Hi, The trip notes for this trip give good detail of what to expect and the experience and kit you will need. For anyone wishing to make the ascent, previous experience using ice axe and crampons and walking in a rope team is necessary; it is not possible to learn the skills whilst on this trip. If you have any other questions please feel free to call and speak to one of our trekking experts. Best wishes, Katherine
Hello, I'm considering this trip for next year and have noticed a discrepancy on the website in relation to the same question posed by 'DAllan' above regarding necessary experience. I chatted online to an Exodus agent earlier today, and she just reiterated the same misleading statement under the trip notes.
The trip notes state:
"The trek culminates with the ascent of Stok Kangri from a base camp. The ascent is optional and fairly non-technical, and requires strong lungs and a good deal of will power. For anyone wishing to make the ascent, previous experience using ice axe and crampons and walking in a rope team is necessary; it is not possible to learn the skills whilst on this trip."
BUT under the FAQ section, one of the Exodus staff has stated the following:
Do I need previous experience of using an ice axe and crampons for Stok Kangri?
Previous experience is not essential but it's highly recommended. The group leaders will run through the basic techniques on how to use the equipment when you reach the Stok Kangri Base Camp.
Olly Leicester - Sales
The inconsistent information on the website is rather misleading. I too have trekked to high altitude previously, but never used an ice axe or crampons before. Most other adventure holiday companies offering this trip insist that no previous technical experience is required. Can anyone clarify the above discrepancy, please?
I am very sorry about this discrepancy, thanks for pointing it out to us.
A few years ago, when Olly did this trip, we stated that previous experience wasn't needed. Since that time we reviewed the health and safety on this trip, along with the risk assessment, and have concluded that we would prefer clients to have some experience with ice axe and crampons.
Best wishes, Katherine
Many thanks for clarifying - that makes sense now.
Just a final question I'd like to ask, please: in light of your revised health and safety "preference" that clients have some experience of using an ice axe/crampons, what would happen if I were to turn up on this trip without any knowledge of using the equipment? Would the group leaders still run through the basic techniques?
Thanks in advance for your help!
As stated we do require passengers, who want to attempt the summit day, to have this experience previously. The main reason for this is that there isn't sufficient time on the mountain to teach these skills. If a client doens't display the necessary skills then there is the possability that they will be asked not to partake on the summit attempt, this is for the safety of the client and the rest of the group.
Many thanks, Katherine
I did this one last September. I would say that experience in basic mountaineering skills are necessary for the summit day. (A bit like Munro bagging in winter). However, even without the summit day, the trek to base camp is worthwhile in it's own right. It's a terrific trip.
Hope this helps. Happy to answer any questions.
Thanks for your comments. Did you need special mountaineering boots for this trip?
Yep, you'll need a pair of mountain boots for the summit day. I use a pair of Scarpa Vega plastics.
Hi all, thanks for the info!
Tim, I noted that you used plastic boots on the climb. Did you find plastics on the climb essential (ie is there any icewall climbing or toeing involved). Just curious. I've got a pair of Scarpa plastics but I just picked up a pair of all season Scarpa backpacking boots that fit the criteria in the Trip Notes for this climb. I did Ararat with similar boots and crampons.
Also, does anyone have leads on outfitters in Ladakh for ice axes, harnesses and helmets? Just deciding whether to bring the stuff with me or cut down on the luggage and rent it there.
Hi, I am Valerie and am leading the 20th July departure this summer. Just returned from a trek in Nepal and only just caught up with the conversation. I have led Stok Kangri more than 20 times before. It is a technically easy mountain but usually requires the use of ice axe and crampons. We recommend previous experience due to the fact that it makes you more confident and also there is no snow at base camp to practice and not much time so usually we just go through the basics. Since last year we have been roping up along the ridge. A weekend course in ice axe and crampon use and walking roped up will make you more confident. Stok Kangri is technically easy but there is no fixed rope and the ridge is loose rock and you need to be confident on that kind of terrain.
Re boots - good stiff 4 season waterproof boots are fine that take crampons. There is usually no snow for the first 2/3 hours and plastics are heavy and difficult to walk in and I would not really recommend them.
Re hiring equipment. Ice axes and crampons can be found in Leh but not brilliant quality. Helmet and harness you will not find any good ones in Leh to hire.I suggest looking on ebay. We have a local agent in Leh who has some crampons and ice axes but they are not brilliantr quality.
Summit day starts with a walk up a gravel slope for 1 hour and then 2 hours up and down on a gravel (sometimes snow covered) path. Then 30mins across an easy glacier. Then we normally put crampons on after that and there is a steep climb in snow or sometimes on rock if no snow for about 1hr and then a 1hr traverse to the ridge. Here we rope up and then its 1.5/2hrs to the summit.
We keep the crampons on usually on the ridge as it is a mixture of snow and loose rock.
For safety we recommend clients can use ice axe and crampons and walk roped up.
If anyone has any more queries please feel free to post. I will be away 23 April to 18 May otherwsie I can answer to posts
Its a great trek - we use a good off the beaten track trek for acclimatisation and the first 4 days of the trek you hardly see other trekkers. Palam Peak and the Kang La are great for acclimatisation.
I should have qualified my statement about the Scarpa Vegas. They are the only mountain boots I own so there was no choice in the matter.
I agree with Valerie about the quality of the hire gear. It's not brilliant so I prefer to take my own.
The trek itself is fantastic. The scenery is very impressive and we didn't see any other trekkers until we got to base camp (a big plus as far as I'm concerned).
I am now doing the Ladakh trip but to the Markha valley instead- with Valerie on 6th July. Valerie- I am really looking forward to meeting you and to the trip. I felt the Stob Kangri was a bit tough for me- maybe one day when I am a bit fitter and reading the comments am glad I have made the choice now.
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