Stok Kangri - India

Expedition Dates

29th August to 11th September 2020

Expedition Price

£1595

The Himalayan peaks of Northern India are a magnificent expedition destination.  Stunning mountains, welcoming people and amazing culture – it’s our very favourite place.

Nestled in the heart of the range is a jewel of a peak.  Technically straightforward yet interesting to climb, in a stunning location with views into Pakistan’s Karakoram range and the Zanskar mountains and still within the grasp of those new to Himalayan climbing – 6150 metre Stok Kangri couldn’t be better.

Our expedition will ascend Stok Kangri, explore Leh (the stunning capital of Ladakh), visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal and experience the sights and sounds of India’s unique capital city, Delhi.


The Peak Mountaineering Difference

Peak Mountaineering is a specialist provider of mountain training and adventures.  We provide all types of mountain adventures throughout the UK and each year we run a select range of mountaineering expeditions overseas. 

The Stok Kangri expedition will be run by Peak Mountaineering’s owner, Paul Lewis.  Paul holds the Mountain Instructors Certificate (the highest qualification available under the UK qualifications framework).  He has vast experience of high altitude guiding and works full time as a mountaineering instructor.  Paul will be supported by local guides and, depending on the size of the team, additional UK leaders.

Peak Mountaineering has an unblemished safety record because we make client safety our top priority. As well as using the best guides and in-country support we also run a UK incident management system during all overseas expeditions.  This is headed by Caroline Lewis who, as well as being a very experienced expeditioner and qualified climbing instructor, has also summited this expedition’s target mountain and travelled extensively in India.  She will be the UK port of call while the team are overseas and can always be contacted.  We also employ the services of an expediton doctor who is on call in the UK during the expedition in case we need specific advice.

To be suitable for this expedition you simply need a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure.  All our expeditions include a UK training weekend to give you the necessary technical skills and additional training will be provided once we arrive in India. You are also welcome, at a 10% discount, to attend one of our scheduled Outdoor First Aid courses (details of upcoming courses are available here).  As well as making you a qualified first aider you’ll also feel better prepared for the unexpected.

Our expeditions are competitively priced but we also want you to have a good standard of living during your expedition.  The mountaineering phase is fully catered, the hotels and guesthouses will be simple yet comfortable and the food will be plentiful local fare.  Having said that, this is a mountaineering expedition to a developing country so you’ll also need to be willing to go without a few luxuries along the way.

Itinerary

You will find many operators running Stok Kangri expeditions with shorter itineraries.  They may be cheaper and you may get to the top – but in our opinion they aren’t as safe or as enjoyable as taking a bit longer.  It takes time for your body to get used to the high altitude environment and that isn’t going to happen in a couple of days.  Ascending to higher altitudes without proper acclimatisation is dangerous.  Even if you do manage to cope with it, you are still likely to find the ascent harder than it needs to be.  We prefer to take a bit longer, prepare your body with a more effective ascent profile, and therefore let you enjoy the experience more.

In line with our expedition ethos we also take a less trodden route.  Rather than following the standard approach from Stok Village we skirt the back of the range giving a superb circular trek that has received superb feedback from past clients.  Some fantastic reviews from our previous expedition team are available here and an account of the ascent of Stok Kangri by one of our teams is available here.  Paul also wrote an article about trekking in the range for Trek and Mountain Magazine which you can read here.  Finally, some answers to frequently asked questions are available here and a video to inspire you which Paul took from the summit is here.

Day 1 - Arrive in Delhi. Travel to the old part of the city and stay overnight.  The afternoon will give us chance to explore the sights and sounds of this bustling capital and enjoy an evening with the team to discuss the adventure ahead.

Day 2 - Flight to Leh.  An early morning flight swoops us into Leh, the beautiful capital city of Ladakh.  Leh’s high altitude location means we need to take it easy and rest for the day.

Day 3 - Leh.  To help acclimatisation we’ll spend today exploring the city and taking a walk up to some of the local religious monuments.  Luckily these are situated with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Day 4 - Leh.  Another vital acclimatisation day.  In the afternoon we can walk to the famous Stok Gompa and make final expedition preparations.
Day 5 - Depart for Stok Kangri.  Today we leave Leh and head for Jingchen Village which is our departure point for Stok Kangri.  Once mountaineering permits are allocated and the ponies loaded with provisions we’ll start our walk.  Strolling at a leisurely pace will allow lots of time to enjoy the views before our first camp is established at Rumbak. 

Day 6 - Today we’ll continue our walk but only climb a short distance to the remote campsite at Upper Stok La Base Camp.

Day 7 - This is our biggest day so far with the climb over the high Stok La Pass at 4850 metres and a long descent into the Stok Kangri approach valley. 

Day 8 - Our final approach day leads us to Stok Kangri Base Camp.  We'll arrive early enough for the team to relax and enjoy the atmosphere around the camp.  At 5020 metres we are at the highest point so far so it's very important to rest and recuperate. 

Day 9 - For our final acclimatisation walk we’ll stroll up to Advanced Base Camp, which sits at 5300 metres.  From the camp we have more fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and the route we’ll take up Stok Kangri.  We'll also use the day to make our final preparations, practice the essential rope and ice axe skills we'll need and get to bed early ready for our big day tomorrow. 

Day 10 - Summit attempt.  A very early start will see us heading to the summit.  We will aim to arrive around dawn, which ensures we have incredible 360 degree views of the Indian Himalayan and the Karakoram range in Pakistan.  The summit triangle of K2 is clearly visible too.  After lots of celebratory hugs and handshakes we’ll make our way back to base camp for some well earned sleep.

Day 11 - Today we’ll leave base camp and walk back to Stok Village for transfer to Leh for a much needed shower and the chance to enjoy a well deserved celebratory meal.  If conditions have made yesterday's summit attempt impossible this day may also allow us another day to make an attempt.

Day 12 - Leh.  A final day in Leh leaves time for souvenir hunting and relaxing to enjoy your final taste of this magnificent and unique place.

Day 13 - Flight to Delhi.  Today we fly back to Delhi in the morning so there’s chance to explore the city before a meal on one of the cities open roofed restaurants.

Day 14 - Flight to UK.

The Other Stuff

We know expeditions of this type are expensive so we try to minimise additional expenditure.  Tents are provided, boots can be hired and ice axes, crampons and helmets are included in the price.  The clothing you wear can be mostly your normal hillwalking kit and there isn’t much else.  The only thing you’ll want to make sure is that your sleeping bag is cosy and it is worth having a toasty warm duvet for the summit day and star gazing with a mug of hot chocolate at base camp.  Inevitably there’ll be a few other bits and bobs and we’ll give you plenty of guidance – but don’t feel you’ve got to come prepared for an ascent of Everest!

Inclusions

  • In country transfers to/from airport
  • In country accommodation
  • In country transport
  • In country meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Mountain guides/porters/muleteers/mules
  • Cook for trekking phase
  • Tents for trekking phase
  • All technical equipment for Stok Kangri ascent

Exclusions

  • Transport to/from UK airport
  • Return flight from UK to Delhi
  • Internal flight from Delhi to Leh
  • India visa (not hard to obtain)
  • Optional tips for local guiding team (we’ll guide you on the going rates)
  • Hire of suitable boots if required (we can arrange this for you)

Environmental Considerations

We know our expeditions pollute.  Infact, every course we run pollutes.  On our overseas expeditions we try to give as much back to the country as possible by using local providers.  However, we also try and do a lot more.  For all participants we purchase carbon offsetting credits for the flights we use.  We do this at no extra charge to the clients.  Peak Mountaineering also operates a ‘1% for the Environment’ scheme.  This means we give 1% of our annual turnover (turnover…not profit) to environmental charities.  This is a big commitment for a small business – but we are proud to do it.  Finally, it’s the smaller stuff.  Purifying water rather than leaving several hundred plastic bottles behind, emailing rather than posting letters and that kind of thing.  Every little helps.

What Next?

You’ll probably have questions…..we’re all ears.  Feel free to call on 01433620283 or email info@peakmountaineering.com and we’ll answer any questions.  Once you want to book a place just let us know and we’ll send you a booking form.  At that point we’ll also need a 20% deposit, which can be paid by cheque or BACS transfer. We look forward to hearing from you.