This dangerous and challenging trek takes you along the frozen Zanskar river from Chiling to Lingshed or to Zangla and back. It should only be attempted on the advice of local guides because safe passage depends on the ice conditions on the river.
It is possible only during January – February when temperatures are sufficiently cold for the river to freeze. It should not be attempted after the end of February because of the risk of ice melting and trapping you in the gorge.
The trail is sometimes on the ice and sometimes along the river bank. The first 4-5 days are in the spectacular Zanskar Gorge where sheer rock walls tower hundreds of meters above the narrow river and rock of extraordinary colour and hue is eroded in sensuous whorls and hollows with the action of water over the millennia. If you continue past Lingshed to Zangla you will reach the upper valley with its huge vistas and tiny villages like specks in the snow. You must return by the same route as alternative routes out cross high passes that are closed with snow.
Despite the risks, this is a stupendous journey quite unlike any other.