Travel guide to the top of Singge La

Sengge La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.952m (16,246ft) above the sea level, located in the Zanskar region in the state of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India.

Sengge La

The road to the summit, also known as Singi La and Sengge La, is totally unpaved and usually impassable from October to June (weather permitting). 4x4 vehicle with high clearance required due the conditions of the road and its steepness. This route is not suitable for normal cars. It’s very rocky with deep potholes. Shortly after the pass, the road divides to Yulchung for Nerak and Kyupa La for Lingshet. Nestled in the Zanskar Range, the wind is usually quite strong at mountain areas. High winds blow here all year long. Even in summer you can confront with snowy days. Temperatures here in the winter are brutally cold. With such a high summit altitude the road can be closed anytime due to snowfalls. The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions. Commanding a vast and utterly spectacular mountain valley, Sengge La marks the far southern end of the Yapola system, with a distinctive rocky protuberance jutting through a cuff of ice like an upheld hand.

Do not take this drive if you have respiratory problems or any type of heart condition. Notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. A major hazard of altitude is the sickness that can indiscriminately affect anyone regardless of age or fitness. The summit has about 40% less oxygen than at sea level, thus breathing is more difficult. Your pulse rate will increase and movement will be more laborious at the summit. Accessibility is largely limited to the summer season. Facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. Sengge la is also called Lions pass, due to the pass and surrounding mountains making shape of a Lion.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson
Pic: Pavel Kacl