Picture this: you are camping on the banks of a frozen river and sipping hot Kehwa whilst gazing steadily at the captivating clear, midnight blue star-lit sky. This fantasy could turn into a reality by taking a trek known as the Chadar Trek. Trekkers have to cross the frozen Zanskar River and the snow-covered mountain trails to reach the abode of beauty called Zanskar Valley. Just make sure your body is fit enough to endure the rigours of this demanding trek.
The joy of Ladakh in winter
If the idea of experiencing Mother Nature from close quarters appeals to you, Ladakh should rank high on your must-visit list. The picturesque region embraces one and all; it has a laid-back quaintness to spare but is also blessed with quite a rich history. Adventurous visitors will have enough to explore in winter in Ladakh, and so will solitude seekers.
Ladakh is a high-altitude region with an average altitude of 4’000 m. the temperatures are extreme Himalayan and can change very quickly. The days can be hot with strong Sun Shine and nights equally cool. We always advise our Guests to bring very good sun protection ( Creams, hats, Glasses, Gloves) and warm clothing with them, so that they can layer up and down during the day. Himalayan Climate is typically dry – facial cream and body lotion will help maintain the skin properly. The best part of the Ladakh landscape is the villages – which look like an oasis in the otherwise dry and arid landscape.
The weather in Ladakh remains cold and chilly for the most part of the year and the best time to visit is from Mid May to September.
While it is hard to distinguish the four seasons in Ladakh, the Spring and Autumn are more like a fresh breeze after a long day’s walk – they come for a very short time and go signalling the onset of Hot summer and long – long winter.
SPRING – April to May – Temperature rises and the ground thaws. The farming activities start and the local population prepares the fields and gardens to plant the seedlings. Some lower passes become crossable – however, it is still snow-covered scenery all around the mountains.
SUMMER – June to September Most of the tourists are visiting Ladakh during these months because the weather is pleasant and stable also, a few monastic festivals take place. An ideal time for planning trekking or expedition, the temperatures in summer range between min. 5°, max. 35° Celsius.
WINTER – October to March The temperatures constantly drop to the lowest grades in January or February (Nubra valley and dha-hanu -15°, Leh -20°, changing -30°). It is not until March that the cold temperatures are gone. Although the sun shines during the day, it is not warming you up. However, there are many possibilities for the well-prepared winter visitors: most of the monastic festivals take place then and are attended by the locals in their traditional dress. If the Zanskar river is frozen, experienced trekkers and mountaineers can do the adventurous chadar trek. Also, mountaineers have been known to cross high passes on snowshoes to find decent snowboarding or ski destinations.
Ladakh being a Dry Desert – Monsoon is not confined to any particular season as sporadic rainfall may occur at any time.
The best time to visit Ladakh is from May until September, the region’s summer season. At this time, Ladakh is an unparalleled paradise, with clear, stunning views and warm and sunny weather – the average temperature range during the day is about 20–30°C. Keen trekkers usually head to Ladakh during July and August, when the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways are open to vehicles. That said, Ladakh is landbound by two of the world’s highest mountain ranges – the Himalayas and Karakoram – anyone visiting Ladakh, even in the middle of summer, should be prepared for the sharp drop in temperatures at night.
Kashmir Snow Trek
Kashmir-Snow-Trek expedition is an opportunity for hikers and nature lovers to explore Kashmir hiking in winter. The trail followed is Naranag-Trunkhol-Gangabal. The snow depth ranges from 1 foot in Naranag to 6 feet at Trunkhol. We use gipsy and forest huts for accommodation.
Though trekking in Kashmir is not the newest still this expedition is no walk in the park. The first hike is a steep climb through the pine forest of Butsheri then a gradual walk through meadows filled with snow, all colliding to create a challenging trek in one of the most beautiful and serene Himalayas of Kashmir.