Rock Climbing

Ladakh has some wonderful rock climbing areas in India, what’s different climbing in ladakh is the beautiful landscape view of the surrounding places like the high peaks as stok Kangri right in front of you as you climb and the beautiful villages with its calmness. There is a small stream that flows right near the climbing area where one can feel the cool breeze of the hot and sunny day it’s just the right place to be for high wall climbing. Lots of technical skill is required so as you decide on climbing in ladakh please make sure to have a well trained and certified guide. Before hiring ask for trained rock climbing guides there are few in Ladakh so make sure to have the right guide as you climb. The climbing wall is developed by international partners as international mountain leadership institute based in Marietta Oklahoma and snowbird rock climbing guides. This is the best near Leh, Ladakh. There are some decent top ropes and lots of multi-pitch trade lines

The best time to climb is from June to September.

The distance from leh to Shey rock climbing location is around 20 minute ride. You will drive about a 400 meters past the crag to find a bridge that crosses the small creek and then you turn back to the left and drive all the way to the base of the climbing. Day trips are guided by snowbird rock climbing guides

Day Activity:

Leh’d back YDS: 5.10b

  • Type: Sport, 3 pitches, 300′
  • Original: YDS: 5.10b

Bolted in April of 2013 this route is an excellent outing. The first pitch (5.10b) starts from a ledge above the route “Taley (5.9 / 5b) and continues up a prominent prow. The first pitch is vertical and pumpy (5.10b) but well protected. The second and third pitches (5.7) are lower angle with plenty of breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the exposure off climber’s right. The second pitch belay is by far one of the most scenic I have been on. It’s pure fun on great rock. This route will clean up nicely over the years and is already seeing significant traffic. Rap back down the way you ascended. Great summit! A set of draws and maybe a few longer ones should suffice

Just above the route “Taley” You can actually do Taley and add a pitch to this already stellar outing. Start on the left side of the ledge.

Bolts. This entire route (like many in the Shey) are bolted to cater to climbers traveling from all over who don’t typically carry a large trade rack. This route is well protected on solid hardware.

Broken Foot YDS: 5.10a/b

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 72′
  • Original: YDS: 5.10a/b

Named after an accident that left Suhail Kakpori with a broken foot, look out for loose rock on the left side off the route of this climb. Starts as a face climb then transitions to a chimney climb, again stay with the bolts, the left side has loose rock.

It just around the left corner of Snap, Crackle, Pop. You can’t miss it.

Bolted all the way up, has quick links at the top of the route.

Snap, Crackle, Pop Left YDS: 5.8

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 72′
  • Original: YDS: 5.8

A great overall climb, don’t cheat and go up the right side crack, follow the bolts on top of the overhang. Shares the same anchor as the right side. The crux is getting from the second bolt to the third, you have to traverse with the help of friction and small hand holds.

The route is up and to the left of the Thali Platform, it’s not hard to miss. This route is on the left side of the climb.

Bolted all the way up and contains quick links at the anchor.

Snap, Crackle, Pop Right YDS: 5.10d

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 72′

Shares the same anchor as the left side. The first bolt is a challenge; you may want to clip before climbing from the ledge. The third bolt is also a far reach with the left and a challenge. Avoid the crack above the third bolt, stay on the face to finish the climb. Look for small crimps to friction climb your way up the face.

The route is above and to the left of the Thali Platform, and on the right side of the rock formation.

Bolted all the way up with the route, well protected. Contains quick links at the anchor.

Julley YDS: 5.6

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 42′

A very good introduction to the many friction face climbs at Shey, no handholds and placing lots of trust in your feet. There are also top rope bolts on the left side for setting up two top ropes. The toughest move for most people is initially getting on the boulder!

The route is the first big boulder you see when you arrive in the parking lot, you can’t miss it.

Three bolts up the face, chains at the top. In addition there is another top rope anchor to the left side.

Hiram Crack YDS: 5.9+

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 62′
  • New Route: Yes

It’s a sin to bolt crack like this one, hence the name Haram Crack Arabic for sin. The crux is getting up into the crack at the second bolt, it takes using the right side cling while jamming the left hand and foot into the crack then laying back to get the right side of your body in.

The route is on top of the Thali platform, just to the left of number #9.

The route is bolted the entire way up and features chains at the top of the route.

Little Chimney YDS: 5.6

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 29′

A great route to learn sport climbing on, a very easy chimney climb starting just to the left of the start of Leh’d back.

The route is just to the left of the first pitch of Leh’d back on the Thali Platform.

Bolted all the way up with quick links at the top of the anchor.

Baby Thali YDS: 5.7

  • Type: TR, 1 pitch, 26′

A top rope route can be set up from the platform above, it is accessible by the ramp below #9. This route can go up below the anchors on the side clings or up the crack on the left side.

The route is to the right of Thali on the right side of the platform.

Anchor bolts at the top, no chains or quick links.

2ABC YDS: 5.10a

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 95′

This climb is two sections; the first has a handful of tough face moves on the fourth and fifth bolts. In the second section, get into the crack then traverse right on the small crimp ledge. End just how you started with some tough face moves.

The start of the route is in the Thali platform area of Shey. It shares the same start as #9.

The route is bolted with eleven bolts and the anchor bolts have chains attached at the top.

E.T. B.T. YDS: 5.10b

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 59′

Named E.T. B.T. after its strange resemblance to an Alien, a great place to see the Alien head is from the Taley platform as you get the side profile. Starts with a bit of a rock scramble up to the first bolt, use the Alien’s “mouth” to help traverse left to a nice crack that helps get up on the face. Once on the face enjoy using your friction and face climbing skills to finish through the crux.

The route is a short hike up from the parking lot, look for the large painted #5 on the route.

Bolted all the way up, contains quick draws at the top on the anchors for rappelling down. Also has another set on anchors on top of the climb for a top rope setup, but they aren’t wise to use for rappelling after a sport climb.

Upside Down backwards 5 YDS: 5.8

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 49′

Follow the bolts up the face of the route to the crux of pulling over the roof on the sloping sides, a good finish to a good climb. Although it is a sport route, the anchor bolts are more conducive to an extended top rope anchor since they are not on the face. Scramble up the left side to access the top rope bolts, the arrow designates the path.

In the parking lot, just to the right of Julley.

The route is bolted with four bolts plus an anchor, nothing at the top anchor bolts though.

Push, Pull, Pray YDS: 5.10a

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 91′

Work the single crack to start with, then cross over and use either cracks or a single crack. The crux is crossing over from the right side to the left side around the fourth bolt. It’s a long climb but a definite classic.

It’s quite a hump up to this climb, from the parking lot you can see the upper walls with the many cracks that looks like claws hence the name “Snow Leopard Area”. From #9 hike up to the right, then there is some rock scrambling you have to do to get to the route.

Bolted all the way up and has chains at the anchors.

The Frying Pan YDS: 5.11a

  • Type: Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 63′

Very similar to The Fire (left side) Starts with a tiny crack up the face climb. At the fourth bolt the face gets much steeper making the climb much more challenging, look for tiny crimps to use for both hands and feet. Not much, have fun being creative.

A hike up and to the right of #5, from the parking lot look for the route painted with a #6, you can’t miss it.

Bolted up the climb and well protected, has quick links at the anchor.

Taley YDS: 5.9+

  • Type: Sport, 1 pitch, 60′

This is the route that ascends the face just to the left of the painted #7. A great pitch but harder than it looks. The crux is getting from the slab up into the first crack, and then from that face, over the roof, into the next crack. Well bolted at both curxes. A fun outing is to link this pitch with Leh’d Back which is above and to the left of this route.


Raisin and the Ant YDS: 5.9 R

  • Type: Trad, 3 pitches, 350′, Grade III

This route was the first done on the face. It goes up the far right side of the face and finishes at the Summit Boulder.

Just up the hill from the direct start.

Full rack. It is so varied and easy to go off route you should be prepared.