Trekking in Ladakh- Shangla Valley Trek

Shang La-Matho La-Stok Kangri - In the cold desert of Ladakh each village stands out like an oasis. The availability of water determines the village's size the cropping season is restricted to one-third of the year because of the lengthy winter. Over the ages, barley has become the fulcrum around which culture of Ladakh revolves. Its flour forms the staple diet and it is fermented to make chaang. Animals provide transport, labour, wool, milk, and dung, the main fuel. A climbing Permit, required for all peaks over 19,700 ft / 6,000 m is obtained from the "Indian Mountaineering Foundation based in Delhi.

Duration: Maximum - 08 Days
All the treks of Leh is connected by 'air' with Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar to the west and from Manali to the South.
Best time to Visit: June to September.


Day 01:

  • For the first day a two-hour drive from Leh takes you to Martselang (11,200 ft / 3,414m), above the Indus river and close to the famous Hemis monastery. Descending from the village, enter the gorge of the Indus valley. The trail criss-crosses the river through the narrow gorge. Houses in Shang la village cluster on a slope with the trail passing a little below. A visit to one of the mud houses is interesting.

  • Day 02:

  • For the day of Second the climb to the village is rewarded with a good view of the stone-walled fields and irrigation channels. Going down to the trail, start climbing slowly as the valley narrows. The trail becomes steeper as you make your way to the camps of Shang Phu (13,900 ft / 4,237m.) A clump of juniper trees with a small shrine marks the pasture. This is a typical Ladakhi pastoral setting with small stone-huts called phu-lus that serve as summer dwellings.
  • Day 03:

  • Third Day take the valley on the right from the junction where you had pitched camp the day before. Climb up past scrubs and wild rose bushes. Leave the stream to climb up the side of the valley, to the top of Shang La (16,300 ft / 4,968m.) The ascent takes around three and a half hours. From the pass, the views open up, with the Stok and Matho La Kangri peaks in front and the summit of Parcha Kangri behind. This trails is tremendous.

  • Day 04:

  • Day of Fourth the trail stays high on the hill side. A three hour walk on an incline, crossing side streams, leads to the base of the Matho La (14,100 ft / 4,297 m.). As this has been a short day, you can go on a hike on the east slope of the Matho Kangri Massif. A steady climb can take you as high as 19,000 ft / 5,800 m as you do not encounter any ice or snow. Across the valley are the Ladakh range and the Khardung La and beyond that the lofty mountains of the eastern Karakoram Range.

  • Day 05:

  • On the day of fifth the step climb to the Pass begins just after camp. On the Pass (16,100 ft / 4,907m), the Stok Kangri looms up. Descend from the Pass to the pastures of Myungkirmo next to a stream. Leave the main valley and climb up westward to the Stok Kangri (16,077 ft / 4,900m).

  • Day 06:

  • Sixth day take a much-needed rest before you try the summit of Stok Kangri. In mountaineering parlance, a trekking peak is the name given to a summit that does not require any technical knowledge for climbing or any equipment for the ascent. But 20,506 ft / 6,250 m does require fitness and stamina and mental conditioning.
  • Day 07 :

  • Day of seventh a long, arduous walk awaits you. Start before the sun is up. Climb up, switch backing to the top of the ridge in front. A tough ascent on the mountainside for an hour from the ridge top takes you to the moraine coming down from the glacier. A grueling ninety-minute climb takes you to the summit. If you go in August or later, you will encounter no snow except on the summit. From the top you get a magical 360-degree view of the whole of Ladakh - the twin peaks of Nun (23,400 ft / 7,132m)) to the east, the Karakoram range to the north.

  • Day 08 :

  • On the day of eighth turn left from the Mungkirmo pastures to follow the Mankyarmo river to its confluence with the Stok river. The trail follows the Stok river down to the Stok village. After the creditable feat of scaling a peak, you may want to look at some local history at the Stok palace.
  • Important Facts of Darcha Padum Trek

    Duration : Maximum - 8 Days
    Degree of Difficulty : For the Trek Portion - 4: Moderate to rigorous. Stok Kangri Climb - 5: Rigorous.
    How to Reach : All the treks of Leh is connected by 'air' with Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar to the west and from Manali to the South.
    Permits For Treks :A climbing Permit, required for all peaks over 19,700 ft / 6,000 m is obtained from the "Indian Mountaineering Foundation based in Delhi.
    Altitude : 11,200 ft / 3,414 m, and the highest campsite is at the Stok Kangri base camp at 16,500 ft / 5,029 m. The two passes are just over 16,000 ft / 4,877 m, and the Stok Kangri massif reaches 20,506 ft / 6,250 m.
    Highlights of Treks : The chance to ascend to over 20,000 ft / 6,000 m without any technical climbing ability or equipment. Great views of the Indus valley, the Karakoram Range and the maroon-tinged Stok-Matho Range in Ladakh from both the passes.
    Support Services : Pack mules and ponies available through the advanced requirements, but not available on arrival in stock or Martselang. Other arrangements, including hiring equipments or trekking kit, can be arrange in Leh. A guide will be a big help to chart out the easiest way to the top of the peak.
    Emergency : Reasonable medical facilities in Leh, especially in the army hospital, including high altitude rescue facilities. On trek, however, there is no place to call for help.