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5 500 m ( 18 000 ft)
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This is a nice way to exit Ladakh. The trek is high but not particularly hard from the Korzok to Kibber direction. Its much harder from Kibber to Korzok, there is very little water on this side of the pass and the ascent is steep. The trek passes though a very remote region with no villages at all so you will need to carry everything with you for the entire trek. As I was also going one way I needed to bring all my stuff with me so I hired donkeys along with an English couple I met.
Do It Yourself Information
This trek is much more easily done from Ladakh rather than Spiti both for logistics and easy of the trek. From the Kibber side the pass is much steeper and there is no water at any of the campsites close to the top of the pass. The nearest one with a steady is probably at least 5-6 hours hiking to the top assuming you are already well acclimatized. Getting to Tso Moriri: If you are flexible there is a bus that goes on (or about) 10th, 20th, and 30th of each month, best and cheapest option for trekking. If you want pack animals they are available in Tso Moriri, karzok, we ended having to pay 250 per day per animal for what was supposed to be 2 donkeys and a horse and ended up being 3 donkeys. But our options were limited since the Karmapa was visiting a nearby village and Karzok was nearly deserted as a result of everyone going to see him. Water is in short supply along the banks of Tso Moriri with a stream at the end of the lake the first water source after the stream about an hour outside Karzok. You will have to cross this stream and continue up the valley at the far southern end of the lake. Before the valley comes to a T-junction there is a nice camping spot and a spring about 2 hours from the end of the lake, reachable on the first day if you start early otherwise you will have to camp at the end of the lake, stay to the right of the marshy area. Once you get to the T-junction of the valley head to the right, you will have to cross the river at some point look for a good place. The trail continues on the south side of the valley heading southwest. Its basically a straight shot continuing down the main valley eventually veering to the left (south). There is a fork in the valley before the pass after you have veered to the left take the right fork you can see the glacier of the pass. Head up on to the glacier it climbs at first then there is a large flat area the pass is to the right (southwest). At the top of the pass the hour climb to the peak to the East of the pass is worthwhile for a great 360 view. It can be tricky finding the route over the glaciated pass especially if there is new snow. From the Ladakh side head straight up the glacier and then veer to the right as you approach the mountains directly in front the pass is to the Southwest. From the Spiti side stay to the right as you go over the pass then head straight down the center to the valley below. From the top of the pass it is about 3 hours down to the first campsite with a steady water source at the bottom of a gorge and there is no fodder there for animals. It is a further two hours to the next campsite with grass up a side valley near the top of where the trail climbs out of the gorge and goes over the hillside to the east of the river which coninues all the way to Kibber. The trail loops around and recrosses the gorge just before Kibber. We did it in 5 days fairly comfortably starting around 8am and hiking until 3:30 or 4pm, except for the day over the pass which was long arrived about 5:30pm at the camp site at the river. 6 would be even more leisurely. First day to the end of the lake. Second day midway down the valley, third day to the "base camp" if possible we stayed 2 hours from the base camp. 4th day over the pass. 5th day to Kibber. The campsites on the Ladakh side of the pass all are very exposed and very windy and in September were very cold. I didn't have a real tent but was doing it local style make shift tent with a plastic tarp (280 rupees Leh market) which worked fine but I did have a good sleeping bag. There were rock wall shelters I could use at most of the campsites to block some of the wind. Obviously you need to bring all you food because there is nothing in the way of villages along this route. Hope this helps anyone who is thinking about doing the trek.