Ladakh: The Markha Valley

Hi,

Departing for this trip 23/7. I see that the trip is now fully booked. Anyone want to introduce themselves?

Jules

Hi Jules

I will be joining you on this trip, a friend from Oz is also coming along, Graeme.

Helen

Hi Jules and Helen,
I'm also going on the trip on 23/7. Looking forward to it.

Jill

Hi Helen and Jill,

Graeme is coming from far away - hope it meets his expectations!
Either of you been to the region before?

Jules

Hi Jill and Jules

I've never been to India before, or this region. We met on a trip in Nepal last year, so have trekked in the Himalayas.

Have either of you?

Helen

I've been to Nepal several times (love it) and Tibet. Spent a lot of time in those mountains back when I had a life and was backpacking (in my 20's, 30's, 40's... sigh). Also been to India a couple of times. Bit of a confession though, I found the place 'challenging'. To be fair, after a couple of months on the beach in Goa the prospct of cycling to Kathmandu was always going to be a stretch. Great idea in an English pub, terrible idea in reality! Thank god common sense prevailed and we gave up in Rajasthan.
Just googled our Delhi hotel, looks nice.

Hi Jules/Jill/Helen,

I have also not been to India before. The potentially high walking temperatures on this trip will be a bit of a worry. Hopefully the high altitude will help to keep them down, compared to the high temps in Rajasthan recently.

I've trekked twice in Nepal. Everest Circuit over winter in 2012 and then Annapurna Circuit with Helen in Winter 2015.

I did tour-de-Blanc supported by mules in 2014. It will be interesting to see the difference in how they are handled in India.

Graeme

Hi Graeme,
Everest - lovely. Best trek there is I think (especially the deep fried snickers bars in spring roll pastry)! I too did the Mont Blanc circuit a few years ago, very nice. Bit uncertain about the daytime temps on our trip, it's supposed to be early twenties isn't it? It's the night-time temps I am more concerned about although I have been advised that a three season sleeping bag should be adequate for our trip.

Jules

Hi Jules,

I checked Wikipedia. Maximums for Leh can be as high as 34 in July and August with averages around 25. It's reasonable to expect a day or two where we may get 30ish. It can be really draining walking in those temps. Average lows are about 10 degrees, with record lows down to 0.

I'll probably take my ultralight down sleeping bag and a travel sheet or liner in case the nights are cold.

The fried chocolate was also popular with our group in the Annapurnas.

Just under 5 weeks to go now!

Graeme

India a new adventure for me too. I was assuming it would be hot during the day and cool/cold at night, so I guess be prepared for all eventualities!
Getting closer now.

Am intrigued by fried chocolate...

Jill

Ooh 30 degrees and no shorts on the ladies (Grrr). I might just risk it in mine - so naughty!
Have received my kit bag and need to start trying to fit everything in. I'll bring the Yatzee dice and score sheets if someone else brings the playing cards.

I'll bring the cards! Also concerned re daytime temps, I've just bought some zip off trousers so might rebel with you!

Hi. Ann and Steve will be joining you on this trip. 1st trek in India, though we have done the Golden Triangle extension after a Nepali trip a couple of years ago. Looking forward to it, though we have agreed that this will be our last high altitude, challenging grade trek. Age and tricky joints are taking their toll!

Hi Everyone
My wife and I will be joining this enthusiastic group. Not walked in this region before so really looking forward to it.

Well, I've started packing whilst at the same time angsting over my visa after I spelt my own name wrong on the application...doh! Visa helpline says it will be OK...but I'm tempted to re-apply to avoid any issues at immigration.
At the moment I have kit spread out all over the place. Not certain how it will fit into the big green bag!

Baggage update from Exodus. 23kg is the allowance from London to Delhi, but only 15kg on the internal flight to Leh. Exodus advice is that you wear everything possible and stuff your rucksack full to meet the 15kg for main bag. They do not know of rucksacks being weighed! The hotel in Leh will hold main bags whilst on trek.
Had a look at the route on Google Earth. Looks like big memory cards will be needed on the trip.
The shorts thing-can always slip waterproof pants on for monasteries which I have done in Nepal with no problem. Meet you folks soon.

It's not so much the weight of the main bag that's proving a problem for me...its the available room. I did a test pack yesterday and even though the bag was less that 15kg, it was rammed with the bulky stuff. I'm thinking about packing the green bag in a zip-up ruck sack bag just so I can get everything in that I need in the extra space between the two.

Remember also thaty the weight limit fo rthe ponies is 12k on the trek.

Our normal plan is put the Exodus bag inside main bag for travel, leave main bag in hotel, and use airtight dry bags to compress kit to make space in Exodus bag for trek. 12kg is plenty for the trek-after all, how many pairs of shoes and ball gowns are needed for the Himalayas?

Steve, you can never have too many ball gowns - you fool!

Looks like the outer bag idea is a go-er then - but how will we all recognise eachother at the airport... perhaps we'll have to rely upon the fact that we are all dressed in hiking gear :-)

Actually, the correct phraseology is you can never have enough kit. The only excuse I've ever needed to come back from a trip with more than I left with-especially after a wet week in the Lakes. Fortunately, Ann is very understanding.
P.S. It's always a good time killing game at the airport to try and spot the other trekkers. Boots are always a good clue.

So I'm looking for ball gowns and hiking boots then - should be an easy spot!!!

I'll be wearing my tiara too, that was there will be no doubt...

Just to confirm Ann and I will not be looking to make any such fashion statements. It adds so much to the baggage allowance.

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