10 days
Duration
India
Location
Challenging
Physicality
Aquaterra
Operator

Hiking to Stok Kangri

Climbing this 6000m mountain in 10 days is probably the quickest that a person can do it in, keeping in mind that one needs some time to acclimatize to the altitude as well. We’ll spend the first few days acclimatizing in Leh, during which time we’ll also visit some monasteries and the Leh market. We then set off for a week-long trek. Instead of approaching the mountain head-on, we travel some distance west, and then approach it through a slightly longer route crossing the Stok La (4890m) and then descending to the Stok valley. This approach gives us a little more time to acclimatize and the steep climb up to Stok La acts as a good test before the final ascent.

The final climb of Stok Kangri will present a challenge to even the fittest. Even being fully acclimatized and completely in shape, any climb over 6000m isn’t easy. However, the climb itself is not technically demanding. On days with good weather conditions, this involves going up a steep rocky scree slope and walking over sharp rocky ridge to reach the snowy summit. Most of the snow on the mountain melts away by early August, and we have rarely used crampons on our August departures. However, with the weather becoming more & more unpredictable, we cannot rule out the possibility of dealing with unexpected snow & ice on the mountain. Given it is one of the most popular trekking peaks in the Indian Himalayas (and on the planet), and its proximity to Leh (the capital of Ladakh) the mountain brings a lot of people to its summit. This is not such a difficult peak to climb, and our trip has a short acclimatization trek built in where we climb a 4890m/16040ft high pass to get to the base of the mountain.

Itinerary

1

Day 1 - Fly from Delhi to Leh

Board the early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. It takes a little more than an hour to get to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. On a clear day the flight offers excellent views of the mighty Himalayas. We’ll arrive at the hotel for welcome drinks followed by breakfast and the spend the rest of the day at leisure. You’ll stay overnight in a hotel

2

Day 2 - Visit Monasteries in Leh

We’ll spend half the day visiting Shey and Thiksey monasteries around Leh. Return to hotel for lunch and spend the day exploring the Leh market.

3

Day 3 - Leh - Rumbak

We’ll drive 1 hour 30 minutes to Zingchen (3390m) and trek 4-5 hours to Rumbak. The drive goes past the Leh airstrip, the Spituk Gompa, crosses the river Indus and carries on as a bumpy jeep road till Zingchen. The trail follows the stream from here until the pastures at Rumbak (which is a junction of a few trails). The campsite is a little more than an hour walk from here.

4

Day 4 - Trek from Rumbak to Mounkarmo (4250m)

After an early morning breakfast we’ll approach the base of the Stok La and start climbing the steep winding trail up to the pass. Stok La is at 4890m and this climb makes everyone feel the altitude. A steep descent from here brings us to the Stok valley and along the more popular route used to approach the mountain. We camp at a small campsite just short of the bigger campsite of Mounkarmo.

5

Day 5 - Rest at Mounkarmo

Today we’ll take an acclimatization climb up a side valley to get some real height gain in. Return to camp by late afternoon for hot lunch.

6

Day 6 - Trek Mounkarmo to Stok Kangri Base Camp (4975m)

Now we’ll follow the busy trail up to the Stok Kangri base camp. It’s a short day with a gradual ascent to the campsite. The base camp is on a big meadow and is usually full of climbers from all parts of the world. After lunch, we’ll do a short, yet steep hike to gain some altitude.

7

Day 7 - Getting Ready!

Spend the first half of the day getting your gear ready. We check the entire climbing equipment and ensure that everyone is kitted out properly. Relax in the second half of the day as we leave for the summit in the middle of the night.

8

Day 8 - Early Climb to Stok Kangri (6150m) and Back to Base Camp

Today will be the toughest day of the trip and would test anyone’s endurance as it’s a long way up from the Base Camp to the Summit and back. The climb starts steeply from the Base Camp which flattens out slowly until we cross the glacier. Once we’ve crossed the glacier, we’ll climb up the steep slope to the summit ridge. A couple of hours of scrambling on the ridge brings us to the summit of the Stok Kangri, which offers wide open views of the Karakoram range on the north with the Saser Kangri dominating the sky and Zanskar ranges on the south.

9

Day 9 - Trek to Stok Village and Drive to Leh

We’ll exit Stok valley at Stok village. After washing up at the hotel we will have enough time to do some last minute shopping in the Leh market.

10

Day 10 - Fly to Delhi

We’ll catch an early morning flight back to Delhi.

Overview

TRIP DATES 21 – 30 July 2017 4 – 13 August 2017
ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE LOCATION Delhi/Leh  
INCLUDED All travel from arrival at Leh airport on day 1 until drop off at Leh airport on day 10
Accommodation on twin share basis in tents, guest houses and hotels
Professional guide and camp staff
Sanctuary fee / royalty / permits
All meals
NOT INCLUDED Flights from Delhi to Leh & Leh to Delhi
Delhi hotels and airport/train station transfers
Personal expenses
Insurance
Sleeping bag
Individual climbing equipment
End of trip tips and gratuity
Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, flight cancellations, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.

Additional Information

Checklist of Essential Personal Items:

  • *Most important: Ankle high Trekking / Climbing Boots (which can take crampons)
  • Sleeping bag (-5 deg C or lower)
  • A tough duffel bag / rucksack / soft travel bag which gets loaded on mules
  • A day pack which one needs to carry oneself

Depending on the snow conditions we sometimes need plastic boots for the climb. These can be hired easily in Leh.

Clothing:

  • Thermal Underwear / Long Johns (Upper + Lowers)
  • Quick dry Trousers
  • Shirt / T- Shirt
  • Warm Fleece / Jacket
  • Insulating Layers
  • Down Clothing (optional)
  • Wind protection and rain protection gear

Extremities:

  • Hands (gloves – 2 pair woollens + 1 pair with hard shell)
  • Feet (socks – 1/2 pair nylon + 2/3 pairs cotton / woollen)
  • Head (balaclavas / woollen, sun hat, bandana etc.)

Climbing Equipment (if needed can also be hired in Leh):

  • Climbing Boots
  • Harness
  • Crampons
  • Ice Axe Carabiner – 1 Gaiters

Other Gear:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals for the camp
  • Headlamp / Torchlight
  • Trekking Poles
  • Water bottle (at least two)
  • Personal toiletries: toothbrush, comb, sunscreen, lip balm etc.
  • Personal recreation: camera and film, books, music, cards etc.
  • Personal medicines if any.

Why choose Aquaterra Adventures?


Voted one of the 'Best Adventure Companies on Earth' by National Geographic

In 2008 and 2009, Aquaterra Adventures™ was twice consecutively listed as one of the ‘Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth’ by National Geographic Society’s global survey.

Awarded 'Favourite Boutique Tour Operator' by Outlook

In March 2014 Outlook awarded Aquaterra Adventures the Favourite Boutique Tour Operator In India.


ATOAI Hall of Fame Award 2014

Aquaterra Adventures is a member of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India – ATOAI

Voted 'Best Adventure Resort in India'

By ATOAI in 2016

Aquaterra Adventures is:

  1. Recognised as an inbound adventure tour operator by the Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism
  2. A member of The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)
  3. A member of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI)
  4. A member of The Indian Association of Professional Rafting Outfitters (IAPRO)

Aquaterra Adventures is known for its:

  1. Impeccable safety record
  2. Highly skilled professional guides
  3. State-of-the-art equipment
  4. Comfortable Camping
  5. “Eco-sensitive” approach to adventure travel

Aquaterra Adventures Offers:

  1. An excellent range of cuisine
  2. Tailored flexibility to offer trips to a diverse range of clientele
  3. The capability to run remote and logistically challenging wilderness trips
  4. Unique, innovative trips in the Indian Himalayas

Why TOV loves Aquaterra Adventures:

Aquaterra’s team of guides has years of experience of travel throughout the Indian Himalayas, rafting rivers and leading treks – from the barren Zanskar to the tropical rainforest of Arunachal Pradesh. They speak English, have completed graduate school, are First Aid & CPR certified and form the most experienced guiding team in the country today.

Equipment on all Aquaterra adventure travel trips match worldwide standards. On treks, they use 4 season 2-person tents, which can withstand the harshest weather conditions while keeping you dry and protected from the elements.

Safety is taken very seriously. On rafting trips they use only self-bailing rafts, with a cataraft or kayaks backing up to add another layer of safety. Participants are encouraged to raft all sections of the river because the biggest rapids (which you may be tempted to walk around) create priceless memories which last years after the trip is over.

Aquaterra staff is trained in hygienic preparation of meals and offers a great variety of food on an outdoor trip.

Aquaterra has its own transport to ensure trips always run on schedule.

Aquaterra run all their trips themselves – there is no sub-contracting on these trips. They are directly responsible for your safety, from start to finish of your trip.

Aquaterra trips are excellent value for money. They are priced to keep standards high and your trip smooth. Cost is a factor for many a trip, but for a real adventure like this, the deciding factor should be confidence in your operator.

Aquaterra Charity Trust

Aquaterra Adventures runs numerous expeditions to remote areas of north, north-west and eastern India, spanning the entire Indian Himalaya. During these trips, guests come into contact with highly impoverished, rural communities that, for a multitude of reasons, remain disconnected and underdeveloped. The Aquaterra Charity Trust (ACT) aims to facilitate a means for guests and friends of Aquaterra Adventures to understand the myriad issues that plague Himalayan populations, and to give back to the communities that enrich its culture. It allows for guests to make a positive difference in the lives of those in less fortunate positions, in a sustainable, culturally sensitive and responsible manner.

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to state their preference of community they would like to see their donations go to, or they may allow the ACT to determine the most pressing need their gift may be used towards. Projects are determined based on community needs, assessed by observation, our experience in working in these remote regions, and holding discussions with the community in consideration, as well as with local, or regional organizations concurrently working in the area.

A portion of Aquaterra Adventures profits is also given back each year to assist in causes that need urgent attention.

The ACT began on a voluntarily and informal basis helping to support a primary school in the remote village of Nyerak, deep in the heart of the Zanskar canyon. The children there lack basic access to notebooks, stationary, reading materials, and sometimes, even teachers. The ACT has been able to sponsor education for older children moving out of the village, in pursuit of higher education.

On June 16 and 17, 2013, India was hit by the country’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami when a multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides. The damage was monumental and the local population left to pick up the pieces. Since 95% of Aquaterra staff are from this region, the ACT feels particularly strongly about giving back to the areas affected. It has sought to strategically assist in long term rehabilitation and helping rebuild community life.

In 2015 the ACT distributed 52 laptops to schools in the mountains, who previously had no access to computers.

In 2016, the ACT built a computer room in Singtalli Village which can be accessed by schools and local communities.

Check Availabilities

This is a multi-day trip with fixed departure dates. Some trips have different itineraries or lengths, so please check that you've chosen exactly what you want, and the correct trip start date. If you have any questions at all, please use the enquiry form and we'll answer as quickly as possible.

Searching Availability...

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
Daphne Williams
November 4, 2016

From beginning to end, my trip with Aquaterra Adventures was absolutely flawless. Although I have done a lot of solo travel before, I was a little nervous doing the Stok Kangri climb as the only guest booked on the tour – being in a remote area with a bunch of men!!! The prebooking process was fantastic, I can’t speak highly enough of Fay who was reassuring and very prompt to my constant emails leading up to the trip – I wish I had a chance to meet her while I was there….! (Hi Fay if you are reading this!)

The moment I met Jetu and Prem at my hotel (guide and assistant guide), any fears about safety melted away. Absolute gentlemen…It was also reassuring that all my gear was checked to ensure it was good enough for the trek. You can tell Aquaterra Adventures is more than a travel company, the staff seem to view each other as family which was really heartwarming.
1. Rafting Jetu – everything you would want your guide to be ..always chipper, ready to help, professional and in control, knows your limits, sings funny songs on acclimatisation hikes, gives away his chocolate and doesnt mind if you spend the afternoon being really unsociable reading and sleeping in your tent like a sloth as I did most days 🙂
2. Prem – the ever helpful assistant guide who will give you the shoes off his feet (literally for summit day!) and has some pretty impressive mountaineering skills – give him a steep snowy mountain and an ice axe and watch him go!
3. Rakesh – the chef who consistently turned out the most amazing cuisine each night from his kitchen tent…I felt so bad I couldnt eat more due to the altitude! This man needs to open his own restaurant!

The landscape on the Stok Kangri climb was truly majestic, every day I had to pinch myself as I took in my surroundings…if you are thinking of booking this trip, DO IT! and make sure you book with Aquaterra Adventures…..!

Source: Tripadvisor

Leave a Review

Rating