Nubra and Shyok Valley
India

Nubra Valley
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Moderate
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 25 Jul 2021

Details

Nubra Valley trek lies to the north of Leh and was once the gateway to the Silk Route. The valley has vast alluvial plains and bacterian camels, which roam the sandy banks of the Shyok River.

To the north of Nubra valley is the Siachen Glacier and to the north west Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass that connect Nubra with Xinjiang in China. Previously there was much trade passing through the area to East Turkestan and Central Asia as part of the Silk Route.

Shyok valley has vast alluvial plains with bacterian camels roaming around the sand dunes grazing the seabuckthorn bushes. This is a circuit trek in one of the least visited areas of Ladakh with unspoilt landscape and stunning views of the Karakoram mountains especially from the summit of Lasermo la pass at 5,400m.

This trip starts in Delhi followed by the dramatic flight to Leh. After a few days acclimatising we drive on the highest road in the world over Khardung La into Nubra Valley. Later on we will stop at Diskit village to visit their monastery one of the oldest in the Nubra Valley. We spend two nights at Hundar village to help with our acclimatisation and also hopefully we will get the chance to ride a Bactrian camel in the sand dunes of this valley.

We have designed our itinerary for plenty of time for the necessary acclimatisation to high altitude to maximise your chances of successful crossing Lasermo La back to Leh. Before crossing Lasermo la we leave the main valley to trek up a remote side valley to Sniu Sumdo campsite where we spend two nights. For the next day there is a good day walk from this campsite to some glacial lakes surrounded by impressive peaks such as Sahib Chasa, Leona Peak and Sniu Kangri.

The crossing of Lasermo la pass is a good walk with superb views over to the Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh range of mountains. We end the trek at Phyiang and after visiting their monastery we drive back to Leh to complete the circuit.

Itinerary

Arrive in Leh

Sightseeing in Leh

No meals

Hotel Lotus in Leh

On a clear day this is a spectacular 75 minute flight with views of Himalayan peaks, we will meet you on arrival to Leh airport and drive you back to the hotel. The rest of the day we recommend you relax and keep hydrated in order to gradually adapt to the high altitude of Leh. Once everyone has arrived Almas will give a detailed briefing on the trek and then in the evening will organise a group meal.

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 in Leh

Breakfast

Hotel Lotus in Leh

During today's sightseeing tour we visit Shey palace followed by Thiksey Monastery sometimes called the mini Potala. Thiksey is a beautiful monastery containing numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha's teachings. This sightseeing is done by private cars as Shey and Thiksey are about 10 kms out of Leh. We leave the afternoon free for the group to do their last minute shopping for the trek or just to explore Leh.

Drive to Hundar (3 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Karma Inn in Hundar

Our route to access the Nubra and Shyok Valleys is to travel over the Khardung La from Leh. The Khardung La (5,395m) is the highest driveable road in the world. We will have obtained our Inner Line Permit to enter Nubra Valley and these will be inspected as we leave Leh. After passing Diskit we then continue into the Shyok Valley to Hundar, one of the few areas in the world where grazing bactrian camels are seen.

Diskit Monastery also known as Deskit Gompa or Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (gompa) in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh, northern India. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, in the 14th century. It is a sub-gompa of the Thikse gompa.

The Nubra Valley is about 150 km north of Leh, the capital town of Ladakh, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The average altitude of the valley is about 3,050m above sea level.

The rest of the day is for acclimatisation and exploration of the settlement and surrounding area.

Explore around Hundar

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Karma Inn in Hundar

Hundar was the capital of the erstwhile Nubra kingdom in the 17th century, and is home to the Chamba Gompa. This is a day to continue with altitude acclimatisation and for further explorations of the area. An optional Bactrian camel ride will most likely be available here.

Walking 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We will cross several bridges this morning before entering a gorge where the path is carved out of the steep cliffs on the right. The trail then continues through the barren landscape and climbs above the gorge before arriving at Skarchen. We pass under a huge rock overhang before arriving in Skarchen.

Walking 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail today uses paths carved out of the rock cliffs in the river valley and from time to time climbs higher above the river. We will pass chortens and cross simple bridges before reaching the wheat fields which mark the approach to Hundar Dok.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow a wide stream up through pastures from where we will see 6,000m peaks in the distance.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave the main valley today to trek up a remote Sniu side valley to Sniu Sumdo.

Day walk

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we trek up the valley to the first glacial lakes. Surrounding peaks include Sahib Chasa, Leona Peak and Sniu Kangri.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Returning to the main valley we turn right and climb southwards to towards the Lasermo La crossing.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We continue climbing today prior to crossing the Lasermo La on Day 12.

Walking 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Crossing the pass will take approximately 3 hrs but the views from the summit, weather permitting, should be stunning.

Drive to Leh (1 hour)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Lotus in Leh

We will visit Pyiang Gompa on the drive back in to Leh. After arriving back in Leh, the rest of the day is at leisure for final sightseeing, shopping and our farewell dinner. An optional afternoon tour to Hemis and Thiksey Gompas is available on request and this is highly recommended.

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 25 Jul 2021 to 07 Aug 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,295pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$150pp / US$175pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 24 Jul 2022 to 06 Aug 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,295pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$150pp / US$175pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

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What's Included

  • All transfers including airport collections.
  • Morning acclimatisation walk in Leh followed by visits to key sights in the city.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Pangong, Hotel Lotus or Hotel Omasila (or equivalent) in Leh and Karma Inn in Hundar.
  • Breakfast only in Leh, all meals included while on trek.  
  • Twin share tents while on trek, dining tent and toilet tents.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, guide, ponies and cook.
  • Rubberised luggage tags posted to you before departure.
  • 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).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone or face to face meetings in London. After booking with us we will send our comprehensive “Ladakh Pre Trip Information” notes.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Delhi.
  • Internal flight to/from Leh and Delhi.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • India visa for 30 days.
  • Lunch and evening meals in Leh.
  • Delhi hotel and airport transfers.
  • Personal clothing & equipment, please see Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips (guidance on amounts included in our “Ladakh Pre Trip Information” notes).
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

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 in Nepal 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 Nubra 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 Nubra Valley 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 trek you are likely to experience quite warm conditions and you will experience the coldest temperatures where overnight lows can get 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 rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a porter. 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.
  • Wool and liner socks.
  • Trainers/sneakers or sandals. Can be used around camp in the evenings. Sandals are particularly useful if we have to cross any rivers.

Trekking gear for crossing the pass:

  • Two trekking poles (Black Diamond poles 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.
  • A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet/ muddy ground.

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 synthetic shirt. 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. The North Face Nuptse jacket 700 fill).

Handwear:

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

Headwear:

  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf (eg. Buff Headwear check out http://www.buffwear.com).
  • 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 at highest camp will 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.
  • Sleeping mat (eg. Thermarest). Please note we do not provide a mat for our Bhutan treks.
  • Recommended size is 30 to 40 litres as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing as well as micro spikes, trekking poles and down jacket for days crossing the high passes. It is also a good idea to bring a pack cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- dry bags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).
  • Pee bottle. Highly recommended as means you do not have to get up to find toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle for women take a look at SheWee at http://www.shewee.com/
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Acqua or Acqa Mira). You will be provided with boiled water at camp however if you refill water bottle at a water tap or steam during the day you should use water purifiers.
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Umbrella (you are quite likely to get some rain on this trek….)
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. 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 pack animal). Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Leh.
  • Toiletry bag include toilet paper, soap, towel, toothbrush, etc. We provide toilet paper so you do not need to bring this with you.

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.
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

Weather and climate for Nubra Valley

The traditional trekking season in Ladakh is late June to late September, with July and August generally recognised as having the best weather. 

This trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool, normally around 5˚C, and during the day temperatures sometimes rise to 25˚C.  At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15˚C to -20˚C.

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