Mentok Kangri is a mountain masif in the Rupshu plains of Ladakh, or Changtang. It has 3 summit points, conveniently named Mentok 1, 2 and 3 with heights varying between 6100 - 6250 meters. Mentok 1 at an altitude of 6,250 meters is a challenge any Himalayan High Seekers would like to accept.
With marvellous and enchanting views of the Tsomoriri Lake and its wetlands reserves, surrounded by high rising peaks of the Changtang, near the Tibetan Plateau, this is a wonderful trek experience that all the passionate travellers and wandering souls must not miss at all! The landscape of the Ladakh ranges will win your heart at once with its charm and beauty. The creamy, beige and irregular patches of red and violet with some unique rock sculptures made by the artistic wind are just enough to set your imaginations flying without control. To top it over, we have these high peaks and passes with snow patches on top of which furls the colourful Buddhist prayer flags. Oh yes, this region has a few more elements of nature which multiply the beauty of the region by several folds. We have the vast blue waters of the Tsomoriri Lake visible from all around the top which injects enough cool and patience in your heart, which on the other hand is excited by the unbelievable beauty of the surrounding landscape and the summit challenge.
Not just that !! We are also gifted by the rare sightings of the wildlife of the Tsomoriri Wetland Reserves which includes the animals like Kiangs, Tibetan Gazelle, Lynx, Mountain Goats, Blue Sheep, Marmots including the carnivores like Tibetan Wolves and the elusive Snow Leopard. Where there is water, there are birds, and here there are many - especially the Black Necked Cranes, geese, gulls and grebe are commonly sighted nearby the lake.
Starting from Korzok, a small settlement near the blue waters of the Tsomoriri, the trek to the summit of Mentok Kangri climbs quickly to its base camp above 5300 meters, from where we attempt its summits. The altitude gain is rapid, and hence we need to follow proper acclimatization protocols to be successful and make sure we do not rush through it.
Trekking in Ladakh can sometimes be heartbreaking with false summits, and this trek is no different. Staying focused and enjoying the climb is the only way to get past that feeling.
Any 6000-meter peak requires good physical conditioning, high mental endurance, a well-acclimatized body and a cheerful soul. The summit climb to Mentok Kangri is no different. Starting by midnight, we firstly negotiate the loose moraines in the darkness for a long time as we near the base of the summit ridge. The day dawns slowly as we keep going with occasional rest, negotiating the loose rocks of all dimensions. As time passes, we keep gaining altitude making the going bit more difficult with every minute. A steady pace and a motivated spirit are the key to success and soon we see the prayer flags furling at a distance marking the summit.
The view from the summit is one of the reasons many people climb the mountains. Mountain ranges of the surrounding reveal themselves in a new avatar which is worth taking all the pain. The summit of Mentok Kangri offers astonishing views of the Great Himalayan Range, the Markha Valley denoted by the high elegant looking peak of Kang Yatse, the plains of Tibet and the twin peaks of Chamsher and Lungsher all rising above 6400 meters. Spangnak Ri does not fail to inspire you either. The grand vista of the Tsomoriri Lake and Rupshu plains surrounded by some of the high snow-capped peaks of Ladakh in the morning sunlight is a breathtaking view and once in a lifetime moment that all the Himalayan High Seekers must experience.