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About the Destination:
Another hidden gem in the bosom of Ladakh, Markha valley trek is a must do trek for you at least once. This trek leads you to the top of two very high passes, Gandala La (4800 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m) and lets you feast your eyes on stunning sights from the summit. Not just this you will also come across the famous Markha hamlet that is a trove in this cold semi-arid terrain of Ladakh. During your trek, passing through the several streams and rivers and then through the remote gorges and unbridled grazing grounds.
On your first two days of the Markha Valley trek, you will spend for acclimatization as it is vital for a healthy trip ahead. Get a chance to explore the ancient monasteries, museum, fort, the local marketplace and Leh Palace. You will pass over Ganda La (4800 m) and arrive at the winsome Markha Village that is laced with green fields and willow trees. With a backdrop of the barren mountain and valleys, this trek also allows you to camp beside a gurgling stream with the stunning view of Kangyatze Peak.
You will come across some of the most verdant places of the region as you keep continuing your trek. The outstanding views of the valleys and the snow-capped mountains will make you fall in love with this region. Get ready for this perfect trekking experience.
About the trek:
The Markha Valley trek takes you through some of the most enchanting features of the region as you keep continuing your trek. In a period of 9 days, you will be trekking through the verdant greenery, snow-capped mountains and the stunning dense forest. Once you arrive at Leh you will start this trek after getting familiarized with the climatic condition for two days. Get ready to explore the culture and the Buddhist tradition of the exotic place and then meet the local people as well.
You will come closer to Markha Valley once you reach Yurutse, your first camping ground. You will have some steep ascent from Yurutse to Ganda La, also you will get o watch the magnificent Zanskar Range and the distant Himalayan ranges. Catch the magical glance of the confluence of rivers at Skiu which will make you stare at it for long. Once you reach Skiui, you will keep trekking for around 6 to 7 hours and it will be mostly moderate climbing.
Marvel at the sight of the small streams and the tall trees as you keep continuing your trek. Feel the cold breeze touching your face but the distant sights encouraging you to keep moving. The lush green meadows, the silent trees and the quaint little hamlets will make all your fatigue go away. Spend some time witnessing the beauty from the top of Markha Valley. Also, witness the Kangyatze Peak. You will then take the routes through Nimaling, Kongmaru La, Sumdo and finally Leh.
Markha Valley Trek Highlights:-Markha Valley is one of the most alluring regions located in Ladakh with the support of pure greenery and streams.
Trekking Distance: 75km
Maximum Altitude: 16,830ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Base Camp: Spituk
Today you will meet at Leh and check in to the hotel.
This day is reserved for relaxation and acclimatisation as it is vital for a healthy trip ahead.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Spend one more day at Leh and visit the ancient monasteries, palaces and museums that the place is famous for.
Visit Shey and Thiksey Gompa and also Stok Gompa. Being in the same destination will assist in getting acclimatised well for high altitude.
Towards the evening, enjoy a hike to Leh palace.
The remaining evening will be spent at leisure.
Overnight will be spent in a hotel.
Today; on the first day of the Markha Valley trekking, indulge in an early breakfast and drive through Spikut Village to reach Zingchen. T
Your hike of short stage and moderate gradient begins.
Enjoy the trail through Rumbak Village to reach Yurutse and come across several stream crossings.
Pass the village before setting up camp.
Overnight stay at the camps.
Today the initial stretch of the trek is to ascend to Ganda La (4900 m).
Expect a steep climb and strong winds towards the latter half.
From the pass, enjoy views of valleys on both side, Zanskar range and some distant summits of the Himalayan range.
Commence descending to Shingo Village, after which, the trail makes its way into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu, where a confluence of the rivers come from Markha Valley and Shingo.
Overnight stay at the tents.
Brace yourself for a long and moderate hike till the charming Markha Village.
Cross several streams along the way and then reach the hamlet that is a trove in the middle of this cold and arid desert.
The place is laced with green fields, willow trees and a deserted palace.
Camp beside a gurgling stream.
Overnight will be spent in camps.
Today lap up fetching views all around and come across many stream and river crossings.
Make way through settlements and grazing ground. Take in the stunning view of Kangyatze Peak (6400m) when walking towards Hankar.
There together you will select a great camping ground and set tent there.
Overnight will be spent in tents.
Wallow in a short walk to arrive at the Nimalaing campsite. The place is a beguiling one with wide open valley with unbridled grazing grounds, and the backdrop of Kangyatze Peak.
Do note that there is constant wind blowing in the area making situation slightly uncomfortable.
If you wish, you can also avail of a side trip today towards the base camp of Kangyatse.
Overnight will be spent in tents.
Dig into an early breakfast and take on a steep climb to reach the top of the highest pass on the trail - Kongmaru La (5200m).
Marvel at the great sights of Nun Kun in the West and Saser Kangri to the North.
Cherish some moments here before climbing down to Sukarmo, from where your trail is a flat walk along the river till you come to the road head at Sumdo.
From here, hop on to a vehicle to drive back to Leh.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
The charm and allurement of the Markha Valley trekking ends here as you go ahead with your onward journey or stay back in Ladakh.
End of tour.
Write Your Story
What level of fitness is required for Markha Valley Trek?
Markha valley falls in the tough category. There is quite a few steep ascend and descend. But if this is your first Himalayan trek, then you must prepare your fitness up to the mark. You can start jogging every day and then do cycling for some time to keep your fitness levels up. Always take the stairs to keep yourself for without any breaks. This will help you to keep your physical justness levels up. Start your day with brisk 10 minutes walk and then some physical exercise like stretching. You can also do some yoga every day to regulate your breathing properly which is very important for high altitude treks.
Are there any specific guidelines that you adhere to?
A set of guidelines that adhere to 'Leave No Trace' & 'Tread Light' policies have I be followed in this trek. These guidelines are very simple and emphasise on travelling in small groups, better planning, understanding impact of camping, proper waste disposal, respecting local cultures, sensitivity towards wildlife and so on.
What is the best time for Markha Valley Trek?
The Markha Valley has a pleasant climate during the summer. It has sunny days and clam Nights which is ideal for the trek? The best season to do Markha Valley Trek is from the middle of May to September. After September, it gets colder and the snow fall starts which covers the whole region making the roads to Markha very difficult to cross and camping becomes impossible at higher altitudes
What is the level of fitness expected from the participants?
A certain level of fitness is expected from the Trekkers participating in this trek like You need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek with strong physical fitness and mental strength. You should be able to jog 4.5 kms in 30 minutes to make your lungs strong to bear the high altitudes. Minimum age for this trek is 12 years.
Will I find snow?
No, you will not get to witness snow in the Markha Valley as it will be closed during the winter due to the extremeness of the weather. From November to February the temperature remains below -30 degrees and the valley gets heavy snowfall and remains closed for trekking. The other times when trekking is possible, the place doesn’t actually have snow fall. The best time to trek here is from June to the end of September.
What clothing or equipment do we need to carry from our side?
Essentials that are a must for the Markha Valley Trek are Trekking shoes: On this long and sturdy trek you will cover a long distance by walk, so you need proper trekking shoes which are comfortable and tough. Choose trekking shoes that are flexible, have good ankle support and water resistant. Backpack: Backpacks with sturdy straps and supporting frame are a must to carry all your necessities. Also take a rain cover for your backpack. Trek pants: It is mandatory to take two spare pairs in case you first pant get wet. Wear one pair and carry the other pair with you. Three warm layers: During this trek, you will be trekking at a high altitude which will be densely cold and hence you need to have three warm layers of clothes to protect you from cold. Three collared shirts: While on the trek don’t forget to change your t-shirts and hence carry spare pairs to change them In Between which is a must.
How much weight will I have to carry? Will there be porters?
Up to 10 kgs per traveller is allowed to be carried. A porter or mule is available to carry your luggage but only at extra cost.
What kind of food will be provided during Markha Valley Trek? What about safe drinking water?
The availability of food depends upon the package that you take. Vegetarian food is only offered during the trekking course. Some trekkers might also get to have non-vegetarian momos and boiled egg with packaged sliced cheese and bread. It is a typical Ladakhi lunch which is home cooked. The breakfast is the usual chapatti with butter and jelly for that extra energy. During the trek, boiled drinking water is provided usually. You can refill your bottles in the morning every day. In the trip package, clean and safe drinking water is provided but you can also carry your own.
How many people will be in a group?
It is necessary that the tour has a maximum of 12 trekkers in a group.
Will there be mobile connectivity on trek to Markha Valley?
BSNL connection has a large bandwidth which provides you coverage where many other networks might be dead. If you are going to trek in Markha Valley, you might have to get yourself a new BSNL SIM card. Although there are parts of the valley where even BSNL might not be able to give you coverage, overall it still remains the best.
Can I have liquor or smoke while we're on the trek?
The most important aspect of trekking is control. One should have a sound mindset to make through the difficult forest phase and there would be blind curves while in the trek. Usage of smoke and alcohol will seriously damage the overall function of the body. You will lose control and face some serious consequences. So, it is advisable to refrain from smoking and drinking.
Is Diamox is advisable on this trek?
Yes, you can take a Diamox during your trek as you will trek on a high altitude. Advisable to be take only in the beginning do your trek. Acetazolamide sold in the name of Diamox if a medication that is used to treat mountain sickness for Trekkers. If you find any symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness like headache, nausea and vomiting then you can request your trek leader for one dose of Diamox. During your trek you will come across camps which will have first aid kit and fully equipped cylinders for such situations.
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