TREKKING THE MIDLE PATH : HEMIS - PADUM VIA THE JUNLAM
Isolated far into the mountain. No village for one week. Take this route in dry weather. Sustained rain could leave you stranded in a gorge. Many rivers to be crossed. The best period is from mid-august to end of September. Allow 10 days.
Day 1st : Hemis to Shang-sumdo, 3 hrs
From the village of hemis, go down towards martselang, then follow a track suitable for motor traffic. Go up a valley, which is fairly narrow in places, then walk along the riverbed as far as shang-sumdo . Good campsite nears a house. Several river to cross.
Day 2nd: Shang-Sumdo to Lartse Kungmuru-la 3hrs
Above the village, take a path along the slope through red rock. Then, back down to the riverbed. From chukurmo on, the track leads onto gorges. Ontwo stretches horses must be unloaded. Several rivers to cross. Leave the gorge and go into the pass. Camp in lartse kungmuru-la near a low wall, room for 4 tents (4800m).
Day 3rd: Lartse kungmuru-la to campsite of the Langtang chu, 7hrs
From the cmp, steep ascent as far as the kungmurula (5200m). from the pass spectacular of the northern face of the kangyetse peak ( 6400m). easy descent to the most beautiful high valley in ladakh. From nimaling, pass the ridge (5000m) behind the camping-site, go down into a beautiful small valley, then cross a second ridge (5000m) and go along the rocky northwest slope on the kangyatse as far as the Langtangchu flows. Several campsites further uphill.
Day 4th: Langtangchu to Zhalung-karpo south in the camp Zhalung-Karpo, 8hrs.
Go up in this valley. Cross a large stream and a manoric wall. Carry on until the valley divides. Take right-hand valley as far as the top of the Zhalung-karpo ( 5200m), 5 hrs. from the top, go down a ridge toward a second pass then go down a steep rocky slope as far as beautiful valley which curves slightly to the left. Carry on through a gorge until a grassy, flat area camp.
Day 5th: South camp in the Zalungkarpo-la to Tilut sumdo, 6 hrs.
From the camp, go down toward the stream, which flows, on the left. It is a broad trench with large stones. Go at first through this trench, then onto a flat above and on the left. After 4 hrs you arrive at a valley which from the right and leads to the Ruberung-la. A little ways on, go to left bank and into a quite beautiful gorge 3 hrs in this gorge, sometime on a path which I rough for the horses. Further on, the gorge opens up. Go onto the left bank of the river. Another 2 hrs and several and crossing lead to Tilut sumdo.
Day 6th: Tilut sumdo to North camp of the Charchar-la, 8 hrs
From the camp, cross the Jangchu into a vary narrow valley just across the Tilut sumdo. After 2 hrs, pass a canyon on the right bank, continue on the left bank, then on the right bank, pass a major valley on the right bank 3 hrs, a third valley on the right bank then a bit further on, camping site possibility ( 4200m). the valley narrows and crossing the streams becomes easier. Go up a small steep slope on the right bank. The path becomes narrower and the going harder. Ta the next junction take then canyon on the right, pass a small comb, a further 2 hrs in a gully before arriving in a valley. Follow the stream that turns slightly to the left. A little ways on, go up left bank onto a flat above a trench. Protected campsite (44,00m).
Day 7th: north camp of the charcha-la to zangla sumdo, 4 hrs
Go to the stream. Enter several impressive gorges where the horses have to be unsaddled several times. After the third narrowing, leave the stream, which flow toward the left, and go up a gentle, which flows toward the left, and go up a gentle slope. Easy going to the Charcha-la ( 4900m). from the pass,(900m) dizzy descent into the fallen rock. Go toward the left, cross a canyon. Carrying on along the streams as far as junction with a large river, which come from the left. Good campsite in Zangla Sumda(3800m).
Day 8th: zangla sumdo to zangla, 4 hrs.
Go down along the river, sometime on the right. Further on, the valley open up. Then, when it really turn to the right, cross it onto the right side, you arrived at a house and several fields. Carrying on the right side, then gradually up as far as the Zangla castle. A further half an hrs you arrive at the village of Zangla.
Day 9th: zangla to padum, 7 hrs other two possibilities.
Follow the river bank of the Zanskar river until reaching the hanging bridge of Zangla, then cross the bank, then easy going toward Rinam and Karsha 4 hrs, from there another hanging bridge over the Doda lead to Padum in 4 hrs.
Follow the trail, which is suitable for motor traffic on the right bank of ten Zanskar via Tsazar and Thongde. Overnight in Thongde then 4 hrs to Padum.
LADAKHINSIGHT TRAVEL Fort Road, (near Dolphin restaurant) Leh-Ladakh J&K India 194101