Skinners School - Ladakh’s Markha Valley

Our last day in India and a final photo with group 2 who are off sightseeing

Leaders: Carry Gibson and Karl Smith

Departing 7th and 8th July

25th July
A final roundup of photos from group 2.

21st July
We set off early this morning but unfortunately our flight was delayed from Leh, then a power line had come down on the road. Luckily I think the delays were to our advantage and we arrived at the Taj Mahal at sunset, it was beautiful but still very hot and humid. Lots of photos taken, we have now been out for dinner and are very thankful for the air conditioning in the hotel.

20th July
Karl has sent us a roundup of group 2 photos and group one have now arrived in Delhi and en route to the Taj Mahal.

19th July
The trip has went very well we have had on the whole good health and the boys have been very strong. We are back in Leh and have met up a couple of times with group 2 they are also enjoying themselves and will meet us in Leh tomorrow night where we will celebrate our achievements with pizza.

The trip highlight so far was the Gongmaru la 5200m our summit. The day started all misted in and we had hailstones but then as we approached the top of the pass the sun came out, the clouds cleared and we were rewarded with amazing views. All of the students were impressed by the view it was extra special as it seem to be unveiled in front of our eyes.

The walk down was just as stunning lots of hopping backwards and forwards across the river and then along the trails weaving through the rock valley. We even got to see the mountain goats not too high above us. Over the trip the boys have made many new friends; at the schools and monasteries and especially with our guide Andy (nagaw dorje) and his staff. There has been frisbee rugby and card schools all at high altitude perhaps we even set some records.

11th July
All packed and ready for the first day of trekking, boys all feeling good.

10th July
Today we went on an acclimatisation walk to the Stupa . There were lots of steps – 558 altogether so we had to stop a few time. It is stunning, so white against the background of the blue sky. Weather is hot even though there are a few clouds. Everyone is getting excited now for the trek so this afternoon is spent last minute shopping and then some packing. We leave tomorrow at 730 am to make the drive to the start of the trek where unfortunately we will loose wifi and mobile signal so there will be no photos until the trek finishes when I’m sure we will have lots to share ?

9th July
Yesterday we went to the monastery and then to the school where the monks are taught. The boys learned about the wheel of life and then learned about meditation before they meditated for 5 mins. They then did drawings and maths with the monks and played basketball before giving gifts.

8th July
We have arrived safe and well with all our luggage. Hotel Mansarover is very nice and we have had breakfast and lunch so far which has been very tasty. Some of the boys have had a sleep this morning and this afternoon we are going to the market. Today is a lazy day as we acclimatise to our altitude here at 3500m. Wifi is intermittent so we will continue to its as long as we can. On the trek itself this will be difficult until we get to the high pass.

7th July
All ready to go!

Trek overview

An awe inspiring flight from Delhi to Leh takes you up and away from the monsoon clouds that shroud the southern side of the Himalaya at this time of year. Descending to the dramatic runway below Leh you may get an impression of a stark and inhospitable land. Yet the clear crisp air and warm friendly welcome from the mainly Buddhist population alongside the beauty of the town, with its colourful markets nestled beneath the old Royal Palace, give the traveller an exciting taste of the trek to come.

Trekking in the Markha Valley is experiencing Ladakh at its best. We access this strikingly attractive valley via an exciting cable bridge over the Zanskar River. The trail criss-crosses several delightful streams along the Markha valley where we overnight in tents under the stars. Above Markha the trail ascends steadily through high pastureland, passing prayer carved mani walls to the last day of the trek where we climb to the 5100m Kongmaru La, before descending to the impressive monastery at Hemis, passing towering walls of red sandstone that surround the greenery of isolated villages.

Back in Leh we visit the ‘highest motorable road in the world’ before flying back to Delhi and visiting the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra (for the Taj Mahal) and the pink city of Jaipur.

Carrie Gibson

About Carrie Gibson

Carrie Gibson has traveled on many of our expeditions including Everest North Ridge, Denali, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Island Peak & Ama Dablam. Carrie is also the first British woman to summit Himlung Himal.

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