Day 1 : Fly to Leh, the capital of Ladakh (3,524m)
Day 2-3 : Exploring the city of Leh (3,350m)
You have two days to relax and stroll around Leh and allow your body to acclimatise. There are plenty of distractions in Leh, varying from scenic and cultural to gastronomic. There are options of visiting the 11th century monastery at Alchi and the famous Khardung La pass (the highest motorable road in the world). Overnight local hotel.
Day 4 : Trek to Shang Phu (4,365m)
In the morning you visit the Thiksey Monastery and then continue to Shang. The walk begins up a stony valley and there are several river crossings en route to Sumdo (3,800m), your first campsite (3 hours walking). The next day you head directly up the valley to Shang Phu at an altitude of 4,365m to complete a total of 5 to 6 hrs walking. Overnight camp.
Day 5 : Cross the Shang La (4,960m)
Today you traverse across spurs and passes through an area that is very rarely visited. It’s a 6 – 7 hour day and the toughest non-summit day of the trip, as you climb 900m to a high point on the Shang La. Following the crossing of the pass you descend to the Tokpo River, then trek downhill to camp at Gangpoche (4,435m).
Day 6 : Trek to Smankarmo (4,380m)
In the morning you cross the Matho La (4,965m) from where you have views of StokKangri and then descend into the valley to the north of Stok Village. This lovely valley is a high and wild area, which is visited only by climbing groups and by the local people. You camp near Shepherds huts at Smankarmo (4,380m) after 4 to 5 hours of walking.
Day 7 : Trek to Stok Kangri base camp (4,980m)
A two hour trek takes you up to the base camp area for Stok Kangri. Overnight camp.
Day 8 : Acclimatisation walk to 5,400m
You spend today walking up towards what used to be Advanced Base Camp (camping here is no longer allowed) before returning to base camp. The walk is on moraine to the edge of the glacier.
Day 9 :
Rest day and time for final preparations
Day 10 : Summit day
Summit day begins well before dawn, to give you ample time for the climb. The nature of the route depends on the snow cover. It is likely that you do not need crampons for the most part as you scramble over scree and boulders, which lead up to the south ridge. The 450m ridge to the summit is exciting and superbly exposed, although never particularly steep. Most of the ridge is like a steep path, so ropes are not usually necessary, although some scrambling is required. The summit is festooned with prayer flags and after enjoying the views, you descend to base camp for the night. This is normally a 12 – 14 hour day.
Day 11 : Trek to Stok from base camp
From base camp you trek directly down the valley towards the village of Stok. This is a delightful walk through a dramatic canyon with amazing red sandstone formations (6 hours). Your transport meets you to take you back to Leh. Overnight hotel.
Day 12 :
Fly Leh to Delhi – Banglore