Markha Valley Trek
Probably the most popular trek in Ladakh. Its popularity comes for good reason as the diversity in geography along this relatively short trek is hard to beat. From the colorful shear canyon walls of the lower Markha Valley the trail ascends to the alpine grass lands of 4700 m Nimaling where seasonal shepherds herd goats, sheep and yaks on the rolling grasslands surmounted by snowy peaks. From Nimaling the trail climbs over the 5150 m Gongmaru La before descending to the monastic town of Hemis. This trek can be started in various places. The easiest approach is from near Chiling where the Markha river joins the Zanskar. The closest access point to Leh is Spituk but requires the crossing of 4870 m Kanda La to enter the Markha Valley. The toughest but most rewarding approach is from the village of Stok crossing the 4800 m Stok La in addition to the aforementioned Kanda La en route to the Markha Valley.
Markha Valley is a moderate level trek. If you don't mind taking long strolls in the lands of Lamas and experience the local culture, this is just the trek for you. AMS can be a issue at such altitudes in Leh region which you must not forget to take account of.
You must have done a small trek of 3-5 days before and hiked to an altitude of more than 3000 metres
1. Jog/Run for 4 Kms in 35-40 mins or walk continuously for 8 Kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better).
2. Hold your breath for 25-30 seconds.
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
The trek begins from Leh region 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.
There is 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.
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.
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.
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
1. Know campsite basics like how to use a sleeping bag, sleeping tet, toilet tent.
2. Ascending & Descending technique for mountain trails.
3. Basic mountain mannerisms.
Click here for packing list.