Walking in minus 26 Degrees by Naina Sintonia

Normally when I travel to India, it’s luxury all the way, so you can imagine the looks of surprise when I announced I’d booked my flight to Leh Laddakh to embark on a 6 day adventure to trek across the Chadar, which means blanket in Hindi – a blanket of sheer ice!

Beneath these volatile sheets, The Zanskar river flows so wild and forceful that it carved a deep gorge through the epic Himalayan mountains. This is what I was going to be walking on in over minus 26 degrees!

The Chadar definitely keeps you on your feet, (apart from one morning when I missed my footing and one of my legs disappeared through some thin ice … now that was so cold ) and leaves you with a lifetime of memories.

The mesmerising kaleidoscope of colours that cascade onto the ice from the surrounding mountains, the night time stillness with only the whooshing of the river below, the vibrant stars that illuminate the rocks as we sat around the campfire, the challenges, the beauty, the amazing lifelong friends I met who shared this incredible experience, and, definitely the photo we took driving up to the ‘highest’ (and I think coldest) road in the world as a reminder that we made it!

I’m also so glad I got to experience The Chadar before human intervention interrupts with their plans to build a road and a structured tour path.

Naina Sintonia, Ecomms Manager @Nainasintonia