It was late in the year and there was a snowstorm the day before we summited, but this is a very easy climb. Physically exhausting but technically easy, you can really almost do it in hiking boots. We never even put on our crampons. Though it was colder than hell (like a cold version of hell). Didn't bother with a guide, but we did buy some hot meals in basecamp. Permit was $50 per person.
Weather was pretty good but the mountain was very icy and some places it was much harder to climb than normal.
Great conditions for us! Climbed in three days. We took two days to hike to base camp, the climbed and returned to Stok Village on the same day. It wasn't the plan, but we got down to base camp and didn't fancy the thought of sitting around camp all day. If you have a bit of mountaineering experience, are well acclimatized and the weather is good, consider going guideless.
Prior to our climb, my son and I spent three days in the area around Leh visiting monasteries and driving to the Kardung La pass for the purpose of acclimating. The region is both welcoming and fascinating in the extreme. Ours was a four day guided climb with two days to basecamp (which was not a demanding pace). Our climb started at about 1am and we summitted in just over six hours using the ridge route. Route conditions were fairly snow free on the ridge after we crossed the glacier and visibility was low due to fog and a light snow falling. The Class 3 section below the summit block featured only modest exposure to our party. Our guide, Shera Sherpa (https://sherasherpaadventures.com) is a highly skilled, delightful companion with an impressive climbing resume whom I encourage you to consider. We very much enjoyed breaking the 6,000 meter mark and we hope to return to the region quite soon.
I took a taxi to Stok and walked to the base camp that same day. I went to sleep at 7PM, set off at 2AM and reached the summit around 7AM with lots of stops (long story, but I had a guide who didn't feel well and so we kept stopping and stopping until we reached the snow field where he decided to stay behind). I summited alone and I had a great time! There was no wind and it wasn't too cold. It was cloudy at the top, but the clouds cleared up from time to time and the view was beautiful all around. (HOWEVER I lost my camera on the way down haha! I think it fell in the snow. If someone ever finds it, you know where to find me!) I walked back to Stok and got a ride to Leh in the afternoon, so the whole thing took a little over 24h. Definitely worth it!
Here's more information about the logistics as of 2015...
- It took 4 hours from Stok to base camp. People usually break the journey and spend one night in a halfway camp in order to acclimatize.
- It is possible to purchase food and accommodation in a tent for 1500 Rs at the base camp.
- The permit to climb the mountain was 25 USD purchased in Leh, but nobody checked it on or near the mountain.
- Most people (everybody?) used crampons, ropes and ice axes, but I wouldn't say they were necessary that day. I wasn't roped and I never felt like there was anywhere to fall.
- Groups do it in 4 days in order to allow for acclimatization and they charge about 14000 RS per person everything included.
Be safe and have fun!
4 day climb, good weather great summit!
was raining fine ice... cloudy, with no views... but finally reached thank's to patience, and the "competitiveness" of one dog who was the last one leaving the submit... such surprising things, you can obtain these vital experiences... kind regards
I'm planning on having an attempt on Stok Kangri in mid August. Do you have any other info on the current conditions?
- Was great to summit the mountain alone.
- Was stupid of the guide to have forgotten his goggles (human error)
- Was unlucky to not have my partner with me.
- The "Ridge" route was not open. Climbed the face directly.
- Almost a pseudo-winter attempt (as per one of the guide), because of the snow conditions...
Spent a week in the Markha valley acclimatizing before heading for the mountain. Lots of snow as it was early in the season, but we left in the night so the snow was in ok condition on the descent. Cloudy at the top so no views...
Acclimatized in Leh and a few days of trekking in the region (Stok La Pass). Climbed together with Roland Maessen and Astrid Ceelen. Decided to turn around because Astrid was suffering from high altitude sickness after a night in advance base camp.
... with Garrett Drayna and Hamik Mukelyan, on 25-29 Jun' 2009, via the standard Southeast Face (an exposed half a mile long class 3 ridge just before the summit, snow less than 45 degrees everywhere. My first kiss with extreme altitudes!)
Very nice trip in the authentic Ladakh. After a perfect acclimatisation trip in the Markha Valley we (a group of thirteen!) succesfully climbed the beautifull peak.
All members on the summit, what a succes for me as tourleader!
Acclimatization: Day 1 stay in Leh, Day 2 climb of Namgya Hill, Day 3 climb of Nanga Sago from Leh (5600m), Day 4 stay in Leh. I climbed the mountain in two days from Leh in Alpine style (bivouac sack). First day I climbed to the advanced high camp at 5100m and slept there in my bivouac sack with sleeping bag good for -1° Centigrade. Cold but do-able. Next day I started at 5 am and reached the summit before noon. Went all the way back to Stok/Leh the same day.
Quite heavy snow and poor visibility made this harder and more dangerous than it shoud have been. 3 of us out of 6 successful on summit day, 4 had already headed down.
This month of August was not very dry in the Indian Region of Ladakh; although 11 of us summited this nice mountain. We had snow from 5.400m to the summit. Left BC at 1:00 am reached summit at 5:30, back to BC in 2h15min
MORE PICTURES OF "STOK KANGRI"
Very nice route. Set off at 2am. Got to the summit at 6am for sun rise. Very enjoyable and technically easy. Feels like your on a big himalayan mountain that stands above a lot of peaks around you. Great views over pakistan.
superb ascent - reached the summit at 9 am, having left base camp at 2 am. (not enough water for the horses etc at advance base camp) 4 of us made to the summit - very clear views in all directions. John Spivey (64), John Vose (64), Bill Dean (64) and Steve Harris (45) all made it without ill effects.