Trek Across The Great Divide: Zanskar

2020 Pangi Valley to Zanskar Trek | Whistling Arrow

July 17 to August 3, 2020 | USD 5250


The idea for this exploratory expedition was conceived (as Shipton always recommended) on the back of a postcard, and born out of our longstanding addiction to unearthing some of the last hidden corners of the Himalaya; and, in particular, a craving to explore the remote knot of mountains that divide the mythical valleys of Pangi, Dharlang and Zanskar. It all began with a dog-eared copy of the Himalayan Journal (it's a long story), but suffice to say, this brief excerpt underscores the essence of the original inspiration: "It was an unusually spectacular gorge, filled with glacier ice and frozen pools, with towering rock and ice walls rearing into a brilliance that simply took my breath away".
So, designed with the more experienced trekker in mind, our team will embark on a slightly 'unscripted' adventure that begins with one of the most awe-inspiring, white-knuckle drives in the world, to first arrive at our far-flung trailhead in the secluded Pangi Valley. From here, the expedition will set off to explore deep into a timeless Himalayan backdrop of vertiginous valleys carpeted with wildflowers, magnificent glaciers framed by towering black rock peaks, and cascading fields of snow and ice that feed sapphire-coloured rivers. Last but not least, we will traverse 'the great divide', and trek beyond the central Himalayan range, by crossing two extraordinarily wild high-altitude passes (both above 5000m), to descend into what, in our humble opinion, has to be one of nature's most awe-inspiring landscapes - the beautifully barren Zanskar Valley.
In short then, if you are looking to join an epic Himalayan trekking expedition, with a like-minded team of intrepid adventurers, then this is it!
 
 

Why Join Our Team?

Participate in an expert, exploratory expedition to explore one of the last hidden corners of the mighty Himalayan range.
Discover the often transformational nature of remote wilderness trekking, where resilance and adaptability are key.
Forge a new route over 2 spectacular high-altitude passes ­that divide the 3 mythical valleys of Pangi, Dharlang and Zanskar.
Trek From Pangi Valley to Zanskar | Whistling Arrow

Expedition Plan

This is an exploratory route through a remote region of the Himalayas that will require a considerable amount of flexibility and self-reliance from all members of the team. The following is only the outline daily plan.
 

July 17, 2020 ­

Fly to Dharamshala (IATA: DHM). You will be met at the airport and transferred to our lodge. Enjoy an introductory team dinner and drinks.­

July 18, 2020­

Drive for six or seven hours to Chumba, where we will source final provisions for the expedition. Overnight local lodge.­

July 19, 2020 ­

Drive 160km to Killar via the legendary Sach Pass (4420m). T­he length of drive depends on road conditions. Overnight ­local lodge.­

July 20,2020 ­

Drive to Ghandari Mor in the Pangi Valley. Here we will meet our local porters and trek for 4 to 5 hours to Chatang. Camp (2800m).­

July 21, 2020 ­

Today we will trek for 5 or 6 hours to Nagani­ where we will set up camp at approximately 3200m.­

July 22, 2020 ­

Trek for 5 or 6 hours to Chandi Padhar where we will set up camp at approximately 3400m. ­

July 23, 2020 ­

Trek for 5 or 6 hours to our first 'base camp' at approximately 4300m. ­

July 24, 2020­

Today is our spare acclimatization/contingency/rest day to be utilized here, or perhaps later in the trek as needed. ­

July 25, 2020 ­

Trek for 6 to 7 hours over the Mun La (our first high-altitude pass) which tops out at around 5100m. Descend ­to camp at Pil Thang (4600m).­

July 26, 2020

Trek for 5 to 6 hours down into the majestic Dharlang Valley and camp at approximately 3­800m.

July 27, 2020 ­

Trek for 6 to 7 hours to Chumik Nakpo and set up camp at approximately 4300m.­

July 28, 2020

Trek for 7 to 8 hours to our second base camp at the toe of Zanskar Kanthang glacier at approximately 4800m. ­

July 29, 2020

Trek for 8 to 9 hours over the Pot La (our second high-altitude pass topping out at 5490m) before descending to camp at Kanjur (4900m). ­

July 30, 2020­

Trek for 6 to 7 hours to Chimichenmo where we will set up camp at approximately 4200m.­

July 31, 2020

Trek for 5 to 6 hours down to Burdan (3700m) where the trail ends. ­Drive for a couple of hours to Padum. Overnight local lodge.­

August 1, 2020 ­

Drive for 6 to 7 hours down to Kargil (2700m). Overnight local lodge. ­

August 2, 2020 ­

Drive 6 to 7 hours to Leh (3550m). Overnight local lodge.­

August 3, 2020

Fly from Leh (IATA: IXL) to Delhi. Connect onwards to your final destination.­

Expedition Location

Practical Information

Rest assured we will be here to advise you on all aspects of preparing for, and participating in, this trip. Here are a few obvious places to start.

 

Accomodation ­

Will be in boutique lodges in Dharamshala and Leh, and more basic local hotels in other towns/villages . On the trek itself we will be camping.­ Please note that any accommodation required before/after the expedition in Delhi is not included.­

Altitude­

The maximum altitude en route will be approximately 5490m. We have included one extra day that can be used as as a spare acclimatization day as needed.­

Communication

On the trek there will be no phone coverage but we will carry a two-way satellite email and texting device for emergency communication.­

Difficulty

The trek will be challenging so everyone will need to be properly prepared both mentally and physically.­

Equipment ­

We will supply all camping equipment. Please refer to our typical kit list for a guide to what else to bring.­

First Aid ­

We carry a comprehensive medical kit, including Diamox and Dexamethazone to treat any signs of altitude sickness.

Food ­

Mainly local and Western food prepared by our expedition cook. We also will include plenty of snacks etc.

Flights ­

The trip begins in Dharamshala (IATA: DHM) and ends with the flight out of Leh (IATA:IXL). All guests must arrive in Dharamshala by the evening of July 17.­ Please note that we will book both domestic flights, which are included in the price.­

Insurance

All guests must have a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes emergency medical evacuation.

Support ­

Your large rucksacks will be transported by porters so you only need to carry your day pack while hiking. ­

­Temperatures

Typically will range between 5 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day but may fall to as low as minus 5 degrees at night. ­

Toilets & Washing­

On the trek itself we will be camping, so washing and toilet facilities will be wild and fairly basic­, although we will carry a toilet tent.

Visas ­

Indian visas will be required for this trip for those nationalities that require one. No other special permits are needed. ­
 
Price USD 5250 PP

All inclusive (inc domestic flights) except local tips & international flights. To book we will require a 30% deposit with the balance payable 30 days before the departure date. 

Availability: 4 Places Left

The group size for this adventure will be limited to just 6 relatively experienced trekkers due to the remote location, and exploratory nature of this expedition.

Payment & Preparations

We will provide all the information you need to book and prepare for the trip including payment instructions, advice on flights, what to bring and all safety considerations.

Expeditionary Trek | Pangi & Zanskar | Whistling Arrow
The genesis of an idea: A dog-earred copy of the Himalayan Journal, a wee dram, and the proverbial back of an unmarked postcard­.

 A Final Word On Getting To The Trailhead



The road over the legendary Sach Pass into the Pangi Valley cuts right through mountain ledges, and for the most part, is only wide enough for one jeep (you can just make one out at the foot of the background image) at a time. All along the road, cliffs shoot straight up to the very tops of the peaks, and then straight down thousands of metres to the rubble-strewn banks of the Chenab River. In short then, not a drive for the feint hearted!