Trek No. 12: STOK KANGRI EXPEDITION (8 days)
|Season||June - September|
min. 2 persons
Leh - Spituk - Stok & Leh Palace, Samkar Gonpa & Shanti Stupa in Leh
Morning visit Spituk monastery (3'210m, 10'531ft) at 7Km from Leh. The monastery was founded in the 11th century and is beautifully situated on a rock overlooking the Indus river. It contains images of the Guardian deities and several other beautiful paintings including a giant image of Sakymuni Buddha.
Then drive to Stok Palace in Leh which is the present residence of the former royal family of Ladakh. The palace was built in 1825 and the main building is 5 stories high. Its museum displays the collection of the royal family containing the king's and queen's crown, necklace, silver chortens, jade cups, fine porcelain, ritual objects, and exquisite thangkas as well as a 7th century image of Avalokitesvara.
Afternoon visit the small Samkar Gonpa of the Gelugspa school of Tibetan Buddhism, a branch of Spituk. Walk back to downtown Leh for half hour through fields and orchards. Then visit Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. O/N hotel in Leh.
Leh - Thiksey (drive 19Km, 30 minutes) - Shey (walk 3Km) - Choglamsar SOS Children's Village - Leh
After breakfast drive to Thiksey and visit one of the most vibrant Gelugpa monasteries in the region established in the 16th century. This beautiful monastery is 12 stories high and painted in deep shades of red, ochre and white. After the visit packed lunch is served at Thiksey.
Take a short walk of 3km along the road to Shey which is the ancient capital of Ladakh which importance is attested by the enormous number of chorten.
On the way back to Leh, visit the SOS Children's Village at Choglamsar. Choglamsar is an important center for the studies of Buddhist Culture and History of the Himalayas. O/N hotel in Leh.
Leh - Stok (by bus/taxi/jeep) - Mancarmo (trek 4-5 hours)
Morning drive to Stok where the ponymen load the big backpacks on the horses. Head off for Mancarmo (4'250m, 13'944ft) through a beautiful valley of unusual rock formations pointing skywards in orange, purple and green colours. Mancarmo is the summer pasture of Stok villagers. O/N camp.
Mancarmo - Base Camp - Mancarmo (trek 5-6 hours)
Gradually trek higher into a desolate area inhabited only by marmots and blue sheep and surrounded by high peaks. Walk towards the base camp (5'020m, 16'470ft), then back to Mancarmo for one more night. O/N at camp.
Mancarmo - Base Camp
Trek up to the base camp and prepare for the summit push.
Base Camp - Summit of Stok Kangri - Base Camp (trek 10-11 hours)
Depending on weather and snow conditions, leave early at 1am or 2am. Just take a cup of tea and bring the lunch bag before walking into the night with a torch. If it is a clear full moon night, the moon will guide us in its silvery glow. It is a strenous trek, in the last part you will most likely use not only ice axes, but also crampons and even ropes depending on the snow conditions.
However, by the time you reach the top at 6'150m (20'177ft), the hardship will be forgotten as you are surrounded by one of the most beautiful sights in the Himalayas, lighted up by the slowly rising morning sun. With good weather conditions the Saser mountain group in the Great Karakoram range and K2 can be seen. For good fortune, leave your Khatag (religious scarf) on the top with prayer flags. Leave the peak and back to base camp. O/N at camp.
|DAY 7||Reserve day for establishing summit attempts, in case attempts on the 1st day failed due to bad weather.|
Base Camp - Stok (trek 4 hours) - Drive to Leh
No hurry this morning and by the time you open your eyes, you will realize that you have scaled a peak higher than any mountain in Europe or North America. After breakfast walk down to Stok, from there drive back to Leh. O/N hotel in Leh.