Trekking can be a thrilling and an exciting experience, especially when you’re travelling with like-minded trekkers and backpackers. Stok Kangri, one of the highest peaks in Leh – Ladakh region attracts trekkers from around the world. Using information in this Stok Kangri trek guide, we hope you’ll be able to plan an amazing trip. Leh – Ladakh region is a delightful haven for nature lovers, trekkers, backpackers and everyone else. A trip to this destination makes you feel like you’re sitting in the lap of raw nature.
While travelling in Leh – Ladakh, you’re able to witness the stunning beauty of snowy glaciers, barren land, lush meadows, clear skies and several rivers, all in a single frame. Trekking in Leh – Ladakh is a dream come true for many trekkers. Located at 6,153 metres above sea level, Stok Kangri is considered to be one of the most popular trekking destinations in the country. Read this Stok Kangri trek guide to know everything about the destination.
About Stok Kangri
Stok Kangri is one of the most famous and challenging treks in the country. One of the highest peaks in Ladakh, it’s surrounded by some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. On your Stok Kangri trekking expedition, you can soak in views of the famous Zanskar and Indus valleys. The scenic beauty of Ladakh perfectly compliments the cultural aspects prevalent in Leh.
On a trip to Leh – Ladakh, you’re able to explore local culture, soak in scenic beauty, and even interact with locals to get an understanding of Tibetan and Buddhist cultures, more so, if you’re in the company of an experienced Stok Kangri trek guide. There’s a lot to do in this region, especially when it comes to cuisine, terrain, culture and religion. On reaching Leh, you’ll have to rest for a couple of days to get acclimatized. During this period, you should explore the city to take back some beautiful memories home.
Though the altitude is high, reaching the summit takes less than 5 days, something which isn’t possible with other Himalayan treks. Regardless, the trek is quite challenging, and tests your stamina, endurance and will. The summit is a long-stretch glacier, surrounded by thin air, chilly winds and snowy blizzards.
During the trek, you need to cross several green fields, barren grey landscapes, chilly water bodies and steep slopes. While trekking in this area, nature enthusiasts are spellbound and thrilled. The sight of the majestic Himalayas is on every nature or mountain lover’s list.
The trail also includes countless ridges, huge boulders and deserted surroundings. Undoubtedly, Stok Kangri trail is one of the most beautiful trekking trails in India. If you’re planning a Stok Kangri trek 2019, keep reading to know more.
How to Reach Stok Kangri?
Located in Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, Stok Kangri trekking provides a wholesome experience to every trekker. It’s location in the Hemis National Park not only takes you through some of the most scenic sights, but also allows you to catch a glimpse of exotic alpine flora and fauna. The summit is 15 km southwest from Leh.
Being the capital city of Ladakh, Leh is well-connected with airways, roadways and railways. Trekkers and backpackers can choose from multiple modes of transport to reach this region. Kushok Bakula is the nearest airport. Several airlines operate daily flights to Kushok Bakula from major cities in India.
Jammu Tawi is the nearest railway station. Once you reach Jammu Tawi, you can take a private cab or a bus to reach the city. Several bike expeditions are also organized to reach Leh from Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali etc. Being one of the most popular places in India, Leh is well-connected with several cities in India. If you’re planning the trip with a professional Stok Kangri trek guide, you won’t have to worry about these routes or any hassles.
Things to Carry
Just like other treks, even this one requires you to carry some important things. For the entire duration of the trek, you’d need a backpack with all your belongings. Since you won’t be able to predict the accurate weather, it would be good to carry a raincoat. At such height, climate can be unpredictable. It can drop sharply at night, and your Stok Kangri trek guide will require you to be prepared.
In order to stay hydrated, you need to carry water bottles and refreshments. Small hydration packs are also available in local markets. Protein bars and energy bars can be ideal to keep yourself energized. Carrying these items also allows you to avoid heavy lunches and dinners.
At high altitudes, health can be adversely affected, and it’s a good idea to carry a personal medical kit. It should have necessary medicines and first-aid items. You should carry medicines for upset stomach, dizziness, cold, cough and headache.
If you’re planning a Stok Kangri Trek 2019, you should carry adequate warm clothes, and other items, such as waterproof jackets, windcheaters, thermal inners, track pants, fleece jackets, trekking shoes and plenty of t-shirts. Since you’ll need toiletries the most, keep them in a separate, easily-accessible bag.
Last but not the least, you shouldn’t forget to carry important accessories, such as caps, sunglasses, walking stick, gloves, torch and other such items. Since you won’t get a chance to buy them anywhere on the trek, it’s important to carry them on the journey.
While planning stays in a Himalayan camp, you should avoid jeans, shorts and sports shoes. It’s important to stick to joggers and track pants. They allow you to feel comfortable, and give you the required convenience to walk up and down steep slopes and rocky ridges. It’s advised to carry an extra pair of joggers.
In terms of fabrics, your clothes should be manufactured from thick fabrics. This helps you fight against the cold. A pair of gloves is also important, and ensures you’re able to manage different tasks without any issues. Before going on the trek, do make sure you discuss these things with your Stok Kangri trek guide.
Stok Kangri trekking expedition is considered to be one of the most exciting treks in the country. Hence, it’s advised to plan everything under the guidance of a professional Stok Kangri trek guide. Over a 5-6 day period, you reach the maximum altitude at 20,080 feet above sea level. At an elevation of 6153 metres, Stok Kangri is one of the highest peaks in Leh – Ladakh region. Most seasoned trekkers and backpackers can reach the summit in 3 days. However, it’s important to not get carried away, and listen to your guide’s instructions.
Stok Kangri is considered to be a difficult trek. To plan this trek, you need to have some prior experience with high-altitude treks. Though you don’t need any mountaineering skills, you should possess some technical expertise with similar trekking expeditions. The entire trail has steep slopes, difficult ascends, huge boulders and chilly weather.
Most importantly, the weather in the region is unpredictable, and you may be caught off-guard. For beginners, it’s very difficult to scale such height without coming across problems. Even the most seasoned trekkers can sometimes not complete the journey, and have to return mid-way due to bad weather or health.
According to experts, trekkers who have previously taken long treks can manage the journey. The entire duration of the trek can stretch up to 10 days. Therefore, it’s important to have prior experience trekking or camping in the mountains for extended periods. For beginners, Stok Kangri trek can cause several problems.
Connectivity and ATMs
As mentioned earlier, Leh is the capital city of Ladakh. Hence, it’s well-connected with major India cities via roadways, airways and railways. Since it’s a well-planned town, you can easily find ATMs everywhere. If you’re planning a Stok Kangri Trek 2019, it’s better to carry abundant cash. However, if you need some extra money, finding an ATM in Leh wouldn’t be a problem.
Please note that Leh is the last stop for withdrawing cash via ATMs. Once you start trekking towards Stok Kangri, you won’t find any ATMs on the way. In fact, Leh is the last area to get phone connectivity.
Once you keep progressing towards Stok Kangri and leave Leh behind, phone connectivity will get weaker. Eventually, phone connectivity will be lost, and you won’t be able to receive or make any phone calls. In order to avoid any hassles, trekkers need to keep this mind.
Permissions and Permits
Before going on a trek in the Himalayas, including Stok Kangri, trekkers are required to take permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. Trekkers are given a permit, which allows them to proceed on the trail. In order to ensure a smooth trekking expedition, you should consider getting help from a reputed tour operator. Since permissions and permits are mandatory for trekking, tour operators can help you obtain required assistance with ease.
Without permits and permissions, your access to certain areas will be restricted. As mentioned above, it’s better to get in touch with a tour operator. They can take the permission on your behalf, and you won’t have to indulge in long queues or hassles. A reputed tour operator also provides you with an experienced Stok Kangri trek guide. For a lengthy Himalayan expedition, it’s always better to travel in a group.
If you choose to buy a package from a tour operator, all costs of permits and permissions are included. Professionals have experience in obtaining required and accurate permits, and thus, you won’t have to worry about these issues. It’s important to carry your ID proofs on the journey. Non-Indian trekkers need to carry copies of their passports. It’s also important to carry a medical certificate.
When to Visit Stok Kangri?
Without a doubt, Stok Kangri is one of the most fascinating treks in Leh – Ladakh region. It’s one of the highest peaks, and the summit provides you with panoramic views of Zanskar Range, Karakoram Range, and even the majestic K2 Peak. Though tourists visit Ladakh throughout the year, Stok Kangri trek can only be planned from June to September. During summer season, the overall weather is pleasant and doesn’t disrupt your plans. In these months, it also gets easier to find an experienced Stok Kangri trek guide.
Since Ladakh is located at a high altitude, the weather remains unpredictable throughout the year. Due to this, temperature dips sharply, and can sometimes go below zero. During summer season, the average temperature in Leh – Ladakh is between 20 degree celsius to 30 degree celsius. This range of temperature is bearable, and you don’t come across chilly winds or freezing cold.
However, the temperature can drop below minus 10 degree celsius at night. For the majestic Himalayas, such rapid fall in temperature is usual. Though treks to Stok Kangri begin from May, it’s better to plan a trip after June. Some seasoned trekkers even visit Stok Kangri in October. To be specific, the summer season and the beginning of winters is a good time to plan a trek to Stok Kangri.
One of the biggest advantages of planning your Stok Kangri trekking expedition during summer is comfort and convenience. During this period, you won’t have to worry about terrain, weather, closed hotels, empty cafes etc. Before and after the trek, you will be able to spend a good time in Leh, in the company of several tourists and locals.
In case you’re a professional trekker and love the extremities of nature, you can plan a Stok Kangri trekking expedition in November or December. However, the freezing temperature makes the trek difficult. You’ll also have to take additional precautions to fight against bad weather and health.
Due to high altitude and bad terrain, Stok Kangri is already a difficult trek. If you’re planning to choose a specific season to go on the trek, summer season will be your best bet. Otherwise, you may have to bear the consequences of planning a difficult trek in winter season. Whether you choose summer season or winter months, it’s advised to plan everything under the supervision and guidance of seasoned trekkers.
Solo Travel to Stok Kangri
If you have prior experience with lengthy Himalayan trekking expeditions, you can even plan a solo trek to Stok Kangri. However, you’d still need to be in the company of an experienced guide. Solo trekking can be a fun and an adventurous experience. It’s important to consider the difficulty level and the high altitude. It won’t be an easy trek, but will be worth the effort.
In order to avoid any hassles, you should get in touch with a reputed tour operator. A professional trekking expedition operator ensures you don’t come across problems. Plenty of tour operators are planning to organize Stok Kangri Trek 2019. With comprehensive research and planning, you’ll be able to find a reputed company with positive reviews.
It can be quite difficult to convince people for such a long trek. However, there’s no reason to skip on the opportunity. Stok Kangri trek is a wholesome experience for every trekker. It not only provides you with the thrill and excitement of going on the trek, but allows you to soak in the mesmerizing beauty of raw nature.
Stok Kangri is considered to be one of the best treks in the country. Travelling solo is something every trekker should try, and Stok Kangri is the right expedition for such a choice. Most importantly, a solo trip to Leh – Ladakh allows you to meet locals, trek at your own pace, and manage your budget independently.
Is a Stok Kangri Trek Guide Required?
As mentioned throughout this post, it’s advised to plan Stok Kangri trek under the guidance and supervision of seasoned trekkers. Before the trek, you need to be briefed by an experienced Stok Kangri trek guide. It helps you understand the difficulty level, terrain, weather, altitude mountain sickness etc. Such a session also helps you take necessary precautions before the trek.
In addition to this, an experienced guide can lead you on the trek. A reputed tour operator arranges everything for you, and ensures you have a safe and a thrilling trip. The guide can help you with sights, tricks, tips and places. Hence, it’s important to plan this trek with a professional guide to avoid hassles.
In this Stok Kangri trek guide, we tried our best to help you understand terrain, weather and difficulties. Regardless, Stok Kangri Trek 2019 will be a mesmerizing experience you shouldn’t miss. In order to explore, you have to venture into the unknown. If you’re an adventure enthusiast or a nature lover, Stok Kangri trekking will be an ideal choice. The wholesome experience will touch your soul, and provide you with unparalleled, unforgettable experiences. However, do make sure you plan everything under the guidance of a professional Stok Kangri trek guide.
Renok Adventures has been conducting and organizing treks and tours in Leh – Ladakh for quite some time. We have a team of seasoned trekkers and guides, who ensure you remain safe and have a great time on the trip. If you’re planning a Stok Kangri trek 2019, feel free to get in touch with our team. Please click here.