Its been almost 4 years to my visit to Kashmir-Leh for my trek to Stok Kangri. Those 2 weeks would change the way I trek forever. And even after 4 years th0se memories are vivid, the experiences livid. So let's try to recall exactly what and how it happened...
When it came to exploring around I always used to tag along with Anoop. So when Anoop called up one fine evening that they were planning to trek in Ladakh, without a moment's hesitation I said, "YES"! And I was in even before I did any research on the place or trek. It was simple. Work was taking its toll on me and I just wanted to go, away. So all the hard work was done by Anoop, and I, as usual just made the payment.
We decided to go with Trek The Himalayas for this trek. I made my ticket plans quickly. Trek starts on 9th August 2014. I still didn't have any clue about the trek though! I started to browse through videos and blogs on Youtube and Google respectively. When I saw the first video my jaw dropped. I mean, am I suppose to attempt something like THIS? This is difficult dude! I mean, what was I even thinking before saying YES! Damn!!
Frankly, I felt that was the stupidest thing to do; going on a trek with the remotest idea. And as it turns out it is one of the most challenging trek in India. Can't do anything much about it, can we? Better start preparing. So apart from my everyday cycling to work I also started with running sessions in the evening, and football twice a week. At the same time I started to gather the equipment and apparels as well. This is not one of your run-off-the-mill trek. At 20,000 ft (6,100 m) Stok Kangri is arguably one of the toughest trek in India which can be climbed without any technical support or equipments. In fact Stok Kangri is the highest non technical trek-able mountain in India. Organizers always advice trekkers to attempt ONLY if they have done a 14,000+ ft trek before.
On the other hand I was fascinated about the prospects of trekking in Ladakh and being lost in the Himalayas. I always read adventure filled posts and blogs and drooled seeing the pics. So, one hand I was scared and skeptical, and on the other I was equally excited to be in the laps of Himalayas. And having said that I couldn't wait for August to come any sooner. Time passed and travel dates were near. Anoop introduced me to his trekking friends Hemanth and Harish. I would fly to Srinagar on 7th August along with Hemanth and Harish on an early morning flight to Srinagar. And then rendezvous with Anoop there itself at the Srinagar Airport.