Grade: Moderate Area: Ladakh
Season: June to Oct. Max Alt: 5450 m.
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 - people of Tibetan origin who live in encampments of black yak hair tents, and earn their 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.
What is included in the tour
- Airport transfers in Leh
- Guest house accommodation in Leh for 3 nights with bed and breakfast
- Transportation from Leh to start point and from finish point to Leh
- All Meals while on the trek ( Lunch day 03 - Lunch day 12)
- Accommodation in Tents on twin share basis
- All camping gear during trekking like cooking tent, dining tent, sleeping tent, sleeping mats and utensils,
- Guide, cooks, helpers and horse/porters to carry all the baggage and camping gear
What is NOT included in the tour
- All alcoholic beverages,
- Personal insurance and expenses of a personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, and insurance;
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Arrival in Leh and transfer to Maryul Guest house. Rest of the day for acclimatization.
Day for acclimatization and sightseeing of monasteries in the surrounding of Leh.
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 hr drive we will enter the Zingchen Valley where the Rumbak River flows into the
Indus which makes it way down a might canyon. Further into the valley lies a beautiful village of
Rumbak, inhabited by 15 families.
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. 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.
Ganda La Base - Skiu 3300 m via Ganda La 4900 m (5-6 hours)
It is a 2-hour ascent to the pass of Ganda La. The Stupas and prayer flags mark the top of the pass,
wher one may get glimpse of wildlife such as blue sheep, Marmots and Arghali. Views of the
lofty Zanskar Range and the distant Himalaya Range are spectacular. A gradual descent will
bring us to Shingo, from the trail goes through the beautiful gorge, with unusual rock formation
and colors, until it opens onto the green valley of Skiu. In this idyllic village lies an old monastery
and ruins of an old castle, once a rest stop for the Royal family on their way to Srinagar.
Skiu - Markha 3800 m (6-7 hours)
Following the Markha River, we will hike through a lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail
crosses 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, inhabited by 20 families.
Markha - Hankar 3900 m (5-6 hours)
The Markha valley trail continues pass old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious
monastery of Techa, which proudly perches upon a cliff that looms above Markha. 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 Kangyatse (6400m). The
village of Hangkar, the last one in the valley, will be our campsite for tonight.
Hankar – Yakrupal 4500 m (5-6 hours)
Today is a nice walk through the remote Langthang valley, where only a few other tourists find
their way. It’s only the villagers from Markha, who use this valley as a pasture ground for their
sheep, donkeys, yaks and horses. From Hankar we will follow the valley to the right along the
Langthang Chu River. 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.
Nimaling to Yakrupal: (4600 m/15180 ft) (6-7 hrs)
This day presents the challenge of up and down walking above 4500 meters. You cross first one,
then a second pass from which you have a fabulous view into Zanskar. Don’t forget to look for
wolves! During the afternoon, you will first drop deeply down to the Langtang Chu, then
gradually stroll up the valley towards your grassy campsite at Yakrupal.
Yakrupal – Tsokra 4000 m via Zalung Karpo La 5250 m (5-6 hours)
In the early morning, we continue up the valley to the pass of Zalung Karpo La, presenting us
with a spectacular view of the Zanskar range and the highest plateau in the world, the Chang Tang
plateau, stretching far into Tibet. The beautiful and lush campsite of Tsokra 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 is haunted.
Tsokra – Dat 4200 m (5-6 hrs)
A relatively easy day through beautiful wide, lush valleys. At Tangtse Sumdo the valley divides,
the left valley leading to Dat and the right to Zanskar, by the ‘Jumlam trek’, a trek where one
would really get wet feet with its 80 river crossings! We will pass several nomads’ camps before
reaching the tiny village of Dat, a settlement of stone huts and the winter headquarters for the
nomads in Kharnak. An old, whitewashed gompa stands out from the stonehuts, now deserted by
monks, but taken care of by the villagers.
Leh (5-6 hours hike & 4 hrs drive)
Here we meet our transport that has come to pick us up and drive through a wide, open valley
towards Taglang La (5350 m), before entering the Indus Valley and Leh.
Transfer to airport and fly to Delhi.