Sandwiched between the Indus valley and the main crest of the Indian Himalaya, Zanskar is a vast area what at over 3000 square miles and well guarded by snowy mountain passes. Isolated during 8 months from the rest of the world Zanskar has kept alive an archaic form of Tibetan buddhism whitch flourishes in a chain of far-flung monasteries scattered on steep cliffs edge. Innaccessible for centuries Zanskar is the most untouched and least explored regions of Ladakh.
The Trans Zanskar trekking is truly one of the finest long distance treks in the Himalayas: lovely high meadow campsites and dry desert land, high passes and snow-capped peaks stunning scenery, Buddhist monasteries and picturesque villages and encounters with the zanskarpas turn a trek in this region into an unforgettable experience.
>SEASON: mid june to end of september
>GRADE : Strenuous (grade explanation): many passes between 4500 and 5000 m.
A very good physical fitness is necessary for this trip.
Altitude Max : 5100 m but many passes all along the trail
>LUGGAGE DURING TREKKING : During trek your main luggage will be carried by pack animals (horses or mules). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek.
Kitchen crew, guide(s) all along the trek.
>CAMPING TREK : in tent all along the trek.
D-1: arrival in Leh: transfert to hotel (3500 m) or Guest House.
D-2 and D-3: acclimatization in Leh (3500 m): visit of the Indus valley, villages and monasteries: Phyang, Spituk, Thikse…
D-4: Drive to Lamayuru (7h) by jeep/taxi: beautiful monastery
D-5: Trek to Wanla : 4h
We cross the first pass: Prikita La (3800 m). The descent leads us in some narrow gorges and an opened valley where is located the village of Wanla.
D-6: Wanla - Hanupatta (3900 m): 5/6 h
The route follows the side of the valley and enters deep gorges, the path is sometimes difficult for horses or mules, camp near the village of Hanuppatta (3900 m).
D-7: Hanupatta - Photoksar (4250 m): 5/6 h
We climb upward the Sirsir La (4800 m), the ascent is long, and we descend toward Photoksar, a superb village: camp
D-8: Photoksar – foot of Sengge La (4500 m): 7 h
it’s a long stage: the path follows the valley on the mountain flank with many up and down, a last gentle slope leads us to the pass (5000). We set up the camp beyong the pass.
D-9: Foot of Sengge La - Lingshet (3800 m): 6 h
We cross 2 passes, Kiupa La (4200 m) and the Murgum La (4100 m) through mineral landscapes. Descent is steep to Lingshed where there is a magnificent monastery.
D-10: Lingshet - Snertse (3600 m): 6 h
Long ascent upward Hanuma La (5000 m) on rocky slopes. We descend in a narrow valley until the camp of Snertse with its small stone huts.
D-11: Snertse - Hanumil (3500 m): 5 h
We continue to descend until a river we cross on a suspended bridge, then we start a long ascent to the Parfi La (3900 m). From the pass we descend to the village of Hanumil, we enter the Zanskar Valley.
D-12: Hanumil - Pishu (3500 m): 4 h
We follow the Zanskar Valley through magnificent landscapes, villages and monasteries. Camp to Pishu.
D-13: Pishu - Stongde (3600 m): 3 h
We cross the Zanskar river on a suspended bridge, we pass the beautiful village of Zangla, ancient royal capital and we continue our route until Stongde. Splendid view of the Great Himalayan Range from the monastery.
D-14: Stongde - Pipiting (3600 m) : 4 h
The route leads to Karsha and its impressive monastery, the biggest in Zanskar, and we continue following the valley until Pipiting near the river.
D-15: Pipiting - Shilla (3800 m) : 4 h
We pass Padum, the biggest village of Zanskar, and we enter the Tsarap valley : visit of Bardan monastery and Mune monastery. Camp in Shilla in the Tsarap valley.
D-16: Shilla - Pepul (3900 m): 5 h
We continue along the river Tsarap (beautiful waterfalls ) until Pepul (3500 m). Camp in the village (3900 m).
D-17: Pepul - Purne (3950 m): 6h
We continue the valley which becomes narrow. Camp in Purne in a V-shape valley.
D-18: Purne - Phuktal - Purne (3950 m): 4/5 h
The route leads us to Phuktal Gompa after 1h30 walk through magnificent gorges. The monastery has been built on the cliff and belongs to the GelukPa, the Dalai Lama Buddhist school. Visit and return to Purne.
D-19: Purne - Kargyok (4100 m): 6 h
We start by a steep ascent on a rocky slope and the path leads us into a wide grass-carpeted valley. We follow this valley with nice views of the Gumbaronjon pilar (6000 m). Kargyak is the last settlement of the valley.
D-20: Kargyok – foot of Shingo La (4500 m): 5 h
We continue to climb in this valley through desert landscapes, we reach the meadows of Lakong just below the pass. Camp.
D-21: foot of Shingo La - Shingo La - Ramjak (4200 m): 6h
The path follows a serie of moraines until the pass which is the frontier between Zanskar and Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh. We start the descent on the bank of the glacier and we continue following moraines until the camp of Ramjak.
D-22: Ramjak - Zanskar Sumdo (3600 m): 5 h: Descent to the river bed we cross and we enter a wide valley we follow until Darsha. Camp in Zanskar Sumdo.
D-23: Zanskar Sumdo – Darsha: 3h
In Darsha we are on the Leh-Manali road.
D-24: Drive to Manali (2000 m) via Rothang pass (3900 m).
D-25: day rest in Manali
D-26: Manali-Delhi by private bus.
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