Beyond the Markha Valley

Beyond the Markha Valley information and booking

from
$2190
  • Duration
    15 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Moderate
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 15 day trip
  • 9 day trek
  • 9 nights camping
  • 5 nights hotels
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Sightseeing in Delhi
  • Remote trekking in the secluded Markha Valley
  • Fully supported camping based trekking with 3 hearty meals per day on trek
  • Spectacular views of the Indus Valley and Ladakh Range
  • Mountain flight to Leh
  • Tikse Monastery, Hemis Monastery and Shey Palace

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This is the finest introduction to trekking in Ladakh. The itinerary reflects over 30 years experience in Ladakh and in our constant search for upgrading treks our 'Beyond the Markha Valley' would be hard to beat. In essence we extend our classic trek from the Markha Valley, following established trails linking whitewashed settlements and tiny monasteries to the vast grazing pastures of Rupshu. Rupshu is the home of the Khampa, the original mountain nomads and is perfect for those looking for an unusual and remote trek. This is a stunning trek that explores the Ladakh heartland, where the flutter of prayer flags and the ancient mani walls reflect the deep seated Buddhist heritage and where views of the Zanskar Range stretch to the borderlands of the Tibetan Plateau.

What's included

  • 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners
  • Airport transfers on day 1 & day 15
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Group medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in delhi & leh
  • The use of a world expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over us$500)
  • Private transportation
  • All park entrances & permits
  • Mules to carry all personal and group baggage
  • Souvenir world expeditions kit bag

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Delhi
Upon arrival you will be transferred to the group hotel. The remainder of the day is free for personal exploration of this exciting city. Note: If you are arriving in Delhi on a late night flight, you may like to arrive the day before the trip commences. Please talk to your World Expeditions reservations consultant or travel agent for pre-tour accommodation options.
Day 2 Fly to Leh
We take the early flight from Delhi to Leh in the Indus Valley. If the conditions are clear you will be rewarded with grand views across the Great Himalaya and Zanskar ranges before landing at the capital of Ladakh. On our first day in Ladakh we spend time wandering the bazaar and imposing Leh Palace. We have the opportunity to climb to the Victory Fort (above the Palace) built in the 17th century to commemorate Ladakh's independence from the invading armies from Baltistan and Kashmir. From the Palace we can also appreciate the alleyways that comprise the old town of Leh, located to the east of the main bazaar.
Day 3 to 4 In Leh
Among other options is a visit to the Shanti Stupa at Chanspa, just up the road from our hotel that affords fine views up the Indus Valley. It is also recommended to visit the Ladakh Ecological Centre to appreciate how the Ladakhi people have been able to incorporate new technology into their traditional lifestyles.On the second day we include a trip to Shey Palace and Tikse monastery. Shey Palace originally housed the Ladakh royal family before they moved to Leh in the 17th century. A few km up the Indus valley is the spectacular setting of Tikse monastery perched on the summit of a sugarloaf mountain. Our guides will show you around this ancient monastery and provide you with insights as to how the monks conduct their life and their day to day monastic routine.On the third day in Leh we head to Stok Palace due south of Leh where we undertake short hike up the gorges leading into the Stok Range. An invaluable day to assist with our acclimatization before we commence our trek.
Day 5 Leh to Zinchen and trek to Rumbak (1hr drive & 3hrs trek)
We drive via Stakna village and alongside the Indus River to reach the tiny settlement of Zinchen (3380m).It will not take long for our packhorses to be loaded before commence our trek that gradually ascends a spectacular gorge to the village of Rumbak (3960m).Our camp (3850m) is located just below the village.
Day 6 Rumbak to camp below Ganda La (Walk approx. 3hrs)
From Rumbak we ascend to the settlement of Yurutse. The peak of Stok Kangri looms above the stark mountainscape. Our campsite (4350m) is well located in a tiny meadow within striking distance of the Ganda La. That afternoon we undertake a short walk to further assist with acclimatisation and to also gain striking views across the upper Rumbak Valley.
Day 7 Base Camp to Shogdo via Ganda La (Walk approx. 6hrs)
Above our camp we gain views of the snow-capped Stok Range. After gradually ascending a series of switchbacks we make the final gradual ascent to the Ganda La (4950m). From the pass there a views south across the endless folds of the Zanskar Range and the snow capped summits of the main Himalaya Range before completing the gradual descent to the village of Shingo (4150m).
Day 8 Shogdo to Narding(4-5 hrs)
Below Shogdo the trail enters a narrow gorge where willow, poplar and rose bushes provide a natural canopy alongside the river course. The Skui monastery (3435m) marks the confluence of the stream coming from Shogdo and the Markha Valley. We then head up the Markha Valley to Narding (3530m) and a comfortable, grassy campsite.
Day 9 Narding to Markha (3-4 hrs)
The trail gradually ascends the Markha Valley passing a few small settlements en route to Markha (3770m) the largest village in the valley. That afternoon we visit the derelict fort above the village and the gompa that has recently been renovated by funds from trekkers and Hemis monastery.
Day 10 Markha to Hankar (walk approx. 3-4 hrs)
Our trail crosses the Markha river twice to reach the village of Umlung. A few km beyond the village the valley widens and the imposing peak of Kangyaze (6400m) can be appreciated before reaching Hankar (3980m), the highest village in the Markha Valley.
Day 11 Hanker to the base of the Zalung La (6 hrs)
From Hanker we divert from the main trail and commence our ascent across yak herders pastures to our camp at the base of the Zalung La (4650 metres).
Day 12 Cross the Zalung La to Tsorka (6-7 hrs)
From camp it is a gradual haul to the summit of the Zalung La (5190 metres). It is a windswept pass that affords impressive views of the peaks and jagged ridges of the Zanskar Range. (The shot on page 16 of our current Active Adventure brochure was taken from the Zalung La). From the pass it takes about three hours to reach a delightful grassy camp near to the abandoned encampment known as Tsorka (4200 metres).
Day 13 Trek to Dat settlement (walk approx.5hrs)
From Sorro we trek to the head of a nearby gorge. Anticipate a cold start to the day as this section necessitates two or three river crossings. We then enter a side gorge that we follow for three hours to the settlement of Dat. (4340 metres). During the summer the settlement is practically deserted as most of the villagers are grazing their yaks and goats on remote grazing pastures. The shepherds are known as Chang pa and follow lifestyles similar to their counterparts in nearby western Tibet.
Day 14 Drive to Leh via Hemis Monastery(drive 7-8hrs)
From Dat we drive along a dirt road across a vast grazing area populated by the Changpa shepherds for two hours until we reach the Manali to Leh ‘highway’. We ascend to the Taglang La (5328m) - the second highest motorable road crossing in the world - before descending to the Indus Valley with time to visit the ancient Hemis monastery before completing our drive back to Leh.
Day 15 Fly Leh to Delhi
We board the early morning flight to Delhi, on arrival trip concludes.