Walking the Chadar, Zanskar Canyon


Ladakh lies in the eastern half of the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the far north of India. It shares its much disputed north western border with Pakistan, while to the north lies the Chinese province of Sinkiang, and to the east, Chinese occupied Tibet. It covers an area of approximately 60,000 sq. kms, ranging from 2600 metres to 7670 metres in elevation, Ladakh is sandwiched between two mountain systems – the Karakoram to the north and the Himalayas in the south.

Ladakh can basically be divided into five geographical regions – Central Ladakh (the heartland of the Indus valley), Nubra (lying to the north of the Ladakh range), Rupshu (a dry, high altitude plateau lying in the south-east of Ladakh, Zanskar (one of the highest inhabited regions in the world) and western Ladakh or Lower Ladakh (around Kargil).   Zanskar – a remote valley in Ladakh is the fabled “Land of White Copper” – a land of glaciers and extreme cold, snow leopards and the ibex, black wolves and the rare Himalayan blue poppy, and of spirits and monks.

At an average altitude of over 13,000 ft, the strange aspect of this valley is that it has no entrance. The two rivers that flow in it meet to carve a gorge so long and deep that one cannot travel down it to enter or exit the region. The only way out is crossing the Zanskar range of mountains, through high passes that are closed eight months in a year.

This gorge of the Zanskar therefore, remains un-trekkable during the summer when the snow melt sends the river raging, but forms a corridor of ice in winter which serves as the only way, albeit dangerous, out of the Zanskar valley.

Day 01: Delhi/Leh
Meet on arrival in Leh and transferred to hotel. Day free to acclimatise. Overnight guest house on full board.

Day 02: Leh
Acclimatise and half day sightseeing of monasteries. Overnight guest house on full board.

Day 03: Leh/Nimu/Chilling/Start trek to Bakula (3-4 hours trek)
Transferred by jeep on a tarmac road till Chilling. Then drive on jeep track for a few kilometers before starting the trek. Overnight camp by the river.

Day 04: Bakula/Dibyongma (5-6 hours trek)
Trek on the frozen river. Overnight camp at Teeb cave.

Day 05: Dibyongma/Nyeraq (6-7 hours trek)
Walk on frozen river. Overnight camp at Neeraq.

Day 06: Nyeraq to Lingshed (8 hours trek)
Some distance from Neeraq we leave the frozen river and trek along the Lingshed Nala to the beautiful village of Lingshed. Overnight Zanskari house.

Day 07: Rest day at Lingshed
Visit the famous Linghsed monastery on top of the village, read, write or just bask in the sun. Overnight at Zanskari home.

Day 08-11: Trek Lingshed to Chilling and drive to Leh
Return trek to Chilling in four easy days. Board the waiting vehicles at the road head a little upstream of Chilling to be driven to the Guest house in Leh. Overnight Guest House.

Day 12: Fly Leh-Delhi
Early morning transfer to the Leh airport to board the flight back to Delhi.

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Trip Details
Location: Leh
Duration: 12 Days
Grading: Challenging
Departure 1: Jan 26 2017 to Feb 06 2017
Departure 2: Jan 26 2017 to Feb 06 2018

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