Martselang to Stok Trek

Martselang to Stok Trek

Duraton : 7 days
  • Best Season June to September
    Duration 7 days
    Grade Moderate to strenuous
Day 01 Arrive Leh

You will be met on arrival at Leh airport and transfer to hotel. Leh is situated at an altitude of 3500 M above sea level and need to acclimatize. Suggested to have a complete rest at the hotel.

Evening you will be taken at the top of the hill at Shanti Stupa offers an incredible view of Leh valley. Have some time at this place and retrace back to Leh by visiting Shankar Gompa enroute and Leh market. Overnight at hotel in Leh.

Day 02: In Leh ( City Tour )

Leh Palace : This nine-storey dun-coloured palace took shape under 17th-century king Sengge Namgyal. Essentially it has been unoccupied since the Ladakhi royals were stripped of power and shuffled off to Stok in 1846. Located at the top of a small hill in main Leh market on walkable distance. Offers a magnificient view of Leh city at the roof top

Shey Palace : Thikse & Hemis monastery : by driving in the east of Leh city must visit Shey Palace and one of the most picturesque monastery called Thiske. Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Drukpa Lineage, Situated 45 km from Leh by crossing Indus river and steep drive to reach at. This monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. Back to Leh and overnight stay.

Day 03 Drive to MARTSELANG (11, 200 ft/3,400 m) - 1 hour.

Trek to SUMDO (124,276 ft/3,720 m) - 5 to 6 hours: From the roadhead at Martselang, descend to the Martselang Topko, keeping to its true left and enter a narrow gorge, the lower section of which is choked with boulders. The trail criss-crosses the stream, which must be forded several times. As the gorge widens, descending past a spring, the valley bends to the south west and one can get a view of Sumdo village - actually a one-house settlement - situated at the junction of the Martselang Topko and the Shang Nala. Continue up the Shang Nala to the camp, set in an irrigated pasture.

Day 04 SUMDO to near SHANG PHU (14,170 ft/4,360 m) - 4 to 5 hours:

Walk up the Shang Valley towards Shang village and monastery from where you get a sweeping view of the valley which is characterized by stone walled fields, irrigation canals and low stone houses. As the valley narrow, the trail steepens, bending abruptly to the northwest and then westwards, to a small Buddhist shrine situated in a willow grove - an ideal spot for lunch. The valley broadens into alpine meadows where Shang Phu, a summer grazing settlement is situated. Continuing up the stream bed, take the left fork through thick scrub vegetation. Camp is set at the junction of two small valleys.

Day 05 SHANG PHU to SHANG LA BASE over SHANG LA (16,320 ft/4,945 m) - 6 to 7 hours:

A gradual ascent leads to a small stream and the trail from the head of the valley down its true left bank, through dense scrub vegetation, is one of the loveliest parts of this trek. The spring-fed stream forms clear deep pools along its course and flows into the main Shang stream, a valley away to the left. A gradual ascent gets you to Shang La, which links the Matho valley with the Shang valley. The descent is fairly steep though not long. Camp is set on the banks of a small stream which eventually meets the main Matho Nala.

Day 06 SHANG LA BASE to below MATHO LA (14,820 ft/4,560 m) - 4 to 5 hours:

Keeping right, ascend the left fork of the stream, walking past stone corrals and camping grounds and enter the upper Matho valley.

Heading northeast in a series of sharp ascents and descents, the trail clings precipitously to the mountainside, crossing four large lateral streams feeding the Matho Topko. Camp is set further up in an alpine meadow at the base of Matho La.

Day 07 SIDE TRIPS TO VIEW STOK KANGRI - 4 to 5 hours:

Spend the day walking up a ridge, from where you get a 320 degree view of the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges. Should you want to walk longer, depending on your physical condition, you could climb up to almost 19,000 feet. No technical climbing is involved. However, it is important that you are fully acclimatized.

Day 08 MATHO LA BASE to STOK KANGRI BASE CAMP (14,950 ft/4,600 m)

over MATHO LA - 6 hours: The climb up to Matho La is extremely strenuous and at the top, travellers are often greeted by the high wild cry of the Snowcock, a giant partridge common in these parts but difficult to see.

Spectacular views of Stok Kangri (20,200 ft/6,121 m) and other peaks are available from the pass. This region provides an interesting study for geologists - alternating deposits of limestone, shale and sandstone. Also worthy of note is the formation of stream beds and passes in the less resistant red shale. An abrupt though not very steep descent past a spring leads to the upper part of the main Stok Nala and follows along the true right, some 90 meters above the river bed. the valley broadens out and a tributary stream, originating from Stok Kangri, must be forded before reaching the campsite at the Base Camp of Stok Kangri.

The pasturage of the Upper Matho is a huge area bisected by streams, dotted with doksas, many hidden amongst the dips and rises of the sharply uneven plain. To the south it climbs to the foot of the ice-clad bastion formed by Matho Kangri peak and its consorts. The plain is full of life; white-tailed hares abound and whole colonies of Himalayan marmots can be seen sunning themselves outside their burrows, trilling sharply in alarm as they catch sight of a Golden eagle circling on dihedral wings or the menacing bulk of a Bearded vulture held aloft on its nine- foot spread. The lucky may catch a glimpse of a wolf or the track of a snow leopard imprinted in wet ground, providing evidence of the presence of this most elusive of cats. Overnight camping.

Day 09 STOK KANGRI BASE CAMP to STOK (11,500 ft/3,484 m) - 5 to 6 hours:

Explore the north eastern flanks of Stok Kangri before retracing your steps to the main Stok Nala. The trail moves along the boulder-strewn left bank, enters a gorge and ascends steeply up a left bank spur marked by cairns and prayer flags. After crossing a stream draining the western side of Stok La, continue down the Stok valley through willow groves and alpine meadows, past the ruins of an ancient Ladakh fortress - Styang La Khar. The gorge widens and from here is it only a couple of hours to Stok, where vehicles await you for the drive to Leh.

Day 10 Departure Leh

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to board flight for onward destination


© 2006 Discover Ladakh Adventure Tours & Travel. All Rights Reserved