India – Markha Valley

30 Aug 16

India – Markha Valley

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Markha Valley, which runs parallel to the Himalayas, is located between the Zanskar River and Ladakh. The valley is also in close proximity to Leh, the region's capital and commercial centre. It is this close proximity to Leh and its dramatically breathtaking landscapes that make Markha Valley one of Ladakh's most popular treks and a favourite for trekkers around the world. The trek ventures high into the Himalayas, through meadows and shepherds settlements and crossing a few high passes. The terrain is varied and changes from incredibly narrow valleys to wide-open vast expanses. The trek is made all the more interesting by the ancient form of Buddhism that flourishes in the many monasteries that dot the landscape perched high atop hills and the elaborated “chortens”(shrines) and “mani”(prayer) walls that decorated the trails. Ladakh total immersion in Buddhist culture has earned it the name of "Little Tibet". Add on the spectacular views of snow capped peaks, in particular Kang Yatze (6400m), to the hills of the Eastern Karakoram and China, it is no wonder that the Markha Valley Trek is  one of the most varied and beautiful trek in the world.

About The Climb

You can do a short or long trek (5 or more days) in Markha Valley depending on where you start and end your trek.

We start our trek with a drive to the road head village of Rumbak where the trek will bring you to the village of Skiu on the banks of the Markha River. Like every village across Ladakh, Skiu has a monastery and is surrounded by verdant fields of barley, peas and mustard - a dramatic contrast to the arid mountain landscape around it. From Skiu, we go higher up the valley for the next few days, through different villages, crossing the Markha River several times and Gandala Pass (4900m) to reach our highest campsite at Nimaling (4700m). After Nimaling, we will cross another high pass - Kongmaru La (5100m) - before starting our ascend to Shang Village through a stony gorge.

This trek offers you a chance for both a close up view of the way the rural Ladakhi lives by visiting their homes and the countryside dotted with shepherds grazing their animals.

On this trek, you will also cross several glacier streams and passes, camp in or near villages in camping grounds run by local villagers. You may also encounter wildlife such as Blue Sheep and Marmots.

Trekking Seasons

Ladakh is brutally cold in the winter months from November to February. The temperature often dips to minus 30 degree celsius, especially in the month of January and February. The summer months are the warmest and best for treks & climbs. Though summer (Late May to mid September) also brings rain because Ladakh is in rainshadow of the Himalayas.

Best time for Markha Valley Trek : Late June to Mid September

Experience Required

Past climbing experience is not essential, but you should have some trekking background. You will be required to trek above 3500m most of the days, cross rivers and high passes of above 4000m. Having trekked above 4000m is an advantage.

Equipment and Gear

You will need alpine trekking attire for the trek; thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outershell jacket. When at the campsites and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A good down sleeping bag is also needed and can be rented at Leh.

A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read about the layering system to be better prepared and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb.

 

  • Price based on group size: 6 - 12 people
  • 2 people: $1490 per person / 3-5 people: $1350 per person
  • You can also form a private group or join an international open group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at contact@aceadventure.com.sg

DayItineraryMealsAltitude At Rest Point
Day 1Arrive Leh-/-/-3500m
Day 2Acclimatization day. Half day sightseeing of Stok Palace Museum, Shey and Thiksey.
B/-/-3500m
Day 3Acclimatization day. A walk in the outskirts of Leh town to the Old PalaceB/-/-3500m
Day 4-7Drive to Rumbak Lato. Start trek to Rumbak. For the next few days, trek to Markha Village through Skiu Village and Gandala pass (4900m).B/L/DRumbak - 3700m
Markha Village - 3800m
Skiu Village - 3500m
Day 8-9Trek to Thachungtse and NimalingB/L/DThachungtse - 4200m Nimaling - 4700m
Day 10-11Cross Kongmaru La (5100m) and descend to Shang. Drive to Leh on Day 12B/L/D (except dinner in Leh)Shang Village - 3700m
Leh - 3500m
Day 12Flight from Leh to New Delhi. Depart New Delhi (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )B/-/-

Inclusions

  1. Return airport transfer in Leh
  2. All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
  3. Meals as indicated in itinerary (vegetarian meals only during trek)
  4. Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in guesthouse in Leh and in tent during trek
  5. Sight-seeing tour as indicated in itinerary with English-speaking guide, except places of interest entry fee.
  6. Camping equipment: Sleeping mat, toilet tent, kitchen tent, dinning tent with table and chairs
  7. Trek support: Climbing guide, assistant climbing guide,cook and helpers. Ponies for porterage support
  8. Boiled drinking water on trek

Exclusions

  1. International and domestic air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  2. Visa Fee (Different fee for different nationalities. Visit this link for visa fee & application process: https://www.hcisingapore.gov.in/pages.php?id=4).
  3. Single Supplement
  4. Entrance fees to sight-seeing places like monasteries etc
  5. All beverages except boiled drinking water during trek
  6. Meals not indicated in itinerary
  7. All tipping
  8. Personal porters
  9. Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover trekking up to 6000m)
  10. Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
  11. Personal travel & trekking gear
  12. Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
  13. Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay

Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions

We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing
2. Equipment preparation & gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Physical training preparation
4. Trip information kit

We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Ladakh, possess  intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture.

Grading: 2B+

Good cardio-vascular fitness is necessary. There will be river and high passes crossing with the highest pass at 5100m and highest campsite at 4700m.  You will be trekking at above 3500m in undulating mountain terrain. You should have the ability to trek with personal backpack load of 5-6kg for up to 8 days.

Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a climb or trek. A training recommendation specific to the climb or trek will be given upon signing up. A good four to five months of training would be a good preparation for the trek. Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trip.