The Best Season for Trekking : From early June to mid-October. Location for Trekking : Lamayuru to Padum traverse, Stok-Khangri round trek, Zanskar ranges, Ladakh range between the Indus and Shayok valleys Required Equipment : Tow-man tents, insulated ground sheets, sleeping bags, insulated jackets, trekking shoes and rucksacks. Trekking Possibilities Trekking possibilities include short, long walks up and down the mountain slopes to visit the outlying villages or sacred settlements, or across an upland to enjoy the blessed beauty of the lunar mountainscape. The trekking also includes long, trans-mountain treks involving weeks of walking and camping in the wild terrains. For example, the trek from Lamayuru in the Indus valley to Darcha in Lahaul across Zanskar takes almost three weeks. Most of the well established trekking routes traverse the Zanskar range, which divides the Indus valley from Zanskar. The 10 day Lamayuru-Padum traverse and the Stok-Khangri round trek are the more favourable ones amongst the several other options available in this flamboyant mountain mass. Sine last few years, parts of the Ladakh range between the Indus and Shayok valleys are also made available for trekking. The Trekking Season Traditional the trekking seasons extends from early June to mid-October. But localised treks within the Indus Valley can be arranged even in the month of May. Some of the routes are suitable only for late autumn, as during the summer, the bed of narrow valleys through which the tracks ly become swirling streams, for example - the 13 day Hemis-Markha-Padum trek. The winter access to the Zanskar valley is actually along the frozen surface of the Zanskar River. This route, known as "Chaddar", is perhaps the most exciting trek in the world. Depending on the time and budget you can afford, you can ask the Tourist Offices at Leh, Kargil or Padum to organise a trekking program for you. The easiest and trouble-free way to go on a trekking is through a travel organisation, which will take care of all requirements including camping gear, provisions, porterage, staff, etc. But, if one determined to make one's own arrangements, it is recommended to carry as much provisions and fuel from Leh or Kargil as possible. Don't forget, that Ladakh is a harsh and difficult land where most villagers can't part with their reserved food. In some villages along the trek, fresh yoghurt and some Tsampa can be purchased, but one can't rely on these supplies. Cooking fuels like - Kerosene or gas for cooking stoves must be carried in sufficient quantity to last the duration of the trek as fuel is scarcely available along most of the routes. Trekking In Ladakh Trekking in Ladakh is truly a rewarding experience, you must be physically fit to Trekking In Ladakh. There are considerable variation in day and night temperatures even during the height of summer. While the days are pretty warm, even hot, due to the desert effect of the barren landscape, evenings can become chilly, requiring extra clothing. It is, therefore, recommended to keep a pullover and an anorak handy. A sturdy pair of trekking shoes with strong rubber or synthetic soles for firm grip, thick cotton socks (woollen for autumn trek or glacier walks) and a good sleeping bag accompanied with an insulated ground pad are necessary gear for going on a trek. Even if you are going to pass through the inhabited areas with the possibility of accommodation in the village homes or monasteries, you are advised to carry all the prerequisites required for the trekking. In case of stretched out treks across mountain passes or trans-mountain traverses, a water-proof tent should be carried besides other provisions and cooking facilities. Some other additional requirements could include a Balclava, woolen undergarments, wind Parkas, etc. for a comfortable stay at Ladakh. Other requirements include - toiletries and first-aid kits with Lipsalve, moisturisers and suncream, water purifying tablets, medicines for high altitude sickness, etc. A good quality water container to carry the drinking water is essential during high altitude trekking in arid conditions. Also carry a flashlight with sufficient spare batteries, a sun-hat and a pair of good quality sunglasses with sufficient filter-factor to check the sun's brightness and ultraviolet rays. The Required Trekking Equipments The J&K Tourism Department arranges trekking equipment, which you can hire from the state tourism shops in its Srinagar, Leh and Kargil Offices. Items like tow-man tents, insulated ground sheets, sleeping bags, insulated jackets, trekking shoes and rucksacks are made available at these shops at reasonable prices fixed by the Government. Some private organisations and trekking agencies in Leh also provide similar trekking gear on hire. Keeping The Environment Clean The Ladakh environment is ecologically delicate. The survival of the natives wholly depends upon the land, despite its obvious barrenness. As such, it is justly crucial that visitors & trekkers keep the routes and campsites clean and stay away from disturbing the region's ethereal environment. Before starting camp, trekkers and travel agents should make certain that no garbage or filth is left carelessly at the campsites. Plastic containers and polythene wrappers must be flamed, while other types of garbage should be properly buried.
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