Solo trek to Stok Kangri advisable?

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#1 May 17th, 2011, 18:02
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#1
Hi, I've read almost all the threads about Stok Kangri on IM and googled extensively to understand the difficulty level of the climb. So I understand that it is not a "technical" climb but still it could be difficult owing to the altitude and many climbers had to return without reaching the summit. I've done several treks, but this is my first high altitude trek. I'm planning for an overall duration of around 10 days. My friends are willing to accompany me till Leh and they'll do some sight seeing around for about 5-6 days when I plan to trek. Is it advisable to go solo on this one? I mean with a porter and a pony? Or do you think I will be better off going with a group once I reach Leh, if such tagging along at the last moment is possible (I think that would bring down the expenses too). Keeping in mind that I want to increase the chances of making it to the summit, what do you advise?
#2 May 17th, 2011, 18:58
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#2
When do you plan to do it? We ( I and a friend of mine) are going to do it in mid July. We are trying to form a group of good number of people to bring down the costs. If you could join us, it will be great.
-Sushant.
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#3 May 17th, 2011, 20:53
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#3
Keep us updated about your expedition as am also planning in august starting

Regards

Sunny
#4 May 18th, 2011, 00:27
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Solo trek to Stok Kangri advisable?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaingoat33 View Post I've done several treks, but this is my first high altitude trek .....
NO!
Don't try it alone. A situation may arise where there would be no one to assist you.

Try other treks like the Markha Valey that you can do alone - it is a well used trail with several trekkers on it daily, during the season.
#5 May 18th, 2011, 02:43
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No! never do this sort of stuff solo unless you are a real mountaineer and even then can walk several km with a sprained ankle.
If you do it with a competant guide porter then you are not doing it solo at all - as long as you can trust them. If not then you are relying on the kindness of strangers - who may or may not be there...........
If you have no experience of high altitude dont do it as a first time.As meeone says markha is better, check other threads for other choices. Dont be blinded by achieving summits, its the journey that counts. Cliche but true.
enjoy
#6 May 19th, 2011, 15:54
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#6
Thanks Meeone and captain for the advice. Earlier I was thinking of June end but after quite a bit of IM and googling realized that July is the best time, especially if you are not experienced.

Sushant, can you let me know your tentative dates?

Sunnykashmir, I think August is too late though I can understand that you'll get to club your holiday with a long weekend. July not possible?
#7 May 19th, 2011, 16:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaingoat33 View Post Sushant, can you let me know your tentative dates?
Our dates are pretty much fixed now. We plan to travel between 16 July - 31 July. This includes our journey from Pune - Leh.
Let me know if the dates are suitable for you.
#8 May 24th, 2011, 17:57
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If you want to maximize your success acclimatize. That is by far the biggest component on whether or not you will reach the summit. I always recommend doing another trek first rather than trying to acclimatize along the trek to the base camp, which is really a one day trek stretched into 2-3. If you can't squeeze a trek in then an overnight stay at Pangon or Tso Moriri will help a lot as well. If you can't swing that either I would do it in 5 days starting from Zingchen, and going over the Stok La. Day one Rumbuk (homestay), day two one of the campsites on the way to the base camp (after the Stok La), day three base camp, day 4 summit, day 5 back to Leh or if the weather is bad on day 4 or you are not feeling 100% wait and do the summit on day 5 and go back to Leh the same day.

It will be difficult for you to hire just one pony yourself during the peak season since ponymen are paid by the pony so obviously they prefer groups where they can take more ponies and make more money for the same work.

Given your limited high altitude experience and limited time frame I probably wouldn't recommend you do it solo meaning backpacker style carrying your own gear guiding yourself. But if you had a group of a few people who wanted to do it this way you could manage, but with a group you could also more likely be able to hire ponies. So self organizing is an alternative to trekking agencies. There are tea tents where you can get some limited food during the season but it would be best to bring food and you will need something for lunches anyway but you don't necessarily need a stove. I brought soups with me the second time I climbed it and bread and had the tea tent boil some water for me and mixed it with noodles. But both times I did it did it quick 2 days so I didn't have to carry as much but I was very well acclimatized, once solo, second time guided my sister and her husband. I can't emphasize enough acclimatization.
#9 May 26th, 2011, 18:45
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#9
Hello everyone,
My girlfriend and I are planning to do the Stok Kangri around 20-21 August, starting from Leh. We will already have spent 10 days around Kashmir & Ladakh region, including a trip to the Gangabal lake near Sonmarg, so I think that will do for acclimatization.
As for how we are going to do it, I'm thinking small group (<10 ppl) ponies and cook.
I suppose that's what most operators will be offering, so any idea on the price?

Anybody interested in forming a group around these days please let me know.
#10 May 26th, 2011, 20:07
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#10
Not sure about the charges these days - a couple of years ago I was charged Rs 2700/day for 9 days. That included 4 pack horses, horseman and a cook/guide, plus all provisions and the kitchen tent. It also included transport to and from the trek start/end points. Went alone.

More people means more supplies and more pack horses, but the overall cost per person would be lower.
#11 May 27th, 2011, 16:12
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#11
I inquired some organizations and minimum was 4000 per day per person if there are two people. for a group of 4, they charge 3500 Rs.
This was for Stok Kangri.
Markha valley trek calculation differ little bit I guess.
#12 May 27th, 2011, 19:09
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#12
Rs 4000/day seems to be on the higher side. Spend a few days in Leh and organize the pack animals and horseman yourself. The prices should be around Rs 300-400/day plus 300 for the horseman. Arrange for a cook, buy provisions, hire a kitchen tent and you are ready to go. For two people you require 4 horses, who will also carry their animal fodder.

The only flipside is that most pack horses are booked by the travel agencies during season. However, some come from Manali and would be returning empty from Sham Sumdo and Spituk. You could talk to them.
#13 May 27th, 2011, 19:28
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#13
That's nice idea but is that easy to manage once we reach there. We have limited time in Ladakh. Where can we contact these people?
What about guide? Because we both are doing Himalayan trek first time.
#14 May 27th, 2011, 19:48
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Talk to some agents in Manali. They should be reasonable.
You may call up Ajaz Radhu the proprietor of Tso Moriri Travels 91-9419178029, 9906991272 and get a second opinion/quote. He had organized my trip in 2008.
#15 May 28th, 2011, 10:34
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by patilsushant001 View Post That's nice idea but is that easy to manage once we reach there. We have limited time in Ladakh. Where can we contact these people?
What about guide? Because we both are doing Himalayan trek first time.
hi,

im arriving in delhi on 14th July. would like to join you guys in stok kangri.
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