A very achieveable 6000m trekking peak tucked in amongst some of the most stunning mountain terrain in India.
This a real traveller’s trip, accessing India’s least populated region (Ladakh) from Delhi (a 90 min domestic flight). Leh is one of the highest commercial airports in the world (3500m) and we take time to acclimatise here on arrival.
We drive out to Chilling and camp besides the Zanskar river before beginning the trek up the Markha Valley. For many days we follow the glacial Markha river towards its source, steadily acclimatising as we go and admiring the sheer scale and variety of geology (as well as colours). The snow leopard genuinely still roams these parts and their tracks can often be seen. The iconic makeshift white parachute cafes are a welcomed sight along this route.
Having acclimatised and cleared to 5100m Kongmaru La, there are still a few spectacular high passes to cross before reaching Stok Kangri’s base camp. You should make the summit within the 2 days we allow for the attempts and to admire the miles of himalayan peaks that stretch out before you. A wonderful achievement and equally the view.
There’s a rest day in Leh before flying back to Delhi, which opens up a huge array of opportunities whether its an overnight trip to see the iconic Taj Mahal, more time to explore Delhi, Rajasthan or indeed other parts of India. Might as well make use of that visa!
- Summit a 6000m peak with extensive views across the Himalaya
- A lightly trekked region; no crowds
- Interesting geology, flora and fauna.
- Access is through Delhi, offering numerous extension options
Clothing and Equipment – Some specialist equipment is required. Please refer to our Kit List webpage.
Land Only clients – we will meet at the airport on arrival in Leh and transfer you back on departure.
Day 1/2 – Depart UK, Arrive Delhi
Fly from London, bound for New Dehli. On arrival you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. You are then free to explore Delhi itself or rest in preparation for your early morning departure.
Day 3 – Fly Delhi – Leh
Early morning transfer to the domestic terminal for your flight to Leh. On arrival in Leh, you will be collected and transferred to your hotel. Leh lies at an altitude of 3500m and you are therefore strongly advised to rest as much as you can to avoid the effects. BLD
Day 4 – Free Day (acclimatisation)
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Leh on this combined acclimatisation and sightseeing day. BLD
Day 5 – Drive to Chilling, camp overnight
The morning is spent driving to the trek start point at Chilling. This village is well known in Ladakh for its silversmiths. Spend the afternoon here alongside the Zanskar river. Camp overnight. BLD
Day 6 – Trek To Skiu (3018m)
Begin this day by crossing the Zanskar River in a cable trolley located upstream a short distance from Chilling. Follow the well worn path to the village of Skaya. From here it is a short walk to the lush green campsite at Skiu. At dusk it is worth climbing back up the valley to where the Skiu Nala meets the Markha river. Here there is a small monastery cared for by an old nun who comes every evening to light the candles at the altar of ‘Chamba’, the future Buddha’s. 4 hrs, BLD
Day 7 – Trek To Markha Village (3793m)
This is a very pleasant walk as you go against the down flowing glacial Markha river, crossing it several times. En-route you will pass several settlements and monasteries perched high on the hillsides above. The path is dotted with Chortens and prayer walls. 5-6 hrs, BLD
Day 8 – Trek to Hankar (4000m)
From Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded section of the lower Markha is left behind. The camp below the twin villages of Lower and Upper Hankar is distinctly cooler than at Markha Village. 2 – 4 hrs, BLD
Day 9 – Trek To Nimaling (4840m)
From Hankar the trail climbs steadily up the narrow valley. The Nimaling plain is a broad meadow, reaching upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse (6553m). The Nimaling meadows provide pastures in the summer for yaks, sheep, goats and horses from villages further down the valley. It is not unusual to see the occasional wild sheep or wolf. You may also see the impressive Lammergeier’s; the largest of the Himalayan raptors. BLD
Day 10 – Rest day and to explore the base camp of Kangytse
A time to relax at Nimaling and enjoy the wonderful scenery. It’s possible that you’ll rest the day before at Hankar. Be aware that on each of the next 5 or 6 days, they contain a significant amount of ascent and you would be well advised to use this time to rest. For the more energetic, we would recommend a walk to the base camp of Kang Yatze, the highest peak in the Zanskar range. BLD
Day 11 – Trek to Chogdo (4000m), via the Kongmaru La (5100m)
Today, the route heads up to cross the highest Pass in the area – the Kongmaru La (5100m). Spectacular views from here of the distant Karakoram peaks and across into Tibet. You then descend via a narrow gorge of contorted rock formations to a camp beside the river. 5 – 6 hrs, BLD
Day 12 – Trek to Shang Po (4350m)
Leaving the Markha Valley trail, we head west up a tributary valley to the Gyuncho La and descend to camp at Shang Po. Stand by for a good 1000m ascent today, 6 – 7 hours. BLD
Day 13 – Trek to Gangpoche (4435m)
Today we cross the Shang La, descend to the Tokpo River and continue trekking generally downhill to our camp at Gangpoche. Another 1000m ascent with an equal descent. 6 hrs. BLD
Day 14 – Trek to Stok Kangri Base Camp (4900m)
Trek to the Mato La and descend into the Stok Valley, continueing on through Smankarmo (4380m) and up to Stok Kangri’s Base Camp at 4900m. 7hrs. BLD
Day 15 and 16 – Stok Kangri ascent (2 days allowed)
Two days are set aside for the summit attempt in case of delays or bad weather. The ascent can either be done in a single journey from the Base Camp or to establish a High Camp (the previous night) and an early morning ascent. The options will be discussed on the trek. The ascent is demanding and obviously conducted at high altitude. It is possible that crampons maybe need at the higher elevations. Descend back to Base Camp. BLD
Day 17 – Descend to Stok, transfer to Leh
From the Base Camp, you descend straight to Stok village where you will be picked up and transferred back to Leh. Time for a well-earned rest and shower! BLD
Day 18 – Free Day in Leh
This is a free day in Leh for you to enjoy post trek. BLD
Day 19 – Depart
You will be transferred back to Leh’s airport for your domestic flight back to Delhi.
On arrival, there are numerous options:
1. Transfer to the international terminal for your flight home
2. Transfer to our ‘day hotel’ facility if you have an evening flight (additional cost)
3. Continue with the additional arrangments if you have arranged to stay on. B
Day 20 – Arrive UK