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White Water Rafting in Zanskar by Mountain View Trek and Tour
The Zanskar river expedition is a classic rafting holiday and is one of the best rivers for kayaking or rafting in India. It has it all, great white-water, amazing scenery and a cultural experience second to none. Also know as the Grand Canyon of Asia, it is located in the lunar-like landscape of western Ladakh. Ladakh is unique in India. With over 90% of the population practising Buddhism it is more like Tibet than India in many ways. This expedition gives a great insight into local culture with visits to monasteries, palaces, villages and markets all included. Like all adventure holidays in India we begin with a scenic drive with an amazing backdrop. Our first two days on the river are quite easy with smaller rapids, providing a good warm up for exercising at high altitude. The sight of the huge snow capped peaks of the Greater and Zanskar Himalayan ranges coupled with the occasional Gompa (monastery) overlooking the river is something that will stay with you long after this trip is over. After these two days we enter the Canyon and commit to reaching its end where the Zanskar joins the Indus. With Canyon walls over 1000 meters deep in places, big class IV rapids and limited road access we are truly committed on this adventure holiday, where else would you rather be!
Arrival in India You will be meet at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Spend the remainder of day relaxing at the hotel or go sightseeing. Overnight Hotel.
Delhi to Leh (3505 m): 1 hr Take the one hour flight to Leh, capital of Ladakh. This is an incredible flight over the greater Himalaya with spectacular views of K2 (8611 m) among others. Overnight hotel.
Acclimatise and sightseeing in LehSpend day in Leh to acclimatise. For the more energetic a visit to monasteries such as Shey, Thikse and Hemis will be arranged. Or choose to relax and walk into Leh town, to its exciting market and outdoor restaurants. Enjoy the great views of Stok Kangri (6153 m) and its surrounding peaks. Overnight Leh hotel.
Leh to Kargil (2740 m): 7 hrsWe drive to Kargil, through the spectacular Ladakhi moonscape. We drive over the Fotu La Pass (4200 m) and visit the Lamayuru monastery, stopping along the way for photo and chai (sweet milky tea) breaks. Overnight hotel in Kargil.
Kargil to Rangdum (3657 m): 6 hrs This drive is spectacular, taking us past Panikar and Parkachik with magnificent views of the Nun (7135 m) and Kun (7075 m) Massifs, hanging glaciers and large meadows. We drive till Rangdum Gompa (3680 m). Camp overnight.
Rangdum to Remala (3635 m): 6 hrsThe last day of driving takes us over the Pensi La pass (4450 m) and offers stunning views of the Zanskar Range and the Drung Durung Glacier. We reach the Stod River - a tributary of the Zanskar - at Remala, our put-in point and enjoy a good nights sleep under the stars in preparation for the first day on the river. Overnight camp.
Remala to Karsha (3600 m): 6 hrsAfter a comprehensive safety talk, we start on the river. Class II rapids offer a great introduction to white-water and exercising at high altitude along this 30 km section. These first two days on the river are in a wide glaciated valley. We take out beside the Karsha Gompa (monastery) near Padum. Settle into camp by afternoon, take an optional hike to the Gompa. Overnight camp.
Karsha to Pidmo (3420 m): 5 hrsThis is another mellow day, taking us closer to the Grand Canyon of Asia. The river starts to pick up with some class III rapids allowing us to further acclimatise before entering the gorge. Enjoy great views of the panoramic peaks of the Zanskar and Greater Himalayan ranges that surround us in this small valley.
Pidmo to Nyerak (3286 m): 6 hrsWe leave the valley behind us and enter the jaws of the Canyon. The river banks change to vertical walls and the river constricts and speeds up, we are now truly committed. We run some great rapids eventually stopping at Nyerak in the afternoon. Nyerak is one of the rare campsites in the gorge, a place where a side/hanging valley forms a gap in the gorge. Overnight camp.
Rest Day at Nyerak We take a rest day at Nyerak. Take the side hike up to Nyerak village or relax with a good book. A nearby stream makes for a perfect shower.
Nyerak to Chilling (3190 m): 6 hrsToday’s 35 km river section takes us from Nyerak to Chilling (3190 m) through the core of the gorge. 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 6 meters. We stop for lunch near a huge waterfall and continue to camp at the confluence of Markha river with the Zanskar. Rock formations, spires and an amazing palette of colours add to the trip today. Overnight Camp.
Chilling to Nimu (2743 m): 7 hrsWe run 40 km of Class III/IV white water from Chilling to Nimu (3154 m) 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 Nimu. We end our expedition at the confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus (India‘s namesake). Drive an hour back to Leh. Last minute retail therapy in the Tibetan markets and a hot shower! Overnight hotel.
Leh to DelhiTake the amazing flight back down to Delhi over the Great Himalayan Range. Upon arrival to Delhi transfer from the domestic to international airports in time for your flight home. Trip ends.