A less travelled route through the remarkable landscape of the Ripchar Valley which offers the opportunity to be utterly alone for a great deal of the trail. There are a number of parallel mountain ranges dividing this territory including the Great Himalayan Range, to the north the Zanskar and then Ladakh ranges. On each ascent you can gaze over the 6000m peaks, looking down at the maze of trails you came from and then on the other side onto where you are heading next. It is picture book perfect with high mountain crossings and rewarding views. This trek begins with a day in the car, broken with visits to monasteries, including the famous Lamayuru monastery. By the time you make camp on the first evening you already have a taste of local culture and history.
Scattered high villages with irrigated fields of barley and potatoes create flashes of verdant green in this snow capped mountainous region. Stopping for tea along the way provides further opportunity to enjoy the villagers hospitality. Ending in the village of Chilling (the only village around Leh where copper ware is made), this short but wonderful trek gives you an insight into Ladakhi culture, country, and religion as you visit among the best monasteries, villages and cross high passes and pastures.
Note: This trek can be combined with the Markha valley trek. You cross the Zanskar river by pulley and join the Markha trail at Skiu. For those with time, this trek combined with the Markha valley and a climb to a 6,000 m peak offers the ultimate trek experience. (This is exactly what we did and found the balance of the 2 trails perfect.)
Trip Grade: Moderate
Maximum altitude: 4,950 m
Best Period: Mid June to end of September
Trip length: 1 night guesthouse & 5 nights camping