Make your way to Leh (3,500M)
Since the trek starts in the high-mountain city of Leh which is at an altitude of 3,500M, it is essential for the body to acclimatize. We utilize the first two days to get in tune with the new environment and while we are doing that, to get acquainted with each other, some of the basic mountain rules and what to expect on Dzo Jongo (East).
Rest and Acclimatization in Leh (3,500M)
Day two is reserved for rest and acclimatization to the altitude, too. This is important to allow your body to adapt to its new environment and reduce chances of adverse health conditions. You can go around and explore the city market, delve into the colors and culture of this high-mountain city and visit some places nearby. A little movement around the city would be good for acclimatization. Also, use this time to go through your checklist and do some last-minute shopping for what you might be missing for the expedition. Leh has the best market for trekking essentials.
While the body acclimatizes, we take this time to get together with the group for a briefing session where we get to know each other better and delve into the happenings of the next few days - schedule, what to expect, basic do's and don'ts in the mountains, how to maintain the sanctity of the environment and other such matters of importance.
Leh (3,500M) to Lato (4,014M)
Distance: 70 kms
Duration: 2 hours
Lato is a small village which lies on the Manali-Leh highway. The drive from Leh to Lato, one of the oldest villages of Ladakh, is the perfect introduction to the general terrain we are about to enter for the next few days. We assemble and leave for the day between 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM so that we can make it to the campsite, set up our tents and have hot lunch as we settle into this new environment. The drive is smooth. The road goes through a flat and desolate plain alongside river Indus as we cross quite a few popular places along the way – like Shey Palace, Thiksey and Hemis Monastery, Druk Padma Karpo School (of 3 Idiots fame), Stakna Gompa, Upsi and finally Lato. In this short drive, we witness barren mountains of all shapes, forms and textures – slabs of rock stacked one of top of the other neatly, chunks of rock resting on each other haphazardly, sheets of rock hard-pressed into each other, loose rocks, mountains made of mud, and much more. The entire set up looks like an experimental playfield of forms for the creator where He dumped all the discarded versions of His clay models.
After coming through some of the driest areas you will witness, we reach the campsite by lunch time. This is amongst the many scattered and tiny hamlets spread out in the area which makes it a little green from all the fields of the locals. The freshness of vegetation is a sight for sore eyes.
Once we set up camp and are finished with lunch, we go for a little acclimatization walk in the early evening. This is extremely important as it’s a new terrain and the body needs time to adapt to new conditions. Remember to carry a bottle of water everywhere you go. It won’t be long before you realize the weather here is peculiar – extremely hot, extremely dry and extremely arid. The heat turns you into a crisp and your throat is likely to feel dry. This, however, is normal. Give your body some time to recalibrate.
Lato (4,014M) to Shiul Sumdo (4,600M)
Distance: 5- 6 kms
Duration: 3- 4 hours
The first thing you would have noticed on entering Ladakh is that it is extremely dry – your throat is likely to feel scratchy and your face burnt from all the unobstructed heat that the land receives all day under the harsh sun.
Today is our first actual day of trekking in the dry climate of the region but it is a short day. Walking along the river on this moderate ascent of 600M eases it up a bit. We also hop and skip over the streams a few times to get to our destination for the day – the tents at Shiul Sumdo.
Expect to reach the tents in time for hot lunch.
Shiul Sumdo (4,600M) to Chaksung (4,900M) via Shiul Pass (5,100M)
Distance: 10 kms
Duration: 6- 7 hours
Today is a relatively long day with a lot of ground to cover. However, the body should be acclimatized to the harsh climate of the region by now which will make it considerably easy to cover the 10 kms of trek for today. We will be passing through our first of the three high mountain passes which is the Shiul Pass at 5,100M. The 4 kms to get to the pass should take close to 3 hours. It is a great vantage point for some magnificent views of the valley and the mountain ranges around.
From the pass to our campsite today is another 6 kms which should take close to 3-4 hours to cover.
There is a lot to explore around Chaksung on our acclimatization walk later in the day. This is one walk you won’t complain about!
Chaksung (4,900M) to Dzo Jongo (East) Base camp (5,200M) via Chak Pass (5,500M)
Distance: 5 kms
Duration: 4 hours
Today is exciting because after 5 long days we will get our first glimpse of this mysterious mountain on reaching our destination for the day – the base camp. What’s more is that we get to cross another high mountain pass on our way there. Although the distance is not much, the terrain for today is fairly steep, making it a relatively tougher day than any of our previous days on the trek. The shadow-play of the harsh sun and the mountains can ease the strain on your legs a bit, though.
We also get a glimpse of Dzo Jongo’s more popular cousins – Kang Yatse I and II along the way.
After we set up and get settled into our camp, we go for a short acclimatization walk in the evening, as is the ritual!
Rest and Acclimatization at Basecamp (5,200M)
Today is reserved for acclimatization to the altitude since we gained quite a bit of height in the last few days and have also entered a much different terrain. We use this time to distribute equipment and gears required for the climb and also to practice basic techniques we will require on our summit push tonight. After a late breakfast and equipment disbursement, we go to a nearby slope for training and to get comfortable with our technical equipment. We will learn techniques and calls of roping up and ascending and descending on the terrain.
We end the day early so that we can get optimum rest before our climb tonight.
Basecamp (5,200M) to Summit (6,240M) and back to Basecamp (5,200M)
Distance: 14 kms
Duration: 11- 12 hours
Today is THE day! We leave for our summit push between 11 PM and 12 AM. We go straight ahead on an almost flat but rocky terrain from our camp to reach the slope of the mountain. Once at the foot of the mountain, it is all an upward incline from here on. Given that we will be gaining a little over a 1000M in altitude today should be indication enough that we have some very steep slopes ahead of us. The altitude and the chilly winter winds in the dark of the night make the climb a tad bit more interesting. The winds here are fierce enough to make you yearn for the morning sun for some solace from the cold. The sunrise on this curve of the planet, however, happens as late as 6 AM, hence it is a long night of walking in the cold.
A small bit of respite comes at the breaking out of the day and with it a sense of warmth which is enough to replenish our energy to finish the climb. The last bit of the climb calls for all the motivation and strength to get to the heap of big boulders lying next to each other with the world on the other side of the mountain having suddenly appeared – this is the summit at 6,240M – the summit of Dzo Jongo (East). The ascent is likely to take a total of 8 hours.
The summit of Dzo Jongo is mesmerizing for the expanse of mountain ranges all around, the last ridge walk, its buttery slopes and the way they appear in daylight.
We will begin to make our way down these steep slopes before the sun starts to make the ice unstable. The descent is likely to take close to 4 hours. Expect to reach basecamp by noon.
Basecamp (5,200M) to Leh (3,500M) via Kongmaru La Pass (5,236M)
Distance: 14 kms
Duration: 8 hours trek + 3 hours drive
The thing about Dzo Jongo is that almost all the days on this trek are long, as is today. Today we take a different route down to Leh, through Kongmaru La pass which lies at an altitude of 5,236M. We start early since there is a lot of ground to cover before we reach the road head from where we will get our drive to Leh. The morning is spent in wrapping up our campsite and heading back down. From Nimaling, we start to climb the mountain on the opposite side. The sun blushes all shades of red, from pastel to a bright orange as the clouds run amuck in all directions. The sunlight makes the snow on the peaks shine like wildfire adding to the drama of the landscape. At Nimaling, the river flows urgently from the meadows towards the mountains as the many animals, in their morning glory, romance the land below. There are no dangerous patches on this day but the distance and the dry terrain make it a rough undertaking.
The climb up to Kongmaru La pass is a few patches of steep incline between long distances of flat land rich in pikus and marmots. We reach the base of the pass from the base of the mountain in 3.5 hours after which there is a steep incline for half an hour to get on top of the pass. The pass provides for magnificent views of Kang Yatse 1 and 2 and also Dzo Jongo. Adorned with prayer flags, the wind on the pass is fierce. Locals climb the pass very frequently to make phone calls – the pass receives high speed internet and a strong phone network which you lose 5 step on either side of the pass. It is close to 2 kms from Nimaling to the pass.
From the pass, it is only descent on a narrow trail, through gorges and water crossings with the valley appearing and disappearing on every turn. The terrain is interesting in its colours with rocks across the colour palette, to geological formations with massive walls of rocks standing vertically on either side of you and the gush of water filling up these narrow passageways to the strangest and most interesting fauna you will ever see. It is 3.5 hours of up, down, sideway and any other direction you can think of to cross this section to get to the end point of Chokdo from where we begin our 3 hour drive to Leh.
Expect to reach Leh by late evening.
Departure from Leh
The trek ends here but not before some celebration. How can we end this adventure without a summit party?
If you plan to stay for a few more days to explore the wonders of Ladakh, the article below might help start you off on what places to consider.
Like we indicated before, the weather on high-altitude is unpredictable as are many other conditions. We would suggest you keep spare days between the end of the expedition and your travel arrangements to head back home.
Dzo Jongo Peak, at an altitude of 6,260M, is a challenging climb suitable for trekkers with prior experience of high altitude treks. It is great for those who want to advance from trekking to climbing.
Dzo Jongo Peak Trek is a level 6 adventure on the Bikat Rating Scale.
This makes it mandatory for you to have high-altitude experience of preferably multiple treks marked at level 5 on the BRS. The altitude, the terrain and the nature of the climb demand a certain level of skill and a need for you to be aware of how your body reacts to the various features of high altitude environment.
we will send you a progression chart to help you comfortably get out of your comfort zone in order to level up and ultimately reach your highest potential in the big, bad world of outdoor adventure.
This is a list of essential items for individuals doing the trek with Bikat Adventures. This list contains only those items which the participants are required to bring with them. The list excludes those items which are provided by Bikat Adventures on the trek. We have divided the items into five categories. All the items in the list are essential except for those marked as optional.
Our batch sizes are capped at 15 for smaller treks with the trek leader and trekker ratio of 1:8. This ratio, in our years of experience, has proven to deliver the best trekking experience for individuals as well as groups. Capping the size of the group ensures individual attention to each trekker so that no signs of distress or need during the trek go unnoticed. It also helps to form a more cohesive cohort with better group energy which helps define the rhythm and pace of days on the trek. As you go higher up on the BRS scale, since the stakes are higher, expeditions have an even smaller group size with the ratio of expedition leader to climber set at 1:2.
We follow a rigorous regime of hiring and training our experts in the field. Each trek leader is a certified mountaineer with years of experience in the field. In addition to their qualification, they also go through practical and situational training to tackle any and all kinds of sudden conditions that may present themselves on the ground. Being unpredictable is the core nature of the mountains but being ready for any circumstance as best as possible is a controllable asset that we try to nurture. Our field experts are also trained in basic medicine and first-aid response. Watch: Forerunners - The Making of A Trek Leader At Bikat Adventures
Since Bikat Adventures is a learning-based organization, we help you climb up the ladder of difficulty within the sphere of outdoor adventure systematically. Our on-ground training modules are designed to handhold you through the upskilling process so that you are ready to take on bigger challenges.
All the gear used on our treks and expeditions is tried and tested, maintained for good quality, and is overall top-notch in quality and condition. We are continually looking to obtain the best of everything there is in the market so as to ensure optimum safety.
Along with the staff you see on-ground, we have a team of superheroes working in the background to give you the best experience possible. Our background team also comprises local staff from each area who know the region best. Having local support helps with studying the area, pre-planning, execution, and in receiving timely support in case of emergencies in these remote locations.
Our on-field staff is in constant contact with our teams based in primary locations so as to eliminate any avoidable delay in reaching additional help and support when required. We try to use the best tools for communication available, including satellite phones, in regions where they are not restricted.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Cancellations between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure date
Cancellations within 15 days prior to departure date
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations within 5 days prior to departure date