Region: Leh & Ladakh.
Duration: 8 Days.
Season: July to Mid September.
Grade: Moderate to Difficult.
Group Size : 15 Persons.
Maximum Altitude: 5180M.
Passes: Kongmaru La (5180m).
Accommodations: 7 Nights In Camp.
Activities: 7 Days Hiking & 1 Day Rest.
Meals: 7 Breakfasts / 8 Pack-lunch / 7 Dinners.
Trip Begin: Leh.
Trip End: Leh.
The Markha Valley Trek is certainly one of the most varied and beautiful treks in world. It ventures high into the Himalayas crossing two passes in the vicinity of 5200m as it circles from the edges of the Indus Valley, down into parts of Zanskar, and passes through terrain that change from incredibly narrow valleys to wide-open vast expanses! It is made all the interesting by the ancient form of Buddhism that flourishes in the many monasteries that dot the landscape perched high atop hills. Once into the Markha Valley take in the whitewashed settlements, ancient gompa and Mani walls reflecting an abiding Buddhist culture.
HOW TO REACH LEH
The easiest way to travel to Ladakh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport located in Leh. This airport is connected with many international airports in India like Delhi. It also receives flights from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh and other common destinations in India.
You can book private Jeeps or, HRTC and HPTDC operate daily Deluxe and ordinary bus services between Manali and Leh. The bus journey between Leh and Manali takes about 19 hours or two days with an overnight halt in camps at Sarchu or Pang. Manali-Leh highway of the 473 km has been serving as the second ways to reach Ladakh. It opens for traffic from around mid-June to early October.
If you are planning to travel by train the closest railroad station is Jammu Tawi (700 km from Ladakh) which is all around associated with Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
- The trek goes inside the beautiful Hemis National Park and involves two pass crossings- Gandala La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La (17,060 ft).
- Interaction with locals and insight into their lifestyle.
- Visit to ancient monasteries of the region.
- A glimpse into the lives of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of Ladakh.
DAY 01 - LEH TO ZINGCHEN, DRIVE TO SPITUK, 4-5 HOURS TREK.
Leh to Spituk- an early start to this stage is important as it can get very hot crossing the plain between here and the Zingchen Gorge. We will drive through the village on a bumpy road to the bridge across the Indus. We cross the bridge, follow the jeep track south for about 300m and then west to a Phe village. We leave behind all vegetation behind as we begin crossing a flat and desolate plain at the foot of the Stok Mountains. Leaving the River Indus behind, we walk towards Zingchen gorge ahead which is another 7kms away from the confluence of the Zingchen and Indus River. As we cross over, the trail heads towards the south as we cross another road bridge next to a gorge. Another 3 to 4 kms walk form here and we get to Zingchen.
: Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 02 - ZINGCHEN TO GANDALA BASE CAMP (4380M), 5-6 HOURS TREK.
A short stage up an impressive gorge with tantalizing views of the snow-capped peaks beyond Rumbak. The route is straightforward as we are simply following the Zingchen Nala upstream. Down by the river is a small hut which is the official entry point to Hemis National Park. From here, there is an upstream walk and we cross the wooden bridge twice as we pass through a beautiful gorge. The trail enters a valley which narrows down as we move ahead passing via two rock buttress. The stream forces the path closer and closer to the right side of the valley until you have no choice but to wade across. Prayer flags on a wide pasture mark the junction with the trail leading east to the main part of Rumbak village and to the Stok La. Continue walking upstream to the water mill and a bridge. The camp is just after passing a blue and purple scree slope. There are wonderful views back to the Stok La.
: Breakfast,Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 03 - GANDA LA BASE CAMP TO SKIU (3435M) VIA GANDA LA (4950M), 6-8 HOURS TREK.
Climb the spur above the camp leaving dry stream beds on our left and right. A clear path soon appears which takes us west towards the Ganda La. Stok Kangri dominates the south- eastern skyline as we climb. We may see yak, brought up her so that the fodder close to the villages has a chance to grow during the short summer. From the pass we can see the Zanskar Range to the west, while there are views to the Stok Mountains and beyond on the east. Keep an eye out for marmots as we descend from the pass as they seem to thrive in these desolate, high-altitude spots. The trail down to Shingo is straight forward and passes a number of possible camp sites. The next stage takes us through a spectacular gorge with beautifully coloured and eroded rocks. The trail is well defined all the way to Skiu. Expect to cross the Shingo Nala three or four times on the way to Skiu. The bottom of the gorge is full of willow and seabuckthorn providing much needed shade from the sun. A little before the end of the gorge the stream disappears and we reach Skiu. We have just entered Markha Valley. As we enter the tiny village the towering rock faces ahead of us are awe- inspiring. There is an attractive gompa on top of the cliff on the right.
: Breakfast,Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 04 - SKIU (3435M) - REST DAY OR EXPLORE.
From Skiu we can make a day trip downstream to the Zanskar gorge passing many apricot trees and the village of Kaya. The round trip takes four to five hours.
: Breakfast,Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 05 - SKIU TO MARKHA (3770M), 6-7 HOURS TREK.
The trail to Markha is not too strenuous, rising 300m over 22km. keep going as we cross the settlements of Narding, Zara and Chalak each having parachute tents. Beyond Chalak, we can see green barley fields, colourful birds and huge mounds of Bharal horns known as ‘Lato’ that act as a protector to the valley. At the top of the village we reach a collection of large chortens and mani walls. There are wonderful views back down the valley. A well- defined trail continues for 2km to where the valley widens and the river braids. There is no bridge so wet boots are in order before completing the final 3 km to Markha village. As we approach Markha we get the first glimpse of the snow- covered slopes of Kangyatse (6400m) rising above the Nimaling plains. Markha consists of about 25 houses and is by far the largest village in the valley. Well before reaching the village the silhouette of a dilapidated fort can be seen. The fort dates back to the 1830s and the time of the invasion of the Dogra army under Zorawar Singh. Immediately to the north of the fort us a gompa.
: Breakfast, Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 06 - MARKHA TO THUJUNGTSE (4150M), 4-5 HOURS TREK.
A moderate day for trekking. From Markha village take the trail that climbs immediately to take you to upper Markha Valley. Cross the Markha River here before continuing for a further 1km and re-crossing the river again. After the second crossing continue to the base of Umlung gompa and continue along the river bank to the solitary house and parachute tent at Umlung (3870m). The trail goes on a ledge over the bank of the river. In 2 hours, spot the summit of Kangyatse on your right. The next dwelling enroute is Hankar. After ascending a steep gully we reach the main village of Hankar (3980m) set beneath a dilapidated fort that also dates back to the times of Zorawar Singh in the 1830s. After Hankar a rocky and steep ascent brings us to Thujungtse camp site. Enroute we pass through green barley fields and finally cross a stream.
: Breakfast, Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 07 - THUJUNGTSE TO NIMALING (4730M), 3 HOURS TREK.
The trek up to the high plains of Nimaling can be completed in a short morning allowing time to explore the ridges and yak herders’ settlements in the vicinity, set beneath the dramatic backdrop of Kangyatse. This peak is a popular mountaineering objective and is usually climbed by way of the north-west ridge. While the climb to the lower secondary summit is not considered particularly difficult, reaching the main summit is far more demanding. Beyond Thujungtse, the trail steadily ascends to a series of ridges before a steep gully leads to the edge of the vast Nimaling Plains. This large flat-bottomed valley has a semi-permanent population of villagers who come up from Markha Valley to graze their livestock on the summer pastures.
: Breakfast, Pack Lunch & Dinner.
DAY 08 - NIMALING TO SHANG SUMDO VIA KONGMARU LA (5180M), 2 HOURS DRIVE TO LEH, 6-7 HOURS TREK.
A relatively demanding stage traversing the Kongmaru La, the highest pass on the trek. It also affords magnificent views that extend south to the peak of Kangyatse and the snow-capped ridges that stretch to the Zanskar Range, while to the north is the Ladakh Range and the route to the Indus Valley 1500m below. It is 2 hour climb to Kongmaru la pass which is marked by numerous prayer flags. There is a steep 500m descent to a small shepherd encampment and shelter for trekkers coming from Shang Sumdo and Hemis. The trail enters a narrow gorge, crossing the main stream on several occasions as it drops steeply. Until Chogdo the descent is particularly difficult for pack animals and very tiring for humans! From the settlement it is a further 3km down a well-marked trail on the true left of the valley that wind high above the riverbed and on down to Shang Sumdo. Once at Shang Sumdo, transport is arranged to drive us back to Leh. End of Trek.
: Breakfast,Pack Lunch .
What is included in the tour
- The services of an educated Himalayan Yeti Adventure representative or escort / guide, well versed with native flora/fauna, topography & culture during the entire trek program.
- During the trek, all camping logistics and mules / porters/ to carry luggage. Participants will be required to carry only their day sacks with their daily essentials etc.
- Camping on twin sharing basis in 2-man tents, with foam mattresses, sleeping bags and kitchen tent, toilet tent etc.
- One Cook and camp helper/s with all necessary kitchen items, utensils etc.
- All transportation as per the itinerary, inclusive of transfers to the roadhead before the trek and transfer from the roadhead to your destination, after the conclusion of the trek.
- Boiled drinking water during the trek and warm water for personal ablutions in the morning.
- All meals during the trek program.
- Wildlife / environmental Permits and Levies, wherever required.
- All camping charges.
- Trek Briefing / debriefing & guides charges.
- Charges for following the global ‘Leave No Trace’ protocol.
- Insurance of the trekking staff
- Good medical / first aid kit with Oxygen Cylinders.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Any accidental, travel or medical insurance. It is advisable for the participants to get themselves comprehensively insured before the tour.
- Any expenses of a personal nature.
- Any and all evacuation charges (medical or otherwise), or hospitalization or physicians consultation charges. Your own insurance policy should also, ideally, cover this.
Insulated, waterproof boots are best. They have thick soles, rubber/leather uppers and insulation. Flip Flops/ Crocs.
Wool or synthetic socks with wicking liners promote warm, dry feet. (this item is to be bought by the clients themselves)
Layer your clothing so it can be adjusted to your activity level and the weather. Avoid cotton.
Base layer: Synthetics and wool retain warmth even when wet. Wear long underwears (top and bottem) that wicks away moisture, insulates well and dries quickly. Choose from microlight, lightweight or midweight versions based on the temperature and your activity level. A zippered top lets you adjust body heat as you stop and go. (this item is to be bought by the clients themselves, easily available in Decathlon Stores)
Upper Insulating layer: Polyester fleece makes a good insulating mid-layer since it retains heat when wet and breathes as you exercise.
Outer layer: A waterproof, breathable shell jacket and pants keep you dry and fend off wind.
Down feather jacket: - Can be used while relaxing or walking outside in the camp area.
Hat, Gloves and Accessories.
Keep your head and hands covered to prevent loss of body heat and to protect from sunburn.
A wool or synthetic hat, headband or balaclava retains heat; a wide-brimmed hat or a ball cap can shade your eyes on sunny days.
Sunglasses and sunscreen will protect you from burning UV rays which are especially intense when reflected off of snow.
COTTON SCARF good for dust and to protect neck from sunburn ,WATER BOTTLE, HYDRATION BAG.
Head Lamp & spare batteries.
CAMERA dustproof cover and spare batteries and memory card, GOPRO IS JUST GREAT.
MONEY BELT or secure portion of bag.
PERSONAL TOILETRIES including lip cream, hand wash (alcohol-based), sunscreen and TOWEL.
PENKNIFE , JOURNAL, SKETCH PAD, PLAYING CARDS, BOOK, READING LIGHT, SEWING KIT, etc.
Small PADLOCK for stored bag.
Trekking Day Bag upto 65 to 85 Ltr.
If you cancel 15 days before the trip begins Himalayan Yeti Adventure will retain 20% of the trip cost.
If you cancel 7 days before the trip begins, Himalayan Yeti Adventure will retain 30% of the trip cost.
If you cancel less than 7 days before the trip begins, or, are not present when the trip begins, there will be no-refund
No refund will be payable to any client who voluntarily leaves a trip en-route.