Lobsang Chomphel

 

Subscribe to our

occasional newsletter





Phuntsok cooks delicately flavoured healthy Asian cuisine; do it in comfort!

Kanji village - Jamie McGuinness

Trekkers say

I would like to thank you all for your invaluable contributions to this unique experience. I think I speak for all my friends when I say that the trek was great, the itinerary very well chosen ... Lobsang was the bestest of all guides and his team was also quite competent and attentive. Regarding Lobsang, I was impressed by his special gift to read our needs and offer solutions even before we had a chance to verbalize anything. He also knows all the best camp sites and trails and is quite resourceful. Raj was our cook and he did an excellent job. The helpers were quite attentive and always ready to make themselves useful to us. I was also impressed with how gently Ram Lal and Sirouch treated the horses, unlike other parties that we crossed paths with on this trip.

Thanks again, Adriana

 

... thanks for a wonderful trip!!!

Eileen and I had a enjoyed everything and appreciate all the planning and advice. Felt we were very well prepared.

Lobsang was a terrific guide. He is very professional and organized - I appreciated his sense of humor (glad he put up with
mine)!

Very impressed when Lobsang divided our tips openly and equally among the crew. He also included the two drivers with a smaller share. Such a strong display of leadership - guessing each of the crew would love to work with him again!

Appreciative of the strong and very competent supportive crew - they worked!

And the food was delicious!

...

Felt that Lobsang read the group VERY well.

- John & Eileen

 

Trek thoughts

This is still an absolutely classic adventure trek that should be on your trek bucket list.

Why this season, September only? The rivers. We have multiple adventurous river crossings and these are only reliably and safely possible during September.

Why Project Himalaya?

In a nutshell: healthy, tasty meals; caring, experienced crew; quality camping gear, and more. We really care and offer amazing service in every well thought out detail, our trek service is better (or at minimum equal) to any other company so that you can just turn up with the right gear and enjoy.

A delicious, healthy dinner coming up

Lobsang serves a delicious meal of assorted flavourful but non-spicy curries - Jamie

Experience level

This is pure trekking, no climbing, but you should not be scared of heights as some of the trails are relatively challenging. You don't need to be an experienced trekking however you must know that you love being in the great outdoors and like the concept of camping.

Trek comfort

Our trek set up is the best, the most comfortable there is in Ladakh. We have comfortable, warm dining inside and carry an outside dining set with super-comfortable chairs as well. We provide a thick (by trekking standards) mattress to save you flying with a bulky closed cell mat, have clean filtered water available at camp all the time, use good, appropriate tents, roomy for a single and or a palace for doubles. We really have worked at making our trek set up the best, and with horses carrying the loads there is no guilt about the extra gear.

Gear

Tough sandals for river crossings are essential! Crocs or similar light shoes are NOT good enough. Keen sandals/shoes are the best, but Tevas are OK also. Understand they will get wet frequently though so should be quick-drying. Using an old pair of running shoes can also work but note they fill with stones and so need a quick clean whereas washing the small stones out of the Keens is easier, with them still on. With multiple river crossings we will likely trek in the sandals for a couple of kilometers at a time.

Jamie's Flickr photo sets - explore them!

To see the detailed itinerary and more photos use a laptop/desktop browser or tablet in landscape (and hit refresh).

Inspiration

Coolness! Here are some photos from our 2012 trek and See Jamie's Flickr for more pix.

2012 Kanji Canyons

Click the photo to go to Flickr or use the arrow keys to see them here within this page.

Detailed itinerary

Early arrival

We spend three nights at around 3500m/11,500ft so reasonable acclimatization but if you are new to altitude or to Leh, perhaps plan to arrive one day early and we will arrange transfers and hotel and show you around.

Included in all our Ladakh trips is a sightseeing trip, with or without a cultural guide (your choice) and it is your choice of where to go; many people joining are previous trekkers so have seen some places previously.

If you are more ambitious we can also help you arrange a day or overnight trip to Alchi and Basgo Gompas, a day rafting trip on the Zanskar River or even a mountain bike descent of the Khardung La (best a few days into your Leh sojourn). If you have been working flat out you are welcome to just relax, kick back and de-stress too.

Day 1 - meet Leh 3480m

Phew, after a long series of flights, you are here! Look for a sign with your name on it at the airport, and our wonderful drivers Ang Chuk or Pasang will pick you up.

Jamie meets you at the hotel on your arrival and we discuss altitude over tea/coffee or breakfast and perhaps introduce Leh and show you the better places to eat. Most people crash out for a few hours and spend the day relaxing; do drink plenty of fluids which helps the acclimatization process. We normally go out to dinner together, let's meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30pm.

2 - Leh

This is a day for sightseeing but with some flexiblity to cope with people who have previously visited Leh and already seen some of the sights. For today perhaps the best plan is to visit some of the world's most revered gompas and monasteries a short distance from Leh. We will help plan and arrange a jeep, and a local cultural guide if you like (included). Usually we arrange as a morning sightseeing trip with lunch at the good restaurant at Thikse or a late lunch back at Leh then you can relax in the afternoon although we can easily arrange a full day trip.

Choosing where to go is the biggest challenge, there are so many special places to visit. To the east is Shey, Thikse, Hemis, Chemde, Thagthok, Stakna, Matho and Stok, although don't plan on visiting all of them in one day.

Heading west out of Leh are Spituk, Phyang, Nyemo where the Indus meets the Zanskar River, and further afield are Basgo, Likir and Alchi.

Prayer time at Matho Gompa

Prayer time at Matho Gompa - Jamie

3 - drive Lamayuru 3550m

We drive to timeless Lamayuru Gompa, exploring it, and meet our horse team here.

**This itinerary is a work in progress and I will add photos from our previous trips sometime.**

The sublime Lamayuru monastery - Jamie

4 - trek Shilla Orchard 3250m

Trekking! We stretch the legs crossing the baby Prinkti La at 3750m and camp a little above Shilla in an orchard.

A luxury trekking lunch - Jamie

5 - trek Shillakong 4150m

The gorge here is legendary, and still an adventure as the tame morning stream starts to rage in the afternoon. You are warned!

6 - trek Kanji 3850m via Yongma La 4720m

The reward for the relentless climb is a glorious new vista, delightfully colourful crinkled mountains. Last year we stayed at a delight camp near Dumbur but this year we will aim for Kanji to experience once of the more picturesque villages there is.

Ornella admires the view from the Yongma La - Jamie

7 - trek Kanji La Base Camp 4345m

Today we move smartly, despite the short trekking distance as we should beat a stream that rages in the afternoon.

8 - trek Kanji Sumdo 4300m via Kanji La 5250m

Glorious! Lunch on top of the pass? We continue down through a delightful canyon and again, if we can cross the river, we continue to good camping. If we can't cross then it is interesting camping!

9 - trek near Rangdum 4050m

We trundle down the valley which really opens out and camp within view of the gompa. This hilltop gompa is stunningly set and still little-visited, being a long trek or drive from more or less anywhere.

10 - rest Rangdum 4050m

Morning prayers anyone? We explore the area in the morning; perhaps we stay the day, perhaps we head back up the valley for a few hours. Lets see.

11 - trek Pitung La BC 4400m

Heading back up the valley, we will see where we get to, and which side of the river we end up on. Hmmm, afternoon river crossings seem to dictate parts of this trek!

12 - trek 1st Camp 4550m via Pitung La 5020m

I love pass crossings for the new vistas. We plan to camp where we did last year but there are plenty more good camps further down if we are so inclined, and this is not dictated by the afternoon river, for a change.

13 - trek Dibling 3850m

It is a glorious half day's trekking to this remote village.

14 - trek Kyerse La BC 4500m via Marpo La 4690m

There are several different routes between Dibling and Lingshed and we will take the best according to conditions, and perhaps this will be what the locals call the "new" route, or perhaps he head further down into bear country and explore a side valley noticed last year.

15 - trek Lingshed 3750m

Although I am not always a fan of trekking main routes, as the last couple hours into Lingshed are, the panoramas really are breathtaking and it is a pleasant village with a well set gompa, which we will probably camp near.

Students studying at Lingshed Gompa - Jamie

16 - trek Yulchung

We around ridges and over small passes to delightful off the radar Yulchung. Ummm, I wrote this in 2012 - now the road ends in Yulchung so it is not off the radar...

17 - extra day (trek Manichan via Singge La 5150m)

With the extension of the road to Yulchung, we have a day in hand to use where we want during the trek, or for inclement weather.

18 - drive Leh 3480m

We drive from Yulchung back to Leh with Ang Chuk and friends. En route there are a number of gompas and palaces that we can visit - or head straight to Leh for cold beer and a good meal.

Leh from Shanti Stupa

Leh from Shanti Stupa - Jamie

Day 19 - depart (/Leh 3480m)

Ang Chuk or our other drivers take you to the airport for your morning flight.

Ang Chuk with his Scorpio jeep

Ang Chuk, one of our regular drivers, with his turbo Scorpio jeep - Jamie

If staying, Dzomsa does washing by the kilo and there is plenty to see and do, or just kick back and relax over a variety of meals.

Day 20 - optional departure

You are free to fly out today to Delhi - or to stay in Leh for longer, or journey overland to Manali or Srinagar... The Leh-Delhi flight should get you to Delhi before midday, but do note that on rare occasions it can be delayed a day by bad weather.

Julley!