Stok Kangri and the Markha Valley Trek
India, Climbing, 21 days - from £1,795 (land only) - from €2,515 (land only) - from $2,900 (land only)
KE Western Leader and Sherpa Support
This classic trekking peak climb is led by a KE Western leader, assisted by experienced Sherpa (Nepalese) staff.
- Classic trekking with a stunning 6000 metre peak climb in Ladakh
- Stok Kangri an excellent introduction to Himalayan climbing
- Markha Valley a superb acclimatisation trek
- Explore Leh, the Indus Valley and its Buddhist monasteries
- One of the top five trek and climb holidays in India
Flying in to the Ladakhi capital of Leh, the shapely peak of Stok Kangri (6153m) is prominent on the southern skyline. During several days set aside for acclimatisation on this holiday, we visit the colourful monasteries at Shey, Thikse and Hemis before setting off on a delightful trek through the Markha Valley. Our route leads by way of several remote and picturesque villages to the high Nimaling Plain below the imposing peak of Kang Yatze. Trekking up to the Kongmaru La, we then take a little-used high-level route to Stok Kangri Basecamp, a 3-day approach to the mountain that includes superbly located campsites and far-reaching views towards Tibet and the eastern Karakoram. Although objectively very safe and technically straightforward, involving easy-angled scree and snow slopes, the climb on Stok Kangri is both challenging and interesting. This is a wonderfully varied trekking holiday, perfectly suited to someone seeking their first Himalayan summit.
Is this holiday for you?
After spending 4 days acclimatising to the altitude in Ladakh (3500 metres), during which time we will visit monasteries around Leh and also drive up to the Khardung La, the time that we actually spend on trek will be 13 days. On the Markha Valley trek we will be following good trails, which are the main routes between the villages in the Zanskar and Markha valleys. The final 3 days of the approach to our basecamp traverses a more rugged area with less well-defined trails. This is not a particularly sustained trekking holiday and we have allowed plenty of time for resting and for acclimatisation. In normal conditions, the ascent of Stok Kangri involves no technical climbing. It may be necessary to rope up to cross a small glacier before starting the ascent which will mainly be over easy-angled scree and boulder slopes. The final 100 - 200 metres may require the use of crampons on snow slopes up to about 35 degrees and along a short rocky ridge where the guides may use safety ropes depending on the conditions on the day. Although this is not a technically demanding climb, at an altitude of over 6000 metres, it will be physically demanding. Previous crampon experience is preferable but not essential. Anyone who does not wish to attempt the climb of Stok Kangri can make an easy walking ascent to a viewpoint above the base camp.