Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 11 – Summit Day (6,153m)

“Man discovers himself when he measures himself against an obstacle.”- Antoine de St. Exupery

The tent shook and the Sherpas woke me from a fitful slumber. It was time to go! Mr James, Mr James wake up! We go, we go!

The inside of the tent was covered in a thin film of frost and I could hear the light pitter patter of water drops cascading off the canvas, it was raining! That meant only one thing, further up the mountain it was snowing!

I was already fully clothed wrapped in my base layers while I’d been snoozing in my sleeping bag. I now put on my outer layers and checked my rucksack once again which I’d pre packed the night before. Nick my tent companion was going about his business in the same manner, we did not speak as we were both focused on getting kitted up. I tentatively started to unzip the tent to reveal a cold dark and wet night outside.

Continue reading “Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 11 – Summit Day (6,153m)”

Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 10 – Base Camp (4,980m)

Today was spent resting and acclimatising around base camp prior to our ascent. We took the opportunity to take a hike up to a nearby col to the south west which overlooked the camp and would be on the ascent route later that night.

We clambered up to the col with all the same gear on that we would be using for our summit attempt affording us the opportunity to tweak and check that everything was comfortable and working correctly. It was the first outing for my B3 insulated boots so making sure they felt comfortable and that they would not cause me any blisters was important. I checked my insulated hydration bladder was working which it was and made sure my layering set up was warm enough. Continue reading “Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 10 – Base Camp (4,980m)”

Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 9 – Trek to Base Camp (4,980m)

It was just a short trek this morning to reach the base camp for Stok Kangri which sits at an altitude of 4,980m. The route was straight up the valley following everyone else.

Breaking CampWe had now joined paths with the trekkers that came straight up from Stok Village which follows the direct route up the valley. The cheaper and less reputable adventure outfitters, (mainly Indian ones based in Leh it must be said) use this route as it is quicker and cheaper to get up to the base of the mountain. Continue reading “Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 9 – Trek to Base Camp (4,980m)”

Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 8 – Trek across the Matho La Pass (4,965m) to Smankarmo (4,380m)

Today would involve another steady climb, this time up to and over the Matho La Pass  at 4,965m where we would gain our first views of Stok Kangri since leaving Leh. On a clear day just before the pass and if you are lucky you can see the 8,000m Gasherbrum peaks 210 kilometres away in Pakistan! Continue reading “Stok Kangri Expedition – Day 8 – Trek across the Matho La Pass (4,965m) to Smankarmo (4,380m)”