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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Stok Kangri an excellent introduction to Himalayan climbing
  • Markha Valley a superb acclimatisation trek
  • Explore Leh, the Indus Valley and its Buddhist monasteries
  • One of the top five trek and climb holidays in India

Flying in to the Ladakhi capital of Leh, the shapely peak of Stok Kangri (6153m) is prominent on the southern skyline. During several days set aside for acclimatisation on this holiday, we visit the colourful monasteries at Shey, Thikse and Hemis before setting off on a delightful trek through the Markha Valley. Our route leads by way of several remote and picturesque villages to the high Nimaling Plain below the imposing peak of Kang Yatze. Trekking up to the Kongmaru La, we then take a little-used high-level route to Stok Kangri Basecamp, a 3-day approach to the mountain that includes superbly located campsites and far-reaching views towards Tibet and the eastern Karakoram. Although objectively very safe and technically straightforward, involving easy-angled scree and snow slopes, the climb on Stok Kangri is both challenging and interesting. This is a wonderfully varied trekking holiday, perfectly suited to someone seeking their first Himalayan summit.

Is this holiday for you?

After spending 4 days acclimatising to the altitude in Ladakh (3500 metres), during which time we will visit monasteries around Leh and also drive up to the Khardung La, the time that we actually spend on trek will be 13 days. On the Markha Valley trek we will be following good trails, which are the main routes between the villages in the Zanskar and Markha valleys. The final 3 days of the approach to our basecamp traverses a more rugged area with less well-defined trails. This is not a particularly sustained trekking holiday and we have allowed plenty of time for resting and for acclimatisation. In normal conditions, the ascent of Stok Kangri involves no technical climbing. It may be necessary to rope up to cross a small glacier before starting the ascent which will mainly be over easy-angled scree and boulder slopes. The final 100 - 200 metres may require the use of crampons on snow slopes up to about 35 degrees and along a short rocky ridge where the guides may use safety ropes depending on the conditions on the day. Although this is not a technically demanding climb, at an altitude of over 6000 metres, it will be physically demanding. Previous crampon experience is preferable but not essential. Anyone who does not wish to attempt the climb of Stok Kangri can make an easy walking ascent to a viewpoint above the base camp.

 

 

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Arrive in Delhi, transfer to group hotel.
  • Transfer to airport and fly to Leh (3600m)
  • Sightseeing in Leh
  • Sightseeing and acclimatising Around Leh.
  • Drive to Khardung La (5380m) and return to Leh
  • Drive to Chilling (3200m)
  • Trek through the Markha Valley to Skiu (3400m)
  • Trek to Markha Village (3700m)
  • Trek via Hangkar to Thachungste (4265m)
  • Trek up onto the Nimaling Plain (4700m)
  • Acclimatisation. Optional day hike
  • Trek across the Kongmaru La (5100m) to Chuskyurmo (4000m)
  • Trek across the Gyuncho La (4600m) to Shang Po (4350m)
  • Trek across the Shang La (4800m) to Gangpoche (4320m)
  • Trek across the Mato La (4860m) to Smankarmo (4380m)
  • Trek to Stok Kangri Basecamp (4900m)
  • Contingency in case of delays in our schedule
  • Climb Stok Kangri (6153m) and return to basecamp (4900m)
  • Trek to Stok Village and drive to Leh (3600m)
  • Fly to Delhi, afternoon sightseeing in the city
  • Departure day with complimentary airport transfers
2016
Sun 07 Aug - Sat 27 Aug Code STK /02/16/ Adult$2,530 Status Departed
More information
  • Stok Kangri & the Markha Valley
  • The departure reference for this tour is STK /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 07 Aug and departs on Sat 27 Aug
  • This trip has already departed
  • Single Supplement $545 - All 7 group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $165
2017
Sun 06 Aug - Sat 26 Aug Code STK /02/17/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Stok Kangri & the Markha Valley
  • The departure reference for this tour is STK /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 06 Aug and departs on Sat 26 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $1,000
  • Single Supplement $545 - All 7 group hotel nights (single tent not included)
  • Single Tent $165
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure Travel is a fully ATOL licensed and bonded tour operator with ABTA and AITO.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • pass
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • pass
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Arrive in Delhi, transfer to group hotel.

    Rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi. Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch. Afternoon at leisure, with the chance to enjoy the gardens and pool at our airport-accessible hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Transfer to airport and fly to Leh (3600m)

    After an early breakfast, we return to the airport (this time to the Domestic Terminal) for the early morning internal flight to Leh. The hour long flight is simply spectacular and provides close-up views of the 7000 metre massifs of Nun and Kun. Arriving at Leh (3500 metres), we drive by jeep to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to either rest in the shade of the hotel courtyard, or for those not phased by their long air journey, there is the option to take a lazy walk into Leh’s colourful bazaar to check out the roadside stalls selling Tibetan artefacts. Flying straight into the high altitude of Leh can take your breath away and it is best to concentrate on acclimatising for the first few days.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Sightseeing in Leh

    A full day’s sightseeing tour. We visit several of the area’s most important monasteries, at Shey, Thikse and at Hemis, with the opportunity to meet some of the monks who live here. The first two of these monasteries occupy elevated sites and offer remarkable views across the Indus Valley to the Zanskar Ranges. Visiting Leh’s monasteries always involves climbing up and down long flights of stairs which is all good for our acclimatisation.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Sightseeing and acclimatising Around Leh.

    Today, we will have an easy sightseeing tour of Leh and its surroundings on foot, accompanied by our guide. We will visit Sankar Gompa, dedicated to the Yellow Hat Gelukpa Buddhist sect and also walk across the alluvial plain west of the town to reach the Shanti Stupa, which offers great views. Built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist interests, as a part of the Peace Pagoda mission, the 500 steps leading up to the stupa will be a great test of our improving acclimatisation. The old Royal Palace and the Tsemo Gompa above the old part of town are also on our tick list. We return to spend a third night in Leh.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs walking

  • Drive to Khardung La (5380m) and return to Leh

    Today, we further our acclimatisation with a jeep drive up to the 5380 metre Khardung La, one of the world’s highest road passes. This high pass in the mountains to the north of Leh leads into the Nubra Valley, which has until recently been closed to foreign visitors. The 2000 metre climb to the pass provides panoramic views of the Zanskar Range beyond the Indus Valley, with Stok Kangri standing out prominently as one of the higher peaks in the range. At the pass itself, there are views of the little-known peaks of the Eastern Karakoram. After taking tea at the pass, gasping in the thin atmosphere, we return to our hotel in Leh.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Chilling (3200m)

    We are now acclimatised and ready to begin our journey to Stok Kangri. Our brief introduction to the Tibetan Buddhist world of Ladakh (which has been many times threatened by invading forces over the years) will make us better able to appreciate the significance of the hill-top location of many of the monasteries which we will see on our trek through the Markha Valley. On today's drive to our first night's camp, we have the option to do some easy whitewater rafting on the Indus. The rafting starts at a point called Phey which is about 5 minutes from Spituk Monastery. This is not full-on whitewater, but there are some sections of rapids which are graded 2 to 3 on the whitewater grading system. This means that novice rafters will find it exhilarating but not too scary. All appropriate safety equipment is provided and there will be a briefing prior to setting off. The river runs through an impressive gorge, to the confluence with the Zanskar River. Anyone who does not wish to go in the river can follow the rafts in the vehicle. After 3 hours or so, the rafting ends at Nimu, where a hot lunch will be provided, before we get back into the jeeps and continue on a minor and little-used road. We cross the Indus on a sturdy bridge and then follow the left bank of the Zanskar River through a gorge to Chilling - a village well known in Ladakh and Zanskar for the skill of its silversmiths. Chilling is also the gateway into the Markha Valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek through the Markha Valley to Skiu (3400m)

    Crossing the Zanskar by way of an exciting box and cable bridge, we meet our trek crew and our pack-ponies, who will have travelled to this meeting place, via the Markha Valley, a day in advance of our arrival. After sorting out the loads for the ponies, we begin our first day of trekking along a narrow trail on the right bank of the Zanskar Gorge, to a point where the Markha River meets the main valley. We climb to cross a high spur and can look southwards to where the impressive Zanskar Gorge disappears around a corner. A red-painted collection of chortens on the far side of the Zanskar and a faint indication of a trail points to the existence of a route into Zanskar. In fact, the only time it is practicable to follow the Zanskar River southwards as far as Padum in Zanskar is in the depths of winter when, for a few short weeks, the frozen river allows reasonable progress through the gorge to be made - but that is another story. At this point, we turn towards the south-east into the Markha Valley, and continue until we reach the irrigated trees and fields of the hamlets of Skaya and then Skiu, where we camp for the night. The main trail into the Markha Valley from the north, over the Ganda La, joins our route at this point. There is a small monastery in Skiu and a derelict fortress/monastery on the cliff above our riverside camp. Altitude at camp is 3400 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Trek to Markha Village (3700m)

    Crossing and recrossing the Markha stream, we make a long day’s walk of around 8 hours to the 30 or 40 houses of Markha Village. The trail passes through quite lush vegetation at the riverside, whilst the upper valley-slopes are uniformly brown and dry. There are bridges at many of the more difficult crossing places. En route we pass several more derelict monasteries, which are often quite difficult to pick out, high on the valley sides. There are also a number of well maintained chortens and prayer walls and at least one good example of a wolf trap. During the winter, wolves and snow leopards visit these high valleys. Becoming bold on account of their hunger, they descend to the villages and prey on domestic animals. The local form of wolf trap is a stone enclosure with overhanging sides, into which is placed live or dead animals baits. If a wolf jumps into the enclosure to eat the bait, it is unable to escape and is stoned to death by the local people. We also pass a couple of isolated houses, one of which is occupied by an old lady who still wears the traditional Ladakhi headdress known as a peraq. On a hill to the north of Markha there is a small gompa. The resident monk will be happy to show you the ancient wall paintings and festival masks which are contained within this lovely old monastery - reputedly one of the oldest in Ladakh. We camp at Markha, an altitude of 3700 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1350m

    • Distance 20km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 950m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs

  • Trek via Hangkar to Thachungste (4265m)

    We continue above Markha Village, trekking eastwards, deeper into the Markha Valley. We pass more impressive monasteries, some ruined and some intact, a testament to the fact that this valley was once more populous than it is today. Hidden away between the two hamlets which make up Hangkar village, high on a rocky spur is another remarkable ruined monastery. In this high valley we are likely to see small herds of blue sheep (bharal) which often come right down to the river to graze. Leaving Hangkar, we now have a good view of a prominent snow peak at the head of the valley. This is Kang Yatze, a 6400 metre high mountain which has a subsidiary summit at around 6100 metres which is very straightforward and often climbed as a trekking peak in its own right. Passing another well maintained wolf pit, we cross the Markha stream on the last bridge that we will see and continue to our camp at the tiny settlement of Tahungste at an altitude of 4265 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 950m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 530m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs

  • Trek up onto the Nimaling Plain (4700m)

    Although now acclimatised to these high altitudes will no doubt feel its effects as we climb to our next camp located at approximately 4700 metres on the area of sparse grazing known as the Nimaling Plain. This was actually one of the first places in Ladakh to be semi settled, by nomadic herdsmen bringing their animals from Tibet. The scenery opens out as we traverse around to the north side of Kang Yatze and we should look out for the pass which we must cross to return us to the Indus Valley. This pass, the Kongmaru La with its cairn of stones and prayer flags, can be seen from our camp beside the frozen upper reaches of the Nimaling Chu.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 60m

    • Time 5 hrs

  • Acclimatisation. Optional day hike

    This is a day for rest and acclimatisation. This is a fantastic camping location and spending a second night at 4700 metres will provide excellent acclimatisation for the climb of Stok Kangri. Those amongst the group who are feeling energetic can trek over towards Kang Yatze, to a high point (5500m) on the ridge that runs from the peak towards the north-west. As well as herds of blue sheep, huge golden marmots and large hares, the other impressive wildlife species hereabouts are immense birds of prey, including lammergeiers (bearded vultures - the biggest of the Himalayan raptors) and golden eagles. The sight of a lammergeier drifting towards you on motionless wings, passing just overhead, unconcerned by your presence, is simply unforgettable.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 6km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs

  • Trek across the Kongmaru La (5100m) to Chuskyurmo (4000m)

    We trek up to the Kongmaru La (5100m) on a well marked trail which zig-zags across scree for the final 250 metres to the pass - 2 hours ascent. From the pass there are views north to the hills of the Eastern Karakoram and China, whilst the southern panorama is dominated by the shapely Kang Yatze. Descending, we enter a narrow gorge, which presents wonderfully contorted rock formations, pillars and buttresses, some of them remarkable colours, reds through to green and greys. The best trail crosses from one side of the valley to the other time and time again - and we are obliged to cross the growing stream many times. Our campsite tonight is at Chuskyurmo (4000m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 600m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1300m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs

  • Trek across the Gyuncho La (4600m) to Shang Po (4350m)

    From Chuskyurmo, we turn towards the west into a tributary valley that leads after a long and gradual ascent to the Gyuncho La at 4600 metres. Descending from the pass, we make camp at Shang Po at an altitude of 4350 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1000m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 820m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs

  • Trek across the Shang La (4800m) to Gangpoche (4320m)

    This part of our route traverses an area rarely visited and involves the crossing of many spurs and minor passes with occasional views northwards towards the Indus Valley and the peaks beyond. Today we climb to cross the Shang La (4800m) and then descend to the Tokpo River for lunch. After lunch we trek generally downhill to our camping place at Gangpoche (4320m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1020m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 950m

    • Time 6 hrs

  • Trek across the Mato La (4860m) to Smankarmo (4380m)

    Again we have a steady climb in the morning, this time up to the Mato La (4860m) and then we descend into the valley to the north of Stok Village. This lovely valley is a high and wild area which is visited only by climbing groups and by the local people who spend some of the summer months in picturesque villages of stone huts, from where they tend their flocks of sheep and goats. We camp close by some shepherds huts at Smankarmo (4380m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 580m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 450m

    • Time 5 hrs

  • Trek to Stok Kangri Basecamp (4900m)

    We have just a short trek this morning to reach the basecamp area for Stok Kangri at an altitude of 4900 metres. The very pleasant campsite is on a grassy area beside a number of meltwater streams. In the afternoon we can walk above our camp for views of the surrounding peaks; Stok Kangri, Parchu Kangri and many others.The rest of the day is free for resting or to make final preparations for the climb.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 5km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 130m

    • Time 2 hrs

  • Contingency in case of delays in our schedule

    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 basecamp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Stok Kangri (6153m) and return to basecamp (4900m)

    From basecamp the trail climbs over a ridge then follows the glacier at first beside the moraine and finally across rubble-covered ice to the lower slopes of the mountain. In normal conditions, much of the climb involves walking across scree and boulder slopes. The final 100 - 200 metres will involve the use of crampons on snow slopes up to about 35 degrees and along a short rocky ridge where the guides may use safety ropes depending on the conditions on the day. At any time of the year but especially late in the season, the snow may extend to the glacier in which case we may use ropes to cross and crampons will be worn for the whole of the climb. Although this is not a technically demanding climb, at an altitude of over 6000 metres, it will be very strenuous. Once on the summit beside the cairn and streaming colourful prayer flags, the views are spectacular and extensive, stretching from the Karakoram peaks to the north to a number of almost unknown 6000 metre peaks in Tibet to the north-east, and including a bird’s eye view of the Indus Valley and Leh below us to the north. Having taken our photographs, we make the descent by the same route back to the glacier and across the ridge to reach the basecamp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1200m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1200m

    • Time 10 - 12 hrs

  • Trek to Stok Village and drive to Leh (3600m)

    From our basecamp, we will descend directly to the upper reaches of Stok Village, with its fields of barley and buckwheat. We have time to look around the village and even visit the museum at the imposing Stok Palace. At Stok, we will meet our transport and make the relatively short drive back to our hotel in Leh.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 150m

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1500m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs

  • Fly to Delhi, afternoon sightseeing in the city

    We have an early start and go to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi. Arriving in Delhi, we transfer to our airport accessible hotel in time for lunch. In the afternoon, a city sightseeing tour is provided. This will included the Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb, then drive past India Gate, with a visit to Gandhi Samadhi, the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. Alternatively, you may choose to take it easy at the hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day with complimentary airport transfers

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Complimentary airport transfers are provided on this day.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English-speaking mountain leader
  • Delhi Airport transfers (on group arrival and departure days only)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Internal flights
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • Full trekking service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel insurance
  • Delhi Airport transfers (other than on group arrival and departure days)
  • Indian Visa
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and Western, mostly purchased locally and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Delhi and in Leh, we take our meals in the group hotel or in nearby restaurants. All meals while on trek and while staying in hotels are included in the trip price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 20.
All clients arriving in Delhi on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary will be met at the airport by a KE representative, who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients should let us know if Delhi Airport transfers are not required. Independent Delhi Airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to Day 1 at an additional cost. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

On arrival in Delhi and for one night after the trek, we stay at a hotel close to the airport which provides comfortable accommodation, as well as pleasant gardens and a pool. Being near the airport makes the whole travel experience more relaxing, whilst still allowing us to include a sightseeing city tour. In Leh, we have 5 nights in a good standard of hotel. Whilst on trek there are 12 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek. Depending on availability it may be possible to pre book single rooms. For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the porters or pack animals given their loads. Setting off in the pleasant cool of the morning, we will generally reach our lunch stop by 11 a.m. The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or even two and again this is normally a cooked meal. The pack-animals usually catch up with the group during lunch and are on their way to camp which we hope to establish well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. On arrival at camp, the Sherpas will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced English speaking local mountain leader throughout the trip, and on trek will have the services of a full trek crew, including a local guide or sirdar and several Sherpas employed by our Indian agent and a team of pack-animals and their handlers.

Approximately £200 (or equivalent in Euros / US dollars etc.) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including porter and trek crew tips and soft drinks, etc. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Indian Rupees) before you travel. We recommend taking your personal spending money in cash since you will be changing the majority of this into local currency on the day of arrival, and changing travellers’ cheques can prove time consuming Sterling, US dollars and Euros are readily exchanged in Delhi. It is also possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in certain banks in Delhi using credit and debit cards. Credit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Delhi and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. It is important to remember tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. For your trek crew we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We recommend that you give tips as a group rather than from individual group members and suggest you decide together on a level of tips that suits everyone. As a rough guide we suggest a contribution of around £60 - £70 (in local currency) per group member to a 'pool' should provide an appropriate level of tips. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the porters, many of whom are simple farmers earning extra cash by portering for trekking groups. Technical clothing and equipment such as head-torches and trekking poles are highly prized by the local guides and camp crews.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters or pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg. Please note that the check-in baggage limit on all internal flights within India is now 15kg with a maximum cabin bagage limit of 7kg and you are responsible for any excess baggage fees that the airline may apply.  From time to time cabin baggage (other than laptops, cameras and valuables) is not allowed on the Leh flight for security reasons.  In this event, the limit for check-in baggage may be increased to 20kg at the discretion of the check-in staff. It is possible to leave travel clothes and any other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

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 on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking, including your sleeping bag and camping mattress, should be no more than 15 kgs. Please note that your mountaineering equipment will be packed into additional, communal kitbags at the start of the trekking and this equipment will not be part of your personal 15kg weight limit. There is a baggage limit on the flight to Leh of 15kg for hold baggage and an additional 7kg for cabin baggage.

You must bring the following items

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering boots (see ‘Mountaineering equipment’ below)

  • Trainers or sandals for river crossings and camp use

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (at least 1 long sleeve)

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warmer and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Headtorch and spare battery

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -10°C)*

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters, blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Mountaineering Equipment

  • Insulated and rigid mountaineering boots which can be securely fitted with crampons. (B2 grade minimum). For the September departure, an insulated double boot is required.**

  • Ice axe*

  • Crampons*

  • Climbing harness*

  • Karabiners (1 x screwgate)*

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles (recommended)

  • Thermarest (note that foam mattresses are provided)

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Spare laces

  • Insect repellant

  • Scarf or buff

  • Pee bottle

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

Notes:

Equipment hire: Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure. All hire / rental equipment is issued in Leh.

**Mountaineering boots: Well-insulated single boots designed for Alpine mountaineering (minimum B2 rating) are suitable for departures prior to September. For departures in September or October the low temperatures encountered combined with high altitude mean that double boots with insulated inners (eg. Scarpa Vega HA, Scarpa Omega IT, La Sportiva Spantik, Boreal G1 light) are the best to keep your feet warm. These boots are also designed to take step-in crampons, quickly and efficiently. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for these low temperatures

PHD Gear Advisor

PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition.

Needle Sports (specialist mountaineering equipment shop)

Needle Sports is the English Lake District's foremost specialist climbing shop supplying mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine and expedition equipment worldwide. Internationally recognised as among the very best of the UK's top technical climbing gear retailers. They have a good range of equipment appropriate for this trip and offer knowledgeable advice both on their website and in store. View >>http://www.needlesports.com/

 

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa India

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking for 7 - 8 hours each day over several days. The best preparation for a trip of this nature is regular hiking in hill or back country, particularly involving sections of steep terrain. If this is not possible because of where you live, we would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime, gradually increasing your working time as you head towards departure.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

During July and August the temperature in Delhi will be hot (35°C or even a few degrees above this). It will also be humid. On the high plateau of Ladakh, the air will be much drier but temperatures in the noon-day sun can still reach the mid thirties during the trek through the Markha Valley and around 15 degrees on the Nimaling Plain and at Stok Kangri Base Camp. We may encounter night-time temperatures at our highest camps as low as minus 10°C. At the time of our last departure of the year in late September, temperatures in Delhi will have started to cool while on trek a typical avaerage daytime temperature will vary from mid to low twenties Celcius low down in the Markha Valley, to around 10 degrees or even lower up on the Nimaling Plain. Despite the lower ambient temperatures, it will still feel warm in the strong sun. Ladakh is not adversely affected by the monsoon and we can usually expect stable, weather. However mountains do generate their own weather systems and some rain or snowfall cannot be ruled out.

  • Leh and Trekking in Ladakh. Charlie Loram.

  • Trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Weare. (L.Planet).

  • The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist.

  • Ladakh, Crossroads of High Asia. Janet Rizvi.

  • Exploring the Hidden Himalaya. Kapadia and Mehta.

  • Ancient Futures. Helena Norberg-Hodge

India - 150K Ladakh and Zanskar Tekking Maps

Editions Olizane publish a useful map at scale: 1:150,000. The central sheet covers the majority of this trip and the Northern sheet covers the country up to the Kardung La.

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Delhi City Tour

Old Delhi is centred on the Red Fort and is a labyrinth of narrow, bustling streets including Chandni Chowk bazaar. Must-sees here include the majestic tower of the Qutab Minar, as well as the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj who wanted to show their ascendency over the former Mogul rulers with many grand buildings designed by the greatest ever British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Delhi City Tour

From $110 per person

More info

Kashmir and Srinagar Extension

The beautiful Kashmir Valley and the town of Srinagar are located within India's most north-westerly territory. Known as the Valley of Paradise, this region is now back on the tourist map. One of Srinagar's highlights is Dal Lake and you can make the most of your visit by staying in one of the houseboats moored around its shores. Floating markets, friendly fishermen, the Mughal Gardens and many temples, mosques and bazaar streets, make any visit to Srinagar simply unforgettable.

Kashmir and Srinagar Extension

From $730 per person

More info

Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, the Taj can be visited in just one day. This one-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. On arrival in Agra you will be met by your driver and guide for your full day of sightseeing. With its laid-back lifestyle and immense wealth of architecture, handicrafts and jewellery, Agra is amongst the most remarkable cities in the world.

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In the morning you will visit Agra Fort on the sands of the river Yamuna. After lunch at the Taj View Hotel you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort. Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. Return journey to Delhi is by private car or train - depending on whether you are departing Delhi the same night.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

From $285 per person

More info

Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, this 2-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. You will have 2 days to explore the fascinating city of Agra. You will stay overnight at a (minimum) 3 star hotel on B&B basis. On day 1 you will visit Sikandra, Agra Fort and have a tour of the city. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort.

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Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. On day 2 you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal and the ‘ghost city’ of Fatehpur Sikri, a superbly well-preserved, four hundred year old, temple and palace complex built by the third Mughal Emperor – Akbar. Return to Delhi by private car.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

From $375 per person

More info

Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

The Taj Mahal in Agra is the most famous man-made wonder of the world and easily accessible from Delhi. Our 3 day tour visits Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur and the Amber Fort. You will depart Delhi on the early morning express train to Agra where a full day's guided sightseeing includes the Agra Red Fort and the Taj Mahal and stay overnight in a hotel. In the morning you depart Agra by private car to Jaipur, stopping en route at the 'ghost' city of Fatehpur Sikri. On arrival in Jaipur you check-in to your hotel and have time to explore the famous 'Pink City'.

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The following morning you visit the Jaipur City Palace and Palace of the Winds. After lunch you leave Jaipur for the impressive Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside overlooking a lake, reflecting its terraces and ramparts. In the late afternoon, you will make the 4-hour drive back to Delhi.

Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

From $580 per person

More info

Ashok

From $116 per room per night

Florence Inn

From $97 per room per night Combining comfort and elegance with economy, the Florence Inn is our preferred group hotel in Delhi. Well appointed throughout and with a smart lobby, it is immaculately clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The Florence Inn is just 5 minutes walk from Karol Bargh market and the metro station making it an ideal location for exploring the city.

Claridges

From $166 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi within 10 minutes walk of the famous Lodi gardens and Khan Market, Claridges oozes old-world charm and luxury. Set in a landscaped garden with swaying palm trees, you can get right away from the hurly burly and enjoy gracious Indian hospitality. The guest rooms and suites are classically decorated and equipped with all modern conveniences as you would expect in a hotel of this calibre. Claridges contains several excellent restaurants offering a choice of world cuisine and there is an outdoor swimming pool and a health club.

Maidens Hotel

From $133 per room per night Operated by the Oberoi group and set in 8 acres of garden with shady trees, Maidens is one of Delhi's oldest hotels. Built in the early 1900s, it has retained its colonial charm and offers spacious well appointed rooms with high ceilings. The hotel has a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisine, a garden terrace extending to an open courtyard, and a small intimate bar. There is no pool. Located in Old Delhi, it gives easy access to Mughal monuments and the colourful Chandni Chowk bazaars.

Manor Hotel

From $144 per room per night This 2-storey, 15-room boutique hotel in a pleasant garden setting is very distinctive. With clean modern lines and contemporary furnishings the Manor Hotel has an understated elegance and comfort which is very appealing. Its public areas contrast cool Italian mosaic flooring with warm rich wood panelling, and you can enjoy a high level of service which is friendly and efficient. The hotel has an award winning restaurant and a bar. There is no pool but the hotel has a Wellness centre with yoga and massage. The Manor is located in a quiet residential area close to the Lodhi Gardens.

Ambassador Hotel

From $133 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi next to Khan Market, this art deco style hotel designed by British architect Walter George in 1945, is a listed heritage building. Its location makes it convenient for both the airport (22km) and the city centre (10 minutes by dive). The Vivanta-by-Taj Ambassador is operated by the Taj group of hotels, so you can expect the best of hospitality and service.

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