Chang Tang - The Chang Tang is a remote high-altitude plateau extending from south-eastern Ladakh into western Tibet. This region has recently been opened to tourism and offers one of the most scenic treks in Ladakh. Two large high altitude lakes, Tso Kar and Tso Moriri, are the hi-lights, along with excellent wildlife viewing possibilites and unique nomadic villages. The area is home to several endemic species, including the Kiang ( Tibetan Wild Ass) and Black-necked Heron?? The ??? nomads inhabit most valleys in the Chang Tang, sheperding sheep and yak subsisting off milk and trade with neighboring tribes.
Day 1 to Day 3: Leh area monestaries
Arrive in Leh (3358m) for 3 days of acclimatization and cultural exploration. Shey, Alchi, Thicksay - large complex - 15km south of Leh with impressive buddha housed in top building, Hemis - 1hr south of Leh, 20Rs. entry fee - beautiful complex.
Day 4: Leh - Rumtse by Jeep 4-5hrs
Drive through small villages and interesting geologic formations. Stop for lunch in the crossroad village Upshi.
Day 5: Rumtse - Kyamar
Start of trek. 5-6hrs. Rigorous first day over 5000m pass. Beautiful vistas of Zanskar Range and Chang Tang area.
Day 6: Kyamar - Tisaling - 6hrs
Continue through narrow valley and then over another high pass, the Kiamari.
Day 7: Tisaling - Shibuk- 4-5hrs
Cross the Shingbuck La (4875m) here we get our first glimpse of Tso Kar.
Day 8: Shibuk - Pangunagu - 4-5hrs
Easy walk. Decent into the Tso Kar basin (4500m). A turquoise high altitude saline lake surrounded by snow-capped 6000m mountains.
Day 9: Pangunagu (4500m) - Nuruchan (4600m) 4-5hrs
Easy walk along west side of Tso Kar with good chance of seeing local wildlife including the Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass), Argalis (Mountain Goat) Himalayan Marmot and endemic waterfowl on the lake ( barred geese, heron??, ruddy duck). Also, keep your eye open for nomads herding sheeping and yaks along the fertile lakeshore.
Day 10: Nuruchan (4600m) - Ragung Karu (4650m) 4-5hrs
Follow winding river valley out of Nuruchan then over Kangthang La (4730m) and down to the small meadow of Ragung Karu to camp.
Day 11: Ragung Karu (4700m) - Gyamabarma (5000m) 6-7hrs
Strenuous day. Climb over Kyamayuri La (5410m) with views north towards Tso Kar and south towards glaciated peaks which surround Tso Moriri. Decend from the pass into an alpine meadow and follow the creek down to the nomad's winter village of Gyamabarma.
Day 12: Gyamabarma (5000m) - Karzok - Tso Moriri (4527m) 7hrs
Long day over two passes. Possiblility of encountering yaks herds in the morning near Gyamabarma. Heading gradually uphill along a raging creek we reach Gyambarma La (5200m) mid-morning. Breathtaking views of Tso Moriri from the highest pass of this part of the journey, Yalang Nyau La (5440m). Long decent from Yalang through pastoral lands through the outskirts of Karzok. Camp along the creek just outside of town. Karzok main attraction is a small monestary built by the local nomads - worth a visit!
Day 13: Karzok (4500m) - Kyangdam (4500m). Approx. 12km. 4-5hrs
Hike along Tso Moriri. With the towering Mentok moutains to the west and Lungser Mountain (6666m) the reflecting in the lake to the east.
Day 14: Kyangdam (4500m) - Nurboo Sumdo
Day 15: Nurbooo Sumdo - Umlang
Day 16: Umlang - Palung Falta
Day 17: Palung Falta - Kharasha
Day 18: Kharasha - Pongrachan
Day 19: Pongrachan - Thalta. 7hrs
Cross the highest pass of the trek, the Parang La (5578m), through a beautiful glaciated landscape.
Day 20: Thalta - Kibber