9 days 8 nights
As you know every mountainous excursion demands a precise planning, a planning with adequate pliability of observing and tackling situations, held all as by overcoming mind body and soul throughout the incredible Himalayan journey.
So here are some aspects regarding Hampta Pass Trek preparation:
Physically – A trek demands physical endurance, to prepare for each trek you should work out a month before joining a program. Build up the adequate strength in your legs by running and exercising every day to boost up your endurance. Stop smoking and boost your lungs doing breathing exercises at routine basis two times a day, which will help acclimatize the conditions while being resilient on the trek. Take active part in outdoor games, Yoga and any other cardiac exercises.
Mentally – Mental preparation is key, equally as important as physical training requisite for a trek. Before joining any trek take pleasure in your daily routines, eat well, take rest properly and relax. Do not stress your mind by unnecessary predictions about the trek. Be with your best friends to get motivated and relax your mind. Because pre trek assumptions are not worthy because once you join the trek and meet with rest of the pack will bring encouragement and excitement. The mental preparedness will build through the entire trek conditions. And the physical drawbacks will affect the mind. So pay close attention to various parts of the body and consciously let them loosen up as you trek. When you trek try to relax your body, especially your hips. If you’re on a winding downhill trail or on a panicking slant, think of each step as part of a simple dance and enjoy the natural rhythms that the terrain and your body can find together cautiously. Experiment with different ways of walking as a way of finding enjoyment beyond the goal of reaching a destination. The main key to stay mentally fit is to enjoy the route and not to pressurize the mind.
Technically- Gear up yourself with perfect size trekking shoes and walk with it. Use 60ltr. Backpack in a daily routine with some weight inside it, so you become used to carrying loads. Buy a trekking pole, water bottle, warm socks, thermals, fleece, feather jackets, trousers, poncho, flip flops, electronics such as power bank, camera (DSLR or digital camera).
Day 1: Arrival at Leh
You will be informed about the details of the hotel that you are staying in prior to the trek. Check in to your hotel on the starting day of the trek where you will be received by our trek leader when everyone arrives. There will be a briefing session which will be conducted about all the information you require to climb Stok Kangri. After which you will hand over a photocopy of your photo ID proof, medical form and undertaking form which are required to get the permit. The rest of the day is for you to acclimatize to the altitude and enjoy the local sights of Leh.
Day 2: Acclimatization at Leh
After having tea at your hotel we will begin with our acclimatization walk at 7 am sharp. We will gain altitude by either hiking to Shanti Stupa or Shey palace. Remember to drink loads of water as it helps to acclimatize better and keeps bodily functions normal even in high altitude. After the acclimatization walk you have the rest of the day to explore and finish any kind of last minute shopping which you might require for the trek. We recommend that you visit Khardung La as it is situated above an altitude of 17,500 feet so it will help the body while gaining altitude.
Day 3: Drive from Leh to Stok village then Trek to Chang Ma
The first days of the trek begins today, after having breakfast at our hotel and take our packed lunch which will energize us during the trek. After which we will board our vehicle which will take us to Stok village from where our journey on foot will begin. The initial part of the trek starts with gradual ascent. We will even pass a few stupas on the way. Make sure to always pass from the left side of the stupas as it is considered auspicious according to Buddhist traditions. After an hour of trekking the route diverges into two. One which requires us to climb on top of a pass and then climb back down again and the other takes through the Stok River. We determine which route to take based on the water level of the village. We will break for lunch in between and finally reach our campsite around 3 pm in the afternoon. We will be served tea and snacks at the campsite after which we will depart for our acclimatization walk. It is important for you to move around and acclimatize as we gain altitude during the trek. Overnight stay at Chang Ma campsite.
Day 4: Chang Ma to Mankormo
After morning tea and freshening up we will do a bit of light stretching to warm up for our day ahead. We depart for our trek after breakfast. The initial part of the climb is steep, after which we will reach the top of Chang Ma pass. From there we will descend and join the trail along the Stok river. The color of the river is a mix of purple and brown due to the color of the soil which gets dissolved in it. As we move along the river the trail diverges into two. One going towards Rumbak valley and the other which will take us to Mankormo. The distance of the trek today is not that much but we prefer to gain altitude gradually so that our bodies can acclimatize better. We will be served hot lunch at Mankormo campsite today and then after tea we will go for our acclimatization walk. Overnight stay at Mankormo campsite.
Day 5: Mankormo to Base Camp
We will leave our campsite after having our morning warm up session. The trail will take us along the Stok river and many times we will have to keep crossing the river to move along the mountain. The last bit of the trek is steep and consumes a lot of energy because of the gradient and altitude. The area around the climb is full of Marmots and Pikas which you can hear or sight during the trek. After reaching the campsite we will set camp and have lunch. After tea and snacks in the evening we will leave for our acclimatization walk to the flag point. From there you will be able to see Stok Kangri clear and right in front of you. Take a good glance of the Great Mountain and come back down to the campsite for dinner and rest. Overnight stay at Stok Kangri Base Camp.
Day 6: Acclimatization and Practice
We reserve this day for rest and acclimatization along with practice of techniques that you will be applying while climbing the peak. We will start our day with some Pranayamas or breathing exercises. Our training will commence after breakfast is done. Firstly you will be allotted the equipment like ice axe, crampons, snow boots and helmet. Then we will head for the more difficult slopes where we will practice techniques like roping up, ascending and descending on snow and self arrest in case of fall. We will return and have an early lunch. Try and rest your body as much as you can as the summit push will start late at night and you need to give your very best. The wake call for the evening will be at 9 pm and you will be served porridge, Maggie and coffee before you leave for the summit.
Day 7: Summit Attempt
The day of reckoning has already begun; we leave at 11 pm the previous night. We come to the dining tent, everyone ready with our equipment and all set to leave for the summit. After a quick meal of Maggie, porridge and coffee the trek leader will give his final words of motivation and advice before departing for the summit. The initial part of the route is the same which we took for acclimatization and climb up the steep rocky and dusty path to the flag point. From then onwards the actual techniques required for the successful climb of the mountain begins. We traverse on a 60 degree slope and make our way on the trail and after some careful navigation we reach the point which was originally used as Advance Base camp for the summit attempt. We will take a short break and then move on ahead towards Stok Glacier. This is composed of hard ice and has small crevasses which you need to jump over. Moving ahead the most difficult part of the trek arrives, the 60 degree slope which we will have to zig zag and climb. The long treacherous procedure of climbing can be quite draining so keep your energy and motivation on a positive note and you will be able to conquer this task. After 3 long hours of climbing using the zig zag route we will reach the shoulder of the Stok Kangri welcoming us with prayer flags. From here onwards the route gets very tricky and cautiously maneuvering a route on the narrow ridgeline. With the summit approaching, the ridgeline takes 2 hours to cross. The summit is laden with prayer flags. On a clear day the Karakoram range is visible and if you are lucky then you can spot Mt. K2 as well. We take the same route back to Base camp. Have dinner and take a much needed rest to go back down to Leh.
Day 8: Base Camp to Stoke Village then Drive to Leh
Reliving the route we took to the mountains we take the same route back to Stok village where our vehicles will take us back to civilization and to our hotel where we can enjoy a shower and a warm bed after days of tiresome trekking. Rejoice in the evening with your fellow teammates and trek lead as the trek is officially over and memories to take back and many lessons learnt.
Trekking Shoes: Decent trekking shoes with a good grip and ankle support are required. Carry no sport shoes.
Clothing: Warm garments, such as three-layer coats, fleece, or down feather jackets, are required. Carry one or two full-sleeved t-shirts. Carry cotton and trek pants ideal for trekking for your lowers. For trekking, do not bring jeans or shorts.
Thermals: Keep top and bottom thermals on hand.
Socks: Bring two or three pairs of sports socks, as well as woollen socks to wear at night.
A headlamp/led torch is required.
Sunglasses: To protect yourself from the sun in the snow, you should use UV-protected sunglasses.
Woolen hats and gloves are also recommended due to the cold weather. Carry waterproof gloves because they will become wet in the snow.
Lunchbox & Water Bottle: Each participant should bring their own lunch box, spoon, and water bottle.
Raincoats/ponchos: Snowfall and rain are prevalent at high altitudes, and it is important to carry a poncho to avoid getting wet.
a) Registration Form
b) Medical Certificate (signed by a registered MBBS doctor)
c) NOC form (by trekker)
d) 2 Passport size photos
e) Photocopy of Valid I.D. (PAN is not allowed)