Kang Yatse is a towering, throne shaped peak at the head of the Markha Valley in Ladakh. The mountain has two summits. The true eastern summit is higher at 6,400 m but requires an extremely technical traverse across a knife-edge ridge. We will climb the lower western summit at 6,250 m. The trek to Kang Yatse takes you through the cultural trail of Markha Valley, passing through quaint villages, Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities), Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers), old monasteries, ruined forts and welcoming tea stalls offering refreshment. You will hike up the Markha Valley till the vast meadows at Nimaling, after which you will leave the valley floor for your summit attempt. Peaking Kang Yatse II itself is a milestone for serious trekkers/aspiring mountaineers, testing your limits, with an indescribable view as your reward. After summiting the peak, you will climb over the 5280 m Kongmaru La pass, and descend down the narrow Shang Gorge to finish your expedition at Chokdo.
Arrival at Leh
Arrive at Leh by 12 PM and check in to your hotel room. The next day will be spent acclimatising in and around Leh.
Rest and acclimatization in Leh
Explore the cultural and natural beauty of Leh while acclimatizing to the new altitude. Leh is the center point of Ladakh and also a major launch-point for expeditions and treks in the region. It is also a culturally rich place. There are dozens of monasteries and ancient temples dotting the landscape that you can pay a visit, colorful markets to explore and delicious local cuisines to taste.
Leh to Skiu (11,154 ft) via Chilling; 7 km, 3 hours
Driving to the trailhead, the path goes through a flat and desolate plain along the river Indus until reaching its confluence with the Zanskar River. At this point, we make a U-turn and enter the Zanskar Valley and drive up along the muddy Zanskar until reaching Chilling. A little ahead of Chilling lies Kaya-Do where we cross the river on a trolley and make our way to the small village of Skiu. The trek to Skiu from Chilling should take 3 hours at a moderate pace.
Skiu to Markha (12,139 ft); 20 km, 8 hours
Following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail crosses the river at various points, passing winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). During peak season, a number of tented teahouses will be open for refreshment. We reach Sara and continue to proceed towards Markha (3,700m) which is the largest village in the valley, consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery, and a ruined fort. The trail gradually ascends to reach Markha. We retire for the night.
Markha to Hangkar (13,124 ft); 10 km, 7 hours
The Markha valley trail continues past old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious monastery of Techa, which is proudly perched upon a cliff that looms above Markha. The path then intersects the river several times before cutting through the last hamlets in the valley. After leaving the village of Umlung, we will be afforded our first view of our objective, Kang Yatse. We retire for the night at the beautiful settings of Hangkar.
Hangkar to Nimaling (15,419 ft); 14 km, 8 hours
Today the trail will lead us up to the beautiful plateau of Nimaling, where the people of the Markha Valley bring their herds to graze during the summer months. This camp is alive and bustling, with trekkers from all over the world, local shepherds and their herds all converging on this grassy oasis.
Nimaling to Kang Yatse Base Camp (16,732 ft); 5 km, 3 hours
The trail starts off uphill from Nimaling through the loose rocks till we reach the top of the ridge. From here, you get your first full-blown view of the magnificent Kang Yatse. Now the trail gently slopes downhill and across the river to reach Base Camp. Total walking hours from Nimaling should be 2-3hrs.
Rest and acclimatization at Base Camp
We will spend the day on the glacier learning to rope up and use crampons and ice axes to climb on ice. Allow you body to acclimatize well to the high altitude and rest well enough for the upcoming strenuous summit push.
Base camp to Summit (20,500 ft) to Base Camp
The summit push will start by midnight the previous night. We start climbing the spur to the right of Base Camp (true left) until we reach the top of the ridge. Although the trail is well marked, the terrain changes here to loose scree and moraine. We keep climbing the ridge until reaching the ablation zone of the glacier from the north face of KY2. After a short 100m climb up the moraine ridge, we rope up and enter the glacier. We will traverse the north face toward the northwest ridge while steadily climbing upwards. Once we climb around the northwest ridge, we climb straight above a rocky outcropping and follow the ridge to the summit. Starting at 12:00 am, we will expect to the summit around 7:00 am. After the summit, we head back to Base Camp where we will spend the night.
Reserve a day for summit climb if the weather does not allow you to summit the day before. If reserve day is used then trekkers have to pay INR 4000 per head on spot.
Base Camp to Leh via Nimaling, Kongmaru La (17,060 ft) and Chokdo; 17 km, 9 hours
Today we head back over the rocky ridge that brought you to Base Camp and reach Nimaling. From Nimaling, it is a gradual ascent to Kongmaru La pass at 5,200m with a stunning view waiting at the top. Prayer flags flutter, the rainbow mountains of Ladakh are viewable in a 360 degree fashion and Kang Yatse stands tall before you. We descend steeply at first before it eases into an enchanting walk through strange rock formations of Shang Gorge, carved by the river. A little ahead from there, you will find the roadhead at Chuskirmo form which point you will drive to Leh. Return to Leh by evening.
Departure from Leh
Kang Yatse II is made only for experienced trekkers who want to test their limits. The challenges faced in the trek should not be underestimated. You should attempt this trek only If you have already done a trek that climbs to 4700-5000 metres. It is recommended not to opt this trek if you cannot get acclimatized in the mountains of Ladakh. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete this trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
A basic mountaineering course is recommended though not mandatory in case of highly experienced & skilled trekkers. At least 2-3 challenging treks along with 20 – 25 total trekking days in the Himalayas. Medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
How to use an Ice Axe
How to use Climbing boots & Crampons
How to rope up & follow queued climbing/descending
How to self-arrest using an ice axe
Knowledge of Basic First aid
Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins Or Walk continuously for 10 kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better) and
Hold your breath for 40 seconds and
3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch and
Push Ups – 10 and
Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
The best months to summit Kang Yatse are July to October.
Click here for packing list.
The trek begins from Leh in Ladakh. The best travel option around Leh is by air.
By air: Jet Airways, GoAir, and Air India provide daily flights from New Delhi to Leh. It is recommended that you make your flight bookings well in advance not only to save on the price but also for a confirmed seat. You can also take an alternate flight route to Srinagar. Fly to Srinagar from Delhi and then drive to Leh from Srinagar. The 10 hour road journey from Srinagar to Leh can be covered by hiring a shared taxi which will cost you around INR 3000-4000. The drive route from Srinagar to Leh is scenic. For coming back, you can either take a direct flight from Leh to New Delhi. Or take the same route via Srinagar. Flights from Srinagar to Delhi are cheaper than Leh-Delhi.
By road: You can take the route from Manali to Leh. Travel from Delhi to Manali by a HRTC Volvo bus. From Manali get a seat in a shared taxi (INR 2500-3500). If you are on a tight budget, There is also a bus from New Delhi to Leh (via Manali) with one side fare of INR 1365. The bus journey begins at 2:30 pm from Delhi ISBT reaching Keylong next day at 1:30 pm. After an overnight halt at Keylong, it reaches Leh the next day. The another route to Leh can be taken through Srinagar. There are shared taxis from Srinagar to Leh available at cost of INR 3000-4000. If you are an ardent biker, you wouldn’t mind taking a bike trip from Delhi to Leh and back.
BSNL has the best connectivity in Leh-Ladakh region followed by Airtel. However, all the mobile networks like Idea and Vodafone also work in Leh. Please note that only postpaid numbers work in J&K state, prepaid connections will cease to work as soon as you enter Ladakh region. On & Off network coverage is available throughout this trek (BSNL & Airtel mostly).
There are so many enchanting places to visit in Leh-Ladakh. During your acclimatization period, you can roam around the town and visit the monasteries; Diskit Gompa, and Lamayuru Monastery. Drive up to the Magnetic Hill and experience the crazy magnetic phenomenon on the hill. The picturesque Nubra Valley will take your breath away. The green oasis villages, the monasteries, the ruined palaces- Turtuk and Bordang; there is a whole different culture in this place. It is 150 km away from Leh. You can take a shared taxi to this route. How can you leave Ladakh without seeing Pangong Lake, the sapphire blue lake? Also, visit Gurdwara Pathar Sahib and Leh Royal Palace.
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied by their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
When you arrive in Leh, your stay will be made at a local guest house/hotel. The rooms will be provided on twin or triple sharing basis. You will receive the details of your accommodation through email a few days prior to the trek. On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek.These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
You will be provided with good quality of gaiters, crampons, and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
Yes, trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Yes, there are stores/shops in Leh from where you can buy necessary stuff. Though it is recommended that you come prepared with all the stuff. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
During the day, the temperature will range from 10 to 15 degrees celsius. The nights will get cold dropping the temperature to 0 to -5 degrees celsius. Higher the altitude you gain, the colder it gets.
July to September is likely to receive a good amount of snowfall. During the other months, the snow accumulation is high and therefore the trek is not feasible.
The hotel at Leh is the pickup point. The dropping point remains the same.
Expect to reach Leh late in the evening where hotel arrangements would be made by us. Make sure your flight/bus bookings from this point to your respective destinations are in the morning the next day post 10:00 Hrs.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried), Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) and Photocopy of ID Proof and passport size photos are the mandatory documents required for the trek.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure