past a tea shop and further down past the one house village of Yurutse. We continue on down to Rumbak, one of the largest villages in the area. The houses are typical whitewashed mud brick houses with colorful prayer flags fluttering from the roof. Rumbak is home to many varieties of birds and foxes and the Snow Leopards have been spotted in the area. There will be a chance to visit a local house and sample the traditional Ladakhi butter tea. Our camp is just beyond the village at the base of our next pass.

Day 09: Cross the Stok La (4,900 m) to Kichapulu (4,270 m) .
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From Rumbak we begin our ascent to the second high pass on the trip, Stok La pass (4800m), The scenery is magnificent with fold upon fold of reddish, rugged cliffs – home to the elusive snow leopard. The day starts quite gently as we wind our way to the foot of the pass. The trail then becomes steeper and steeper as we zigzag our way to the top. Eventually the prayer flags marking the top come into view and what a view! Ahead are the Stok mountains, but it is the countless layers of multi-colored rock ‘cathedrals’ around us, which steal the picture. From the pass we descend to our camp.

Day 10: To Mankarmo (4,300m) .
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Today we have a very short walk as we follow the river up to our camp, surrounded by the area’s distinctive vertical rock walls. We spend the afternoon acclimatizing and have a walk into the surrounding hills with a good chance to see blue sheep.

Day 11: Trek to Stok Kangri Base Camp (5000m) .
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Today is a short but important day for acclimatization as we trek to our Base Camp. The route climbs gradually for 3-4 hours following the Cane River all the way to Base Camp. There is usually quite busy with mountaineers from around the world and a mood that is seething with anticipation. The afternoon is set aside for preparations for our climb. There will be an equipment check and the leader and climbing guides will demonstrate the use of ropes, crampons and ice axe. We will be in bed before 8pm tonight ready for tomorrow’s early wake up.

Day 12: Stok Kangri (6150m) .
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We will be woken around midnight and after a cup of hot tea and a bite to eat, we set off in the dark. The route starts with a nasty steep climb out of Base Camp for an hour. The gradient then eases off as we continues along the side of the valley onto the rocky moraine. 2 to 3 hours brings us to the glacier, which we cross to the foot of the climb. From here the gradient increases and we have a very steep climb up for about 2 hours onto the ridge. The light slowly begins to emerge as we climb and we can sense the mountains around us. Far below us see now the great glacier, which we crossed in the early morning hours. About an hour and a half before the summit we reach the ridge, and here the terrain becomes more demanding – we need to take care as the rock is loose and there is usually snow around. The ridge takes us all the way to the summit, marked with colourful prayer flags. The ascent of Stok Kangri is exciting, challenging and long – but the reward is waiting at the top from where the views are worth every single step. In the far distance we can see Leh in miniature and all around us are towering Himalayan snow-capped peaks.

The Ladakh and Zanskar ranges disappear beyond the horizon to the south and to the north we can clearly see the Karakorums. We spend a little time here to relish the beauty and regain our breath before descending slowly and carefully back to Base Camp, where our chef will be waiting for us with a warm meal. From Base Camp to the summit of Stok Kangri takes about 7-8 hours, and then it takes about 5-6 hours to descend back to Base Camp.

Day 13: Trek from Base Camp to Stok and drive back to Leh .
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After breakfast, we head down towards Stok 3600m. It’s an easy walk today, but no less spectacular than any other, as we descend the valley all the way to Stok village. Here we will meet our transport for the short one hour drive back to Leh and a welcome hot shower.

Day 14 : Leh-Delhi .
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We fly back to Delhi and have the rest of the day to explore this fascinating city.

Day 15: Depart Delhi .
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The trip ends this morning after breakfast .