The snow tourist
The first night, we camped at Tillet, where the Zanskar river meets a small tributary. Next morning, Chosfal, our guide, woke us up early. Freshening up was an ordeal. If one doesn’t do it quickly, you end up with frost on your face. After a quick breakfast of Ladakhi bread and tea, we were on our way.
The trek is a lesson in discipline. Already at an altitude of 11,500 feet, it does not involve any climbing, but the cold can be unforgiving. The route is treacherous too. By February, the river begins to thaw, so there’s always the possibility of stepping onto thin ice and falling in the river. As we soldiered on, we had to keep rehydrating ourselves, because even though one doesn’t perspire or feel thirsty frequently, one needs to keep replenishing the body salts.
Our schedules were timed to perfection. We never walked for more than three hours at one go, interspersing it with adequate tea breaks, always ensuring we reached our camps on time. The trek taught us about conserving energy. Dinners were early every day because the more we stayed up, the more energy we burned and wood was scarce. After the end of the day’s trek, when we sat down around the campfire, our
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