Mike’s Zanskar Dream Trek
Last summer trek leader Mike Ford led our Zanskar Dream Trek(renamed in 2018 to Wild Zanskar Trek) in Ladakh, India. He described it as an "absolutely amazing high-altitude trekking experience".
"The Zanskar Dream Trek, run by Mountain Kingdoms was an absolutely amazing high-altitude trekking experience. It started with a carefully-thought out acclimatisation programme including days in Leh and some amazing Tibetan Buddhist monasteries on the way to the trek starting point beyond Lamayuru.
The trek itself was 23 days (and tent-nights) of sheer unadulterated Himalayan beauty with magnificent views, five 5,000m passes, extraordinary scenery and the very occasional small settlement. It was a wilderness experience par excellence with amazing geological features, crisp clean air, photogenic views at every turn and just the sound of the wind and rivers to meditate upon. The geologists on trek could not believe some of the folds and gorge scenery (including imbricated thrusts) and the photographers clicked perpetually (or was it just their shutters)? There was an incredible sense of achievement both during and at the end - 250km of trekking through wild, mostly uninhabited terrain which was, quite honestly a once in a lifetime treat (and challenge).
The beautifully-crafted trek route was in stark contrast to the many busy trekking highways of Nepal. The end of the trek was particularly emotional – watching the mighty snow-capped massif of Kang Yatse disappear from view as we began the 1,700m descent to the road-head in the small settlement of Shang. Even the lure of a hot shower and cold beer after 23 days in the mountains did little to ease the feeling of loss as we parted company with the stunning Zanskar mountains.
The ground crew and horsemen handled the complex logistics with great professionalism and the kitchen crew provided excellent food throughout. The weather was amazing – lots of sunshine, clear starry night skies and only the one blizzard at 5,000m. We survived the 100 + river crossings, herds of Himalayan wildlife, prowling snow-leopards (we saw paw-prints twice) and a couple of seriously challenging scree-slopes. Not for the faint hearted but what an experience! Thoroughly recommended."
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