Chadar means layer- indicating the layer of ice that covers the river. During the winters the river transforms into an ice sheet where the famous Chadar trek is performed.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Large Group
A trail on the frozen river (Chadar Trek)
Ever thought of taking a morning-walk on a frozen river? We have the perfect one for you! Chadar Trek also known as the Zanskar river trek is a winter trail in the Zanskar region of Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Chadar trek is aptly named so because the Frozen Zaskar River forms a blanket of snow floating amidst the backdrop of blues greens and browns. Sounds enchanting and thrilling at the same time, doesn’t it?
Chadar Trek is one of the challenging treks in the Ladakh region. The strenuous mountain trail on the ice-clogged river under the blue winter sky passes through valleys, mountain caves and frozen waterfalls. Yes,you heard it right! The biggest attraction of this trek is the frozen water fall which is breath-taking and captivating all at the same time. The frozen Zanskar River is still serving as the traditional and only way of connecting between Leh and Zanskar for the locals in the harsh winter months of Ladakh.
This frozen river trek will challenge your senses as you struggle to survive in the dropped temperatures ranging between -30 to 35 degrees while your mind absorbs the beauty of this place. The best time to see the Zaskar River transform itself to a beautiful envelope of snow is during the month of January and February. During the months of winter, the Zanskar River looks like a blanket of crystal under the mirage of blue skies. It is during this period that the gushing sounds of the river flow stand still and you can take a walk on the frozen layers of ice. The trail is long and the temperatures are in minus.
Chadar trek is one of the many thrilling treks of Ladakh. This frozen river trek will challenge your senses as you struggle to survive in the dropped temperatures while the enchanting surroundings capture your mind. For those looking for some adrenaline-rush this Winter trekking in Ladakh is just perfect.This winter trekking in Ladakh is an ideal one for all those nomad bag-packers, photographers and nature lovers.
Come fall in love with the pristine hues of white blues and browns and explore with us Chadar trek 2019.
Grade – Challenging
Duration – 9 days
Max. Altitude –
Total trekking –
Region – Ladakh
- Accommodation during trek on twin/triple (Guest House/Camping)
- Egg and Vegetarian meals on the trek (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) starting on Day 4 Lunch to Day 8 Lunch
- Basic heater facility during the stay in Leh guest house
- Sightseeing included in the cost (Hall of Fame, Shey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery)
- Transport from Leh hotel to base village and return
- Twin/Triple sharing tents, double layered sleeping bags, Toilet tent Kitchen & Dinning tent, Ropes
- First aid medical kit with oxygen cylinder
- Facility of keeping extra luggage at Leh when leaving for trek
- Qualified and experienced Trek Guide and support staff
- Celebratory Dinner on day 8 with Trek certificate
- 5% GST
- Any meals during transit
- Wildlife, Medical and ALTOA fee Rs. 5000-7000
- Private airport transfers Rs. 1000-1200 (Sharing a cab can come down to Rs. 300-400 per person)
- Equipment buying or rental expenses like Gumboots, Trekking stick, Jackets etc
- Any extra activity or sightseeing
- Personal Expenses
- Cost Escalation due to unforeseen reason
- Anything which is not mentioned in inclusions
- Porter to carry personal luggage Rs. 4000 for the entire trek
- Flying over miles and miles of heavily snowed mountains will tell you just why it is impossible to reach Ladakh by road in the winters.
- Themoment you land at the Leh airport, one of the highest airports in the world, you will feel the fresh andcrisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature.
- Taking a stroll through the Leh market, you will find that very few shops and eateries in the town are open for business; The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek.
- The night is spent in a cozy guest house.
Acclimatization and rest
- Enjoy the cultural and natural beauty of Leh. This can be considered as a day to get familiar with the town and also acclimatize to the weather.
- This is your second day of acclimatization. As per the regulations and keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers might face related to Altitude and Cold, anyone doing the Chadar Trek should spend at least three days in Leh for the body to get fully acclimatized to the weather conditions.
- Trekkers can spend the day by visiting the places around the city.
- Drink plenty of fluids in any form including soups, lemon tea, black tea or just plain water during the day to help your acclimatization.
Acclimatization in Leh and Medical check up
- As per the new law by Leh trekking union it is mandatory for participants to acquire medical certification and to spend three days in Leh before moving for Chadar trek.
- A clearance certificate upon a medical check-up will be issued by the Sonam Narbu Hospital. One may spend this day by visiting few places in Leh town itself. It is very important to get used to the cold temperature.
- Overnight stay in Guest house
Leh to Shingra Koma via Chilling
- Further, the roller-coaster ride takes you along the Indus to the village of Nimu, where the Zanskar converges into Indus.
- To reach the camp-site, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar and this is when you take your first steps on the Chadar.
- After passing Shingra Koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo
- The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made.
- All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.
Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave
- Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day almost 14 km. Today’s walk is through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning.
- There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others. At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here.
- The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them.
Tibb Cave to Naerak
- Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags.
- A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide.
- You can see dozens of colors in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface.
- The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take youto the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari.
Naerak to Tibb Cave
- Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave.
- On the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woolen Gonchas some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation.
- They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit
Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma and drive back to Leh
- Starting from Tibb, go up to Shingra today. The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls.
- You can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards.
- This is the last day of treading on the Chadar the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river.
- Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good- bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries.
- Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house again at Leh
Leh to Delhi
- Today will be your last day in Leh! With a heavy heart we bid a goodbye.
- After breakfast we shall depart for an early morning flight to Delhi. Chadar Trek ends here
- Rucksack 55-65 lts/Day pack
- Waterproof, high ankle hiking boots and gumboots (Gumboots – Recommended buying in Leh itself)
- Trekking pole
- Seven pairs of thermal, thick wool and synthetic socks and seven pairs of liner socks
- Fleece pants/Inner thermals/Quick dry Towel/Waterproof outer pants
- Fleece jacket/Windproof jacket
- Thermal inners, both lower and upper
- Wool hat that covers the ears
- Long-sleeved thermal shirts/light fleece shirts for trekking
- Two pairs of fleece/woollen inner gloves
- Outer synthetic water-proof gloves
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Lip protection + Moisturiser with high SPF
- Two water bottles, preferably with insulated cover
- Headlamp/flashlight with spare batteries – cold kills batteries
- Camera with spare batteries and memory cards – cold kills batteries
- Lightweight toiletries, including hand sanitizer
- Ear plugs
- Toilet paper
- Personal first aid kit, ID proof and 2 passport size photos