There are some trekking trails that look easy and rewards you with a fascinating experience, then there are some trails that despite being extremely tough and challenging is highly popular among the travellers. The Stok Kangri Trekking trail is one such that poses a lot of hurdles and challenges along the way but rewards you with an unmatched and unforgettable experience. An ideal adventurist’s destination, Stok Kangri is raw and elegant. The trail fights with your body making it weak and hectic. The journey challenges you psychologically and any Trekker at least one point in the journey consider Stok Kangri as a regretting decision.
Back in the August of last year, I decided to try and attempt this unforgiving journey. After a thorough research, I was quite clear about the fact, that the trail will give me jitters but my relentless soul was crying for a thrill and knew no boundaries. Till date I consider the Stok Kangri as the toughest trail I have ever encountered. The surroundings were dark and filled with mystery. The thinning oxygen all along the way was a persistent threat and the trail became worse with each minute.
But Stok Kangri has presented me with something that I can never forget. The journey has satisfied my quench for adventure. Through the tits and bits of the rough terrain, as I made my way to the top, I could not help but stare endlessly at the undivided and picturesque beauty of nature. The widespread valley below looked impeccable and as long as my eyes could stare, I saw pure bliss. Vivid landscapes surrounded me in all direction and were basking in the true glory of nature. That day I realized that a tough experience delivers the sweetest result.
The Stok Kangri Journey was of 6 days duration and these 6 days has changed my outlook towards life. I have witnessed enchanting destinations all throughout the journey starting from Leh.
An enjoyable ride 15 km away from Leh led me to the beautiful Stok Village which was also the starting point of the remarkable journey. Most parts of the trail ran along the Stok River surrounding with hillocks on either side till I reached my first campsite Chang Ma.
I tried to explore whole of the artistic setting of Chang Ma before heading out on the following day to Manokarma at 14200 ft. Manokarma resembled Chang Ma in mostly all dimensions and the rugged landscape of the region in every direction looked astounding. I had the best stargazing experience at Manokarma and my undying passion towards stargazing was well met.
The third day of the trek was an unforgettable journey traversing through this cold desert to the Stok Kangri Base Camp. It was a fun filled walk where I got to witness some really enthralling views of the surroundings. The Sunbeam was piercing through the clear skies and the rugged and brown landscape all around instigated a huge amount of adrenaline rush. As I reached the base camp I did some time exploring the beautiful region and acclimatizing to the rising altitude. The next day was a rest day and the final hike to the Stok Kangri Peak was slated for the night.
A long journey was awaiting, up to the peak and back to the base camp. The walk today was filled with utmost adventure and thrill. The walk began in the endless darkness of the night so that I could get to the top at the perfect time. As I finally got to the top fighting the hardships of the terrain, what I witnessed was beyond words. The majestic Karakoram Range in Pakistan was shining brightly in the clear skies. The glacier below the peak looked beguiling. I was gazing at this incomparable creation of nature under the strong rays of the sun and extremely cold winds. I wasted no time to start my way back as the sun rays were known to do more harm than good. It was along the same trail back to the base camp and from there to the next stop at Manokarma the next day.
The Stok Kangri Trek is known for the harsh terrains and unforgiving weather conditions. But a brave heart with loads of passion can complete this journey happily and attain complete serenity from within. What I witnessed from the top can never be explained in words. The whole journey was beyond my anticipation and my passionate soul thrives to climb it yet again sometime.