Markha Valley
India

Nimaling Plain
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Moderate
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 05 Jul 2021

Details

Markha Valley is a trek in Ladakh crossing two high passes with spectacular views of Karakoram and Zanskar mountain ranges.

After the spectacular flight over the Himalaya to Leh we spend several days for essential acclimatization with sightseeing at Buddhist monasteries. The trek starts at the village of Spituk and after crossing the Ganda La we descend into the Markha Valley. We continue to the beautiful Nimaling plains dominated by the impressive Kang Yatze peak. From here we cross the Kongmaru La with superb views south to Zanskar and north to the Karakoram range. We descend from the pass through a steep canyon with wonderful coloured rock and then drive back to Leh.

Ladakh, also known as little Tibet, is one of the most remarkable regions of India. Although politically part of India, Ladakh is geographically and culturally an extension of western Tibet. Ladakh is a high and arid landscape with lush irrigated valleys surrounded by snow capped peaks. Leh the capital of Ladakh has long been a remote and fascinating outpost and important cross-roads for pilgrims and traders in the upper Indus Valley.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrive in Leh

No meals

Hotel Lotus in Leh

You will be met on arrival at Leh airport and driven back to the hotel.  Please provide travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pick-up and transfer.  A full briefing will be given in the afternoon. For the rest of the day it is best to rest and keep hydrated in order to help your body’s adjustment to the high altitude.

Sightseeing around Leh

Breakfast

Hotel Lotus in Leh

Leh is the ancient capital of Ladakh and has many hilltop forts and palaces to visit including the Royal Palace which overlooks the town. The town is situated on the old Silk Route and still has a trading tradition- it is well worth wandering around the colourful bazaar.

Sightseeing around Leh

Breakfast

Hotel Lotus in Leh

Drive to Spituk (1/2 hour)

Walking 12km (5 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After breakfast, we drive to Spituk and start trekking.  On leaving Spituk we enter a flat plain at the foot of the Stok mountains, for the rest of the day the trail follows the Indus river, often with rafts floating past, before leaving the Indus to head into the mountains along the pretty Jingchen gorge.

Walking 8.5km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The route follows the Jingchen Nala upstream in an increasingly narrow valley- look out for the blue sheep high above on the steep sides of the valley.  Before entering Rumbak the valley widens and the snow-topped Stok mountains come into sight.  The trail continues upstream, crosses the bridge and then takes the right fork to Yurutse.

9.5km (5 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

On leaving Yurutse the trail passes a beautiful purple band of rock and continues to Ganda la base camp where you take the path west towards the Ganda la.  Once at the pass there is a great view of Stok Kangri and the Zanskar range to the west, and from there descend to Shingo.

Walking 8km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we pass through a spectacular gorge with beautifully coloured and eroded rocks following the Shingri Nala river to Skiu- above Skiu is an attractive gompa and the remains of a royal residence.

Walking 20km (7 to 8 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail passes through Chalak and Tunespa and on approaching Markha you get the first glimpses of Kang Yatse (6,400m).

Walking 15km (5 to 6 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The route goes up the main valley on the right bank, passes the monastery of Humlung and continues to Hankar. The valley narrows and the trail crosses to the left bank to reach the pastures of Tchatchutse.

Walking 5.5km (3 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail passes a small lake and then across pastures to Nimaling which is one of the most beautiful high valleys in Ladakh with grassy plains surrounded by high peaks and passes.  To the south the view is dominated by Kang Yatze and to the north the Kong Maru La- the high pass we must cross in order to return back to Leh.

Walking 17km (7 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today is a long day as the trail climbs to the Kong Maru La- at the top of the pass there are colourful prayer flags framing the  360-degree Himalayan panorama.  To the north we look out towards Tibet, the Eastern Karakorams and China and to the south lies Kang Yatze whilst in the west there are the dry mountains of Zanskar.

The descent from the pass is fairly steep but soon eases before entering a narrow gorge with colourful rock formations. We descend into the Indus Valley and to the village of Shang.

Walking 5km (3 hours)

Drive to Leh (45 minutes)

Breakfast

Hotel Lotus in Leh

We walk along the riverbed on the left bank passing a series of chortens and follow a gently rising trail through rugged scenery to Hemis. After visiting Hemis monastery we drive back to Leh.

Fly to Delhi

Breakfast

Transfer to Leh airport for you fight to Delhi.

Dates & Prices

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 05 Jul 2021 to 17 Jul 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,525pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$200pp / US$155pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 19 Jul 2021 to 31 Jul 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,525pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$200pp / US$155pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 09 Aug 2021 to 21 Aug 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,525pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$200pp / US$155pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 04 Jul 2022 to 16 Jul 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,550pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$200pp / US$155pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 18 Jul 2022 to 30 Jul 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,550pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$200pp / US$155pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 08 Aug 2022 to 20 Aug 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,550pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$200pp / NA
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

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What's Included

  • All transfers including airport collections.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Pangong, Hotel Lotus or Hotel Omasila (or equivalent) in Leh.
  • Breakfast only at hotels in Leh, all meals included while on trek.  
  • Twin share tents while on trek.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, guide, ponies and cook.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Delhi.
  • Internal flight to/from Leh and Delhi.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • India visa up to 6 month.
  • Lunch and evening meals in Leh.
  • Delhi hotel and airport transfers.
  • Personal clothing & equipment please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips.
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

Accommodation

Hotel Lotus in Leh

Hotel Lotus is located above the main town of Leh and is surrounded by groves of evergreen trees. The hotel has seventeen rooms, restaurant and lobby.

Practical Information

A Typical Day On Camping Trek

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the assistant guides. Before heading over to the mess tent for breakfast you will pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the tents will be packed away and, after the porters have arranged their loads, they will set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, probably between 7am and 8am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around 11am at a spot by the side of the trail and is prepared for us by the cooks.


There is more walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid afternoon with the tents already put up by the local staff. In the evening a three course meal is served in the mess tent around 6-7pm. After supper the international leader will discuss the plan for the next day with the group. People might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events for a while before retiring to their tent for the night.

While on the trek, the cook will provide good quality food in sufficient quantities.  For breakfast you are likely to get porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. For our camping treks we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine. On arrival to camp in the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three course meal will follow later in the evening.

Clothing and Equipment List for Markha Valley

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Markha Valley trek. Your gear will be checked by the group leader in Leh prior to departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. During the first couple of days on this trek you may experience quite hot conditions with temperatures around 25 to 30˚C. You will experience the coldest temperatures in Nimaling at an altitude of 4,720m where overnight lows might be down to around -10˚C.

Each trekker should bring one backpack for gear required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The maximum weight allowance for back pack is 5kg. The rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a pony. The maximum weight allowance for your duffel bag  is 15kg. Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification.

We suggest you print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.

Footwear:

  • Walking boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.
  • A pair used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.
  • Wool and liner socks.
  • Trainers/sneakers or sandals. Can be used in camp/lodge in the evenings.

Clothing:

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek.
  • Trekking trousers. Minimum two pairs of trousers.
  • Long sleeve shirts (not cotton). Minimum two shirts.
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet fleece can be used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket to provide maximum warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or baselayer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece pants. To be worn around camp or added as an additional layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket. (eg Nuptse jacket by The North Face).

Handwear:

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.

Headwear:

  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf.
  • Bring extra batteries.
  • The lenses need to be Category 4 rated and should have side protection or wraparound design to prevent light getting through to your eyes that could cause sun blindness.

Personal Equipment:

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows in Nimaling likely to be around -10 Celsius.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Recommended size is 30 to 40 litres as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing such as down jacket etc. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Acqua or Acqa Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Trekking poles. (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Having two poles is mandatory as required for your safety on steep and loose sections of the trail and for walking through deep snow higher up.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer (optional). We suggest you keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks.

Travelling:

  • Duffle bag or large backpack for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days.
  • Toiletry bag include toilet paper, soap, towel, toothbrush, etc.

Personal first aid kit:

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment- Compeed patches are the best.
  • Rehydration powder eg Dioralyte.
  • Analgesic (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (optional), helps with acclimatisation.

Threat and risk assessment for Markha Valley

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in team is an important aspect of all of our trips.

As a part of our planning process we have performed a detailed threat and risk assessment for our Markha Valley trek. It is worth pointing out all of our trips have a certain degree of risk, this is of course part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. However by identifying the potential hazards on Markha Valley we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for Markha Valley is available on request. For your information we have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path.
  • Altitude illness including but not limited to AMS, HACE and HAPE.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke).
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (eg. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals have been known to knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite, we advise you discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. We advise you discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accident.
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalisation evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

13 DAYS FROM US$1525.00

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