The Markha Valley Winter trek is one of the most fascinating treks in Ladakh. The trek takes you on a beautiful journey in the land of fluttering colorful prayer flags, mane walls, high passes, exotic wildlife and unusual sheer canyons in depth of the cold Ladakh winters. Not only will you get a chance to experience the Ladakhi way of life in the cold, dark winter, but long stretches on the frozen Markha river makes it a great alternative to the Chadar trek, possibly even better! Gear up for a beautiful and culturally rich experience in the winter wonderland of Hemis National Park.
Arrive in Leh. Rest & Acclimatization.
Arrive in Leh by 12 PM. Today is for rest & acclimatization. Explore the local market of Leh.
Acclimatization in Leh
Explore the cultural and natural beauty of Leh. This will make you familiar with the town and also help in acclimatize to the weather. Leh is the centre point of Laddakh and also a major town from where all expeditions begin. It is also a culturally rich place. There are dozens of monasteries and ancient temples that you can go around. They are located in and around the town. Enjoy the local cuisines which are major attraction for travellers.
Drive to Chilling. Trek Chilling to Skiu.
We will drive to Leh to Chilling. From Chilling, we will cross the river and start trekking through the snow covered Markha valley. It will take a few hours to reach the village of Skiu. Overnight in homestay in Skiu.
Skiu to Sara
Today is one of the best days on the trek. You will walk through a rural winter wonderland with long stretches on the Chadar over the frozen Markha river. Overnight in homestay in Sara.
Sara to Markha
Today we will trek to the Markha village, namesake of the valley and the biggest village in it as well. In winter, the trail is sparsely populated from this day, which means if you're lucky, you may spot wildlife like the snow leopard. Overnight in homestay in Markha.
Markha to Hunkar
We will trek to the village of Hunkar, the last village inhabited in winter in the Markha Valley. Expect it to get more cold, remote and beautiful. Overnight in homestay in Hunkar
Hunkar to Markha
Today we will retrace our steps back to Markha.
Markha to Skiu
We will head back all the way to Skiu today. This will be our last day in the frozen Markha valley.
Skiu to Leh via Chilling
We will trek back to Chilling and board our vehicles for Leh. The trip ends in Leh.
Departure from Leh
You will be required to check out from the Hotel at 10:00 AM.
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 are the mandatory documents required for the trek.
Before going for Markha Valley trek you should have at least 7-10 trek days in the Himalayas in their kitty. For the trek’s achieving more than 5000 meters, a person must have prior experience of trekking at altitudes of 3700 meters.
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 and 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.
The hotel at Leh is the pick up point from which we drive to Chilling in a jeep. The drop point remain the same.
Expect to reach Leh late in the evening, post 1700 - 1800 Hrs. Make sure your bookings from this point to your respective destinations are late in the night or for the next day.
Winters in Ladakh is very harsh as the temperature may plummet down to as low as -20 deg. celsius at night.
Since the Markha Valley Winter Trek happens in the months of January and February, there will be a lot of snow on the trail.
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. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
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 and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
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.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket
When you arrive in Leh, your stay will be made at local hotel/guest house stay. The rooms will be provided on twin or triple sharing basis. You will receive the details of your accommodation through email few days prior the trek. On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will be also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied with 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.
Markha Valley is in Ladakh region. Leh-Ladakh holds within themselves some soul-stirring attractions which are accessible through shared or privates taxis. The blue saphire famous Pangong Lake is a jaw dropping beauty which one can visit. Nubra Valley which is an alluring landscape carpeted with vibrant flowers. Magnetic Hills which have magnetic property offers breathtaking view. Hemis Monastery, Leh Royal Palace, Khardung La Pass, Tso Moriri Lake are few places that you cannot miss.
The start point of the Markha Valley Winter Trek is Leh. During winters Leh is accessible only by air.
By Air: Leh has a military airport and there are regular flights from Delhi to Leh. It is also connected to a few other major cities in India. Early flight booking can be economical.
The options for the return journey remain the same.
Only postpaid connections work in Ladakh region. BSNL and Airtel get the best network. You get full network at the base and end point of the trek.
Click here for packing list.
December, January and February are the best months to do the Markha Valley Winter Trek.
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
Markha Valley Winter Trek is a moderate level trek. It is a high altitude trek in Ladakh region which requires climbing to a height of over 4000 meters along with freezing temperatures as low as -20 deg. You also need to make sure that your body is well acclimated before the start. Therefore, it is recommended that you first gain experience of trekking to altitudes of 3500 meters, and then move up a notch with Markha Valley Winter Trek. On Bikat rating scale Markha Valley Winter trek difficulty level is 4. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
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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