Day 01: Takh - Base of Morang La (4600 mts/15088 ft) 6 hrs
The trek starts from the army trail for 2-3 km to Takh, a military camp. From
there, the trail deviates from the Tsarap River and starts the gradual and long
ascent to the base of the Morang La.
Day 02: Base of Morang La – Lun 6 hrs
A gradual climb takes you to the summit of Morang La (5300m), before you descend
into a narrow and muddy valley. Go past a beautiful plateau into the Zara Chu
valley. Turn right to follow the river along the left bank for an hour before
you reach the village of Lun.
Day 03: Lun - Yabbu (4250 mts/13940 ft) 6 hrs
Follow the Zara Chu valley further to the village of Yabbu, which has some
wonderful campsites and low stone walls to protect then from the sheep and goats
of the Tibetan nomads that live in this area.
Day 04: Yabbu - Lungmoche (4550 mts/14924 ft) 6 hrs
Follow the same valley past Yabbu from where you reach the summer settlement of
Lungmoche. This nomad village of Yak-wool tents sometimes spreads over a large
area and is very picturesque in the late evening with the smoke from the cooking
fires floating above the tents.
Day 05: Lungmoche - Dat (4200 mts/13776 ft) 7 hrs
A gradual 2 hour ascent to the top of the Yar La (4950m) reveals fantastic views
of the Rupshu. The high plateau is clearly visible with range upon range of
brown, barren hills and some snow-covered mountains in the far distance. Make a
short descent from the pass to a water point, as the next few hours are very
dry. A further descent takes you to the Dat Chu valley. Turn right to follow the
valley up to Dango and further on to the village of Dat, which has a small Gompa.
Day 06: Dat - Sura via Jalung Karpo La (4800 mts/15744 ft) 7 hrs
Follow the very broad valley of Dat, which is inhabited throughout the year,
past Mani walls and chortens into a narrowing valley. The stream meets the Sura
Chu to form the Chamg Cho of Khurna, a major tributary of the Zanskar river.
Follow the Sura Chu into a valley with wonderful woody gorges up to the summer
village of Sura. Leaving the lush green pastures of Sura, a 3-4 hour walk leads
over the Rubering La to Zangla, the ancient capital of Zanskar. Leaving the
valley floor, a steep climb takes you to the west ridge of the Jalung Karpo La
(5200m), which affords some great views. Descend into the valley to Sura.
Day 07: Sura - Nimaling (4878 mts/16000 ft) via Kongo Gompa La 5 hrs
From Sura, it's an easy walk before a steep ascent to Kongo Gompa-La. Descend on
the other side of the pass to the Nimaling plain. The Nimaling plain is a broad,
undulating meadow, which slopes up to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse, which
dominates the area. Nimaling, with its tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over
the meadow, provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of
animals - yaks, dzos, sheep, goats, horses - not only from the Markha but from
the villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in
plenty and it is not unusual to sight an occasional blue-s heep or Wolf.
Day 08: A day at leisure at Nimaling. An alternative is a walk to the base of
Day 09: Nimaling - Shang Sumdo via Kangmaru La (5274 mts/17300 ft)
Crossing to the north of the Markha, begin the climb to Kangmaru La (5274m).
From the pass, the trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley,
past the sulphur springs of Chuskirmo and follows the Martselang stream to the
village of Sumdo or Shang-Sumdo, at the confluence of the Shang and Martselang
Nullahs, where camp is set for the night.
Sleep in Shang Sumdo.
Jeep will pick you up at Shang Sumdo. After a visit to
the ancient monastery at Hemis, you will be dropped at Leh.