Markha valley and ascent of Stok Kangri - August 2006


Page   1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10


Day 18 - Return to Stok village and Leh

You can return from Stok Kangri base camp to the village of Stok (and on to Leh by car or truck) in one day. As it turned out it was a wet day again and the sky over the mountain looked black. I was glad not to have to climb the summit today.

Our last day of walking was nice, a little melancholic because of the weather but also knowing that we were leaving the next day. The landscape was pretty magic, out of a fairytale book....just look at some of the photos on the right.

The walk was not so straightforward as the river was still high in places and forced us at times to scramble into the cliffs to avoid having to wade into the stream. Fortunately, the waters were not too high for the horses.

Eventually, after about 5 hours Stok came into sight and we arrived, loaded our gear onto a truck and had a final heavy downpour before getting into a car and driving over to Leh.




Our tents and the ridge that we'll have to climb tomorrow morning


The ridge leading to Stok Kangri



My son Lukas communing with the marmots



Communing marmot



My son and Bhim, our sirdar, posing under a rock spire


Looking up valley



A small camp dwarfed by the surrounding hills


The high river which had destroyed the path forced us to climb into the cliff from time to time



Arriving at Stok village


Loading gear on to the truck


Day 19 - Off to Delhi

It was still grey and damp on the morning we left for Delhi. Obviously monsoon was not going to stop soon. Strangely enough, we got one last view of the Markha valley from the air.


Prayer flags on the summit


Markha valley from the plane


Summit considerations for Stok Kangri

Under normal circumstances the summit of Stok Kangri may not even require crampons in summer. It may just be a walk on rock, a tough walk because of the altitude (and 6120m IS high) but only a walk.
In summer 2006 (and at any time out of the summer months it will be the same) we encountered snow and ice and needed crampons and an ice axe (and of course you will also need to know how to use them). Additionally because some parts are very exposed (the north face is a vertical drop) and you are walking along a narrow ridge using a rope (and knowing how to) is very advisable.

Bear in mind that this "easy" mountain is 1300m higher than Mont Blanc, the highest summit in Europe.


Stok Kangri north face


Back to index


Page   1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10