ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

India
Markha Valley Trek

Overview

The Markha Valley Trek takes you through the beautiful Zanskar Himalayas, contrary to popular belief are actually part of the trans-Himalayas. The Markha Valley Trek is one of Ladakh’s most popular treks. Experience Ladakh in a way you’ve never done before. Trek through remote villages, with mesmerizing views of the Stok and Zanskar mountain ranges. The trek begins in the heart of the famed Hemis National Park, popular for the various flora and fauna such as the Shapu, The Tibetan wolf, Brown Bears and various smaller mammals such as the Himalayan Marmot, Mountain weasels. A moderate level trek with a maximum altitude of 5,260 metres. Additionally, you will be crossing numerous streams that are tributaries for the mighty river Indus. A trek that will make you awe at the multi-coloured mountains, the sea buckthorn berries and the beautiful culture of the Ladakh.

Quick Facts

Best Time : July, August and September

Duration : 08 Days

Max. Altitude : 5260 m

Commences At : Leh

Ends At : Leh

  • Arrival in Leh. Check-in at Hotel. Rest and acclimatization.
  • Rest & Acclimatization day in Leh
  • Leh to Skiu
  • Skiu to Markha
  • Markha to Thachungtsey
  • Thachungtsey to Nimaling
  • Nimaling to Chuskurmo and back to Leh
  • Departure from Leh

Contact

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 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.
Day 2 on the Markha Valley trek is spent in Leh itself. As Leh is located at an altitude of 3,524m, acclimatizing is very important. The second day in your Leh is spent resting and walking around the Leh Market, the heart of the city. Breakfast will be served at the hotel itself. We would be happy to direct you to the famous restaurants in Leh so you can head out for a scrumptious Lunch. 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. This trek would also help in the acclimatization process as we follow the maxim of climbing high and sleeping low. Dinner will be served after we make our way back from the Stupa.
We start by driving away from Leh after breakfast 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 actually named Chilling) is around 3 hours from Leh and is 65 kilometres away. From the confluence, your phone will not pick up on signal and only BSNL postpaid sim cards will work. From Chilling, we’ll make our way to Skui. There is a road that is under construction to Skui, and the trek duration can be affected by where the road has reached. A good approximate is a 3-hour hike from the road head to Skui (Around 6 km). At Skui, our accommodation will be at a local homestay. As we arrive, tea and snacks will be ready followed by a traditional dinner at the homestay itself.
The first day of trekking on the Markha Valley Trek. We'll trek for around 5-6 hours through relatively flat terrain. You’ll cross a couple of streams and get a scale of how majestic these mountains are. With the music of the Magpies pushing you forward, you’ll make your way to the Markha. The heart of the Markha Valley. We'll start the trek after breakfast and lunch will be packed in boxes and handed out before the day (Packed Lunch). The trek is relatively easy and is the perfect way to test your fitness. Keep an eye out for willow and seabuckthorn trees. Our campsite will be just ahead of the village.
One of the longer days of the trek, you will leave Markha and descend to an altitude of around 3900m. We begin the trek by making our way to Hankar. The trek to Hankar should take around 3 hours. We'll stop at Hanker for a short while and continue our journey towards Thachungstey.
The most scenic part of the trek. You start the journey by climbing up to an altitude of 4800m passing more shepherd and herds of yaks. Nimaling is located in a beautiful open area. This is the end of the penultimate day of trekking on the Markha Valley Trek. Nimaling is used as a pasture for local shepherds. From Nimaling, you might feel a draw from the famous Kang Yatse 2 calling you towards it.
As you leave Nimaling, you start the journey to the highest point of the trek Kongmaru La. This mountain pass is at an altitude of around 5200m. The climb up to the pass can be a little tiring but the views from the top are worth it. It should take 3 hours to the pass. It is a steep ascent so take your time and make sure you drink plenty of water. From the top, you get a chance to see the true vastness of the Karakoram. You might also get a chance to see the mighty K2 standing tall. After resting, you make your way down to the road head at Chuskurmo where Adventure-Pulse will arrange transport to take you back to the city of Leh. The drive back will take close to 2 hours. This is the end of the Markha Valley Trek
Adventure-Pulse representatives will drop you to the airport.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

Assistance upon arrival at Leh airport by our representative.

Transportation Airport pickup and drop.

Transportation to the start point of the trek and from end point to Leh

Accommodation in Leh on a MAP plan for 03 Nights.

Tented accommodation during trek in 03 man "A" Shaped tent on twin sharing basis.

All Meals (Bed Tea, Breakfast, Hot / Pack Lunch, Evening Tea & Dinner) during the course of the trek. (For full board service).

Porters/Mule caravan to transport Personal luggage and common climbing Equipment. (For full board service)

Currently applicable permit fees and Wildlife fees of INR 2500/- (For full board service).

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

Airfare to and from Leh.

Additional days either on the trek or in Leh other than the standard itinerary.

Any kind of Personal Equipment or Optional Tours/Extra Meals Ordered.

Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls.

Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated).

Guide fee, camera fee, soft or hard drinks, starters.

Anything not specifically mentioned under the head "Prices included"

International Flights

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.

Apparels

  1. Trekking Boots/Shoes (Preferably up to ankle length & water resistant)
  2. Multiple pairs of Cotton and woollen socks (at least 02/03 pairs of each)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 2)
  4. Thermal inners and Sweater/warm sweat shirt (1 each)
  5. Cotton T-shirts (02 to 03 minimum)
  6. Water proof Jacket/Wind Cheater.
  7. Warm thermal jacket/Down jacket.
  8. 01 Peak Cap + at least 01 Woollen Cap
  9. Pair of warm gloves.
  10. Sleeping bag (Can be hired in Leh approx. at INR 150/- per day)

Accessories

  1. Air bag/Duffel bag (No Suitcases)
  2. Day Back Pack in case you do not want to carry your own rucksack
  3. Drinking-Water Bottle 01 Litre
  4. Torch + Batteries
  5. Camera + Batteries
  6. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  7. Nail Cutter / Pocket / Pen Knife
  8. Cold cream
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Chap-stick / Vaseline
  11. Personal toiletries (Tooth Paste / Toilet Paper / Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes etc.)
  12. Medical kit (With basic medicines for headache, upset stomach, sour throat, water purification tablets/drops, band-aids, painkillers & Moov/ Iodex, Vics Vaporub, D-Cold etc.)
  13. Any personal medication (Individual specific)
  14. High energy snacks like Dry fruits, Bars of chocolate, Tang, glucose etc.
  15. Good Quality Sun shades
  16. Sun block (SPF40+)
The Markha Valley Trek can be steep & strenuous at some places, even though it does not require that you have any previous trekking experience, in particular, It’s important that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 5-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable.
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. WEEK ONE: The participants should develop the habit of being able to get up in the morning and run / brisk walk for a minimum of 3-4 Km atleast 3-4 days a week. This would represent atleast 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 atleast 4 days a week.
  2. WEEK TWO: Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms 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 your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. WEEK THREE: In addition to the week Two exercise, one additional feature you should add in Week three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 3-4 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.
  4. WEEK FOUR: Sustenance. 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.
  5. WEEK FIVE: Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable.  Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning / evening with a daypack of 2-3 kgs, about 20-25 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and Endurance considerably.

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 kms 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 Markha Valley Trek can be enjoyed thoroughly. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!

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