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Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb

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Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb - Exodus Travels
Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb - Exodus Travels
Excellent
37 reviews
Starts
New Delhi
+3 Destinations
Himalaya Mountains
Ends
New Delhi
Map

Highlights

Start and end in New Delhi! With the hiking & trekking tour Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb, you have a 15 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 2 other destinations in India. Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
18 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Camping
Max Group Size
16
Physical Rating
Extreme
Travel style
Hiking & Trekking

37 Reviews

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  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 1
    Written on November 12, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    An inspirational trek encompassing the diversity of remote Ladakh; from colourful Buddhist monasteries to jagged snow-clad peaks, wild campsites nestled on the barren slopes of this high altitude desert, and intriging multi-coloured rock formations. All this culminating with the challenge of ascending a 6000m peak, which dominates the skyline.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?You can not underestimate the raw emotion and sense of accomplishment as you and your rope team take those final few steps... chests heaving to draw breath in the thin mountain air, calves burning from the scramble up the ridge, adrenalin pumping, and the prayer flags in sight. Standing at 6,153m looking down to Leh in the distance, and upon the valleys and passes that you have overcome during the past week. You can't beat that.What did you think of your group leader?Our leader was Chospel, a local Ladakhi leader, born and raised in a small agricultural community a short distance outside of Leh. An unassuming gently-spoken man with a wealth of experience and a passion for the mountains. He was extremely knowledgeable with a beaming smile and a great sense of humour. He really made the trip. Excellent.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for all weather eventualities from hot (30 degrees or so) to cold (minus 5 degrees of lower) and bring layers; the sun can be extremely strong in the mountains so bring high factor suncream, a hat and something to cover your neck. The summit day is optional and there is an alternative glacier walk for those who opt out. There's no need to worry about holding others up on summit day as there are additional mountain guides so you tend to  naturally split into four or five groups of differing pace. Bring some cards or games for the evenings.Is there anything else you would like to add?A real highlight for me was the camping aspect of the trip having only done a tea-house trek previously; sleeping under canvas in wild campsites beneath starry skies. The third campsite at the base of the Kang La was my personal favourite. The camping crew and cooks deserve a great deal of credit too. They really worked hard to look after us - we were woken with a tea delivery to our tent and a warm bowl of washing water, each day the tents were erected by the time we arrived at the next spot, and a delicious two or sometimes three course cooked dinner prepared every evening.

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 2
    Written on September 8, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I can't recommend the Exodus Ladakh/Stok Kangri trek highly enough.  If you enjoy breathtaking views far from the crowds with a stunning glacier and ridge walk summit ascent then this is the trip for you!  It's not an easy trek, but it's well within the grasp of fit or experienced hikers and is thoroughly enjoyable, and made all the better if you are lucky enough to have Valerie Parkinson and Sukman lead it!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Every day was different.  So many different views and colours, I felt far away from crowds and in a world of our own.  The group I was with were super and made it all the better, looking after each other and sharing the awe at the scenery.  Each pass we reached brought elation, but of course reaching the summit was the most inspirational part.  Back in Leh I really enjoyed learning about the Circle of Life and also visiting the Donkey Sanctuary.I was also inspired by the cleanliness.  With the exception of base camp we didn't encounter rubbish, used tissue or any of the ghastly sights that swamp other mountains like Kilimanjaro. What did you think of your group leader?Our leader, Valerie, was fantastic.  She was able to share so much history, background and insight to the places we visited which really added richness and depth to the experience.  On top of this her stories about other treks were fascinating and funny.  She did a great job of making sure everyone was well looked after, as well as encouraging us to look after the mountain and the local villages by being considerate about our rubbish.   She was excellently supported by Sukman who kept a good pace at the front and kept everyone's spirits high, he was a great motivation.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Personally I found my experience of hiking in Scotland gave me good experience for this trip, and I recommend hiking some of the tougher Munros if you are able to.  Is there anything else you would like to add?This is the best trek I've done and it's left me eager to go back to the region and explore more.  In particular I will be looking up any trips that Valerie runs as I'm confident that not only will they be interesting, they'll probably be something different to what other operators offer, and she'll make the trip all the more fascinating with her local knowledge and experience.   

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 3
    Written on September 3, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Really well organised, a good route but absolutely not for the faint hearted or those not accustomed to altitude (I am now a Diamox junkie!).  Be prepared for some cramped nights in the 2 man tents (you can opt for a single I now know :-( )What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The summit is obviously dramatic, but the insight into village life was probably more 'inspirational'.  I loved the night in Chotski, with apricots dripping from the trees.  The landscape is outstanding, a geologists dream.What did you think of your group leader?Ngima was a great guide, well informed, good company and he went the extra mile.  The assistant guide has a lot to learn about pacing himself, keeping the group together, watching out for the 'back of the pack'.  He needs to mature into the job.  Generally the staff were great, couldn't do enough, and turned out the most amazing meals (given the circumstances).Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Read the kit list carefully!  It's well compiled and whilst you clearly can't predict weather in the mountains and there is a limit on weight (20kg max), you need it ALL.  Yes shorts, thermals, waterproofs, and a good sleeping bag and mat is a must.  You can hire things like ice axes and crampons in Leh, not expensive, but I wouldn't hire their harnesses or helmets.  And when it says you need "good lungs" - it's serious advice.  If you're not fit, don't try this trek.  Some of us grabbed a minibus to Agra on return to Delhi; well worth the trip to the Taj, and the journey down was incredible if (like me) you've not witnessed Indian life before.  It's a long day out, but it can be done given the early timing of the flight into Delhi.Is there anything else you would like to add?One little innovation which would make things a lot more 'civilised' - a loo seat for the toilet tent!  Don't expect too much sleep.  In Delhi it's too hot, in Leh the stray dogs and donkeys will be howling and braying under your hotel window, and on camp you can rely on more donkeys to serenade you with a dawn chorus.  In truth the hotel in Leh could work harder to manage the noise.Leh is also locked down as far as mobile phones are concerned; if you don't buy a local SIM card, you are left with the unreliable internet, and the daily power cuts!  So get used to "being away from it all"!!!!

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 4
    Written on August 18, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    Fabulous trip which exceeded my expectations. This was my first visit to the Himalayas and will definitely be back! I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to attempt a 6000m peak. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Having the opportunity to trek with someone who has experienced Everest first hand and to reach the top of a 6000m peak. What did you think of your group leader?Don't think words can do Valarie justice. She made the trip one of the most memorable experiences of my life and was supportive throughout. It is a refreshing change to be in the company of someone so passionate for an area than simply just wanting to get to the top...Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Book it!! Fantastic opportunity to climb a 6000m mountain and take in some amazing scenery on route. And don't be worried about rumours re: Delhi belly - the cooks on the trip deserved medals and even served up pizza & chips one night!!!

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 5
    Written on September 14, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A truly challenging trek and climb with magnificent scenery throughout. Having trekked many times in the Himalaya, including Ladakh, and in the Andes, this was one of the best in all ways.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?After five hours of relentless climbing in the dark on summit day, experiencing the sun rising and casting a beautiful golden light over the snow slopes, and being able to see where we were, where we'd been and where we were going.....at last!On a personal level, and having for many years been involved in supporting the Tibetan cause, the whole climb brought home to me in a very dramatic way the extreme hardship and suffering that Tibetan refugees must experience when escaping over the Himalaya.  And we were cosseted all the way. No real comparison, of course, but definitely inspirational.What did you think of your group leader?Valerie Parkinson is second to none! Having travelled with her before, she has never failed to impress in all aspects of group leading. Also deserving a mention is Jigme, the young Ladakhi trek leader, who was constantly alert and aware of all the group's needs, particularly when trekking over difficult terrain.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Don't underestimate how challenging this trek and climb is. As other reviewers have said, it is tougher than Kilimanjaro, but, in many ways, far more rewarding.Is there anything else you would like to add?Acclimatisation time was well planned in and around Leh and also during the trek in climbing Exodus and Palam peaks en route. The whole camp experience was excellent, especially the food! Egg, chips and chocolate cake on the last night was a real treat! Many thanks to the whole support team.My partner, Carole Mahoney, and I took on the challenge of Stok Kangri as a privately organised sponsored climb, and also to celebrate our 66th birthdays! We've now raised over £6,000 which is being shared between Exodus' community projects in Ladakh and the Tibet Relief Fund in the UK which supports Tibetan refugees in India & Nepal. People's generosity has been inspirational too!

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 6
    Written on September 12, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A truly excellent trip. The itinerary is well thought-through, delivering both a good altitude acclimatisation schedule and fantastic views and walking every day of the trek, making it an excellent trip in its own right and not just a peak-bagging expedition. It helped that we had a superb group – the 8 of us got on extremely well. Impeccable organisation throughout. Overall – possibly the best trek I have ever been on (out of c.10-12).What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Summiting SK after a 7.5 hours night climb on the relentless steep snowy/rocky slope was obviously a major highlight, but for me so was the leisurely descent in bright sunshine with hardly anyone around, taking time to savour the stunning surroundings. And earlier on in the trip, Exodus peak with its first proper taste of the spectacular scenery, was also special: 360 degree views of snow-capped peaks, butterflies flitting around (at over 5,000m!), large warm slabs of rock to relax on … a perfect spot!What did you think of your group leader?Ngima is one of the best trek leaders I have encountered. His judgement, technical and local knowledge, advice and encouragement were much appreciated, but it was also his social skills and sense of humour that made the trip a lot of fun and so memorable for all of us.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?As other customers have commented, generally the temperature on the trek was quite pleasant and not as cold as I had expected from the trip notes; same applies to the SK climb itself – yes, it is cold on the top and there was plenty of snow, but the ascent is quite energetic (unlike Kili) so most of us were too hot in our down jackets. Those of us who had previously done Kili concurred that the ascent of SK was significantly more demanding physically.Is there anything else you would like to add?The food on the trek was excellent, predominantly vegetarian but not exclusively, with a greater variety of dishes than I have encountered before, all of which were very tasty.

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 7
    Written on September 12, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A truly excellent trip. The itinerary is well thought-through, delivering both a good altitude acclimatisation schedule and fantastic views and walking every day of the trek, making it an excellent trip in its own right and not just a peak-bagging expedition. It helped that we had a superb group

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 8
    Written on August 22, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    Overall, a fantastic trip through breathtaking (and not just due to the altitude) scenery, in a unique part of the world. The route taken by Exodus is, for the most part, not the standard tourist route, so for the majority of the trip you don't experience the hoards that you usually do on a climb such as Kilimanjaro, and most days you don't see any other climbers. The aclimatization days in Leh allow you to experience some of the the local culture, and although Kashmir is by no means a wilderness destination (as you will see when you get to Leh), you generally won't come across too many people that have visited that part of the world. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The highlight of the trip is, of course, summiting Stok Kangri itself, taking you above both the 6,000m and 20,000ft barriers, which isn't something that can be achieved on Kilimanjaro.What did you think of your group leader?The trip was led by Valerie Parkinson who, as you can expect from her experience on Stok Kangri itself as well as the region as a whole, and a couple of 8,000m peaks, was a fantastic team leader. Her knowledge of the culture and history of the area is superb, and I doubt there are many people who have anywhere close to her experience on Stok Kangri itself. The safety and well being of the group was always paramount to her, and her leadership helped to bring the whole group together, and made the trip extremely enjoyable and informative.  Do you have any advice for potential travellers?We climbed Stok Kangri at the end of July / start of August, and temperatures were not as low as many were expecting. Down Jackets were certainly not needed, and although temperatures dipped in the evenings, a couple of layers were generally sufficient. Almost all our group had climbed Kilimanjaro previously, and the general consensus was that it was a far tougher climb than Kili, despite the marginal increase in height. I suspect this is largely down to the large elevation gain in the first few days of the trek (3000m to 5300m within 2 1/2 days), when around half the group started to feel some effects of altitude (I would recommend taking some Diamox along, just in case). The ice axe / crampon work is non technical, and half and hour of practice the day before the summit was sufficient experience for what was required, although more experience never does any harm. The summit day is quite a long slog, although not technical in any way, requires a bit of motivation just to keep on grinding it out. The ridge can be relatively hazardous, not so much for the steep sides, but more just the rocky terrain, which involves a bit of scrambling, and in the course of a long, tiring, day can (and did) lead to a few slips and trips, with high potential for twisted ankles, grazed shins etc. We were roped together for the ridge part of the climb, but the general consensus was the rope made it more hazardous, as the risk of falling down the side seemed unlikely, but holding on to the rope made the scrambling harder, as it used up a hand that would have been useful to assist with grip when scrambling over the rocky outcrops. Overall, the climb is nothing to be concerned about, but you just need to maintain the concentration and motivation for a long day.

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 9
    Written on August 21, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A fantastic trek in the Himalayas with amazing scenery every minute of the day, this was a high altitude journey with the exciting opportunity to peak my first 6,000 metre mountain. I loved it!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Climbing Stok Kangri was the most difficult thing I have ever done - but just the best experience ever! Every magnificent step. And a stunning sunrise I'll never forget.What did you think of your group leader?Valerie Parkinson is extremely experienced, knowledgable and caring. She ensured that each group member achieved their best. She builds a great team of local staff around her, who together ensure that the camp is 'ship-shape' and the whole trek runs smoothly.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?This is a very challenging trek, and the final summit attempt of Stok Kangri is graded correctly as 'Tough' - don't underestimate it. Experience of crampon walking essential. Most people experienced altitude sickness of some kind, so be prepared and follow all the guidelines and support on offer from Valerie and the other staff.Is there anything else you would like to add?Thank you to everyone - I had such a great time.

  • Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb reviewer 10
    Written on September 24, 2011
    5.0 - Excellent

    Overall it was a great trip. It was certainly more of a life experience than a true holiday as you will see India in the raw at times. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Summiting Stok Kangri in snowy conditions and seeing the Taj Mahal on the Golden Triangle trip extension.What did you think of your group leader?Soham was a great guide and showed very good judgement when making decisions on the Stok Kangri climb. He always set a good pace and made sure that we were properly acclimatised at all times. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Maximise your physical fitness before you go on the trip , you will enjoy it more if you do.  Bring walking poles with you. You may not need them below 5000m , but when you get over 5000m using them really helps. The food on the trip is mainly vegetarian. If you are more of a carnivore then bring along some of those dehydrated mountain meals where you just add hot water for the times you feel like something other than vegetarian food.  Bring a flask with you so you can carry a hot drink with you on Stok Kangri summit day. 

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Delhi.
  2. Day 2: Fly to Leh (3500m); afternoon orientation walk.
  3. Day 3: Acclimatisation day in and around Leh; trips to Shey and Tikse Monasteries.
  4. Day 4: Acclimatisation walk in Leh Valley; optional jeep trip to the Khardung La (which at 5,602m, is one of the highest motorable roads in the world).
  5. Day 5: Drive to Choksi (3210m).
  6. Day 6: Climb out of the valley to Choksi Drok.
  7. Day 7: Short walk through marmot territory to a spectacular wild camp at the base of Kang La.
  8. Day 8: Steep ascent to Kang La (5260m) and optional climb of Palam Peak (5368m) for superb mountain vistas; cross Ganda La (4970m).
  9. Day 9: Trek beside the river to Rumbak village.
  10. Day 10: Cross the Stok La (4900m) to Mankarmo.
  11. Day 11: Steady climb to Stok Kangri Base Camp; afternoon equipment check, summit briefing and skill refresher session.
  12. Day 12: Optional ascent of Stok Kangri (6153m). The route is non-technical, but there is a short exposed section near the summit.
  13. Day 13: Descend through Mankarmo to Stok and drive back to Leh.
  14. Day 14: Fly to Delhi.
  15. Day 15: End Delhi.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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Video

Palam Peak - Acclimatisation

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Start and end in New Delhi.
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TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 25 November 2018 the full payment of $0 is necessary.
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Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 1,273 km.
  • New Delhi (India)
  • 617 km
  • Leh (India)
  • 19 km
  • Rumbak (India)
  • 19 km
  • Leh (India)
  • 617 km
  • New Delhi (India)

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