OverviewThe Mentok range (Mentok 1,2,3 and4) lies to the west of the famous lake Tsomoriri, a high altitude lake in Ladakh district in J&K, India.
Mentok 1 is the highest peak in the range at about 6277m. It is wrongly termed as a trekking peak on some travel sites. There is a rocky ridge on the south east of Mentok 1 which is painfully steep, but that should not be a concern if one is a mountaineer. The concern is that inspite of an early start (1 AM) it sould take really long to scale the peak from the advance camp.
An alternate route is to climb a vertical ice wall on the east of Mentok 2, descend a col south of the Mentok 2 summit and at about 6000m there is a rocky ridge from the col that leads to Mentok 1 on its North face. This ascent took us a couple of hours from the col and about 5 hours from the ABC.
Getting ThereThere are a number of flights to Leh from Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Chandigarh. From Leh, it takes 6 to 7 hours by road to reach Korzok village. The base camp is a days hike from Korzok. The advanced camp is another half a days hike, but the gradient is steep and height gain immense.
Leh to Korzok. The village is about 215 km from Leh. The campsite is by a glacial stream near Lake Tsomoriri and we camped here for a couple of nights.
We hiked to the base camp for acclimatisation
Moved to base camp.
Hike to advanced camp. Slight load ferry of technical equipment
Move to advanced camp. A bivy site really at 5700m. We started at about 1400 and reached the site by about 1545. Pitched a 2 man tent and stayed there for an early morning start the following day.
Day began at 0100. Climbed the eastern ice face of Mentok 2. Reached the summit of Mentok 1 via Mentok 2 by 0527. Reached the ABC by 0800. had a drink (fruit juice) and headed for the base camp. Reached there by 1000. Headed out to the village by about 1400. This last leg was at a leisurely pace. It was a beautiful day for photography and the marmuts were very photogenic. Had a dip in Tsomoriri and reached Korzok by about 1730. Quite a long day as summit days usually are.
Just drive back to Leh.
Red TapeThe Permit can be arranged for Mentok from the IMF office at Leh which is housed at the Mentok Lin complex in Leh. For foreigners this might take a few months so plan ahead.
CampingSince we had planned on climbing Mentok 1 and 2, we set up an advanced camp from where we were successfully able to summit both peaks.
- Camp a day or 2 at Korzok (4600m)
- A day or two at the base camp depending on how well you acclimatise (5100m)
- Advance camp or bivy site (5700m) before pushing for the summit of Mentok 1 via Mentok 2