Stok Kangri and the Markha Valley Trek
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch after which there is an optional sightseeing tour of the city. Overnight at the group hotel in Delhi.
Day 2: Transfer to the domestic airport. We take the 1 hour flight northwards, across the Himalaya to Leh, where we transfer to the group hotel. Afternoon free.
Day 3: A full day's sightseeing tour. We visit some of the area's most important monasteries, at Shey, Thikse and Hemis.
Day 4: Today we have the option of a whitewater rafting trip on the Indus. Starting at Phey the river runs through an impressive gorge to Nemo. Transfer back to the hotel in Leh.
Day 5: Today, we drive up to the Khardung La (5380m / 17,650ft), one of the world's highest road passes. Great views of the Karakoram peaks, then return to the hotel in Leh.
Day 6: A short drive beside the Indus takes us to its confluence with the Zanskar River which we follow upstream to our first camp at the village of Chilling.
Day 7: Crossing the Zanskar on a box and cable bridge, we meet our crew and trek beside the river to a junction with the Markha River which we follow to Skiu. (3400m / 11,155ft).
Day 8: More river crossings today as we follow the Markha stream passing several ancient ruins to reach our camp at the village of Markha.
Day 9: We pass more impressive monasteries as we trek deeper into the Markha Valley. We reach the important village of Hangkar before continuing to Thachungste (4265m) where we make our camp.
Day 10: A shorter day today climbing up to the Nimaling Plain. The scenery opens out as we traverse around to the north side of 6400 metre high Kang Yatze. Camp at 4700 metres (15,420 feet).
Day 11: A day for rest and acclimatisation. For the energetic there is the option of a day hike to a view point on the north-west ridge of Kang Yatze. A scecond night at our camp on the Nimaling Plain.
Day 12: Crossing the Kongmaru La (5100m / 16,732ft) we have views of the Karakoram. We then descend via a narrow gorge of contorted rock formations to a camp beside the river.
Day 13: Leaving the Markha Valley trail we head west up a tributary valley to the Gyuncho La and descend to camp at Shang Po (4350m / 14,270ft).
Day 14: Today we cross the Shang La , descending to the Tokpo River and continue trekking generally downhill to our camp at Gangpoche (4435m). 6 to 7 hours.
Day 15: We trek to the Mato La and descend into the Stok Valley to a camp at Smankarmo (4380m). 5 to 5½ hours.
Day 16: We have a short (2 hours) walk this morning to reach our base camp for Stok Kangri. The afternoon is free for rest and to make any final preperations for the climb. Altitude at camp: 4900 metres.
Day 17: This is a contingency day in case of any delays to our trekking schedule. If not used at this point, this will be a day to rest or for walks around base camp.
Day 18: Summit day. We leave camp in the early morning and cross a pass giving access to the glacier, which we follow to the lower slopes of Stok Kangri. The climb is first on scree slopes which may be snow covered and then a rocky ridge leads to the summit snow cap at 6120 metres. After taking in the spectacular views which stretch as far as the Karakoram mountains, we return to base camp.
Day 19: We descend directly to Stok Village, with its fields of barley and buckwheat. Here we meet our jeeps and transfer to Leh where we check in to the group hotel.
Day 20: Today we take the flight southwards across the main chain of the Indian Himalaya to Delhi. Transfer to the group hotel for some well earned R&R.
Day 21: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.