Chadar Trek - Frozen River Trek in Ladakh
Our trek in Chadar starts from the mountain town of Leh. The best way to reach Leh is by flight as this will help the trekkers to catch a glimpse of the snow capped mountains. This trek is named Chadar because it is over the Zanskar River which lies frozen during the winter. Our trek start point is a small village of Chilling as this is the start of the frozen Zanskar River. Our trek in Chadar is filled with thrilling experiences with nature as we walk on the frozen river. The ice can be dangerous at the time, and we as trekkers need to figure out the safe paths over the precarious sheet below the feet. We walk on the frozen river and camp in the caves along the river banks. We even set up tents to avoid discomfort for our trekkers on the most stable ice floor. We recommend all our fellow trekkers to carry warm multilayer cloths as the temperature is below freezing point and drops further after sun settles down.
We will set up multiple camping sites across the trek for food and other supplies. One should make sure to have enough food to keep warm as well as to continue the momentum. Ice picks, trekking boots, several layers of extra warm clothing are a compulsion in such conditions. Chadar trek is an opportunity for the local Zanskari people for income generation and livelihood. Zanskari people are proud experiential trekkers to explore the routes along with the fantastic mountain ghost stories.
Highlights of Chadar Trek:
Ladakh being our start point of our trek is beautiful with its picturesque mountain peaks, lakes and scenic valley.
Our Chadar trek is at the deep of the whirly passage of the snow clad mountain. The frozen river trekkers are from different corners of the world.
Chadar trek named after the thick blanket of the snow on the river.
Chadar trek is one of the most challenging and tricky treks in the world.
Thick blanket at times may have cracks causing troubles for trekkers. One may have to hike through the snowy rocks and boulder beside the river.
Basic Details of Chadar Trek:
Region: - Leh, Ladakh, J & K
Duration: - 9 Days
Grade: - Difficult
Max Altitude: - 11,100 Ft.
Approx. Trekking: - 62 kms.
How to reach Chadar trek in Leh, Ladakh, J&K
Day 1 – Reporting day at Leh
Trekking experience starts with the bird's eye view of the Ladakh city with the layers of snow-clad mountains with the drop in temperature the minute you land at the airport. Grab your bags and get ready for a warm welcome as you meet our representative at the airport and assist you in checking in at your respective hotel. Acclimatize yourself with the climate of high altitude with dinner and stay at the guest house in Leh.
Day 2 – Local sightseeing along with a medical checkup
The day starts with the light walk of local sightseeing places like the Central Asian Museum, Old town Heritage walk, Leh Palace and sunset at Shanti Stupa. Post breakfast we start with our guided heritage walk.
• Firstly starting with Leh Tsas soma Mosque – the oldest Mosque built in the 15th century.
• The Central Asian Museum which reflects different cultures of Ladakh, Kashmir and Tibetan.
• Leh Jamia Masjid made in 1667 AD under an agreement between Mughal Emperor and Ladakhi king.
• Leh Palace – Built in Ladakhi style and architecture.
Post lunch all our trekkers are requested to fill Tourist Chaddar Medical examination and checkup of oxygen level and Blood pressure at SNM hospital, Leh. We end our day with the visit Shanti Stupa for sunset before returning to our respective hotel/ guest house in Leh.
Day 3 – Local sightseeing and medical certificate collection
Today post breakfast, we take all our trekkers to Leh Srinagar national highway and visit Hall of Fame, Indo Pak war memorials places to find photographs and diaries of brave Soldiers who fought for Mother India in Kargil war. Next, we visit Spitukor Pe-ThupMonastery built in 11th century AD on a cliff. Our next destination for today is the Magnetic hill – The phenomenon of the magnetic drive.
Post lunch, we start visiting the famous monasteries on the way to Leh Manali National Highway. Starting with Hemis Gompa founded by Drukpa Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Then we move to Thiksey Monastery which is a resemblance to Potala Palace in Tibet. Next is Shey Palace & Gompa, the ancient capital of Ladakh Kingdom, then Ranchoo School of Druk Padma Karposhool in Shey village. We also visit the heritage site restored by J&K tourism, the one, and only SHAH-E-HAMDAN MASJID.
Post we visiting all these famous places; we begin heading towards our Hotel. On the way back, we collect Medical Certificate Fitness from Leh hospital. Medical certificate fitness is necessary to perform Chadar trek as this will be checked at the wildlife post at Chilling Trekking point.
Day 04: Drive to Chilling Village to Tilad Dho (4hrs Max).
We start our day early form our hotels towards chilling. The drive takes about 2 hours along the Indus River where the Zanskar River meets at Nimoo village. Once we reach our location, be prepared for the most thrilling frozen river trek of your lifetime. The first step on the frozen river itself will make you thrilled. Get ready for the briefing and information to survive this harsh cold climate. Enjoy the broad peak with a short hike into the mountains with a hot cup of coffee/herbal tea. Make sure to have enough warm clothes, eat dinner and go to sleep in the tent as the temperature drops further in the night.
Day 05: Trek from Tilad Dho to Gyalpo (Distance to be covered 12km, 5-6 hrs).
The day starts with a briefing from your instructor on how to walk on the frozen river and essential survival guide on survival in the harsh cold climate. Today we cover an approx of 12 kms depending upon the weather.
Weather and the temperature during the night are an essential factor for our trek based on which our trek is dependent. The ice at times could be thick, thin and at times the formation of ice is fragile to the extent that at some point we may even need to step down into the freezing flowing water. It is all about the “Spirit of keep going” as moving further we will encounter the dusting of snow on the ice making it slippery till we reach our first rest point in Shingra Kongma. It’s a small beautiful place near the river near the camping site-Gyalapo. Our trekkers are advised to drink proper water for dehydration during our halt and night stay in Gyalapo.
Day 06: Trek from Gyalpo to Tibb Cave (distance to be covered 14km).
The morning wakeup call is at 6.00 as we cover 14 kms in total today. So eat breakfast and get yourself prepared by 8.00 to start your day. We will have brief guidance from our guide, and on the path, we will find some small and big caves in the mountain, used by Zanskari people for centuries as shelter to keep warm. We keep walking on the sides of the hill to get a better look of the frozen waterfall. We halt at our next destination in the Tibb cave. This cave is big enough to accommodate our whole group. We have our fun with born fire and experiences with the fellow trekkers. So relax with the warmth of a cup of black coffee.
Day 07: Trek from Tibb Cave to Nyeerak village.
We start our day early as today we head towards the biggest waterfall in between the trail. This biggest waterfall is beautiful with the reflection of the sunlight, mountain and sky with enormous colour on the gigantic ice structure. It forms a beautiful picture to frame in your collection. Then we start walking through the valley and crossing the George. The location is full of a variety of shrubs and herbs which is used by the local Amchi to heal different ailments. As we head more in our trek, we will find big Juniper trees listed and protected as flora chart. The huge gigantic waterfall has a bridge on its right to be used as a road in the summer by the people of Leh and Zanskar. An additional hour spent forward will take you to the local village settled above the Zanskar River. We pitch our tents close to the river serving dinner at the Nyeerak campsite.
Day 08: Trek from Naerak to Tibb.
Today is our return journey towards Leh. We follow the same trail in reverse until we reach back to Leh. Our distance to cover if from Naerak. To Tibb cave for today. We will see the locals, monks and their children often travelling on Chadar towards Leh. The local inhabitants are much more adapted with their traditional dresses from head to toe due to the harsh climate. Encouragement is to see them smiling to you lead the trek and make it a success.
Day 09: Trek from Tibb to Gyalpo (distance to be covered 14km) and drive back to Leh from Tilad-Dho.
Today marks the last day of our hiking on the ice sheet. We start early port the breakfast with the staffs singing local folk songs as a tribute and thanking the Mother Nature for making the trek a success. The valley is rich with wild animals like ibex, red fox, snow cook, snow leopard and much more flora and fauna owns this territorial region. One can witness the pug marks of big cats on the cliffs hunting for prey and other wild animals roaming in the valley in search of food. Once we make to our campsite at Tilad-Dho, we will be driven back to Leh to our Guesthouse/hotel.
10: Departure from Leh.
Our representatives will help you and drop you off at the Leh KBR Airport. Fly back to your respective home with a memory of a lifetime and an everlasting smile.
The FAQ on Chadar trek:
1. When is the best time recommended for the trek?
Best time to go for Chadar trek is from June to October.
2. How difficult is the Chadar trek?
Chadar Trek in comparison is a moderate difficulty with another high altitude trek.
3. How much distance do we have to trek each day?
On an average, we cover roughly 10-14 kms between our camping stations.
4. What will happen if a trek is extended?
Beyond our controllable reasons when the trek is extended, then additional charges tend to be applied.
5. Who will be our lead guide person?
Lead guide person is certified & experienced personnel. These guides are locally sourced and have other team members including local guides, cook, helpers, and porters.
6. Is this trek safe for girls?
Our treks are planned with a male: female ratio. As an organizer, we make sure that their tents are shared only with other female trekkers.
7. Many people in a tent?
Our tents are all three person tents.
8. What is the level of fitness expected from the trekkers?
Good physical and mental fitness is expected to complete the Trek.
9. Ideal Food menu during a trek?
We make sure that wholesome and nutritious breakfast, lunch and evening snacks are served. We believe and serve only vegetarian food as it is easy to digest and preferable in high altitudes.
10. What if we encounter a medical emergency?
We are trained to manage emergencies in high altitudes. Our lead guide is Professionals and experienced. Our team do carry emergency first aid kits and oxygen cylinder.
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation in Guest house/ Hotel in Leh on the 01st and the last day and rest camping during the treks according to the itinerary
- Three times veg meal during the trek only plus tea and snacks
- Well experienced and qualified trek leader, guide and the support staff
- First aid kit plus oxygen cylinder
- Wild life fee, Red Cross fee and from the administration
- Transport from Hotel/ Guest house to trekking point and return
- Local sightseeing as per the itinerary and Medical checkup
What is NOT included in the tour
- Airport picks and drops
- Leh Permit
- Medical cost
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Porters to carry personal luggage
- Tips, monastery and Monument entry fees, Mineral water, Extra tours and anything which is not specifically mentioned in the cost inclusions
- Participants/trekkers to carry things:
- Personal bag/belonging, waterproof backpack with a capacity of 70ltr.
- Personal sleeping bag Inner
- Water bottle.
- Walking stick/trekking pole.
- Head torch with spare batteries.
- Trekking/hiking shoes.
- Minimum 2-3 pair water proof trek pants.
- Woolen thermal inner vest and lower.
- Woolen 6-7 pair socks.
- A woolen and a water proof gloves.
- Woolen monkey cap.
- Woolen Mufflers.
- Water proof/windcheater jacket.
- Woolen full sleeve sweaters.
- Woolen socks.
- Trekking socks.
- U/V protected sun glass.
- Sunscreen lotion SPF40+.
- Cold cream and body lotion.
- Water purifying tablets.
- Toiletries (Towel, Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand wash soaps, toothpaste etc).
- Hot water bottle.
- Dry fruits and chocolate bars/ energy bars.
- Medicines: Like, Avomine, Avil 25mg, Betadine, Band aid, Cotton, Crepe bandage 2 roll, Crocin, Comb flam, Diamox, Disprin, Digene, Norflox, Gauze cloth, Leukoplast, Oral dehydration Salts like Electral/Enerzal, Pain relieving spray like Volini/Moov.
- Personal medicines. (if any)
- ID proof like: passport, voter’s card, Adhar card, driving licence etc.
- Medical fitness certificate.
- Indemnity certificate.
- Passport size photos 04 nos.