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Holidays

Peaks and Passes of the Nubra Valley

India, Ladakh
Available Departures: Jul, Aug

18 days from

US$2,995

without flights
Mountaineer
Guided Group
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING

Remote trekking holiday in northern Ladakh including ascents of Samgyal Peak (5814m) and Dawa Peak (5900m)

Trip Code: NVP
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Peaks and Passes of the Nubra Valley

Highlights
  • Explore the monasteries and palaces of Leh, known as Little Tibet.
  • Walk across flower-filled meadows of the Thanglasgo Valley
  • Ascend the non-technical peaks of Samgyal and Dawa 
  • Traverse the Ladakh Range at the Lasermo La (5400m) with far-reaching views

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 16
  • 10 days trekking and climbing
  • Max altitude - 5900 metres
  • Join In Delhi

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 6 nights Hotel
  • 10 nights Camping
  • 1 nights Guesthouse
Overview

North of Leh, beyond the Khardung La, the remote valley of Nubra is only now coming to the attention of the world’s adventure travellers. This fascinating region, lying in the shadow of Saser Kangri in the Eastern Karakoram, is a little warmer and more fertile than the Indus Valley and has traditional ‘Silk Road’ trading links across high passes to Xinjiang Province of China. After acclimatising in the vicinity of the Ladakhi capital of Leh, we cross into Nubra where we have the chance to visit the 14th century Diskit Monastery and to explore a spectacular sand-dune landscape home to double-humped Bactrian camels.


Then, from Hundar, we trek back southwards across the Ladakh Range, following a seldom-used trail to isolated villages and through rugged gorges to reach the high grazing land in the Palzampiu Valley. Here, we set up our high camp and have 2 days in which to make ascents of the glaciated and non-technical Samgyal Peak (5814m) and Dawa Peak (5900m). Each of these peaks provides unsurpassed views of the Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh ranges. Then, returning to the main Thanglasgo Valley, we trek out across the snow-covered Lasermo La (5400m) to Phyiang Monastery and from there return to Leh. Cut off from the outside world by high passes, this is a unique and very special part of the Indian Himalaya and this new trek and climb combination aims to make the most of it.

This challenging trek follows three days of gentle acclimatisation to ensure that by the time we start the trek on the first day to Skarchen, we would already have spent a number of days at around 3500m. Much of the trek follows paths and trails that are used by local villagers and shepherds and are in reasonably good condition. Higher up, above our base camps there will be sections of trackless scree and open, unspoiled snow-slopes to negotiate. There are ten days on trek, of which much involve around 10-12 kilometres of walking (5-6 hours). There are elements on this trip that push it to the limits of its grading: the two climbing days are shorter in distance, but longer in time (8-9 hrs) due to the altitude and slower pace of the ascent and the high base camp is above 5000m. Neither Samgyal or Dawa are technical peaks and once above the snowline it may be necessary to fit our crampons and use a walking axe for the steeper sections, although previous experience is not essential. The guides will rope up the group if they deem it necessary. This trek is suitable for those comfortable walking for up to six hours a day, over several consecutive days.

Why KE?

Unlike some operators, we have developed this itinerary for those trekkers keen to avoid the busier parts of Ladakh and trek into the more remote parts of the Nubra Valley. With two non-technical high peaks and stunning mountain passes, this has all the hallmarks of a future classic.

 

We take care of almost everything including all meals and a full trekking service including all equipment as well as internal flights, all land transport, Delhi airport transfers and a professional english-speaking mountain leader. You only need to sort out your own Indian visa and insurance. 

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Itinerary

Your holiday starts at the hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided. Lunch and an afternoon at leisure at the hotel. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

L D

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport and take an early morning flight to Leh. The short journey offers spectacular views across the Himalayas, notably the 7000 metre massifs of Nun and Kun. Leh, known as Little Tibet, lays nestled beneath an imposing old fort and palace. Overlooking the Ladakhi capital, Buddhist monasteries and stupas perch on top of cliffs and ridges. At an elevation of around 3500m, it is important to take it easy and allow for gentle acclimatisation. For those who want to stretch their legs, the colourful bazaars and roadside stalls make for a relaxed afternoon's exploration.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

To aid our acclimatisation, we have a full day's sightseeing tour of the area surrounding Leh. We visit the Buddhist monasteries and palaces of Shey and Thikse. These photogenic historical monuments are still occupied by orange-clad monks and sprawl across elevated sites with remarkable views across the fertile Indus Valley. Visiting Leh's monasteries always involves climbing up and down long flights of stairs which is all good for our acclimatisation.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Starting from the hotel in Changspa, we walk across to the base of the Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda). We have the option to either climb up the long flight of steps leading to the stupa or we can take the more gradual approach on the jeep road. Looking back (from the steps) we can see the whole of Leh town and the Indus Valley beyond. After enjoying the views from the stupa, we follow the road downhill to the stupa gate and continue our walk to Sankar Gompa, a 16th century monastery belonging to the Gelukpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. We then hike up to Tsemo Monastery, founded in 1430 by the King Tashi Namgyal. It has a three-storey high gold painted statue of the Maitreya (future) Buddha. Once again, the views from this place are amazing. The trail then zig-zags down to Leh Palace which is being renovated by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). Leaving the palace, we descend through Leh's old town to arrive at the main baazar.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

Nearly 2000 metres above Leh is the Khardung La (5370m) one of the world's highest road passes. The exciting drive up to the pass affords us with extraordinary panoramic views across the Indus Valley to the Zanskar Range, with Stok Kangri standing prominently as one of the higher peaks in the range. Dropping down on the north side of the pass, we have views across to the Eastern Karakoram ranges. After approximately 4 hours, we find ourselves in the Nubra Valley where we will stop for lunch at a roadside restaurant before paying a visit to the serene Diskit Monastery. White-painted buildings cling to the ridge above Diskit's pretty patchwork of fields. We continue our drive to the next village of Hundar (3050m). After we've checked into our guesthouse accommodation, we can pay a visit to nearby sand dunes where we can observe shaggy, double-humped Bactrian camels which are native to the steppes of Central Asia and came here thanks to the caravan traffic on the trails on the Silk Road.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Hundar and Wacham are connected by a rough 4x4 road, but (after a short initial transfer) we will undertake this journey on foot. Useful for our acclimatisation and fitness, this is a straightforward walk, following the Thanglasgo River, a tributary of the Shyok, as it flows from the upper reaches of the Ladakh range. In clear weather, we will have good views of the snow-capped 6000 metre peaks that guard this valley. Many of these remain unnamed and unclimbed, such is the relative obscurity of this part of the Himalayas. Beyond a bridge, we enter a narrow gorge and start to gain height up to a grazing area on a plateau. Here we will find a group of abandoned shepherds' huts at the enclave of Skarchen (3600m). We carry on a little further and set up our camp at Wacham, near the confluence of two streams.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

750 M

Descent

200 M

Time

3 - 4 hrs trekking

Distance

8 KM

After being awoken in our tents with 'bed tea' and bowls of hot water to wash, we are served a hearty camp breakfast. We then set off along a track, following the river and crossing a wooden bridge before climbing again to the next small community of Dok Yogma, lying at the entrance to the Palzampiu Valley. Contouring the steep hillside we now follow the Palzampiu Togpo River and gain height gradually towards the cluster of peaks. The trail is pretty well defined, as it is used by shepherds taking their animals to the high pastures in the warmer summer months. Crossing pleasant pastureland, we reach an open basin, where we set up our basecamp next to a stream.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

835 M

Descent

250 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs trekking

Distance

10 KM

Having gained a fair bit of height yesterday, it's important that we spend a second night at the same elevation before going any higher to ensure adequate acclimatisation. Our camp is located on an open grassy area beside the Palzampiu Togpo. There are some stone shelters and walled enclosures a short distance away and we are likely to see marmots which live in burrows dug into grassy mounds all around our camp. There are plenty of options for exploration around this excellent camping place and for gentle acclimatisation walks with our guide.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Another short but spectacular day of trekking as we approach our objective peaks. We trek up above camp following the river for an hour or so before turning due south alongside a small tributary. Here, we climb more steeply across an open hillside to reach a small top beyond which the angle eases and we soon reach the site of our high camp (5150m) close to the terminal moraine of Samgyal Peak's glacier. At the head of this valley there is an impressive peak (6060m) with a clean rock face and several rocky pillars that dominate our view. Samgyal Peak, cloaked by its glacier, is situated to the north-east (to our left) of this peak. We reach high camp by lunchtime and have plenty of time to rest and to make preparation for the climb in the morning. Looking out from our camp we can see a number of nearby snow-capped peaks and, more distantly, the mountains of the Eastern Karakoram.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

800 M

Descent

100 M

Time

3 - 4 hrs trekking

Distance

4 KM

We will be up early, hours before dawn, before wolfing down a simple breakfast of tea and porridge and setting off, lighting our way with head-torches. There's no rush today and we will take it easy as we make our approach to the mountain, initially across rough moraine and then up to a ridge which we follow to reach the glacier after around 2 hours. Here, we put on our crampons and set out very straightforwardly across the low angle glacier. There's usually no need to rope up, although as the climb steepens a little towards the top the guide will review this decision. The climb is continuous but gradual and we should be on the top 5 hours after leaving camp. After spending some time enjoying the spectacular views in the light of early morning, we set off back down. We will be back at camp in time for lunch and plenty of tea. The rest of the afternoon is free to rest and recuperate at camp.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

800 M

Descent

800 M

Time

8 hrs trekking

Distance

4 KM

Today has been planned into the itinerary as a contingency day. If everything has gone to plan so far, those who are up for a second challenge can opt to climb Dawa Peak (5900m). This peak, which is not dissimilar to Samgyal Peak, lies on the right shoulder of a central 6060 metre rock peak and is clearly visible from our high camp. Once again, we will have a very early start and this time trek down to cross the stream before ascending across a scree slope for about 30 minutes. From here, it's a more gradual climb across moraine and loose rocks for about an hour to reach the glacier. The route across the glacier traverses to the right and then zig-zags across snow and rock to reach the summit. Five hours after leaving camp, we should be at the top and we will descend via the same route to high camp.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

850 M

Descent

850 M

Time

7 hrs trekking

Distance

6 KM

Today, we backtrack to the main valley at Dok Yogma and from there turn to head upstream beside the Thanglasgo River. After a couple of hours of very pleasant trekking up the valley floor, we reach the upper village of Dok Gogma (4020m), where there are about 20 households. We set up camp on a pleasant meadow site next to the river. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax and perhaps interact with the people of Dok Gogma. Visitors here are an extremely rare phenomenon and our arrival will cause much interest and a thoroughly warm reception.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

200 M

Descent

1330 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs trekking

Distance

11 KM

We are spoiled with another great day of trekking through this high and wild landscape. We continue to follow the river upstream, following towards its source through scenic pastures carpeted with wild flowers. During the summer months, shepherds bring their sheep, yaks and dzos (a yak-cow cross) to these high pastures and we come across their temporary summer huts. There is a tradition that each summer only 2 or 3 families from Dok Gogma watch over all of the animals from the village. Whilst here, they busy themselves by making cheese and butter for the villagers. They stay here until late August or early September, before returning to the lower village for the upcoming harvest season. We eventually reach our camp, situated in a beautiful spot on the banks of a river at the head of the valley.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

700 M

Descent

155 M

Time

5 hrs trekking

Distance

10 KM

Continuing our gradual ascent beside the river, we pass more temporary huts and pens. The valley is quite wide and we can see for a good distance in both directions. Ahead of us, we can almost make out the Lasermo La on the high skyline. The trail is quite well defined as it passes through huge patches of pastureland dotted with yaks and dzos. There are snow-capped peaks on both sides of the valley, providing a stunning backdrop for our walk. The trail underfoot is mostly gentle throughout with small undulating sections in between. Nearing the pass, we come across an expansive meadow area, sometimes used as the approach camp for the pass. However, we are pretty well acclimatised now and continue across a small scree slope to reach our camp.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

650 M

Descent

140 M

Time

6 hrs trekking

Distance

12 KM

Leaving our camp early again (firm snow conditions make life easier for our pack-horses) we make the 2 to 3 hour ascent to the pass across scree and across the remnant snow patches which linger throughout the year on this north side of the crest. At the pass we are rewarded with excellent views of the Karakoram and (in the other direction, to the north) the Zanskar range of mountains. There is an accessible viewpoint above the pass which offers an even better perspective, including a view of Stok Kangri. From the pass we descend down into the Phyang Valley to our camping place at 4550 metres above the village of Phyang.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

615 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs trekking

Distance

12 KM

We enjoy a short and easy morning of trekking, accompanied by fabulous views of Stok Kangri once again, as we descend through the pastures of Morubuk to the roadhead in the Phyang Valley, at a little over 4000 metres elevation. Here, we meet our 4WD transport and drive through the village of Phyang, stopping to visit the photogenic monastery, before continuing to Leh in less than an hour's drive. We have lunch in Leh and the afternoon is free to relax and explore Leh.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

50 M

Descent

600 M

Time

2 - 3 hrs trekking

Distance

5 KM

We have a usually early start and go to the airport to catch our flight back to Delhi. Arriving in Delhi, we transfer to our airport-accessible hotel. In the afternoon, there is the option of independent sightseeing or you may choose to simply take it easy at the hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided. To extend your holiday in India, why not pre-book a visit to Dharamsala (home of the Dalai Lama), to the Taj Mahal or a longer excursion taking in the whole of India's classic Golden Triangle. Contact our office for details.

Meals

B
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The Route
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Transfer
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • 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 - Delhi-Leh and Leh-Delhi
  • All accommodation as described
  • 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 group will meet at the hotel in Delhi.

Transfers are provided from/to Delhi Airport for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are included in the holiday price from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 18.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

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.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

On arrival in Delhi and for one night after the trek, we stay at a hotel close to the airport which provides convenient and comfortable accommodation. Being near the airport makes the whole travel experience more relaxing. In Leh, we have 4 nights in a good standard of hotel and there is a single night in a simple guesthouse at Hundar in the Nubra Valley. When on trek there are 10 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 for the trek at additional cost and you can also pre-book single rooms at each of the hotels, again at additional cost.

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.

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. 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.

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.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage, which should be a soft and sturdy duffel bag, and one day pack. 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.

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.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa India

Most nationalities, including travellers from the UK, the USA and many European countries can apply for their Indian Visa online through the E-Visa Application process. You must make your application at least four days prior to departure. Please download the detailed information document for details of how to apply for your visa: Visa India PDF

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any 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. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transitted for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV are unlikely to be found above 2,000m altitude. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk

 

The currency of India is the Indian Rupee.

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 5 to 6 hours each day over several days and with a couple of longer 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.

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 be as high as 25°C. As we gain height towards our trekking peak objectives it will be cooler. At our highest camps close to 5000 metres, the daytime temperatures will be no higher than 10 or 15°C and could fall at night to minus 10°C. Lying to the north of the main Himalaya chain, Ladakh and the Nubra region are 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.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. 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 FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • 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 Nord (North) Trekking Maps

Editions Olizane publish a range of 3 useful maps at scale: 1:150,000. The Ladakh-Zanskar - Nord sheet covers the majority of this trip including all of the trekking route. The Ladakh-Zanskar - Centre sheet covers Leh and the Indus Valley.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

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

  • A photocopy of your travel insurance policy (required by authorities in Leh)

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering boots (see ‘Mountaineering Equipment’ below)

  • Climbing helmet

  • Trainers or sandals for river crossings and camp use

  • Trekking trousers

  • Good quality and fully waterproof (Gore-Tex or similar) mountain jacket with hood

  • Good quality (Gore-Tex or similar) overtrousers

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (at least 1 long sleeve)

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warmer and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Daypack 30 litres

  • Headtorch and spare battery or powerbank charger

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

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

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

  • 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

  • Mountaineering boots which can be securely fitted with crampons. (B2 grade minimum).

  • Ice axe

  • Crampons

  • Climbing harness

  • Karabiners (1 x screwgate)

The following items are optional

  • Thermarest or similar camping mattress - a foam mattress is provided

  • Trekking poles (recommended)

  • 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

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)


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. These boots are designed to take step-in crampons, quickly and efficiently. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for potentially 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. Click here to view the list.

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.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

One day tour of Agra and the Taj Mahal

1 Day

The Taj Mahal needs little introduction. Built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz, it is widely considered to be the most beautiful building in the world. Nearby is the oft overlooked Agra Fort, itself an awe-inspiring and magnificent complex of palaces and ancient forts. Traveling from Delhi on the express train and returning by private vehicle, our one-day extension to Agra is perfect for those with limited time who wish to complete their India experience with exploring one of the most admired and loved buildings on the planet.

 

Extension Code: IAT1
Sharing Price from
US$290
Single Traveller Price from
US$465
Deposit Per Person from
US$200

Extension Itinerary

KE extension package services begin with a pick up at the hotel. You will then depart from Delhi on the early morning express train to Agra. Upon arrival, you will have a guided tour of the magnificent Agra Fort. This red sandstone and white marble fort houses a number of palaces, steeped in lore and history. You can visit the ornate cell where Emperor Shah Jahan was interred, with its desperately sad view towards the Taj Mahal; resting place of his beloved wife. Afterwards, you will visit the ethereally sublime Taj Mahal, an experience that will stay with you forever. You will have time to wander through the beautiful gardens and buildings that surround the mausoleum complex. After this incredible tour you will then be transferred by a private vehicle back to Delhi, to either your hotel or directly to the airport where services end. Note: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India (including the Taj Mahal). This organisation will occasionally undertake work to restore the various monuments, but often without notice, so it is difficult to forewarn our customers of this work. It is possible that, at any time, monuments on this trip could be having work done on them.

Whats Included
  • Professional local guide at the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Monument entrance fees to Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Express train from Delhi to Agra
  • Private vehicle transport in Agra
  • Private vehicle transfer from Agra to Delhi
  • Transfers from Delhi hotel to railway station
What's Not Included
  • Indian visa if joining from another country
  • Any additional transfers
  • Tips for your guides and drivers
  • Accommodation in Delhi
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
Extension Details

Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama

4 Days
Dharamsala is a former British Raj hill-station in the Dhaula Dhar mountain range and currently home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile. On this four day extension, you will be able to sample a flavour of life in Tibet and enjoy visits to the Dalai Lama’s temple complex; the Norbulingka Institute; the Tibetan children’s village and visit a local Gaddi Tribal village to experience the life of the people who traditionally inhabit the lower reaches of the Dhaula Dhar.
Extension Code: IDS4

Extension Itinerary

Fly to Dharamsala Airport and transfer (14 kms - 20 minutes) to Dharamsala, an early nineteenth century British Raj hill station, now famous for being the home of the Tibetan Government in exile and home to the Dalai Lama. We check in at our hotel in upper Dharamsala, the village known as McLeodganj which exhibits a strong Tibetan influence with monasteries, Tibetan restaurants and shops. Free time.

Meals

L D

Today we visit the Dalai Lama's temple to see some of the Tibetan monks performing a puja. After lunch we will visit the nearby Tibetan Children's Village which houses orphans and ensures they are provided with an education, clothes, food and healthcare. Later we will visit the Norbulingka Institute, a registered trust chaired by the Dalai Lama dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture.

Meals

B L D

Transfer to the Gaddi village of Naddi (1900m) offering views of the Dhauladhar mountain range. Visit a local house and walk to the Buddhist stupa and Tibetan monks meditation huts. Take lunch on low Tibetan tables with sensational mountain views. Short walk to Bagsu Nag village for chai in a local restaurant before returning to our hotel.

Meals

B L D

After breakfast, you will be taken back to Dharamsala Airport to catch your return flight to Delhi. Services end on arrival in Delhi.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Transfer to Delhi Airport on Day 1
  • Internal flights Delhi to Dharamsala return
  • Dharamsala Airport transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation in Dharamsala
  • Guided sightseeing on Days 2 and 3
  • Entrance fees at temples etc
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 4
What's Not Included
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses such as souvenirs and soft drinks
  • Tips for local staff
  • FAMILY / GROUP PRICES: Please contact KE for prices
Extension Details

Agra & the Taj Mahal two day tour

2 Days

Our two-day extension is for those who wish to explore  Agra and the surrounding area at a relaxed pace. We start by exploring the oft overlooked Agra Fort, itself an awe-inspiring and magnificent complex of palaces and ancient forts, before waking before the next day to see the sunrise break over the Taj Mahal. Needing little introduction, the Taj Mahal was built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz. It is widely considered to be the most beautiful building in the world. This tour also gives us an opportunity to explore the fascinating abandoned ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Extension Code: IAT2
Sharing Price from
US$470
Single Traveller Price from
US$765
Single Room Supplement from
US$60
Deposit Per Person from
US$200

Extension Itinerary

KE extension package services begin with a pick up at the hotel. We then depart from Delhi on the early morning express train to Agra. Upon arrival you will have an opportunity to check in to your hotel and settle in. In the afternoon, you will have a guided tour of the magnificent Agra Fort. This red sandstone and white marble fort houses a number of palaces, steeped in lore and history. See the cell where Emperor Shah Jahan was interred, with its desperately sad view towards the Taj Mahal; resting place of his beloved wife.

You will be taken, before the break of dawn, to the Taj Mahal. Seeing the first rays of sunlight hit the ethereally sublime Taj Mahal is an experience that will stay with you forever. You will have time to wander through the beautiful gardens and buildings that surround the mausoleum complex. After our guided tour, we carry on explore the abandoned ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, before driving back to Delhi to either your hotel or directly to the airport where services end. Note: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India (including the Taj Mahal). This organisation will occasionally undertake work to restore the various monuments, but often without notice, so it is difficult to forewarn our customers of this work. It is possible that, at any time, monuments on this trip could be having work done on them.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Professional local guide in Agra
  • Monument entrance fees
  • 1 night at Agra hotel on bed and breakfast basis
  • Express train from Delhi to Agra
  • Private vehicle transfer from Agra to Delhi
  • Transfers from Delhi hotel to railway station
  • Transfers once at the Taj Mahal and Agra.
What's Not Included
  • Indian visa if joining from another country
  • Any additional transfers
  • Tips for your guides and drivers
  • Accommodation in Delhi
  • Meals other than breakfast
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • NOTE: THE TAJ MAHAL IS CLOSED ON FRIDAYS
Extension Details

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Full day

1 Day

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 Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Hummayan's Tomb, constructed in similar style to the Taj Mahal and the towering Qutab Minar minaret.  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. Exploring this area by vehicle will give a glimpse of this interesting aspect of India.

Extension Code: IDC1
Sharing Price from
US$170
Single Traveller Price from
US$265
Deposit Per Person from
US$200

Extension Itinerary

Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many empires and each dynasty has left behind monuments and memories to commemorate the grandeur of bygone days. Very few cities in the world offer such diversity in architectural styles, successfully combining the ancient with modernity. KE extension package services begin with a pick up by private car and driver from the hotel at 0930. The city tour includes a visit to the Red Fort; the majestic Jama Masjid, the Humayun Tomb and the Qutab Minar, with a drive past the Lutyens buildings. The tour ends with a drop-off back at the hotel at around 1800.

Whats Included
  • Professional local guide
  • Private driver and vehicle in Delhi
  • Monument entrance fees
What's Not Included
  • Entrance fees to monuments (must be paid directly in local currency) - allow a total of approximately 900 Indian rupees
  • Meals and drinks
  • Tips for your guide and driver
Extension Details

Agra and Jaipur four day extension

4 Days

The Golden Triangle needs little introduction and is rightly considered a classic trip in its own right. Easily accessible from Delhi, this excursion takes in the wonders of the magestic Agra Fort, the incomparable Taj Mahal, the abandoned ghost-city of Fatehpur Sikri and the architectural jewels of Jaipur and Amber. This four day trip ensures you get the most out of these stunning attractions at a relaxed and unhurried pace.

Extension Code: IAJ4
Sharing Price from
US$735
Single Traveller Price from
US$1,275
Single Room Supplement from
US$175
Deposit Per Person from
US$200

Extension Itinerary

KE extension package services begin with a pick-up at the hotel at 0930 hrs. Your private vehicle will transfer you to Agra. Upon arrival you will have an opportunity to check in to your hotel and settle in. In the afternoon, you will have a guided tour of the magnificent Agra Fort. This red sandstone and white marble fort houses a number of palaces, steeped in lore and history. See the cell where Emperor Shah Jahan was interred, with its desperately sad view towards the Taj Mahal, resting place of his beloved wife. Note: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India (including the Taj Mahal). This organisation will occasionally undertake work to restore the various monuments, but often without notice, so it is difficult to forewarn our customers of this work. It is possible that, at any time, monuments on this trip could be having work done on them.

Meals

B

You will be taken before the break of dawn to the Taj Mahal. Seeing the first rays of sunlight hit the ethereally sublimeTaj Mahal is an experierence that will stay with you for ever. You will have time to wander through the beautiful gardens and buildings that surround the mausoleum complex. After our guided tour we carry on explore the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, former seat of the Mughal Empire, before continuing to Jaipur, the capital of Rajisthan.

Meals

B

Today you will have a full day of sight-seeing. You will visit the Hawa Mahal, otherwise known as the Palace of the Wind and the City Palace, full of incredible artifacts. Later you will drive out of Jaipur to visit the Amber Fort, perched high in the hills. The palace here is full of stunning rooms, including the Hall of Mirrors. After taking in the incredible views across the hills, you return to Jaipur.

Meals

B

After breakfast you will be set off in your private vehicle to Delhi, and delivered to either your hotel or the airport for your departure.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Hotels in Agra and Jaipur
  • Breakfast on each day
  • Monument entrance fees
  • English speaking guide at each monument
  • Transport by air-conditioned vehicle
  • All taxes
What's Not Included
  • Lunches
  • dinners and drinks
  • Tips for your guide and driver
DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Peaks and Passes of the Nubra Valley
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: NVP /01/24/
  • This trip begins on Thu 11 Jul and ends on Sun 28 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$410 - Includes all 6 group hotel nights.
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$135
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Peaks and Passes of the Nubra Valley
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: NVP /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 10 Jul and ends on Sun 27 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$410 - Includes all 6 group hotel nights.
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$135
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Peaks and Passes of the Nubra Valley
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: NVP /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 7 Aug and ends on Sun 24 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$410 - Includes all 6 group hotel nights.
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$135
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary starting at the hotel in Delhi. Transfers are provided from/to Delhi Airport for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

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 is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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