The 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.
There 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.
Summit - Mentok 1 John & I
The 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.
Since 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
External LinksA synopsis of the expedition - Days 1 through 7
ImagesImages from the expedition