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Altitude: 20,180 ft.
Duration: 9-10 days
Even the idea of climbing the highest trekkable summit of India is sure to put euphoric images in a trekker's mind; if you are an experienced trekker though who has done at least one high altitude trek this idea can be put to action. Stok Kangri trek will be a memorable experience for anyone who decides to venture to this part of Ladakh. The trek does not require any technical mountaineering equipment and as its peak stands at a great height, the trek has gained popularity amongst mountain explorers. If you are someone who wants to test their limits and see if your trekking skills are commendable then, by all means, read ahead to know all there is to know about Stok Kangri Trek Ladakh.
The mountain of Stok Kangri is located in Ladakh, which itself is a place that can be praised ceaselessly for its beauty and charm. After landing in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, you will have to attempt a shorter trek first to reach the base camp of Stok Kangri. Acclimatization is an important aspect of this trek, and thus, should not be taken lightly. You will have to get acclimated to even start the trek.
Trek to Stok Kangri might altogether be a very different experience for you. While most of the Himalayan trek trails are filled with greenery or snow, Stok Kangri in Ladakh provides you with landscapes that will be out of the ordinary. As you start the trek from the base camp you will walk on gravel laden path- as I said out of the ordinary landscapes, but do not mistake this for something grotesque, instead, your path will be utterly magnificent. The walk from the base camp will not be too hard. On reaching the spur, which will be marked with prayer flags, you can enjoy the scenic view all around you. Feast your eyes upon the beautiful city of Leh which will be below you, and seeing the city filled with lights from such a distance is sure to rise up your spirits.
The next part of the trek will take you towards the Stok Kangri glacier. The path gets steeper as you ascend. There might be some snow as you cover the distance towards the glacier depending on the season, but mostly here as well, you will be walking on the loose gravel path. The walk is quite easy till the glacier, so make sure you enjoy the mystic beauty that surrounds you as make the climb to the top.
Further part of your journey will include walking alongside the Stok Kangri Glacier. The path is almost flat, but the climb could be hard as you will be walking on glacier moraine. Moraines are dust and fallen pieces of glaciers that get accumulated on the glacier or on the areas surrounding it as the glacier moves. Walk with a little caution during this part, as the rocks will be loose, and you will be almost close to your destination.
After this, you will be walking on the glacier itself. The ice will be quite hard so walking on it will not be dangerous. Although you might encounter verglas (thin layer of ice) along the way. Make sure you stay clear of that part because that one will be dangerous. Here as well you will be walking on moraine so you will need to watch your step. Before you start making the climb to the shoulder of Stok Kangri mountain you will have to walk on a rocky patch. The area, although small, is filled with loose rocks and there is a chance of falling and getting hurt. It would be a huge disappointment if one has to go back after reaching so close to the summit, so be extra cautious during traversing this part of the trek.
Now, the most difficult part of the trek awaits you. The climb to reach the summit now will become more and more challenging as you move. The altitude and the climate are sure to take a toll on your body. Apart from that, the climb is very steep, contrasting with the other parts of the trek starkly. Just keep focusing on putting one step after the other and soon you will make it to the shoulder of the mountain. Mostly this trek doesn't require any technical support but depending on the amount of snow you may need to make use of ropes to make your way through. When you get through this part there will be just one more part left to make it to the top of Stok Kangri.
After reaching the shoulder you will be walking on a ridge that will eventually take you to the top of the peak. As the ridge is open on both sides you will be climbing the mountain with the help of a rope. Also, because of the open sides, the view will be spectacular all around you. To make the most of your journey make sure you appreciate the raw beauty of nature not just from the top but all throughout the way.
Now, after a very hard and challenging climb, you will finally be standing on the top of the mountain of Stok Kangri. Here take a deep breath and marvel at your achievement. You will literally be standing on the top of the world (almost), there aren't many people who can boast about achieving something like this. The view around you will be nothing less than heaven itself. You will see the ranges of Zanskar and Karakoram around you, all covered with snow. The panoramic view will leave you stupefied.
The hard part is over but climbing down the mountain may still pose some problems, so here as well caution is the key to a successful trek. While on the note of caution, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
While Stok Kangri is the best trek in Ladakh and probably the best trek in all of India, do not try to attempt it without any prior experience of high-altitude trekking. If you don't have experience with getting acclimatized Stok Kangri Trek height may prove dangerous, even fatal, for your body and health. Nothing is worth it if you have to jeopardize your health to go through it.
The fact that there is no need for technical equipment for completing this trek makes it seem more achievable to trekkers than it actually is. Stok Kangri Trek Difficulty level is very high. The climate at such a height is not predictable and for a trekker who is not used to sudden changes in the weather while making the climb, the journey may pose serious problems. You can always go for a difficult trek after getting enough experience, so make sure that you know what you are capable of before signing for this trek. Even those who are experienced enough for this trek will need to start preparing for the journey at least a couple of months before the trek.
Stok Kangri trek 2020 may be the best experience of your life. If you think you are capable of making this thrilling and strenuous journey make your Stok Kangri Trek booking with the Best Trekking Company in India and check out Stok Kangri Trek Price right away.
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Oshank Soni : Co-Founder at Trekmunk. Has travelled to 28 Indian States, has led more than 50 high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas. He is an Investment Banker by profession but a traveller by passion. He has led treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal. He is a NOLS certified First Aid Responder. Chasing the sun is his full-time job, a Storyteller, Travel photographer and Videographer at Insane Traveller Productions.