A standout amongst the most remote and difficult trek, the move to the pass is steep and may require rope and ice axe based on the conditions. This trek isn’t endeavored by numerous trekkers. The Umasi La offers astounding perspectives of the Pir Panjal run in Himachal Pradesh. You should spend a night at the glacier on the contrary side of the pass. The trail skirts the Kishtwar shivling on the banks of the Pardar River. The trek traverses from the dry Zanskar to green slopes with deodar and conifer woodlands.
Trek Season: May – September
Day 1: drive from Srinagar to Kargil via Zojila pass
Begin your day early and drive on NH1D towards Sonamarg with Sindh stream running parallel to the road, the famous hill station is around 85km from Srinagar and should take around 3 to 4 hours in light of the weather and traffic conditions. You could enjoy a short reprieve here and witness the appealing valley. Further, you would drive down towards Kargil via Zojila pass which is around 125 km from Sonamarg and should reach in another 5 hours. Stay overnight at Kargil.
Day 2: Drive from Kargil to Padum
This is one of the remotest most challenging and the only road now that connects Ladakh to Padum, it is around 235 km and should take around 10 hours to reach Padum, it has excellent sights on the way which consists of Shuru Valley, Sankoo, Nun Kun Peaks, Rangdum and Panzila Pass from where one can witness the wonderful darang durang glacier, it is a long and tiring excursion on road. Overnight stay at Padum.
Day 3: Rest and Acclimatize at Padum.
After the tedious journey on day 2, one can unwind at the guest house at Padum or wander a bit around the market, refresh themselves and look forward to the challenging trek up ahead the next day.
Day 4: Ating to Zongkul.
A short drive from Padum on the right bank of the stod/Doda river will take you the village of Ating. This is the place the Zongkul valley begins. It is a short and wonderful walk today. Take after the way going up to the valley, south of the town to the antiquated Zongkul gompa established in the eleventh century. The campground is beneath the Gompa.
Day 5: Zongkul to Umasi La Base.
Take after the genuine left of the Mulung Tokpo River through grassy meadows. Cross the stream on a characteristic stone extension to the genuine right and take after the valley to one side. The way experiences moraines and ice sheet rocks. On the off chance that you are not used to such territory, it can be strenuous. The campground is close to a stone shelter on the meadows.
Day 6: Umasi La base to high camp via Umasi La (5330m)
Today the vast majority of the walking is on the glacier. Contingent upon the season, it might be wise to carry a rope, ice ax, and crampons. The last piece of the pass is extremely steep through an ice gully. The pass isn’t wide and is set apart by prayer flags. The perspectives of the Kisthwar Himalayas and the Pir Panjal ranges are stunning. The way dives step by step to the glacier, which is met by another glacier originating from the south. The night is spent under a stone shelter on the side of the glacier.
Day 7: High camp to Sumcham.
An early start is basic as the day could be genuinely long. You will descend steeply to the glacier valley floor through the terminal moraine and rocks. The way is set apart by rock cairns and the trail stays on the genuine right of the valley. Some shepherd places to stay and birch trees can be seen on the way. The Kishthwar Shivling is visible toward the south of the trail.
Day 8: Suncham to Machail.
The trail goes through a few Ladakhi towns, whose inhabitants relocated here numerous years back. Despite everything, they keep up ties with their homeland. The priests from Bardhan and different areas in Zanskar, serve the gompas here. At Machail, the way leading southwest goes towards Poat La and the Zanskar area.
Day 9: Machail to Gulab Garh.
The way takes after the Pardar River to the valley. It is all around voyaged and characterized. Along the course, the vegetation changes totally with deodar and conifer trees bringing relief to the eyes. Gulab Garh is a residential area situated over the conjunction of Pardar and Chenab river. A large portion of the general population here is Buddhist of the Ladakhi origin.
Altitude: Max. Altitude at Umasi La at 5330m
Temperature: Temperatures at the pass and at nights are cold. Days are pleasant during the season.
Trek Duration: 9 days.
Trek Season: May – September
Base Camp: Padum
How to reach Basecamp:
To reach Srinagar, you can take a train to Jammu and take a taxi/bus ride for the rest of the journey. You can also take the flight to Srinagar from Delhi or Mumbai with or without a stopover at Jammu. By bus, Srinagar is linked by the National Highway 1A to the rest of the country.
You could also fly to Leh and take a shared taxi to Kargil which would be more expensive.
Nearest Airport / Rail line/road connectivity: The nearest airport is the Sheikh ul Alam airport, also known as the Srinagar airport. Jammu is the nearest rail connectivity point and is well connected to all major cities by train. For people opting to come via Leh, the airport at Leh is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.
- Accommodation in dome tents (2/3 per tent).
- Meals mentioned in the itinerary on a fixed menu/ buffet basis.
- Transfers and sightseeing as per itinerary.
- Camping Equipment: Tents, Sleeping bags, mats, gaiters.
- All charges for guides and permits.
- Travel to and fro Srinagar.
- Backpack offloading: Trekkers are expected to carry their own backpacks. If the trekker cannot carry his/her backpack due to physical inability and chooses to offload on mules/ porters, this will be on additional cost.
- Airfares, airport taxes and anything not mentioned in the inclusions and itinerary.
- Meals, tea, coffee, mineral water, tips, transfers not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Doctor, telephone, laundry and other personal expenses.
- Cost of personal emergency exit or expenses due to external factors such as climatic conditions.
Health & Fitness Requirements:
This trek does require you to have previous trekking or mountaineering experience. However, we do highly recommend having an adventurous spirit and willingness to undergo the joys & hardships of outdoor camping, in addition to good physical and mental fitness, to completely enjoy the trek. If you suffer from severe muscular, chest, heart or bronchial ailments, we advise you against participating since most treks happen in remote areas with limited access to medical services & hospital facilities.
Our Trek Leaders are experienced mountaineers and we trust their judgments. If during the trek, the Trek Leader advises you against continuing on the trek, we request you to respect his/her judgment and follow his/her instructions.