Kang Yatse 2 is one of the high altitude summits that provide 360 degrees views of the Himalayas. It is rated as a difficult graded trek, even though climbers have rated this trek easier when compared to Stok kangri. From the summit, you get to see Stok Kangri, K2, Broad peak, Gasherbrum massif, followed by other peaks and ranges of the Karakoram range.
The Kang Yatse mountain is situated towards the ending point of the Markha valley, just before Kaongmaru La. This falls under the Hemis National park. Kang Yatse has 2 summits – Kang Yatse 1(6500 meters) and Kang Yatse 2 (6200 meters). Kang Yatse 1 is a technical peak where you require technical climbing equipment and relevant mountaineering experience. For kang Yatse 2 you do not require mountaineering experience, however you still need the gear & equipment. Kang Yatse 2 is a non- technical summit.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
As we have gained altitude today by either taking a flight into Leh else riding or driving, we will need to rest for the day. Later in the evening we have a briefing session where the team members discuss the plan of action for the entire trek.
After a healthy breakfast, we step out for an acclimatization walk. We would trek for nearly 3 to 4 kms in total and return. Later in the day we step out to the local market for our last minute shopping for our trek.
We start our day early today. We drive to the starting point of the trek Skiu, in the transport managed by the team. We cross the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, magnetic hill, Sangam point (confluence of Indus) and Chilling. Since 2019, the road from Chilling to Skiu has been constructed so we’ll continue our drive towards Skiu. From here we start the trek towards Sara.
It is an easy trek for the day. We trek for nearly 4hours and reach Sara.
Sara to Markha is not a very difficult trek. It involves a flat walk without steep climbs or descents. The trail passes through small villages. 3 to 4 hours of trekking and we reach Markha.
Markha is a beautiful village with nearly 15 to 16 houses. There is a ruined fort next in the valley that is at a 20mins short hike. Also make sure to visit the Markha monastery. It is not as big as the other monasteries in Leh, however it is beautiful.
We trek alongside the river to head for Hankar. We cross Umlung (small village with 5 to 6 houses) and near it lays the Techa gompa over a cliff. If we are good on time, we can visit this monastery.
We start our day post breakfast. We will cross Tachungtse which will be the mid-point of today’s trek. We trek today at a slower pace compared to the other days as we are in the high altitude zone. Nimaling is one of those campsites that gets really cold in the nights, so it’s important to layer well post sunset.
Today’s trek is not a long one, yet it is a challenging day. We gain altitude of a little over 1000 feet in a span of 2 to 3 hours. We need to ensure to keep hydrating and to trek at a comfortable pace.
On reaching the camp, we step out for a short acclimatization walk. This would be post rest and tea in the evening.
We have a team briefing today after breakfast where team Wanderers will allocate the technical & safety equipment to all the trekkers. How to put them on and use them will be showed over a practical demo. We step out as a team for this activity.
The purpose of this activity is for us to get used to these equipment. We spend adequate time in this yet not too much as we need to rest as well. In the second half of the day we pack our day packs/sacks and get prepared for the midnight. We have our dinner early and sleep.
Just at about midnight we get up and head for the summit. (Depending upon the overall pace of the team these timings might change). We take packed lunch along with munchies and fill our bottles with hot water for the climb. It is a 3000 feet ascent to the summit. We plan to reach the summit by 6.30am. Beautiful 360 degrees views of the Karakoram and Zanskar ranges add on to the celebration and excitement of making it to the summit. After spending adequate time to the top, we start our descent. We need to ensure to trek down carefully as the scree and moraines make our route slippery. We need to make sure to get to the KY2 base by 1.30pm, in order to avoid chances of getting stuck in bad weather. On reaching the camp we have hot lunch and celebrate our summit effort. Rest well after this day’s exhausting trek.
We start our day by retracing our steps to Nimaling. From Nimaling we have a climb of nearly 1200 feet towards the Kongmaru La. It would take us 3 to 4 hours to get to the pass. On reaching the pass, we get to see Kang Yatse 2 and the Zanskar peaks. Once we start the descent, we get amazing views of the Indus valley along with Ladakh ranges. This route will be steep and rocky. On reaching, we board the vehicles waiting for us (managed by team Wanderers) and get to Leh. Closing session in the evening after which we can step out to the market for some shopping.
We keep this as a spare day just in case it needs to be used. The decision of utilizing the buffer day will be taken by the trek lead post discussion with the group, as this has an additional cost of INR 3500 per trekker.
If not utilized on the trek, you can do some local sight seeing for this day or simply relax and enjoy the local markets and cafes in Leh.
After breakfast, we check out, until next time.