Charity Challenge: Ladakh, India

Friday 16th July – Saturday 24th July 2021

Markha valley trek from Chilling, India

The Markha valley trek is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh, India. This trek passes through beautiful villages tucked in the deep valley surrounded by towering mountains. The high pass of Kongmaru La offers spectacular views of the Kang Yatse peaks. You can stay in home stays throughout the trek and it’s an excellent opportunity to discover the everyday life of locals. Markha is part of the Hemis National Park, home to the elusive snow leopard. This trek from Chilling is a shorter and easier version of the Markha valley trek from Spituk.

You will need 2 days of acclimatisation before starting the trek. 

Duration: 6 days hiking + 2 days acclimatising, 8 days total
Distance: 78 km
Max elevation: 5260m
Elevation gain / loss: +2502m / -2019m

This charity challenge is empowering you to fundraise to support the renovation and upgrade of family homes supporting 536 children in need directly, and 1861 indirectly through wider positive impacts in the community.

Together, our goal is to raise USD 96,500 for Tibetan Children's Villages, Leh-Ladakh, India.

We advise each individual to fundraise USD 1,375 (AED 5,000) so that together, we can succeed with this incredible housing project and support over 536 children in need in Ladakh.

This will be an extreme test of fitness and determination. There is no technical climbing, but there will be plenty of challenging sections and trekking at high altitude. Regular fitness training and long-distance walking is highly recommended. Click here to read more about the challenge difficulty levels.

We run a variety of free, weekly training sessions that we encourage you to join before the challenge. Registering for this challenge grants you unlimited membership to Gulf for Good’s soulFIT fitness and hiking community. Click here to read more about soulFIT, our hiking community and view the upcoming schedule of activities.

Join our public WhatsApp group to keep informed of all of our news, events and activities.

• A challenge, adventure and charity experience of a lifetime!
• In-country charity visit
• soulFIT training membership
• Unlimited access to all Gulf for Good fitness & training activities and hikes in UAE mountains
• Fundraising approval + support with fundraising events
• Pre-challenge briefing & get-togethers
• Discount with partner outdoor outfitters
• Safety, medical & equipment advice
• Internal flights & transfers
• Accommodation, food & water
• Experienced Outdoor First Aid certified Gulf for Good support team
• In-country medical & vehicle back up
• Ethical, global standards for in-country guides and porters

Either pay at once or opt for our easy installment plan below.

Either pay at once or opt for our easy installment plan below.

  1. AED 1,000 (USD 275) - Deposit toward Challenge Expenses (non-refundable and non-transferable) due to Gulf for Good to reserve your space on the challenge.
  2. AED 897 (USD 244) - 50% remaining balance towards Challenge Expenses due to Gulf for Good Thursday 22nd April 2021
  3. AED 897 (USD 244) - 50% final balance towards Challenge Expenses due to Gulf for Good Thursday 3rd June 2021
  4. 4. AED 5,000 (USD 1,375) - Minimum Charity Donation due to International Humanitarian City Thursday 8th July 2021

(US$ 1 = AED 3.67)

• International flights
• Visas
• Tips and spending money
• Vaccinations
• Insurance
• Kit items
• Drinks (other than water)

This event is under process for approval by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department.


Friday 16th July – Arrival in Leh City, India (3,524m)

Leh is the joint capital and largest town of the union territory of Ladakh in India as well as the historical capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh. Today is an easy day to arrive, rest and explore the town’s history and landscape.

After being picked up from airport and transferred to the Hotel Charu Palace, you have time for some rest in the morning. Lunch will be served at The Tibetan Kitchen restaurant where you will get to discover authentic local food. After lunch, you have the opportunity to visit Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery and finally Shanti Stupa for sunset.

This is your first of 2 acclimatisation days.

Overnight in Leh at Hotel Charu Palace. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Saturday 17th July – Charity visit day

Visit SECMOL campus located 20km west of Leh. SECMOL was founded by Sonam Wangchuk to promote and develop education in Ladakh. Sonam Wangchuk is a famous engineer who now works on a project of artificial glacier called ice stupa to resolve the problem of water scarcity in Ladakh.

In the afternoon, head to Nimmu village where you can see the famous Sangam viewpoint, Confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers. On the way back to Leh, stop at the mysterious Magnitic Hill and Gurduwara Pathar Sahib (Sikh place of worship).

This is your final acclimatisation day before beginning the trek tomorrow.

Overnight in Leh at Hotel Charu Palace. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Sunday 18th July - Start Markha Valley Hike

Today will be a relatively short yet refreshing hike as we stretch the legs and prepare for the longer days to come. We begin the stunning Markha Valley hike from Chilling to Skiu. An initial transfer to the start of the hiking trail will take around 1.5hrs, a 60km drive. We hike from Chilling (3,195m) to Skiu (3,366m) which will take up to 3 hours covering a distance of 6.9km. 

Elevation gain / loss: +189m / -18m

Overnight in a traditional homestay. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Monday 19th July : Skiu – Markha

Today we will hike from Skiu (3,366m) to Markha (3,760m) which will take up to 7 hours covering 21.2km. We walk along a river trail to Markha passes through small villages. Markha is a pretty village with just around 20 households. You have an opportunity to visit an old monastery and a ruined fort above the village.

Elevation gain / loss: +451m / -57m

Overnight in a traditional homestay. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Tuesday 20th July: Markha – Hankar

Today we trek from Markha (3,760m) to Hankar (4,030m) where we are starting to gain some serious altitude. The hike will take up to 5 hours covering 11.2km. Some may start experiencing the effects of the altitude here, you are advised to seek medical advice on taking altitude sickness tablets to ensure your enjoyment of the trek.

Elevation gain / loss: +305m / -35m

Overnight in a traditional homestay. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Wednesday 21st July: Hankar – Nimaling

Today we go from Hankar (4,030m) to Nimaling (4,841m) taking up to 6 hours and covering 10.7km. The path starting from Hankar village leads you to Nimaling, where villagers bring their cattle for grazing during summer. There is a possibility for enthusiastic trekkers to hike to the base of the Kang Yatse glacier a few hours from Nimaling. 

Today is our first of 2 days wild camping.

Elevation gain / loss: +836m / -25m

Camping in Nimaling. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Thursday 22nd July: Nimaling - Kongmaru La – Changdo

Today we cross Kongmaru La, a high mountain pass offering excellent views of Kang Yatse and Karakoram peaks. We have a long descent to Shang Gorge where you might need to cross the river several times before reaching Chogdo. From Nimaling (4,841m) to Kongmaru La (5,260m), we then descend to Shang Sumdo (3,680m) which will take up to 6 hours covering 12.1km in total. 

This is our final night of wild camping.

Elevation gain / loss: +439m / -1601m

Camping in Chogdo. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


Friday 23rd July: Shang Sumdo - Hemis

Today we walk down to Shang Sumdo village then start our drive back to Leh city. From Chongdo (3,905m) to Hemis (3,678m), the short final hike should take around 2 hours covering 4.9km before we reach our transportation. On the way, we can visit Hemis, Stakna, Thiksey and Shey monasteries from some last doses of culture.

Elevation gain / loss: +281m / -283m

Overnight in Leh at Hotel Charu Palace. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Notes: This itinerary may change due to changes outside our control. We will endeavour to keep to the planned itinerary, but cannot be held responsible for last changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, the group leader will have the final say.

Tibetan Children's Villages, Leh-Ladakh, India

Fundraising goal: USD 96,500

Number of children impacted: 536 directly, 1861 indirectly

United Nation's Sustainable development goal: housing and wellbeing

Charity registration number: 1860

About the project:

This challenge will support Tibetan Children's Village, Ladakh to install 23 individual kitchens in each of the family homes as well as upgrading the central kitchen, study and dining area This project will benefit about 1561 current students, 500 students under our further study programme and 300 senior citizens. At present the children cook on the floor and study on their beds.  Additionally, this project will give children better resources to deal with the severe cold and rough weather of Ladakh during winter resulting in better health and wellbeing for the children and other members.

About the charity:

Tibetan Children's Villages or TCV is an integrated community in exile for the care and education of orphans, destitute and refugee children from Tibet. Formally registered in 1972, Tibetan Childrens Villages, is a registered, non-profit charitable organization with its main facility based at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, North India. TCV has a network spread across India with over 12,000 children under its care. Tibetan SOS Children’s Village Ladakh looks after 1561 orphan and destitute Tibetan and local Ladakhi children who come from all parts of Ladakh.

Enquire now