As we headed back from the Zanskar, I couldn’t help but wonder how difficult it would have been to navigate the Chadar and its topography.
The district of Zanskar is home to around 14000 people. And no one understands and knows the area as well as they do. Throughout summer they are engaged in various professions of their choosing, however during winter when work is slow and the valley is virtually inaccessible due to the harsh weather, they work as part time porters helping enthusiastic trekkers navigate the many trails of the region including the Chadar. They are an incredibly polite, friendly and warm bunch of people who take a ton of pride in welcoming people to their part of their world. And please do not think that just because they are helping you pull your bags and tents, that they remain at your disposal. We would be wise to be thankful to them for opening this beautiful and remote part of the world to us and welcome us in ways one would find it hard to imagine.
They truly are the heroes of the Chadar.
1. The ever smiling Namgyal readies his sledge as we prepare to depart from Naerak back to Shangri Koma.
2. Our trek leader, Stanzin Thupstan, takes a quick break while we throw our fat selves to rest during lunch hour.
3. Meet Stanzin Lodan, our junior most trek guide and porter. An incredibly funny and jolly lad, Stanzin is a Graduate in arts and is preparing to appear for his B.Ed exams this summer. He wishes to go back to his Village and teach at the local school for kids who don’t make it to Leh for their education. Here’s humility and warmth you can look up to for inspiration.
4. Lobsang, our cook for the trek fed us silly till we had to ask him to stop! Who would have thought that we would be sitting in temperatures way below sub zero, tucking into momos, noodles and fried rice prepared fresh for our lunches and dinners by the chap! Lobsang is a carpenter by profession and works as a cook during the winter months when work is lean.
5. Our lead guide Stanzin deftly breaks away ice over a ledge that we had to navigate at a part where the Chadar was broken. The water below him is deep and the current, fierce.
This was posted by our trekker @thirstytippler on instagram who recently came back from the Chadar Trek in 2019.
Thank you so much for expressing your heartfelt gratitude towards our team. They truly are the heroes of Chadar – Team Altitude Adventure
Find the instagram link here https://www.instagram.com/p/BuJber-lwQi/