The Great White –

A first-timer’s trek on the frozen Zanskar warms the heart and stills the soul

Until five days ago when I landed at Leh airport, I had seen neither snow nor high mountains before. My first glimpse of the Himalayas was from the plane, crouched over the stranger to my left who had the window seat. And now, here I am—on my first long-distance trek, my first trip into the mountains, and my first solo vacation— on the Chadar trek, a nine-day walk on the mostly frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. It seems like the perfect way to meet the mountains, and a great beginning after a year that had been rife with change.

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