India (July-August 2016): Brandy Nala (Ladakh) to Kibber (Spiti)

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This three-week, 320km, trek starts at a place named Brandy Nala on the Leh-Manali road in Ladakh (the easternmost region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir) and ends at the village of Kibber in Spiti (a region in the north-east of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh). The main itinerary is shown below in dotted red line in the Google map on the left and in solid red line in the satellite image on the right. It starts at C00 (our initial camp) and ends at C21 (our last camp in the village of Kibber). The itinerary lies entirely above 4000m and crosses 7 passes: Marang La (5300m), Bong La (4670m), Pogmar La (4950m), Thelakung La (5020m), Lanyar La (5850m), Yalung Nyau La (5430m), and Parang La (5580m). There are only three villages along the main itinerary: Sangtha (a nomadic village that is empty during the summer season, where we set our camp C05), Korzog (also spelled Karzok, on the western shore of the lake Tso Moriri, camp C14), and Kibber (camp C21) at the very end. I also did several side-hikes, in particular to Yagang (another empty nomadic village north of Sangtha) and to Yalung Nong (an easy 6080m summit above Tso Moriri).

 

 

 

Click here (kmz file) to see the full itinerary in more detail in Google Earth: the main path is in red line and the side-hikes in orange lines; the 22 successive camps (labeled C00 to C21) are marked by yellow pins, the passes and some other places by green pins, and a couple of peaks by orange pins. I only recorded the coordinates of the camps on GPS, so the paths are somewhat approximate. Most of the trek is covered by the excellent Ladakh & Zanskar South 150K map published by Editions Olizane (Geneva, Switzerland).

 

The logistics for this trek was organized by Sonam Dawa of Adventure Travel Mark. My support team consisted of a guide (Tundup), a cook (Nurbo), and a horseman, all provided by Sonam. The organization was flawless and the team was outstanding. Although trekking is an important source of revenue for them, it was obvious that they all loved to trek. This team was incredibly better than the one I had during my 2013 trek in Ladakh-Zanskar (not organized by Adventure Travel Mark).

 

 

 

 

 

Tundup

Nurbo

 

 

Click on the links below to see pictures of the various sections of this trip:

 

Days 1 to 3:

Brandy Nala to Zara Chu

Days 4 to 8:

Zara Chu to Sumkhar Togpo

Days 9 to 15: 

Sumkhar Togpo to Kiangdam

Days 16 to 21: 

Kiangdam to Kibber

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before and after the trek I visited monasteries/temples in Ladakh (near Leh), Spiti valley, and Manali. I also spent a couple of days in Delhi. Click the links below to see photos of these visits:

 

Around Leh, Spiti valley, and Manali

Delhi

 

 

 

 

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