Zanskar Valley Trek in May 2019

#1 Dec 27th, 2018, 22:19
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  • neha malik is offline
#1
Hey folks, I am planning to do a trek (not decided which one yet) in Zanskar Valley. For about 10-12 days. And I am looking for 1 or 2 people who might want to join.
For the background, I am a new trekker. I have done Guerilla trek in Nepal (10 days) with a friend. And then I did Hampta Pass solo this year.
I will prepare myself for this one too.

So if someone's going and is interested to join HMU!

Thanks
Neha
#2 Dec 31st, 2018, 19:39
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  • the_blue_bharal is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by neha malik View Post Hey folks, I am planning to do a trek (not decided which one yet) in Zanskar Valley. For about 10-12 days. And I am looking for 1 or 2 people who might want to join.
For the background, I am a new trekker. I have done Guerilla trek in Nepal (10 days) with a friend. And then I did Hampta Pass solo this year.
I will prepare myself for this one too.

So if someone's going and is interested to join HMU!

Thanks
Neha
May is not season yet for Zanskar. If you want to do one of Lamayuru - Padum or Padum - Darcha, the road to Padum will be snowed out, and you won't be able to get out (or in) from Zanskar by road. If you plan to do the full Trans-Zanskar trek, that will be 16-20 days, it can be done, although nights would still be quite cold, and there would be ample snow on the passes, and I believe no other trekkers (i.e. no help in-case of emergency), and still, Keylong to Manali over Rohtang by road is not guaranteed to be open. Will have to plan by the 2-day extra detour Keylong - Spiti - Chandigarh, or Keylong - Kishtwar - Jammu. None recommended.

You can either delay your program by a month, or choose an alternate route.

By the way, what's your definition of solo trek - solo client with guide/ porter or true solo?
Learning to be silent.
Last edited by the_blue_bharal; Jan 1st, 2019 at 00:27..
#3 Jan 3rd, 2019, 17:38
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Thanks, the_blue_bharal

I actually found on the internet that I can do Padum to Darcha (12days) in mid-May. But would you prefer if I go in starting of June?

I can definitely delay my trek by a month no problem I don't want too much snow.

By solo trek, I meant true solo (just by myself).

Zanskar though I wouldn't prefer to do solo and I am happy to join with 1-2 other people who might be going.
#4 Jan 3rd, 2019, 19:36
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  • the_blue_bharal is offline
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Originally Posted by neha malik View Post Thanks, the_blue_bharal

I actually found on the internet that I can do Padum to Darcha (12days) in mid-May. But would you prefer if I go in starting of June?

I can definitely delay my trek by a month no problem I don't want too much snow.

By solo trek, I meant true solo (just by myself).

Zanskar though I wouldn't prefer to do solo and I am happy to join with 1-2 other people who might be going.
The trek itself in Mid May shouldn't be a problem (Shingo La would have good snow depth though, I would assume 7-10 kms snow trudge on the pass day), but the return from Padum to Kargil via Pensi La can be tricky - it depends on snowfall, although decent chances that it should be open. Some years it opens in April, some years, late May. Since, it doesn't lie on any strategically important route, it's not high on priority for repair and re-opening.

Another issue with Darcha - Padum route would be reaching Darcha. Rohtang opening date is around early to mid May, but first couple of weeks are volatile with frequent closures and re-openings.

This is not really a beginner's route - what is ideally, a peak altitude (~4000m) for a beginner level trek is the base altitude of Zanskar. And that too so early in season, and further-more, solo.

But now Darcha - Padum has been connected by a motorable road (un-tarred for now), so the terrain won't be tough and there are villages every few hours. The only issue now is altitude and fitness/ acclimatization. If you are physically very fit, can go for it, but would recommend - not solo, and if solo, preferably, Sep-Oct when weather is warmer and stable and you'd come across a human or two every couple of hours, in-case, help is needed.

It's an amazing place, lost in time, and it's good to visit as soon as possible, before the new road, finished last year, brings commercialization to this remotest part of Indian Himalaya.
Last edited by the_blue_bharal; Jan 3rd, 2019 at 20:53..
#5 Jan 5th, 2019, 22:11
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#5
Thank you, the_blue_bharal.

I am not planning this solo. I have posted here to find some trekking partners who might be interested to join me.
But whatever you have told me is super useful. I will plan for starting June to be on the safer side. And yes I want to do it before the new road.

One question - do I need to carry my tent or there will be tea-houses where I can stay for the whole trek?
My route will be - (1) Padum (2) Shilla (3) Reru (4) Changpa Tsetan (5) Purne (6) Phugtal (7) Purne (8) Kargyak (9) Shingo La Base (10) Ramjak (11) Pal Lhamo (12) Darcha
#6 Jan 8th, 2019, 14:32
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  • the_blue_bharal is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by neha malik View Post Thank you, the_blue_bharal.

I am not planning this solo. I have posted here to find some trekking partners who might be interested to join me.
But whatever you have told me is super useful. I will plan for starting June to be on the safer side. And yes I want to do it before the new road.

One question - do I need to carry my tent or there will be tea-houses where I can stay for the whole trek?
My route will be - (1) Padum (2) Shilla (3) Reru (4) Changpa Tsetan (5) Purne (6) Phugtal (7) Purne (8) Kargyak (9) Shingo La Base (10) Ramjak (11) Pal Lhamo (12) Darcha
At Ramjak (I'm assuming it's same as Zanskar Sumdo - which I know as a night-halt between Shingo La & Palamo) and Shingo La Base, there are seasonal tea-houses.
Kargyak is seasonal village, but by May, I'm pretty sure villagers would be back up.
At all points before Shingo La base - there are homestays.
A few kms after Shingo La - wherever snow allows, you should be able to get a vehicle to Darcha. The most pristine part of the route is anyway over by then, so makes sense to take it. Will save 2 days, and can visit Chandratal, if haven't already.

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