Category: Demanding Adventure
A beautiful trek through the pristine wilderness of the plateau of Chang Tang, which stretches far into Tibet. This is a real high altitude trek that will take you across 2 major passes before entering Rupshu and the land of the Changpa nomads- a people of Tibetan origin who live in encampments of black yak hair tents, and earn a living by breeding yaks, sheep and pashmina goats, from whose soft wool comes the expensive pashmina wool. The highlights of the trek are the spectacular changing landscape and the nomads.
- 50% advance payment confirms your booking.
- We will transport all your belongings for you so that you only have to carry your day pack with camera, water bottle and jacket.
- We serve three meals a day including snacks and drinks. We provide a variety of tasty healthy food including Indian, Chinese and Western meals with lots of vegetables and fruit.
What is included in the tour
- Road transportation from Leh to Leh by car.
- Accommodation in tents on twin share basis during trekking.
- All meals (Day 1 Lunch to Day 9 Lunch)
- All camping gear including tents and sleeping mattress. Kitchen, Dining and toilet tent
- Permits and Entrance fees.
- Good English speaking guide, cooks and porters, mules
What is NOT included in the tour
- Accommodation and Meals in Leh.
- Personal Insurance.
- All alcoholic beverages and personal expenses.
- Good down sleeping bags can be provided at an additional cost of Rs.200 per day.
- 2 high passes above 5000m
- Markha Valley
- Chumatang area
- Interaction with locals and insight into their lifestyle
- highest point 5200m
Day 01 :
Leh- Zingchen- Rumbak 4000 m (4-5 hrs):
We drive from Leh to Spituk and continue on a dirt jeep road into a parched and exposed region. After about an hour drive, we will enter the Zingchen Valley where the Rumbak River flows into the Indus which makes its way down a mighty canyon. Further into the valley lies a beautiful village of Rumbak, inhabited by 15 families.
Day 02 :
Rumbak - Ganda La Base 4500 m (3-4 hours):
From Rumbak it's a short walk to our next camp, but very important one in terms of acclimatization, as we will camp very high tonight and cross the high pass the next day. So, we will not hurry and take our time to reach the camp at the Base of Ganda La. After a short walk from the camp, we will come across the village of Yuruche, inhabited by only 1 family. From our campsite there are spectacular views of Stok Kangri and the whole Stok range.
From our campsite there are spectacular views of Stok Kangri and the whole Stok range.
Day 03 :
Ganda La base - Skiu via Ganda La (6-7 hours):
After a light breakfast, we will begin our 2-hour ascent of Ganda La (4900m); views of the lofty Zanskar and Stok Ranges will leave you speechless. The usual chorten and prayer flags mark the top of the pass, where one may see blue sheep, marmots and arghali roaming the hills. After a short rest, we will make a gradual hour-long descent to Shingo and take a break for lunch. We will finish the day by hiking for 2-hours through a spectacular gorge before making camp at Skiu (3300m). Within this idyllic village lay an old monastery, and ruins of an old castle (once a rest stop for the Royal family on their way to Srinagar).
Day 04 :
Skiu - Markha (7-8 hours):
Following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail bisects the river at various points, and passes winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). During peak season, a number of tented teahouses will be open for refreshment. Once we cross the river for the final time, we will arrive in Markha, the largest village in the valley (consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery and a ruined fort). Note: Water and sunscreen are essential, since the valley is quite exposed.
Day 05 :
Markha - Hankar (5-6 hours):
The Markha valley trail continues passed old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious monastery of Techa, which proudly perches upon a towering cliff that looms above Markha, but is well worth visiting, if we have the energy! The path then intersects the river several times before cutting through the last hamlets in the valley. After leaving the village of Umlung, we will be afforded our first view of mighty Kang Yatse (6400m), which will stay in sight. We will press onward to the Hankar, where we will make camp.
Day 06 :
Hankar - Yakrupal (5-6 hours):
After yesterdays strenuous walk, today is easier as we walk through the remote Langthang valley, where few other tourists go. It's only the villagers from Markha, who use this valley as a pasture ground for their sheep, donkeys, yaks and horses. From Hankar follow the valley down until it divides, cross the river and follow the valley to the left along the Langthang Chu River. The valley down to the right leads to Markha. The Langthang River has the tendency of rising during the day due to snow melting in the mountains and by noon it becomes a dangerous river to cross. An early start in the morning is therefore essential, as one has to cross the river several times. Yakrupal is a nice, green campsite where both the horses and we will have a good meal.
Day 07 :
Yakrupal - Khar via Zalung Karpo La (5-6 hours):
After Yakrupal, continue up the valley towards the pass of Zalung Karpo La (5200m). From the top of the pass there is a spectacular view of the Zanskar range on the one side, while on the other, the highest plateau in the world appears, the Chang Tang plateau stretching far into Tibet. The only inhabitants of this desolate wilderness, where the climate is so extreme that you can get sunburn and frostbite at the same time, are nomads and semi-nomadic people, who live in tiny villages with only their yak, sheep, pashmina goats and a small harvest of barley on which they survive. The trail down is steep and again several river crossings will follow. The beautiful and lush campsite of Khar will be our home for tonight. Kharnak means black castle in Ladakhi, and situated on a hill above the campsite one can imagine the former palace of Khar where the king of Kharnak used to live. Now only the ruins of this former kingdom remain, which the nomads believe to be haunted. It is also said that the nomads in Dat are descendants of the people that lived in Khar and that they for some reason moved to Dat three to four generations ago.
Day 08 :
Khar - Dat (5-6 hours):
A relatively easy day and a beautiful walk through wide, lush valleys (by Ladakhi standards!). At Tantse Sumdo the valley divides, the left valley leading to Dat and the right to Zanskar, by the Jumlam trek, a trek where one really would get wet feet with its 80 river crossings! On the way we pass several nomad's camps before reaching the tiny village of Dat, a settlement of stone huts and the winter headquarters for the nomads in Kharnak. Here they live from October to December and March to June. The nomads of Kharnak are colorful and joyful people moving together with their yaks and pashmina goats. In Dat there is also a Gompa, still used by monks of the Gelugpa Order. When the villagers are away from Dat, they return every second day to light the candles in the monastery.
Day 09 :
Dat – Lugmo Che via Yar La (5-6 hours) & Drive to Leh (5-6 hrs):
From Dat we enter the fantasyland of the Changthang plateau and follow a long, wide valley before taking one of the side valleys towards Yar La (4950m). In the spring, the nomads move with all their animals towards Zara and one will be astonished by the sight of 30-40 families moving with their yaks in caravans. It is an easy ascent to this pass. From here it is a short walk (1-1 ½ hours) down to the pastures of Lungmo Che where we spend the night, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, grazing yaks and pastel light.
From Lungmo we will drive to Leh via Taglang la 5200 m. Trip finishes at arrival in Leh.