Chadar trek is one of those treks that will make you feel that you are in another world. Unlike other treks, this trek requires you to walk on the frozen Zanskar river with the proper taste of scenic view. Surrounded by the Zanskar Valley, the trek takes place at a height of 11,123 ft above sea level. The trek is 62 km long which takes around 8 to 9 days and every day you have to walk for 6-7 hours. When frozen, the Zanskar river looks like a chadar, that is why the trek is known as the Chadar trek. The reflection of the sky on the river, beautiful mountains, staying in the camps, bonfires, frozen waterfalls are some of the perks of the Chadar trek. If you love trekking, then this trek should be on your bucket list because the beauty of this trek will make you fall in love with it.
The beauty of the landscape is the most rewarding part of the trek. There are abundant reasons for a trekker to embark on this adventure. The trek itself is quite onerous, back-breaking, and tasking, the beauty that opens up before the trekkers compensates for all the trouble. The temperature in the chadar trek happens to be between -10 to 0 degrees Celsius during the daytime depends on the weather conditions. Temperature goes down to -25 degrees celsius after the sunset. Quality and safe trekking gear and highly warm clothes are required. The winters months of January and February are the greatest months for trekking in the frozen river of chadar. Typically mid-January and the end of February are when most groups stand by trekkers. The treks usually take 9-10 days.
Chadar trek is 67-70 km from Leh by road. It does not have an airport so you will have to take a flight to Leh. Here are other options to reach the chadar trek from Leh.
By Air: The nearest airport to Chadar Trek is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL), located in Leh. This airport is connected to major international airports in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc.
By Train: Take the New Delhi Jammu Tawi Rajdhani Express, which leaves Delhi at 8:40 pm. and arrives in Jammu at 5:45 am. From Jammu you can take a bus to Srinagar, from Srinagar there are regular buses to Leh. It is recommended to fly from Delhi to Leh and rent a taxi to Chilling the next day after acclimatization
By Road: Delhi to Leh is 1,266 km via the NH1. It is 64 km from Leh to Chilling. To get to the Chadar Trek, one has to go to Leh. From Leh, the journey begins and leads to the freezing Zanskar River.
The Zanskar River in Ladakh turns into a chadar, a more or less unbroken expanse of snow and ice with a groaning, mesmerizing beauty that any traveler would find hard to overcome in the dead of winter. Nevertheless, with freezing temperatures as -30°C, you'll need to be prepared with the proper gear to make the most of the trip. Here's everything you need to know about the medications you should take.
1 Gear-Take two bags with you. Carry a daypack with a capacity of 20 to 35 liters. Put snacks, water, a camera, lip balm, a small towel, and spare socks in your bag — everything you'll need for the day. A bag with a chest and waist belt is ideal since it relieves pressure on your shoulders. Your main bag, which would also hold your gear, can be a soft sport or duffle bag. On the Chadar, weight is a premium, so pack light. Your main bag will be carried by porters, and you will only have access to it in the evenings.
2 Sleeping bags- Carry a sleeping bag that's also double-layered and also has a comfort rating of at least -20°C. If you're particularly prone to the cold, bring a fleece liner with you. We utilize Siachen bags, which are similar to those used by the Army on the ice.
3 Footwear - The most critical piece of kit for this walk is your boots; do not skimp on them. Boots that are higher than the ankle, waterproof, and insulated are required. The importance of insulated footwear cannot be overstated. All trekking shoes worth their soles will be waterproof, but picture wearing something built for an Amazon forest climb on the Chadar!
4. Socks-Having to walk in woolen socks is a nuisance. Wool loses its insulating properties when saturated with sweat. The best-insulated socks for "activewear" are constructed with a Merino wool blend of 80-90 percent and synthetic additives. Examine the manufacturer's specifications. On the hike, you must always carry an extra pair of socks and a towel with you, which should be easily accessible in your daypack. If your feet become wet, you must immediately dry them and replace your socks. A pair of woolen socks are ideal for sleeping in at night and camp.
5. Hand, foot warmers- If your extremities get cold easily, chemical warmers are ideal. When these little pads are taken from their package and exposed to air, they begin to generate heat and are put into gloves (or shoes). Warmers keep you warm for four to eight hours. There are a variety of brands to choose from.
Ladakh is known for trekking and camping activities, in addition to sightseeing and lounging in the city. In Ladakh, you can participate in a variety of adventure activities. Because Ladakh has so many trekking places, trekking is one of the most popular adventure activities in the state. The Chadar walk, commonly known as the Zanskar gorge, is a popular trekking destination in the area.
1. Is Chadar Trek for beginners?
Ans. It totally depends on you. This trek only requires you to walk for about 6 hours every day. If you can do this, then you can easily complete the trek without any problem. As the maximum altitude will be 11,123ft, you need to make sure you are healthy enough because there are good chances you might feel High Altitude Sickness, so take some precautions.
2. Is chadar Trek risky?
Ans. Yes, it is definitely a risky trek as it requires you to walk on a frozen river, whose temperature goes below -10*C. It is also considered the most dangerous trek of India.
3. What is the best time for Chadar Trek?
Ans. January and February are the best months if you want to go for the Chadar trek as the Zanskar river gets completely frozen, so it will be easy for you to walk on the ice.
4. Why is it called chadar Trek?
Ans. During winter, the Zanskar river gets completely frozen and looks like a sheet of ice, which is called 'CHADAR' in Hindi. This is the reason why the trek is called the Chadar trek.
5. Can Chadar trek be done solo?
Ans. No, the trek is done in groups as it is very risky. You don't want to be lost in a valley where there is no human presence.
6. What is the temperature in Chadar Trek?
Ans. During the daytime, the temperature ranges between 10*C to 15*C but as the sun goes down, the temperature could go as low as -25*C. So, make sure you have enough warm and thick clothes because, without them, you can't survive there.