Menthok Kangri

A fine peak and superb trekking from Spiti to Karzok; 6085m / Grade 1A

Menthok is the perfect objective, for trekkers without climbing experience who wish to summit their first Himalayan peak. Situated in the fascinating region of Rupshu, this high and arid landscape has captured the imagination of travellers since it unlocked its doors for visitors. The expedition travels through remote valleys, scattered high villages, and past hilltop monasteries to the base of the mountain.

Duration: 24 days
Best time: July to mid September
Highest Point on trek: Prang La (5490m)
Menthok Top: 6085m
Base Camp: 5420m
Technical difficulty: Low-angle snow or straightforward scrambling on rocks; ropes/crampons are usually required; previous climbing experience is not essential
Discovery Jouneys Fitness: should be fit; average rucksack weight 5-6kg

To join the Menthok expedition you need the following specialist equipment: Ice Axe, Crampons, Harness, Plastic or Leather Mountaineering Boots, 3/4 Season Sleeping Bag

Expedition Itinerary

DAY 1, Arrive Delhi:
Upon arrival at Delhi’s International airport, garland welcome and transfer to pre-booked hotel; morning free. Afternoon visit to the 16th century Mughal City of Shahjahanabad: visit Red Fort, Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 2, Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali:
Early morning transfer to railway station for Express train to Chandigarh. Arrive Chandigarh and then continue to Manali, through river valleys and villages by road (about 9-10hrs). Overnight in hotel.

DAY 3, Manali:
Morning free. Afternoon sightseeing tour around Manali: visit Hadimba Devi Temple set in dense forests, dedicated to a local deity. Later visit Vashisht hot sulphur springs. We will also visit the colourful local bazaar. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 4, Manali – Kaza:
Early morning drive about 10hrs into remote Spiti valley, crossing over Kunzum La (4551m), with spectacular views on the way. We descend into Spiti valley over a rough road, to our campsite at Kaza. Overnight in camp.

DAY 5, Kaza – Tabo – Kaza:
After early breakfast we set off for a full day excursion of Spiti valley visiting the millennium-old Tabo monastery often known as the “The Ajanta of the Himalayas”. Later retrace out steps to Kaza; en route visit Dhankar monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the valley. Arrive at our camp. Overnight in camp.

DAY 6, Kaza – Kibber – Dumla (trek):
Morning visit to Kye monastery and afternoon drive to the village of Kibber (4205m), from where we begin our 3hrs easy trek to Dumla; we pitch tents near a shepherd camp. Overnight in camp.

DAY 7, Dumla – Thaltak:
After breakfast trek 5hrs to the beautiful meadow of Thaltak (4790m). Today we ascend gradually to our next camp. The campsite is laden with beautiful wild flowers, and if lucky we may even spot a Bharal (Blue Sheep), and the elusive Snow Leopard. Overnight in camp.

DAY 8, Thaltak – Parang La base:
Today’s hike brings us to the base of Parang La (about 5hrs), our camp for the day. This is an important day to get acclimatised. Overnight in camp.

DAY 9, Base of Parang – Parang la – Dak Karzong:
We start an early ascent to Parang La (5490m): a steep 3hrs trek to the top. Under normal conditions, we will cross low angle scree and snow on the Spiti side of the pass. The views are spectacular from the pass. The Chang Tang side of the pass is glaciated and we will need to rope up as a safety measure on our descent. Below the pass, as we descend, there is a crevassed region, which we avoid by way of a detour on the right hand side to a moraine, which permits a fast descent to the valley floor. After a 2hr descent, we reach the first water on the north side of the pass – the source of Pare Chu (stream). We cross the stream over a snow bridge. After crossing the pass, the landscape changes dramatically and we now find ourselves walking in the broad valley of the Pare Chu. We camp at Dak Karzong (4860m). Overnight in camp.

DAY 10, Dak Karzong – Dating Yokma:
After breakfast we start a gradual descent, trekking on the open flood plain of the Pare Chhu. This area supports a plethora of flora & fauna. After 5hrs trekking we reach our camp at Dating Yokma (4640m). Overnight in camp.

DAY 11, Dating Yokma – Racholamo:
We start our 5hr trek along the Pare Chhu to our campsite at Racholamo (4200m). Overnight in camp.

DAY 12, Racholamo – Chumik Shilde:
After breakfast, we trek about 6hrs to the next campsite at Chumik Shilde (4330m). Overnight in camp.

DAY 13, Chumik Shilde – Kiangdam:
Today we trek through a broad valley until we arrive at the southern end of Tso Morari Lake, where we camp at Kiangdam (4435m). The barren hills support a sparse population of birds and other wildlife. Overnight in camp.

DAY 14, Kiangdam – Tso Morari – Karzok:
A long and beautiful walk along the lake, leads us to the pretty village of Karzok (4350m); its dozen or so houses and a gompa, appear like an oasis set in barren hills. It is the only permanent settlement in Rupshu. Overnight in camp.

DAY 15, Karzok:
A day to explore this beautiful place and to meet nomadic Chang Pa herdsman. The few barley fields at Karzok must be among the highest cultivated lands in the world. Overnight in camp.

DAY 16, Karzok – Base Camp:
After breakfast a gradual trek brings us to the Base Camp (5420m) of Menthok. We pitch our camp for three nights. Trek: 5-6hrs; overnight in camp.

DAY 17, Rest day:
Rest day and time for final preparations. The expedition leader checks the route, while the team further acclimatises by taking short walks around the base camp. Overnight in camp.

DAY 18, Summit day:
Our summit day begins before dawn, to give us ample time for the climb. It is most likely that we may not need crampons for the most part, as we scramble over loose scree and boulders, which lead up to the top. Most of the ridge is like a steep path so ropes are not usually necessary, although some scrambling is required. At an altitude approaching 6000m it is extremely tiring; therefore, anybody may use a rope if feels the need for it. The summit is a superb reward for all the sweat, providing magnificent views in every direction. We return to base camp. The evening meal will be accompanied by a wee dram to celebrate the occasion! Overnight in camp.

DAY 19, Base camp – Karzok – Leh:
After early breakfast, we trek back to road head at Karzok, where our jeeps will be waiting to drive us to Leh (the capital of Ladakh). The drive is long and bumpy via the beautiful village of Chumathang, with the road snaking its way through gorges between the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges. In the evening we arrive at Leh to the comforts of a Ladakhi-style hotel for three nights. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 20, Leh:
Morning is free: afternoon visit to Leh Palace; Shankar Gompa; and the colourful Tibetan bazaar, selling exotic jewellery and Tibetan objet d’art. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 21, Leh:
Sightseeing trip to Hemis, Tiksey and Shey gompas. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 22, Leh – Delhi – Agra:
We take an hour-long spectacular flight over the Himalayas to Delhi; on arrival, drive about 4hrs to Agra. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 23, Agra – Delhi:
Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal and the magnificent Agra Fort; set off for Delhi after breakfast. Arrive Delhi where we have two rooms for wash and change at airport hotel Ashok country resort. Late night transfer to International Airport.

DAY 24, Depart Delhi:
Flight to home country.

WE WILL PROVIDE: Alpine-style or dome-shaped double-flap waterproof tents, with thick waterproof ground sheet and enough room for your wet / muddy shoes; toilet tent; kitchen tent; thick foam mattresses; all eating and cooking utensils; all food during trekking; a general medical kit