Trans Himalaya 2019: Part 3 Zanskar / Ladakh


Padum to Nerak, July 14-15

After an intense 3 day crossing of the Kang La (5400m) from Lahaul to Zanskar I had indulged in some good food, recharged my powerbank, restocked my ration and slept nicely in an empty shop overnight


Hanumil to Stayangs, July 15-16

After a failed attempt to reach Nerak village through the Takti La due to high water currents I decided to try my luck on the other side of the Zanskar river to cross over towards Leh

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Stayangs to Kanji, July 17-18

I woke up outside the homestay at Stayangs and joined the three Swiss ladies which I had met the previous evening for breakfast at 6am. Their guide had prepared yummy porridge, a refreshing relief from the standard cuisine.


Lamayuru to Chilling, July 19-20

I spent the night on a flat rooftop of an empty house at Lamayuru next to the Leh-Srinagar highway. I go back to the dhaba where I charged my power bank overnight


Markha valley, July 21

I woke up early morning from a good night’s rest on the portico of Kaya gompa, first village in the Markha valley after a two day cross over from Lamayuru


Hankar to Dad, July 22

After a peaceful night below the stars outside a home stay in Hankar I rise early for the planned crossing of the Zalung Karpo La at 5170m into the next valley towards the nomad village of Dad


Dad to Debring, July 23

I wake up in the green meadows around the nomadic village of Dad next to a Swiss hiking group. The sunrise is lighting up the surrounding snow peaks


Debring to Rumtse, July 24

After a good night rest in the open along the Manali Leh highway I grab some breakfast in one of the dhaba tents and pack up a few aloo parottas for the journey ahead to Rumtse across the Shingbuk La 5280m, Mandalchan La 5210m and Kyamar La 5100m.


Miru to Shang Sumdo, July 25

After a comfy warm night inside the home stay at Rumtse offered freely by the kind lady at the nearby dhaba I ordered 5 aloo parottas for the next pass crossing of the Shapodak la at 4660m to Chogdo


Shang to Stok base camp, July 27

While walking from Karu to Shang on 26th evening I was lucky to hitch a ride in the car of this Ladakhi family. He was an army officer stationed in the Saichen glacier in Nubra and was on his way home for vacation


Stok Kangri, Stok La, July 28

The night at the Stok Kangri base camp at 4900m was short (2 hours) and cold due to the ongoing rains. I had snugged myself inside my sleeping bag inside my bivy to stay warm


Yurutse to Sumda Chungun, July 29

After a very long previous day climbing Stok Kangri and Stok La from midnight till evening I slept off like a baby in a small stupa shelter at Yurutse. Woke up by 7am, packed up and was heading for the Ganda La at 4960m a solid 800m climb


Sumda Chungchun to Sapta, July 30

After dinner and long evening conversation with two Israeli travelers over must visit hiking destinations in the world at a homestay in Sumda Chungchun, I slept below the open skies near the gompa above the villag


Sapta to Panjila, July 31

Woke up by the daylight before my 6am alarm in the farmlands of a small hamlet above Sapta. Packed up and was heading for a 500m ascent to the Mangyu La pass at 4130m


Lamayuru to Shilla, Aug 2

On Aug 2nd my next co-trekker joined me at Leh: Ganapathy. We met up at the German bakery along with Madhumitha, old CTC trekker, whom I met over breakfast after many years and was doing volunteering work at Leh.


Shilla to Kanji, Aug 3

We woke up around 7am at our secluded paradise at a deserted home near the stream outside Shillakhong. The covered portico kept us dry from the morning drizzle


Kanji La, Aug 5

he alarm rang at 6am but no response from the hikers tukked inside their warm sleeping bags. Ganapathy wore two jackets, sleeping bag and I had zipped him inside my bivy.


Pidong La, Aug 6

The alarm rings at 6am. No response. 6:30am alarm. Still no response. Third one at 7am. I slowly wake up from below our tarp shelter on a small platform above the stream


Dibling to Stayangs, Aug 7

The night at Dibling at 3900m was pleasant and warm. I woke up around 6:30am, packed up and decided to have breakfast after a few hours of walking.


Stayangs to Nerak, Aug 8

I wake up from a cold, rainy night in the farmlands around Stayangs at 4100m. Loaded with jam-butter spread chapattis I climb up the nearby Kyupka La at 4400m towards my destination of the day: Nerak village.


Yulchung to Hanumil, Aug 10

Having missed to sync up (as earlier planned) with my co-trekker Palani (we split after Kanji La) at Nerak on Aug 9th I decided to fast forward back to Padum which was our agreed backup plan


Niala Konste La, Gotunte La, Aug 13

I woke up from a windy and rainy night on a flat space above the Lumen valley. The boulder next to which I slept did not the wind completely so the flappering of my bivy resulted in a disturbed sleep


Tsarap, Marang La, Aug 14

I spent the night in a shelter at Mune Le, an uninhabited hamlet in ruins along the Tsarap river. It was raining and the water was leaking through the damaged roof during the night


Zara Chu, Pogmar La, Aug 15