This classic Trans-Himalayan trek retraces the historical trade route between Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. It begins in Kibber, a high altitude village popular for spotting the highly enigmatic and elusive snow leopard. The meadows here serve as the breeding grounds for the noted horses of Spiti. Due to its proximity to Tibet, this region has only recently been opened to trekkers and still has many unclimbed peaks and hidden valleys.
The trail descends the Kibber gorge and then climbs over the Parang la (5600 mtrs). It is the source of the Pare Chu River, which emanates from India, flows into Tibet and re-enters India again in Spiti. Across the pass, there is an incredible change of scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang plateau (the eastern-most tip of the Tibetan Plateau). It is known for the very high population of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass). On last two days of trek, we will camp at the breathtaking campsites, one of them being located on the southern edge of the Tso Moriri Lake at 15,000ft.msl. It is 27 kms long and nearly 8 km wide. The lake hosts nesting grounds for a variety of birds like Brahminy ducks, black-necked cranes and the bar-headed geese.
A fairly demanding trek across the harsh terrain, this trip offers a variety of landscape from the narrow reddened gorges of Spiti to the massive open spaces of Changthang, to expansive lakes set in the high altitude plateaus with views of mountains far into Tibet.
Arrive in Manali by 10am. Meet our team and check-in to the Hotel. Post lunch you can do some local sightseeing or some last minute shopping.
This drive will take us into the Trans-Himalayan terrain after crossing the Rohtang Pass (4000m). We descend towards the Chandra River from the pass and drive upstream along it till we reach Chhatru. From here we drive further north into the mountains gaining a lot more elevation. We stop regularly along the way for chai (tea), plenty of photo opportunities and most importantly - acclimatization. It should take us around 9-10 hours to reach Kaza. Overnight in Hotel.
Acclimatize and walk around the small town of Kaza. Overnight in Hotel.
We drive for about 45 mins to reach Kye Monastery. Visit the monastery and offer prayers for a good trek ahead. We continue to the scenic Kibber village - the starting point of our trek. Kibber(4270m). It used to be the highest permanently inhabited village in Asia. Mt. Kanamo towers over this village. The pack animals are loaded here and we trek a short distance (2 hours) to our first campsite at Dumla.
We will gain over 400 meters throughout the day. The landscape is amazing as we walk through the cold desert with snowcapped peaks and grassy meadows. We ascend gradually till we reach a flat ground and then descend slightly to the campsite at Thaltak. The campsite at Thaltak meadow offers great views overlooking a deep canyon.
This is a relatively longer day as we first descend steeply into the Paralungbi Gorge and then follow it upstream, cross a river and climb a stony path through a remarkable rocky landscape to Bongrojen at around 5000 metres.
We will start early to reach the pass. It is relatively easy to begin with but the last four km is quite steep. The pass is an old trade route joining Spiti and Ladakh and offers mesmerizing views of the Changthang valleys in Spiti and Parilungi, a first visible and a distinctive Ladakhi peak. We trek down to the source of the Pare Chu River. As we cross over the pass, there is a dramatic shift in the landscape from deep plunging gorges of Spiti to the broad flatlands of Ladakh. We will cross few rivers before we reach our camp.
We walk for another day on similar terrain reaching Racholamo in afternoon. The days get easier as we lose altitude. The campsite is at the intersection of 2 valleys.
We continue on to Chumik Shilde passing through Norbu Sumdo. We need to carefully cross a big river here. Norbu Sumdo was also the legendary meeting ground of kings from both sides- Ladakh and Spiti. If we follow the river we will reach the border with Tibet. Instead, we will cross the river and trek till we reach one of the most beautiful campsites on this trail with spring water and green meadows.
We will walk across the plains to the southern edge of the oval-shaped Tso Moriri Lake at Kiangdom, named after the kiangs (wild Tibetan asses) that roam uninhibitedly here. The lake is a nesting ground for many rare migratory birds.
We will start early and walk on the shores of Tso Moriri. With the twin peaks of Chamsher(6622m) and Lungser Kangri (6666 m) acting as backdrop to the lake, it is an amazing sight. We will try to reach Korzok as early as possible to avoid the strong winds that are common in the afternoon. Korzok has an ancient monastery which overlooks the Tso Moriri Lake and the twin peaks.
We take the long picturesque drive to Leh. Overnight at Hotel.
Depart for home early in the morning or you can go for sightseeing.
|Tented accommodation||Anything purchased for personal use||Identity card|
|Sleeping bags and foam mats||Porters to carry personal luggage||Jacket, sweater and other warm clothes like muffler, gloves, winter cap etc. Temperature near zero can be expected|
|Food throughout the trek||Anything not mentioned under ‘cost includes’||2 full sleeves dry fit t-shirts and track pants|
|Experienced guides||Rechargeable Torch|
|Porters and guides||Proper trekking shoes|
|Expertise charge||At least two personal water bottles all the time during trek|
|First aid||Personal medical kit, soap, paste etc.|
|Carry your luggage in a backpack. You should be able to walk long distances carrying your luggage|
|Sunglasses, sunscreen and cap|