Planning for the Frozen River trek? Well here is your extensive to do list before you embark upon the "Walk of Life"
Staying warm is one of the most challenging tasks while trekking on the frozen Zansker. The temperature falls to extreme levels and often hits the -40 degree mark. In order to trap the body heat effectively, several layers of clothing is advisable. A suggested way of dressing up would be, a layer of thermals, followed by a T shirt. A fleece should be worn over that and at the top a good quality feather/hollow fill jacket is advisable. Also woolen caps and proper gloves are very essential in the trek.
Walking on ice is quite a daunting task and slipping & falling is quite common on the trail. While a trekking shoe paired with a micro-spike will offer the most traction, the gumboot is the most preferred footwear as it provides ample protection against the freezing water.
Any winter trek needs a lot of protection for the eyes. A proper pair of sunglasses is of ultimate importance. The glare of the sun from the reflection on ice is quite harmful and can even cause blindness. A good quality polarized and UV resistant pair of glasses is a must have.
The ice is always melting and shifting owing to climate changes. It is very essential that you listen to your guide and not venture on your own. Inexperienced eyes cannot differentiate between thin layers of ice from that which is thick enough to walk on. Falling through, by breaking the ice layer is an experience better left untested and can even be fatal
Acclimatizing to the freezing climate and the high altitude is something ignored by many trekkers. Our body takes its own time in getting familiarized with the new climate and oxygen levels. It is therefore heavily advised that the trekkers stay for a day or two roaming around in Leh town, before the start of the trek.
Even though the trek organizer will be there to provide you with hot meals, it can get delayed due to varied weather conditions or trail situations. Pack along some dry fruits, trail mixes or protein bars to keep you energized while in the trek.
It is also essential that you bring along your own basic medicine kit. Though the trek organizer will carry along a first aid kit, you may need some handy, in case of emergencies.
The extreme weather conditions are quite unforgiving to our skin. Difficulties like chaffed lips and cracked skin can be easily avoided by carrying personal care items like, lip balm, moisturizer, sun screen etc.
Last but not the least, every trekker must ensure that they leave zero waste behind. We need to be environment friendly to preserve the sanctity of nature. You must believe in the philosophy, “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories”.
An ardent traveller, this ex engineer has been a child of the mountains from early childhood. With the passion of mountaineering running in the veins, he has been instrumental in the operation and running of WeTrekkers. As a trek leader has successfully completed various batches at Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Bamsaru, Sandakphu, Pindari and many more.