Shade Village Trek

Shade Village Trek

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Brief Description

The Shade Village in Zanskar is one of the most isolated villages in Ladakh and India, if not the world. Even the locals who are familiar with the trail need at least two days to reach the village of Shade from the nearest settlement in spite of having fast feet. The village has preserved its tradition and culture due to the fact that it has been completely cut off from the rest of the world with its remote location. This exceptionally remote trek takes you to the heart of Zanskar Valley and completely off the beaten trail over the mighty Stongde La pass at an impressive altitude of 5140 M (16,864 ft). We have opened this mesmerizingly divine trek to give you a glimpse of how beautiful the Shade village is where people and animals coexist. The trek will also take you to one of the most beautiful and isolated monasteries in the world, namely the Phugtal Monastery across the roaring Tsarap River which looks like a honeycomb that has been carved out of a mountain. With two unbeatable highlights in just one trek of moderate difficulty, the Shade Village Trek is something you can never cherish enough. A once in a lifetime experience to explore one of the most spectacular landscapes on this planet, the legendary Zanskar Valley. The journey will also give you glorious views of the mighty Nun and Kun peaks, the massive Drang Drung glacier and the Penzi La pass. With a maximum altitude of 5140M and rough terrain, the Shade Village trek demands you to have good physical fitness and must be able to acclimatize to the high altitudes of Ladakh. This trek is best done from June to September. Stay on this page for more details - Itinerary, FAQs, Route, Temperature and Precipitation charts.

Why Bikat?

  • Learning Experience: We do not just focus on completing the trek but also help you develop basic trekking skills like:
    • Packing a rucksack
    • Morning Yoga & Evening stretching
    • How to pitch and dismantle a camping tent and properly use a sleeping bag
    • Ascend and Descend on a mountain trail
    • How to ensure camp safety and hygiene
    • Identify trail signs and signals
  • Loyalty Programs: Join Bikat community and enjoy benefits of our vouchers and referral programs.
  • Personalized attention: We have small batch size (max. 15) and we maintain a healthy ratio of 8:1 (Participants: Leader) on all our batches to enable individual focus and monitoring.
  • Best Expedition Leaders: Our leaders are advanced mountaineering course qualified, specially trained in rescue procedures from NIM and certified first-aid responders. Even our local guides are certified first-aid responders.
  • Safety norms: We have mapped every region with an emergency evacuation plan and safety protocols maintaining a zero accident record so far. We carry an extensive first-aid kit including oxygen cylinders and high altitude medicines.
  • Safety equipment: Our trek leaders carry UIAA certified rescue equipment like static rope, ice ax, harness, carabiners, jumar, pulley, short and long slings.

Itinerary

Show detailed itinerary
1 Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival at Leh
2 Day 2
Day 2 - Leh to Kargil
3 Day 3
Day 3 - Kargil to Padum
4 Day 4
Day 4 - Padum to Stongde (Drive). Stongde to Junction via Stongde La
5 Day 5
Day 5 - Junction to Shade
6 Day 6
Day 6 - Shade to Phuktal
7 Day 7
Day 7 - Phuktal to Changpa Tsetan
8 Day 8
Day 8 - Changpa Tsetan to Raru. Drive to Padum
9 Day 9
Day 9 - Padum to Kargil
10 Day 10
Day 10 - Kargil to Leh

Frequently Asked Questions

Packing List: What to pack



Click here for packing list.

Packing List: How should I pack my rucksack?

Packing List: How should I select my trekking shoe?

Age limit: What is the minimum & maximum age limit?

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.

Equipment and facilities: What kind of tents and sleeping bags will be provided to us?

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.

Equipment and facilities: Are there any washroom/toilet facilities on the 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.

Equipment and facilities: If we trek in snow, what equipment will you provide?

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.

Equipment and facilities: What kind of food will be provided for the trek?

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 the journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.

Equipment and facilities: What equipment can I rent from you?

You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.

Miscellaneous : Is there an option to offload my backpack?

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.

Miscellaneous : Who will lead us on the trek?

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.

Miscellaneous : Is the trekking pole necessary?

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.

Miscellaneous : Are there any local stores/shops from where I can shop trekking necessities?

Padum is a quaint village of Zanskar Valley, Ladakh. There are hardly any shops where you can buy. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.

Miscellaneous : Is it safe for solo woman traveller to trek in Fixed departures?

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.

Miscellaneous : Will you give certificates on completion of trek?

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.

Mandatory documents: What are the mandatory documents required for the expedition?

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.

Eligibility: Fitness benchmark

  1. 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) - You would be required to produce a screenshot from a fitness app testifying the same
  2. Hold your breath for 30-35 seconds

If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.

Eligibility: Requisite skills

One should be familiar with the following:

  • Know campsite basics like how to use a sleeping bag, sleeping tent, toilet tent
  • Ascending & Descending technique for mountain trails
  • Basic mountain mannerisms
  • Ascending & Descending on snow
  • Basics of Mountain Sickness
  • Basics of Mountain Hazards
  • How to cross small water streams

Eligibility: Is this trek good for me?

The Shade Village Trek is a moderate plus trek i.e. it requires more strength and endurance than moderate level treks. It is a high altitude trek climbing to a height of 5140 meters. Therefore, it is recommended that you first gain experience of trekking to altitudes of 4500 meters and learn about campsite basics, ascending descending on mountain trails, basics of high altitude acclimatization process and then move up a notch with Shade Village Trek. The trek also involves long walks on uneven harsh terrain each day which demands a good physical and mental endurance. On Bikat scale Shade Valley trek difficulty level is 5. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale

Eligibility: Experience required

One should have at least 7-10 trek days in the Himalayas in his/her kitty. Shade Village Trek is more than 5000 meters, a person must have prior experience of trekking at altitudes of or more than 4400 meters.

About the Trek: Why should I go for this trek?

Shade Village Trek

The Shade Village trek takes you to the remotest village of Ladakh. Tucked in massive and rugged landscapes alongside the roaring Tsarap river, the Shade Village Trek takes you across the famed landscapes of Zanskar Valley and right into the heart of Zanskar. Not only is this trek loaded with a rich and unique culture and heritage but also has religious significance as it takes you to one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world, Phugtal Monastery. This trek is for all who look for a challenge as well as want to tread on the offbeat path to the Ladakh's glorious Zanskar.

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Terms & Conditions

What's Included

  • Food as per menu on the trek
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges, if any (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
  • Dome tents - on twin sharing basis, Sleeping bags, mats
  • Micro-spikes, Gaiters, Helmets, if required
  • Trek guide, cook, helpers, and porters for carrying common supplies
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid certification along with special rescue course from NIM, Uttarkashi
  • Exhaustive First Aid kit including Oxygen cylinder

What's not Included

  • Portage of personal bags during the trek
  • Cost of any kind of Travel Insurance.
  • Any Expense of personal nature.
  • Meals during road journey
  • Any Expense not specified in the inclusions list.

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