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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
|Duffle Bag||All 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!|
|1||Sleeping Bag||Warm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F|
|2||Daypack 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|
|3||Boots or Trekking Shoes||one pair|
|4||Slippers or Sandals for camp||lightweight to wear in the evenings|
|5||warm Socks||2 pairs to carry and one pair to wear|
|7||Underwear||1 to wear and 2 to carry|
|8||Warm Cap||one- Wool or fleece is usually good|
|9||Heavy jacket||the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.|
|10||Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johns||inner layer to wear at night and early morning ;|
|11||Mid Layer||Usually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking|
|12||T shirts for walking||one to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt|
|13||Trousers /tights etc||one to wear and one to carry light weight preferred|
|14||One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket / Rain Poncho||useful 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.|
|15||Torch or headlamp||one small needed carry one set spare batteries Petzl is one of the best|
|16||Sun bloc||one small tube should be ok spf 50|
|17||some essential medicines||vitamins, headache, fever, pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines etc|
|18||Hiking poles||if you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!|
|19||Water bottle||one no 500 ml or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles|
|20||Sun glasses||the sun is strong in the day|
|21||Cap for the sun||ditto!|
|22||small towel||for baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower|
|23||toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comb||and any other toilet items you may need!|
|24||wet tissues - wet ones for bathroom||called wet ones in India|
|25||some washing powder surf etc small||to wash clothes en route if needed|
|26||Nuts, raisins etc all mixed up||can be divided into small packets for daily use|
|27||Chocolates /Energy Bars/Amul cheese slices/tea bags||Carry 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!|
|29||Volini gel/ Bengay etc for aches and pains||or any other equivalent|
|30||Iodine or chlorine tablets for water purification||Potable Aqua is one of the available brands fr iodine|
|31||Electral or any other rehydating salts||Carry a few small packets of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated|
|32||some spare plastic bags to pack wet stuff, dirty clothes etc|
|33||Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!|
|34||Two small locks one for your duffle bag and one as backup|
|35||Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!|
|36||Super Glue||To patch up boots that may give way!|
|37||Face mask||For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu|
|38||Extra shoe laces||one pair|
|39||Small mug for tea coffee hot chocolate||In case you want to use your own mug for this and not the trekking supply!|
Sujoy Das - firstname.lastname@example.org; +91 9831054569
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.
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.