Class: Grade III and IV
Date: 2nd Aug 2019, 15th Aug 2019 and 15th Sep 2019.
Get ready to experience the Grand Canyons of Asia in all its glory, paddling through the heart of the Zanskar valley, devouring the various shades of the Ladakhi sky. The National Geographic ranks it under the top 100 adventures on planet Earth.
This is a river adventure like none other. A two week expedition would give you an opportunity to discover little seen parts of western Ladakh. Get ready for sights and sounds of monasteries, drums, fluttering prayer flags, canyons and some of the best white water that is far beyond your dreams and expectations.
You would begin your journey by acclimatizing for a few days at Leh town, where you can also visit ancient palaces and monasteries. Drive past 7000 meter high mountains, awesome glaciers, to begin the river run in the Zanskar valley at 12,000 feet. Spend the first two days enjoying the moderate white water where you get an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and natural surroundings. Zanskar offers spectacular physical features, unlike anything you have seen in all of India or the world. At the end of the Zanskar valley, get ready for the spectacular Zanskar Canyon, also referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of Asia’. The walls of the Canyon go up thousands of feet off the river bed. You have a feeling of being at one with nature and may feel like the only person in this desolate part of the world. The Zanskar canyon is a grade 4 whitewater section and offers amazing whitewater for rafting and kayaking.
Spend most of the day on the river Zanskar and pitch up camp late in the afternoon. Enjoy sumptuous meals by the river side and laze in the afternoon or stroll & explore the area. Enjoy a spectacular night sky filled with twinkling stars, while you sit around a camp fire and listen to stories of the many runs our guides have done on their favorite river. You will also discover the rich culture and history of the natives as we make our way down the Zanskar, and take back memories that will keep you thrilled for a long time to come.
Fly to Leh early in the morning . Transfer to hotel. Briefing and orientation walk after Lunch. Rest for acclimatization
Half day sightseeing of Stok Palace Museum, Shey and Thiksey.
The drive to Kargil over the Fotu La Pass at 14,000 ft. is spectacular. Enroute, we stop for lunch at the Lamayuru monastery and capture the imposing moonscape. Stopover at Mulbek. Overnight stay at Kargil hotel.
Spend most of the day driving from Kargil to Rangdum. As we go through Panikar and Parkachik, we take in awesome sights of the twin peaks Nun and Kun, both above 7000mt, numerous hanging glaciers and lush meadows. Camp overnight.
This is the last day of driving before we get on the river. We travel over the Pensi La pass at 14,000ft. to enter the Zanskar valley & get some amazing views of the Darang Durung glacier and the Zanskar range. The starting point for the expedition is on the Doda River, a tributary of Zanskar, at Remala. Get a good night’s sleep as one anticipates the first day on the river. Camp overnight.
After a talk on safety procedures and basic instructions for paddling by our experienced and competent river guides you are ready to start your expedition. The river begins with a grade 3 section, a great way to get your body exercised and a good introduction to river rafting for the first-timers. Raft for about 4 hours with a lunch break on the river. Set up camp at the confluence of the Doda & the Tsarap Chu rivers. One can choose to rest and enjoy the camp or hike upto the Karsha Monastery. Camp overnight.
. It is advisable to get up exceptionally early today to catch the first rays of sunlight on the Karsha Monastry. It makes for some picture perfect moments. After this we get on to the river and head out to Honia. Paddling through some Grade III rapids we enter the Zanskar Canyon. The Valley narrows down as you pass through some Higher Himalyan ranges. We finally find an appropriate beach spot to camp overnight.
Honia – Nyerak
Pack up and get moving for about 25 km on the river & enter the canyon to reach Nyerak (3286m; 10,780ft; 3 hrs). This is a grade 3 section and warms you up for the rafting that is to follow in the days to come. At Hanumil, the last village, we enter a breathtaking canyon. The banks of the river now give way to mountain walls that rise thousands of feet above you. We run some terrific rapids today, stop for lunch, then raft some more before calling it a day and setting up camp below the Nyerak village. This campsite is one of the few sites in the canyon where one can camp.
Nyerak – Chilling
Today’s 40 km rafting section takes us from Nyerak to Chilling (3190 m; 10,465 ft; 5-6 hrs including scout and lunch) through the core of the Zanskar. A classic white water day with continuous Class III rapids, and a few Class IV rapid where the river squeezes between a gap of about 18ft known as the GATE. We stop for lunch near a huge waterfall and continue to the confluence of Markha river with the Zanskar. Rock formations, spires and an amazing palette of colours add to the trip today. After packing camp, we raft to Chilling. The gorge narrows in on the river – this indeed is a Grand Canyon in its own right. We stop for the day to pitch camp at Chilling village.
Chilling – Nimo
We raft 35 kms of Class III/IV white water from Chilling to Nimo (3154 m; 10,345 ft; 3-4 hrs) today. We raft past the village of Chilling and exciting rapids as the Zanskar plunges out of the canyon to meet with the Indus at Nimo. We end our trip at just below the confluence of the Zanskar with the Indus.Overnight at Camp in Nimoo.
Fly to Delhi. End of services.
STUFF TO CARRY
->Your sense of humour, indomitable spirit and footloose attitude.
->Torch (most important). Invest in a good headlight if you can
->Water Bottle (1 litre each so that there’s no litter in the outdoors)
->Woollens. 1 pair should be enough. Usually at this time of the year (July-Sept) temperatures are up to 10 degrees in the nights. We will be providing everyone with wetsuits on the river
->A pair of warm thermal inners
->Personal Medication if any
->We provide you with good sleeping bags in the night when living in tents. ACCLIMATIZATION & AVOIDING ALTITUDE
SICKNESS DURING TRIP TO LADAKH
Anyone travelling to altitudes above 10,000 ft (3300 m) may suffer from acute mountain sickness (AMS) unless properly acclimatized. The most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness are headache, disturbed sleep and loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lassitude and lack of concentration. If you are reaching Leh by air, it is important to take complete rest for the first 24 hours after arrival. Any kind of physical exertion should be avoided. Smoking and drinking should also be avoided till you are fully acclimatized. “Rest” means complete lying down in your hotel room without reading or watching TV. It is absolutely important to keep yourself properly hydrated by drinking enough water. Ladakh is dry in nature and lacks moisture. Your body should get used to the lower oxygen level of Ladakh for which you should take complete rest for the first 24 hours and as much rest as possible during the next 12 hours.