Best Time: June - August
Mt. Kang Yatse Altitude: 6,175 M
Temperature Range: 0 to 20 Degree Centigrade
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Meal Types: Vegeterian
About the Destination
The majestic looking Kang Yatze is the most prominent peak in the Markha Valley. It can be approached through the Makha Valley from either side. It has 2 summits and resembles a King’s Throne. The Western summit, Kangyatse II is lower at 6175m and is quite often climbed, at the same time it is not at all busy like the neighbouring Stok Kangri. It is perfect for people who would like to climb their first 6000-er and would like to stay away from the crowds.
The Markha valley offers the perfect acclimatisation trek needed for climbing a 6000m mountain. On a clear day you see views as far Nun Kun & Zanskar ranges in the West & the K2, Broad Peak & Gasherbrum Massif in the far North.
Day 01: Arrive Leh (3500m), Rest & Acclimatise
The flight takes us over the Greater Himalaya and makes an exciting landing at one of the highest airports in the world. We may chance upon stunning and breathtaking views of the great peaks of the Karakoram. Leh is at an altitude of nearly 3500m and you might experience the effects of the altitude, most likely a little breathlessness and a slight headache. These symptoms are not lasting and are mild as they usually disappear quite quickly. Nevertheless, for first day or two everyone is advised to take it easy.
Day 02: Acclimatisation walks and Sightseeing
Visit the famous monasteries of Shey & Thiksey. Shey used to be the old capital of Ladakh. Thiksey is a beautiful monastery built in the style of the Potala Palace in Tibet. Drive back to hotel for lunch. You can spend time checking out the charming Leh Town and its narrow by-lanes in the evening.
Day 03: Drive to Chilling, trek to Skiu (3500m)
The trail goes through a flat and desolate plain along the river Indus till its confluence with the Zanskar where we make a u-turn and enter the Zanskar Valley and drive up along the muddy Zanskar till we reach Chilling. A little ahead of Chilling lies Kaya-Do where we cross the river on a trolley and make our way to the small village of Skui.
Day 04: Trek to Markha (3700m)
The trail to Markha is not too strenuous, rising about 300m over the 22km, crossing the Markha River a couple of times. There are a few ancient chortens along the trail, and a number of wolf pits used to trap wolves when they roam the valley during the winter months. Markha is a substantial village, complete with a derelict fort on the hillside and a small village monastery.
Day 05: Trek to Thachungtse (4200m)
Yatze (6400m), a magnificent snow clad mountain commands the views for the next two days. On the walk there are sights of some fascinating geological creations of large boulders balanced precariously on top of consolidated earth spikes. Continue down over a bridge to Thachungtse, a lovely valley to camp in. A popular place to spot herds of blue sheep slide up and down the steep cliffs with incredible agility.
Day 06: Trek to Nimaling (4720m)
You pass several mani walls and suddenly come across a small lake. Here we get the amazing views of Kang Yatze’s massiveness being reflected in the still waters of the lake. Also the views of Markha Valley which is well below us now. A gradual descent leads to Nimaling, which is a flat bottomed valley. Nimaling which has a semi-permanent population of villagers who come from the Markha Valley to graze their live stock on the summer pastures.
Day 07: Acclimatisation walk to Kongmaru La (5260m) & back to Nimaling
After breakfast we start our acclimatisation walk to Kongmaru La which is a gain of around 540m. The trail is steep uphill till we reach to the ridge from where it's flat to the foot of the pass and then the trail is again steep uphill to the top of the pass. We walk back for lunch at Nimaling. After lunch we will relax and will check our climbing gear.
Day 08: Trek to Kang Yatze Base camp (5150m)
It's uphill from Nimaling through the loose rocks till we reach to the point from where we get the views of Kang Yatze base camp. Now the trail ease down a bit with gentle walk till we reach to base camp. Total walking hours from Nimaling should be 2-3hrs.
Day 09: Rest day
We get some height gain today and practice walking with snow boots. A mix of snow and ice craft techniques.
Day 10: Climb Kang Yatze II & descend to Base camp
Summit Day! We start a little after midnight for our summit attempt of Kang Yatze 2, also popularly referred to as Kang Yatze shoulder. We start of initially on scree and moraine before getting onto snow. It is gradual all the way except for a few parts where we might have to rope up. We should be at the summit by daybreak to catch the sun rise and the glorious view of the Zanskar range and the distant Karakoram. Descend to Base Camp for breakfast. A long day of about 10 hrs.
Day 11: Contingency Day
A contingency day to account for bad weather, etc.
Day 12: Trek to Chuskirmo
We pack camp and proceed to the grazing grounds of Nimaling. From there it is a gradual ascent to Kongmaru La pass at 5260m with prayer flags fluttering. Beautiful views all round from the pass. We descend steeply at first before it becomes gradually as we reach the stream. A little ahead from there is Chuskirmo with chortens and a small shop.
Day 13: Trek to Shang Sumdo & drive to Leh
Trek along the Shang River for couple of hours before we reach to Shang Sumdo - road head and then get into vehicles to go to Hemis monastery (optional) or continue directly to Leh. Lunch at the hotel, wash up & spend the afternoon visiting the interesting market in Leh.
Day 14: Fly to Delhi
Early morning transfer to the Airport for departure.
Days : 14 | Nights : 13