Ladakh & Zanskar

The magic of the four important climbing regions in Jammu & Kashmir are indescribable. There is no place on earth that is comparable and mountaineers are drawn by its stark and dramatic beauty, its flora and fauna as well as its challenging climbs.

Climbing in Ladakh
Kashmir, Zanskar, Ladakh and Kishtwar are areas for month-long expeditions. The peaks of Kishtwar are not too high but offer technical climbing with challenging routes. Well-known peaks are Sickle Moon (6575m), Eiger (6001m), Brammah I (6416m), Crooked Finger (5630m), Arjuna (6230m), Katori (6138m) and Flat Top (6100m).

The most famous peaks of Zanskar are Nun (7135m) and Kun (7077m). For Nun, one would follow an interesting trekking trail from Leh – Lamayuru – Shilla – Yogmala – Kanjila – Mapolan – Ringdum -Panikhar and then to BC till you begin your climb. For Kun, one follows a similar route till Ringdum and then moves to Golmatongas and a two day trek gets one to the base camp.

Adjacent to them in the Shafat glacier are White Needle (6500m), Pinnacle (6930m), and Z1 (6400m). The Z peak series are around the nearby Durung Drung glacier off Pensi La. In the Ladakh region, it has Stok Kangri (6153m), Parcha Kangri (6065m) and Kang Yatse (6400m).

For Stok Kangri, you follow the very popular Markha valley trail till you begin your ascent. Leh – Lamayuru – Wanla – Hinju – Lanak – Chilling – Skiu – Markha– Thachunngtse – Nimaling – Chogdo – Shang – Shang Phu – Shang la –Yarlas – Stok Kangri glacier.

For climbing in the Eastern Karakoram area for which one needs to drive over the Khardungla Pass, getting close to the vicinity of the Siachen glacier, certain peaks are allowed on a joint Indo-Foreign expedition basis with a maximum of 7 members from each side. Peaks like Apsaras II (7200m), Chong Kumdan II (7004m), Siakangri II (7093m), Saltoro Kangri II (7005m), are some of the virgin peaks.

Climbing expeditions from overseas are obliged to pay a peak royalty depending on the height of the mountain.

Walking the Chadar with the local Ladakhis
A walk on the frozen River Zanskar, traditionally called the `Tchadar’ or ‘Chadar’ meaning “white sheet” is a once in a lifetime journey. Into a land that is cut off from the outside world for over half the year and can only be visited in winter by following the old trade route across the frozen Zanskar river, this route was the last vestige of the famous Silk route that used to come to Leh.

In the heart of winter, the river freezes to become the only source of travel for the Zanskaris into Ladakh. To negotiate the frozen Zanskar, accompanied by an Ibex guide and experienced Zanskari porters, you undertake long marches every day in varying snow and ice conditions. Nights are spent in caves and Zanskari villages en route.

The experience of walking on the frozen Zanskar is unique. Deep in the desolate region of Zanskar, the icy gorge, the changing hues, the towering peaks, present an awe inspiring sight, tinged with just the right dose of adventure due to the freezing temperatures and conditions underfoot

This two-week tour from Delhi to Delhi, requires people to be fit, with a fair degree of experience in the outdoors. Apply to us with your outdoor details as well.

Ibex has assisted the maximum number of journeys through this gorge and were also awarded the `Discovery Award’ by PATA for bringing this as a tourism product to the world.

Rafting down the Zanskar river
In the summer months of July and August, the mighty Zanskar river, the Grand Canyon of India, forms Grade 4 and 5 rapids, becoming a wild, fun river to go rafting on. This trip is combined with a fascinating jeep safari from Leh to Padum which is the put in point and then, one exits at Nimu near Leh. The Zanskar river traverses through its gorge to the confluence of the Indus. The mountain rivers allow for runs from a day trip to longer duration ones which can be combined with a trek or an expedition to tackle remote and difficult rivers.

Ibex ensures your trip has international quality rafts, river guides, rafting equipment such jackets, helmets along with all over aspects such as transport, food and camp facilities.

Read a personal account of this journey taken in the summer of 2013, published in The Outdoor Journal.

Mountain biking on rugged trails
For the serious mountain biker, the ultimate journey in India is on the Manali-Leh highway. It is a two-week journey crossing high passes, small, quaint villages and ancient monasteries. Ibex can provide Indian mountain bikes or if you are serious amateurs
or professionals, you can bring your own from overseas. The tour has an Ibex
vehicle following with staff, camp, safety and repair equipment. Cycling nights
are spent in camps punctuated with hotel nights.

Home stays and snow leopards in Ladakh
The snow leopard is an endangered, elusive large cat native to the mountains of Central and South Asia.  In the cold winter months of Ladakh, we provide you the unique and rare experience of finding the elusive and endangered snow leopard.  With a team of a snow leopard naturalist we will take you into one of its best habitats in Hemis National Park. The park that extends 600 sq. km. Is named after the famous monastery, Hemis Gompa. It includes catchments of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak and parts of the Zanskar Range. Hemis has been identified as a snow leopard reserve under a project launched by the central government aimed at conserving the species, its pray base and its fragile mountainous home. Ibex works towards promoting innovative grassroots measures that lead local people of Ladakh to become better stewards of endangered snow leopards, their prey and habitat. At Ibex, we use the home stays for our clients, thus supporting the community.

Camel safaris in Ladakh
Camel safaris on double humped camels are also possible in the high altitude desert of the Nubra Valley in Ladakh.

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