Rumtse to Kibber trek

No of Days

13 Days

Higest Point

Parang La pass 5,578 Mt

Grade

Chillenging

Attraction

Nomads of Changthnag / Tsomoriri lake / Tsokhar Lake

The area traversed by the Manali-Leh road and containing the drainage basins of Tso-moriri and other lakes is known as Rupshu. Here, the Zanskar range is transformed into bare rolling many-hued hills divided by open high altitude valley. It is a landscape unlike any other in Ladakh or elsewhere in India.

From Leh, we drive about 70 kms on the Leh - Manali road to Rumtse, the starting point of our trek. Rupshu Valley lies sandwiched between Ladakh in the north, Tibet in the east and Zanskar in the west. It is a part of the Changthang plateau and is characterized by high arid plains, remote villages, snow-capped peaks and beautiful high altitude azure-blue lakes, the largest being Tsomoriri at 4.500 m.

Truly remote, this area is accessible only for a few months every summer and is inhabited by Changpas - nomadic yak and pashmina goat herders of Tibetan origin, who wander this area crossing over high altitude mountain passes. Our trek takes us across these passes to their summer settlements to witness a unique human culture, far away from the reaches of the modern world. The scenery is wild and vast with snowcapped peaks lining the far horizon and the area is also home to some rare wildlife like Kyang, Blue sheep, Ibex and the famous Himalayan snow leopard.

The final leg of our trek leads us over a high mountain pass to the shores of beautiful TsoMoriri Lake. Surrounded by over 6,000m high snowcapped peaks, this lake is alive with an abundance of very rare migratory birds. The trek ends at the enchanting TsoMoriri and from here we can transfer to Leh or continue to Kibber in Spiti.

Rumtse to Kibber trek - Trip Detail
  • 01

    Day

    Rumtse-Kyamar(5hrs)
    • Rumtse is situated at a distance of 75 km east of Leh. It will take 2 to 2 and half hours to reach the ttemking point at Rumtse. Rumtse is considerex to be one of the oldest human settlement place in Ladakh. It was inhabited by the mon people of Ladakh. Gya village just neighboring ladakh is very famous for old castle of Gyapa-Cho and the castle overlooks the village at the top of nearby mountain. Once arrived at the trekking point walk along the road till Tourist Bungalow from where the actual tremking starts. Turn left and walk through the Bungalowalong the left side of the river. From where a small trail leads towards to valley passing through abandoned army huts.Two rivers need to be crossed before leading the path towards the camp. Cross the river and enter into the valley though the trails. After walking for a few minutes cross the river to the left and walk in the same direction. Cross another tributaries coming from the right side. Walking through the same valley sometimes it narrows and widens.There is no vegetation or human settlement. Have your lunch in the shade of some big boulder or mounatain. Finally it turns to the north and the kyamar Camp site is next to shepherds placeif they have arrived following the annual ancient nomadic routes. Once.reached you will be served with hot tea or juice. Rest of the day is at leasure.

  • 02

    Day

    Kyamar - Tisaling via Kyamur La - Mandalchan La (5-6 hrs)
    • After a few minutes walk from the Campsite the gentle ascent of Kyamur-la (Kyamri-la 5.180 m)starts. its easy but you need to take your steps slow and steady with small footsteps as the day is quite long to reach the top.If you are lucky you might see tibetan wolves along wildasses and marmot.You can alsoenjoy beautiful wild flowers on the waywith their fragrance in each of your breadth. From the top of the pass the trail divides into two- one goes to your left and the other on right side which leads towards Mandalchan-la. We follow the right path towards mandalachan. From the top of kyamar la you need to go down through a steep slope towards the base. Once arrived at the base you will find an oasis in middle of nowhere here we can take our Lunch along the small rivulet where all the trekkers settle down for lunch. Once finished with lunch gather your stuff and the climb towards Mandalachan La starts. The ascend to Mandalachan is steeper than Kyamar so you need to go slow and steady. There is no trail to be seen for sometimes but after few minutes a clear trail leads you to the top of Mandalachan-la(4996m). From the top of Mandalachan La you need to walk along a flat trail towards the other end of Mandalachan La. Once you reach the end of the Mandalachan you need to go down following a steep trail towards the base.The trail leads to a beautiful area called Tisaling. this is the place to stay overnight. Tents will be ready and rest of the is at pleasure.

  • 03

    Day

    Tisaling - Pangonogu(Tsokar Lake) via ShibukLa (6 hrs)
    • Today you have to start early in the morning, walking sliw and steady steps you will reach and cross Shibuk-la (5130m. After Shibuk La you need to go down. Follow a long walk with a geltle slope for aound a zig-zag path and again follow a long walk with gentle slope. There isa hill saddle, so you have climb the saddle. As soon as you come on the top of the this small pass you will have a view of Tsokar Lake. Walk downslowly and comfortablyto the Tsokar Lake through an easy descent to the Lakeor Pongonugu, as soon as you finish the gorge walk from the hill as the campsite is just afterthe hill.Once you reached Pongonugu staff will be ready with hot tea or juice. Rest of the day is at pleasure.

  • 04

    Day

    Pangunagu - Nuruchan (05 hrs)
    • Today it's an easy walk along the Lakeon flat surface. although the walk is flat you might find sandy trail hard to walk through. Walk along the right side of the lake enjoying the beauty of the lake. Tsokar lake was once.famous for its rock salt which was used for trading with barley. You can also enjoy the view of Thukjey village on the left side of the lake. Along the way you will see scores of wild asses and nomadic trails with thier temporary settlements foolowing your path.Walk towards east through the Muddy motorable road and take the same direction from the end of Stupa along the road. After sometimes you can have view of agriculture fieldmade by the Government for the nomads. After thefilds you will Nuruchan where the camp.will be ready. At the Campsite near the riveryou you can relax for the evening.

  • 05

    Day

    Nuruchan - Rachungkaru via Dundunchanla (5 hrs)
    • start early in the morning and cross the river. After crossing the river an easy ascend to the pass takes around 1 hours 30 minutes.You will reach Dundunchan La at the end. After taking some pictures at the top descend a flat slope to the base. Have your at the base of Dundunchan La. The trail turns towards north-east just after the pass through a valley. You might need to criss cross the river several times if the river has changes its path. You need to walk around 3-4 bours before reaching the camp. Here you will see alot of Sheperds and nomads along your path with their goats and yaks. You will reach the camp siteat the end. once reached you will be welcomed by our staff with hot tea or juice. Rest of the day is at pleasure.

  • 06

    Day

    Rachungkaru to Gyamalhoma (7 hrs)
    • Start early in the morning from Rachungkaru from where you can see the pass Gyama La. Start walking slowly ascending towards Gyamaclimbing the Kyamayur-la (5125m) which takes around 2 hrs at average speed. The last climb is the tiring one. After the pass the trail leads towards north-east and at the end of the valley trail starts ascending another small pass called Gyama La (5100m) from where you can have views of Peaks. Walk down towards north-east and cross the small river and the Gyamalhoma is reached after another river crossing which is also a base for Krzok pass.

  • 07

    Day

    Gyamalhoma - Korzok (Tsomoriri Lake)
    • Start an easy ascent to the Korzok pass along the stream. It takes around 2 hrs to reach the top from where you can have a wonderful view of the Lake. Then steep down to Korzok village. You can also camp at KorzokPhu where nomad camps are located, around one hour before the lake if you have extra days.

      At Korzok you can have a walk in the village, you can also visit the small monastery by the village. You can also go further down to lake to see some migratory birds like Brahmany ducks, bar headed geese and Shelducks. You can also enjoy some local dish in the village. From the camp you will have a nice view of Lchamser and Lungser Kangri on the opposite side of the Lake. Just behind these glaciers is the border village of Chumur with China.

  • 08

    Day

    Walking along the shore of the TsoMoriri Lake to Kyangdam (4.530 m), 6 - 7 hours
    • Today the trekking is very easy as you need to walk on the flat surface. You walk along on the shore of the Lake till the southern edge of the lake. That means that you keep the altitude for the whole day (no ups and downs). Being at 4.500 m the hole day and night is a very good preparation for the high pass on the 6th day of the trek. On your way you will see many birds. There is a good campsite on the lake called Kyangdam at 4.530 m (14.862 ft).

  • 09

    Day

    Walking along the shore of TsoMoriri Lake to NurbooSumdo (4.530 m), 4 hours
    • This day is again an easy walk on flat surface till NurbooSumdo. You might have to criss-cross the streams several times before you reach the camp. Follow the trail till you finally reach a river delta. From there on its only 2 more hours till you come to NurbooSumdo (4.530m) where you will stay overnight. You can stay at Skitpodangsa the other side of the river if the level of river is not very high.

  • 10

    Day

    Nurboo Sumdo (4.500 m) to GetpaBuzak (4.635 m), 6 - 7 hours
    • After a short walk you have to cross the river several times. It is very important to cross the river in the morning otherwise the water level is too high. If the level of river is high don’t forget to cross the river with the help of a rope. The hip deep water is quite cold as it comes straight from the glacier you will cross the other day. Sandals are highly recommended. After crossing the river you can warm up your frozen feet during a walk along the river uphill. You also need to change your clothes if the level of water is high enough. You will be rewarded with amazing views over the river. Enjoy the beautiful rock scenery formed by the power of water and wind. On the way you see two 6000er mountains. Your camping ground is on the river 4.635 m (15.206 ft).

  • 11

    Day

    Getpa Buzak (4.635 m) to Kharsa Gongma (4.860 m), 7 - 8 hours
    • Go further up that valley until you reach the end of the valley. After final crossings of the river (probably not so often and deep as yesterday morning, anyway sandels are recommended) you reach a very nice camping ground. That is sourrounded by many snow capped mountains. From here you see the target of the next day Parang-La with its majestic glacier. Sleep early tonight as the day tomorrow will be very long.

      Option: You can also split tomorrows trek into 2 days – by camping in Tharang Yogma. But we recommend you to go to kharsagongma as there is less availability of water and the camping site is also a small one plus tomorrow’s trek will be a long one.

  • 12

    Day

    Kharsa Gongma (4.860 m) to Thang Tak (4.515 m) via Parang-La (5.578 m), 8 - 10 hours
    • That is the longest and hardest day on the trek. There is another river crossing in the morning. Follow the pass on the left side of the glacier (and cross the river) up to 5.400 m. You cross the glacier for approximately 1.5 hours until you reach the pass of Parang-La 5.578 m (18.300 ft). That means walking on a mixture of ice and snow and you feel like you will never reach the end.

      There is an amazing view from all the way back to dry and naked mountains of Changthang Plateau and lush green Great Himalayas and a completely different landscape on the other side of the pass. Going down the steep path you might think: “Thank you for not having to climb it up.”

      Parang La also divides the Jammu & Kashmir state with Himachal Pradesh.
      Follow the path until you reach a narrow gorge with a river (first water supply after the pass). Follow the river for 1.5 hours (several river crossings are necessary) and climb a side valley for 200m until you reach the camp side Tangltak 4.515 m (14.812 ft). Tangltak is the first campsite with water supply. That makes it a very long day trek.

  • 13

    Day

    Thang Tak (4.515 m) to Kibbar (4.205 m), 3 - 4 hours
    • After that hard day yesterday the last day is a very easy and short. Climb a small pass for about 30 minutes. At the left you can enjoy the view of the snow capped mountain Shilla (7.026 m). Follow a broad green valley until you see the first village after a couple of days. Go down a gorge to the river and climb up for about 200 m till you reach the prosperous looking village Kibbar. Here you can find a few new guest houses. From here you can visit the monestary Key. If you don’t like to stay in Kibbar you can go by Taxi to Kaza. It takes you only 1 day from here by jeep to Manali. If you like to go back to Leh it takes you 3 days.

Important Things You must know before the starts of the Trek

  • You must be well acclimatized before the start of the trek. As starting trek, without taking precaution leads to untoward incident.
  • You must bring warm clothes, good trekking shoes, Slipper for river crossing, Walking stick.
  • Sun cream is very important to protect your skin.
  • Sun glasses
  • Water bottle and water filter.

How is a usual day of Trekking?

Early in the morning you are serve bed tea in the tent with morning wishes. After bed tea, you start packing up your things. Breakfast is served in the dining tent. After breakfast, you are ready for the day. Guide walks with you but before living make sure your bag contains all the important things you need during the day like Camera, sun cream, water bottle, lunch box etc. You carry a light backpack containing all these important things required during the day and the other things come of the horse back. At noon, you stop for lunch at a nice location, and have some rest. Trek continues, and the horseman and kitchen staff leads you on the way. Before your arrival at the camp, our team would be ready tent and tea, juice and light snacks to refresh your tiredness. After the arrival at campsite, you can enjoy your leisure in your own way. The dinner is served around 7 in the evening. Post dinner, our guide brief you about the next day and decides the timing for next day with your insights and suggestions.

The food menu in breakfast, lunch and dinner keep switching from Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Ladakhi, Continental, and Italian.

Rumtse - Tsomoriri – Kibber Trek - Photo Gallery
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