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Stok Kangri The Expedition : Day 10 — The Final Ascent

Today would be the first attempt at the summit. We got ready and after dinner everyone had a short nap in their tents before we were called out to our respective groups. Once everyone assembled the first team headed off followed by the others.

Tsering was leading the first group, and they started the trek with prakash leading the way. Bramha was with the second group and we soon started. Rawat was leading the final group. Dambal opted out the final climb and to our suprise vikas had to turn back shortly after the climb began citing shortness of breath. The climb to stok is a direct ascent from the basecamp and there is no descents anywhere. As we go higher the steepness increases.

Bijit was the next to return back after the initial climb and the size of the group in which i was reducing. It was a long walk from the climb to the advanced basecamp and we were moving at a brisk pace while taking small breaks in between.

Couple of hours of walking and we reached the glacier which we had to cross. Out came the crampons and after putting them, we began to walk across the soild ice. There were a couple of places where we had to cross and the helpers who were with us, made it easy by helping us to cross them. The climb continued for couple of hours and as we went higher, the gradient also increased and the pace at which we were climbing was becoming slow.

The path after the glacier was full of rocks and loose stones and vikas at this time was suffering from fatique and had to call it quits. We still had a long way to go and bramha was shouting for us to pick up the pace. It was time to take a break as all climbing was making us feel very tired. Couple of sips of water and the climb began. There were other teams climbing as well and the route was busy. We reached another patch of ice and we had to wear crampons again. Seeing that we were loosing time removing and wearing the crampons bramha asked to leave the crampons on.

It was already 5 hrs since we were climbing and we were yet to approach the ridge. The sun was peaking above the horizon when we reached the ridge after climbing a steep incline. A short break and we could see the summit just a 1000 feet above us. Vibhor had fallen back long way behind and finally managed to catch up with us. We could get a brief glimpseĀ  of K2 and kailash manasasarovar for a brief moment before mist engulfed the place.

The final climb was a bit tricky as we had to negotiate the steep edges and climb carefully. We were roped up to begin the climb. As usual the first batch went ahead and we followed them. Vibhor who was ahead was feeling very tired was constantly taking breaks slowing us down. There were other teams apart from us and everyone were getting delayed. The climb continued at a snail pace and we were almost at the summit when anshul slipped !!!!. Bramha who was just behindhim prevented him from falling thus averting a major disaster !!!!.

Finally after 7 hrs and 15 min of climbing we were on top of stok kangri. It was a joyous moment for everyone. The indian flag was proudly hoisted and we had a couple of group snaps to celebrate the occassion

Atop Stok Kangri

Spending some more time at the summit we decided to head back to camp. The descent was slow as everyone were still roped together. We had stop every couple of steps as the person behind had to descend before we could move ahead. We reached the ridge after stopping numerous breaks. From the ridge we decided to take a shortcut which involved a steep descent on the ice. Again it was slow moving as the loose gravel made it difficult to walk and everyone were slipping in the loose gravel.

We reached the ice after a long and slow descent and those who were new to ice had a nice time slipping and sliding down. Rawat was little annoyed with this and asked us to pick up the pace as we still had a long way to go down. Few of them really had a tough time getting down in the ice and after quite a lot of slipping and sliding we managed to reach the bottom. Everyone were tired and we still had to cross the glacier and the advanced base camp. Few of us took a brief power nap before moving ahead. During the descent we could get the enormity of the climb we had done at night. It looked like a never ending walk back to the basecamp.

The glacier was crossed and the next target was the advanced basecamp. The walk to the basecamp was quite a long way and our tired bodies had to be pushed little more till we reached the basecamp. Finally after 13 hrs of trekking we managed got back to the basecamp thus completing a successful ascent to the summit. Energy drinks were consumed and we hit the sleeping bags immediately as our tired bodies needed some well deserved rest

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About Subbu
Name: Subbu Interests : Trekking,travelling Hobbies: Photography

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