Click Map to Explore Trekking Route in Google Maps
We’re off again on yet another trek, and this one will be our most challenging adventure yet. We’ve decided to walk across the remote region of Zanskar from Darcha to Lamayuru via Padum, a 20 day, 275 kilometer odyssey through mostly roadless territory.
Not only is the path long, but hard. This route across Zanskar runs mostly through river valleys but also crosses nine passes in the Greater Himalayas as well as the Zanskar range. That’s nine passes climbing up to 5,100 meters (16,700 feet). That’s a whole lot of up and down. What’s more, this trek is not set up with maintained trails and lodges along the way as was the case in Nepal.
Most visitors to this undeveloped region opt for a guided camping tour with horsemen to carry equipment and supplies; however, Thomas and I have decided to carry our own camping gear and food, and not just because our egos are bruised from the embarrassing Stok Kangri debacle.
We are beginning this long trek late in the season and the cold is setting in. Although this is good in that we will have he whole region to ourselves, the prospect of camping for 20 days straight as the temperatures dip is less than appealing.
Going without the huge entourage of horsemen and cooks will allow us to more easily stay in the isolated villages and monasteries along the way. (You can’t exactly walk up with a group of ten people and ask to stay in someone’s house.) Although we should be able to find some form of accommodation at points along the trip, we can’t skip the tent entirely because we must cross long stretches of uninhabited wilderness as well, so we need to be relatively self-sufficient.
So are we seriously going to lug 20 days of food and fuel along with us? No, although we will have to carry enough fuel for the trip, we will only be carrying approximately seven days of food. We should be able to get some meals in villages along the way, and we have the option of restocking on some supplies on day 10 in Padum, the only town of any size along the way.
So here we go. Let’s hope there’s minimal snow. We don’t want to have to sit out the winter in some isolated Himalayan valley.