Summits of the Nubra Valley
- A truly remote trek including two summits just shy of 6,000m
- Explore the Himalayas far away from the crowds
- Trek through the Nubra Valley, only recently opened to the public
- Spend two weeks under the stars in mountain tents
- See another side of the Himalayas
- Visit the Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world
This unique trek takes you to a region of the Himalayas which has remained unexplored until recently – the province of Ladakh. Tucked between Pakistan and Tibet in the northeast of the Himalayan Range, Ladakh is one of the most remote areas of India. We enter this region through the Nubra Valley (the valley of flowers), which lies high between the Ladakh Mountains and the Karakorams, at 3,048m.
The Summits of the Nubra Valley expedition leads you to the rarely-climbed peaks of the Nubra valley, deep and narrow gorges and the beautiful meadow-land of the Thanglasgo valley. All the while we are surrounded by towering 6,000m peaks of the Indian Himalayas, and we enjoy spectacular views of the Karakoram Mountains, the Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges from the summits of Dawa peak (5890m) and Samgyal N (5810m).
What to expect
Our approach trek leads us along the river and gorge north along the valley, and climbing up through the Palzampiu valley for 3 days, we leave all civilisation behind. The logistics, getting acclimatised, and establishing ourselves with the necessary kit and support high enough to make our summit bids, are the focus of the next days. The summits of Samgyal N and Dawa peak will be the objective of our expedition. The high-meadow valley of Thanglasgo leads us back over the Lasermo La Pass to civilisation.
The trekking portion of the trip takes 10 days and is fully catered with cooks, porters, dining tent, sleeping tent, and simple toilet facilities. The trek is designed to be challenging enough to feel you have earned your home-cooked meal each evening, while remaining manageable for those who have not previously been to high altitude.
Fitness requirements and experience
Ladakh is a harsh landscape and getting to the top of the summits involves steep scree slopes, boulder field and exposure. The higher tops are covered in glaciers. Summiting the 6,000m peaks will be a serious test of fitness and endurance to complete an 8-10 hour day. However, as the long duration of the trip allows for good acclimatisation and a thorough training schedule, this expedition is only rated at Exped Grade 2. The climbs are technically straightforward – no previous mountaineering skills are needed as all will be taught during the trip.
All that is needed is a good basic fitness to complete multi-day trekking for an average of 6-8 hours. Generally, you should be comfortable spending multiple days out on the hill, carrying a 6kg bag. Prior to the trip we will run a Training Course, where you will learn all the skills necessary for this expedition.
Depart UK and arrive in India (Delhi)
A flight out of Delhi in the mornings takes us far into the mountains, north of the river Indus to the ancient town of Leh (3,524m altitude). Located some 3,500m above the valley, Leh is surrounded by the impressive Himalayan peaks we will be exploring in the coming days. Transfer to hotel and rest for acclimatisation.
Acclimatisation day in Leh and plenty of time to explore the town. With its typical mud-brick houses, alleyways and markets, and the ruin of Leh Palace, it is the perfect setting from where to begin our journey.
Depart Leh, heading north via the Khardungla Pass (5,596m), the highest motorised road in India. As the 4x4s edge their way down the pass, incredible views of the entire Indus Valley and numerous peaks lie before us. Along the way we have the opportunity to see some of the religious ancestry of the region with a visit to some of the monasteries and an enormous shrine used by the Dalai Lama in the summer time. Finish in Hundar, a tiny rural village located at the base of the Shyok River Valley.
Hunda (3200m) to Skarchen camp (3650m). Our first day of trekking leads along the river and through an impressive gorge, narrow and steep at times before opening up to a grand scale at the highest point between Hundar and Skarchen. We reach our desert camp in Skarchen after 4-5 hours of trekking.
Skarchen to Wachan (4000) a summer pasture in the shadow of huge mountains. We continue through the gorge for a short while, then trek along green fields and plantations standing out against the sandy valleys, where we reach the small settlement of Wachan. Overnight in camp.
Wachan to BC (4,500m). We now climb gently up through the Palzampiu valley, a beautiful sandy valley with towering peaks all around. Following the river at first and then the broad grassy slopes to our base camp, we feel like we are million miles away from civilization. With views to the Saser Kangri range in the eastern Karakorum this must be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Rest day and acclimatisation. Let your body rest and take a wander down to a small river for a swim and for meeting the local marmots.
Move up to Samgyal N advanced base camp at 5000m.
Samgyal N (5810m)summit day. Early start, making our way up rocky bands to the foot of the glacier. On the glacier we move up to a steepening slope and across to the summit ridge, which we follow to the summit, where we are met with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Descend to ABC for Dawa peak (4950m).
Rest day to prepare for our summit attempt the next day.
Dawa summit day. Very early start, heading up the rocky valley to the base of the glacier. From here we continue along the glacier until we are funneled into the head-wall of Dawa peak. We ascend steeply to the summit ridge, from where we head up steeply again to arrive on the small summit of Dawa peak. Here we enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains before heading down again to base camp for another night. The climb is not technical but requires the use of ice axe and crampons. (5890m)
Spare summit day.
Today’s trek takes us through the valley of Thanglasgo. Enclosed by the towering walls of 6,000m peaks, we climb gradually across green pastures, and keep following a small stream for about 4-5 hours. The surrounding grasslands are grazing grounds for the summer herds of yaks and dzomos. We reach camp, looking up onto Samgyal north and south from the other side of the mountain.
We follow the river up the high-meadow valley on a gradual climb to the Lasermo La Pass. A good trail winds its way through alpine meadows with glistening streams and yaks bathing in the water. We overnight in camp at the base of the pass (5550m). 4-5 hours walking.
We leave the pastures early in the morning to climb to the snowline and moraine rocks at the top of the Lasermo La Pass. (2-3 hours) Here we enjoy views of the Karakoram Mountains and the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, before making our descend down to Morubuk. Transfer back to Leh where we enjoy celebratory drinks and showers.
Flight back to Delhi where you can choose to extend your stay. Spend the night in Delhi at a very nice hotel, which will feel well-earned after our adventures in Ladakh.
Depart India for the UK.
This expedition is to a very remote part of India. Safety is paramount because of this. Handheld satellite phones are illegal in this area, but there are in-situ satellite phones along the itinerary. As well as this, we carry a personal location beacon (PLB) for use in extreme situations.
Joining a trip to remote parts of the Himalayas, trekking for about 6-8 hours on an average a day, and still being able to keep up the pace and motivation requires some attention to equipment. We have provided a kit list on the trip PDF, but we are here to answer any questions and help you choose the right equipment. Our pre-expedition training course is designed to give you time to get to know your equipment before setting out on your trip.
We provide nutritious expedition food for each participant for all the days trekking. It will be enough calories for the trip, but if you feel like having some extra snacks, please feel free to bring it.
We provide locally sourced fresh food cooked by our expedition team. Our selection of food to choose from is based on long experience where energy, taste and also preparation are key factors.
Please let us know if you have special needs or concerns regarding food or nutrition, we will do our best to help.
While all of our itineraries have an emphasis on skills and personal development, we regard training in the pre-expedition phase as highly important. This is why it is part of our trip package. Helping our clients gain confidence in themselves and their abilities is something we take very seriously. Our training courses are the reason why our groups are strong and close-knit, and have a strong track record of reaching the expedition goals.
The pre-expedition training course is designed to provide you with all the skills and information necessary to succeed on your trip and enjoy the experience. The training course will take you out into the mountains of the Lake District or the Cairngorms, where you have the opportunity to test and get to know your equipment.
Qualified British Guide on every trip
All our treks have qualified and experienced leaders, hand-picked for individual itineraries. We are lucky to have a team of highly competent and trusted guides working for us who are dedicated to keeping on top of best practice and have extensive experience in their respective fields.
Personalised support and attention to detail are what set us apart! This starts with your first email or call to our office, through the numerous questions, looking after you the mountain and to the next adventure. What matters most is that you feel comfortable with us on your trip, not just safety-wise, but on a personal level. Meeting you in our office for a coffee and a chat, or introducing our guides on our training courses is a big part of this.
Unlike many of the bigger companies, we offer continuity throughout all expedition phases – we make sure that you get used to the same face throughout. Assigning one guide as main contact for every meeting and training session will make things easier for you, and gives plenty of time for group members to get familiar with their main expedition leaders.
We believe that group size is one of the most important factors determining the kind of experience you will have. Smaller group sizes give us the flexibility to meet individual goals and expectations and work more closely with each client. However, we are happy to work with larger groups by special arrangement.
Exped Adventure has a perfect safety record, with access to remote medical support. Additionally, Exped’s director is trained as a Wilderness Medical Technician. Safety on our expeditions is our highest priority. Where appropriate, we carry satellite phones, pulse oximeters, oxygen, gamow bags and expedition first aid kits. Our leaders are medically trained and experienced with polar, high altitude and remote conditions. We have invested in additional safety appliances such as a PLB and Spot Device.
Best route and itinerary
From remote mountain tops to polar crossings – we’ve been there and done it. We are out there on recce-trips, researching new destinations, and pushing outside our own comfort zone, to make sure every trip we offer is tried and tested. For most of our expeditions, our guides will leave early to check the conditions before our clients arrive.
Our aim is to help our clients gain confidence in themselves and their abilities. All of our itineraries have an emphasis on skills and personal development, and we regard training in the pre-expedition phase as highly important. This is why it is part of our trip package. Our training courses are the reason why our groups are strong and close-knit, and have a strong track record of reaching the expedition goals.
Exped Adventure Worldwide is insured for all of our international treks. Our partner Nomadic Travels offers ATOL and ABTA protected flights.
• All meals and accommodation through-out.
• Food, Fuel and cooking equipment whilst on the mountain.
• Permit fees, charges, importation taxes and levies payable to the
Local Authorities in connection with the expedition
• Park fees as appropriate
• Medical safety equipment and supplies
• Road transfer to and from in-country airport
• Expedition team leader and in-country guides.
• Access to out RMS team of doctors (See Safety Standards for more information.)
• Training course
What’s not included
• Travel to and from UK airport.
• International flights and taxes (Delhi and Leh)
• Personal equipment (We hire most things)
• Travel insurance (please see the insurance page for more info on this)
• Drinks and personal spending when out of the mountains
• Tips for staff
• Visas (UK nationals need a visa before entry into India upon booking
an info pack will be sent out to you on how to proceed.)
• Personal use of communication equipment
• Internal flights to Leh
• Departure tax and inoculations
We can organise this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.
We advise you to take out your insurance as soon as you book your trip. Insurance which covers mountain rescue, evacuation and medical expenses is essential, and we will require a copy of your insurance prior to departure. For advice on best policies get in touch.
We offer a list of items for rental during the trip. We also offer great deals on a range of these items if you order through us. Additionally, our clients receive a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor on all kit. Our equipment list will inform you about the function of each piece of equipment, and makes sure you are well equipped for your trip. Don’t cut corners on the quality of your gear.