Day 1: Arrival Leh (By Flight)
Early morning, meet and greet by Snow Leopard Adventures representative at Leh airport and transfer to your hotel. After check in at the hotel, rest day for acclimatization. In the evening, we explore Leh town. Leh is the headquarters of the Ladakh region and is an interesting town. Overnight in Leh hotel.
Note: Spending the first day at leisure in the hotel is a must for acclimatization.
Day 2: In Leh (3500 m)
Today after breakfast at the hotel, we visit Shey Palace, Thikse & Hemis monasteries. Shey Palace, built in 1645, is the oldest palace in Ladakh. Shey Gompa, made in 1655, has a 12 m high seated Buddha statue made out of gold-plated copper. Thiksey Gompa is the most picturesquely situated monastery in Ladakh, perched high on a hill above the Indus river. The gompa possesses a rich and beautiful collection of hand-written prayer books. Hemis Gompa is one of the most important in Ladakh, the largest and also the wealthiest. It was built in 1620 by the architect king- Singe Namgyal, a great patron of Buddhism. He filled Hemis with golden statues, stupas set with precious stones and thangkhas (tapestries) brought from many places, including Tibet. Lunch the hotel. Post lunch, we walk through Leh Bazaar. Overnight in Leh hotel.
Day 3: In Leh
Today after breakfast at the hotel, we visit Phyang and Spituk monasteries. Phyang Monastery is located 17 km west of Leh. This monastery belongs to the Degungpa Order. Spituk Monastery is located 7 km. to southwest of Leh. This Gompa was founded in the 11th century AD. Lunch at the hotel. Post lunch, walk through the Leh Bazaar up to Shanti Stupa for a panoramic view of Leh town. Overnight in Leh hotel.
Day 4: Leh – Chilling (Drive 68 km/ 3 hrs) – Skiu (Trek 9 kms/ 3 – 4 hrs)
Early morning after breakfast, we drive to Chilling with a picnic lunch. Chilling is a small village of craftsmen, who work with copper, tin and silver and make ladles, local liquor (tchang) pots, tea pots etc. Upon arrival in Chilling, we cross the Zanskar river over a rope way and meet our trek team and ponies that will carry our personal luggage and camping equipment. After all the equipment is loaded, we trek on a trail bordered by willow trees and wild roses and reach Skiu village, which is the entry point to Markha valley and our first camping site. Optional: En route visit Kaya monastery. Overnight in tents.
Day 5: Skiu – Shingo 4150 m (Trek 6 hrs)
Today, we climb up a gorge, which opens out to Shingo Village.This small village is at the junction of a small stream with the Skiu Nala. After crossing the village, we continue on the trail upward for another 20 minutes and set up our camp below Ganda La (pass), that we would be crossing the next day. Overnight in tents.
Day 6: Shingo – Ganda La 4920 m – Rumbak 3750 m ( Trek 7 hrs)
Today, we start our day with about an hour’s steep ascent to the top of the pass. At the top, we are welcomed by colourful prayer flags flapping in the wind and spectacular views of the Zanskari range on one side and snow- capped mountains of the Karakoram Range on the other side. After a short break, we descend on to the other side of the valley to Jingchan River and head towards the Rumbak. Overnight in tents.
Day 7: Rumbak – Stok La 4570 m – Mankarmo 4200 m (Trek 6 hrs)
Today, immediately after leaving camp, we cross the Rumbak Nala and follow the trail to the right bank of the Nala. After a short while, a steep ascent through scree and through a complicated knot of ridges will lead us to the top of the Stok La (pass). After spending some time at the pass and after enjoying excellent views of the Indus valley, we descend into the gorge that leads to the day’s campsite near Mankarmo, a shepherds’ village. Overnight in tents.
Day 8: Mankarmo – Stok Kangri Base Camp 4900 m (Trek 2 hrs)
Today after breakfast, we trek for two hours and reach the base of Stok Kangri and we establish camp. The camp is in a basin with a lovely view of the massif of Gulep Kangri.
Here Stok Kangri is hidden behind a ridge. Overnight in tents.
Day 9: At Stok Kangri Base Camp (Day for acclimatization)
Today after breakfast, we go for a day hike towards Stok Kangri/ Gulep Kangri for height gain.
In the evening return back to the base camp. In mountaineering parlance, a trekking peak is the name given to a summit that does not require any technical climbing knowledge or any equipment for the ascent. But a 6,250 m peak does require fitness and stamina.
Day 10: At Stok Kangri Base Camp (Summit Stok Kangri Peak- 6153 m)
Today a long, arduous walk awaits us. We start our day at 2 am climbing up and switch backing to the top of the ridge in front of our camp. The ascent to the ridge is tough and takes an hour.
Thereafter we follow a narrow trail to reach the moraine coming down from the glacier.
We climb up over the moraines for an hour and then cross the glacier to reach a basin in another hour. From here, we now go up the east face over more loose rocks for four and a half hours to reach the East- ridge. At the ridge we rest for a while before taking on a gruelling 90-minute climb to the summit. At the summit we get a magical 360 degree view of the whole of Ladakh – the twin peaks of Nun (7,086 m) and Kun (7,132 m) to the east, the Karakorams to the north, the plains of Changthang and the Tibetan plateau to the west and the Zanskar range to the south. After spending some time at the summit, we trek back to the Base Camp. Overnight in tents.
Day 11: Base Camp – Stok village – Leh (Downhill trek 5 hrs & drive 1 hr)
Today after breakfast, we wind up our camp and trek downhill to reach Stok village which is our finishing point of this trek. On arrival, we board the waiting vehicle and drive back to Leh for lunch at the hotel. Overnight in Leh hotel.
Day 12: Departure Leh (By Flight)
Early morning, transfer to Leh airport to board the onward flight.
What to Bring Along
- Trekking shoes (not new)
- Small knapsack
- Long trousers
- Rain gear (poncho)
- Lockable duffel bag
- Track pants & T-shirts
- Personal medical kit and toiletries
- Warm clothes including windcheater and fleece jacket
- Sun shade/ cap
- Sun block lotion
- Retainers for prescription glasses/ sun glasses
- Water bottle
- Musical instrument/ reading/ writing material
- Your Spirit of Adventure and sense of humour!