Zanskar Trek/Raft  

Here is a way you can do the trip of a lifetime and help the locals at the same time.

  • Custom trip – just your group
  • Trek with Lobsang Thalay as your guide - you will thank me!
  • Assisted with pack horses
  • Locally run trip, all the money stays in the village
  • Very reasonable price since no middleman
  • Raft down the "Grand Canyon" of Ladakh, the Zanskar River.  Grade 3 and 4 whitewater
lobsang

Hiking with Lobsang             

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uch more than a trekking trip

Trips run from late July to early September

If you are keen on Himalayan trekking this is the chance of a lifetime.  I visited Zanskar the winter of 2017 and was lucky enough to hook up with Lobsang Thalay to handle my local logistics.  We instantly hit it off, his organization and friendly manner made our trip perfect.  One thing that money can’t buy in this area is local connections.   Lobsang is from a very small (but strategically located) village called Pidmo.  These mountains are his back yard and when you visit villages you are accepted as a VIP if you are with Lobsang.  Lobsang has run trips for larger tourism companies before but of course he would much rather run them on his own, a difficult proposition considering the remote location he lives in.  Western style advertising and promotion is not reasonable given the barriers of communication that he faces.  I volunteered to help him find clients and act as his western representative.  I am only doing this to help Lobsang and his village and do not get any compensation.

Ladakh is world famous for it’s trekking.  In the summer the capitol city of Leh comes alive with foreign visitors coming to sample the mountains. Most visitors are on packaged group tours organized by large companies from New Delhi.  Like tourist areas everywhere the main hiking routes are very busy while other more exciting routes are often overlooked.  This itinerary takes you through remote tracks and villages far removed from the usual tourist routes.

The Route

Ladakh ("land of high passes") is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir boardering China and Pakistan.  Centrally located in Ladakh is the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, a remote valley that is virtually cut off from the outside world.  While Ladakh is half Muslim, half Buddhist, Zanskar is heavily Buddhist and ethnically closer to its Tibetan neighbours to the west rather than India to the south.  Landing Leh (flights daily from New Delhi) you will need a few days to become accustomed to the altitude. Local sights include magnificent monasteries and lakes.  Beginning in the Indus River valley your trekking route slowly gains altitude and while there are several passes approaching 5000m you will be sleeping at much lower elevations.  All gear is carried by horses and camps are comfortable with individual sleeping tents as well as well appointed cook tent and chairs.

The trekking finishes at Lobsang's village Pidmo.  Life in Zanskar is fascinating.  You will be welcomed to the village and stay in a local "homestay".   People here live much as they have for thousands of years, deeply Buddhist and agrarian it is a privilege to get a glimpse into their world.  There will be time to visit Zarsha and it's magnificent monastery.

Pidmo is located on the Zakskar River at the entrance to the Zanskar River Gorge.  The Zanskar travels to the Indus river through one of natures marvels, a deep canyon that travels for over 80km.  Rafting from Pidmo to the Indus is an exciting trip with many class 3 rapids and the occasional class 4.  Lobsang will hand you over to commercial river operators who guide the river full time.   John Yost, Sobek Expeditions co-founder and long-time international river guide, rates the Zanskar as the #1 river experience in the world. 

Cost  100$US per person per day