At this time of year, the passes are covered in snow and the road leading to the Zanskar valley is no longer accessible. The only route linking Zanskar to the rest of the world is via the river of the same name For some years ago Indians have started to open a road which follows the banks of the Zanskar but it is not finished and part of the journey is still completed by walking on the frozen river bed which generally frozen at this time of year. Many agencies also organize Chadar Trek for tourists eager for adventure.
This week, the Indian press reported that a helicopter rescue had taken place in these gorges and that one person had been evacuated directly to Leh for treatment. The Indian army has hired two helicopters for this very technical and risky rescue. They took off from Leh 40 minutes after receiving the distress call. After an initial search phase (the victim was not precisely located), one aircraft was able to land directly in the gorges near the Tibba cave to recover the casualty. The second helicopter remained in support to the first in case of any problems.
This incident clearly shows us how important the progress in this remote region of the world is, both in terms of communications and in terms of flight and rescue techniques.
Click on the image to access the original article and other photos of this unprecedented rescue.