Kanglacha – mountain named Stok Kangri by the British, is really popular amongst foreigners since the 80s. This relatively easy six thousand-er can be done in 3 days from Leh. The record time to climb it is supposedly 10h 45min, done by some German guy, as the locals say.
No special equipment is necessary for this trekking (only the trekking poles might come in handy). To climb the peak legally, You need to have permit which costs 2000 INR per person, which can be obtained in Indian Mountaineering Foundation office in Leh (open from Monday to Saturday 10.00-14.00 and 17.00-20.00) in about 1h (including storytelling by Stok Kangri first ascender). You will need Your passport + passport and Indian visa copy. The permit can be checked is Stok village and in the Base Camp (we had to show our permit in the village, at the base camp they asked us if we have it, but we didn’t have to show it to anyone).
The route goes by easy trail, commonly used by donkeys, from Stok village – 3600m (reached from Leh by 8.00am bus, the trip takes about 30min, the ticket costs 23 IND), via Changma camping place – 4000m (here the trail splits – one way goes to Stok Kangi, second via Stok La pass – 4900m to Rumbak village), then via camping place Mankarmo – 4370m and finally to Stok Kanri Base Camp. The cost of pitching Your own tent is 130 INR, cost of spending night in base camp tents is 120 INR per person. It is also possible to buy some food there, rent crampons, ice axes, headlamp and even gloves. During our stay in camp it was crowdy, there was about 30 tents from trekking agencies guiding organized treks to the top.
The best weather and views are usually at the sunrise, so it’s good to start early – about 2 am, or even earlier if You don’t have good acclimatisation (we reached the top at 7 am, after 5 hours of climbing). The route is easy to navigate and goes by well-marked trail. After 2 hours, about 5500m you have to cross small glacier (one bigger crevasse), after which we go back climbing on rocky trail reaching small pass with prayer flags on main ridge – 5920m. There is only 200m more from there to the summit.
Views from the snowy summit are stunning: Kang Yatze, highest Ladakh peaks – seven thousand-ers Nun and Kun, K2 and Nanga Parbat in Pakistan and Mount Kaliash – sacred Tibetan peak.
Whole summit trip took us about 9 hours. You can continue going down the same day, Stok can be reached in about 4 hours. From there taxi to Leh should cost about 600 INR, it’s also possible to catch the public bus going two times via the village, at 9.00 and 17.30 (cost: 23 INR).
|Day 1||13km||9h||3600 – 4960 (1670m gain)||Stok village – Markanmo Camp – Stok Kangri BC|
|Day 2||3.5km||4h||4960 – 5778 (860m gain)||Acclimatization on Golep Kangri|
|Day 3||10km||9h||4960 – 6142 (1390m gain)||Summit day on Stok Kangri|
|Day 4||13km||4h||4960 – 3600 (400m gain)||Stok Kangri BC – Stok village|