Kang La Pass Trek

Kang-la Pass is a high Altitude trekking which is less frequented, magnificent and highly challenging trek from one valley to the other. Kang-la Pass was formally used by the Lahouli peoples to cross into the Zanskar and Ladakh region. So it was discovered as a travel route by the local inhabitants earlier, which later on become the strenuous trekking route for rest of the adventurous world. It is the toughest and the most difficult trek which gives one the lifetime experience reaching at the height of 5,450m. This trek can be categorized into the expedition level too, cause of its day to day covered long distances and the terrain so unpredictable. The geography of the valley is changing very fast in the interiors of the Kang-la glacier. So it is not like normal routine trekking, it demands a great effort though it is not for the neophytes. It consists of the great plains of Than Patan to endless moraines, Glaciers and dangerous crevasses. It is kind of technical in a bit, but the gravity of the trek is so hard. This trek takes one from the lush green valleys of Mayar to arid and deserted valley of Zanskar. This trek is so remote and unexplored that one could see by his own while treading on the route. The Kang-la Pass trek starts from the little town of Udaipur to the interiors of Mayar Valley. Mayar valley owns an ancient culture, architecture and lifestyle, which is influenced by the Hinduism and Buddhism. This influence of religions can be found all across the valley. Mayar valley is a lush green valley with rich Himalayan flora and fauna. It is ideal place for studying Himalayan herbal plants and fauna. The trekking route at initial is pleasant with flat green lands, which becomes harder as the moraine slants and multiple chilling rivers encounter. The moraines are so vast and endless till the Kang-la Glacier and beyond. Climbing on the long glacier fields amidst the mighty snow capped peaks arouses an amazing feeling of devotion and love to the Nature. The Kang-La Glacier is stretched about 10-13 km on the each side of the pass with dangerous crevasses on the top and below. This part of the trek needs technical assistance by roping up the pack. The Kang-la glacier is melting so fast that the crevasses are getting broader and deeper each year. So all the safety measures are must at some point. After crossing over the pass is the downhill on glacier with crevasses then scree and keeps on slanting till the camp-site. Now the trail is again flat but with less vegetation of the Himalayas. Sun is hard and wind is dry as we enter the Zanskar valley. One might get a chance see the grazing Yaks, Marmots, Musk Deere and Ibexes. This aridness on the trail continues whole in the region. Our last point of this trek is Bardan Gompa., famous for its 180cm. high Mani Prayer Wheel. At Bardan Gompa our treks ends and drive to Leh via Kargil starts. Overall the trek is comprehensive with pleasant memories.

Day 01

Delhi to Manali by volvo bus 12 to 13 hrs drive.

Arrive Manali, remaining documentation, short briefing about the trek and shopping trek related items should be completed at Manali. Over night stay hotel in Manali.

Day 02

Trek to Barbog

Starting a hike from Yurnad, we descend to Bhaga River and climb through fields of barley to small and beautiful village of Lapchang. Following the canal with spectacular view of Kyelang at a distance, we arrive at Barbog. Camp near Kardang gompa or barbok village.

Day 03

Drive from Keylong – Khanjer (3,685m.) (70km.) – Gumba Nala (3840m) (6-7 hr trek)

Next morning drive to interiors of the Mayar Valley traversing several villages,On the way many villages, crop fields and monasteries will pass. If time allows pay a visit to the historical Mrikula Devi temple at Udaipur. Our actual trek starts from Khnajer. After leaving our conveyance we cross a river then climb through the steep trail passing terraced fields, village houses. The trail ahead is moderate with few ups and downs. As we tread forward the beautiful valley of flowers come to show its colours. Then climb toward a ridge top marked by a Chorten(Stupa) for wonderful views. Rest for couple of minutes then continue walking through huge meadows and cross the rivers on temporary bridges. Our camp will be pitched near a stream amidst mighty peaks and wide valley of Mayar. Over night stay in camp.

Day 04

Gumba Nala - Phalpu /Alyas (3,985m) (7-8 hr.)

This morning we climb through grassy meadows, hop across several streams all along with rewarding views of peaks and glaciers. As we move deeper into the valley, we surely leave the flowery section behind and barren land ready to welcome. The trail between the wide valley, huge meadows and great mountains keep us fascinating all the way. There are many ideal places for camping but we will try to continue as far as we could cover the distance. The camp site at Alyas is a place of halting sheep on the journey in the mountains. At this place one can see stone huts with or without roofs made by the shepherds. Spend the night gazing the stars.

Day 05

Reserve day

The day will be a rest day or little walk. Over night in camp.

Day 06

Alyas – Camp I (4,390m) (8-10 hr.)

Following morning we leave early by crossing freezing streams and start climbing on moraine, which will continue till the next campsite. The day is full of difficulties as the moraines are on the slant. These moraines are at such slope that the boulders are sliding slightly downwards and one has to be careful walking on risky terrain. The trail brings all the hardships in terms of boulders, scree and Glaciers. After a strenuous climb the camping will be done on the Glacier field. At night watching the stars shining in the dark sky will take your breath away.

Day 07

Camp I – Camp II Base of Kang-la (4,870m.)(9-10hr.)

Start an early move on moraines above the massive glacier field. Soon the moraines will disappear and the glacier field starts. Climb gently on the glacier field that crevasses can be found opened or covered, if covered then take safe route to negotiate it. To avoid any risk, being roped up is very important. The glacier has a gradual increase of gradient and takes way more time than it seems. Climbing hours on the icy field brings us to the camp at immense glacier field below the Kang-la Pass. The pass is clearly visible from this point and we can configure our route for the upcoming climb. The camp II has a very different kind of atmosphere and landscape that makes one to think about the enormity of the Himalayas. The huge snow capped peaks and endless glaciers surrounding the camp makes it perfect site to halt. At night the temperature drops off to –degrees and freezes the area. So sleep well with all your warm clothing’s.

Day 08

Camp II – Kang-la Pass (5,450m.) – Camp III (4,410m.) (The other side of the pass) (10-11hrs.)

An early start is must to cross over the Kang-la pass to avoid any weather changes at the top, that the weather conditions are unpredictable at such elevation. Climbing in bad weather will turmoil the trek as the crevasses wait ahead and will be invisible at such situation. So the weather holds a significant role to cross over the pass. The climbing continues on the glacier field with gradual to steep gradient for hours. Multiple crevasses of big or small width and depth start to obstacle the route. The climbing towards pass is a strenuous job which needs enough stamina, endurance and will power to conquer Kang-la. The pack will be roped up while crossing over the crevasses and the Pass. We climb zigzag on way around some crevasses. After hours of tiring climb we reach at the top of the Kang-la at 5,450m. From the pass one can see the route left aback and the astonishing vista of snow capped peaks and glistening Glaciers. Now we descend down along the right side of the valley to the stream below the pass. At this point route is moderate but turns into downhill glacier field with moraines and crevasses above it. Soon some vegetation starts to show up of herbal Himalayan plants. The camp III is achieved by the evening after a long tough day. Camp III is located near Tema river on a small meadow surrounded by the rocky mountains. This place is a decent site to halt a night. Watch colourful sunsets painting the sky and the bright morning light with cool breezes blowing aside.

Day 09

Camp III – Bardan Gompa (3,670m) (7-8hr.)

Start following the Tema river through rocks and scree. The day’s trek is less difficult than the previous trails. Trailing amidst meadows of wild flowers enchants one in middle of the pure nature. Since entered in the Zanskar valley the landscape gets arid and desolate geographically. This rocky terrain continues till we have a glance of a rough road. We follow a rough road track for 2km. to Bardan Gompa. This monastery is set on the top of riverside cliff and is famous for its 180cm. high mani prayer wheel. We set our camp at Bardan for the night halt.

Day 10

Bardan Gompa – Leh via Kargil (250km.)

Drive to leh 250km. passing through the Kargil valley. Spend the night in Leh city in a hotel.

Region: Manali,Lahul Valley,Ladakh and Kargial
Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days
Maximum Altitude : 5900 mtr
Season : Mid June to September
Accommodation: Hotel/Guesthouse; Organized Campsite
On Trek : All meals included

Things to Pack: 

  • Rucksack,
  • Cotton clothes,
  • Good trekking
  • Shoes,
  • A warm jacket,
  • Gloves,
  • Warmer, woolen cap covering head and ears,
  • UV rays protected sunglasses,
  • Raincoat,
  • Extra socks, 
  • Water bottle, torch,
  • Cold cream,
  • Sunscreen,
  • Toilet soap,
  • Towel,
  • Walking Stick
  • Medicines that you usually use.

What is included in the tour

  • Transport required in the trek
  • Highly advanced & certified mountaineering guide from Himalaya Destination
  • Skilled Guide who has ample knowledge of the route.
  • Vegetarian meals on the trek (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
  • Cooks/Helper and other requisite staff.
  • Porters/mules for carrying common equipments (like rations/tents/utensils/)
  • Equipments like tent, toilet tent etc.
  • Basic First aid Kit.
  • Forest Permits and camping charges.

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Personal Porters for carrying trekker’s backpacks
  • Personal trekking equipments – like trekking poles or sleeping bag liners
  • Personal insurance or cost of emergency evacuation
  • Purchases of personal natures (like mineral water bottles/bottled or canned beverages/chocolates/dry fruits etc)
  • Food to/from the trail head.

Address :

The Mall Road, Keylong, L&S., Himachal Pradesh, India