Stok Kangri Trek
We were a group of 6 trekkers from Delhi and quite experienced as most of us already did treks like Chandrashila, Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun etc. So it was time we planned for Stok Kangri. I agree the attraction of doing Stok Kangri Trek is its height (6153 Meters). Based on some reading that I did, I got to know that it doesn’t really need climbing skills to get to the top. We were all geared up for Stok Kangri summit trek.
We contacted Wanderers as one of my friends knew them. We also knew they did Stok Kangri already a few times and so their experience in that region will come in handy. Some of the important things for any kind of trek or exploration in Ladakh is how well did you acclimatize when you first reach there. We kept 2 days just for acclimatization and that was suggested by the Wanderers trek lead as well. We were doing Stok in September of 2016 so it was relatively colder than July or August or maybe it was just our trek days.
To be frank, the first 2 days when we drove via Stok village and trekked to Mankarmo village, it was just about moderate. The sun was shining and it was just great weather to trek. It was an easy trek of about 8 kms to mankarmo. The following day of the trek, we made it to the Stok base and which was also an easy trek of about 5 kms to the base location. The camps were set and the food was ready so another easy day for our group.
The next day was for acclimatization. Although, some of us thought, we were ready for the summit. I believed the trek lead and suggested we took it easy. Actually, the summit day is actually a challenging day and so one needs to have enough energy along with mental and physical ability. The following day, we started at aroun1 am in the morning. Believe me, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy as it was just too cold and we were getting tired after every few steps. The good part on the other hand was that everyone was bullish to get to the summit. This is exactly what is needed. We were also carrying packed food that was our breakfast when we return from Stok Kangri Summit.
We were on the top and also lucky to experience sunrise from there. And that is something I really cannot explain simply because it was just magical. It was after great difficulty and breathlessness, we could make it to the top and it was just worth every bit. We spent good 30-40 minutes on the top of the summit and clicked pictures. We started to descend back to the base and also stopped for breakfast on the way as a group. Lest I forget, we have 5 more trekkers added to our group and we loved the company. Once back at the base camp, we were all excited to have successfully completed the Stok Kangri summit and just spoke about our trek all the time.
It was a thrilling experience and surely an experience of a lifetime. It is important to be rightly equipped for Stok Kangri in terms of the gear. Right from the head lamp to the clothes and to the shoes, it is important for one to go through the checklist and carrying things accordingly.
In the end, I suggest exploring Ladakh more than the usual, Leh, Pangong or Nubra and trek the different peak Stok range offers. Our next is going to be Kang Yatse and we look forward to do it with Wanderers.