Duration of Trek: 06 Days.
Best Time: Mid June to September.
Highest Point: Phitse La (5,582m)
Focus: Landscape, Peaks and People Villages
Highlight: People, villages, high pastureland and Landscape
Physical Challenge: High Altitude Trek, Challenging
Day 1 : Drive to end of road, Trek Anmo to Cha, 2.5 hrs.
Drive by car from Padum to the end of the road (in 2012 it was until short before Anmo). An early start gives time for sightseeing of some of the gompas on the way like Bardan and Mune. At the end of the road meet the horses and start on the left side of the river. The path leads high above the river through small villages/houses. Finish the first trekking day in the district main quarter of Cha, a bigger village on 3.900 m You can choose if you want to put up the tent or prefer one of the comfortable homestays to experience a little more the life of the villagers. (If you want, you can add a day here trekking to Phuktal with its famous Gompa and walk back to Purne, walking-time around 4 hrs. total, giving enough time to explore the monastery. The walking-time of the next day will be 1 hr less)
Day 2 : Trek Cha to Tangtse, 6,5 hrs.
Go down to the bridge, cross the river and climb up again. The path leads you high above the river through the villages of Yal, Testa und Kuru. It is nice and easy walking. Just before Tangtse there is again a small bridge to cross the river. Tangtse is a village on around 4.000 m with 4 x 3-4 houses close together and huge fields around. There is an empty gompa high above the village.
Day 3 : Trek Tangtse to Zinchen, 4 hrs.
Follow the path on the same side of the river until you reach after 1-1,5 hrs. Thabley, which consists of 2 houses. There you enter a gorge leading up into the mountains. Stay mostly on the left side, but sometimes you have to cross (when not too much water easy done by jumping). Then leave the gorge on a high path leading over ridges and back to the river at Zinchen at 4.600 m. You can either pitch your tent there or go a little higher, but there are only small spots for 2-3 tents.
Day 4 : Trek Zinchen via Phitse-la to Churmik Marpo, 8-9 hrs.
Get up very early as the way towards and over the pass is quite long. Just keep on following the river up to a nice place for a rest on 5.175 m at the bottom of the pass. The climb is a little steep until the top of the 5.582 m high Phirtse-la. There you have a spectacular view around. Find the proper path leading slowly downwards until you reach a broader valley called Churmik Marpo at 4.750 m. Camp there.
Day 5 : Trek Churmik Marpo to Umlung, 5,5 hrs.
Follow the river down on the left side. You see many marmot-holes, but rarely you spot these shy animals. Before the rivers runs into a small gorge, you have to cross it either on horseback or through the water. Continue on that side until the river flows into the bigger Lingti-River at Kham Kherab. There you have to cross again. Kham Kherab is at 4.470 m and from there it is more or less flat walking with only short ascents and descents. There are plenty camping-possibilities along the Lingti-River. We suggest to go until Umlung at 4.440 m.
Day 6 : Trek Umlung to Sarchu, 4 hrs.
You continue walking on the right side of the Lingti-River (in the Olizane-map there is a path on the other side, too, which is wrong). At a junction you could decide to have a long way to Killang Serai, but could continue for sure just to Sarchu. There you meet the Tsarap River, which has to be crossed and after that you reach Sarchu at 4.300 m with a lot of Dhabas, who offer food and night-shelter. Or you just continue by road either to Leh or Keylong.
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Ladakh Trekking India (LTI) did an excellent job for our large group for Markha Valley Trek with special spiritual interests. Mr. Sam accompanied us the whole time and took diligently care of our needs. We became friends, and this is all I would like to say: a great thank you from all my heart.