Ladakh River Tours
 
Zanskar River Expedition - 11 Days

Season: June - September
Number of Days: 11 Days
Grade: Strenuous

Day 1: Delhi - Leh (3500m):
Board the flight to Leh. On arrival in Leh; transfer to the guest house / hotel. Have the rest of the day to check out the extraordinary market center of Leh, where charismatic shops, restaurants, and taverns align the streets; where people of at least a dozen different languages and cultures intermingle; and from where one can view spectacular mountain ranges, the precariously perched Leh Monastery, and a must see place the famous sunset point Shanti Stupa.

Day 2: Leh:
There's no better place to spend a day acclimatizing to Himalayan altitude than in Leh. Several local monasteries welcome visitors to explore their ancient dwellings; cultural expositions are regularly held in the market. The day is all yours - whether you choose to explore Buddhist sites, relax in the sun on the hotel deck, or just watch people in the market.

Day 3: Leh - Kargil:
Today we will drive the Srinagar - Leh Road over two mountain passes, the highest of which, Fotu La, is over 14,000 ft in elevation. Along the winding course we stop at the Lamayuru monastery, one of the oldest Gompas in the Himalaya. After eight hours on the road, we reach Kargil where we check into a nice hotel- have a healthy dinner of Indian cuisine, and rest up for another day of travel.

Day 4: Kargil - Rangdum:
This is one of the most spectacular drives in the world! Heading out of Kargil, we ascend up the Suru River Valley, passing through quaint farmlands stretched out beneath colossal glaciated peaks, the highest of which, Mounts Nun and Kun 7135 meters in elevation. Tonight we make our first camp in a vast meadow, surrounded by dazzling geologic formations, high in the upper reaches of the Suru drainage. Three miles across the meadow we can make out the remote Rangdum monastery, perched precariously atop a minute crag at 4000 m.

Day 5: Rangdum – Zanskar River Put – In Camp:
The last leg of our drive takes us over 4400 m high Pensi La Pass, affording breathtaking views of the Zanskar Mountain Range and of the Zanskar River headwaters. Tonight we set camp at our put - in location on the river, framed by the massive peaks of the Himalayan Zanskar Range. Eat a spectacular dinner of Indian fare, and rest up for the river portion of our expedition.

Day 6 - 9: Rafting the Mighty Zanskar!
We spend these days rafting the Zanskar River! This is one of the most dramatic river canyons in the world. We begin our downstream journey with small rapids, drifting through spectacular mountain backdrops and alongside remote Zanskari villages. The whitewater becomes progressively more difficult as we move downstream. We'll navigate several narrow Class III and IV mini gorges; and will scout at least one section aptly named "The Pinch!" The scenery is spectacular, with massive cliffs opening up to lush side valleys, waterfalls streaming directly out of the canyon walls, and glimpses of glaciated mountaintops in the distance. Each afternoon we'll set up camp on the riverbank and work together to create delicious meals. Every camp allows opportunities for hiking and for further exploration of the gorge and its many side canyons. We'll also spend one layover day exploring Nyrak, an ancient Zanskari village and monastery accessibly only a foot.

Day 10: Rafting – Alchi - Leh:
Today we encounter the last of the Class III and IV whitewater, and float past the enormous and dramatic confluence with the Indus River. We take - out, load up, and drive a short distance and hike up to the thousands of years - old Alchi Monastery. After a quick visit we drive back to Leh (1 hr). Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Leh - Delhi:
Transfer to the airport and fly back to Delhi with awe inspiring memories from your expedition.
Trip ends

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