An Icy Message From The Frozen Pangong Lake

A 21-km marathon, set to be held on a frozen Pangong Lake in February, hopes to champion the cause of environmental protection
Ladakh is set to host the first frozen lake marathon in India in February 2023. Credit Shutterstock
Ladakh is set to host the first frozen lake marathon in India in February 2023. Credit Shutterstock

The issue of climate change has been at the centre of all discussions, and rightly so. Ill-planned human interventions have precipitated climate change and its impact, especially in the Himalayas, and have accentuated the vulnerability of the hills to disasters. Ladakh, which sees a horde of travellers leaving indelible footprints on its vulnerable landscape every year, is in immense danger from the perils of over-tourism. 

And now, Pangong Tso, a mecca for travellers, is set to play host to the first frozen lake marathon in the country, which aims to highlight the cause for environmental sustainability through sports. Called &ldquoThe Last Run,&rdquo the maiden edition of the Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon is scheduled to take place on 20 February 2023.

What Is A Frozen Lake Marathon

Countries like Norway and Russia have hosted frozen lake marathons, where runners traverse an arduous route over a frozen lake. However, none of these races has been held at an altitude of 13,862ft, making it the first marathon in the world to take place at such a height. Organised by the Adventure Sports Foundation of Ladakh (ASFL), an organisation that promotes environmental responsibility through sports, the marathon is open to only a select few, bearing in mind the treacherous terrain.

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&ldquoEveryone knows the Pangong lake, but not many know that the glaciers over the mountains are rapidly melting," Chamba Tsetan, founder of ASFL and a member of the men&rsquos ice hockey team of India, spearheading the campaign to save the environment in the region, told a media outlet

The Last Run

The 700-square-km Pangong lake spreads across the borders of India and China and freezes up in the winter months with several layers of snow with temperatures falling to -30 degrees Celsius. It is here that experienced runners have been called to partake in a 21-km marathon that hopes to create a new Guinness World Record.  

Those interested in participating have to take a marathon package that includes stay, food, and transfers and comes to an 8D/9N package for Rs46,500. Appropriate gear, such as studded shoes and warm clothing, have been advised. At an interval of 5km, a medical team and hot water will be available, and ASFL will also ensure ambulance support throughout the marathon.

To register, click here

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