Parang La Trek
Aquaterra lead one of the first commercial crossings when this amazing region opened in 1994. This remote trail follows the traditional trade route between the people of Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. The Parang La Trek begins in the high altitude meadows of Kibber, breeding ground of the famous Spiti horses and also known to be Snow Leopard Country.
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeTrekking
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Medium Group
Aquaterra lead one of the first commercial crossings when this amazing region opened in 1994.
This remote trail follows the traditional trade route between the people of Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. The Parang La Trek begins in the high altitude meadows of Kibber, breeding ground of the famous Spiti horses and also known to be Snow Leopard Country. A challenging trek for the enthusiastic walker in one of the more spectacular areas of Ladakh recently open.
The trail descends the Kibber gorge and then climbs over the Parang la (5600 mtrs), the source of the Pare Chu river, the only one of its kind to have its source in India, flow into Tibet and enter the country again in Spiti. Across the pass, brings one to an almost incredible change of scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang, known for the abundance of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass).
For the last two days, we camp by spectacular campsites, one being on the southern edge of the Tso Moriri (15,000ft), a high altitude lake 27 kms long and nearly 8 km wide. This lake is also the breeding ground for the bar-headed geese, black-necked crane and the Brahminy ducks. We also visit one of the Changpa settlements in a bowl high above Karzog, where they breed pashmina, one of the trade items to over these high passes.
DELHI – MANALI (2050M)
Arrive at ISBT Kashmiri Gate by 8pm to board the bus to Manali. The Volvo Semi – Sleeper bus takes 13 hours to reach our destination. Board waiting vehicles to drive to our lodge away from the bustle of the city at Haripur – 15km away.
MANALI – OAKWOOD CHALET, HARIPUR (2050M)
Meet with your guide and staff for the trip. Acclimatisation and last minute shopping. Take a few short walks around the village to keep yourself active.
MANALI – KAZA (HOTEL) (3700M)
We start the drive by 7am, drive over Rohtang Pass (4000m) and Kunzum La (4590m) and continue on a rough road to Kaza. We follow the Chandra River upstream until Kunzum La and then follow the Spiti river to Kaza.
ACCLIMATISATION DAY IN KAZA (3700M)
After breakfast, we drive to Dhankar Monastery. Visit the monastery and then trek 1.5hrs to reach the Dhankar Lake (4136m). Spend some time at the lake and return to Kaza in the late afternoon.
ACCLIMATISATION DAY IN KAZA (3700M)
After breakfast, we drive to Langza village. Visit the village and walk and take in great views of Chau Cau Kang Nilda. Spend some time at the village with a shot hike, and return to Kaza in the late afternoon.
KAZA - KIBBER - DUMLA (4200M)
We drive for about 45 mnutes to reach the Kye Monastery. View the morning prayers and drive onward to the road head for our trek. Today is a short walk through gradual slopes. We camp next to a small stream in the Chicham fields.
DUMLA - THALTAK (4600M)
A gradual ascent of approx. 400m brings us to a vast plateau above the Thaltak Meadows. Harsh, stark beauty all around today with great views of Kanamo Peak en route. We descend from the plateau to camp in the bowl shaped meadows.
THALTAK – BONGROJEN (5100M)
A relatively long day today. We start with a steep descent into the Paralungbi Gorge, follow it upstream to Jagtha, and start climbing up on the scree laden path to the base of Parang La.
BONGROJEN – DAK KARZONG (PASS DAY) (4900M)
After an early breakfast, start the climb to the top of the pass. The walk is gradual at firstand then turns steep in the last 2 hours. From the top, view the peaks of Ladakh, the Changthang valley, the Parilungi peak and the source of the Pare Chu River. Cross over to the wide, undulating plains of Ladakh. We descend onto the glacier and carefully make our way across a few river crossings before we reach camp
DAK KARZONG - DATANG YONGMA (4775M)
We continue on the wide plains of the Changthang on a wide trail. We camp on the left bank of the Pare Chu river bed. The days get easier as we lose altitude.
DATANG YONGMA - RACHOLAMO (4600M)
Another day of walking on similar terrain reaching Racholamo in the mid-afternoon. Lots of time to take in the surroundings and take some wide sweeping pictures of the majestic plains.
RACHOLAMO - CHUMIK SHILDE (4540M)
We start the day early to ford the Norbu Sumdo River and across to Chumik Shilde. Norbu Sumdo was the meeting ground of kings from both sides – Ladakh and Spiti. The river goes onward to flow in Tibet. We cross the river and trek on till we reach one of the most beautiful campsites on this trail – spring water and meadows with plenty of grass and wild flowers all around. We get our first views of the Tso Moriri from Chumik Shilde.
CHUMIK SHILDE - KIANGDOM (4500M)
Walk across mostly flat land to reach the edges of the lake. The camp is named after the Kiangs (wild Tibetan asses) that roam uninhibitedly here. The lake is a nesting ground for many rare migratory birds.
KIANGDOM EXPLORATION /CONTINGENCY DAY (4600M)
Relaxed day to read, sleep, walk by the lake. Lots of birding opportunities near the shores of the lake. With the twin peaks of Chamsher(6622m) and Lungser Kangri (6666 m) acting as backdrop to the lake, it makes an amazing sight.
KIANGDOM - KARZOG - LEH (240KM; 10 hrs
A long day to drive out by dirt track to Karzog and then onwards to Leh to reach by late evening.
LEH HOTEL - LEH AIRPORT
After an early breakfast, drive to the airport for your flight. An incredible one hour flight over the greater Himalayas with spectacular views of K2 (8611 m) among others. Arrive Delhi. Trip ends!
We believe that along with the privilege of adventure in the Himalaya comes a serious responsibility, the responsibility to protect and contribute to its ecology, cultures and its tremendous beauty. The “Leave No Trace” philosophy is followed to the letter and we work to minimize the environmental impact of our trips. We are scrupulous in our camping, cooking and sanitation practices; we limit the number of trekkers we allow to join us on our trips and the number of trips we lead in a given area.
In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else.
Please take a few minutes to read the following:
The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.
Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardiovascular sort contributing to improved endurance – helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.
Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.
Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.
Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: “ the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’
In other words – be safe.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.
Grading of Trips
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
- Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
- Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
- Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
- Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at email@example.com to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).
Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.
Leh-Del (Airfare) Extra
Cost includes: Train fare, all transfers in a non AC SUV as per the itinerary above, transfer of trek staff and supplies to and from the trek start & finish points, hotels in Leh, guest houses / fixed camps at other places on Twin Sharing Basis, breakfast & dinner at hotels, all permits for the tour, a guide for all monastery sightseeing in Leh, and an escort to accompany on all drives outside Leh, all meals on the trek, camp staff, guide, porterage of upto 15 kgs of personal baggage, cook, support vehicle, tented accommodation on twin share, all common camping and trekking equipment, sanctuary fee, royalty, permits.
Sleeping bag, items of personal clothing, expenses of a personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, insurance, camera fee and any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Booking conditions: All bookings are subject to availability of space at Camp. We book space on a 100% advance. All payments by wire transfer, cash or cheque/draft in favor of “Aquaterra Adventures (I) Pvt. Ltd.”
Tips & Gratuities: Our recommendation is a minimum 5-10% of your trip cost for tips to be distributed amongst the team that makes your adventure safe and successful. This includes drivers, guides, cook, kitchen team, porters and horsemen. Of course, this remains a personal choice.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply on cancellation:
- if cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit
- will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 77 ; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
- if cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the
- tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip); and
- if cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.
Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.
The tour price is quoted as a package. No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.