A Flickr user emailed me asking for details about climbing Stok Kangri (~20,000 ft) in Ladakh, which I did back in 9/2004. Rather than email him directly, I figured I'd post about it here in case the info is useful to anybody else on the web.
How difficult was the trek? Altitude was the worst part for me, but our climb was entirely non-technical (just lots of scree). We packed crampons/ropes/iceaxes just in case, but didn't end up needing them. We'd already spent 6 days trekking in the Nubra Valley and then 6 days doing Stok Kangri, so we were well-acclimated when we summited.
What was the weather like? We had spectacular weather the whole time we trekked, but we were lucky. This'll be different for everybody though. Be sure to read Into Thin Air (article -> book), or better yet listen to it, before you go. ;)
What were the costs involved? My friend Zach led our small group (4 including him) on the trek, and organized all our transport inside India, as well as porters/food/etc. All the details are on his site (which is fortunately still available via the awesome Wayback Machine).
Can you do it without a trekking company? Probably, but I'd only recommend this if you're a super-experienced climber/trekker.
A miscellaneous tidbit: Blow the water out of your camelbak/platypus tube each night before bed! Otherwise it'll likely be frozen when you start trekking in the morning. ;)
Nubra Valley photos:
Stok Kangri photos
1 day ago