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Ladakh Trip

Firstly, please accept my sincere compliments for doing such a great and wonderful job, by posting these details on your website!! A great help to us aspiring travelers. Words of praise are less for this giant effort. Hats off to you !!I just completed the EBC TREK (22/4/11 – 9/5/11) at a very leisurely pace and enjoyed the whole trek thoroughly. I’d love to do it again, such was it’s charm ! Faced no problems of AMS, I was also having Diamox, 125 mg morning and 125 mg night. At high and cold places like Gorakshep I took ‘ZOLPIDEM’ for sleep, with good results.Now, in July, I planned to do Gurgaon-Manali-Leh-Zanskar-Srinagar-Gurgaon by road, in my Skoda Yeti ‘SUV’ as a driving holiday, but after going through your articles, I think trekking would be a better option, in Zanskar and Ladakh. Allow me to ask you a few questions related to this,1. I would like to do the complete ‘Across Zanskar’ trek, as time isn’t a concern, what would be the best itinerary for me? I am solo. Please mention the best and the loveliest places to stay in.2. I am scared of paths which are exposed, narrow, and fall into deep ‘khuds’! Will Stok and ‘Chhamser Kangri’ be a concern regarding this fear of mine?3. I will spend almost a month and a half here, so which other ‘unforgettable’ treks do you recommend?4. As I have some ‘Army’ connections, any special areas that deserve a visit and can be done because of this connection?5. Best plan, from Manali, for acclimatization?6. As I cannot carry weight, can you recommend some Guide/cook/porter, having a pony? Or a reliable agency who can arrange one, or some friends or acquaintances who would know?7. Will I need crampons? I have ‘Black beard’ insulated boots of Salewa. I also have 6 person 3 season Coleman tent, will this be cold because of being big, or okay, and a -2 degrees down filled sleeping bag of Haglofs?8. Any point of taking my vehicle with the above plans?9. How much would a Guide/Cook charge daily?10. You are planning on another trip here? Can we team up?I know I’ve aske too many questions, but you only know the area as good as the back of your hand, probably.Thank you very much,

micah
micah's picture
1. I would like to do the

1. I would like to do the complete ‘Across Zanskar’ trek, as time isn’t a concern, what would be the best itinerary for me? I am solo. Please mention the best and the loveliest places to stay in.

On the first half Lamayuru to Darcha make sure you stay in Potoskar, and Zangla. Visit Lamayuru as well though I think the road goes up to Hanupata now so walking that stretch isn’t so interesting.

Around Padmum visit Karsha.

On the second half visit Phuktal Gompa of course, Tangzen and Kargyak are both nice places but I wouldn’t say it’s a must to stay at Tangzen.

2. I am scared of paths which are exposed, narrow, and fall into deep ‘khuds’! Will Stok and ‘Chhamser Kangri’ be a concern regarding this fear of mine?

There is a bit of an exposed ridge at the end of the trek to the top of Stok Kangri, and one side off the peak falls off very abruptly. Chamser Kangri doesn’t have much exposure but it is very very high, so I would recommend you do Stok Kangri or another 6000 m peak before you try that one.

3. I will spend almost a month and a half here, so which other ‘unforgettable’ treks do you recommend?

If you do Across Zanskar that will take up 18-20 days, which is a very nice trek. My three favorites would be Across Zanskar for the villages and culture and diversity of scenery. Stok Kangri for the views, and Rumtse to Tso Morri for the remote feel of the region.

4. As I have some ‘Army’ connections, any special areas that deserve a visit and can be done because of this connection?

Well I don’t, but I suppose if you could get your self to Sachin Glacier in the Nubra Valley that would be pretty cool.

5. Best plan, from Manali, for acclimatization?

I’d Say Manali-Keylong-Leh. (If you have your own car you can break up the long Kelyong Leh stretch at Sachu or Pang)

1st day in Leh after a night do a bit of walking maybe check out Spituk Gompa then if you feel up to it head up to Shanti Stupa for the sun Set.
2nd day go to Thiksey Gompa then walk along the flat valley through the fields (not the main road) to Stok.
3rd day see another Monastery and some sights around the valley (Hemis, or Alchi) walk up to the gompa/fort above Leh Palace for sunset.
4th-5th day Overnight trip to Pangon Lake (Much better than a day trip), or you could start a trek like Markha from Chilling.

After either of those you could do Rumste Tso Moriri. Or Stok Kangri. Basically you should be ok if you hadn’t had any symptoms after that first week.

6. As I cannot carry weight, can you recommend some Guide/cook/porter, having a pony? Or a reliable agency who can arrange one, or some friends or acquaintances who would know?

As you will know I carry all my own gear so don’t have any pony man to recommend but Showkat is a local Agent who is a fiend he’s knowledgeable, honest, and not a “hard sell” guy, he can help you out if you want to go the agent way:

7. Will I need crampons? I have ‘Black beard’ insulated boots of Salewa. I also have 6 person 3 season Coleman tent, will this be cold because of being big, or okay, and a -2 degrees down filled sleeping bag of Haglofs?

Crampons if you plan to do Stok Kangri or Chamser Kangri will help a lot but you can rent them in Leh. I’d recommend good sturdy gortex lined waterproof hiking boots, you won’t need mountaineering boots (not familiar with the ones you mentioned so can’t comment). That’s a big tent, to tell you the truth the only time I have slept in a tent that big is when there were a lot of other people in it. So not sure how cold it would be on your own. But with a good sleeping bag I’m sure you would be fine. Obviously a smaller tent would be better.

8. Any point of taking my vehicle with the above plans?

Not having a car in India myself I can’t comment but I always think it would be nice to be able to drive at your own pace. I’m sure there are places in Leh you could leave it while trekking.

9. How much would a Guide/Cook charge daily?

Not sure what the rates are these a ponyman gets around 300 per pony may be a bit more now, and I guess a Guide Cook hired independently would run at least 500 a day. That’s what I know some agents paid.

10. You are planning on another trip here? Can we team up?

Sorry not planning to head up there this year but I wasn’t last year and I ended up there so who knows.

Micah (Indie Trekking & Travel)

andrea (not verified)
Do You recommend to do the

Do You recommend to do the Dacha - or Padum to Lamayuru Trek in this opposite way or is there a good reason why to start in Lamayuru? Getting back to Leh would be easier from Lamayuru I guess, than from Dacha or Padum?

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