Sunday, August 5, 2018

Tso Kar to Tso Moriri Trek | Ladakh


Though the longer and traditional trek in Ladakh is from Rumtse to Tso Moriri, many trekkers now are taking advantage of the road to Tso Kar and trekking from Tso Kar to Tso Moriri which can be done in 5-6 days comfortably. A South Col team will be trekking this route from August 8th to 19th 2018. The itinerary of the trek is below along with some photographs from the region. 


Day 1 8th August 2018: Delhi to Leh by flight and rest in Leh.
Days 2 and 3 9th and 10th August 2018: Acclimatization days in Leh and around monasteries.

Day 4 11th August 2018 Drive from Leh to Tso Kar lake 4 hours and then to Ponganabu to camp for the night (4500 metres).  



Day 5 12th August 2018: Ponganagu to Riyul Time: 2-3 hours Level: Easy Riyul to Nuruchan (4350m) 3-4 hours 16 km moderate
The first part of the trail skirts the lake of Tso Kar. It is a flat walk well suited for acclimatization. Jeeps also ply on this flat route but are few and far between. Along the right or western edge of the lake will lead you to a large chorten beside lush pasture land which marks the campsite of Riyul. You can have lunch here.  Then, follow the jeep road which runs on the right of the pasture moving south. The road traverses soft, sandy soil which makes the first few hours difficult walking. Some 4x4 have made tracks moving south-east. Do not follow this. Carry on south until you reach the fields of Nuruchan (4350 metres). If you are walking from Ponganagu you may want to camp here. The campsite is further south from the village. The track follows the river upstream, curving to the right.

Day 6 13th August 2018 17th Nuruchan to Rajankaru (4900 metres) 8 km 4 to 5 hours Level: Moderate
Cross the river at some point upstream. Wherever you cross you will have to take your boots off and wade across the calf-deep waters. Climb onto the other bank and climb up the plateau in front. Walk in a south easterly direction. The path is well defined and climbs very gradually to the top of the Horlam Kunga pass. From Nuruchan it should have taken no more than three to four hours to the top. From the pass follow the path which goes down rapidly to the base of the valley in a south-easterly direction to Rajungkaru. There are many places to camp here. It’s also a favourite with the nomads. Although their camps are picturesque watch out for their large, fierce dogs.

 Day 7 14th August 2018 : Rajankaru to Gyama Barma ( 5100 metres) 9 km  Level: Moderate 4 to 5 hours
From Rajungkaru, follow the river upstream until you see a rocky plateau with nomad camps. You’ll need to climb up to the plateau, cross the stream and head straight south towards the Kyamayuri La 5410 m (17,853 ft.). Do not head towards the south west which leads over the Barma Pass. Instead, follow the well-defined track, keeping to the left or east side of the mountain. The last hour is difficult as the track becomes steep and the soil is soft and crumbling. It often snows on this pass so keep a jacket handy. From the top follow the track which runs along the left or east side of the mountain down to a vast, grassy valley ringed by snow peaks on the south west. A river runs east-west. Either camp here at Gyama Barma for the night or if you aren’t knackered then continue upstream until the track moves south east up a rocky mountain. You will have to cross the stream to get to this.

Day 8 15th August 2018  Gyama Barma to Gyama (5100m) 3 to 4 hours 9 km Level: Moderate
From Gyama Barma it is a steep one hour climb up to Kartse La which is again well over 5000 m. From the top the path runs down a meadow gradually reaching the bottom of the hill at Gyama after another hour or two. There are two streams here. A small stream running west-east (right-left) and a larger one running southwest-northeast. Camp along the small stream as it is well sheltered. The larger stream runs through a windy plain which would get cold at night.

Day 9 16th August 2018  Gyama to Korzok (4500m) Time: 6-7 hours 14 km Level: Moderate to Difficult
At Gyama cross the large southwest-northeast stream which will take you to the eastern side of the valley. The pony track which runs below the Mani wall on the left leads south-east up a smaller valley. Climb steadily for a couple of hours, traversing a small grassy plain and then entering a narrow gorge. You will need to cross the shallow stream in the gorge at several points. When the gorge opens up again find the path turning left or east over a grassy knoll until you come upon the prayer flags and cairns marking the Yalung Nyau La. From Gyama this would have taken about three hours. You can catch a glimpse of Tso Moriri from the pass. The track moves down steeply towards the east onto a broad, dry plain, eventually turning into a small pleasant green valley traversed by a stream. This area provides excellent campsites. A little further down towards Korzok and you will again run into campers from Leh who have made the journey to Tso Moriri by jeep.
Tip: Check out the Gompa at Korzok which houses a tooth relic of Kashyapa Buddha in the Heart Chakra of the Buddha statue in the main prayer hall.

Day 10 17th August 2018:  Rest Day Tso Moriri 

Peaks from Tso Moriri

Day 11 18th August 2018  Drive to Leh by road Time: 6 hours
Day 12 19th August 2018 : Leh to Delhi by flight

For more information please do visit our web sites www.southcol.com and www.sujoydas.com



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