Hike Skyu - Chilling

Hike Skyu - Chilling

The way to the confluence of Markha with

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Rating:Good
Overcrowding: Average
Difficulty: Below average
Time: 3:30 h

Markha trek 10: If you set out for a shorter version of Markha trek, so you can expect only the last walking stage from Skyu to Chilling already lying at the mighty river Zanskar. You can expect a relatively easy and picturesque stage with an unexpected ascent to the last pass Kuki la and the way across Zanskar in a primitive cable car as the final icing on the cake.
 

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Fields behind Skyu

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The first part of this trekking stage leads along the fields of barley to less than one kilometer distant village Kaya (3 300 m asl). On the horizon rises jagged massif, already situated across the river Zanskar. You will be admiring its panorama during the whole today's walk.

 

Fields behind Skyu

Path above the canyon of the river Markh

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Leave the first village in the valley Kayu after half an hour of comfortable journey from Skyu and before you'll be only the uninhabited arid area. You will also see the first refreshment tea tent, from where is a nice view of further continuation of your journey. Markha river disappears in a wild canyon and the path leads high above it.

 

Path above the canyon of the river Markh

Outĺook at the confluence of Zanskar wit

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During the walk over the canyon sometimes opens up a nice view. The path leads around a hundred vertical meters above the valley bottom. After a while you come across the attempt for a road into Markha valley.

 

Outĺook at the confluence of Zanskar wit

View of the canyon of Zanskar

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Finally, the view of the confluence opens. Markha looks just like a tiny creek compared with Zanskar. The entire canyon of Zanskar looks impressive, although a road is built here. But it will take a long time before they get to Padum. Nowadays is the canyon passable only a few days in the winter, when locals organize here world famous Chadar trek across the frozen river with spending the night in caves.
 

View of the canyon of Zanskar

Path in the direction Kuki la

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The road drops in nine twists to Zanskar, but where is the bridge torn down (so maybe the reason why is the project for the road to Markha valley suspended). Our journey, however, traverses the upland plain to the last ascent on this trek – to the pass Kuki la. Along the way is another tea tent, where you can buy some food. Be aware that it takes here about hour and a half from Skyu.

 

Path in the direction Kuki la

View from Kuki la

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After overcoming nearly two hundred vertical meters in switchbacks you finally get to the top of the mountain Kuki la (3 440 m asl), where you will be welcomed by fluttering flags. In fact, it's just the end of another upland plateau. From the top is nicely visible far down of the river Zanskar.

View from Kuki la

Walk along the upland plain

The journey through the upland plain goes by very quickly. The views are of the jagged mountains across the river. There is not much to see from the canyon itself, only the road occasionally peeks out.

 

Walk along the upland plain

Before Chilling

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Once you cross the upland plain, panorama of the oasis of Chilling appears in front of you. From there starts another famous trek Chilling – Lamayuru, so you can theoretically combine them. The cable car itself is a few hundred meters away from the village. It is also the starting point for rafting.
 

Before Chilling

Cable car over Zanskar

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Cable car ride is a kind of adrenaline experience. You will be on the tackle in a crate over more than 60 meters wide wild river. It certainly does not meet any safety standards, but it works for decades.

 

Cable car over Zanskar

Driving through the canyon of river Zans

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On the other side of the river you must hope that you will stop a car either here or in Chilling. If you set out from Skyu early in the morning, your chances are high, because you will certainly encounter taxis driving here tourists or rafters from Leh. The 25 km long ride through the canyon is great. The canyon itself is really beautiful, rugged rocky and arid. The road is narrow and without barriers, so if your driver is sports-based, it's also quite an adrenaline experience.

Driving through the canyon of river Zans


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