April 25, 2016 RockyFeet

Markha Valley Cleaning Expedition’ 12

The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.

– David Attenborough


Hemis National Park,Conscience 2012 – The Mission      View Detail Field Report – PDF

Growing tourist footfalls are creating more pressure on India’s conserved and protected areas. At Rocky Feet we believe that this increased interest among educated people can on the contrary act in favor of conservation, with right projects and endeavors. We must be prepared to address the increased interest and lead towards conservation and environmental preservation of the hundreds of fragile ecosystems in India.

In the last few years, during our activities of exploration, we observed that most of India’s National parks have no established solid waste management system in place. Rocky Feet decided to highlight this urgent issue through participation, observation and documentation with support from an organization like AkzoNobel, who are involved in various environmental and conservation related programs around our planet.

For Project Conscience 2012, we chose Hemis National park in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir as study field.Hemis is the largest National park in India and also has a considerable footprint of nature lovers and trekkers and adventurers each season.



Support Extended by AkzoNobel

Rocky Feet would like to take this opportunity to thank AkzoNobel for their support extended in this battle for sustainability. We congratulate AkzoNobel on being recognized as a global sustainability leader, having being ranked first in the Chemicals super sector on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI).


Activities Conducted:

Cleaning up of trekking trails and high altitude campsites:


  • Clean up more than 120 km of trails for 10 days
  • Participation by 12 volunteers of Rocky Feet
  • Clocked over 800 person hours (8 hours x 10 days x 10 members)
  • Assessment of 17 campsites, 15 tea shops, and 11 home stays in the Hemis National Park
  • Identification of nature and sources of waste in the Hemis National Park ecosystem
  • Identification of local waste management systems; and local awareness on waste management

Route: The battle ground of – Conscience 2012

The Markha Valley Trek is certainly one of the most varied and beautiful treks in the world. It ventures high into the Himalayas, crossing two passes over 15,000 ft (4575 m) as it circles from the edges of the Indus Valley, down into parts of Zanskar, and passes through terrains that change from incredibly narrow valleys to wide-open vast expanses. This valley is well known for its ancient form of Buddhism that flourishes in the many monasteries of the region. These monasteries dot the landscape, perched high atop hills. The trails are decorated by elaborate “chortens”(stupas) and “Mani”(prayer) walls that further exemplify the region’s total immersion in Buddhist culture.

Our journey will start from Chilling (3000 mtr.) which is about 2 hrs away from Leh. In the subsequent nine days we would come across almost every shape of the nature like rivers, green valley, grassland, snow covered mountain including some villages and monasteries located at high altitude. We will get 3000 mtr. Elevation and cover approximately 130 kms during our expedition and will stay at six famous camp sites. These routes and camp sites are heavily accessed by the trekkers for its spectacular scenic beauty.

Route Map

Day-wise Plan

DayDate : Year 2012Activity
1Wed Aug 29Leh to Spituk by Car about an hour, Spituk to Zingchen (3,530m) walk 5-6 hours
2Thu Aug 30Zingchen to Ganda La advance base (4,545m) : 7-8 hours
3Fri Aug 31Ganda La base to Skiu (3,660) via Gandala (4,906m) : 7 -8hours
4Sat Sept 01Skiu to Markha (3,200m) : 7-8 hours
5Sun  Sept 02Markha to Thachungtse (3,589m) :6-7 hours
6Mon Sept 03Thachungtse to Kang Yatse base camp (4,800m) : 4-5 hours
7Tue Sept 04Green day – dedicated to cleaning base camp area for 6-7 hrs
8Wed Sept 05Summit Attempt (6202m) 12-14 hrs
9Thu Sept 06Base camp to Nimaling (4800m): 4hrs
10Fri Sept 07Nimaling to Shang Sumdo via Kongmaru La (5,200m) :  8-9 hours , ShangSumdo to leh by car 1.5 hrs


Press Release: 

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