Location ✦ Karzok
Region ✦ Ladakh
Country ✦ India
Difficulty ✦ D
Max altitude ✦ 5410m
Duration ✦ 6 days (including rest)
Interest ✦ ★★★
Access to the place
July 18 and 19: Dat (4350m) to Tso Kar (4615m)
Transfer from Dat to the banks of the Tso Kar via the Yar La pass (4950m). Great scenery, return on the main road from Leh to Manali, stop at the local "routier". From the Tso Kar camp, a beautiful jaunt to reach the salty shores of the lake and short climbs on the surrounding 5000m, just to keep up the pace.
July 20: Tso Kar (4615m) to Nuruchan (4685m)
A transitional stage, flat on the whole, which simply skirts around the Tso Kar and then begins to descend into the opposite valley to the village of Nuruchan, at the foot of the 1st pass. If we had to do it again, it would be preferable to pass the small pass to camp on the other side in excellent conditions. Arriving early at camp, we take the opportunity to have a little 5200 and get some height. Exceptional view of the road we've travelled and the Tso Kar in the distance.
July 21: Nuruchan (4695m) to Gyama Ihoma (5195m) via Hongka La (4920m), Kyamayuru La (5410m) and Gyamabarma La (5400m)!
Big day, 8h of walking and between 5000 and 5400m of ascent. The 1st pass is gentle and gradual. We emerge into an enchanted valley where a magnificent torrent flows through greenery. Further up, you come across nomads, including a vintage replica of Samuel Jackson. The 2nd pass is long, with an absolutely exhausting finale. Behind, a new infinite valley and splendid snowy vistas. Finally, the 3rd pass, a shoulder to cross, is the hardest of the day, and we finish by counting the steps between each stop to catch our breath... The camp is even further away, at 5195m, at the foot of the last pass of the following day.
July 22: Gama Ihoma (5195m) to Karzok (4520m)
The ascent of this last pass is actually quite easy, very gradual, and we emerge with an aerial view of the Tso Moriri as we climb the domes overlooking the valley at some 5520m. At around 6500m, the Mentoks I and II ranges are covered in snow, and you can see almost the entire blue surface, some 40km in length. After descending 1,000m, crossing a band of kiwis on bikes and crossing another endless plain, we finally reach the final pass: the village of Karzok.
July 23 and 24: Karzok (4520m) to Leh (3520m)
After a day's exploration around the lake, magnificent views of the reflective surface of the translucent but too-cold waters of the Tso Moriri, the return by jeep is quite epic. 6 hours of more or less rough road and the descent of the Indus river valley, a festival of colored rocks, we find Leh and the cow floor of Ladakh.