Winner of National Tourism Award 2010-11 & 2011-12
Stok Kangri

Day 1: Arrive Delhi, Flight to Leh
On arrival in Delhi International Airport you will be met and transferred to domestic terminal for your early morning highly spectacular flight over the Himalayas to Leh - 3500 Mts. Arrive Leh and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatize to the altitude (3,500m.). Later in the afternoon there will be a gentle orientation walk of Leh and its bazaars.

Day 2: In Leh
Today there is a sightseeing tour to three of the major gompas (monasteries) in the area. We first drive to Shey, a former Royal Palace of the Ladakh kings. Inside is a small temple containing a 350 year old copper and gold statue of Buddha. From Shey we drive to Tikse, where we visit the monastery - perched on top of a hill - its red and white buildings can be seen for miles. A recently built temple contains a magnificent image of the Future Buddha. Next we drive to Hemis, which lies tucked away up a side valley. Once the largest and richest of all monasteries its huge prayer hall is of particular interest.

Day 3: In Leh
Morning we make sightseeing tour of Spituk & Phyang Monastries .Afternoon we walk around the Leh town , Namgyal Hill & the ruins of the Old Royal Palace. From here a winding path takes us to the Tsemo Monastery, from where we are rewarded for our efforts by magnificent views of the whole of Leh and its surrounding villages. Descending round the back of the palace we walk via Sankar to the recently built Japanese Peace Pagoda with good views back to the palace and across to Stok Kangri, dominating the skyline across the valley. ? 200m

Day 4: Leh - Gyamtsa (3700 m) - 3-4 Hrs Walk
Today we have another acclimatisation walk about 6 Kms to the north of Leh town. We walk through the out skirts of Leh town to the back side of the recently built Japanese Peace Pagoda to reach Yurtang and further continue on to Zonglo. An easy continuous ascent takes us to Zurgul top (3900m) where from we have good views of entire Leh town Stok Kangri, dominating the skyline across the valley. From the top an easy descends takes us our camp at Gyamtsa. This exclusive camp is located amidst clusters of the whispering willows and sprawling meadows fed by fresh mountain streams. A stay at the Gyamtsa Camp retreat is an occasion for intense introspection to rediscover nature. ? 400m ? 2000m

Day 5: Gyamtsa - Zinchen - Rumbak (3,800 m) - 3-4 Hrs Walk
By now we should be well acclimatised, and we take a short drive from Gamsa to Zinchen. There should be time to visit the Spituk Monastery with its commanding views over the Indus Valley. From here a new road takes us across the Indus towards Zinchen. We will drive as far as the road conditions allow and to where our ponies will be waiting. After they are loaded up we start our trek into the Zinchen Gorge at the foot of the Stok Mountains. The trail is straightforward as we follow the Zinchen Nala upstream. The valley closes in around us and spectacular rock formations tower above us. An ever-changing panorama of fantastic coloured mountains surrounds us as we ascend the valley. We may have to cross the river as the stream forces the path closer to the side of the valley. Suddenly the valley widens and reveals the snow topped peaks of the Stok mountains. Prayer flags on a wide pasture mark the junction with the trail leading to Rumbak village. Tonight's camp is below Rumbak village (3,800m). ? 300m

Day 6: In Rumbak
Looking left towards Rumbak a fantastic multicoloured toothy skyline ridge appears in the distance. There is time this morning for an acclimatisation walk into the Rumbak valley to the villages. Returning to camp we then carry on up the main valley to a watermill and a bridge, which we cross. The trail ascends the valley gradually and when the valley splits we take the right hand fork up past the one house village of Yurutse. We will walk as far as we gain good acclimatization height and then walk back to our camp. C ? 450m ? 450m

Day 7: Rumbak - Base of Stok La (4250 m) - 3-4 Hrs Walk
We follow a beautiful gentle sloping valley and walk on the left side of the valley as we pass Rumbak Village the valley opens and it starts gentle climb up to the base of Stok La. We camp just below the Stok La tonight. Ahead the mountains are truly amazing; fold after fold of multicoloured jagged rock tower above us and as the sun sets and the light fades the colours change dramatically. One of the beauties of this short day trek is that it is a geologist's paradise; spectacular valley with amazing rock formations. C ? 450m

Day 8: Base of Stok La - Stok La (4,800m) - Mankarmo Shepherd Camp (4,380 m) - 5-6 Hrs Walk
Today is probably one of the most spectacular walks in Ladakh as we cross the Stok La (4,800m), our last pass of the trek. At first we trek on a beautiful, gently sloping trail, but then the path becomes steeper and steeper as it zigzags up to the top of the pass. From the top the views are even more spectacular; layer upon layer of multicoloured rock cathedrals are spread before us in every direction. The descent is very steep at first and then we contour round two valleys to the junction with the river coming down from Stok Kangri. We follow the river, crossing a few side streams, until we reach a shepherd settlement at Mankarmo. Look out for the herds of Blue Sheep scrambling on the rocks around camp. ? 550m ? 420m

Day 9: Mankarmo - Base of Lartse Peak / Stok Kangri - 4,980 m / 3-4 Hrs Walk
A gradual continuous ascent on the right side of the valley takes us to the base of Lartse Peak and Stok Kangri Peak crossing the river a couple of times. We will first establish a base camp. On the afternoon we will prepare for the climb. The energetic can climb some ridges for acclimatisation and views. There is also an opportunity to walk towards the route up Stok Kangri (6,150m) or Lartse Peak (5,670m) which gives excellent views of the route up Stok Kangri along with the peak of Gulop Kangri. ? 600m

Day 10: Spare day OR Attempt to Climb Lartse Peak (5,670 m) - 5-6 Hrs Walk
Acclimatisation day at base camp. There is time this morning to climb to one of the obvious small peak around the base camp. There is a shale trail continuing up the ridge to Lartse peak. Lartse Peak gives us excellent views of the route up Stok Kangri along-with the peak of Gulop Kangri. We spend a short while at the top before descending to base camp for lunch and a rest and pack for tomorrow. ? 690m ? 690m

Day 11: Attempt to Climb Stok Kangri (6123 m) - 10-11 Hrs Walk
After a very early start in the dark, we cross a glacier to the foot of the climb. Although not technical, the route to the summit is steep and usually involves the use of ice axe and crampons. For our security and confidence we will also carry a rope. The summit route is fairly steep and is along an exposed ridge for some of the time, with some scrambling on loose rock. The altitude will be the greatest difficulty, though. The climb from camp to the summit will take five to seven hours. The final hundred meters needs special care while crossing the ice slope just below the summit. From the summit the views are amazing. Miniscule Leh can be seen in the distance, and all around us the snowcapped peaks of the Himalaya, the Karakorum and the Ladakh Range reach far to the horizon. We spend a short while at the top to savour the beauty of it all and regain our breath before descending to Base Camp where the crew will be waiting with welcome hot food. ? 1150m ? 1150m

Day 12: Base camp - Stok Village and drive to Leh
An easy but spectacular last days walk down the valley to Stok. Layer upon layer of multicoloured rocks surround us as we descend. Finally the valley widens as we approach Stok village where our transport will meet us for the short drive back to Leh. We return to Leh for a welcome hot shower and a well-deserved celebration. ? 1250m

Day 13: Flight Leh / Delhi
We fly from Leh to Delhi. The rest of the day is free. There is a chance that the flight to Delhi could be cancelled and that we would then attempt to fly tomorrow. PM Sightseeing of Delhi.

Day 14: Free day or optional trip to Agra.
Evening transfer you to the International airport to board your flight back to home.

 
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