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/India Markha Valley
India Markha Valley 2018-01-11T18:09:02+00:00

Project Description

MARKHA VALLEY TREK, LADAKH

MARKHA VALLEY TREK, LADAKH

The Markha Valley trek; outstanding trek in breathtaking scenery.

Highlights

  • Great route in a remote, lightly trekked region
  • Two high passes offering extensive views across the Karakoram
  • Overnight hotel in Delhi on the way in
  • Numerous extension options post trek (Taj Mahal, Jaipur, etc…)
  • Exciting ‘travellers’ trip with lots of different experiences

Having arrived in India through Delhi, it is a 90 min domestic flight to Leh, one of the highest commercial airports in the world (3500m).

It is a short drive to Spituk to begin this adventure and it isn’t long before you are crossing the impressive 4731m Ganda La Pass offering extensive views across the Karakoram. The route follows the glacial Markha river up the valley towards its source, through villages steadily acclimatising as you go. Admire the sheer scale and variety of geology (as well as colours). The snow leopard genuinely still roams these parts and their tracks can often be seen. The iconic makeshift white parachute cafes are a welcomed sight along this route selling all sorts of goodies.

Towards the end, you will climb over the 5100m Kongmaru La; it is an impressive view from here! The descent is to Marteslang where you will be transferred to Leh. Enjoy your 2 nights here; it’s a chilled out place to relax.

Transiting Delhi on the return opens up a huge array of opportunities whether its an overnight trip to see the iconic Taj Mahal, more time to explore Delhi, Rajasthan or indeed other parts of India. Might as well make use of that visa!

At A Glance   

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £2250
Land Only, from £1340
Trip Duration 16 Days UK-UK
Trek Length 9 Days
Max Altitude 5100m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, tents
All meals in Ladakh, b'fasts other hotels

The Markha Valley; outstanding trek in breathtaking scenery.

Highlights

  • Great route in a remote, lightly trekked region
  • Two high passes offering extensive views across the Karakoram
  • Overnight hotel in Delhi on the way in
  • Numerous extension options post trek (Taj Mahal, Jaipur, etc…)
  • Exciting ‘travellers’ trip with lots of different experiences

Having arrived in India through Delhi, it is a 90 min domestic flight to Leh, one of the highest commercial airports in the world (3500m).

The route starts at Spituk, crosses the mighty 4731m Ganda La Pass before descending to Skiu. It’s then follows the glacial Markha river towards its source, through villages steadily acclimatising as you go. The geology along here is truly impressive as are the iconic makeshift white parachute cafes selling all sorts of goodies.

Towards the end, it’s over the 5100m Kongmaru La before descending to Marteslang and transferring Leh. Enjoy your 2 nights here; it’s a chilled out place to relax.

Transiting Delhi on the return opens up a huge array of opportunities whether its an overnight trip to see the iconic Taj Mahal, more time to explore Delhi, Rajasthan or indeed other parts of India. Might as well make use of that visa!

At A Glance

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £2250
Land Only, from £1340
Trip Duration 16 Days UK-UK
Trek Length 9 Days
Max Altitude 5100m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, tents
All meals in Ladakh, b'fasts other hotels

Stunning scenery
Remote Trek

All meals in Ladakh

2 x High Passes

Domestic Flights
Included

Hotels/Camping

ATOL Protected

Trip Information

Trip Information

Day 1 – Depart UK

Day 2 – Arrive Delhi

Day 3 – Fly Delhi – Leh

Day 4 – Free Day (acclimatisation)

Day 5 – Drive to Spituk, trek to Zinchen (3200m)

Day 6 – Trek to Yurutse (4150m)

Day 7 – Trek To Skiu (3018m)

Day 8 – Trek To Markha Village (3793m)

Day 9 – Trek to Hankar (4000m)

Day 10 – Trek To Nimaling (4840m)

Day 11 – Rest day and to explore the base camp of Kangytse

Day 12 – Trek to Chogdo (4000m), via the Kongmaru La (5100m)

Day 13 – Trek to Martselang

Day 14 – Free Day in Leh

Day 15 – Depart

Day 16 – Arrive UK

Land Only clients – we collect you on arrival at Leh’s airport in Ladakh.

Day 1 – Depart UK
Fly from London, bound for New Dehli.

Day 2 – Arrive Delhi
On arrival you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. You are then free to explore Delhi itself or rest in preparation for your early morning departure.

Day 3 – Fly Delhi – Leh
Early morning transfer to the domestic terminal for your flight to Leh. On arrival in Leh, you will be collected and transferred to your hotel. Leh lies at an altitude of 3500m and you are therefore strongly advised to rest as much as you can to avoid the effects. BLD

Day 4 – Free Day (acclimatisation)
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Leh on this combined acclimatisation and sightseeing day. BLD

Day 5 – Drive to Spituk, trek to Zinchen (3200m)
The trek begins at Spituk by crossing a bridge and walking west of the River Indus. We follow the trail for 3 hours until the Indus enters a narrow gorge and joins the Zinchen river. From here it’s a gradual ascent through the Zinchen Valley, before we reach the small village of Zinchen. BLD

Day 6 – Trek to Yurutse (4150m)
The trail from Zinchen ascends gradually all the way along the Rumbak Nala until you reach Rumbak, the largest village in the Zingchen Valley. You then follow a trail passing cultivated fields and scattered houses until you reach the village of Yurutse. BLD

Day 7 – Trek To Skiu (3018m)
A gradual ascent followed by a steep climb gets you to the Ganda La (4971m). From the Pass we are  treated to fine views of snow capped  mountains merging into the distant ranges of the Karakoram. The trail descends steadily to Shingo, the head of the Skiu Valley and continues down into Skiu village. You enter the village confronted by towering rock faces. BLD

Day 8 – Trek To Markha Village (3793m)
This is a very pleasant walk as you go against the down flowing glacial Markha river, crossing it several times. En-route you will pass several settlements and monasteries perched high on the hillsides above. The path is dotted with Chortens and prayer walls. 5-6 hrs, BLD

Day 9 – Trek to Hankar (4000m)
From Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded section of the lower Markha is left behind.  The camp below the twin villages of Lower and Upper Hankar is distinctly cooler than at Markha Village. 2 – 4 hrs, BLD

Day 10 – Trek To Nimaling (4840m)
From Hankar the trail climbs steadily up the narrow valley.  The Nimaling plain is a broad meadow, reaching upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse (6553m). The Nimaling meadows provide pastures in the summer for yaks, sheep, goats and horses from villages further down the valley. It is not unusual to see the occasional wild sheep or wolf. You may also see the impressive Lammergeier’s; the largest of the Himalayan raptors. BLD

Day 11 – Rest day and to explore the base camp of Kangytse
A time to relax at Nimaling and enjoy the wonderful scenery. It’s possible that you’ll rest the day before at Hankar. For the more energetic, we would recommend a walk to the base camp of Kang Yatze, the highest peak in the Zanskar range. BLD

Day 12 – Trek to Chogdo (4000m), via the Kongmaru La (5100m)
Today you cross to the north of the Markha, on a well marked trail, climbing to the top of the highest Pass in the area; the 5100m Konmaru La.  To the north there are spectacular views of the eastern Karakorum. The trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley past the sulphur springs of Chyushkarmo before reaching our campsite at Chogdo. BLD

Day 13 – Trek to Martselang
After an easy decent along the left bank of the Martselang river, we reach Martselang village where transport will be waiting to take us back to Leh. Overnight Hotel. BLD

Day 14 – Free Day in Leh
This is a free day in Leh for you to enjoy post trek. BLD

Day 15 – Depart
You will be transferred back to Leh’s airport for your domestic flight back to Delhi.

On arrival, there are numerous options:

  1. Transfer to the international terminal for your flight home
  2. Transfer to our ‘day hotel’ facility if you have an evening flight
  3. Continue with the additional arrangments if you have arranged to stay on. B

Day 16 – Arrive UK

Dates & Prices

Dates With Flights Without Flights
7 - 22 Jul 2018 £2250 £1340
21 Jul - 5 Aug 2018 £2250 £1340
4 - 19 Aug 2018 £2250 £1340

Deposit – £250
Group Size – 4 – 12.
We can tailor make group sizes of 2 or 3 pax for an additional fee of £50 per person.

Sole Occupation – see tab below.

Services Included:

  • International return flights London – Delhi and return domestic flights Delhi – Leh*
  • Airport transfers in Delhi
  • Overnight hotel in Delhi
  • Return airport transfers in Leh
  • Hotel accommodation, twin share, all meals in Leh, in accordance with the itinerary
  • All trek services, including sleeping tents, kitchen, dining tent, sleeping mats, all meals
  • An experienced and qualified English speaking local guide
  • Local porter assistance on trek
  • All necessary trek and National Park access permits
  • Detailed information about the trip and the kit required
  • Support and advice from our UK team who have personal experience of this trek.

Services Excluded

  • Travel Insurance
  • Indian Tourist Visa (see further details in this document)
  • Soft drinks or alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Personal spending including laundry, shower or battery charging

* Prices quoted rely on a reasonable time frame of 6 months prior to departure for international and domestic flight bookings. If the booking is less than 6 months, the flights may increase. Prices will be advised and confirmed prior to booking.

Services Included:

  • Return airport transfers in Leh
  • Hotel accommodation, twin share, all meals in Leh, in accordance with the itinerary
  • All trek services, including sleeping tents, kitchen, dining tent, sleeping mats, all meals
  • An experienced and qualified English speaking local guide
  • Local porter assistance on trek
  • All necessary trek and National Park access permits
  • Detailed information about the trip and the kit required
  • Support and advice from our UK team who have personal experience of this trek.

Services Excluded

  • Travel Insurance
  • Indian Tourist Visa (see further details in this document)
  • Soft drinks or alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Personal spending including laundry, shower or battery charging

Sole occupation charge – £200 (£150 if Land Only).

If you request sole occupancy, the above charge will apply.

Ladakh is one of those regions where they will charge the same room rate room rate regardless of the number of occupants. If you are a lone traveller, you must be prepared to pay the sole occupancy charge initially. If we subsequently team you up with another group member of the same sex, that charge will disappear.

The fee covers sole occupation for:
All accommodation throughout the trip (Land Only excludes anything outside of Ladakh).

If the above group dates do not suit, you can request alternative dates to suit you. Read more>>

brochure
book
key information

It’s All In The Detail

Passport – Must be valid for the duration of your stay. Information source is the FCO Travel Advice and type in the country.

Visa – A tourist visa is required for India. It must be obtained prior to travel and can be done on line. You are strongly advised to read the information contained on the above link.

Flight Tickets – paper tickets are rare these days; all e-tickets. All you need to check in is your passport and PNR Reference No (which we provide you with). From that your boarding passes are provided. We either provide your boarding passes (by email) or you check in on line yourself (or at the airport).

Travel Insurance – Mandatory on our trips. We will ask for proof of cover. We do not sell travel insurance. Go to our Information webpage for our unbias advice and tips.

You will be walking between 5 – 7 hours per day, occasionally longer if it is necessary. Distances in mountainous terrain is measured in hours, not distance.

Temperatures during the day (sun up) will vary between 15°C and 25°C. As soon as the sun drops, the temperatures will fall and the night temperatures will drop to close to, if not below zero. You need a sleeping bag that will take you comfortably down to -10°C.

This trek is physical in places with two notable long ascents up to the high Passes. Taken at a steady pace, they are perfectly achievable. The altitude is likely to be a challenge, especially over the higher Pass. Your level of fitness needs to be reasonable, not super fit but it goes without saying the fitter you are, the more comfortable you will cope with the rigours of the trek.

After booking, you will be asked to complete an Emergency Details Form which will include your medical history. If we have any doubts about your ability to take part in the challenge, we may ask you to provide a letter of fitness from your GP, therefore we would recommend that if you have any concerns, you speak to your GP prior to booking.

In the UK, if you can walk for 5 – 6 hrs per day, on consecutive days, over undulating terrain (with normal rest stops), carrying a daysack weighing approx 6kg, then you should be perfectly capable of completing this trek.

High Altitude Trekkingmore information >>

Fitness Concerns? – Call us on 01529 488159 or 07725 943108

Food

  • Full board in Ladakh, b’fast in hotels in Delhi.
  • Breakfasts are a choice of cereals, pancakes, porridge, toast, eggs, jam, spreads, etc.. plus hot drinks.
  • Lunches are pack ups (made and distributed at b’fast) and can include potatoes, snack bars, fruit, drinks, etc..
  • Snacks can also be found at the wonderful ‘parachute cafes’ along the route. They sell all sorts of goodies, including biscuits and choc.
  • Tea/coffee, biscuits/cake is also served on arrival into camp.
  • Evening meal is usually 3 courses; soup + rice, pasta, vegetables, etc… + tinned fruit. Hot drink.

Accommodation

  • Hotels – twin share basis, same sex.
  • On trek – tents, twin share basis, same sex.
  • Declared couples (ie married) will be paired together.

International Flights – Our default flights are London Heathrow (LHR) – Delhi (DEL). We use a variety of high quality airlines using direct flights unless there is a good reason why we can’t. Included luggage allowance in the aircraft hold is a min of 20kg but more commonly 23 – 30kg.

London not convenient? – Other UK regional airport options are possible. We appreciate the potential inconvenience of London if you live far away. Whilst using regional airports may attract supplements due to higher flight costs, that cost may be offset by the cost and time of travelling to London. Please ask for advice on 01529 488159.

Domestic Flights – Included as part of this trip are return domestic flights DEL – Leh (IXL). They are direct flights, 90 mins and commonly have luggage allowances of between 15 – 20kg.

The advice here is given in good faith from trusted sources; we are not medical professionals. Check with your Medical Practice if you are up to date with the primary courses.

Vaccinations for India:

  • Usually advised for Nepal: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid
  • Consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies
  • Yellow Fever – consult the website below
  • Information source – http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/india.aspx
  • Malaria – very much depends where you go in India. If you are going only to Ladakh, the risk there is reported to be low. Consult the fitfortravel website above for a malaria map coverage.

FREE Vaccinations – the following are usually FREE on the NHS as they are considered the greatest risk if brought into the country:
Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Hep A (be aware some of those are combined vaccinations).
Information source – http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1071.aspx?CategoryID=67

The others you are likely to have to pay for.

We recommend budgeting approx £300 for miscellaneous expenses during your trip. This includes meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, supplementary snacks and tips etc. but this amount does depend on your personal spending habits and your wish to buy souvenirs.

Given that all of your food in Ladakh is included, there is little to spend your money on except optional meals out, drinks, etc..

We recommend either carrying additional spare cash OR a debit/credit card as a back up. The latter (credit card) should always be carried for emergencies. Be aware if buying goods in Leh. You can use a credit card but the transaction is often put through as a ‘cash’ sale (despite what they tell you!) on the card making it more expensive.

India’s currency is the Indian Rupee (INR). The currency is not on the open market and therefore you will not be able to obtain any prior to arrival.

We recommend that you do change your cash into INR as local purchases will be much cheaper. Most major currencies are acceptable for exchange in India (cash) including Sterling, US Dollars and Euros. Note that you will exchange a fair amount of your money soon after arrival and if you prefer not to carry all your money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATM’s in Del and/or Leh using your debit or credit card, although be aware that they can be unreliable.

There are money exchanges at the airport, and your Guide will be able to help you if needed.

During the trek, you will be able to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks, etc.. at the parachute cafes. Make sure you have small change for this.

Further generic information on subjects such as travel insurance and high altitude trekking can be found on our Information webpage.

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