Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Zanskar River, Ladakh, India


The confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers, looking up the Zanskar Valley.
The Zanskar river. What a great place.

After leaving Leh and driving toward Kargil, leaving behind Stok-Kangri massif, we headed off on what would be a 3 day drive to the put-in. Kargil was an interesting first stop with an 80% Muslim population, and a place that has been on the map of wars in the not to distant past. Being able to see some of the old marks of the wars was interesting.
After the night in Kargil we headed off along the Suru river on which they are currently building a dam. Heading into the Zanskar valley means that we would be crossing Pensi La, at just over 14000ft, to reach Padum, the administrative centre of this area. This road was originally built in 1979 and you can see the effects of tourism as they are now building a shorter route to Padum directly through the Zanskar gorge.
We spend one night in Rangdum which is a beautiful valley with mountians of amazing geology surrounding you and the Rangdum Gompa standing in the distance. The next day crossing the pass and following the Stod or Doda river to Remala before it and the Tsarp Chu converge to make the Zanskar River.
From this point onwards will be on the river for the next six days of relaxing, eating, enjoying the view and doing some excellent rafting.
Enjoy the photos and check out Aquaterra Adventures or Water by Nature for more info on this trip.

Looking up the valley at Rangdum, 13000ft of elevation above sea level.
Passing one of the check posts in this area.

Drang-Drung Glacier greets you as you head down from the top of the pass. The put in is not further along.
Evening activities on the rest day. Do be careful with burning objects.

Dave H. spinning it up with Poys made out of petzel headlamps.

Village kids from the village of Nyerak on the rest day.

Raft rigged and ready to go on the 2nd day.

Third day camp, not a bad view, Eh!

Truck driving past some nice mountains near the entrance to the Zanskar Gorge.

Mule on the move at the third day camp.

Safety Kayaker in the Gorge.

Photos by David Prothero.

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