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. We approach the walk from Rumbak and add two days crossing the Gandal La 4800m on Day 2 and then the last pass the Kongmaru La which comes on last day of the trek. This adds a bit of a challenge to the regular route from Skiu.
Who should join this trek?
A good choice for regular hill walkers, moderate level of fitness required. Prior trekking experience is advisable as it is a camping trek.
1) Walking times: average 6 to 7 hours walking per day.
2) Altitude: up to 5,300 metres at the Kongmaru La pass and around 3500-4400 metres at the campsites.
3) Terrain: for some of the time following well-travelled trails although also likely to encounter rough and rocky conditions near the passes.
4) Remoteness: the trek is in a remote mountain area but not far from the roadheads at Chogdo and Rumbak. There is no mobile phones and wifi connectivity on the trek.
Trek Leader - Senior Ladakh South Col Guide
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 Rumbak 3800m by road 2.5 to 3 hours and walk to Yurustse 4000 metres 4-5 hours We leave Leh in the morning after an early breakfast and then drive to Rumbak in around 2.5 to three hours. We meet our pony man and support team in Rumbak . From Rumbak we start our 3 to 4 hour walk to Yurutse and reach by late afternoon.
Day 04- Yurutse to across Ganda La 4800 metres and descend to Shingo 3800m 6 to 7 hours
The climb from the base camp to the pass is a slow ascent of about 2.5 to 3 hours. From here the trail drops steeply to Shingo 3800m in about 3 hours which is our night stop.
Day 05 Shingo to Skiu to Markha 3750m (7-8 hours) We drop further from Singo to Skui in about two hours where our jeeps will meet us. We drive from Skiu to a bridge before Sera in about 1.5 to 2 hours. After lunch here we start the walk to Markha which will take about 4 hours . The trail is mostly flat following the Markha river
Day 06 Markha to Umlung to Hanker 3900 metres 5-6 hours
From Markha the trail cliimbs gently to Umlung in about 2 hours – from Umlung the trail initially followed the river valley and then contoured around some mani walls and chortens from where finally Hanker could be seen. The final walk to the village took around an hour as there were sections which had to be carefully navigated near the river where the path was nonexistent and a slight lapse of concentration would send you into the water. Hanker is 2.5 hours from Umlung.
Day 07 Hanker to Taughutse to Nimaling (4720 meters) 7 to 8 hours
From Hanker the trail climbs up to the grazing settlement of Taughutse in about 2 to 2.5 hours. From here the trail climbs to Nimaling passing a small campsite near a lake which is reached in about 2.5 hours. From here another 2/3 hours in Nimaling which is a large valley where yaks, sheep and goats are grazed by the villagers of Markha. It is beautiful campsite but can often be cold and windy!
Day 08 Nimaling to Kongmaru La 5100 meters -3hours and then down to Chukirmo/Chokdo 4050 meters 5-6 hours – drive to Leh LONG DAY start early by 6 am
The trail then climbs to the pass of Kongmaru La from where there are good views over the Zanskar mountains and the peak of K ang Yaze. From the pass the trail drops steeply and then Chokdo from where we drive to Leh.
Day 9 Buffer day
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.
Dates June 2024
COSTS - to be notified soon
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 2024 and may change without notice . Changes if any will be notified 3 months before the trek.
Transfer by four wheel drive vehicle from Leh to Rumbak ( start of trek) and pickup from Chogdo 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 hotel – Hotel Omasila is our preferred choice.
All accommodation in tents and meals on trek for six days ( day 3 to day 98) 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.
Lunch and dinner in Leh is 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
Estimate of Costs not included
Present cost of air ticket Delhi – Leh – Delhi ranges between Indian Rs 12,000 to Rs 25,000 return. Early bookings will attract lower fares. Some airlines flying to Leh from Delhi are Vistara , Air India and Go Air.
|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 porters in the morning. In case you cannot get a duffle bag in your home country these are available very cheap in Kathmandu and I can help you with this. The duffle bag should not weight more than 10 kgs!
|Warm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F
|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.
|Boots or Trekking Shoes
|Slippers or Sandals for camp
|lightweight to wear in the evenings
|2 pairs to carry and one pair to wear
|1 to wear and 2 to carry
|one- Wool or fleece is usually good
|the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.
|Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johns
|inner layer to wear at night and early morning ;
|Usually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking
|T shirts for walking
|one to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt
|Trousers /tights etc
|one to wear and one to carry light weight preferred
|One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket
|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. Our trek is not in the rainy season though some light rain/snow in the late afternoon evenings cannot be ruled out.
|Torch or headlamp
|one small needed carry one set spare batteries
|one small tube should be ok spf 30 or 50
|some essential medicines
|vitamins, headache, fever, pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines etc
|if you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!
|one no 500 ml or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles
|the sun is strong in the day
|Cap for the sun
|for baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower
|toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comb
|and any other toilet items you may need!
|wet tissues - wet ones for bathroom
|called wet ones in India
|some washing powder surf etc small
|to wash clothes en route if needed
|Nuts, raisins etc all mixed up
|can be divided into small packets for daily use
|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!
|Volini gel/ Bengay etc for aches and pains
|or any other equivalent
|Iodine or chlorine tablets for water purification
|available in Kathmandu- this is important as mineral water bottles are expensive; for overseas visitors you can get iodine tablets in REI and other large outdoor outlets
|Electral or any other rehydating salts
|Carry a few small packets of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated
|some spare plastic bags to pack wet stuff, dirty clothes etc
|Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!
|Two small locks one for your duffle bag and one for your room in case the lodge does not have a lock
|Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!
|To patch up boots that may give way!
|For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu
|Extra shoe laces
+ 91 9831054569 (whats app only)
Special Information for the Markha Valley Trek
The Markha Valley trek is a full support camping trek with ponies, guide, cook, helpers. It is not a lodge or tea house trek though there are some tea tents in the season where basic refreshments like noodles, tea, soup etc may be available. Tents with mattresses will be provided every night. Quilts and blankets will not be possible. You will need a warm sleeping bag at least three season. We will have a team of one cook and two helpers who will cook all meals. Food will be basic like porridge, cornflakes, some eggs, chapattis, rice, dal, vegetables etc. All food will be carried from Leh. Our bags and luggage will be carried by ponies supervised by a pony man. Toilets will not be available on the trail. – we will provide toilet tents for the trek.
CANCELLATION POLICY The cancellation policy and refunds available are given below: 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 = 15%
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 campsite for the group to pick him/her up on the way back, all expenses including lodging, fooding 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.
CAMPSITES ON THE TREK The choice of campsites to be used on the trek will be decided by South Col and clients will have to stay at these designated campsites. Clients are not permitted to choose their own campsites on the route.
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. Waiver of liability form as per link attached to be signed by the client. https://www.southcol.com/waiver-of-liability-release/