Kang Yatse 2 peak with Markha valley trek

Kang Yatse twin peak (I & II) is the most prominent mountain massif amid the incredibly beautiful Markha valley in Ladakh. The westerly and lower of the two, i.e. Kang Yatse II peak at ~ 6250 m/20500 ft has a comparatively easier (Alpine PD – Peu Difficile) summit than the higher. It is a possible summit to high altitude hikers and trekkers  due to no technical climbing skill requirements. Also there is a beautiful trek to the base camp while getting yourself acclimatised. Indeed, this is a double bill for you who are fairly experienced high altitude trekker with excellent physical fitness. Here you will get both, exploring one of the prettiest valleys in Ladakh and a summit in excess to 20000 ft/6000 m. You will experience why this is one of the most picturesque summit journey to a mountain peak, leaving aside the technicality.

Kan Yatse I (left) and Kang Yatse II (right)

Itinerary for Kang Yatse II Peak with Markha valley trek:

Day 1: Arrival at Leh ( 11,500 ft) – you can take a direct flight or access by bus / other vehicles from Manali or Srinagar. Lodge/hotel accommodation in Leh.
Day 2: Rest and active acclimatisation in Leh. Lodge/hotel
Day 3: Drive to Chilling (10,500 ft) – 60 km – 2 hours ; and trek to Skiu ( 11,150 ft) – 7 km, 3 hours.
Day 4: Trek  to Markha (12,139 ft); 20 km, 8 hours.
Day 5: trek to Hangkar (13,124 ft); 10 km, 7 hours
Day 6: Trek to Nimaling (15,419 ft); 14 km, 8 hours.
Day 7: Trek  to Kang Yatse Base Camp (16,732 ft); 5 km, 3 hours.
Day 8: Rest and acclimatisation at Base Camp.
Day 9: Base camp to Summit (20,500 ft) to back to Base Camp.
Day 10: Trek to Chokdo (12,100 ft ) via Nimaling, Kongmaru La (17,060 ft); 17 km, 9 hours and Drive to Leh – 60 km , 2 hours. Lodge/hotel accommodation in Leh.
Day 11: Mandatory reserve day (cost not included).
Day 12: Departure from Leh/additional tours etc.


  • You need to reach Leh on Day 1 latest by noon. Arrange your return tickets from from Leh on Day 13 morning or later.
  • The cost of mandatory buffer/reserve day (Day 12) is NOT included in TREK FEE. If we use this during trekking, you need to pay additional ₹ 5000 to ₹ 10000 per person (depending upon the team size) . This will be collected in Leh after the trek.

Our expedition starts from Leh, which is ~ 11,500 ft/ 3500 m above m.s.l. Whether you reach Leh by flight/bus or by car, it’s very important that you to spend at least two nights there to acclimatise a bit before the actual journey. Feel free roam around. Leh is quite popular for its cultural treasures, monasteries, palaces and temples.

Birds eye view of Leh from Shantistupa

Trail to base camp – Markha valley trek:

Starting from Leh we move towards the confluence of Zanskar and Indus River crossing Spituk monastery and Magnetic hill (it’s just an optical illusion). Then you make a turn and leave the Indus behind and follow the Zanskar river till Chilling. Chilling is a rather popular destination of Ladakh. It’s the Base camp for Chadar trek  in winter and river rafting in summer.

Confluence of Indus (left) and Zanskar river

The trail goes through Hemis National Park which is famous for it’s wildlife, Snow Leopards being the main attraction. You have to be very lucky though to spot one of these shy magnificent beasts. Arghali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal ( Blue Sheep), Mountain Weasel, Shapu (Ladakh Urial) etc are abundant and can be spotted throughout the route.

Blue sheep

When you enter Markha valley you will be welcomed by 3-4 villages and their rejuvenating hot tea. The first such village, Harding comes immediately after 2 hours of hiking. Keep walking ahead for another 2-3 hours, till you reach Chalak village. It is placed beautifully amongst the barley fields with mountains in the background and the day ends at beautiful Markha village. After Markha the next village is Umlung and the Kang Yatse peak comes to visibility, motivating you henceforth.


Then we proceed to Hangkar and you can notice the Tacha monastery, skilfully placed on such a height. The trails enter into a huge plain before Nimaling where sheep, mountain goats, sometimes rabbits are found grazing. Only some shepherds hut will be visible and a temporary camp site has been established where trekker can stay. From Nimaling one route goes right  towards Kangyatse base camp and the left one goes towards  Kongmaru La. To reach base camp you witness the most beautiful part of the trek though it will take few hours to reach there and the mighty Kang Yatse massif will cover the horizon.

Kang yatse I & II towering over the base camp

Kang Yatse II Summit:

After a day of active acclimatisation and training you push for the summit. To reach the summit you need to climb nearly 4000 ft from base camp (16,732 ft). You start very early in the morning if not before dawn breaks. The initial climb is through loose scree and moraine zone. It starts with loose moraine and scree. It’s tricky to negotiate this zone. Loose rocks make it difficult to grip. You need to be very careful. It takes around 2-3 hrs to touch the snowline from the base camp.

Negotiating the snowfield is another challenge. Your climbing guide will brief and train you the previous day. You’ll learn different techniques. Guide will teach you how to put on your crampons, how to rope up and walk, ascend & descend. You’ll also learn how to arrest yourself in case you slip & fall. Basically you will have hands on what you may expect during summit push. Depending on the time of the year and snow deposition, you may need to rope up. Follow your climbing guide’s instruction. On higher elevation the route has crevasses and most of the time it’s snow covered. You need to be extra careful while negotiating those. Another 2-3 hours of climb will reach you the summit.

Negotiating a large snowfields (left) and scree & moraine zones (right); PC – Prajakta Sawant

Try to reach the summit before noon. After you make it to the top be ready to be mesmerised by the breathtaking beauty of Markha valley and Zanskar range, Karakoram peaks and mountains surrounding Kang Yatse. You might also notice the K2 peak (second highest peak in the world) and may also spot the distant Tibet Mountains, depending on the clarity of skies. After witnessing the stunning 360’ beauty, we trace our steps back to the base camp. A careful descend  is of utmost importance. Most of the accidents in the mountains  happen while descending. Another 3-4 hours of descending will reach you the basecamp.

At summit ~ 6250 m/20500 ft (PC – Prajakta Sawant)

Next day we get to Nimaling and take the left route to cross the 17000 ft high pass Kongmaru La. The prayer flags and the beautiful array of peaks welcome you at the top. Kang yatse and it’s adjacent peak Dzo Jongo remains behind. This the last time you’ll see the giants in this expedition. The steep descent put you to Shang river gorge and you negotiate all the turn and cliff to reach your destination Chokdo. You drive to Leh from here.


Kang Yatse 2 expedition – Prerequisites:

  • A trekker should have completed at least 3 high altitude treks going above ~ 4500 m/15000 ft or a basic mountaineering course/equivalent.
  • At least one Difficult trek reaching beyond 5000 m/16500 ft e.g. Pin Parvati Pass, Ronti Saddle, Parang La etc.
  • A trekker must be in excellent physical condition along with NO prior acclimatisation issues on high altitude.

Distance & Altitude profile:

Below is a pictorial presentation of the trek and summit with distance and corresponding altitude gain.

Kang Yatse 2 summit: Distance and altitude

Best time to go for Kang Yatse summit:

July to September is suitable for Kang Yatse II expedition.  Early July expedition will attract more snow (varies year over year) and later September will become colder.

Download the list of things to carry in Kang Yatse trek or check here

Share this:

Why treks with HT?

Trail Length85 Km
Highest Point6250 m/20500 ft
Expertise:10 years on ground experience
Support staff:Experienced and technical support plus office staff
Group size:Small groups up to 10
Insurance:Travel and Medical insurance policy (covers illness, AMS, evacuation, accidents)
Easy Bookings:25% Booking Deposit

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review