What is the Stok Kangri trek route? It’s perhaps one of the most important questions that comes to mind while planning the trek. One of the highest peaks in Leh – Ladakh region, Stok Kangri attracts backpackers and trekkers from around the world. In this post, we want to provide details about the route, and allow you to have good understanding of the difficulties you might encounter. With proper planning, a trek to Stok Kangri makes you feel like you’re in the lap of raw nature.
What is the Stok Kangri Trek Route?
In order to reach the basecamp from Leh, you’ll need one long day. The journey is pretty straightforward, considering the increasing popularity of Stok Kangri trekking experiences. Once you’ve reached the Trailhead village in Stok, you need to go to the end of road, marked clearly by a washed out bridge. You’ll also cross some turns and bus stops on the way. On reaching this point, you need to cross the river to the tea houses on the left.
While following the river upstream, you need to stay on the right side of the river. At times, frequent washouts might force you to cross the river. Before Stok La Pass, there’s a tent teahouse, where the trail splits. While the right-side trail takes you to the famous Stok La Pass and Markha Valley, the left-side trail takes you to base camps and Stok Kangri.
It’s important to take the left-side trail, reaching a small pass, while walking down by the riverside again. There’s a well-marked trail that takes you to another tent teahouse. Following the river upstream on the left, you’ll reach ‘Base Camp 1’. Every trekking map in Leh will show you the detailed route to the base camp.
From the basecamp to the summit, it takes about 8-10 hours on a steep ascend. Most trekkers prefer to leave early in the morning around 4 AM. The return to the basecamp takes about 2-3 hours. Considering snow conditions and weather, these time estimates may vary. It’s important to consider your guide’s instructions carefully.
From Base Camp 1, located at 5,000 metres above sea level, you need to climb west. This is one of the steepest stretches in Stok Kangri trek route. In some time, you’ll reach a small pass with flags. The path splits here once again. While one path takes you down the opposite slope in a south-west direction, the other allows you to walk parallel, but higher.
It’s advised to take the higher path, since it doesn’t require you to regain elevation later. On this path, you need to follow the ridge, and head up the valley, before leaving the ridge. If you think you’ve got a good understanding of what is the Stok Kangri trek route, there’s more you need to know.
It’s important to continue on the east side of the slope. You’ll come across two bends, followed by a short ascend to Advance Base Camp at 5,300 metres. The Advance Base Camp has four different tent spots, clearly marked with prayer flags. It’s important to know that this camp doesn’t have any water supply. Moreover, it’s much colder during night time. From Base Camp 1, you’ll take about 2 hours to reach the Advance Base Camp.
From this camp, you need to follow the trail in the south-west direction. It takes you to the eastern side of the glacier right to the center of the valley. Before a large crevice, the path turns to the left, where you cross several melting streams. From here, the trail begins to move ahead in the southern direction over two humps. The Stok Kangri trek route gets even steeper from this point.
If this stretch is covered in snow, you can take the western trail, going straight up for approximately 200 metres. Otherwise, you’ll have to zig-zag until you reach huge boulders in the southern direction. The trail can be quite hard to follow, and it’s always better to carry a detailed Stok Kangri trek route map.
The ridge is considered to be the most logical approach. Once you reach the ridge, you need to turn right and take a cautious approach to reach the summit, which won’t be visible until you’re within 50 metres of the peak. On this stretch, you need to prepare yourself for rigorous climbing. In some places, the trail even thins down to less than a metre.
On reaching the summit, you can soak in the mesmerizing views of Zanskar Range, Karakoram Range and even the K2 Range. The last 50 metres of the summit are easy and straightforward. You can enjoy the panoramic breathtaking views. To reach the basecamp on the return journey, you’ll need about 2 hours.
If you still wonder what is the Stok Kangri trek route, feel free to get in touch with our team of seasoned trekkers and experienced guides. Renok Adventures has been organizing and conducting tours in Leh – Ladakh for quite some time. We can help you plan an amazing trek to Stok Kangri, while ensuring a safe journey. To get in touch, please click here.