10 Days 9 Nights
Transfer from Leh to Wanla by jeep, it’s about 8 hours, on the way we will visit the Monastry of Alchi, one of the oldest in the region. Night in Wanla.
We may start the trek at Lamayuru crossing Prinkrit La (3650m) on the Shilla village and then Wanla village. However, this section is not very interesting and can be avoided by driving to Wanla. The entire valley is green with trees and apricot orchards. Wnla Gompa, located high above the village, belongs to the same period as Lamayuru Gompa. From Wanla we walk along the Photang river on the dusty jeep track to Sumdo, past Phanjila village. At Sumdo, we leave the main valley and head westwards along a tributary to Honupatta. From here, the path gets very interesting, rising high above the river along with sheer cliff faces. There is plenty of tea shop and campsites above the village.
A early start is recommended,as the day could be fairly long. We continue along the true left bank of the river on a well-defined path. The climb to the pass is gradual and would take about 4 hours. The view are impressive. The path crosses some scree slopes on the way. The descent is steep initially and then tapers off. Photaksar is a fairly large village with two small gompas and good camping grounds.
From Photaksar we climb up steadly for an hour to a small pass, Bumiktse La (4400m). It has wonderful views of the Zanskar Range. After crossing , we head straight along the main path , from now onwards, the route is fairly gradual climbing steadily along the river to the base of Singi La. From the pass it would take 4 hours to the campsite.
A small climb of an hour will take us to the top of the pass ,where the views, dominated by an impressive peak to the left, are truly rewarding . After crossing the pass , we follow the path down to a stream. There are two paths here, one leading to the village of Yelchang and the other at a level height. We continue on the path leading to the village. It takes about two hours to reach the campsite from the pass.
We follow the path to a small pass called Cho Cho Bori La (4020m). After crossing it,you have to make a very steep descent to the Zanskar river. We cross the bridge and climb up a short distance to Nerak village. We camp here for the night near one of the oldest and broadest trees of the region.
Today is yhe longest day, and hence, an early start is recommended. It starts with a steep climb of about 2-3 hours , crossing 3 ridges to reach Nerak La.The effort is well worth it,as the views are spectacular from the pass. A short walk takes you to another small pass, Pangat La (4570m). You suddently come across a stunning view of a magnificent giant canyon. We follow the Pangat Nala until it meets the Khurmatru Nala, and camp here for the night.
Today we cross over the last pass, Namaste La, which bars the way to the broad Zanskar valley. The climb to the pass is gentle, but the descent to Honia is fairly steep. The valley nopens up where the path meets the river. There are several camping options here.
Today is a short walk along the Zanskar through the wide valley leading to Zangla, which is linked to many legends, and where there is an abandoned monastery high up on a hill .Although there is a motorable road from Honia, the walk to Zangla is very beautiful and one should take the transfer back to Padum. There is a beautiful monastery at Stongda as well as some trekking routes leading from here.
On the last day, we take the road back to Leh (about 10 hours).