11 Days 10Nights
As you know every mountainous excursion demands a precise planning, a planning with adequate pliability of observing and tackling situations, held all as by overcoming mind body and soul throughout the incredible Himalayan journey.
So here are some aspects regarding Kang Yatse II Peak Trek Expedition preparation:
Physically – A trek demands physical endurance, to prepare for each trek you should work out a month before joining a program. Build up the adequate strength in your legs by running and exercising every day to boost up your endurance. Stop smoking and boost your lungs doing breathing exercises at routine basis two times a day, which will help acclimatize the conditions while being resilient on the trek. Take active part in outdoor games, Yoga and any other cardiac exercises.
Mentally – Mental preparation is key, equally as important as physical training requisite for a trek. Before joining any trek take pleasure in your daily routines, eat well, take rest properly and relax. Do not stress your mind by unnecessary predictions about the trek. Be with your best friends to get motivated and relax your mind. Because pre trek assumptions are not worthy because once you join the trek and meet with rest of the pack will bring encouragement and excitement. The mental preparedness will build through the entire trek conditions. And the physical drawbacks will affect the mind. So pay close attention to various parts of the body and consciously let them loosen up as you trek. When you trek try to relax your body, especially your hips. If you’re on a winding downhill trail or on a panicking slant, think of each step as part of a simple dance and enjoy the natural rhythms that the terrain and your body can find together cautiously. Experiment with different ways of walking as a way of finding enjoyment beyond the goal of reaching a destination. The main key to stay mentally fit is to enjoy the route and not to pressurize the mind.
Technically- Gear up yourself with perfect size trekking shoes and walk with it. Use 60ltr. Backpack in a daily routine with some weight inside it, so you become used to carrying loads. Buy a trekking pole, water bottle, warm socks, thermals, fleece, feather jackets, trousers, poncho, flip flops, electronics such as power bank, camera (DSLR or digital camera).
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
Prior to the starting of the trek you will be notified regarding the details of the hotel you will be staying in Leh. Check into your hotel where you will be received by the trek leader on everyone’s arrival. You will be instructed and briefed regarding the trek, after which you will be asked to submit the photocopy of your photo ID, medical form and undertaking which are required for the permits. The rest of the day can be used for leisure activities and sightseeing.
Day 2: Acclimatization in Leh
Today, we utilize this day to go for an acclimatization walk through Leh to help us deal with gaining altitude a bit better. We will hike up to the highest points of Leh city and then come back to our hotel just in time for breakfast. The rest of the day can be utilized to prepare yourself for the trek and to do some last minute shopping if you have missed on something from the packing list.
Day 3: Drive to Chilling then Trek to Skiu
After an early breakfast we prepare to depart for our trek. Today is the day our trek is going to begin and our vehicles will take us to the roundhead and from then on we will trek to our destination for the day which is Skiu a small village in Markha valley known for its relics and monastery. The drive to Chilling which is the roundhead will take around 3 hours and we will pass locations like Patthar Sahib at Phey, Magnetic Hill and of course the confluence of Indus River and Zanskar river. After reaching Chilling we begin our journey on foot on the dusty trails. It takes around 3 hours to reach Skiu. We Check into our home stay in Skiu and then take some time out to explore the village and the nearby area admiring the beauty of Markha valley from the first village itself. Overnight stay at home stay in Skiu.
Day 4: Skiu to Markha
Our journey into the alien-like landscape of Ladakh continues. Today we will be going into the heart of the valley which is Markha village. The initial part of our trek is a bit steep but once we cross this point we will gain momentum for the trail ahead. Walking on the dusty trails of Markha valley is a different experience altogether and you are transported into some other world altogether, it's as if you are walking on Mars but still on earth. We will keep crossing over Markha river to get the best trail available to walk on. We will even pass the village of Sara on the way. As we approach Markha village we are welcomed by multi-colored prayer flags which are tied around the entry gate of the village. After getting into our home stay and relaxing after walking under the desert sun we will go out in the evening to visit the village monastery and get a good view of the village from above. The view is just breathtaking and you get to see multiple shades of red, brown and gray contrasting with the white, green and yellow colors of the village. Overnight stay at Markha village home stay.
Day 5: Markha to Hangkar
We say goodbye to the beautiful village of Markha and continue our journey towards Hangkar which is going to be our next stop. In a short amount of time we will leave the village behind and make our way into the dry and barren desert terrain with towering mountains surrounding it. As we follow the trail meandering along the river Markha the route will be both steep and gradual. The highlight for today would be to open our trekking boots and fold our pants and get our feet wet in the freezing river water. This is a refreshing activity after a long day under the hot desert sun. We will also visit the monastery of Techa, it is a half an hour detour from our route and it will take us to the top of a hill. The monastery has a fascinating history and even has a small cafeteria run by the monks where they serve tea and Maggie. The route to Hangkar is laden with Mana stones and we finally arrive at our destination. In between we will see glimpses of Kang Yatse but we will not get a view of the mountain from Hangkar. Overnight stay at Hangkar.
Day 6: Hangkar to Nimaling
We will be gaining some altitude today and make our way through rocky terrain and reaching the wide open plains of Nimaling. Our trek begins with us climbing from lower Hangkar to upper Hangkar which is a steep climb through the farmlands of the village. As we exit the village while we climb through a steep gully on loose rocks which make it hard to balance. Carefully navigate through this area and climb onto well marked trails which traverse on the mountains on the left side of the valley. Most of the trail is steep with gradual slopes in between. After trekking on the same route for 2-3 hours we will reach the settlement of Thachung Tse. Here, we can enjoy some hot tea and Maggie right in the lap of the valley to energize us for the rest of the journey ahead. Immediately after Thachung Tse we have to zig zag along a steep mountain for almost 2 hours, while we are reaching the top of the mountain the climb gets gradual and from the top the view is just magnificent. An array of colors on the distant mountains. You can see shades of yellow, gray, purple and red layered on the slopes. From here you might get to feel the altitude slowing you down just a bit as we make our way to Tigu Lake and Kang Yatse in the background. From there the trail goes through gradual inclination and flat ground till we reach the plain of Nimaling which is a grazing ground for Yaks. We will camp near the center where we will have a water source.
Day 7: Nimaling to Base Camp
The trail today is rather short; we will cover it in only 3 hours. The trail begins with a steep climb through a rocky stretch of land. After crossing this section the slopes get gradual and keep moving with the view of Kang Yatse right in front of us. We will reach the campsite early and get some time to relax. After lunch we will distribute the equipment which you will require to make the summit climb like snow boots, ice axe, crampons and gaiters. All of them have separate uses and there is a way to use them as well. Move around the base camp to acclimatize better. Overnight stay at base camp.
Day 8: Acclimatization and Training
We will utilize this day to get our bodies acclimatized better to the altitude so that we perform better during the summit push. After breakfast we will meet for our ascending, descending, roping up and self arrest. These techniques are very important for climbing up and down the mountain safely. We will get used to walking in our snow boots as they weigh almost 2 kgs each and walk the route which we will be taking towards the summit to fit into our boots. Have an early lunch and dinner so that we have ample time to rest as the summit push will begin at 12 am sharp. And you will have to wake up at least 2 hours before to wear all your equipment and get ready for the climb.
Day 9: Summit Attempt
The day of reckoning has finally arrived, it is the day that we have all been preparing for; the summit attempt of Kang Yatse II. The preparation for the summit starts on the previous day itself. You will start getting ready at 10 pm by wearing all your protective gear which you will need to fight the cold. Getting into all the clothes and then putting on the snow boots can become a hefty task at that altitude. We will be served an energizing snack of porridge, Maggie and coffee before the summit push. After some motivating words from the Trek Leader the road to the summit begins on the rocky scree and moraine that we took the previous day for acclimatization. The walk on this terrain will take approximately 3 hours to cross after which we step on to the ice glacier. Here, we will wear our crampons to have a better grip while climbing. The initial part of the icy wall is a 50 degree slope and we slowly climb till we reach the massive 70 degree slope. The entire route till the shoulder is on this same gradient and takes a lot of energy to climb. When you are climbing on a 70 degree slope at that altitude, you will stop after a few steps to get your breathing right. Your Trek Leader will guide you on this process. As we reach the shoulder the gradient of the mountain gets less steeper to almost flat. By this time we even have the sun coming to give us more energy and enthusiasm for the summit. On reaching the summit take photographs of the joyous moment and the incredible view from the top of the mountain. On a clear day you can even spot the Karakoram range and also if you are lucky see the second highest peak in the world K2. We will take the same way back down to the base camp. Remember all the techniques of descending and safely make your way down to the base camp after a successful summit. Rejoice in the evening with your fellow team mates.
Day 10: Buffer Day
We reserve this day in order to have an extra day for the summit attempt in case of bad weather or any kind of unforeseen event.
Day 11: Base to Chokdho then Drive to Leh
After our summit we will begin our journey back to civilization. We will begin our descent towards Nimaling following the same route we had used to climb up. We will have Kang Yatse right at our back saying goodbye and wishing us well for the future. From Nimaling we will begin our climb towards Kongmaru La which has a high altitude pass above 17000 feet. After crossing the pass we will finally stop seeing Kang Yatse and make our way down to Chokdho. From Chokdo, our vehicles will take us back to Leh.
Trekking Shoes: Decent trekking shoes with a good grip and ankle support are required. Carry no sport shoes.
Clothing: Warm garments, such as three-layer coats, fleece, or down feather jackets, are required. Carry one or two full-sleeved t-shirts. Carry cotton and trek pants ideal for trekking for your lowers. For trekking, do not bring jeans or shorts.
Thermals: Keep top and bottom thermals on hand.
Socks: Bring two or three pairs of sports socks, as well as woollen socks to wear at night.
A headlamp/led torch is required.
Sunglasses: To protect yourself from the sun in the snow, you should use UV-protected sunglasses.
Woolen hats and gloves are also recommended due to the cold weather. Carry waterproof gloves because they will become wet in the snow.
Lunchbox & Water Bottle: Each participant should bring their own lunch box, spoon, and water bottle.
Raincoats/ponchos: Snowfall and rain are prevalent at high altitudes, and it is important to carry a poncho to avoid getting wet.
a) Registration Form
b) Medical Certificate (signed by a registered MBBS doctor)
c) NOC form (by trekker)
d) 2 Passport size photos
e) Photocopy of Valid I.D. (PAN is not allowed)