Lamayuru Markha And Rupshu Trail
This rewarding trek leads from the stark mountains of Ladakh and Zangskar into the sweeping high altitude plateaus of Rupshu with its expansive grazing pastures. The entire trek offers you spectacular views and sights of unusual rock formations besides a chance of spotting some of the rare wildlife that inhabit this austere land.
We welcome you on your arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and escort you to your hotel where you stay overnight.
Take the morning flight to Leh and check into your hotel. Afternoon free to wander around the bazaars and visit the Leh palace. A couple days in Leh is strongly advised due to the high altitude.
Today we drive to Lamayuru - 3420 m), 5 h. En route, visit of the monasteries of Alchi and Lamayuru.
Lamayuru - Prinkiti-La at 3726m / 12,221ft to - Wanla - 3550m / 11,844ft. 5 hours. Visit the Lamayuru monastery built in the 16th century and said to be the biggest in western Ladakh. The Gompa hugs a cliff side overlooking a deep canyon and houses numerous intricately done wall paintings. From here the trail descends to a valley from where it climbs steadily towards the Prinkiti La pass and then gradually slopes down to the village of Wanla. Camp overnight.
Wanla - Hinju - 3900m / 12,792ft. A 6 hour walk through an arid and barren valley takes us to the small village of Phanjila from where the trail turns into another valley besides the Ripchar river to Hinju. Camp overnight.
Hinju - Konke La -4950m / 16,236ft to Sumdha at 4150m / 13,612ft. 7 hours. The trail ascends steeply towards the Konke La pass from where you are afforded extensive views of glacial fields, sweeping barren valleys dotted with splashes of green. From the pass the trail leads downward over mountain ridges to the village of Sumdha. Camp overnight.
Sumdha Chenmo - base camp below Dungdungchen La - 4050m / 13,284ft. 6 hours. We now descend towards the tiny village of Lanak at 3750m / 12,300ft then climb up towards the base of Dungdungchen La. Camp overnight.
Base of Dungdungchen La - 4050m / 13,284ft -over the Dungdungchen La at 4700m / 15,416ft. to Chilling at 3350m / 10,988ft. 6 hours. A steady climb to this small pass from where again you are rewarded with glorious views. The trail then winds downwards to the large village of Chilling on the banks of the Zanskar river. This village is known for its fine metalwork particularly exquisitely made cups and cutlery and local gold ornaments. Camp overnight.
Chilling - Skiu - 3510m / 11,512ft. 5 hours. The trek now converts into a river crossing by a cable cart over the Zanskar. We leave our pack ponies behind and get new ones once we're across. From the other side we pass the village of Kaya before we reach Skiu, a pleasant walk away. Camp near the village.
Skiu - Markha - 3850m / 12,628ft. 6 hours. A leisurely trek that involves a number of river crossings across the Markha river. At times the water may be low solely depending on the weather conditions. We camp near the Markha village with its green fields on the banks of the Markha river.
Markha - Hankar - 4000m / 13,120ft. 4 hours. The trail involves a day of a few river crossings till you reach the Umlung Gompa high up on a hillside. The climb is stiff one but there are good views of the valley far below. The Umlung village is a little ahead and from here the walk is almost a level one to Hankar village. We camp at the foot of the soaring Kang Yaze peak - 6400m / 20,992ft.
Hankar - Langthang Chu campsite at 4250m / 13,940ft. 6 hours. The trail now leaves the Markha valley and heads south alongside the Langthang crossing it several times before we reach the delightful camping site. Camp overnight.
Langtang Chu - Yakrupal - 4700m / 15,416ft. 4 hours. The trail ascends through a valley and fords a stream emerging onto a moraine wall after which the valley narrows till we reach the base of the pass.
Yakrupal - Zalung Karpo La - 5200m / 17,056ft. on to Sorra / Kurna Chu -4200m / 13,776ft. 5 - 6 hours. The trail goes uphill over the Zalung Karpo La pass and then slopes towards the west zigzagging its way down into the valley. Camp near the village of Sorra.
Sorra - Dat - 4200m / 13,776ft. 5 hours. The trail goes along the river into a spectacular canyon with a small clear stream and a copse of prized willows. The valley widens out and then after a climb emerges into another valley which we follow upstream passing quite a few mani walls right up to Dat a fertile and green village in a landscape of harsh browns. Camp overnight.
Dat - Yar La - 5000m / 16,400ft. to Lungmoche at 4010m / 13,152ft. 6- 7 hours. Today we cross over from the Zanskar mountains into the vast sweeping plains of the Rupshu valley. An easy climb takes us to the pass where a large Chortens stands adorned with prayer flags. Ahead stretch the undulating landscape of Rupshu as we head down to the abandoned village of Lungmoche. On the way there are chances of spotting a herd of Kiangs - the Tibetan Wild Ass which inhabit the rolling plains of the Rupshu and Changthang. Camp overnight.
Lungmoche - Sangtha - 4300m / 14,110ft. 3 hours. The trail goes through a large stretch of desert and then tapers off into scrubland. Further you come across Chortens and mani walls just as we enter the Sangtha village which may be deserted as it is the winter home of the Changpa nomads who travel long distances on the high plateaus grazing their livestock of sheep and Yak. Walk through the barren landscape surrounded by distant hills to the Manali Leh Highway where a Jeep awaits to take us over the 5060m / 16,596ft high Lachlang La pass to the camping site at Sarchu. Camp overnight.
Drive further south from Sarchu to Manali by jeep. The road passes - Baralacha La and Rohtang La two passes, before reaching the lush green Kullu valley and its northern most town of Manali.
Rest day in Manali to take in the local sights. Overnight in a comfortable hotel.
A fifteen hour drive takes us to New Delhi where you check into your hotel for the night.
Day at leisure in Delhi. Transfer to the International airport late night or early morning for an onward flight to your next destination.