Best Photograph, Mountain Adventure
Banff Mountain Photography Competition
Seen from a high cave, a trekker pads along Ladakh, India's frozen Zanskar River in a July 2005 picture by Indian writer and photographer Sankar Sridhar.
Before it became an adventure-travel attraction, the frozen river was a way for Zanskar Valley residents to get to the markets in the town of Leh--an 11-day journey on feet padded to ensure no harm came to the sacred waterway, Sridhar said in a statement.
Today locals pray for the river to forgive them when spike-soled foreign trekkers pass by, Sridhar said. But the real danger may arrive on knobbled tires.
Some believe that, once an all-weather road reaches the valley in 2012, protective spirits will flee the river "and take the freeze with them."
Photograph courtesy Sankar Sridhar, Banff Mountain Photography Competition