Zanskar Rafting Expedition Grade 4 plus
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.
Day 1 : Fly to Leh early in the morning . Transfer to hotel. Briefing and orientation walk after Lunch. Rest for acclimatization.
Day 2 : Half day sightseeing of Stok Palace Museum, Shey and Thiksey.
Day 3 : Leh- Kargil : 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.
Day 4 : Kargil-Rangdum : 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.
Day 5 : Rangdum-Remala : 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.
Day 6 : Remala–Karsha : 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.
Day 7: Karsha-Honia : 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.
Day 8 : Honia – Nyerak L : 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.
Day 9 : 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.
Day 10 : 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.
Day 11 : Fly to Delhi. End of services.
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Important Questions :
How long does it take to get acclimatize?
Abruptly going to a height of 3500 m, one naturally feels a difference. Your body reacts and behaves differently in rarified air at high altitude. What you need to do is just take it easy and give some time to your body to adjust in to less oxygen (hypoxia) by a slow physiological process called Acclimatization. Time taken for acclimatization varies from person to person; usually you nee atleast 2-3 days in order get well acclimatized and you need to take complete rest for the 1st day even if you are feeling fine. Drink plenty of fluids at least 3-4 litres. Diet should be high in carbohydrates, less oily and predominantly vegetarian. Avoid excess of alcohol and tobacco in any form.
Why are some treks more expensive than others?
If we have to organize a trek near Leh than it's less expensive for transportation and same is for the pack horses as we have to send them to the starting point. Even after finishing the trek we have to pay for the horses for reaching Leh. That's why there are different rates for different trek routes.
Who carries the things/gears and food during the trek?
In Ladakh normally you have to trek around the height of 4000mts and the passes are around 5000mts so its very difficult to carry heavy loads at this height, that's why we provide pack horses/ponies they will carry everything, trekkers will have to carry only the pack lunch, water, camera, note book, and some delicate things which they don't want keep with the horses.
What we do with the garbage that are produced during the trek?
We are very keen to keep Ladakh clean, that's why we strictly instruct our staff to bring back all the garbages produced during the trek.
What about the temperature (maximum and minimum) during the trekking season?
The average temperatures in the trekking routes during the trekking season are as under:
May................. (Max 15*C & Min -3*C)
June................ (Max 25*C & Min 6*C)
July................. (Max 30*C & Min 10*C)
August ............ (Max 27*C & Min 8*C)
September...... (Max 15*C & Min -2*C)
October........... (Max 8*C & Min -8*C)
How we look after your health while trekking?
Our guides are careful to prepare your meals with your enjoyment in mind. Typically these plentiful meals will be primarily vegetarian in nature with some meat or protein in the form of canned fish or tofu. This is typical of the Ladakhi diet in general. Our guides are encouraged to use hand sanitizers such as alcohol based gels prior to food preparation. You are encouraged to do the same. Dishes are typically stainless steel bowls and pans and are cleaned after meals with scrub pads and soap. Our staff will provide rehydrating liquids in large quantities throughout your trek. Take advantage of tea, coffee, juice and water whenever you can. At altitude it is natural not to feel much hunger or thirst. Make sure you stay adequately fed and drank plenty of fluids both at meals and along the trail. During summer, heat can be a real factor requiring significant intake of liquids while you trek. So always carry 2 liters of water with you.
Our guides will make every effort to pace your day so you are not pushed to your physical limits. This means you will be getting up and away in good time so your day will allow a consistent but moderate pace.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or other chronic illness it would be wise to let Dreamland Trek and Tour know of this condition prior to leaving Leh. This way your guide will understand that you have medication along with you should someone other than yourself have to administer the drugs.
Preparation for altitude during the trek is vital. Acclimatize in Leh prior to departure on your trek. Take at least 4 days doing tours or other easy to moderate physical activity prior to beginning your trek. If possible start low and go slowly for the first few days of your trek. Some routes will not allow this, so acclimatization is even more important in these cases.
Prior to your trek meet with your doctor and discuss your overall physical condition and your doctor's recommendation for high altitude medication. You may also wish to discuss treatment and medication for traveler's diarrhea as you experience new foods and bacterial environments.
With these simple ideas in mind, your trekking experience will be most enjoyable for you and other travelers along the way.
What do we do if someone is sick or injured during the trek?
During the trek our guides will make every effort to pace your day so you are not pushed to your physical limits. This means you will be getting up and away in good time so your day will allow a consistent but moderate pace. And in case it hits a member of the tour then our assistant guide will immediately bring him/her down asap. He will use the ponies to ride for the sick person in the mean time he will inform us through a satellite phone (now we have satellite phone in almost every remote villages of Ladakh) and we will soon send a jeep to bring her/him to the hospital in Leh.
Rescue in Emergency:
In case if someone is critically sick or injured and requires helicopter evacuation, this can be done with the cooperation of JK Tourism Department & Indian Airforce as long as you have the insurance to cover this so it would be useful to let us know which insurance.