Saturday, March 23, 2013

Trekking in Zanskar


In September last year I was in India to do the trans-Zanskar trek from Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh to Himachal Pradesh. It was an excellent 18-day walk, with a tough first ten days (7 passes!), followed by a day's rest in Padum and then a delightful walk through farming villages to the high Shingo-la pass and then down to Darcha and Keylong in Lahaul.

We hired a pony man and four horses for the two of us and camped mostly, though we did stay in homes in Reru and Photaksar villages. All in all a fantastic trek, though road construction is nibbling away at several of the trek days, especially from Honupatta to Singge La, from Hanumil to Padum, and from Padum to Tsetang. Following are photos from the trek, plus a few from Spiti and Kinnaur. Cheers to Andre for yet another fine Himalayan walk.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Bradly, Wow, what a stunning landscape and a fabulous trek. Absolutely fantastic images! May the road rise with you! Cheers, Will

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    1. Cheers Will, and may your road be white.

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  2. Great photos. I moved to Tamil Nadu last July and look forward to hiking in the Indian Himalyas. I just returned from nearly two weeks in Bhutan. I used your LP Bhutan guide book and saw your blog address in it. Nice site. Thanks for sharing.
    Rob

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    1. Cheers Rob, hope you enjoyed Bhutan. I was there mid-Feb to mid-March - lovely place.

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  3. Hello, Is the road finished via Shingo La? Here is what I found:
    "The Indian government is planning to build a road over Shingo La. Currently there is no road going south from Zanskar. However there is an unmetalled road till Zanskar Sumdo which is 9-10 hrs from this pass towards Darcha side."
    I am going to go there, but if there is a road over the pass, then I give up ;-) and look for something else.
    thanks for you replu
    cheers
    Rafal

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    1. Hi Rafal,
      No, there's no road over the Shingo La and there wont be for years. They are very slowly building a road from Zanskar Sumdo up towards the pass but it wont be finished for years. From Padum in Zanskar a road heads south-east until about a day before Purne but from here to the Shingo La there is not road, just beautiful trekking. There are several other pass options to get to the Leh-Manali road but they are quite remote and you'd need a good guide.
      I did the trek Sep 2012. Cheers!

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  4. Hi, Thanks for info. I will probably go the same way as you starting in Lamayuru. Since I was there 3 years ago and did a trek in the direction to Hemnis gompa, I will try to skip the part to Phanjila village (2 days) which I already did and start from there to SirSir La. In that way I will try to save some time, so maybe I manage to go the whole way to Darcha village (my time is limited). In worst case I will take a bus from Padum.
    I do not take any guide and in India I have this option to go alone with my tent. This is why I like India that much ;-)
    thanks! cheers
    Rafal

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  5. Greetings,

    I did the northern half of the x-Zanskar trek in 2009 (padum to lamayuru), and would like to go back and possibly do the full trek from/to the Manali area. Normally I plan my own trek itineraries (I've done 7 himalayan treks).

    Can you advise on which direction to go? N->S or S->N?

    Calvin

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  6. Hi Calvin, I don't think it matters too much which direction you go. I think I'd probably start in Padum as it's better that way for acclimitisation, otherwise the climb straight up to Shingo-la from the south is a huge height gain if you haven't already been in the mountains for a while. Plus the sense of excitement builds as you head upstream from the north. Have a great trek.

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