Kang Yatse is an elegant mountain dominating the Markha valley. It has 4 summits. While the main peak - Kang Yatse 1 is a dome with a cornice measuring 6401 meters and is a technical peak. Kang Yatse 2, on the other hand, is a trekking peak with a summit altitude of 6223 meters. The route to its summit is challenging and climbs over the base camp steeply on soft snows and loose rocks. This is one of the highest trekking peaks in the entire belt of the Indian Himalayas, higher than Stok Kangri which is more popular and commercial trek operators has wrongly made it famous as the highest trekking peak of India. Compared to Stok Kangri, it is a little more difficult and longer as well.
Kang Yatse 2nd Peak offers a great chance to climb a 6200-meter peak requiring no mountaineering skills at all, though having it helps. The peak of Kang Yatse dominates the Markha Valley with its elegant presence and stands apart distinctively from its other surrounding peaks, few of which are also over 6000 meters high. It can be taken as your introduction to mountaineering skills which is very much required to climb higher and deeper in the Himalayas. The altitude, terrain, gradient of the climb, snow conditions and cold presents enough challenge even to the fittest and experienced trekkers. Kang Yatse being a lesser-known peak and remote, it offers a great raw experience of the Ladakh Himalayas - The Mystical Land Of High Passes.
If you ask us to suggest the best climbing and trekking adventure in Ladakh, we would keep Kang Yatse on top of the list.. not just because it is one of the most elegant looking mountains in the Himalayas, but climbing it also offers a high adventure quotient compared to the otherwise popular Stok Kangri
Approach March to The Base Camp via The Markha Valley
The approach to this gem begins from Chilling and a trek through the Markha Valley. It passes by some of the oldest and remotest villages of Skiu, Markha and Hankar. These villages are some of the historical villages, not only of Ladakh but also of India - a part of the ancient Silk Route and also the Indus Valley Civilization. The fertile land is further turned into a rich agricultural valley by the sheer determination and hard work of the dwelling locals.
On the approach march to the base of Kang Yatse, we come across local villagers living in this beautiful abode. Talking to them gives an enlightening perspective to your thought process. As soon as you leave the Markha campsite and walk towards Hankar, the peak of Kang Yatse is seen for the first time and right away, it starts dominating not just the valley, but also your mind and eyes.
After crossing Hankar and the campsite of Thochungtse, we reach the base camp, diverging from the trail to Nimaling near a natural Lake. Here, the massif of Kang Yatse stands right in front of you inspiring within you enough grit and determination to scale its summit.
The Summit Attempt
It's a steep climb after the Advanced Base Camp to the summit of the peak. We start the trek properly geared up with harness, descender, carabiners, climbing boot, gaiters, helmet and start the trek with our headlamps on, as we start the summit attempt at sharp midnight. Initially, we negotiate the loose scree zone to reach the summit ridge, often the Crampon Point from where we wear our climbing crampons to negotiate the snow and ice ahead. During early June and July, there is ample snow and crampons needs to be worn right from the base camp itself. The climb gets steeper and steeper with time and amount of snow deposit keeps on increasing as well. Its a difficult climb dwelling above 5000 meters and a hard walk for some 5 - 6 hours takes you to the summit of the Kang Yatse Second Peak Summit. The feeling of standing on the top does feel satisfying. The views from the top are breathtaking! Peaks of East Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh are visible from the top like an eagle's view.
As the famous saying goes - 'Getting to the top is optional, but getting down is mandatory'. After offering prayers to the Mountain Gods for allowing us to climb it and experience the exquisite view from its top, we start our descend, and is quite fast. We reach the base camp in some 4 hours on a clear day. It does get tricky at times and requires extra cautiousness, specifically during white-out conditions or soft snow. In our itinerary, we have kept a reserved day which is to be used for bad weather or an unsuccessful attempt.
We have climbed this peak many a time from the base camp itself. So incase required, we can have an extra day by skipping the Advanced Camp day to answer weather uncertainties.
Read more by following the link Kang Yatse 2 - Summit History For Team Himalayan High from 2015 to 2019
Acclimatization Is The Primary Key To Success
On a difficult trek like this which climbs steeply on difficult terrain higher above 6000 meters, acclimatization is your primary weapon. Our itinerary is well designed from the acclimatization perspective and gives you enough rest to achieve the success on the summit. Firstly, the 2 rest days in Leh ( we advice 1 more day in Leh ) and then the short acclimatization walks on each evening not just gives you better photographs but also helps you acclimatize better for the upcoming challenges. The base camp is at 5000 meters and sleeping at this altitude is difficult. However, to be successful in achieving the summit, we need to adjust quickly and sleep well. We have kept extra rest and orientation days in the base camp to help you prepare well for the summit attempt and also acclimatize well for the difficult altitude and trek in the coming days.
The meal plan that we render on the trek is also designed keeping in mind better and quicker acclimatization with more hot garlic soups, more and more water, less of oily food and a balanced diet of carbohydrate and enough but not much protein which are easily digestible.
Slow walks on approach days gives much better result with acclimatization, even if you could walk quicker. Preserve that extra energy for the summit walk.
Read more on 13 Ways to Acclimatize Naturally
Importance Of Rest Day and Orientation of Technical Equipment In The Base Camp:
After we reach the base camp, we have a full rest day the next day. Though we call it a full rest day, actually it is not so. We do spend some time getting acquainted with our equipment so that we gear up very quickly for the summit climb which starts right at midnight, around 12 or 1 AM depending upon the team speed. We will give you all technical gears required for the trek which are - a helmet, walking ice-ax, seat harness, pair of gaiters, screw carabiner, pair of double-layered mountaineering boot, pair of climbing crampons. Our leaders explains and demonstrates how to wear and use these technical gears. We are supposed to try everything and make sure everything is fine and fit. Our leaders will explain how to gear up for the summit climb and will also show you the rope technique as we will climb the peak roped-up with each other. It's a very important day and we need to very alert in the demo session. We also go for acclimatization walk in roped up condition to get acquainted with rope skills and acclimatize better.
Setting Up Of Advanced Base Camp For The Summit
More snow and smaller team allows us to set up Advanced Base Camp on the summit ridge. Since the route does not have any water source we will have to melt snow for water. Hence Early June, July eases up setting advanced base camp on the summit ridge. We carry a small butane cylinder and alpine stove to heat water and cook some ultralight food for the Bivouac Advance Camp. This eases our summit climb but one has to be acclimatized well to camp and sleep at ABC, higher up than the base camp. In August and September also it is possible to set up ABC but water has to be carried and a rougher campsite is to be expected which does not ease sleeping at all.
We have one of the best success ratio on these summits with our excellent and professional team of experts. We have climbed this peak under very difficult and unfavorable conditions when many others have failed time and again or followed our route. All thanks to our hard-working team right from the top till bottom. We were one of the very few trekking companies who started to climb this peak way back with our Founder attempting this right after opening Himalayan High. Since then till now, we have climbed this peak many times successfully with trekkers and climbing enthusiasts from all over the World.
WHY SHOULD YOU CLIMB WITH US?
Unlike the mass-trekking and hand-held trekking groups in our country, we, on all of our treks, inspire and motivate to boost more of the Intrinsic and Inherent Adventure Sense of a human being when it comes to our work ethics. We human beings are born to Survive. It is just about letting yourself free to get back your intrinsic senses to adapt, survive and then excel.
Having said that, we take safety as a first matter of concern on any of our treks, and hence provide the Guides and Leaders who are tremendously experienced, knowledgeable, responsible and capable of handling such treks. We keep our group size limited to 12 people on challenging treks like this as smaller groups have more summit success rate since the team is more focused on their objectives, share common physical abilities, are safer and friendlier. Most importantly, our filtration and selective process ensures that the team, unlike that of the mass-trekking groups, is not limited by the weaknesses of the unfiltered, incompetent and unmanageable flock joining the team. Smaller group also helps to create an ambient Himalayan experience of Solitude, giving priority to Safety, Easy Management, Maximum Attention, Utmost care, Friendly attitude, and a Learning experience to make you a better and a humble trekker.
Our forced efforts to keep the group size small have given us a very nice success rate on the summits of these trekking peaks in the Himalayas. Our itinerary and meal plan is very well planned and with further orientation and planning, we move closer to the summit with each of these carefully decided actions.
The equipment that we provide on the treks are some of the best in the industry. Few of those are designed and custom-made just to suit our purpose of a safe and comfortable trek experience. We provide you with all the gears required to be better equipped for the trek. The quality of local resources, cooks and porters are not neglected and we make sure that we hire responsible local resources for your group accompanied by one of our leaders who further ensures that the quality of services are delivered as promised and forms a liaison between the group and the local hires. Right from the food that we serve on the trek to the toilet tents and camping toilet seat that we provide, dining tents to a separate camping stools, pre-trek orientation to proper coordination, SOS arrangements, etc - Everything is taken care of with utmost professionalism and expertise of the field.
We have until now worked across the Himalayas of India, Nepal, and Bhutan with tremendous client satisfaction and reviews. From beginner’s trek to that of highly challenging treks and expedition, we have handled it all very efficiently with excellent success rate. We have always kept and delivered our promise of keeping the team small, like-minded, tidy by proper selection and filtration through discussion and with utmost safety and no incidences of mishaps so far due to our proper planning by experts of the field.
We are a transparent and flexible organization and have kept our reviews online. You may read our reviews on our Google Business Page: https://goo.gl/ezyw13
You may also have a look at Our Kang Yatse - Stok Kangri Twin Summit trek or Kang Yatse 1 Climb