The Greater Himalayan Range is a most formidable barrier between Zanskar and the valleys to the south, a natural frontier for more than just the sides of the valleys. It is a frontier for the monsoon which is broken up on the peaks and exhausted before it reaches Zanskar. Consequently, either side has its own distinctive vegetation and climate. It is a frontier for the inhabitants who are racially, culturally, and religiously worlds apart. It is a frontier which marks differences in the very mountains themselves – by Luke Hughes
Unlike the others, high passes Kang La, Poat La, Shingo La. The Umasi La also is the Southern entrance to Zanskar, situated at the Great Himalayan Range in between Kishtwar and Zanskar. This trek offers one of the spectacular routes.
Setting off from Gulabgarh we follow a well define trail through Oak and conifer forest and pass numbers of beautiful villages with traditional Paddari home i.e., Garh, Kundel, Chishoti, Jashail, etc. Crossing Machail the Buddhist culture starts to appear which has close links with Zanskari for centuries. After Suncham we trek beneath the Kishtwar Shivling 5935 meters and camp in beautiful vast alpine meadows. Taking on the left steep ascent towards hanging valley through boulder, rocks, moraine and then long glacier to beneath the huge rock which has a huge cave mostly used by Paddari and Zanskari people for an overnight shelter for next day early crossing of Umasi La. After crossing large ice and snowfield arrive at a tiny corridor – Umasi La at the edge of the rock wall. Steep descent through loose rocks and moraine to the long glacier to the natural bridge. Then long descend along the stream and crossing it to Dzonkhul gompa road head finally. You will be driven to Ating and Padum.
NOTE: To do the Umasi La trek – one must have experience of high-altitude trek above 5000m.
Day 1: Manali – Rohtang pass (3978m) – Udaipur – Sach – Kilar.
Day 2: Kilar – Gulabgarh (1850m).
Day 3: Trek to Chishot (2400m).
Day 4: Trek to Machail (2750m).
Day 5: Dharlang valley exploration.
Day 6: Trek to Jashail -Suncham (3200m) – Suncham doksa (3400m).
Day 7: Trek to Khachey Phangsa.
Day 8: Trek to Base (5000m).
Day 9: Trek to Umasila (5342m / 17300ft) – Gwara.
Day 10: Trek to Dzonkhul, drive to Padum (3600m).
Day 11: Padum to Shinkun La (5060m) – Jispa – Manali via Atal Tunnel.
“Good support on all various aspects. 4 season tent to keep me warm all night. Provide sleeping bag and thick mattress; provide rope carabineer for Umasi La glacier travel. Morning bed tea and hot water for washing. Gas stove are in good condition. Its play an important role to prepare a hot meal after a long trek. Porters are helpful for helping me to some obstacle on river crossing, glacier crossing. Folding chair, toilet paper, pass message to my family during trek where std is not available. Driver Raj is very experienced and knowledgeable on the Manali – Paddar valley. To make us a safe trip. Arranged bus ticket from Delhi to Manali. I have to carry only my day bag during trek which i enjoyed. Always choose the best spot for set my tent, client came first. This is my third time of joining Potala Adventurers – achieves the objective with happy memories. I am looking forward to next adventurous holiday with Potala Adventurers in the near future. ”
Mr Stanlay – SINGAPORE – 26th Aug to 16 Sept 2015 (21 days Umasi la & Kanji la combined)
Stanley’s 6th Great Himalayan trek with us.
1. Pang Tsomoriri lake to Kibber trek & Kanamo peak – 2011
2. Zanskar Traverse: Kanji to Sarchu – 2014
3. Umasi la & Kanji la, Gulabgarh to Padum to Kanji – 2015
4. Pin Parvati & Hamta pass – 2016
5. Poat la & Stok kangri – 2017
6. Kharnak trek & Kang Yatse II – 2019
- An adventurous trek across Greater Himalaya
- Remote Padder and its Sapphire land
- High alpine meadows and Bakarwal nomdas Shepherds of Kishtwar
- The hidden valley and monastery of Dzonkhul