Peaks of Ladakh Trek Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
India
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TGV
Activity Rating - Tough
Tough

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday.  Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

17 Days Flight Inclusive
16 Days Land only
Min age: 18

Trip Overview

Ladakh remains one of the best places to experience the unique culture of the High Himalaya. As well as the Tibetan culture and religion there are some fantastic trekking routes, many of them off the beaten track. Ladakh is also the best place to conquer your first 6,000m Himalayan peak and if conquering one summit isn't enough of a challenge, try two peaks and seven passes! After acclimatisation time in Leh (3,500m) we begin trekking from Mankarmo. The trail ascends spectacular gorges and crosses mountain passes to reach a high altitude plain at Nimaling.  This is inhabited by Ladakhi shepherds and their huge flocks of sheep, goats and yaks. Vatseri Peak (5,640m) is a good warm up before summiting our highest peak, Dzo Jongo East (6,189m), which offers breath taking views over the Karakorum and Indian Himalaya. This optional climb is tough but technically easy and a much quieter summit thanStok Kangri. We trek out to the roadhead via a remote pass and beautiful valley with fantastic rock formations.

At a Glance

  • 16 days land only/17 days flight inclusive
  • 10 days point-to-point walking
  • Altitude maximum 6,189m, average 4,500m
  • 6 nights hotels, all en suite, 9 nights full-service camping
  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Departure ex London 9 August 2019 led by Valerie Parkinson
  • Golden Triangle extension available
  • Free airport transfer for any flight
  • Optional single supplement (includes single tent)

Trip Highlights

  • Off the beaten track Himalayan adventure visiting remote villages
  • Colourful Buddhist monasteries
  • Climb Dzo Jongo East (6,189m)

Is This Trip for You?

This is a demanding full-service wild camping trek involving ten days point-to-point walking at high altitudes; maximum altitude on the trek is 5,320m, average 4,500m. The optional peaks are Vatseri Peak, which is 5,640m and Dzo Jongo Peak, which is 6,189m. As such the trek has been graded as ‘tough’ (activity level 7) and the climb is graded ‘tough+’ (activity level 9). Most days involve 5- 8 hours walking, although there are a few longer days. There are five passes over 4,900m. The two peaks are entirely optional - there will be alternative treks offered to those not wishing to climb them. Vatseri Peak (5,640m) is a straightforward, easy angled walk up a slope requiring no technical skills. The highest peak is Dzo Jongo East (6,189m) and anyone wishing to make the ascent should have previous experience of using ice axe and crampons, which are sometimes required if snow is encountered. Roping up is not usually necessary but a rope is carried in case of need. Dzo Jongo East is approached via a broad ridge at a comfortable angle; the summit day is about a 12/13 hour day (starting at approx. 3.30am) and is made tough by the altitude. The climb is suitable for experienced walkers who are comfortable scrambling on loose rock on a ridge.

Most of the trekking trails are well made on sandy paths. There are a few river crossings. Daytime temperatures can be very hot, especially in the middle of the day as at these altitudes the sun is very strong. Nights will be cooler and cold at base camp.This trek is for those who are willing to put in the necessary fitness preparation and are confident of their physical fitness. It is not a beginner’s trek and we recommend you have trekked at high altitude before. This is a fully supported camping trek with full porterage (mules and ponies) throughout; you need only carry your day pack. You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

The transfer journeys at the start and end of the trek are both very short (less than a two hour’s drive).
As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend 3 days in Leh (3,500m) before the trek to allow you to acclimatise before starting the trek.
Walking distances and hours are given as approximates only. Timings stated include rest and photo stops but not a longer lunch break and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Why Trek with Exodus?
• Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Ladakh.
• 'Ask an expert' - talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
• Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
• All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
• Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days.
• Staff carry oxygen and first aid kit.
• Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

This trip will be led by an experienced local English speaking leader. The leader will be supported by local guides, cook crew and pony men and as many helpers as the group size dictates. All Exodus leaders are highly experienced and as well as Exodus leader training courses they are all trained in wilderness first aid.

The departure Ex London 9th August 2019 will be led by Valerie Parkinson. Valerie has been leading treks and climbs in Ladakh and the rest of the Himalaya for the last 33 years. Her experience in this area is second to none. She recced this trek and has led the trek many times. She was the first British women to summit Manaslu (8,163m) without the use of supplementary oxygen. Places on Valerie’s treks book up quickly, so we advise booking early if you would like to trek with her.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

TGV Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Delhi
End City:
Delhi

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Delhi.

    The tour starts at our hotel in Delhi. Passengers travelling on the group flights usually arrive into Delhi in the morning and will be transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and recover from the flight or for individual exploration of Delhi. Rooms in the hotel are usually available from noon. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Fly to Leh (3,500m); rest of the day is free.

    A very early start today for the flight to Leh. We often have to leave the hotel at around 2 am and drive to the airport for the very early morning but highly spectacular flight over the Himalaya to Leh. If the weather is good and the flight goes on time we should be in Leh early. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatise to the altitude (3,500m). In the morning we rest and catch up on some sleep and in the afternoon there will be a gentle orientation walk of Leh and its bazaars.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Sightseeing in and around Leh

    Today there is a sightseeing tour to two of the major gompas in the area. We first drive to Shey, a former Royal Palace of the Ladakh kings. Inside is a small temple containing a 350 year old copper and gold statue of the Buddha. From Shey we walk across the fields to Tikse (about 1.5hrs walking), where we visit the monastery - perched on top of a hill - its red and white buildings can be seen for miles. A recently built temple contains a magnificent image of the Future Buddha. We have lunch at Tikse and return to Leh. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Acclimatisation walk Leh Valley; optional jeep ride Khardung La

     Today we will have an acclimatisation walk round the Leh Valley. Set above Leh on the Namgyal Hill, are the ruins of the Old Royal Palace. From here a winding path takes us to Tsemo Monastery and from here we can see the whole of Leh and its surrounding villages.  We continue the walk via Sankar to the recently built Japanese Peace Pagoda. This huge stupa overlooks Leh and we can see the Stok range of mountains across the valley. Today there is an optional jeep safari to the Khardung Pass; at 5,602m, one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The journey to the top of the pass and back takes roughly 4/5 hours in total and can be booked and paid for locally. Your leader will have details. (If you do the jeep safari this will be in the morning and you can do a walk in the afternoon).

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Stok; trek to Mankarmo (4,350)

     This morning we leave Leh and drive to the start point of our trek. The road follows the Indus River for a short while through Choglamsar before crossing the river and then climbs on a side road to Stok. We start trekking at the end of Stok village on an easy trail that winds up a spectacular valley. We follow the Stok River most of the way (and may have to cross it once or twice), with multi-coloured rocks towering above us as we ascend. The walking is easy and not steep; it will take us 4-4.5 hours to reach our first camp at Mankarmo. Look out for herds of Blue sheep that graze on the hillsides around here.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 4,200m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5 - 5
  • Day 6

    Cross the Matho La to Ganpoche (4,440m)

     We cross the first of our passes today. The trail takes us gradually to the top of the pass, the Matho La, at 4,960m. The ascent is long but not too steep and as we ascend the views become more and more spectacular with the magnificent rock formations of the Ladakh mountains surrounding us. The dramatic mountains in various shades of purples, greens and browns can be seen for miles in every direction. From the pass we descend easily to our campsite at Gangpoche, which is located by some shepherd huts.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 4,373m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 8 km / 5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5.5 - 6
  • Day 7

    Cross the Shang La to Shang Phu (4,373m)

     Today we leave camp and have a long climb to our second pass, the Shang La, at 4,950m. The trail climbs out of camp to a low ridge and then contours round the and down into the next valley, from where we have a long but gentle climb to the pass. From the top we are greeted with fantastic views of the Matho Range to the north. We then descend into the valley below and camp near some shepherd houses at Shang Phu.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 4,373m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • Day 8

    Cross the Gyuncho La to Chuskurmo (4,150m).

     Another day, another pass! This morning we turn into a side valley to the right and climb through the barren landscape to the Gyuncho La (4,718m). Descending a short way, we cross a stream and then climb up again to a second col at 4,693m. We now descend on a rocky trail into a large barren valley that brings us down to Chokdo village, which is on the Markha Valley trek. We arrive in a spectacular gorge with wonderful purple-coloured rocks. Our camp tonight is close to the village. There should be time before we reach camp to visit a local house for a well-deserved cup of tea.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 4,150m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6 - 6.5
  • Day 9

    Cross the Gongmaru La (5,236m) to Nimaling (4,854m)

     A tough day today as we cross our highest pass yet. The trail follows a small stream as we climb, following the river bed and sometimes climbing above it. The wonderful multi-coloured mountains surround us as we head to the pass. The final ascent zig zags steeply up a barren slope and we finally reach the string of prayer flags which mark the top of the Gongmaru La (5,236m). From the pass we are rewarded with views down to Nimaling and across to the Indian Himalaya and the Ladakh Range. The most prominent peak is Kang Yangtse, at 6,400m, the highest in the Ladakh Range and if it’s clear we can pick out Dzo Jongo across the valley. It’s an easy descent down to our camp at Nimaling (4,854m). During the summer months the shepherds bring their flocks of sheep, goats and dzos to graze on the high altitude pasture. The shepherds stay in stone shelters close to the grazing area for the whole summer and we can often buy yoghurt or local cheese from them. In the evenings the animals are brought down from the hills and it is quite usual to have a lot of them wandering through the campsite. Look after your edibles!

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 4,854m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6 - 6.5
  • Day 10

    Trek to Dzo Jongo Base Camp, ascend Vatseri Peak.

     Today we ascend our warm up peak. Vatseri Peak requires no technical skills and it’s an easily graded trail to the summit. The altitude makes it a tough walk but the views from the top make it all worthwhile. On a clear day we can see Dzo Jongo East and West across the valley and many other peaks. The trail is indistinct today and we descend on a rocky trail towards our base camp at 5,010m, home for the next three nights.  Please note Vatseri Peak is optional. The trekking crew will walk directly to base camp from Nimaling, which is 3km and takes 2hrs.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 5,100m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4 miles
    Activity (hours):
    7
  • Day 11

    Rest and acclimatisation day at base camp

     After the exertions of yesterday we have a well-deserved day of acclimatisation at base camp.  In the morning we can have a short walk up the valley to see tomorrow’s trail and admire the scenery or we can walk to a glacial lake at the end of the valley. In the afternoon we will get the climbing gear out, check everything and prepare our rucksacks for tomorrow.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 5,100m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 6 km / 3.7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 12

    Climb Dzo Jongo East (6,189m).

    Today is summit day and starts with a very early wakeup call (around 2.30/3am). After a quick breakfast we set off with our headtorches. We walk a short way up the main valley before turning off into a steep gulley to the right. We climb very steeply up the gulley, passing a glacier on our right and emerge onto an easy angled snow slope, which leads us to a fine ridge that we follow to the top. Sometimes there is snow and depending on conditions we may or may not need to use our ice axe and crampons. We should not have to rope up, but we will carry a rope just in case. The summit ridge is long but technically easy. It is rocky and good balance and a head for heights is needed. There is no path and you need to have experience of scrambling on rough rocks. A small group of prayer flags mark the top with views of the Zanskar mountains and north to the Karakorum and the mountains in Tibet.  We then descend slowly back to base camp for a well-earned celebration. 

    The climb is entirely optional and for anyone not wanting to attempt it there is a great walk further up the valley to a small glacial lake.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 5,100m)

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7.4 miles
    Activity (hours):
    11 -14
  • Day 13

    Cross the Lalung La (5,320m) to Riyul Sumdo

     We leave base camp this morning and head off towards the Manali to Leh highway through a remote valley, where we are unlikely to meet any other trekkers. The trail climbs away from the base camp to the Lalung La (5,320m), from where we get wonderful views looking back to Dzo Jongo and Kang Yangste peaks. From the top we descend steeply into a wonderful gorge with amazing rock formations. We contour round a few valleys before finally dropping down to our camp at Riyul Sumdo.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 4,500m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
    7 - 8
  • Day 14

    Trek to Lato; drive to Leh

     The last two hours of our trek take us further down this beautiful valley with a few river crossings, before we emerge at the green fields of Lato village and the main Manali to Leh road. We say goodbye to our pony men and camp crew before driving back to Leh. The drive follows the Kyamur River until it meets the Indus River at Upshi. We follow the main road back into Leh.and the comforts of a hot shower at our hotel. We should get to Leh for lunch and the rest of the day is free for last minute sightseeing or shopping in the bazaars.

    Standard hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Fly to Delhi

     We fly from Leh to Delhi and check into our hotel.  The rest of the day is free for individual sightseeing and your leader will be on hand to advise you on what to do. 

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 16

    End Delhi

     The tour ends after breakfast today. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
Altitude charts
TGV Altitude Chart

Extend Your Trip

Golden Triangle extension

A visit to the incredible Taj Mahal and other great Moghul cities close to Delhi is an excellent way to begin or end a visit to Northern India. The five-day Golden Triangle extension may be booked before or after your main itinerary or both options might be available depending on the trip start and end location. The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, and is one of the most beautiful sights on earth. Close by is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar with its beautiful courtyards and palaces and let's not forget the deserted royal city of Fatehpur Sikri. The extension also visits the Pink City of Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, which is one of the most attractive and colourful cities in India. The detailed itinerary and if pre or post tour is available can be found here

Accommodation

Hotels & Full-Service Camping

6 nights are spent in en suite hotels and during the trek there are 9 nights full-service camping.

In Delhi, we use a comfortable hotel (usually the Hotel Jaypee Siddharth), which has air-conditioned rooms, all en suite. In Leh we stay in a simple hotel but all rooms have en suite facilities. There is intermittent Wi-Fi available in Leh, however, there is no mobile coverage for international phones in Ladakh. 

The trek itself is on a full-service camping basis, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your day pack. Most of the camping on this trek is wild camping. We stay in two-person tents which have enough room inside for your kitbags. We also have a dining tent complete with table and folding chairs, and at least one toilet tent (usually two) for use during the evenings. No running water is available whilst camping. You will be camping close to a river or stream and the camp staff will provide bowls of warm water (to wash with) whilst trekking.

Single rooms and tents can be requested for a supplement (subject to availability). Please enquire at the time of booking.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from $666.50 USD

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners are included.

All meals except for main meals in Delhi and Leh are included; please allow about GBP70 (approx. USD115) for these.

Whilst camping, the staff will bring a hot drink (usually tea) to your tent each morning. When you reach camp in the afternoon tea and biscuits will be served. At breakfast, dinner and in the afternoons, there is a choice of hot drinks. Breakfasts typically include cereal, toast and jam, eggs and porridge. Lunch on trek is usually served as a picnic en route (except on shorter days when it is in camp). Lunch and dinner typically include soup to start, followed by a variety of hot dishes (both local and western) such as potatoes/chips, vegetables, curry, pasta, rice, dhal and paneer (cottage cheese). At dinner time a dessert such as tinned fruit and custard, fritters or cake is also be served. 

Please note that although some meals will include meat, it is not as readily available whilst camping.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Ladakh. In Leh there is a shop called Dzomsa which sells safe drinking water. Your leader will show you where this is on your first day in Leh.

During the trek the cooks will collect and boil drinking water from the mountain streams and fill up your water bottles for you, but you may need to collect water during the day and may wish to use your own water purification treatment as well.

Transportation

Depending on the time of day, for transfers in Delhi we use either taxis or private buses (during busy times such as morning rush hour taxis are preferable to negotiate the busy narrow streets). For transfers and sightseeing around Leh we use taxis, jeeps or private minibus. For the flights to and from Leh we use one of the airlines operating within India.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The above weather chart for Leh shows average temperatures only. Please refer to the paragraph below for further details of the temperature range. Generally the weather is good in Ladakh during the summer time, with warm to very hot sunny days (temperatures can reach up to 35ºC or more), and cool to cold nights depending on the altitude (it can be just below freezing at the highest camps in late August). There is however, always the possibility of rain, and snow at higher altitudes. Please note the sun is very strong at these altitudes and it can be very hot in the daytime. For the climb of Dzo Jongo we will be setting off before dawn and it can be very cold that day and snow may be encountered.

Ladakh, though technically part of the Tibetan plateau and classified as a high altitude desert, can and does occasionally experience the effects of the Indian monsoon. Although the departures are timed to coincide with when the weather is normally good, in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

Delhi in the summer months is very hot and humid.

Weather Charts

Leh

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 17 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Virgin Atlantic (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 16 days starting and ending in Delhi

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Delhi in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Leh Flight Delays

Leh Airport can sometimes experience adverse weather conditions and fog which can occasionally cause flights to be delayed or cancelled. If booking your own flights we advise you to book your international flight home from Delhi departing no sooner than mid‐ afternoon/evening on the last day of the itinerary. Please also be aware that should you miss your international flight as a result of delays from Leh, your insurance may not cover you for any additional expenses incurred.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients, so no matter which flight you choose to arrive on you will be met and transferred to your hotel. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance; unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel; transfers to other hotels in the same city may attract an extra charge; transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

 

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £10 (approx. US$15) should you decide to make your way independently.

Location start:
Delhi
Location end:
Delhi

What to Take

Essential Equipment

For a full trip specific kit list please see: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/TGV_Kitlist.pdf

4 season sleeping bag (liner optional)
Sleeping mattress/thermarest
3/4 season down jacket
Walking boots (waterproof, with ankle support, and worn in)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Gaiters
Trainers/sandals for the evening (and any river crossings)
Warm hat
Warm gloves
Several pairs of walking socks (take some thinner ones for trekking days)
Thermal underwear
Mid layer (fleece)
T-shirts, shirts, thin base layers
Light weight trousers
Shorts or skirt for women
Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve with sun protection
Daypack (at least 25 litres) with ice axe holder if climbing
Head torch
Water Bottle (2/3 x 1 litre bottles)
Plastic bags (bin liners) to line daypack and for packing clothing in the Kitbag
Toilet paper
Small personal first aid kit

If attempting Dzo Jongo East you will need:

Climber's helmet
Walking ice axe
Crampons to fit your boots (please make sure you fit your crampons to your boots and test them before you travel)
Sturdy stiff soled waterproof 4 season boot with ankle support (strong sturdy B1 or B2 boots), which are suitable for, and fit, crampons (soft trekking boots are not suitable for the climb)
Harness and one screw lock karabiner
Large daypack (at least 25 litres) with strap for carrying ice axe
Warm gloves
Your favourite energy snack for summit days

Ice axes and crampons can be hired cheaply in Leh but please note that we cannot guarantee the availability or quality of locally hired equipment. The crampons that are hired in Leh are very old and we recommend you bring your own. (Please note it is dangerous to attach crampons to soft trekking boots and we do not recommend you do this). Please remember previous experience using ice axe and crampons is necessary for this climb.

If you have them, you may like to take a separate pair of heavier boots for the climb. These will be carried separately together with the rest of the climbing equipment, thus allowing you to walk in normal walking boots during the trekking section. The climbing gear will stay in Leh and be brought to meet us at base camp by our climbing guide.

You will be restricted to 12 kgs of luggage whilst on trek for porterage. Please also see the 'internal flights weight limit' section below.

Please note that many Indians are still traditional in the way they dress. Out of respect for the country, we ask you to dress conservatively – no sleeveless tops or tight leggings. Although shorts are acceptable on trek they should be modest and reach to just above the knee and for women, a skirt or trousers are preferable (shorts are not acceptable in the monasteries).

We believe in reducing our negative environmental impacts wherever possible, this goes for when you need to spend a penny in the great outdoors! If no facilities are available there may come a time when you need to go to the loo behind a tree/bush/rock. To avoid leaving toilet paper behind we recommend taking biodegradable dog poo/sandwich bags with you. Once you have done your business you can pop the used toilet roll in here and take it off the mountain or trail at the end of the day and dispose of it when there are appropriate facilities available.

 

Please note:

As of November 2019 the Indian government has announced a ban on e-cigarettes and related products.  You will be unable to buy e-cigarettes in India or bring them into the country. Please ensure you do not pack these in your luggage.

Equipment Hire

Duvet jackets and sleeping bags are available for hire from Trek Hire UK. Trek Hire UK can also provide a range of trekking essentials and accessories, from rucksacks to trekking poles. Please note that supplies are limited, and it is advisable to reserve any equipment as early as possible. For trips to Kilimanjaro, Nepal and Peru, certain items such as duvet jackets, sleeping bags and thick mattresses (mattresses not available in Nepal) can be hired through our local agents. For Kilimanjaro and Nepal trips these must be pre-booked through the Exodus office to ensure availability. For trips to Peru there is no need to pre-book these as they can be arranged locally through your tour leader in Cuzco. Please call for details.

Optional Equipment

Trekking pole(s)
Hand washing gel
Water purification treatment (e.g. Biox Aqua)
Biodegradable soap/shampoo

Donations to Ranbirpura Primary School

Exodus supports underprivileged children at Ranbirpura Primary School, near Tikse in Ladakh. Although the basic education is looked after by the government, some of the facilities are limited. If you have any extra room in your luggage the school and the children would appreciate any of the following items: children’s books for 5-15 year olds, notebooks, pens, crayons, painting books, school bags, girls and boys socks or underwear, warm hats and gloves, toothpaste & brushes, lightweight board games. These items can be handed over to your leader on arrival to your hotel in Delhi, and your leader will carry it to Leh (our local partner will pay for any excess baggage charge on the Leh flight associated with this).

Equipment Hire

1

Internal Flights Weight Limit

There is a weight limit of 15kg checked baggage plus 7kg hand luggage on the flights to/from Leh.

On the flight back from Leh to Delhi, no hand luggage is allowed but you will have 22kg checked baggage allowance. We recommend you wear your walking boots on the flight to Leh to help with the weight allowance.


If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Exodus Kitbag

If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. Once you have booked you will be sent instructions on how to claim your free bag (they will not be sent out automatically). There are also details on how to claim for another item from the Exodus shop should you already have one of these. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Trekking amidst the Ladakhi Himalaya

Practical Information

Passport

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

 

 

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

Please note: that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

If you are not taking out Exodus Travel Insurance, make sure that your policy covers you up to the maximum altitude on this trip (if trekking in the Himalaya your policy should also cover the use of a helicopter for emergency medical evacuation).

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

India's Timezone:
Asia/Kolkata IST (GMT +05:30)

Electricity

India's Electricity:

230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz.

There are recharging facilities at all the hotels in Delhi and Leh. In Leh the electricity supply is not 100% reliable but it is usually only off for short periods of time. Whilst on trek there are no charging facilities and you will need to bring spare batteries, a solar charger, or power bank if you wish to recharge anything.

Money

India's Currency

The national currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 85 to the UK£ and 65 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

It is illegal to import or export rupees. Do not accept torn or (very) dirty Indian banknotes from banks or in change as they will almost certainly not be accepted as legal tender in India. Please ask for low denomination notes of 100 and 500 Rupees as the new 2000 Rupee notes can be difficult to use out of Delhi. You can change money back from Rupees into Pounds or Dollars at Delhi airport (before going through security), but you must produce an exchange receipt showing that you changed money in India.

ATM Availability

There are ATMs in Delhi. There are a few ATMs in Leh but please do not rely on these. We recommend you change most of the money you need for the trip before leaving Delhi. Credit cards are accepted in larger shops in Delhi and in Leh.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You are advised to bring most of your money in cash as you will not be able to change travellers cheques in India. It makes no difference whether you bring Sterling or US Dollars. You can change your money on arrival at Delhi airport but the rates tend to be very low at the airport so we recommend changing cash either in the hotel in Delhi or at the money change kiosks in Leh. You will need approximately £100-150 (approx. US$175-255) for meals, entry fees and tipping for the whole trip.
Apart from the extra food you should allow approximately £3 (approx. US$5) a day for drinks and incidentals, more if you enjoy a few beers, as these are comparatively expensive in India. Most monasteries in Ladakh charge a small entrance fee that goes towards the upkeep of the building. These may add up to about £8 (approx. US$13) in total.
Whilst on trek there is not much to spend your money on, but in Leh and Delhi there is a wealth of souvenirs, trinkets etc.
India has very good opportunities for shopping, especially for locally made goods, and in Delhi local guides may well offer to take you to emporiums as well as workshops where these goods are made. Many people find this a great opportunity to buy local handicrafts, silk, jewellery and carpets. Guides will often assume that visitors will want to go shopping, it is very much part of the culture, however, if you do not wish to go please make this clear to your local guide at the time.

Optional Excursion
The half-day trip to the Khardung La costs about INR1,800 (£25 / US$33) per person with 4 people sharing a jeep. Please note the Indian government will no longer issue the Khardung La permit to the following passport holders - Chinese, Korean or Taiwanese

Tipping

Tipping is of course entirely at your discretion, but it is customary in India. Tipping can be an awkward affair especially when you are not familiar with the country. Your leader will help with tipping and will provide a list of suggested tips. This will include tips for drivers, hotel porters and other hotel staff, local sightseeing guides, and if trekking or biking will include camp staff such as guide, assistants, cooks and pony men. Sometimes your leader will collect a kitty during the trip and sometimes they will collect the tips towards the end of the trip (occasionally for very small groups the leader may need to collect a little more than the suggested amount). We suggest you allow Rs5,500 (approx. £65 / $85) for this trip. Please try to tip in local currency.

Tipping of the leader is not included in the above and is at your discretion. However, we suggest around Rs2000-2500 (approx. £25 /US$35) per person for the leader.

Based on the above distributions, you should allow approximately GB£90/US$90-120 per person in total for all tips for the tour duration. Please try to give all tips in local currency.

Three Peaks of Ladakh Trek

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.