Markha valley trek intensity for beginner' trekker?

#1 Jul 11th, 2014, 10:43
Join Date:
Jul 2014
Not set
  • Arthi D is offline

I'm planning for a Markha valley trek in Mid-Aug with the below plan. What I'm trying to gauge is will I be able to manage the intensity of the trek? I'm in decent fitness/shape - can walk 10-15KM a day on flat/slight ascent, run the 5k...But the highest I have climbed in a day is 1150M (3,780 ft) of which only 2,500 feet would have been in actual elevation gain I'm guessing (Catskill mountains, upstate NY). I've done similar one day trails, never more, and trekked a max of 8 hours a day.

  1. So what is the intensity on some of these days below, esp Day 07? Is the intensity/elevation gain/day more than what I am prepared for? (I recognize that altitude differences are not comparable).
  2. I want to enjoy the trail, breathe, take pics. Is all that possible with this?
  3. I can keep going uphill; but I have serious issues with descents -as my knees swell a bit and cause a lot of pain. Where possible I spread out/plan local hikes to include even number of uphills/downhills. Full day downhills usually destroy (pain!!) my knees even with painkillers and poles.
  4. Folks with mild asthma/mild bronchitis that have covered this trek/altitude? How does it affect you?
  5. Also, can you rate the beauty of this trail with respect to Nubra and Zanskar? Would we see greenery this time of the year in the meadows and lower places? Hope it's not touristy/crowded!

Day 01: Arrive Leh
Day 02: Leh
Day 03: Leh - Chilling

Day 04: Chilling - Skiu (Trekking: Overnight stay in tent)
Elevation gain?

Day 05: Skiu - Markha
Trek estimated 7hrs

Day 06: Markha - Hangkar
We continue trekking further into the valley, until we reach Hangkar, where we set up camp.
4-5hrs walk

Elevation gain?

Day 07: Hangkar - Nimaling
As we leave Hangkar, we admire an amazing view of the snow-capped summit of Kang Yatze (6400m). A steep climb to Nimaling and we continue gaining altitude until we reach our campsite at 4600m.

Day 08: Nimaling Kongmaru La (5150 mts/16892 ft) Sumdo
Cross to north of Markha, climbing to the top of the highest of the three passes, the 5,306 M Kongmaru La. The trail descends to the Martselang valley, following the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo.

Day 09: Sumdo - Hemis (4 hrs trek) Leh
Easy descent along the Martselang to where it broadens into the valley of the Indus at Martselang village.

Day 10: Leh Pangong Lake Leh (145 kms)

Thanks all!
#2 Jul 11th, 2014, 14:18
Join Date:
Jan 2008
The peanut gallery
  • Rasika is offline
A few yeas back I tried to do the Markha Valley trek with a UK company which classifies it as "Challenging".

I said 'tried' because it was an year with unusual floods where a lot of the paths were washed out and many groups got stranded. So I can only comment on the first part; we didn't even get to the river but had to make a hasty retreat after several high passes.

I think it is quite a challenging trek and maybe you need to make sure you can cope with steep, long climbs, which is more of an indication than flat/slight ascent walks. Though with your running you probably have good stamina.

You also don't seem to have many days of acclimatization - is that wise? We had several days to get used to altitude, with a drive up to <mumble> pass, walking around Leh, etc. And even so one of our trek mates suffered from altitude symptoms during the trek.
#3 Jul 13th, 2014, 14:37
Join Date:
Jul 2014
Not set
  • Arthi D is offline
We are rethinking Markha and perhaps Ladakh this year altogether. I need more information around Altitude sickness and if and how it may impact people with mild asthma. No decision is made but a doctor has dampened my spirit a little. After reading plenty about the Markha trail, I agree with you -it may be a bit challenging and it may not be worthwhile to take the risk but in terms of health and in terms of enjoying the trek. Looking into Nubra and some other treks such as the Greak Lakes one which might start out in Srinagar which might allow for more acclimatisation. Point taken -will allow at least 2-3 days to acclimatise. Thanks.
#4 Jun 14th, 2018, 02:12
Join Date:
May 2018
New Delhi
  • angelina.dzouza is offline
It's a challenging trek ...better avoid for the first time

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Zanskar Great Traverse - looking for trek companions ( & Markha Valley Trek Jul 10th, 2012 15:26 1 1544 India Travel Partners
Markha trek: markha valley route distroyed by rain? Jul 13th, 2011 12:49 10 4020 Trekking and Mountaineering in India
Markha Valley Trek Jun 17th, 2007 22:43 8 4020 Ladakh & Zanskar

Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© 2018
Page Load Success