Recently climbed a summit name Stok Kangri(6153m) in Leh, India. I wanted to know if there are similar high altitude peaks which can be climbed without much of mountaineering expertise required in the Himalayan range.

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    You can try Hanuman Tibba, Friendship Peak.
    – WedaPashi
    Aug 28 '13 at 13:11
  • @WedaPashi Thank you for the suggestion. But do you know of any peak higher than Stok which are still viable for trekking? Aug 29 '13 at 9:39
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    Does Poon Hill count? Aug 29 '13 at 18:37

Haba Xueshan (Haba Snow Mountain 哈巴雪山) is a commonly summited peak here in Yunnan, China, at the eastern extent of the Himalaya. It's not as high altitude ("only" 5396 m) but it has high prominence (1794 m), and is situated picturesquely above Tiger Leaping Gorge. I understand that people summit without a lot of expertise, but it requires overnighting and a guide. It has the additional advantage of being easy for foreigners to travel to (fly in to Lijiang or Diqing airport via Kunming with no need for special permits), unlike many peaks in Xizang (Tibet), and in Tibetan areas of Sichuan.

Haba Xueshan (left), with Yulong Xueshan in the foreground and the upper Yangtze River below

Picture by me

  • Can you elaborate on what's required to summit? E.g. can it be scrambled? Do you need to overnight?
    – furtive
    Aug 29 '13 at 4:19
  • I haven't done it, but it's definitely an overnighting sort of thing. Ed Jocelyn would have more details and know of other low-intensity peaks in the area. This summitpost page has lots of detail but might be slightly out of date. Aug 29 '13 at 6:13
  • FWIW, if you're acclimatising for a couple days in Lijiang City (2500 m), you can do the lowest (~4200 m) of Yulong Xueshan's 19 summits as a non-technical long day hike. Aug 29 '13 at 6:26
  • @Oreotrephes So is it possible to do multiple peaks during a span of say, a couple of weeks? Aug 29 '13 at 9:37
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    @PersianCat Both Yes and No. Yes because, all the mentioned ones are in the Himalayan range. No because, the Himalayan weather is very very unpredictable. Also, each mountain has its own characteristics. Conditions vary from one peak to other even in terms of snow/avalanches/crevices. The best would be to view each mountain in isolation and work with it. Sep 3 '13 at 8:12

It might be both an obvious choice and not a "real" mountain, but what about Kala Pathar, the "black rock"?

It's a 5545 meter hill facing Mt. Everest, and is the final destination of the Everest Base Camp Trek. Despite appearing unimpressive from Gorak Shep (the last and highest tea house in the area), it's still a harrowing hour or two to get to the top. The view of Everest is great, and the views along the nine day journey from Lukla, the nearest airport, are also fabulous.

Getting back to Lukla from Gorak Shep and Kala Pathar can be done in a lot less time - two or three days, even. There's also the possibility to cross over to the Gokyo Lakes region by going over the 5370 meter Cho La pass. I liked the Gokyo area, and the pass, though difficult, was worth the effort, since it means you return to Lukla by a different route.

The area is very touristy and often crowded, but the atmosphere is pleasant and there's a good spirit of camaraderie among the tourists.

Kala Pathar with Pumori in the background

  • I've heard of the EBC trek. But the only reason for me still not being sold out on it is that the trek itself is pretty crowded. That way, Stok was relatively crowded as well, but the saving grace is that it's still a peak climb and many people opt out of it. Aug 30 '13 at 5:47
  • Also, in the group with which I did the Stok Kangri trek, there were around 4 EBC trekkers. They did mention that EBC was easier than the route we took for Stok Kangri. Aug 30 '13 at 5:59
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    I was in Ladakh at the base camp for Stok Kangri a few months after doing the EBC. It definitely seemed a more difficult undertaking, a different class of hard. The EBC is touristy and crowded, sure, but has its charms.
    – Eyal
    Aug 30 '13 at 6:46
  • Stok is difficult if you take a route other than the traditional one from Stok village to Stok base camp. We went through Shang->Shang Phu->Gangpoche->Manokarmo->Basecamp... Summit climb anyway is pretty difficult with a straight trek of around 12 - 14 hr. Aug 30 '13 at 7:12

In Nepal there is Thorong La which is a high altitude pass in the Annapurna that is doable without, in my opinion, much experience. It is fairly popular trek and you will likely encounter organized groups even during the off season. There are accessible trekking routes with accommodations and progressive acclimatization.

You will need to acquire permits and may want to consider hiring a Sherpa.

  • Just to add to your answer, I've heard of a peak named Island peak in nepal. Although the last stretch of the peak is difficult, it's still doable is what I've heard. Aug 29 '13 at 9:28
  • Also, how is Nepal in terms of cost? In India, I know that unless you are a local, it's pretty costly. Are there other peaks in Nepal that you know of? Aug 29 '13 at 12:08
  • I would say that is is cheap but that is relative. If you want to do it on a budget, I'd recommend to do it offseason as you may be able to get your rooms for around a dollar or even free if you bargain. It's costly if you travel like a tourist. :)
    – ppl
    Aug 30 '13 at 21:32
  • Thanks for the info! I'm planning to travel to Nepal next year. I hope to do it on a budget :D Sep 2 '13 at 5:35

I climbed the Stok Kangri some years ago. I went to Langtang (Nepal) last March/April. The Tsermo Ri is at an altitude of around 4900m (if I remember correctly). It can be walked up easily without special equipment from Kyanjing Gompa. It is a day trip from the Kyanjing Gompa village. The summit might not be as high as the Stok Kangri but the view is really worth the walk!

In the same Langtang valley, the Yala Peak is a trekking peak and can be done according to the people we met on the trek without climbing. But you might need porter and guide for the route... Especially if like this year the snow is still covering the route.

I had a chat with a local guide during my last trip and he said that the road for jeeps to the Thorong La was finished. I saw the construction work in a previous trek in the Manang Valley in 2006... So the Thorung La might not be interesting for trekker after this season... Unfortunately. This is sad, the trek was really beautiful.

  • Well, that's a shame. I guess Stok Kangri too will get commercialized badly in the years to come. It already has a cafe at the basecamp. I won't be surprised if we end up seeing internet cafe at the base camp in the next few years. Aug 29 '13 at 12:05

There are few peaks like : Ekdant - 6128 mtrs (A name for Lord Ganesh), Kartik - 5113 mtrs(named after brother of Lord Ganesh). I had planned for these two on a single trip, though I could not execute the plan. There is Parvati Parbat (6,257m) above the Satopanth Glacier. I have the Himalayan Journal of year 2009 which has expedition reports and lots of useful notes on above said peaks. Try and get a copy of that from Himalayan Club. Or even this link here may come handy. But, the above are less trekable than Climbable peaks.

As of now, if you are looking for Absolute Trek'able thing around Himalays, try and do Mt. Everest Base camp trek from Luk'la, Nepal. Its an amazing experience to have! I have planned the same in next year August.

EBC is not technically difficult at all, but the Altitude and Weather part together make it more challenging. Its also about the distance you cover. In the EBC trek, you can summit Gokyo Ri as well, Now of Gokyo Ri Trek, I've heard so far, is tougher than Stok Kangri.

One more option, which is less Trek'able as you expect, is relatively difficult, is: Doing a Trek upto the Advance Base Camp (ABC) of the Saser Kangri in East Karakoram. Set your Base Camp at 4750 m and then an Advanced Base Camp at 5360 m. If you are good with ration and equipment then you can also try and reach to Camp 1 at 5880 m. Beyond Camp 1 (usually called C1) its no longer easy. I believe with the kind of thing you are looking for, reaching ABC of Saser Kangri is a good fun. Beyond that, you may choose whether to continue to C1 or fall back.

Or you have route like, Kanchenjunga Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit.

Have a look at this site as well.

  • Thanks for the valuable inputs. I was targeting Mera Peak or Island Peak in Nepal. Although both require some mountaineering skills, they are basic. Regarding EBC/Annapurna/Kanchenjunga base camps, the only problem is, they are not "summits". I also read about "Aconcagua" : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconcagua. But I'm worried about the cost! Sep 3 '13 at 7:59
  • Well, Kala Patthar (on the way to EBC, to have a look at Mt. Everest) is as good as a summit at that altitude mate. Reaching to Gorakshep (Base of Kala Patthar) is itself way challenging than reaching the summit of Stok Kangri. From EBC you actually don't see Mt. Everest, Rather, there is no place in the world where you can Enjoy the Lofty summits of World's few of the tallest Mountains. Its Altitude that matters for me, not the glory of the summit.
    – WedaPashi
    Sep 3 '13 at 13:37
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    I have heard contradicting views on this. Many EBC trekkers I met during the Stok trek told me that no part of EBC is difficult. Including Kala patthar. And many of these trekkers did say that Stok was much more difficult. But yes, I agree about the altitude part and the view that you can get. Thanks for the information! Sep 4 '13 at 5:22
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    Well, as far as I know and I believe, Yes, EBC is not technically difficult at all, but the Altitude and Weather part together make it more challenging. Its also about the distance you cover. In the EBC trek, you can summit Gokyo Ri as well, Now of Gokyo Ri Trek, I've heard so far, is tougher than Stok Kangri.
    – WedaPashi
    Sep 4 '13 at 6:05
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    Yes. Even I've heard about the altitude part in case of EBC. Thanks for the information on Gokyo Ri. I'll surely do some research before jumping to either Mera peak or Island peak! Who knows, it might turn out to be Gokyo Ri for all I know! Sep 4 '13 at 9:29

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