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Rusila Trek

This trek goes through the village called Sapi, which is the highest settlement of Kargil situated at 3900m. The Rusila pass from Sapi to Suru valley there by is the highest pass in the region at 4960m.

The trail on this trip will give you an opportunity to witness a 12th Century cave monastery in Shargole, valleys of herbal plants and flowers in full bloom and a hidden glacial lake in Sapi. spectacular panorama of the Karakoram Range and Nun Kun Massif atop Rusi La. Along the whole trail look out for mountain wildlife such as Marmots, Fox and if lucky Himalayan Ibex or Brown Bear.

7 Nights / 8 days Download PDF
8+ Age
  • Tour Starts
  • Tour Ends
  • Style of Tour
    Trekking (4 days)
  • Max Altitude
  • Approx Trekking
  • Trek Difficulty
    Moderate to Hard
  • No of Passes
    Two (Rusi La, Chakdo La)
  • Best Season
    June to September
  • Stays
    Hotel in Leh/Kargil, Organized Camping/Village Homestays on trek
  • Meals
    Breakfast and dinner at hotel, All meals on Treks and Homestays
Day 1: Arrive in Leh/Srinagar and drive to Kargil. Overnight at guest house.
  • Pick up from Airport and drive to Kargil (5 hours)
  • Lunch Enroute
  • Your trek leader with greet you at the hotel upon arrival.
  • Evening for leisure
Day 2: Acclimatization day and local sightseeing
Drive Time: 240 km/9 hours
  • Take this day to acclimatize.
  • After an early breakfast, we will drive to Hundurman which is border settlement on the LoC between India and Pakistan and check out the Hundurman Museum
  • Explore a local family run museum (www.kargilmuseum.org) followed by walk in the old caravan bazaar; a rare glimpse into Kargil’s Silk Route trade history.
  • Post lunch, explore Kargil bazaar
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 3: Drive to Shergole Short Day Hike to Urgen Rzong caves in Shargole (3600m).
Drive Time: Drive Time: 1.5 hours Trek distance/duration: 8 kms / 3 to 4 hours
  • Today after breakfast, drive to Shergole village.
  • On the way we will take a quick stop over to check out the Shargole Monastery perched into a rock formation.
  • From here we will start the acclimatization hike as you will be negotiating small water streams through narrow gorges and green pastures and finally end up at an ancient Buddhist site, Urgyen Dong Caves. <li
  • These caves are considered as the meditation retreat of Guru Padmashambhava, who was responsible for spreading Buddhism in Ladakh.
  • We will carry a light packed lunch.
  • We will back to base by evening. Spend the night at the camp in Shergole.
Day 4: Drive to Balti Khar (3800m) from Shargole (3188m) via Sapi La.
Distance/Duration: 10 kms / 3 hours
  • Drive Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Drive to the Balti Khar, the first village before the hard part of the trek begins and the last village where the road ends.
  • We will set up camp at a homestay tonight. Use the evening to get acclimatized to the high altitude and prepare for next days’ trek.
Day 5: Trek from Balti Khar to Spanglung (4438m) via Sapi lake.
Distance/Time: 10 kms / 5 to 6 hours approx
  • Today we will begin early for our trek to the Sapi Lake.
  • It’s a gradual uphill Trek from Balti Khar to Sapi Lake and the decent is around 2 to 3 hours to Spnglung
  • Enjoy packed lunch by the lake at the snout of the glacier.
  • In the summer, this trail is filled with wild flowers of different colours which is a very rare sight in a landscape like Ladakh.
  • We will descend to the next hamlet called Spanglung and setup stay at a local homestay or camp.
Day 6: Trek from Spanglung to Ldumburtse (4349m) via Rusila (4960m)
Distance/Duration: 9 kms / 5 to 6 hours
  • Todays’ trek is challenging as we are going to slowly start ascending towards Rusi La pass
  • The trail begins with an hour of gradual ascent and then about 3 hours of steep ascent to the shoulder and then traverse to the top of the pass.
  • Atop Rusi La enjoy super panoramic views of the snow capped, high mountains all around. Towards the east as far as the eyes can see are the Karakorm Peaks, to the North are the Peaks of Baltistan and to the West the mountain of Nun and Kun, Pannicle and Bobang are visible with the source glaciers of Phulungma tributaries in the immediate background.
  • A two hour descend through loose soil and scree will bring us to a greener area of Ldumburtse where we will camp by the stream.
  • Explore the surroundings over a hot cup of tea in the evening.
  • Overnight in tents
Day 7: Trek from Ldumburtse to Pangbar Brog (3612m) via Chakdola (4390m) Drive back toKargil
Trek Distance/Duration: 11 kms / 4 hours
      • Today the trek involve s crossing yet another glacier and then a long and tiring traverse through boulder fields and moraines.
      • This day again will start with a steep uphill trek to a mini pass called Snag La and then trek diagonally (to the stream) through a small valley called Khalogtse to the base of Chakdo La.
      • Another steep climb and you will reach Chakdo La. From Chakdo La you will see the village of Pangbor Broq down the valley.
      • The last stretch of this part of the trip as you will be entering Suru Valley. A 2 hour easy down trek through the streets of Pangbor and we will reach the road head.
      • After a quick stopover and snack, from here you will take a jeep ride for your journey towards the historical village of Kartse Khar.
      • Check out a 16th century mosque in Stiankung village. Explore the ancient village along with the local guide to see the ancient Buddha rock statue, 12th century castle ruins and the tomb of the legendry Queen of Ladakh – Rgyal Khatoon. Ask our local guide for more insights.
      • Head back to Kargil and check into hotel.
Day 8: Drive to Srinagar airport from Kargil or drive to Leh
  • Early morning drive back to Srinagar or Leh
  • End of Journey
  • Airport transfers and journey to Kargil
  • Trek point transfers
  • Transport for sightseeing
  • Breakfast and dinner at hotel in Kargil
  • All meals on the trek
  • Twin sharing rooms at hotel
  • Dome tents on trek
  • Camping gear (sleeping bags, mattress, two man dome tents, toilet tent, dining tent)
  • Safety gear (rope, ice axe etc)
Medical Services:
  • Onsite first aid
  • Oxygen cylinder
  • Trained and experienced guide/trek leader
  • Kitchen and support staff
  • Porters/mules
  • Trekking permits
  • Camping charges
Cost Excludes:
  • Single room accommodation
  • Lunch during stay in Kargil
  • Transport for local sightseeing on day 1, 2 and 3
  • Stay in Leh or srinagar
  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal equipment such as walking sticks, rain coats, gloves etc
  • International & Domestic flight fares, visa charges
  • Monument/monastery and Museum visit fees.
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as mineral water, laundry.
  • Any kind of insurance, such as accident, theft, medical, evacuation etc.
  • Cost incurred incase of evacuation or any emergency
  • Tips to porters, camping team, driver, guide, etc.
  • Cost incurred due to change / extension in the itinerary due to roadblocks, bad weather condition, flight delays, vehicle breakdowns, etc
What to carry?
  • Valid ID proof (Passport/Voter ID/Drivers Licence)
  • No suitcases. Opt for 70 to 90 litre backpacks
  • Water-proof trekking shoes
  • One down jacket or warmer for chilly nights
  • Rain poncho or jacket/windcheater (a must!)
  • Thermal inner (not advisable to wear it while trekking)
  • Trekking pants (one spare)
  • Sun block
  • Hat
  • Sun goggles
  • Trekking pole
  • Spare under garments and socks (three pairs max)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries (preferably wearable)
  • Water bottle, preferably wide mouthed, with at least one litre capacity
  • Personal toiletries
  • Power bank (if you want to use phone camera)
  • That book you’ve been meaning to read
Fine Print & Trip Specific Important Information:   By signing up for a trip with Roots, you acknowledge that you have voluntarily applied to participate in this trip and that you have read the description of the trip as it appears on the website and the information below:
  • You are expected to carry your own luggage. If you need a porter/mule during treks please inform us in advance.
  • Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations we may have to compromise on the campsite & adjust to these situations then & there. The final call will be taken by our Lead Guide on location.
  • The itinerary should be viewed as ideal & we may have to make some spot changes due various unavoidable reasons.
  • The distances & altitude mentioned in the above itinerary are to the best of our knowledge & information; marginal variance in the actual distances & altitudes is possible.
  • You are expected to be in reasonable shape and fitness, being able to walk for several hours at a normal pace as well as to take care of your own equipment.
  • You are required to produce a Medical Fitness certificate before starting the trip.
  • The minimum age restriction for this trip is 18
  • All outdoor related activities involve a certain level of risk. You are expected to sign an Indemnity Form in agreement to the risks involved through part taking in such outdoor activities.
  • Roots Ladakh  reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals and photographs submitted by them on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes