Zanskar The Hard Way 29 Days & 28 Nights

Zanskar The Hard Way
Overview

ZANSKAR - THE HARD WAY There are numbers of trekking routes in Zanskar, most of of trekking tours are from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. This is our 21st year that we are trekking and exploring Zanskar. Here we take one of the roughest & toughest hikes through the Indian Himalayas. Starting from South and finishing at the North. From the tropical south you walk through a high icy pass to warm dry gorges and deserts. We drive from Delhi to the pleasant town of Manali. Crossing Rohtang la to Urgos in the Miyar Valley. From there you walk through one of the most remote valleys past unique villages in a beautiful alpine landscape with lots of pine forests and waterfalls. Soon we walk up the Miyar glacier. This glacier is covered with debris at the beginning, but higher up is the one big ice plate, covered in the highest part with snow. From the Kang La (5450 m) we have a magnificent view. The environment consists of only sharp tops and glaciers. You descend into one of the valleys of Zanskar. Far away from everything here are some beautiful monasteries such as Bardan, Karsha and Thongde which we visit.

Our second part of trek will take us to a desolate mountain wilderness, for days we away through a maze of uninhabited canyons, wild rivers and erratic sand pillars. We cross high passes, wade through the river many times. We choose a direct route from Padum to the Indus valley, a gorgeous area where 5 passes and many river crossings await us. During this crossing we will also do the new crossing, the Shapodak La in central Zanskar. After some time in Leh enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and the many Buddhist monasteries in the area. Finally from Leh you fly back to Delhi and hometown.

OUTLINE TRIP ITINERARY
Day 01 - Arrive Delhi
Day 02 - Delhi to Manali
Day 03 - Manali
Day 04 - Manali to Rohtang la (3978 m) - Udaipur - Urgos (3250 m), 9-10 hrs jeep.
Day 05 - Trek Khanjar - Tharang (3450 m), 6-7 hrs.
Day 06 - At Tharang - acclimatization day
Day 07 - Trek Gumba nallah (3800 m), 5-6 hrs
Day 08 - Trek Palphu - foot of glacier/ moraine camp (4000 m), 6-7 hrs.
Day 09 - At moraine camp - acclimatization
Day 10 - Trek to the glacier camp (4500 m), 7 hrs.
Day 11 - Trek to glacier camp 2, ( 4900 m) 5 hrs.
Day 12 - Trek over the Kang La (5450 m) to Kanjur, 6-7 hrs.
Day 13 - Trek to Bardan Gompa (3600 m) to Padum,  5-6 hours, 1:30 hour jeep.
Day 14 - Padum rest day.
Day 15 - Padum rest day and visit to Karsha - Thongde, evening to Zangla by jeep 2 hrs.
Day 16 - Trek to Zangla Sumdo (3800 m) - Tsazar Doksa (4000m), 6-7 hrs.
Day 17 - Trek to Niri Sumdo (4420 m) Cross Pandang La (5175m), 7 hrs.
Day 18 - Trek base of Shapodak La 7-8 hrs.
Day 19 - Trek to Shapodak La (5530 m) - North base camp, 5-6 hrs.
Day 20 - Trek to North base camp to Lalung Tokpo (4050 m), 6-7 hrs.
Day 21 - Trek to Lalung Tokpo to Lapurba, 8 hrs.
Day 22 - Trek to Zalung Karpo La BC (4330 m), 5-6 hrs.
Day 23 - Trek to Zalung Karpo La BC - Zalung Karpo La (5200 m) - Tikyu (4430 m), 6-7 hrs.
Day 24 - Trek to Tikyu - Kongka Wangpo (5200 m) - Nimaling BC (5050 m), 7 hrs.
Day 25 - Trek to Nimaling BC rest
Day 26 - Ascent of Kang Yatse II (6210 m), 8-10 hrs.
Day 27 - Trek to Kongmaru La (5240 m) - Shang Sumdo (3690 m), 6-7 hrs, 2 hrs drive to Leh (3600 m)
Day 28 - Leh
Day 29 - Leh - Delhi, Delhi - home

PRICE INCLUDES

ü  All ground transportation to & fro as per the itinerary. 

ü  Delhi & Leh airport transfer

ü  Delhi to Manali by private taxi.

ü  4 nights hotel accommodation in Manali 2 x and Leh 2 x (Room + Breakfast)

ü  2 nights hotel accommodation in Urgos 1 x and Padum 1 x (Room + Breakfast + dinner)

ü  All camping facilities: Mess tent, camp chairs and table.

ü  Accommodation in quality 4 season tent for 2 person.

ü  Sleeping bags, foam mattress, trekking poles & safety gears.

ü  Meals on full board (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) Tea, snacks during the trek

ü  Qualified & trained well English speaking trekking guide and experienced crew.

ü  Nepali porters for first part or Zanskari mules for porterage of trekking gear & luggage.

ü  Camping fee

ü  Trekking permits, fee and Hemis national park fee.

ü  First aid medical kit & Goods and services tax.

 

SIMILAR PACKAGE

Zanskar Hard way: Kanji Dibling Phirtse la

Package Itinerary
  • Day 1 Arrive Delhi

    Arrive at Delhi Indira Gandhi international airport, pick up and drive to hotel. Rest and relax.

  • Day 2 Delhi to Manali.

    After an early breakfast at the hotel we drive 4-5 hours journey to Chandigarh, watching the changing scenery roll by. Chandigarh is almost the end of the line, located at the point where the Indian plains meet the foothills of the Himalaya. We continue our journey into the mountains, following the Beas River to enter the Kulu Valley, one of the most picturesque valleys in the Indian Himalaya. The road winds its way past pine-clothed mountain slopes giving glimpses of snow capped peaks, and through small settlements with their fields of rice and maize and little walled orchards. Eventually, we reach the upper part of the Kullu Valley and arrive at the popular tourist resort of Manali. Manali is approximately 300km from Chandigarh and the journey will take us around 7 hours. We check into hotel.

  • Day 3 Manali

    Manali is a very popular tourist town and we will visit some of its famous sights while we are here. We can visit the Hadimba Temple, the medieval wooden palace at Naggar with its own art museum and enjoy a soak in the Vashisht hot springs. It is also fun to walk around the sprawling bazaar. Manali located at an altitude of 2040m. 

  • Day 4 Manali to Rohtang la (3978 m) - Udaipur - Urgos (3250 m), 9-10 hrs jeep.

    Today an early departure from Manali by jeep, we drive over to Urgos . Starting trip from Manali, at the head of the lush green Kullu valley. The road slowly winds up the Rohtang-la pass (3’978m.), the first of the high passes, then down into the Lahaul valley. The landscape changes dramatically, the greenery being replaced by barren hillsides, where the village with their bountiful fields of barley, peas and potatoes, stand out in stark contrast. On entering Lahaul the Buddhist influence is visible in the many monasteries crossed on the way. The people here have distinct Tibetan features. Driving along the Chenab River. On the way we visit famous Trilok Nath temple and Mrikula Devi temple at Udaipur. From Udaipur follow a road, which has recently been constructed, through the narrow gorge making the entrance to Miyar valley. Cross the wooden bridge before Chamrat and continue on the true left bank of the valley. The village of Chamrat is with Mani walls and prayer flags, is the first village in the Miyar valley. Now road leads through flowered meadows and peas and millet fields to the village of Karput. Urgos is at the confluence with the valley leading to the Mt. Menthosa (6,443m), We prepare for the next day trek.

  • Day 5 Trek Khanjar - Tharang (3450 m), 6-7 hrs.

    Leaving Urgos we drive short distance to Shukto village and from here we trek to Khanjar village crossing large wooden bridge. Leaving Urgos, we drive 6 kms to Shukto village and from here we start trek to Khanjar village by crossing the wooden bridge, across a stony moraine stretch and some side streams to Khanjar, the last village. above the village on a beautiful alpine meadow, carpeted with edelweiss and catmint. There are lovely pastures all along the trek up to the camping site. The trek continues to the left side of the stream. After the last villages of the valley we find our spacious camping pitch at Tharang. The camp is established here. 

  • Day 6 At Tharang - acclimatization day

    In this camp we stay a day to get used to the altitude better.  In order to promote the acclimatization process, we are currently exploring a side valley. We climb a few hours to about 4200 m to the foot of the Tharang peaks. 

  • Day 7 Trek Gumba nallah (3800 m), 5-6 hrs

    Leaving Tharang camp we take easy walk along the left bank of the River and walk on vast meadows. On the way we meet shepherds with sheep, goats and yaks. They migrate into the area in the summer to allow their cattle to graze on the higher pastures. Tharang groups of peak 6000m appears to the sight as we walk futher. During summer entire area is covered with varieties of wild flowers. Arrive at beautiful camp. 

  • Day 8 Trek Palphu - foot of glacier/ moraine camp (4000 m), 5-6 hrs.

    Today again along the left bank of River to the moraine camp at the foot of the glacier (4000 m), which is also called Palphu. We walk below the castle peak. Which is famous among the rock climbers. On the way various camping spots are also from the Gaddi / shepherds camp known as Khai got (4100 m). You should not just enter it because they are guarded by big black dogs (the Tibetan mastiff). Today we leave on the early side because at the end of the day 2 tributaries have to be crossed. Depending on the water level, that is easy or a spectacular activity. Between large boulders there is a nice flat spot with grass to set up your tent. 

  • Day 9 At moraine camp - acclimatization

    A day for final acclimatization before taking the long Miyar glacier. This day we ascend to Takdung glacier and below the Castle peak. We find the blue poppies, which grows no. in during summer.
    There are small lakes near the campsite, you will have opportunity to take bath in this mountain lake. 

  • Day 10 Trek to the glacier camp (4500 m), 7 hrs.

    Today leaving camp we take on the one of longest glacier in Indian Himalaya. The Miyar glacier is 28 kilometers long. from camp at the glacier there is choice of route. Walk across the terminal moraine to the left side of the glacier, route tiring ups and downs along and increasingly ill-defined trail.Demanding terrains for the first 7/8 kms untill the confluence with a glacier flowing from the East side, easy going from here with a gradual ascent over smooth black ice. An occasional well exposed crevasses to negotiate. Camp just above the confluence with the side glacier, there is 3 passes and the center one is the actual pass. We trek on the right slopes close to the glacier and make our way to glacier camp. We walk on loose rubbles, stones covering with ice. So it will be hard to walk on this patch. Finally arrive at camp at an altitude of 4500m.

  • Day 11 Trek to glacier camp 2, ( 4900 m) 5 hrs.

    Leaving camp you go to the middle of the glacier. Initially it runs easily so slowly rising on the flat ice. Every now and then we jump over a glacier stream. To the left and to the right you can see white glaciers shining downwards through the black mountain walls, to the main glacier we are on. The hollow sound from the dark caverns gives you some idea of ??how thick the ice is here. From a certain point you can already see the pass. As we get higher there is more snow on the ice and sometimes we have to go through a piece that is very mushy. The going is therefore also a little more difficult. The camp lies in the middle of the white world with a few large boulders. 

  • Day 12 Trek over the Kang La (5450 m) to Kanjur, 6-7 hrs.

    An early departure from camp. At the head of the glacier, a large snow field curves to the East side to the base of the pass. From the camp it is still possible to roll up for about two hours without rope. We will stay together now because we will soon be on the rope. 250 m ascent from the snowfield to the pass is not hard. we put on the belts and we tie ourselves to the rope and we do the crampons. We walk to the top of the pass in about 2 hours. Magnificent view from pass to surrounding mountains towards north and south. We continue crossing of pass with rope up to cross crevasses, than 1.5 kms long Kang la pass enclosed by rock cliff to the north and snow walls to the south. This Great Himalayan mountain range keep the moonsoon rain good in the south but to the North its desert like environment. After crossing Kang la pass, the descent continues for a large part of the day over snowfields, sometimes steep and then sloping again. Its 2-3 hrs to the camp. There is a beautiful campsite. 

  • Day 13 Trek to Bardan Gompa (3600 m) to Padum, 5-6 hours, 1:30 hour jeep.

    Leaving Kanjur camp descent to Barda, we walk on the right side of the river and in the beginning we have to wade through two fast-flowing tributaries. after crossing the many side streams and grassy meadows, to down the valley. Arriving at rocky plateau, trail descends steeply in places through meadows and boulder fields. Tenasa Tokpo remains on the right bank, it flows down to a grassy meadow above the Tsarap River, there we see Yaks grazing. Arriving a Bardan where link road join to Padum and This is the new road between Manali and Padum that is under construction. Only few stretch has been left to build road that is from Kurgiak to Tsethang. We are now at about 3600 meters and in this desert and with that bright sun it is suddenly very hot, at least when the sun is not hidden behind clouds. Our driver will be waiting for us at here and we take short drive of 1:30 hrs to Padum. Check in hotel in Padum. 

  • Day 14 Padum rest day.

    Today full day rest, you wash clothes, take showers and explore Padum bazar and while our crew will restock fresh vegetables and supplies for the next part of trek.

  • Day 15 Padum and visit to Karsha - Thongde, evening to Zangla by jeep 2 hrs.

    Padum, the district headquarters of Zanskar. From Padum we drive through villages and fields to the large village of Karsha. The monastery here is the largest in Zanskar and houses many statues and thankas (religious paintings), while its library contains priceless ancient Buddhist manuscripts. The monastery is very dramatically located high on the side of a cliff overlooking the fields of the Zanskar Valley 350 metres below. If there is a festival in the monastery of Karsha,  you will witness it, if not continue  make our way to Thongde gompa. Situated on a small ridge overlooking the valley. Finally drive to Zangla camp which we call it Zangla River camp.

  • Day 16 Trek to Zangla Sumdo (3800 m), - Tsazar Doksa (4000m) 6-7 hrs.

    Today after the breakfast leaving camp we walk towards the Zangla village and gradual ascent to Zangla palace and continue along the Zangla irrigation ditch we enter in colourful gorges known as Zangla gorge.  We have to cross river again so prepare your sandals for river crossing to reach Zangla sumdo. We continue to trek along Zumlung Chu, which we cross many times. We pass the large sumdo where to the left the trail leads to jumlam and Charchar la an ancient and old trade route leading into Zanskar from Leh. The Jumlam route are mostly in active when flow of river at its lowest volume. Arriving at Zangla sumdo where small willow tree grows abunduntly along the river. We find our peaceful camping place between the low bushes. This Zumlung chu crossing is only accessible from end July to mid Sept. Thus mid Aug to mid Sept is best time. Anything before could last in change of itinerary.

  • Day 17 Trek to Yarumchan - Niri Sumdo (4420 m) cross Pandang La (5175 m), 7 hrs.

    Leaving camp the trail goes through a batch of sea buckthorn and willow bushes. The next two hours of hiking are easy, Coming out from the willows which hides our campsite, we now ascend gradually to Pandang la at an altitude of 5175m. We ascend steeply on a trail of loose scree and rocks which ends at the foot of pass and long ascent to the pass. From the pass Zanskar mountain panorama is breathe taking and magnificent. Crossing pass its long descent to campsite. Wild animals roams the hillside, so we open our eyes to all around. We arrive at wonderful campsite of Niri Sumdo.

  • Day 18 Trek base of Shapodak La 7-8 hrs.

    Leaving camp after breakfast to the entrance of the valley leading to the Shapodak La. Again the shoes go out because we have to go through the river. Then we go up again through a narrow valley. After a few hours we stop at a place where we know that there is no good camping place. Between the high rocks at the sound of the rippling water, it is wonderful to sleep.

  • Day 19 Trek to Shapodak La (5540 m) - North base camp, 5-6 hrs

    It starts immediately with multiple crossings. The sandals go on and stay on and nobody who counts the number of crosses still counts. We follow the river and keep to the left. Occasionally you may wonder what we are doing because a path is not there. But then the gap is broadened again and it is easy to do. We stop regularly. Around the 5100 meters the valley widens with on the right a large glacier and then suddenly left large and obviously the pass, complete with a stone man. On the pass you have an amazing view and on the other side a surprise - a glacier. In half an hour we descend over the glacier with ever beautiful views to a beautiful spot on the moraine next to the glacier.

  • Day 20 Trek North base camp to Lalung Tokpo (4050 m), 6-7 hrs.

    With the crampons underneath we go up over the glacier. In half an hour we are upstairs on the other side is also a small glacier.  underneath it a nice flat grit field - a good alternative spot. Then we descend through a narrow gorge dry riverbed with lots of loose debris until we arrive at the main river. It is high and wild. Finally the gap opens and a river comes from the left. Then we walk for another hour and a half before we make the river between the bushes camp. It was a long but spectacular day again. 

  • Day 21 Trek to Lalung Tokpo to Lapurba, 8 hrs.

    After 10 minutes the sandals will go for the first crossing and they will not go out today. The water is cold, is already fairly high and flows hard so we have to see if you can still cross it by yourself. After 3 hours of walking and countless crossings we are at Lapurba. Then further downstream, the wading become more numerous and heavier, so probably together through them. it is still spectacularly beautiful. Finally at the camp of Khurna Sumdo

  • Day 22 Trek to Zalung Karpo La BC (4330 m), 5-6 hrs.

    From the camp on the river we walk in an easterly direction. After about 2 hours we arrive at a junction. To the south you follow the route to the Lar La, but we turn to the north. After a few small river crossings we walk towards the next pass over green grassy mountain pastures. 2 hours later we make camp with a view of the Zalung Karpo La. 

  • Day 23 Trek to Zalung Karpo La BC - Zalung Karpo La (5200 m) - Tikyu (4430 m), 6-7 hrs.

    We follow the dry riverbed to the right. It looks like a piece of dough without a path. When we arrive there is still a path to be. Further fine path up through the hole, then a bowl and finally the Zalung Karpo La. Again a nice view, totally different from the previous days. In 2 hours we descend to Tikyu where we  camp. 

  • Day 24 Trek to Tikyu - Kongka Wangpo (5200 m) - Nimaling BC (5050 m), 7 hrs.

    First to descend a little, then steadily climb along the mountainside. Maybe we see the blue sheep that are in this area. As soon as we turn into the valley of the pass, we have to traverse long pieces over debris . The final stretch to the pass is steep. From here you have a beautiful view of Kang Yatze.  Then to beautiful meadows up and down around 5000 meters to Nimaling. We make camp at a place where from tomorrow we can try to climb the subtop of the Kang Yatse

  • Day 25 At Nimaling BC rest

    Today rest and preparation for tomorrows climb to Kang Yatse 2. 

  • Day 26 Climb Kang Yatse II (6210 m), 8-10 hrs.

    The summit is calling. Leaving midnight early approach to the edge of Kang Yatze II. At the snowline crampons are applied and the rise follows. Enjoy the great view over the Markha Valley of the surrounding mountains.  Descent on the ascent route. .

  • Day 27 Trek to Kongmaru La (5240 m) - Shang Sumdo (3690 m), 6-7 hrs, 2 hrs drive to Leh (3600 m)

    Today leaving Nimaling, continue on path where small stream to cross then gradual climb to the top of the highest pass of our trek, with its wonderful views from the top as far as eye goes to all directions. On a clear sky one can see Kangyatse, far across K2 and Karakoram Range and its peak rising above 7000m. Soon after crossing the pass steep and long descent to Chuskirmo.
    We pass the small village of Chokdo and continue along the stream to village of Shang Sumdo. leaving Shang Sumdo, we say adieu to our horseman and drive to Leh.

  • Day 28 Leh

    Today you enjoy your day as rest in Leh, wash clean and afternoon visit Leh bazar, Leh palace and Shanti stupa.

  • Day 29 Leh - Delhi, Delhi - home

    Morning we transfer you to airport and flight to Delhi. Arriving at Delhi airport pick and drive to hotel for few hours, before your midnight flight back to Europe or elsewhere.

Inclusions

ü  All ground transportation to & fro as per the itinerary. 

ü  Delhi & Leh airport transfer

ü  Delhi to Manali by private taxi.

ü  4 nights hotel accommodation in Manali 2 x and Leh 2 x (Room + Breakfast)

ü  2 nights hotel accommodation in Urgos 1 x and Padum 1 x (Room + Breakfast + dinner)

ü  All camping facilities: Mess tent, camp chairs and table.

ü  Accommodation in quality 4 season tent for 2 person.

ü  Sleeping bags, foam mattress, trekking poles & safety gears.

ü  Meals on full board (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) Tea, snacks during the trek

ü  Qualified & trained well English speaking trekking guide and experienced crew.

ü  Nepali porters for first part or Zanskari mules for porterage of trekking gear & luggage.

ü  Camping fee

ü  Trekking permits, fee and Hemis national park fee.

ü  First aid medical kit & Goods and services tax.

Exclusions

×     Domestic flight.  Delhi - Leh, Leh - Delhi

×     Rest of hotel in Delhi and Leh.

×     Any excursion in Delhi and Leh.

×     Travel insurance.

×     Soft or hard drinks.

×     Equipment rentals

×     Personal tip to staff: Guide, cook, helper(s), horsemen, driver(s). 

×     Any unforeseen cost arises by natural hazards rain, snow, road block which cost extra lodging & boarding   beyond trip Schedule.

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