About Trekking in Leh Ladakh

Trekking in Leh Ladakh.One of the best destination for mountaineering and trekking. It offers a vast diversity with its challenging heights and an ideal setting of trekking routes.

When you hear the word ‘adventure,’ Ladakh is one of the first destinations to come to your mind. Popularly known with the names like “Land of High Passes” and “Biker’s Mecca,” Ladakh’s popularity as an adventure destination is on a constant rise. As you must be aware, it is the most popular choice in India among passionate bikers as who can avoid the exciting bike trip at Ladakh.

The lesser-known fact is that there are some excellent trails for trekking in Ladakh to introduce trekkers with its extraordinary beauty. Ladakh Valley comprises of a number of trekking trails passing through magnificent valleys, scenic rivers, age-old Buddhist monasteries, high-altitude mountains, and whatnot to woo the adventure enthusiasts that visit Ladakh.

Things To Do In Ladakh

Ladakh Trekking Information

Overview

Ladakh the land of high passes, snow clad mountains, azure blue lakes is among the world’s highest inhabited plateaus. Trekking in Ladakh offers a vast diversity with its unique landscape and exquisite culture, from the green oasis of the hidden Valleys and Plateaus with abundance of wildlife, nomads, wetlands, pastureland, fresh water springs, streams, and the famous lakes such as Tsomoriri, Tsokar & The Pangong. Culturally you will come across the remote villages and ancient monasteries of Ladakh and Zanskar, which are ideal ground for pilgrimage journeys, and these are the age-old pillars of Tibetan Buddhism. Note that all treks in Ladakh are by camping, there are no lodge trekking available in Ladakh.

A typical day in the trek at dawn, the Ladakhi trek crew wakes you up and offer a cup of warm tea with a smile. After freshening and finishing the tea, you will have hearty breakfast, pack your bags and set off on the day’s trek. After approximately 3-4 hours of trekking the group take a break for lunch somewhere in the trail. The crew will prepare fresh lunch. After a relaxing lunch, you will typically spend around 3-4 hours or even more sometimes on the trail before reaching the next rest point. Throughout the day, you will take frequent rest breaks and take time to admire the fascinating mountains views. You can take plenty of pictures of incredibly panoramic mountains, rivers, landscapes, prayer flags, temples, shrines, and monasteries. Once you arrive at the campsite have a brief rest and have a light snack with tea or coffee. Where possible, you may take a short walk around the vinicity. After setting up the camping tents, you can do your dry cleaning, have time to read or chat with fellow trekkers or with the crew. A toilet tent will also be set up for your use. Following a warm dinner in a cozy dining tent your chief guide briefs you on the next day’s journey. Extra time can be spent on reading, enjoying some drinks or playing cards. Finally, it is off to bed for a well-earned night’s rest before starting all over again the next day.

What you need to know Health and experience requirements At Divine International, our treks are suitable for passionate walkers who have the ability to walk at least 6 to 8 hours a day with a light daypack. Walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if we are in excellent health with average physical fitness, have a positive attitude, self-confidence and strong determination, we can accomplish the trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is good idea to enhance our strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but generally no technical skill is required.

Medical Condition If you have special medical condition, it is good to check with your family doctor if you are fit enough to trek. If you are declared unfit to trek, we would advise you against trekking as it will not be worth taking the risk and most times evacuation can be costly. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood diseases should inform Divine International before booking the trek.

Travel Insurance It is mandatory that all clients be insured for expenses that may incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes evacuation by air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that Divine International do not arrange for insurance.

Acclimatization Divine International’s itineraries include one or two night stay in Leh before the trek as a way to acclimatize.

Trek Grading Grading is a term used for rating treks based on difficulty. According to Divine International Trekking standards and experience, treks are divided into three types- Easy, Moderate, Challenging. The challenge in terms of both technicality and geography increases as we move higher in that order. Thus, Easy and Moderate treks could be suitable for all while Challenging treks are meant only for those who already have a certain number of experiences in trekking. Furthermore, Grading will help you choose trekking and climbing that best suits your fitness level and experience. Please keep in mind that this is only a general guide. A variety of factors, including weather may add to the challenge.

Trekking arrangement Trekking Crew Each trek arrangement includes our guide, the cook and his kitchen crew who handle the logistical aspects of the trek. The most significant thing that makes our treks successful, enjoyable and memorable is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with ability of operating our days in the mountain smoothly. Our trek will be led by the best and most professional leaders.

Responsibilities of each crew member: Chief guide: shows you the way and makes decisions with regards to safety and accommodation. Assistant guide (8 pax onwards): assist the Chief guide to manage the trekkers’ needs. For bigger groups he usually helps out the slower member(s) in the team, or set up campsite ahead of arrival.

Poterage by horse: A horse carries your big backpack while you carry your small daypack.

Cooking Team: they come with camping treks to satisfy your tummies with their professional cooking skills.

Tents Sleeping – You sleep in good quality tents which help keeps you from the cold. Toilet – Toilet tent is set up separately for male and female. You cover with soil after your business. Toilet paper is provided. Dining – All meals will be taken in the cozy dining tent.

Shower There is no shower facilities during trek. You need to bring towel and powder for self dry-cleaning.

Meals All meals will be prepared by the cooking team. A glimpse of what you may get: bread, hot beverage, rice, noodle, egg, sardine, meat, potato, range of vegetables, pancake, pasta, cookies, bread etc.

Drinking Water The cooking team will boil water during lunch and dinner daily for your consumption.

Ladakh experiences considerable fluctuations in the day and night temperatures, even during the summer. While the days are pretty warm, sometimes even hot due to the effect of the rugged topography, the evenings can become chilly, requiring additional clothing. It is, therefore, advisable to keep a pullover and / or an anorak or jacket handy. Sturdy walking shoes with strong rubber / synthetic soles for grip, cotton socks (woolen for late autumn tours besides and trekking trips are some of the other items required for the trip.

Following is a list of some recommendations for your Ladakh visit (you can download here the Ladakh Trip Advisory for your ready reference):

Dress / Equipment

Comfortable trousers, preferably of warm material (cotton or wool mix) and / or Jeans.

Thermal undergarments & sweat shirts / warm shirts for trips during April - May & from Mid September onwards).

A full-sleeved pullover as well as a half sleeved sweeter (for use during warm days).

Wind proof outer wear / jacket / parka, sun hat and a pair of good quality sunglasses with sufficient filter-factor to check the sun's ultraviolet rays.

A cap or balaclava (for use when the weather turns bad especially for trips to the higher places such as Pangong Lake, Tsomo-riri, Khadongla and the Manali-Leh road journeys.

Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers with thick cotton socks (avoid fancy shoes/sandals).

For ladies : Trousers or Shalwar suite (worn over thermal inner or tights during April through May & from September onwards only), woolen sweaters / cardigans, a windproof jacket or a shawl, walking shoes with comfortable soles / sneakers. (Avoid Saris & Sandals).

It is also suggested to carry a flashlight on the tour, especially for those spending nights outside Leh town such as Pangong Lake, Tsomoriri Lake, Nubra Valley and on trekking trips.

Miscellaneous

All essential medicines, including those prescribed by personal physician (if any)

Sun screen, lip- salve, moisturizers, antiseptic creams, etc.

Medicines for altitude sickness, if required.

Acclimatization

If you are traveling to Leh by air, you must take complete rest for a day for adjustment to the high altitude and low oxygen level of Ladakh. High altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a risky condition faced by tourists who do not allow sufficient time for acclimatization upon reaching Leh.

The most common symptoms of altitude sickness are breathlessness, coughing, disturbed sleep, headache, inability to concentrate; lassitude, loss of appetite, nausea etc. Following precautions are recommended to avoid being affected by high altitude problems:

Take complete rest at least for a day after arrival;

Move about slowly and breathe deeply till your body becomes used to the high altitude and low level of oxygen.

Take plenty of fluid.

Important – It's generally suggested that one Diamox tablet per day should be taken for 2- 3 days prior to your departure for Leh by air, and continue it within Ladakh for a day or two, if required, to overcome the effect of high altitude.

However, you MUST consult your doctor and confirm if you can take diuretic medicines like Diamox.

Remember : You might feel ‘ normal ' upon landing at Leh, but that's an illusion which needs to be ignored because the effect of the altitude and low oxygen level hits you slowly. It is important that you do not exert yourself on the first couple of days after reaching Leh, as your body needs time to acclimatize. Visa and Permit : Foreign Tourists can visit Ladakh on a normal Indian tourist visa and no special visa or permit is required to visit Ladakh. However, all tourists to Ladakh, whether domestic or foreigner, are required to obtain Protected Area Permit / Inner-line Permit from the Deputy Commissioner Leh's office for visiting the restricted areas like Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lakes, Dah-Hanou and the Nubra Valley. The services of a registered travel agency should be taken to get these permits.

Credit Card / Cash : For purchase of commodities or services or souvenirs cash is generally sought as Credit Card charging is not common and is uncertain due to frequent connectivity problems.

ATM : State Bank of India & J&K Bank has ATM points in Leh & Kargil town. Punjab National Bank operates an ATM point in Leh. These remain mostly crowded with long queues. Sometimes they even run out of cash.

Mobile Phone Service : Mobile phones with post-paid connection of BSNL are operational in most parts of Ladakh. In Leh Town area postpaid connections of Airtel & Vodafone Networks also work fairly well.

ID Card / ID Proof : Remember to carry a valid photo ID Card with you. This will be useful for a variety of purposes – identification at checkpoint, getting Restricted/ Protected Area Permits, Check-in at airports / hotels etc.

Useful Tips : In Ladakh, you will find a culture in rapid transition, yet one in which the traditional values are still largely intact. In order to make your visit to Ladakh more pleasant, both for yourself and for the host community, following steps / precautions may be helpful.

Dress Code : Please avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts, blouses, tops, undershirts etc. in public and especially in monasteries, mosques, temples, gurudhwaras, and churches. The same holds true on the trekking routes. While short clothing is acceptable in camp-sites away from human habitation, they should be changed for trousers, slacks and blouses in villages where you might stop. Under no event should swimwear (and for women bikini tops) be worn in public as these may be taken as sexually provocative and be a cause of possible harassment.

Behaviour Code : Please keep your affection for your partner as a private matter and confined to your own rooms or tents, but not for public display, on the street, in religious buildings, in restaurants or at public events.

Photography : Please do not take photographs of local people without seeking permission, nor of, or within, any religious building and of any religious ceremony, without permission of the official in-charge of the concerned religious place. Remember that the intense light of flash photography is damaging to ancient wall paintings and tapestries placed in the monasteries.

Festival : 2019

Spituk Gostor : January 3-4

Dosmochey : Feb 2-3

Yargon Tungshak : Feb 8-9

Stok Guru Tsechu : Feb 14-15

Matho Nagrang : Feb 18-19

Saka Dawa : June 17

Yuru Kabgyat : June 29-30

Silk Route festival : June 23-24

Ladakh Polo festival : July 11-17

Hemis Tsechu : July 11-12

Sachukul Gustor : July 19-20

Stongday Gustor : July 20-21

Karsha Gustor : July 30-31

Phynga Tsedup : July 30-31

Korzok Gustor : August 3-4

Dakthok Tsetsu : August 10-11

Saninasjal : August 14-15

Deskit Gustor Nubra : October 26-27

Thiksey Gustor : November 15-16

Chemday Wangchoq Kpadum : November 24-25

Galden Namchod : December 21

Ladakhi Losar : December 27

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