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Gongmaru La - bad weather

River crossing

Difficult bridge

Off season trek

Stok Kangri camping

 
 

More about trekking

 

Weather

 

We often get asked about weather. Mountain weather in Ladakh, like elsewhere in the world, is unpredictable, and it can snow at any time of year on the high passes, even in July and August. Rain can occur any time, but there is no monsoon season. However, it is much more likely to snow if trekking early or late in the season, both on the high passes and lower down.

 

Anyone trekking in May-June or September-October must be prepared for winter conditions throughout the trek (excludes the Sham trek). Treks normally rated moderate or difficult may become challenging. Bring layers, waterproof jackets and trousers, and gaiters. Trekking poles are strongly recommended. You may feel annoyed if you have bought or hired equipment that you then do not use on the trek, but this is preferable to encountering bad weather and challenging conditions and not having the appropriate equipment. Be prepared for daytime temperatures that may be as high as 10C if sunny or as low as -10C if cloudy and/or above 4,000m, while night time temperatures may go as low as -20C especially above 4,000m.


Trekking season

 

The main trekking season in Ladakh runs from mid-June to mid-September. It is not possible to predict in advance exactly when each trekking route that crosses high passes will open or close. While Jingchen to Chilling has a winter route, other treks do not. If you decide to book a trek that crosses high passes in mid-May to mid-June or mid-September to October, please be prepared to change to a lower-level trek such as the Sham trek or Jingchen to Chilling, or a combination of both. If you do not want to do this, we recommend booking a trek between mid-June and mid-September. Our Treks page gives the "normal" trekking months for each route.

 

The easy/moderate Sham trek is possible all year round. However, trekking either early (April-May) or late (October-November) in the season in Sham means you avoid the coldest winter temperatures, as well as the busy summer season, with either few or no other trekkers in sight. Colder temperatures, but often lots of sun during the day, make it ideal trekking weather as Sham receives little or no snow in these months, although it may of course rain at any time! Come prepared with layers and a waterproof jacket. Maximum day time temperatures may be as high as 15C if sunny or as low as -5C if cloudy, while in the evening and night it will be below freezing, down to possibly -10C in November.


Stok Kangri

 

Stok Kangri, at an altitude of 6,150m is a non-technical, but challenging, peak in Ladakh. Ice-axes and crampons are needed, but if you have not used them before then the guide will be able to show you what is required. In August the peak may be snow-free and sometimes in July as well, but there are no guarantees!

 

This trek is for experienced trekkers only and a high level of fitness and stamina are required. You can expect the summit attempt to take 9 - 12 hours. Weather, and/or difficulty with the high altitude, mean that there is of course no guarantee that you will succeed in your summit attempt.

 

It is important to do an acclimatisation trek of at least 5 days before starting the Stok to Stok Kangri section of the trek. Please note that we do not take bookings for Stok Kangri without a prior acclimatisation trek. We also include 2 nights at the Stok Kangri basecamp (5,000m) to allow for an acclimatisation day. For those who find they are already well acclimatised to that altitude, perhaps if they have already stayed at Nimaling, this allows time for 2 possible summit attempts. Please remember that you cannot know in advance how well, or quickly (or slowly), you will acclimatise. Our aim is to maximise your chances for a successful summit.

 

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