+ gorgeous Zanskar panoramas
+ remote traditional Zanskari villages
+ few other trekkers
+ true wilderness sections
+ sublime landscapes
+ idyllic campsites
+ lots of wildlife
+ 5700m glacier Parang La crossing
+ crossing the Great Himalaya range
+ unmatched healthy Asian trekking cuisine
max altitude 5700m
max sleeping altitude 5080m
multiple river crossings
long drive at trip end
insurance: hiking/trekking <6000m
get e-visa 4+ days before, ~USD50
meet in Leh - easy!
12 Aug-28 Sept, 48 days, USD4980
Sarchu end: 12 Aug-15 Sept, 35 days, USD3980
start Leh, end Delhi (/Leh)
tent single supplement included
max 8 bookings
trek gear discussion
getting to Leh
Hotel Omasila, manager: Phuni
tel: +91 1982 252 119, 250 207
Fort Road, Leh
tel: +91 1982 252 153, 251 673
Our service includes
Leh airport transfer/s
hotels and guesthouses twinshare
group transportation by private vehicle
Leh sightseeing half/full day
Leh group dinner
Expedition-style trek includes
all meals, afternoon tea and hot drinks
roomy single tent / large double for couples
very experienced crew
comfy foam mattress
Nice touches included
filtered drinking water at camp
group first aid kit including altitude meds
Our service excludes
meals in Leh
Delhi airport transfer, hotel, but we can advise
insurance, India visa, international flights, equipment rental, alcohol and soft drinks, laundry,
tipping and other items of a personal nature
Tips & extra cash
allow approx $100 for Leh meals
we suggest 5% of the trip cost per trekker for the crew tips pool
Day 0 - optional early arrival Leh
Do plan your Delhi arrival time well, considering your morning flight to Leh tomorrow. We are happy to assist planning and, if you arrive in Leh early, we provide transfer and hotel booking.
Day 1 - Tuesday 13 Aug - arrive Leh 3480m
Look for a Project Himalaya sign and Jamie will meet you at the hotel. Take it easy and drink plenty today.
2 & 3 - Leh sightseeing 3480m
The impressive palaces, gompas and monasteries must be experienced. We have two full days, ie three nights, for altitude acclimatization. Prepare the Inner Line paperwork.
4 - drive Lamayuru 3550m via Alchi
We break the drive with a visit perhaps to Alchi, the oldest and most historic of the region and/or world heritage site Basgo. Lamayuru is also a famed gompa. This is our fourth night at around 3500m, so a sound acclimatization plan.
5 - drive Kanji 3850m
We must walk the stupendous gorge gates just before Kanji! The village is the background banner image and is most scenic and friendly, and a moderate 300m jump in altitude.
6 - trek Kanji river junction 4050m
A short trek for acclimatization purposes although there are valleys to explore (and a future route we should ask the locals about).
7 - trek Kanji La Base Camp 4345m
Another short but scenic day as we take a measured (~300m) altitude gain and set ourselves up for the big day tomorrow.
8 - trek Kanji Sumdo 4300m via Kanji La 5250m
The big day! We climb slowly and steadily over this high pass with glorious panoramas and drop down to a similar sleeping altitude as the night before.
9 - mid camp 4400m / spare
We can walk a couple of hours today, to set ourselves up for tomorrow, or we have a day in hand if we push on.
10 - trek First Camp 4550m via Pitung La 5020m
We camp at the first good camp over the pass however this is still a long day.
11 - trek Dibling 3850m
It is only a couple of hours walk down valley so we have a semi-rest day in this remote, traditional village of Zanskar.
12 - trek Lingshed Sumdo
This is another short day on account of rising afternoon rivers. We now have a route choice. The horses and main crew will go via Lingshed but there is the opportunity to backpack down the wild gorge for a couple of days and meet up with the team in Zingchen.
13 - trek Chakskang/Sumdo 4270m via Barmi La 4640m
Most of the team will take the usual route so we cross the pass to one of two camping spots ideal for tomorrow and the day after.
14 Chakskang/Sumdo 4270m
With a rest day, we can take a day trip to see the village of Lingshed, with its famed monastery and pretty fields.
15 - trek Nyete / Zingchan via Hanuma La 4710m
We are now on the classic Zanskar trek route and cross a not so high pass and descend along the small valley. If anyone backpacked the other route, then we will meet tonight.
16 - trek Hanumil 3600m via Parpi La 3900m
The classic Zanskar trek infamously crossed five passes in as many days, and indeed we have another climb to a pass today, rewarded by seeing the Zanskar River below.
17 - trek-drive Zangla 3600m
After a couple of hours walk we meet the road drive to our peaceful camp.
18 - rest Zangla 3600m
We take a well-deserved rest day while the crew resupply. You could join them to discover Padum or visit the stunningly set Karsha Gompa.
19 - trek Zangla Sumdo 3850m
Canyon trekking adventures with plenty of river crossings, we may have to start early!
20 - trek high camp
There are few places to camp however there is one unlikely spot with a spring that sets us up well for tomorrow.
21 - trek Yarichun 4220m via Pangdang La 5150m
A day with magnificent panoramas - and those flame rocks too.
22 - trek Ningri/via Lar La 4680m
We splash along the river and share the trail with yaks.
23- trek Shade 4220m via Rotang La 4900m
Shade is another most remote, scenic village and we watch the sheep flocks being brought back at the end of the day.
24 - rest Shade 4220m
We enjoy a break at our favourite village and watch baby yaks being fed.
25 - trek hidden camp ~4000m
Tucked a little way up a side valley, this hidden camp breaks what is otherwise a long day.
26 - trek Phuktal 3830m
This is the inset, iconic and vibrant monastery of Zanskar.
27 - trek Purne / Testa / Trangtse 4000m
We look around this active monastery then down valley meet the new rough road and we will likely stay at Purne or jeep the rest of the way to another camp.
28 - drive-rest Kargyak 4120m
Although on the road, there is a neat camp by the river and we can explore the village with Kunga, and meet his family.
29 - trek Tserichen (Surichan) La BC ~5000m
We climb out of the main valley leaving the road and villages behind with the mountain views opening out.
30 - trek Chumik Marpo via Tserichen La 5620m
A breathless high pass with Himalayan panoramas.
31 - trek Kham Krap Sumdo or further 4500m
Perhaps a shorter day, we descend along the valley as it broadens and changes in character and camp at one of the many good spots along the way.
32 - trek Sarchu 4300m
There are trails on both sides but the south side is better and we cover some distance to camp at a spring well below and out of sight from the road.
33 - trek Tsarap Chu via Tingting Khurd ~4300m
After a resupply, we drive to Whiskey Bridge and head off the road to camp a short way along the Tsarap Chu.
34 - Pangpo La junction 4550m
Oh so remote - scan for wildlife!
35 - 2014 camp ~5000m
The valley system is breathtaking (and begs to be explored another time).
36 - 2014 camp ~5000m
Can we explore up a side valley?
37 - trek Takling via forgotten pass 5252m
This pass discovered by Jamie doesn't exist correctly on any maps and does not appear to have been crossed by anyone other than wild animals. I have been up both sides but not crossed it.
38 - trek Tharang Yogma 4750m
Still in large unvisited by people valley systems, only kiang and other wild animals roam.
39 - trek Parang La high camp 5080m
Now back on this known route, we trek up the valley to the rough high camp to put us in the best position for tomorrow.
40 - trek Jugtha/Thaltak via Parang La 5700m
Yes, the horses must also cross the glacier and it is a relief to cross, although the day is far from over with the brutal gorge and climb out to finish.
41 - trek Kibber 4200m (drive Kaza??)
We farewell the mules and trek crew and settle into a lodge here, hopefully with a hot shower, or perhaps we begin the drive.
42 - drive Tabo via Key Gompa
We need an Inner Line permit obtained in Kaza to drive down the Tibet Hindustan Highway then we continue on to impressive Tabo. (The office is closed Sundays)!
43 - drive Reckong Peo
We are very close to the Tibet border.
44 - drive Shimla
A good days driving down into greener hills brings us to this still pleasant if busy hill station.
45 - explore Shimla
After several days of driving we have a day to wander around.
Day 46 - - toy train and train to Delhi
We take the 10.30 Himalayan Queen 'toy train' to Kalka and connect with a fast train to Delhi arriving 22:40 which would suit a night flight out from early morning.
Day 47 - Saturday 28 Sept - depart Delhi from 2am onwards
You can take a flight out from 2am onwards (assuming a 2.5 hour check-in time at 23:30 although from 3am might be safer.
Sarchu finish option
With less time, finishing in Sarchu avoids the road trip. For previous Great Divide trekkers, finishing the trek at Sarchu avoids the section you already partly know.
32 - trek Sarchu
33 - drive Leh
A beautiful, if long drive arriving late.
34 - 15 Sept - clean up
Sleep in and relax and clean up. You could also leave on a later flight today.
35 - Monday 16 September - depart
We take you to the airport for your trip home.