Hemis to Stok via MathoPhu
I have an undying crave to witness the unaltered beauty of nature in its raw form. I have been to some amazing destinations that can offer me with the raw excellence of nature and I still wish to cover more magnificent trails over the coming years. The best of indulging in an experience of this stature is by trekking and every time I have trekked to a solitary destination, I have been rewarded with best sights of nature devoid of any human fabrication and structures. Now India is blessed with innumerable fantastic trekking destinations each catering something unique but Leh is still one of my most favourite destination to trek.
Leh is often called the trekker’s paradise, the likes of stupendous surroundings, rugged and barren landscapes, distant snow-capped peaks, and some really remarkable monasteries and villages have always lived up to the expectations of the trekkers. The Hemis to Stok via MathoPhu Trek that I covered in the recent years was supreme experience likewise. A short trek lasting just over 5 days, the trail is fantastically crafted with brilliant sights, some exquisite remote villages, daunting high passes, and the astounding MathoPhu La Pass.
If you share a similar craving like me then you ought to stay one extra day at Leh to explore the region. Every time I am in Leh, I get surprised by the mesmerizing setting of the region. The alluring landscape tempts me to a whole new level. This time also I stayed back an extra day to explore the most of Leh. I visited the famous monasteries like the Shanti Stupa and Thiksey Monastery and had an incredible time exploring the very old Leh Palace. I even take great joy just by exploring the streets and marketplaces of Leh, and the place seems new every time.
After having an amazing time in Leh, I finally started my journey and the first destination was a drive to Martselang. The drive was an ecstatic experience as the road traversed through the natural wonders of Leh and the sights were picturesque. On arrival in Martselang, I decided to start trekking to Chogdo as I had enough time to cover. The total journey took around 4 hours and the campsite in Chogdo was extremely beautiful. Now the trail that awaited was quite new and very less explored. The very next day I started my trek towards Gyuncho La and the path was quite thrilling. The ascent was long and hectic, and the path mostly traversed through a tributary valley. After a long 6 hours, I was at the top of the Gyuncho La witnessing the bewildering sights of the surrounding. The place was not an ideal campsite so I had to descend a bit to establish the tent.
On the 3rd day of the walk, the trail led me to the grandeur of the Shang La pass at an elevation of 4800 m. along the way, I encountered many spurs and small passes but the sights of the Indus Valley and the distant peaks in the backdrop were truly captivating and breathtaking. From Shang La witnessed the enchanting sights before descending down to MathoPhu for the campsite. My next day’s destination was the Matho La pass which was enthralling. The colourful prayer flags were so beautiful and the sight of the Zanskar Range in the backdrop was appealing to a whole new level. The campsite was Mankarmo and the trail mostly traversed along the Jingchan River. I also witnessed the savouring sights of the bewildering StokKangri Peak and as I finally reached the campsite I had a sound sleep after the long day.
The final day was from Mankarmo to Stok Village and from there a drive back to Leh. The walk to Stok Village was equally commanding and I visited the famous Stok Museum in Stok Village. The drive back to Leh was quite fun and filled with some amazing glimpses of the vivid landscapes.
A mere 5 days gave me an unmatched trekking experience with some enthralling views and filled with thrills and adventure all along the trail. Though this journey is yet to be popular, it has all the capabilities to stand strong among the other famous trekking routes.