The legendary Rumtse to Tso Moiriri Lake Trek takes you through the highly untouched and supremely beautiful Changthang Valley of Ladakh. With a jaw-dropping length of 100 km and 6 staggering 5000M+ mountain passes and three high altitude oligotrophic lakes, the Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek is unlike any other trek in Ladakh, the land of high passes and mountains. Rightly dubbed as a 4 season trek, meaning, you get to see all 4 seasons during the length of your trek, from snow-capped peaks within arm's length, meandering rivers, green-carpeted campsites, and barren desolate landscapes, this trek will test your endurance to the core. With lengthy walks, steep ascents and descents over passes, the Rumtse to Tso Moriri trek demands high physical fitness and one must be able to acclimatize properly to the high altitudes of Ladakh. The landscapes change shape from time to time with a cascade of colors that make them look like rainbow mountains. The area also hosts some of the rarest wildlife like Wild Asses, Blue Sheep, and Marmots which run around freely along with rare Snow Leopard spotting if one is lucky. The incomprehensibly massive valleys and unusual terrain of the Changthang valley of Ladakh are what makes the Rumtse to Tso Moiriri trek special. This region is known for the Changthang nomads with then Pashmina goats and Yaks. Stay on this page for more information on the trek - Itinerary, FAQs, Route, Temperature and Precipitation charts, Reviews and Pictures.
Arrival at Leh
The most convenient way to reach Leh is by Air. But this has to be followed by at least 2 days of acclimatization in Leh before you head out for a trek like Rumtse to Tso Moriri Lake. You can also reach Leh by road but this option requires at least 2-3 days of travel on the road. You will receive the detail of accommodation in Leh through an email from us. After reaching Leh check into the Guest House/Hotel. Have some rest and acclimatize as Leh is at the height of 11500 ft. above sea level. The evening can be utilized to explore the Leh market.
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 center point of Ladakh and also a major town from where all treks and 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 a major attraction for travelers.
Leh (11,500 ft) to Rumtse (13,667 ft) - 76km Drive. Rumtse to Kyamar (14,714 ft) - 13 km, 6 hrs Trek.
Today we drive from Leh to the pretty village of Rumtse located on the Leh-Manali Highway. The scenic drive is along the Indus River. We start our trek from Rumtse as the trail deviates away from the highway across with a stream crossing over to the other side which is when the valley opens up. With an initial flat walk for a few kilometers you get to witness the beauty of the starting point of the Changthang Valley famous for its unique landscapes. The trail takes you right beside a winding river with frequent patches of green studded with colorful flowers over a dry rugged terrain typical to Ladakh. The first day of the trek is an easy and flat one with a gradual ascend to reach the campsite of Kyamar which is open with stunning visuals of Ladakhi landscape arranged like waves. Overnight in tents.
Kyamar (14,714 ft) to Tisaling (16,378 ft) via Kyamar La (16,700 ft) and Mandalchan La (16,976 ft) - 15 km, 8-9 hours
Today's trek is a tough one with a significant height gain along with traversing two high passes but it is going to be a worthy experience. The trail enters a different valley with a gradual incline to Kyamar La pass. The initial part of the trail is through a desert-like landscape leading to the pass that is marked by flags. The south of the pass is presented with spectacular views of Kang Yatse massif along with many other snow capped peaks tucked far away in the distance. The Kyamar La Pass is where the terrain starts to show an array of colors making it look like a rainbow mountain. The trail from the pass takes you on a gradual descend to present to you the first jawdropping view of the Changthang Valley's unique topography. Further crossing over a stream takes you on a more than gradual ascend over the second pass of the day and of the trek, Mandalchan La. A descend proceeding the pass takes you to the massive campsite of Tisaling where you get to see wild asses and blue sheep running around. Overnight in tents.
Tisaling (16,378 ft) to Ponganagu/Tso Kar Campsite (14,922 ft) via Shibuk La (17,248 ft) - 15 km, 6-7 hours.
Leaving behind the campsite of Tisaling we proceed to climb over the Shibuk La pass which is the third pass of our trek. With a decently steep but gradual climb over the pass, we enter the stunning Rupshu Plateau and make our way to the campsite of Tso Kar along a long walk to Ponganagu. The initial part of the trail is a gradual descent followed by a flat walk and a decent ascent to get the first view of the Tso Kar Lake which is also known as the White Lake because of its high salt content. The initial trial is green with a carpet of grass and shrubs accompanying you and it suddenly changes to desert-like terrain which is an insanely wide and open landscape which shows the magnitude of this Ruphsu and the Changthang Valley. We end our day at the Tso Kar campsite and retire for the night. Overnight in tents.
Ponganagu (14,922 ft) to Nuruchan (15,254 ft) - 16 km, 5-6 hours.
Today's trek is an easy but long one taking you along the lakes of Tso Kar and Startsapuk Tso to the campsite of Nuruchan. The trail is mostly flat with a few small ascents and descents along the way. The Tso Kar lake appears white due to its high salt content. You get glimpses of a few nomadic settlements on the way. The trail opens up widely to acres of land from right to left too massive to comprehend, with some towering snow-capped peaks of the region revealing themselves slowly. Carry ample amount of water due to lack of water source on the trail. After a long walk, we cross an ice-cold river to reach the campsite of Nuruchan where we retire for the night. Overnight in tents.
Nuruchan (15,254 ft) to Gyamar Barma (17,074 ft) via Kyamayuri La (17,713 ft) - 18 km, 7-8 hours.
Today we start our trek towards the Nomadic settlement of Rajun Karu with a gradual ascend crisscrossing streams along the way. The trail is along a meandering river with snowy mountains on either side. The Changthang valley unveils its extravagant scenery from this point onwards. Prepare for abrupt weather conditions and be equipped with rainproof jackets and covers for your bag. After a steady but steep incline followed by a descent to Rajun Karu you get to witness many camps of the Changthang nomads with Yaks and Pashmina Goats grazing on the pastures. The trail from Rajun Karu takes you across the fourth and taxing pass of Kyamayuri La followed by a long gradual descent to the campsite of Gyamar Barma which is possibly the most beautiful campsite of the trek with fantastic peaks surrounding you. Keep in mind that this is the windiest campsite of the trek. You can spend time here interacting with the Changthang Nomads and meet the "Cowboys" of Changthang with their horses. Overnight in tents.
Gyamar Barma (17,074 ft) to Gyamar (16,787 ft) via Kartse La (17,614 ft) - 8 km, 3-4 hours.
Today's trek is the shortest one among all the days. The trail from the campsite is across the river cutting through the campsite of Gyamar Barma and takes you over the steepest pass of the trek and the fifth pass, Kartse La. Halfway through the climb you get to see the Gyamar Barma campsite with its full glory with the meandering river, towering snowcapped peaks, Yaks and Pashmina goats grazing on the pastures, wild asses and marmots running around and the nomads with their horses. The steep climb takes you over the pass followed by a gradual descend to the campsite of Gyamar which is loaded with rivers and streams. Overnight in tents.
Gyamar (16,787 ft) to Karzok (14,890 ft) via Yalung Nyau La (17,760 ft) - 20 km, 8-9 hours.
Today is the longest and hardest part of the trek. The trail from Gyamar starts straight away taking you to the sixth pass of the trek, Yalung Nyau. The climb is a gradual but a long ascent along a river in the midst of sharply jagged mountains. After crisscrossing the river at several sections, a sudden turn takes you to the pass over a decently steep ascent. The first view when you reach the pass is the blue waters of Tso Moriri Lake, unlike anything you have seen and a sight for sore eyes. But this is not it, now starts a steep descend over a rugged landscape with the latter half of the trail flattening out to reach the endpoint of the trek, Karzok. The enchanting freshwater lake of Tso Moriri stands elegantly with stunning mountains surrounding it. Take a walk along the shores and enjoy the tranquility this place has to offer. Overnight in homestay.
Karzok to Leh - 215 km, 8-9 hours drive.
Our vehicles will take you to Leh starting at 7am starting from your homestay in Karzok. The drive will take approx 8-9 hours. Expect to reach Leh by evening. Overnight in hotel/guesthouse in Leh.
Departure from Leh
You will be required to check out from the Hotel at 10:00 AM.
Rumtse to Tso Moriri Lake Trek 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 Rumtse to Tso Moriri Lake Trek only if you have already done a trek that climbs to 4700-5000 meters. The trek involves long-distance trekking with an average of 13-15 km daily on a harsh terrain at high altitudes along with traversing 6 passes at 5000M+ altitude. It is recommended not to opt for 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. On Bikat scale Rumtse to Tso Moriri Lake Trek difficulty level is 6. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
Before attempting the Rumtse to Tso Moriri Lake Trek you should have an experience of at least 10 – 15 trek days in the Himalayas, at least one Moderate Plus category trek, the experience of trekking at altitudes higher than 4700 - 5000 mts, medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
One should be familiar with the following:
Click here for packing list.
The Rumtse to Tso Moriri trek starts from the small hamlet of Rumtse which is around 76 km from Leh in Ladakh on the Leh-Manali highway. 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.
The best time to undertake the Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek is from the months of June to September.
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. To know more read Places that you must visit in Leh Ladakh
The hotel at Leh is the pick-up point from which we drive to Rumtse. 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.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accommodate 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 fulfill 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 the journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent the following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
The temperatures will range anywhere between 20-10 degree celsius during the day and at night the temperatures will dip to as low as 5-degree celsius. The higher the altitude you gain the colder it will get.
The probability of finding snow on the higher reaches of the passes en-route the trek is decent. But, finding snow on the trail itself is bleak.
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, the trekking pole is necessary but not mandatory. 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.
Leh has plenty of stores/shops where you can buy your trekking gears. But we recommend not to leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for a solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing a 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.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for this trek.
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 in a hotel/guest house. The rooms will be provided on twin/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. Your accommodation in Karzok and Leh after the completion of the trek will again be in a hotel/guest house on a twin or triple sharing basis.
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
Sarthak Madan 21 May 2021
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