Markha trek, Ladakh – day 6

trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | day 7 | info page

Coffee in the tent. Two pots.

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Nearby was a big marmot hole. Currently occupied by this pica.

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I packed up sooner than anyone else in camp (aside from Sergei). Nobody arrived to collect my fee.

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I’d never seen so many picas in my life as I did this day. The Ladakh population is quite fearless too.

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It’s easy to see we were reaching high altitudes again.

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Tsigu lake 4690m.

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Here’s Kang Yaze peak 6400m.

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Looking back down the Markha a gorgeous vista.

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I caught a glimpse of Sergei, perhaps a half hour ahead.

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He was en route to Gongmaru Pass. Which looks very easy from here.

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I stopped at the parachute in Nyimaling 4848m. (VERY high!) If you’re smart, you overnight here in these tents giving more time next day to get over.

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I started up towards the pass at 11am.

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Looking back to Kang Yaze mountain.

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That’s Langthang Valley, the start of the difficult, remote trek to Pang. (My next trip to Ladakh.)

My climb looks easy. But it took a lot longer than anticipated to get to Gongmaru La 5287m.

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Surprisingly, I caught Sergei. And this dog.

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Sergei started down while I enjoyed the top for some time.

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I like that last photo, using it for Facebook.

Every time you reach a high pass it’s worth checking both sides. In this case you could easily climb to 5500m or higher. I didn’t have the energy. Instead dropped down to the other side.

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This guy and his horses coming up looked exhausted.

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It would be easier to fly.

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“It takes 3 1/2 hrs to Chuskyurmo from the pass.”

Kucharski – the author of my guidebook – bungled that estimate. It must take some people 6 hours to make this descent.

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“ … steep, slippery, precipitous, stony, … “

Yep. And worse.

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Engineers at various times have tried to make a safer trail. But landslides and washouts are difficult to predict.

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Boulder hopping is a necessary skill.

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The trail seemed to get worse and worse.

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I got fed up after this point. Stopped taking photos. When I finally reached Chuskyurmo I plunked down my pack at the first official campsite.

Good night.

See all my high resolution photos from this day on flickr.

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | day 7 | info page

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