Prologue : The Beginning
It was a thought that made me took decision for a summit re- attempt, yes a re-attempt . Last year’s failed attempt still fresh which had given me a lot of sleepless night . Though broken by last year early retreat from Base camp due to deteriorating climate and incessant snowfall , was not completely shattered. I resolved on for a summit reattempt of Stok Kangri .
Stok Kangiri if you might be knowing is the highest peak in the Stok ranges of Leh Ladakh region .Vastly unknown by common world but quite famous among trekking and mountaineering fraternity . Finally I braced myself for this year’s summit attempt .
Went through a long thought process on when to actually jump jet myself to Leh .Timing was all crucial as mountains has its own climatic ecosystem ,totally unpredictable . And the fear of a third chance to scale it (partially due to huge monetary expenditure involved) was also looming high . Finally decided on making attempt in the month of September ,15.Though very well aware that the month of September are to be the coldest and the driest .
The run up till D-day was quite interesting . Went through a loads of journals on high altitude survival techniques, AMS, HACE ,HAPE , medications required, exercise regime to follow, the recommended food and clothing and so on .The day neared pretty fast . I left Pune on 12th Sep to Leh via Delhi . Quite excited and tensed too in the same scale .Lot was at stake this time .
Day-I : A day at Leh
Reached Leh at around 8.30am .Spent the whole day doing nothing, literally nothing . The day as well as night were equally cold for me to brave outside and so got a chance to play lazy in my warm homestays.
Day -I :Changspa Road
View from my homestay’s window
Day-II : Stok Village Homestay
I left Leh city for the Stok village –my starting point for the trek . As I felt I am not yet well acclimatised for the heights of 12000fts . I decided on taking an another (luxurious) break a day of relax before starting the hardship .These were the only 2 days I had a leisure of staying indoors and having a roof above with warm food and blankets as accessories .
Homestay at Stok Village
Dining Room ,full of old antique utensils ….
Lazy sitting on the porch of the homestay
Inside view of my Home stay’s room
Night Photography attempts
Day-III : The Beginning
I rendezvous at the starting point . Meet my guide and so I went . My halt for the day was at a small rocky base called Changma ,pearched at a height of 4030m . I reached, our first camp called changma, after 2 ½ hours and 6 kms of hiking from the base camp. The sun was high with its warmth but the wind was still chillingly cold. My balaclava was the only thing that proved to be essential in today’s windy day .
Stok Kangiri Trek Details
Start of the trek
I was just enjoying soaking under the Sun and the occasional clouds were simply adding tunes to my music playlist.
Outside view from the Kitchen at Chang-ma camp site
The rocky enclouser above is the common loo or poop Point :p
Felt to be a happy trekker under the warming Sun. Spent rest of my day reading a novel and writing travel notes , inside my tent .Strolling aimlessly, savoring nature’s beauty around the camp was the other thing that I did for rest of the day. Nothing unusual to write here.
Day –IV : Mankarmo Camp
Today I was to reach the Camp –II called as Mankarmo camp at 4480m .As per schedule we started off at around 9am . To reach Mankarmo camp from the changma camp it took us around 3 ½ hours of time to cover just 8kms distance.
View On Way
Some Peaks enroute
First peek of Mankarmo Camp
The base was quite impressive with river stream flowing just meters away from my tent . Lots of activity could be seen there . There are mules ,horses and people from various nationalities were seen . The camp –II was equipped with a central kitchen run by locals trekking group called ‘Ladakh Mitra’ . A pretty cool hang out place , warm and people from around the world constantly frisking for snacks and food. There I interacted with a team from Japan and another from Scandinavian country. Quite interestingly all were doing what I too was doing ,acclimatizing and relaxing .Now you might think how we were relaxing in those heights. The answer to this was – Godfather .(local beer brand) . The weather was superb and the Sun was high on till late evening.
View from Mankamro camp of the path taken to reach there
Time for sleep….
Click below link toread on my blog entry of my Summit attempt on Mt Stok Kangiri