Jammu: A group of Indian Army personnel have completed an arduous trek to the snowbound and cut-off Zanskar Valley in Jammu and Kashmir`s Ladakh region through an ancient route used when the area would get cut off from the rest of India due to heavy snow.
The 18 member team of the Ladakh Scouts, including 3 officers, completed the trek along the Zanskar river to Padam in a week.
The Ladakh Scouts, also known as "snow warriors" are an infantry regiment of the Indian Army whose primary role is of guarding the high altitude areas of Ladakh.
The route used by the Ladakh Scouts is an ancient one, travelled and used by locals when the Zanskar valley gets cut off from the rest of Ladakh region. This is known as the Chader trek -- famous for the formidable terrain as well as extreme cold during winter.
The Chader trek is said to be the shortest walking route to reach Leh in the harsh winter. The route follows the Zanskar river which originates from Brandy Nala in Sarchu, Himachal Pradesh. Tributaries along with feeder glaciers, ice fields and snow bound tops supply the regular flow of water into the river. The river merges into the Indus river at Nimmu.
"`Chader` means frozen river and many of our troops used to take this route once going on leave to Zanskar during winter," the spokesman of the army`s Northern Command headquartered at Udhampur said.
"The aim of this expedition was to conquer the most inaccessible, formidable and impassable route during winter so as to to infuse a spirit of adventure amongst the rank and file of the Ladakh Scouts and boost the morale of people living in harsh wintry conditions.
"The men of the Ladakh Scouts are proficient in ice and mountain craft. They are also physically fit to undertake any challenging task," the spokesman added.
Zanskar is situated at about 5,500 meters above sea level.