About Chadar Trek:
The Chadar Trek or Zanskar frozen river trek is a winter trek in Zanskar Valley, Ladakh. The trek starts from Leh going through Shingra Koma, Tibb Cave, Naerak Camp concluding back in Leh. The 105 Km trek provides trekkers and hikers an amazing opportunity to trek on a frozen sheet of ice in subzero temperatures. The trek is operational during the months of January and February when the Zanskar river freezes into a solid sheet of ice.
Ladakh has various treks and beautiful camping locations. What sets Ladakh apart for travelers is the Chadar Trek which is quite challenging yet mesmerizing owing to its scenic beauty. That one glimpse of the topmost sections of the Himalayas would certainly awe an individual because of its breathtaking view.
The temperature during the trek varies from around -5 to -20 degrees celsius and the trekkers would occasionally face steep rocks along with facing treacherous sections of the Zanskar River. While this trek would offer a lot of difficult challenges, to the maximum point of questioning oneself, one would find all the answers once you observe and become a part of the Mighty Himalayas. And trust us, it would certainly be a life-changing experience.
Important Note : Every trekker must have done COVID-19 RTPCR test from an ICMR authorized testing labs not later than 72 hours of their arrival in Leh.
What is included in the tour
- Expert mountaineering guide
- Skilled local staff who has ample knowledge of the route.
- Transportation from Leh to Trekking Point on Day 4 and back to Guesthouse to Leh on Day 8
- Vegetarian meals on the trek (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) starting on Day 4 Pack Lunch to Day 8 Breakfast
- Stay in Guest Houses on Triple/Quad sharing basis in Leh on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 8.
- Daily Breakfast starting from Day 1 to Day 9.
- Hot water in buckets shall be provided on request while staying in Guest House in Leh
- Stay in Alpine/Dome Tents on Triple/Quad Sharing basis on Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7
- Common Kitchen/Dining/Toilet tents will be used during the trek
- Cooks/Helper and other requisite staff.
- Porters for carrying common equipments (like rations/tents/utensils/groceries)
- Equipment – Tents on triple & quad sharing basis / Sleeping bags / Sleeping Mats
- Basic First aid Kit with a portable oxygen cylinder.
- Facility of keeping extra luggage at Leh when leaving for trek
- Airport pick up and drop (Add On)
What is NOT included in the tour
- Personal trekking equipment – like Gum Boots, trekking poles or sleeping bag liners
- Personal insurance or cost of emergency evacuation
- Purchases of personal natures (like mineral water bottles/bottled or canned beverages/chocolates/dry fruits etc)
- Personal Porters for carrying trekker’s backpacks @ INR 5,000 Per 10 KGs for 5 days from Day 4 to Day 8 subject to availability at the time of booking
- Transportation when in Leh on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 8 and Day 9
- ALTOA Permission, wildlife tax, Environment Tax, Forest Permits and camping charges of INR 5000/- (The fee may be revised)
- Room Heaters at Guest House in Leh(We suggest not to use the room heaters as the same dehydrate the body and your body won’t get acclimatize to gear up for the Chadar trek)
- Cost of transport, meals and stay if in case you leave the trek in between and return to Leh before the schedule arrival on Day 8
- There is no centralized heating and Portable heaters provided.
- Anything not mentioned in the inclusions
- GST (5%)
List of Essential items to carry for Chadar Trek
- Backpack (Min 60 Ltrs) with Rain Cover
- Gum boots
- 4 Pairs of Full sleeve shirts/T-Shirt and Track Pants (1 should be waterproof/windproof)
- 4 Pair of cotton socks. 3 pairs of wollen socks.
- 2 Full Sleeve Sweater
- One Heavy Down Jacket
- Thermal Inners -2 Pair
- 2 pair water proof hand gloves
- 2 Pair woollen Gloves
- Sun Cap
- One Scarf
- Light towel
- Lip Balm
- Cold Cream & Sun Screen (SPF 40+)
- Water Bottle 1 Lt
- Headlamp or torch with fresh pair of batteries
- Personal Toilet Kit and toilet paper
- Personal Medicine Kit
- Dark Sunglasses (U/V protected)
- Walking Stick (At least one)
- People who were spectacles- Should avoid contact lenses and use use photo chromatic glasses instead.
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
Situated at an altitude of above 3500 meters from the sea level, Leh is the second largest district in the county offering varieties of high passes and different terrains. As most of the passes would be closed in the month of January and February, you would be required to reach Leh airport, which again is the highest airport in the world. Sounds fun. Right?
You would be welcomed by none other than the Leh weather, a mix of hot and cold breeze that will certainly catch your attention. Well, it is just not about this. As soon as you would start gazing all around, you will notice the peaks of the mountains covered with ice, Snow-Capped mountains all around. The view would certainly lock itself in your muscle memory. With all the formalities done and luggage picked up, hop-in in a taxi and head towards the pre-booked hotel. Get comfortable and relax overnight for the next day.
Day 2: Acclimatization Day
Wake up early after spending your first night in Leh and kick-start the day by acclimatizing yourself at high altitude. You will then walk towards a sacred Buddhist Stupa, Shanti Stupa, to witness an altogether beautiful sunrise along with capturing a panoramic view of the town of Leh. Remember to keep yourself hydrated as this would get your body ready for the upcoming adventure.
Day 3: Medical check-up (SNM Hospital) and Leh Market
This particular trek would need you to get a medical check-up done at Sonam Narbu Hospital as the government has made it compulsory for all the trekkers to obtain a clearance certificate. We suggest you to improve your stamina and energy, for removing the thin line between your fitness level and the Great Chadar Trek.
Once it's done, you will have sufficient time to roam around in the market and try the local cuisine. Thukpa along with Kulcha and Qahwa(can you feel the heavenly aroma?) would go hand in hand.
Day 4: Shingra Koma to Somo Paldar Campsite (3 km, 2 hrs)
After delicious breakfast, you would head towards Shingra Koma, a drive not for the timorous hearted as you will face a lot of hairpin bends with bumpy rides accompanying you and your fellow travelers. After a certain point, de-board from the vehicle and start trekking towards Somo Paldar campsite. Your Chadar Trek expedition starts here. Also, do not forget to keep your eyes wide open because the view will get your adrenaline rush flowing. Up for the magnetic view?
Day 5: Trek to Tibb Cave (15 km, 6-7 hrs)
This morning will get you going to Tibb Cave which will provide you shelter for the night. In this 7-8 hrs stretch, you will witness various frozen waterfalls and you will also cross gorges and ravines. Butter tea would give you relief and we recommend you to try it. Spend your night waiting to witness the most scenic view of the region.
Day 6: Tibb Cave to Nerak Camp (13 km, 6-7 hrs)
Today, you will be taking steps towards the most picturesque day of the entire journey that you have accomplished till now. You will be spellbound after witnessing the largest frozen waterfall and the prayer flags will get your heart humming. The bridge built next to the waterfall is used in summers to reach Zanskar from Leh. We camp at night in Naerak with locals and you would be surprised to see their way of living. Enjoy a cozy night.
Day 7: Naerak to Tibb Cave (13 km, 5-6 hrs)
Start walking back to Tibb Cave and once again spend your night in the raw shelter. This night would let you capture all your thoughts and memories. Maybe, penning it down would be a good option. You would find locals wearing traditional woolen Gonchas(robes). Remember, the return trail would make you witness the river in a different form as it quickly reacts to any change in the temperature. The entire frozen river might have taken an altogether varied form.
Day 8: Tibb to Shingra Koma and back to Leh (8.5 km, 75 km drive)
Get ready to leave Tibb Cave and proceed to Shingra Koma via Gyalpo. This trail would not fail to surprise you as you will get a chance to witness high mountains along with footprints of wild animals like Snow Leopard, Foxes and Himalayan Ibex. And if you are really lucky, you might end up spotting them because they would surely be gazing at you. Silently.
After reaching Shingra Coma, drive back to Leh and stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Departure from Leh
They say that we conquer the mountains but honestly, you would find enough reasons to conquer yourself. The journey would come to an end here as you once again get ready to depart and say goodbye after having your morning breakfast. You came here to cover the Chadar Trek but you will leave here with all the energy and experiences with yourself.
More About the Chadar Trek
The Glacier carved valleys of Leh hold serene lakes, shimmering under the jagged peaks of the mighty Ladakh range, this sprawling nature reserve is known for towering mountains, vast glaciers and wildlife also envelopes the lifeline of adventure activities in the region. One of which is none other than the venturesome Chadar Trek in the Zanskar valley, packed with doses of adrenaline and spine chilling winds this trek will surely give you a glimpse of living life on the edge.
Assumption Of Risk
You understand and accept that your proposed tour may expose you to inherent dangers including but not limited to Covid, physical exertion, equipment failure, or the activity itself. You acknowledge that alterations to the schedule itinerary or activity may be made as necessitated by weather, group size, road transport, road closures, illness, lock downs or other factors, you agree to accept the decisions of the tour leader or representative, and you accept that neither we nor the providers of services can be held responsible for expenses or inconvenience incurred as a consequence. You acknowledge that the enjoyment of your tour or holiday is derived in part from travel beyond the safety risks of life at work or at home, and you accept and assume all the risks involved.
Take a sneak peek down the gorges of the Ladakh valley by knowing these 12 interesting facts about the Thrilling Chadar Trek:
1. Walk on water because swimming is too old-school
If you thought walking on water was just a myth be prepared to be proven wrong as the whole trek requires you to be walking on large ice sheets of the frozen Zanskar lake, you can literally see the water below your feet and feel your heart pumping in your chest. Tread carefully as this trek is the perfect concoction of adventure, thrill, and danger and you really don’t want the last one to be tipping more than the former two.
2. Your Perfect winter vacation:
Usually when you hear about the perfect trip to Ladakh, automatically you start planning about your summer vacation while simultaneously appeasing your HR for that auspicious leave, but the chadar trek is during mid-January to mid-February, that is when the Zanskar river freezes and you get to walk on massive slabs of ice.
3. 105 km of exhilarating trekking
This exhilarating trek consists of walking over the blanket of frozen Zanskar River for a whopping 105 km. Accompanied by the scenic view around this is definitely going to be the most adventurous trip of your life which will not just give you an experience of living life on the edge but also make you appreciate life a little more and make every moment count
4. 11,500 ft above sea level, one of the highest trekking on earth
Imagine adding Six Burj Khalifas on top of each other. Then go to the tip of the skyscraper which is at the minute trying to have the troposphere within its reach now look down from over the top, at this moment you can already feel your blood-curdle and your bones chilling, if that wasn’t enough you now need to walk over a frozen lake topping all of this and taking it to the extreme level of adventure, this nerve-racking experience is enough to water down any trek you want to compare it with.
5. Experience the Caves and waterfalls
Just at the moment of the trek when you’ll be running out of breath be prepared for the scenic and pristine waterfalls frozen into dangling icicles
This view is going to be your encounter with paradise. The cave you are going to witness during the trek is going to be an experience at a level of its own. Every cave has a story to narrate and a place to share.
6. Mind-boggling Rocks resembling human faces
No, this is not an optical illusion you would encounter rocks which erringly resemble human faces. Shocking but true, isn’t it?
7. Witness the Oldest Monasteries in the world
This is definitely the trip you don’t want to start with bad omen, with one of the oldest monasteries in the world you definitely need to visit them and be in awe of the local community’s devotion and dedication towards their belief, you will even see prayer flags on the trees around the trek marking this place under the benign presence of Lord Buddha.
8. Two rivers unite
The union of the Zanskar River with the Indus River is like experiencing the introduction of yin to yang.
9. Follow their advice to save your life
The locals know the place at the back of the hand, their instincts have intertwined with nature’s effects and responses, they are very well versed and know exactly what to do, following their decisions or not, can mean life and death to you
10. Witness nature up close and wild:
This would be the only time in your life when you would be able to witness the Ladakh wildlife within its proximity. Snow leopards, Bears, wolf, and alpine ibex are commonly seen in the region and don’t be daunted by seeing Vultures circling over you, it’s just what they do before having lunch. This is definitely not a trip for tourist but a journey for travelers.
11. Did anyone say campfire?
With temperatures possibly dropping to -25 or even lower, only a campfire at night can help you escape the Cold nights and quivering winds. A campfire is a time when everybody unwinds from a hard day of trekking and share their experiences. Ghost stories are a must for campfires so be prepared to pack one with you.
12. Sledge your way forward:
Santa Claus is not the only one who uses sleds in the North Pole. Most of your things would be taken along on sleds, easing the weight off of your shoulders and help you sail through. Since this trek is during the winters, don’t be surprised if you encounter Santa Claus while you tread through the frozen lake, legend says even he needs to ask for direction by the locals, so be generous and help the old man as well.
The chadar trek is something which simply can’t be put in words, experience this adventure of a lifetime with DeyorCamps, and witness the pristine nature yourself.