How To Train For Stok Kangri PLUS The 16-Week Stok Kangri Training Plan

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Stok Kangri is the third highest trekking mountain in the world. Found in the remote and beautiful Ladakh region of Northwest India and more specifically in the Hemis National Park. Stok Kangri is a wonderful mountain to learn some of the technical skills such as self arresting, walking in crampons and using your ice axe that you’ll need for other mountains that require basic mountaineering skills. However, there is a false interpretation that climbing Stok Kangri is easy simply because it is classified as a trekking mountain. Stok Kangri is a challenging, giant of a mountain that requires a dedicated training plan in order to properly prepare.


In this blog you’ll find out the 2 reasons that make training so important to your success and safety followed by a 16-Week Stok Kangri Training Plan.


The 2 Reasons Why You Need To Be Training For Stok Kangri:


1. Altitude

The summit altitude is 6,153m. Sitting at just over 6,000m it’s safe to say Stok Kangri is a big mountain, smaller than Aconcagua, but still big and in the arena of extreme altitude. If the concept of being close to 6,000m high seems weird and something you just can’t imagine, then go for a 6km walk or run in a straight/straightish line. Doing that will put the magnitude of Stok Kangri into perspective and show you why training is so so so important.


2. Summit Attempt

One of the most challenging aspects about this mountain (apart from being over 6km higher than you at sea level) is the summit attempt. Base camp is situated at 4,930m. From Base Camp it is a long 7km climb to reach the summit of 6,153m. Plus a 7km descent to get back to Base Camp. The summit attempt is normally an 11-hour climb with a 1,223m altitude gain. Those two factors combined make this final push just that, a push! When you start your training plan, let this be a driving and motivating factor in each session and anytime you feel like giving up, remind yourself just how much you need to give to make it through a 1,223m climb over an 11 hour period to reach the incredible summit of Stok Kangri.


NOTE: Please read “The 5 Essential Training Principles Of Mountaineering & Trekking” before you start the next section of this blog. You’ll need to understand what the training principles actually are to understand your 16-Week Stok Kangri Training Plan.


A small disclaimer, 16 weeks to train and prepare is really the minimum amount of time I would suggest to any of my clients with reasonable/average fitness levels. If you struggle to walk 8km with a 10kg backpack with a heart rate of about 130bpm or run 8km with a heart rate between 140bpm and 150bpm then rather be on the safe side and assume you need longer than 16 weeks to prepare.


16-Week Stok Kangri Training Plan

In my book “A Step-By-Step Manual To Mountaineering & Trekking Around The World” I share the formula I developed to calculate the exact number of hours you should be training per week to reach your peak physical condition for any mountain or trekking route you choose, as well as an entire, detailed and scientific chapter dedicated to creating your own training program.


If you haven’t read my book and calculated your weekly training hours then please know that the below training plan is based on the average age, weight and overall fitness levels of a person. This program also excludes the specific Heart Rate Zones that I explain and apply to The Training Chapter in my book, simply because it is impossible (and medically unsafe) to assume and suggest the specific zones you should be training in without properly calculating them.


Dedicate yourself to your training, give of your absolute best at sea level so you can give of your best at altitude. Stok Kangri will demand nothing less than your absolute best.


Week 1 to 4

  • 2.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 30 minutes Core Stability

  • 15 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 1.5 hour Leg and Glute Strength

  • 15 minutes Anaerobic Power

Week 4 to 8

  • 3 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 15 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 15 minutes Anaerobic Power

Week 8 to 12

  • 3.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 20 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Week 12 to 16

  • 4 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2.5 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 30 mins Anaerobic Power


Week 16 (Peak Week)

During Peak Week, your training amount will decrease giving your body the necessary time to rest and recover before you take your first step on Stok Kangri. You want to start your climb fully recovered and rested and not tired and exhausted from training, which is why including a Peak Week in your 16 Week Stok Kangri Training Plan is important.

3 hours Aerobic Fitness

1 hour Core Stability

30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

1 hour Leg and Glute Strength – very light exercises followed by a 15 minute Self-Massage Release (SMR) using a Foam Roller. Click here to see my SMR program.

0 minutes Anaerobic Power


If you’re looking for more help and would prefer to work directly and personally with a High Altitude Coach then checkout my Mountaineering & Trekking Training Program.

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