Thursday, January 30, 2014

Frozen valleys of Zanskar

It was a great feeling to see the whole Ladakh valley up from the flight. It was as if the whole aircraft was entering a snow capped dreamland. Huge valleys white-washed with snow and frozen rivers cutting through them. As we landed at the Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport at Leh, there began our journey in the cold desert of the Ladakh valley. We transported ourselves to the point where river Indus meets with Zanskar and there began our trek on the frozen Zanskar and our journey into the wider Zanskar valleys. Wintered river, gorgeously frozen still, carries the river underneath cutting through the wider walls of the gorge. Every waterfall stands still and every drop of water freezes to form a layer of Chadar. Words may not justify the views and photographs may not justify the feel from the place. So let me not say any more about what I witnessed; and let these photographs from the valley do the job.

(click on the photographs to enlarge them)

Nimmu- Where Indus Meets Zanskar
Entry point where Zanskar flows into meet Indus
Tilat Sumdo - Our first campsite

First experience of Chadar at Tilat Sumdo

Chadar all the way up to the next campsite Shingra Koma

Second campsite - Shingra Koma where Zanskar takes a big turn

Wider gorge on the way to Tibb

Snow fall makes everything look beautiful. At Nerak campsite, this was the sight early in the morning.

The landmark of the Chadar trek - Frozen waterfall at Nerak

Snow capped valleys at Nerak and the Zanskar river

Chadar, the river and the sedimentary rocky layers of the gorge on the way to Tibb

Tibb  - a campsite that means shade

Sunrays hitting the chadar at Shingra Koma

Early morning view at Tilat Sumdo
A frozen waterfall territory on the way to Nerak

First light creating a silver lining on the rocks opposite to Nerak village

On the way back to Tibb, the blue sky welcomes us 
View from hotel Auspicious at Leh

View through the poplar trees overlooking Stok Kangri mountain range from hotel Auspicious

Poplar trees of Leh and the cold desert of Ladakh valley


Chadar Chronicles

We are just back from an amazing long pending trek on the frozen Zanskar river. The trek is widely known as Chadar. We had registered through India Hikes, a well known trekking community and their main objective is to document the trekking information so that others get benefit out of the same. Me and my friends liked the whole concept of documentation and decided to record some videos during our trek. This made the whole effort very interesting and we started liking our documentation assignment along with the beautiful experience of walking on Chadar. Here are some of the videos that we recorded, with appropriate narration and information about the trail. Hopefully it helps people to understand the trail better.