Thursday, July 18, 2019

Stok Kangri Climb Ladakh - closed from 2020

In the past few years the overcrowding on Stok  Kangri peak along with problems of garbage, waste disposal, water supply etc has been mounting every year. Amongst all the so called trekking peaks in Ladakh, Stok Kangri has always been the most popular and has suffered due to too many tourists.

ALTOA (All Ladakh Tour Operator's Association)  has taken a decision with the villagers of Stok  to close the climb from 2020 and give the area time to recover. This is a decision which I endorse fully and hope it will be implemented without any further bottlenecks.

The details of the press release is below:
Dear Members,

Stok Nambardar village committee comprising of Stok villagers had been raising concerns over the pollution of their drinking water source and also shortages of irrigation water owing to over tourism and global warming. Stok Kangri is a very popular trekking peak and over the last few years we have observed it falling prey to over tourism.

The committee has decided to close the Stok Kangri peak for trekking for 5 years starting 2020 onwards. However, we have called for an emergency meeting with the committee to resolve this and we will propose them to follow a calendar like it is practiced in some European peaks where the peak is open for 2 year and then it is closed for 1 year to recuperate.

However, for sure it is going to be closed for next year 2020.

An executive team headed by the President – ALTOA met with Stok members to discuss their issues and their plans for the STOK KANGRI. The village community has planned to close STOK Kangri for trekking in 2020. We have proposed them to close it for a year and then operate for 2 years. They will update us on this later.

This year they had proposed the following points that ALTOA believes in and we are always committed to the cause of protecting our environment. We urge members to cooperate with our decision and to inform their partners across the globe of the decision:

1) Security deposit Rs 5000 each Group (Refundable)
2) Environmental Fees Rs 800/ Per Pax (Domestic/ Foreigner)
3) No Fixed Camp will be allowed at the Stok Kangri trail
4) Three person will be appointed at each check points at Stok, Mankarmo and Base Camp
5) Rubbish sacks will be provided by Stok Tsogspa officials at Trek Points at market rate (However every agent must carry sacks for their garbage)
6) All Trash/ garbage must be brought back to Leh
7) Food lists must be carried by each guide
😎 ID will be mandatory for each staff. (Guide/ Helper/ Cook) from ALTOA office (2PP size & Aadhar card required)
9) Non Local Helper and Guides will have to pay Rs 500 Per Pax for the trek
10) ALTOA Authority Letter to be sent with the guide for the check points
11) Only Registered ALTOA members will be able to operate groups as we will send our updated member list to the persons at the check post.

As IMF office is not open this year, we are in talks with the IMF officials on this and we will update you on any future developments.

Deleks Namgyal
Gen Sec - ALTOA

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