Markha Valley with Stok Khangri Peak Expedition (6121m)\''
Duration of Trek: 12 days
Best Time: Mid June to September
Highest Point: Stok Khangri (6,150m)
Focus: Trekking & Mountain Climbing
Physical Challenge: Difficult but not technical
Day 01 Leh - Chiling ( 3850 m) in 3 h (car). We drive towards Srinagar and Kashmir to Nimmu, where the Zanskar River meet the Indus. We follow the left bank of the Zanskar River through a gorge to Chilling. This village has gold smiths famous for local golden jewelry.
Day 02 Chilling - Skiu (3500 m) in 5 h. We cross the Zanskar River by way of a box and cable bridge and meet our trekking team on the opposite riverbank.
Day 03 Skiu - Markha (3850 m) in 7 h. The trail joins the Markha River and will follow it for a few days. Today the trek is quite easy but numerous times, we will need to cross the river from left to right and back, this depending on the season and weather conditions. We will visit the Makha monastery and fort.
Day 04 Markha - Hankar (4000 m) in 4 h. Many monasteries are spread along our route today. After the Umlung monastery, the valley narrows and we stop to camp at the foot of Kang Yaste (6400 m).
Day 05 Hankar - Nimaling (4650 m) in 4 h. Trek in valley in direction of the Zalung Karpo and the Rupshu. We go trough Thagshungtse pasture and start our gradual ascent towards the wonderful high valleys of Ladakh.
Day 06 Nimaling - Kongmaru La (5150 m)- Chogdo (4000 m) in 7 h Climb to the summer pastures of Nimaling, used by the shepherds of Hankar and Markha, then follow the hedge to the top. The Kongmaru La pass commands a beautiful view of the Kang Yatze north face (6400 m), the Ladakh ranges and the Indus valley.
Day 07 Chogdo - Gyuncho La (4600 m) - Camp at 4350 m in 6- 7 h. From now on, we will follow a new and rarely traveled route through the valleys to the east of our objective. Today, we turn towards the west into a tributary valley that leads after a long and gradual ascent to the Gyuncho La. We descent a few meters bellow to establish our campsite.
Day 08 Camp at 4350 m - Shang La (4800 m)- Matho Phu (4350 m) in 6 h. Today, we will cross many spurs and minor passes with occasional views northwards towards the Indus Valley and the peaks beyond. We climb up to the Shang La and then descend to the Tokpo River. Afterwards we will trek downhill to a nice camping place.
Day 09 Matho Phu - Mato La (4820 m) -Stok Kangri Base Camp (4700 m) in 5 h. At the pass, colorful prayer flags flap in the wind, with the Zanskari range in the background. Afterwards, we descend steadily along the Jingchan River. We get great views towards the Stock summit and the Stock Kangri (6121m).
Day 10 Acclimatization day at Base Camp
Day 11 Summit day (Approx. 8-9 hours to base-camp). Our route initially crosses scree and boulder slopes, and then leads to easy angled snow slopes, which require ice axe and crampons. The route is not difficult but at this altitude, it will be strenuous. From the summit of Stok Kangri (6116m), we should see as far as the Karakoram, the Pamirs and Tibet. If it's warm enough we'll rest and recover some energy on top before descending to base-camp.
Day 12 Stok Kangri Base Camp - Leh (5 h walk to Stok). All downhill and through wild gorge scenery. There should be time to visit Stok Palace and museum while we wait for our jeeps. Then an hour's drive across the Indus valley to the comforts of the guesthouse in Leh.