Trekkking for 2 weeks in Ladakh, without tent, Jul-Aug 2018

#1 May 20th, 2018, 23:42
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#1
We (3 persons) are planning to trek for 2 weeks in the Ladakh region. In total we have 3 weeks in India (2018; Jul 23 - Aug 13), but I assume that getting from Delhi to Ladakh and back will cost a week, including getting used to the height.

We have trekking experience in Nepal; the Everest trek and the Annapurna round and many years of trekking in Europe; Alps and Pyrenees. We prefer trekking independently, no guide and porters. And also light weight, so no tent and cooking gear. Although we'll take an emergency shelter and food we can eat without cooking. Ideally we walk around 8 hours per day, more then 12 hours is off limits.

So we are looking at homestay treks, we have been using:

Especcially the Lamayuru to Darche trek sounds very nice. But I'm afraid that this will take more then the two weeks we have. So we are looking into doing this trek half, from Darcha to Padum in 9 days. Only it is not clear to me whether we can do this trek without tent. What I've read is that it is possible without a tent, but recommended to take one (and that is a bit confusing). There are three camp sites on the Darcha to Padum trek:
  • Zanskar Sumdo
  • Chumik Nakpo
  • Lhakhang Sumdo

Can we (a) get a meal at these camp sites, and (b) can we rent or stay overnight in a fixed tent there ?

Then from Padum we hope to find transport (public or private) to:
  • Lamayuru; and do (part of) the Alchi cicuit
  • or Leh; and do (part of) Markha valley trek

Also these treks include a camp sites, same question, can we do these treks without tent and on camp sites stay in tents that are available ?

And finally; are there other treks in the Ladakh region you recommend that can be done without tent and cooking gear, so purely homestay ?

Many thanks in advance for any feedback !!
#2 May 22nd, 2018, 03:07
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#2
welcome to IM,

Stress this without personal experience, I have done this route several times but pre homestay and i always use a tent +support crew.
http://himalayan-homestays.com/ladak...w-to-book.html
have a look at the above, enquiries via the agents should confirm if its feasible - i would think so. 'Footprints' is run By Namgil an old friend of mine and can be relied upon
I would recomend the Lamayuru/Wanla to padum section as being better the Darcha-padum although its more strenuous,.
You should never have to walk more than 8 hours
There are parachute tents throughout the route so noodles/biscuits wont be a problem.

A word of caution you are going in monsoon time and although there is no monsoon as such up there, it can be stormy and I mean stormy at any time. Its no longer in a rain shadow. And it can get cold, should be above freezing at night in that season on that route but still..... I am always glad of a tent especially in the evening when the wind blows up.

Enjoy
#3 May 23rd, 2018, 00:33
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#3
Forgot about the road - you can drive an SUV from Darcha to the Shingo La..........
If so I would not walk it - why????
I think the road may be open all the way through, if so then you will either get trucks rolling past you, or near the walking path and the inevitable ' I am a Hero, look at my Go Pro on the toughest drive in the world' clowns in their SUVs.
'Non Indian Resident', who lives locally and posts here would know, maybe they will post on it.
I would seriously think about not doing it at all if you are the sort of trekker that you sound like. You can drive to certain peaks in the Alps, I bet you dont go to those ones......
Any other suggestions?
Markha will be too busy for you, same with Shyam. You might try STok/Matho/ Shingo and exiting off one of the unused passes to the manali road instead of the Kongmaru La.
Otherwise - its a tent and a horse. Unless you are Special Forces.....
#4 May 23rd, 2018, 00:40
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#5 May 23rd, 2018, 23:07
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Thanks Captain Bruce for the feedback ! I was not aware that roads were already build so high upon in the Ladakh mountains, trekking along motorized roads is definitive not our thing.

I'll check the other options you gave, and probably contact Namgil. Thanks again.
#6 May 23rd, 2018, 23:36
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#6
Yep, the road from Darcha has apparently reached Zangskar, though it doesn't go all the way through to Padum and connect to other roads to Zangskar. People still have to walk a few hours. The road that has reached so far is not the government road, it was built by a private contractor, elderly, 2 years ago, on his own initiative, after years of frustration with the pace of govt promises.

Capt Bruce has much more trekking experience than I do. But I think he's right, the most popular homestay-treks are probably too popular for you, ie Markha and the Sham trek (Likir to Tingmosgang). I don't know much about current conditions on other treks.

As he mentions, it's not wise to depend on spending nights out without shelter, since rains may be rare, but some years they happen and when they do it's in July and August. But homestay based treks should be fine, as long as they have shelter available all the way through. There were catastrophic rains in August 2010 and July-August 2015, so it could happen this year. Or not.
#7 May 24th, 2018, 01:52
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#7
How is the Lamayuru to Padum trek, you recommend it so I assume it is not paved road with motorized traffic ?
#8 May 24th, 2018, 02:05
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Thanks NonIndianResident for the reply. I'll check other sources, but can we do the Lamayuru to Padum trek without tent ? As I understand there are tea-tents or parachute tents along the way, but can we use or rent those for shelter ?
#9 May 26th, 2018, 16:19
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Possibly, but it depends on numbers of tourists, size of tent etc.
The road problem is the same,they have ruined one of the great treks of the world, as Namgil will tell you. I think there is a route that avoids most of it but you need to speak to him about it, given that people will still want to do it there may be homestays starting up, but you need to understand that Nepal this aint.....
If you do this route its a darn sight harder that the southern one, which is, in essence over one big pass and then mostly undulating flat. Lamyuru has, an average of 4500 meters or upon the trail in some parts and steep ascents to 4900/5000 which is hard work with anything other than a daypack, especially if you are having to carry water.
#10 May 29th, 2018, 23:59
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#10
Thanks for the info, we decided to take one bigger or two smaller tents with us. Doing this pure homestay we find too risky.

We are now aiming for Padum to Lamayuru and when we have some spare days doing part of the Alchi round.

And/or when it is possible; take the bus from Delhi to Darcha and then with taxi to as far as we can get to Padum, probably Purne and then walk the rest to Padum.
#11 Jun 5th, 2018, 03:24
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#11
Much better
But need to check that the transport actually exists from Darcha
enjoy
#12 Jun 5th, 2018, 13:41
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#12
Id be very surprised if you could find a waiting car in Darcha - its basically a hamlet with a couple of seasonal dhabas and a check post. Get a cab from Keylong.

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