About the challenge
The Himalayas provides some of the most beautiful and rewarding mountain trekking in the world, Ladakh is home to rare wildlife including the elusive snow leopard, with sweeping high altitude plains dotted with small villages and ancient monasteries, or gompas there is much to take in. Stok Kangri is one of the ‘easiest’ 6000m peaks in the world, in that it does not require technical climbing experience, it does, however, require good physical fitness, and unwavering determination and self-belief! We spend time acclimatising in Leh, a friendly and picturesque Buddhist town, before trekking through remote villages and over high passes to Base Camp and our night-time ascent of Stok Kangri (6153m), where we should be rewarded with sunrise views over the Himalayas and Karakoram Mountains.
Part payment option available with this challenge
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|14 Aug 2017||14||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4250||Or||£1900||Book now|
Days 1-3: Fly to Delhi and Leh, time to acclimatise
Days 4-5: Acclimatisation walks visiting monasteries and hilltop palaces
Days 6-9: Trek through rugged, remote canyons, plans and high passes (4900m), with villages and Buddhist shrines
Days 10-14: Trek to Stok Kangri Base Camp, strenuous summit (6153m) and beautiful walk out; return to Leh to explore, fly home via Delhi
What makes it extreme?
Tough summit day to 6000m peak
Trek to Base Camp can be stand-alone challenge
Acclimatisation days built in
Spectacular Himalayan panoramas
Camping while trekking
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The cost includes all accommodation as well as all flights and transport; camping equipment (except sleeping bag and sleeping mat); all meals except three as specified in the itinerary, and entrance to any sites visited as part of the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks, and pack-pony handlers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes charged by the airline (capped at £225 by Discover Adventure), three meals as specified, tip for local crew, or your entry visa. It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Jet Airways. However, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
We camp when trekking for 6 nights and stay in hotels for 6 nights. We usually camp in two-man tents and have a communal dining area, great views and a sunset bar! Hotel accommodation is on a twin-share basis; rooms are comfortable and clean with private facilities, but standards may vary between hotels. Please do not expect the same standards as a tourist hotel in the UK - it may be better in some ways and more basic in others!
The food is great and there is plenty of it – expect meals to be local in style, and varied. Three meals as detailed in the itinerary are not included.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Vegetarianism is well-respected in India and there is usually plenty of choice. If you have other requirements, there may not be as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size) – who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, cooks and pack-pony handlers. The local guides will be experienced on the mountain. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers and cooks do not always speak English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your ride. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! See ‘Costs in India’ above for a guideline amount; your leader will let you know if there is any change to this guideline. All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is far below what you might spend on a normal night out.
Vehicles take us to the start of the trek and pick us up at the end. Ponies are with the group when trekking; all luggage, spares, food and water is carried by them. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, mobile extensive medical kit, first-aid kits and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate.
Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
Our route takes us across arid and remote mountain country; paths are generally well-defined though dusty at times. We trek through open landscapes, enclosed rocky gorges and over high passes. The landscape is quite dry and barren though often green and cultivated near villages. Despite this, there are some river and stream crossings. There are many ascents and descents, some of them steep. This trek requires good fitness, even without taking the altitude into account. On the summit day, we walk over rocks and scree, which may be icy, and some snow. There is also a glacier crossing. Depending on conditions we will use crampons and ice-axes and take safety ropes; you will have a chance to familiarise yourself with these at Base Camp.
Stok Kangri is a mountain summit accessible to trekkers, and requires no technical climbing skills. This does not mean it is easy! We recommend that trekkers have previous trekking experience at high altitudes, and preferably some experience with crampons to give you an idea of what to expect. The trek to Stok Kangri Base Camp is demanding in itself, mainly because of the altitude, and you should have a good level of fitness to cope with the demands involved. The trek is designed to allow for good acclimatisation to the altitude, trekking higher than we sleep at important stages. Symptoms of being at altitude include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Altitude affects people differently and being super-fit is no guarantee of being less likely to feel the effects. Despite the steady acclimatisation allowed by the itinerary, not everybody who attempts the summit of Stok Kangri succeeds. Where a participant is suffering from the effects of altitude, it may be necessary to walk them back down the mountain. There will be more information about altitude in the information pack we send you upon booking. Anyone not wishing to attempt the summit climb can take an alternative walk from Base Camp to the foot of the glacier. We will always take safety into consideration and reserve the right to change the itinerary on that basis. We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
Temperatures should be hot and sunny in Leh (it can be as warm as 30°C) and the lower valleys; it generally gets cooler as we gain elevation, though it is not unusual to be very warm at Base Camp. Night-time temperatures on summit day can be between 0°C and -6°C. Rain is a possibility, though not common. The weather can change quickly in the mountains, and you will need good kit to keep you cool or warm as appropriate. We should be prepared for anything!
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through remote areas where we could be exposed to difficult conditions at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it should be valid for at least six months after departure from India. There is also a visa requirement for UK citizens; visas should be obtained in advance details can be found via the High Commission of India in London or you can check online with Visa Machine via our website.
Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Malaria is not present at the elevations we trek at. You should always check with your GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you! Our experienced tour leaders and local crew will help bridge the cultural gap; take advantage of their knowledge so you can come away with an understanding of a new culture as well as the achievement of completing a challenging adventure.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We actively encourage all our customers to offset any emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.