The Markha Valley is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh. It is relatively short, located close to Leh, the walking is mostly below 4000 metres with  night stops around 3500 metres and has the best of Ladakh thrown in: Sculpted canyons and fantastic rock formations, medieval villages,  Buddhist gompas and snow-peaks. When approached from Chilling there is only one pass to cross the Kongamaru La which comes on Day 8 of the trek by which time most trekkers are properly acclimatised. This is one of our favourite Ladakh treks so do join us!

Who should join this trek?
A good choice for regular walkers,  good level of fitness required. 
1) Walking times: average 6 to 8  hours walking per day ( some half days as well)
2) Altitude: up to 5,150m Kongmaru La pass 
3) Terrain: for some of the time following well-travelled trails although also likely to encounter rough and rocky conditions. 
4) Remoteness: the trek is in a remote mountain area and a some distance from the roadhead. There are small villages on the route.
5) Mobile phones, wifi, internet etc are not available on this route

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Day 01 Delhi to Leh  

We take the  spectacular one hour flight over the Himalayas to Leh. Be prepared to sit on the left hand window seat for the best views. The rest of the day is spent acclimatizing in Leh.

Day 02 Acclimatization day in and around Leh

We take the opportunity to visit some of the splendid monasteries in and around Leh like Shey, Thikse, Hemis etc.

Day 03 Leh to Chilling by road and then walk to Skiu 3400m (4 hours)

We leave Leh in the morning after an early breakfast and then drive to Chilling in around  two and a half hours. We meet our pony man and support team in Chilling.  From Chilling we start our four hour walk to Skiu  and reach by later afternoon.

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Day 04   Skiu to Tunespa 3600 m ( 4 hours)  

The trail is mostly flat following the Markha river. After around three hours the trail crosses a bridge and then traverses some steep slopes before entering the hamlet of Chaluk. From Chaluk there is a short walk to Tunespa which is small village with cultivated fields. 

 Day 05 Tunespa to Markha 3700 meters 3 hours and then Markha to Hankar 3900 metres 3 hours 

The trail from Tunespa climbs up to some chortens from where there is a good view of the valley. It continues to follow the river until it enters Markha where we have lunch. From Markha it is a gentle climb past Umlung to Hankar where we stop for the night.

Day 06  Hankar to Tahungtse 4150 metres 3 hours   and the  Tahungtse to the Tea Tent (lake) 3 hours
From Hankar the trail climbs to reach the walled pastures of Tahungtse. We stop for an early lunch here and then proceed after lunch to reach the small tarn with excellent mountain views. There is a small tea tent here in season for refreshments

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 Day 07   Tea Tent to Nimaling ( 4720 meters) 2 hours uphill  

The  trail climbs to Nimaling which is a large valley where yaks, sheep and goats are grazed by the villagers of Markha. We do a short day to Nimaling as the next day has a pass crossing and a stiff downhill! It is beautiful campsite but can often be cold and windy!

Day 08 Nimaling to Kongmaru La 5100 meters 2 hours and then down to Chukirmo 4050 meters four hours

The trail then climbs to the pass of Kongmaru La from where there are good views over the Zanskar mountains and the peak of Kang Yaze. From the pass the trail drops steeply for about 1000 metres to the settlement of Chukirmo where we camp for the night.

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Day 09  Chukirmo to Shang Sumdo 31/2 hours and then drive to Leh two hours

The trail continues to drop but more gradually now to  Chogdo and then passes a school and finally enters Shang Sumdo. We have our packed lunch in Shang Sumdo and then drive  back to Leh.

Day 10   Leh to Delhi
We can avail the morning flight from Leh to Delhi and be back in civilization in an hour!  In case you wish to stay on in Leh further please do inform us for hotel bookings and onward reservations.

 

The cost of the trek is Rs  65,000/- for Indians (US $ 1200 for foreign passports ) Leh to Leh -  some exclusions apply.  Service Tax @ 3.63% is included in the cost.

The cost is per person for Leh to Leh (9 days ) as per the itinerary given earlier
Costs given above are at current rates of 2015 and may change without notice as by 2016 we may have further rupee devaluation against the dollar. Changes if any will be notified 3 months before the trek.
Costs include:
Transfer by four wheel drive vehicle from Leh to Chilling ( start of trek) and pickup from Shang Sumdo to Leh at the end of the trek.
One day monastery visits around Leh – Shey, Thikse, Hemis etc. on day 2 in a private vehicle
Three nights accommodation in Leh on twin sharing basis in a good standard hotel.
All accommodation in tents and meals on trek for seven days ( day 3 to day 9) as per itinerary; breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Cost of guides/cook/helper/ponyman and ponies as needed for the trek.

Costs not included
Flight Costs from home country to Leh and back.
All meals in Leh not covered.
Airport taxes if any.
Client travel and medical insurance of any kind. Emergency evacuation costs if needed.
Bottled drinks; boiled, filtered or bottled water; alcohol; snacks etc
Personal clothing and equipment; sleeping bag; duvet /down/ goretek jacket, medicines for personal use etc.
Tips to guides/cook/helper/ponyman at the end of trek

Air Tickets
Present cost of air ticket Delhi – Leh – Delhi ranges between Indian Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 return. Early bookings will attract lower fares. Some airlines flying to Leh from Delhi are Jet Airways, Air India and Go Air.

 

 

 ITEMS REMARKS
 Duffle BagAll the equipment listed below other than what you need for the day should be packed into a duffle bag, locked and handed over to the ponies in the morning.  The duffle bag should not weight more than 10 kgs! 
1Sleeping BagWarm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F
2Daypack or Hipbelt To carry water, one jacket some nuts, chocolates, cap, camera to keep with you in the day, maybe gloves and cap as well, hiking poles etc. - 25 to 30 litre size should be sufficient
3Boots or  Trekking Shoesone pair  
4Slippers or Sandals for camplightweight to wear in the evenings
5warm Socks2 pairs to carry  and one pair to wear
6Glovesone pair 
7Underwear1 to wear and 2 to carry
8Warm Capone- Wool or fleece is usually good
9Heavy jacket the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.
10Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johnsinner layer to wear at night and early morning ;  
11Mid LayerUsually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking 
12T shirts for walkingone to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt
13Trousers /tights etcone to wear and one to carry light weight preferred
14One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket / Rain Ponchouseful in case of wind ... you may need it in light rain though we would usually take shelter and wait for the rain to stop. Ladakh is in the rain shadow so we do not expect heavy rain.  
15Torch or headlampone small needed  carry one set spare batteries Petzl is one of the best
16Sun blocone small tube should be ok spf  50
17some essential medicinesvitamins, headache,  fever,  pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines  etc
18Hiking polesif you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!
19Water bottle one no 500 ml  or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles
20Sun glassesthe sun is strong in the day
21Cap for the sunditto!
22small towelfor baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower
23toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comband any other toilet items you may need!
24wet tissues - wet ones for bathroomcalled wet ones in India
25some washing powder surf etc smallto wash clothes en route if needed
26Nuts, raisins etc all mixed upcan be divided into small packets for daily use
27Chocolates /Energy Bars/Amul cheese slices/tea bagsCarry some chocolates or energy bars to have on the way. Amul cheese slices are very useful and can be had as snacks when you are tired of sweets!
28Sweetsfor energy
29Volini  gel/ Bengay etc for aches and  painsor any other equivalent
30Iodine or chlorine tablets  for water purificationPotable Aqua is one of the available brands fr iodine
31Electral or any other rehydating saltsCarry a few small packets  of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated
32some spare plastic bags to pack  wet stuff, dirty clothes etc  
33Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!
34Two  small locks one for your duffle bag and one as backup
35Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!
36Super Glue To patch up boots that may give way!
37Face mask For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu
38Extra shoe laces one pair
39Small mug for tea coffee hot chocolateIn case you want to use your own mug for this and not the trekking supply!
40Binoculars optional 

Sujoy Das - sujoyrdas@gmail.com; +91 9831054569

 

CANCELLATION CHARGES

All trek payments are subject to the following cancellation charges:

0-7 days before the start of the trek =75% 

8 -15 days before the start of the trek = 50%

16-30 days before the start of the trek = 35%

31-45 days before the start of the trek = 25%

46 days and above = 20%

IN CASE OF LEAVING THE GROUP
If due to illness or any other reason a client has to leave the group and go down or wait at a lodge for the group to pick him/her up on the way back or return to Leh, all expenses including lodging, fooding, transport and any porter/guide related expenses if any are to be borne by the individual client over and above the trek fees paid for the trek. There are also no refunds for leaving a trek before completion.
 
HIRING OF PONIES ETC
In the eventuality of a client needed the services of a pony to come down to lower altitudes, the cost of hiring the pony will be paid by the client.

DELAYS DUE TO BANDHS, STRIKES AND OTHER FORCE MAJEURE EVENTS
In the event of a delay in starting or ending the trek due to issues beyond the control of South Col, additional costs if any arising out of the same would have to be borne by the clients.

TREK ROUTE
The trek route and day wise schedule will be fixed by South Col and will have to be followed by the client.
 
RISKS AND LIABILITY
The trek is in a remote mountain area and has certain additional dangers and risks, some of which include: physical exertion for which the client should be prepared; weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected changes; remoteness from normal medical services; evacuation difficulties.
In the event of injury or illness South Col Expeditions (Sujoy Das) or its Staff can, at the clients cost arrange any medical treatment and emergency evacuation service as it or they deem necessary for the health and safety of the client.