During the winter months, the only route in and out of the remote valley of Zanskar in the Indian Himalayas is along the ice-path formed by a frozen river. The river passes down through steep-sided valleys of shaley rock, on whose slopes snow leopards hunt. In its deeper pools, the ice is blue and lucid. The journey down the river is called the chadar, and parties undertaking the chadar are led by experienced walkers known as ‘ice-pilots’, who can tell where the dangers lie.
THE OLD WAYS, Robert Macfarlane (link)