STOK KANGRI – Highest Mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas

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Stok Kangri Expedition (Trip Dates : 7 – 21 Aug 2013)

About the Stok Kangri Trek 

Standing tall at 6153m, Stok Kangri is often being depicted as an excellent first peak for a 6000m summit in the Himalayas and an ideal initiation into high altitude mountaineering.

Yet, Stok Kangri is by no means an easy challenge.

For a start, those who are attempting the peak will have to take a flight to Leh, the capital of the Ladakh region in northwest India and home to the Stok Range of the Himalayas. Leh is located at 3524m.  At this height, most people will experience some effects from high altitude like breathlessness and headache. Without proper acclimization, these symptoms can quickly, especially during the trek to higher elevation, develop into  Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which are potentially fatal.

There are a few entry points to trek to the Stok Kangri’s base camp (BC), all within 1 to a few hours drive from Leh. Whichever the starting point (Spituk, Chilling, Shang or as far as Lamayuru), there’s no escaping that they all start at above 3000m, the altitude where AMS becomes prevalent . The trek to the BC crosses mountain passes and involves several long days of walking in exposed mountainous terrain that can already easily tired out those who are not physically well conditioned and affect the summit attempt.

Although not technical, the route to the summit is tough. As a general guide, expect a 15 hours round trip from the BC to the summit and back. The trek to the summit typically starts at around midnight. After the BC, trekkers will enter a glacier moraines area before crossing the glacier to the snow slopes and ridges. There is a short, steep, narrow and exposed section on the south ridge near the summit, which requires scrambling on loose (sometimes icy) rocks. This exposed ridge section can be dangerous and must be climbed with great care. The use of ice axe and crampons may be needed during the summit attempt if there are thick snow and ice conditions.

Our Journey

Many trekkers start their trek to the BC from Spituk which is an hour away from Leh and do a short 5 days trek to the summit. We have deliberately chosen to start our trek to the BC from Shang Village. This route, which is longer, as such allow for better acclimatization,  will take you through Shangphu La and Matho La passes, Gangpoche and the Red Valley, before reaching the BC. The descent route is via Mankarmo Valley to Stok Village. A rest day along the trek to the BC and another rest day at the BC have been built in to allow for better acclimatization before the summit attempt. There’s also a contingency day in case of bad weather.

In total the trip (Singapore to Singapore) is 15 days with a 9-day trek.

 Contact Vinnie for details. Email: vinnie@aceadventure.com.sg

 

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