Dzo Jongo is a peak located in the Markha Valley, beside Kang Yatse. It is Kang Yatse’s lesser known
cousin. This 6000m peak is one of the hidden peaks which start from Nimaling and attracts far less
crowds than what Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse draw. Similair to Kang Yatse, Dzo Jongo has two
summits. Our expedition will climb to the false summit as to reach the highest point on the
mountain requires technical experience and equipment such as crampons, ice axes and knowledge
of traversing high-altitude glaciers. This is the perfect peak to cross the 6000m barrier and is
recommended to individuals with high altitude trekking experience.
Best Time : July, August and September
Duration : 12 days
Max. Altitude : 6,280 m
Commences At : Leh
Ends At : Leh
The first day on your Dzo Jongo trek. On arrival at the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, also referred to as the Leh Airport, you will immediately be overcome by a sense of awe and wonder with respect to the stark contrast of the landscape when compared to the Indian and Nepal Himalayas. You immediately notice the cold, the complete absence of vegetation, as well as the effort it takes to possibly walk up or downstairs due to the rarity of the atmospheric oxygen. When you exit the airport, look out for the ADVENTURE PULSE BANNER (that’s us, by the way), which will be your ride to our Hotel, ‘The Himalayan Residency’. The first day is spent just resting in and around the hotel so that you allow yourself to acclimatize to the environment and the high altitude. In the evening, we will go for a small walk to the City market, where if you like, you can explore the local culture, purchase souvenirs, and indulge in the local cuisine.
As Leh is located at an altitude of 3,524m, acclimatizing is very important. The second day in Leh is spent resting and walking around the Leh Market, the heart of the city. In the evening, we will trek up to the mesmerizing Shanti Stupa where you can get a view of the entire city of Leh with extended views of the valley. Shanti Stupa is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in Leh. Dinner will be served after we make our way back from the Stupa.
We start by driving away from Leh and cross the famous Pathar Sahab Gurudwara. Continuing the same road, we hit the confluence of the river Indus and Zaskar. This is the start of Hemis National Park. The drive to Chilling (Yup, it’s named Chilling) is around 3 hours from Leh. From Chilling, we’ll make our way to Skiu. There is a road that is under construction to Skiu, and the trek duration can be affected by where the road has reached.
Our first day of trekking on the Dzo Jongo trek. This is one of the longest days of trekking as we start our journey trekking close to 15kms. The trek through the Markha valley is different from trekking in the rest of Ladakh especially the area near Stok Kangri. The valley is greener, and the vegetation is significantly more. We will also have to wade through the Markha river. This will also be the first day of camping. Our camp will be set a couple of kilometres ahead of the village. Hot tea and snacks will await your arrival.
After a long day yesterday, today’s trek is a relatively shorter one. Today will also be the day we have our first site of Dzo Jongo. The trek crosses a rough terrain with plenty of small shrubs and some smaller animals. The trail will lead you to the village of Umlung. We’ll have some tea in the quaint village. From here you will be able to see the beautiful Dzo Jongo Peak.
Today is the day, we make our way to Dzo Jongo base camp. The trek is a short one but has an altitude ascent of 700m. The trek itself should take around 5 hours. On the way, we’ll cross many Mani Walls (Buddhist Prayer Walls) and journey up to Nimaling. Base Camp is a short way from Nimaling. This will be our Head Quarters for our attack on the mountain.
Today, we will spend the day resting and preparing for tomorrow’s summit push. If there is heavy snow near the summit, we will require the use of crampons. Our guide will teach you how to use them.
Today is the big day. We start at midnight and slowly make our way up the mountain. We will climb from 5100m to 6200m. We’ll then walk on the moraine and make our way up the glacier, navigating crevasses and roping up where required. After a steep climb, we will reach the summit of Dzo Jongo. From the summit, you get a view of the entire valley. You might even get a glimpse of the second-highest peak in the world, K2. We will then descend back to base camp.
This day will be used as a buffer day in case of bad weather. This will also allow to make another attempt to summit in case the bad weather prevent the first attempt.
From base camp, we will start our journey back to Leh. After a 3-hour steep descend, we will make our way to Chuskirmo.
Our last day on the Dzo Jongo trek. We make our way to Chokdo, from where our cabs will escort us back to civilization at Leh.
While in Leh, Adventure-Pulse will put you up in a comfortable hotel – “The Himalayan Residency” or equivalent hotel on double sharing plan with breakfast included. Once we start the trek to Dzo Jongo, the accommodation is in a camp set up. We would have good quality tents on double sharing basis with a separate dining tent for meals and a separate toilet tent. Sleeping bags and mats are also provided by Adventure-Pulse.
You need to be in good physical shape to climb this mountain. It does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our physical fitness document for more details on this topic.
One needs to fly to Leh for the Dzo Jongo climb. There are regular flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Leh. On your arrival in Leh, you will be picked up by an Adventure-Pulse representative and transferred to the hotel. After our 02-day acclimatization at Leh, we would drive to the start point of the trek which is a 03-hour drive from Leh.
Even though Dzo Jongo is a 6000m+ peak mountain, unlike most other 6000m peaks, Dzo Jongo requires a minimalistic amount of personal climbing gear. The snow conditions on the mountain are very favourable during the climbing season (which is July – October) and one can climb upright to the Summit in their regular high ankle hiking shoes. In case there is a need to use specialized climbing shoes or crampons, these can be hired from the base camp just for the Summit day. Other than this, no other personal climbing equipment is required. For a list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the Dzo Jongo climb.
Leh is located at an altitude of 3250m and it’s important we spent the first 48 hours acclimatizing in Leh. We at Adventure-Pulse, consider acclimatization as one of the most important aspects of climbing a mountain and spend enough time to do that. Once you arrive in Leh, the first 2 days are spent acclimatizing. On day 02 morning, we go for a short 02-hour acclimatization hike up to a monastery and/or Shanti Stupa. In the evening, we walk to the Leh market and walk back to our hotel, thus allowing the body to get used to the conditions around. We move up the mountain slowly giving enough time to our bodies to acclimatize and one full day is spent at Dzo Jongobase camp to acclimatize and hike around before the final Summit Push.
The hotel in Leh serves good breakfast which is included in the meal plan. During the day and evening, one can order ala carte service in the hotel or even go to the close-by market to try some local cuisine. While on the trek, all meals are included, and the meals are usually a good mix of Indian and continental food. Our cooks are very experienced and will be happy to entertain any particular requests you may have for your meals. All the meals are served in the common dining tent.
Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel in Leh. But while we are higher up on the mountain, a shower facility is not available for the climbing period.
Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to the sun are certain factors which necessitate the need for proper mountaineering equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.
Note: If you are unable to procure any of the above-mentioned items, then suitable arrangements will be made so that the same can be either bought or rented in Leh based upon actuals.
QUALIFICATION: Dzo Jongo requires some technical knowledge as well as a good fitness level. The physical fitness required for the Dzo Jongo climb can be obtained by training around 2-3 months in advance depending on your current fitness level. High amount of cardiovascular endurance would be required and sports like swimming and running can help build that endurance. Walking up flights of stairs with a loaded backpack helps getting your muscles used to the rucksack you will be carrying. For complete beginners, basic technical knowledge is required for this climb, and so, we have allotted one entire day at Dzo Jongo Base camp where your guide will teach you the basics of using equipment such as ice axes, jumars, descenders, crampons, and the basics of ice climbing. However, if you have access to a rock-climbing wall where you can learn how to use technical equipment, you can add that to your training plan.
Participants should develop the habit of being able to get up in the morning and run / brisk walk for a minimum of 5-6 km at least 4-5 days a week. This would represent 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well. During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for at least 4 days a week. This is the perfect base for the fitness required for Kang Yatse.
Assuming you have successfully survived week one and two and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 6/7 km per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym. Avoid heavy weight training. Focus more on a core workout. These are the muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
In addition to weeks three and four exercises, one additional feature you should add in week three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 6-7 kgs. This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week one, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
Maintenance- Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks/runs and climbing flight of stairs.
Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable. Start doing an additional 25-30 mins of climbing stairs in the morning/evening with a daypack of 6-7 kg; about 30-35 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and endurance considerably. And just like that, you're ready to climb Kang Yatse.
Please remember, consistency is the key here. Do not do anything to exert yourself or something that will increase chances of injury. Running / brisk walking 4-5 km for 5 days in a week is far better than running a 20 km on one day of the week and injuring your knee/ligaments in the process. If you can be consistent with above-mentioned schedule, the Dzo Jongo climb though physically challenging, will become a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!
Contact: [email protected]
Contact: [email protected]