It had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ...
Being a fauji kid i always dreamt to do something adventurous and so i chose the most dangerous most exciting chadar trek as my first trek. After reach...
- Ladakh has always captivated visitors with its magical charm and beauty. Be it the picturesque mountain peaks, azure lakes or the challenging trekking trails, this scenic valley is known for all. While during the summers, the region adorns the most vibrant colors of nature, during the winters it is embraced with heavy snowfalls that cut off the entire region from the rest of the world.
- Nestled deep within the whirly passages of the snow-clad mountains, this frozen river also entices thousand of trekkers from different corners of the world.
- Popularly known as the 'Chadar Trek' due to the formation of the thick blanket of the snow, it is considered as one of the challenging as well as tricky treks in the world.
- In some places, there may be cracks in the ice and when this happens, the only way to continue with the trek is to hike through the snowy rocks and boulders beside the river.
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Option to change the tour plan:
Till day 3, if you feel that you can’t do this trek or the Govt. bodies declare you unfit for the trek, don’t get disheartened as the first 5 trekkers from the group can opt for an alternate package “Flavour of Ladakh” at no additional cost.
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Tips for Chadar Trek:
1) Prepare your mind first: This is a difficult trek that comes with a lot of extremities. From the weather to physical requirement. Train your mind to expect and accept the sub-zero level. Do bear in mind that there is a life which exists there as well; for centuries Chadar is used as the only way to commute to Leh during winters. Your mental strength will signal your body to withstand the cold climb.
2) Be Warm: Next is to keep oneself warm as the temperature falls severely on this trek. To keep going and not be deterred by the weather conditions, use 4 layers for the Torso that includes a jacket and a wind sheeter which is waterproof and has a fleece lining. For the bottom, a base layer, thermal underpants and waterproof pants with a fleece lining, should suffice. Make sure your fleece and jackets have zips down the front so that you can unzip them as the day grows progressively warmer.
3) Keep a woollen cap and gloves (a must): Essentially you need to sleep well during the night to keep you fresh for the next day of the trek. Keep an insulating water bottle to keep your sleeping bag warm during the night. Use Silk liner inside your bags to keep it warm enough.
4) Footwear: Hiking shoes + Gumboots At occasions, trekking on the Chadar involves wading through knee-deep cold water. Though hiking shoes are highly recommended, gumboots help keep your shoes and feet secure from the icy cold water. It is practically impossible to dry anything at Zanskar trek in Ladakh, so gumboots are a compulsory and crucial addition to the footwear.
5) Expect sweet pain: The Chadar is a glossy, slippery sheet of ice and will never let you walk carelessly. But no matter how careful one is, everyone falls and slips more than once on the Chadar. If you fall, just get back up by rolling on your knees and keep walking with confidence. Gumboots might give you shoe bites, but you’ll get used to it as you walk.
6) Observe and keep moving: The locals can give you firsthand training on how to cross the lake on your foot. On closer observation, you would notice that they walk fast and take Penguin like strides on the ice. As you watch them, you will learn their ways of manoeuvring around on the ice blanket and learn when it is wiser to wait than to carry on or the reverse.
7) Keep your electronics warm: Extreme cold climate can ruin electronics. Hence keep them warm by keeping them safe by tucking them into your pockets closer to your body it will keep them warm and long-lasting.
8) Protect your fingers and toes: In sub-zero temperatures, fingers and toes are the most exposed and can be frozen resulting in bad pain when camping. Carry waterproof woollen socks and gloves. An extra pair of socks would help as they gather moisture while wearing gumboots.
9) Warming pads: Warming pads are very helpful for those who feel cold sooner than others. These are exothermic pads to be slipped in your gloves and socks. They release heat and keep you warm for up to 10 hours.
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Do's and Don'ts On Chadar Trek
Do’s of Chadar Trek
- It’s always good to plan for an additional day to accommodate any unforeseen conditions like bad weather, broken bridges, flight delays, casualties that may arise.
- One should inform one’s family before coming for this trek, so in case of an emergency, they can come for help.
- The temperature extensively drops down in the region. Therefore, it is advisable to keep warm clothes and shoes at hand. The shoes must also be waterproof.
- As there won’t be any pharmacies on our trek, please do carry required medications and a first aid kit, in case of any bruises or cuts
- The area of this trek has hardly any shop to stop for food or drinks, hence it is advisable to carry water and energy giving food like energy bars and other eateries to be had at regular intervals. We also travel with plenty of water
- Always take note of the weather reports and avoid getting caught in any sort of natural ravages.
- Trekking in the Frozen River is certainly a difficult task and thus, one should not try to be over-smart. Following the tips and guidelines is a must to carry out this trek safely.
- It is advisable to consult an expert trekker before backpacking a heavy backpack might slow down your trekking speed.
- While visiting the monasteries and other religious sites, abide by the instructions and guidelines laid by the authorities.
- Abide by the instructions given by the trek leader or instructor in order to enjoy a safe and sound trekking
Altitude 11,400 ft.
Arrival in Ladakh
Overnight stay at the hotel/guest house in outskirts of Leh City.
Keep your woolen cap and gloves handy.
You will be flying over long stretches of snow-covered Himalayan mountains, which will make it evident why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh on road in the winters. The moment you land in Leh, a cold and crisp air will greet you, and you will experience a drastic change in the temperature. Leh has just begun to wake up from its sleep with only a few shops open.
The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. Be sure to take enough rest to acclimatize to the weather here and remember to drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated, The night is spent in a guest house.
Keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers are facing (Acute Mountain Sickness), as per the new regulations applied by Ladakh Government Authorities, anyone doing the Chadar Trek should be at least spending two days in Leh to get your body fully acclimatized to the weather conditions here. It is irrevocable and it is important that it is strictly followed by every trekker. You can spend the day shopping at the Leh market. It is very important that you get used to the cold temperature in Leh because the temperature will only tend to fall as you start walking on the frozen Zanskar, where the temperatures reach way below zero even in the daytime. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places which are at a higher altitude.
It is also advised that you check and crosscheck all the essentials before going to bed.
As per the Government guidelines in Jammu and Kashmir, the trekkers will need to go through a medical check up.
Only after you get cleared by the officer will you be allowed to get a green signal for Chadar. Also, the trekkers will be issued there wildlife permits, insurance, and other important documents.
Before the morning of the 4th day, if you feel that you want to opt out, or have been deemed unfit by the government bodies, you can take a physical wild card and opt for a 'Flavor of Winter Ladakh' Tour, without any extra cost.
11,480 to 10,500ft
Drive 3-4 hrs, trek 5 hrs/11 km
On this day, you will be heading to the starting point of the, which is Shingra Koma.
One of the most scenic drives in the entire region of Ladakh, you will get to see many top spots like Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus. a drive of about 90 minutes along the Zanskar River will bring you to Chilling.
The car will drop you where the road end and this is where you start walking on Zanskar. Walking with you gumboots on will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. To get the hang of patterns of ice formation will take some time. You will have to judge the fragile surfaces from the strong ones as there are a number of different kinds of surfaces on Chadar Trek, but once you start walking you will know more about it. Planting your foot will be important in most of the cases, you can check for the ice for its steadiness with your walking stick before stepping on it.
Make sure your backpack is light and small so you can manage and use the weight on your own effectively.
The trek for the day will take you to the first campsite of the journey, Gyalpo, situated at the river bend, covered by High peaks and amazing rock faces.
This will be your first experience of camping under sub-zero temperatures.
Overnight at Gyalpo
10,500ft to 10,800 ft
Trek 12 km/ 5 to 6 hours
Chadar is not a trek where altitude keeps on the rise at a fast pace. As you trek for 5 to 6 hours, you will only gain an altitude of 300ft from Gyalpo to Tibb Cave. Wake up from a chilling night and enjoy a warm breakfast.
As you head to the next campsite at Tibb Cave, you will come across some of the most beautiful frozen waterfalls. These waterfalls have a mystery revolving around their origin or source but are nonetheless breathtaking.
With the Zanskar flowing right beside you with its emerald green waters, you will stop midway to Tibb Cave for Lunch.
As you move ahead, you will come across various rock patterns which will shine distinctively as the rays of the sun fall on them.
The campsite for the day will be near Tibb Cave which is surrounded by dry sand.
10,800 to 11,100 ft
Trek 13 km/ 6 to 7 hours
The campsite for the day is the most awaited one, as you will be going to Naerak today, after breakfast. The 13 km long trail will bring you the chance of seeing the most scenic landmark of Chadar Trek, that is the frozen waterfall. This frozen waterfall is a nature's masterpiece in itself and attracts trekkers and adventurers from across the globe.
Hot lunch will be served on your way to Naerak.
Naerak will be the coldest of all the campsites on the trek where the temperature goes down to as low as -30 degrees during the night. It will be important that you wear proper clothing and in layers to stay safe from the biting cold.
Reaching the waterfall on time would mean that you will have plenty of time to pay the village of Naerak a visit as well.
You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the frozen waterfall.
Overnight at Naerak Camp.
11,100 to 10,800 ft
Trek 13 km/ 5 to 6 hours
After breakfast today, you will start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave.
If you have the notion that going back is the easier part of the journey, the Chadar will force your mind to think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.
On your way back to Tibb Cave, you will be seeing a lot of locals negotiating the Chadar wearing the traditional woolen Gonchas, where some of them are monks coming back to Leh from the monastery at Lingshed, while other are young students going back to schools in Leh after their vacations, accompanied by their parents. To see this sight is warming enough. You will be in awe of the way these people have adapted to the temperatures below zero and still smile
Overnight at camps in Tibb Cave.
10,800ft to 10,300 ft and drive to 11,400 ft.
Trek 18 km/ 7 to 8 hours
Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo, and then trek on to reach Shingra Yokma today.
The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls.
You will be noticing a lot of fresh trails and footprints all along the trek, belonging to Foxes, Ibex or Snow Leopards.
Although you would be lucky to spot a Snow Leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.
Retracing the steps we took, this will be the last chance to look at the majestic and mesmerizing Chadar, which you will miss for sure. Trekkers along the way, who are about to start their trek will for sure ask you the experience. It will be amazing to play guide to these people and to talk to someone about the experience while it is still fresh in your head.
You will reach Leh by approximately by 6:30 in the evening. It is recommended that you book your return flight on the 9th day instead of the 8th day.
Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house.
Overnight in Leh.
Return from Leh
After breakfast, you will be checking out of the guesthouse and will get a transfer to the airport.
Continue with your return journey on the flight.
Experience ends here.
Write Your Story
Rated : 5.0
It had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. We were walking on ice, we were drinking those ice (of-course the boiled one), but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme condition. Thank to these amazing group of people I was travelling with. The support staff, the organiser and each and every people related to this trip were an amazing host. They made us feel at home, they fulfilled almost all our demands. I had done 2 treks before with other organizations, but these people were the best. The fun we had is quite vivid with this picture, but trust me nothing can be explained in words, you just have to feel it. Keep yourself fit and go for it . It will change the way you see nature , it will change your perception towards people and many more things. Stay happy and keep trekking
Rated : 5.0
Being a fauji kid i always dreamt to do something adventurous and so i chose the most dangerous most exciting chadar trek as my first trek. After reaching the hotel in LEH i was welcomed by Satya sir and guess what we both shared common backgrounds i.e. fauj. After having breakfast i went to the room and slept for an hour or two. In the evening we were briefed by Satya sir and Shashank sir about the trek which actually helped me during the trek. We were a group of 14 among which 8 came solo just like me. At night we introduced each other and slept. Next morning we went for sightseeing and explored beautiful Shey palace and monasteries and by that time we all knew each other names. On day 3 we all went for medical checkups and every member from our group was fit for the trek. In the meantime we went to LEH market for some shopping. We were again briefed by Satya sir , Shashank sir and Sonam Sir and guess what we slept in the tents with our sleeping bags. Next day we started our journey from LEH to Chilling . After reaching chilling we were all set to step our foots on chadar for the first time and that feel was amazing. We walked for 3 hours and reached our first campsite. After having a lovely dinner by our porters we sang songs and went to sleep. Next morning i experienced first snowfall of my life and everything all around us appeared to be white and ahhh what an amazing feel i had that time. By God's grace we all successfully made it to Nerak on day 6 and saw that frozen waterfall for the first time. The josh and the deshbhakti inside me came out, i removed my jackets and stuff, wrapped myself in INDIAN FLAG and waved it at NERAK. I cannot describe that feeling until you experience chadar trek, we spent two hours at Nerak. Alright we made it to Nerak so easily and we all were like wow that was easy but nah something was about to come. After having lunch at Tibb caves we started our journey , after an hour there was a patch when our trek leader Dorge sir saw that chadar is weak ahead and went solo upto 50-80 meters & came back and said we cannot go from here, so we climbed up the hill carefully as it was all covered with snow. And again after this we saw the same thing but this time we couldn't go through the hills as those were standing hills. And at this point we all thought one thing that we all made it to nerak so easily, this has to be happened. Dorge sir again went solo up to 50 meters to check the chadar and suddenly his legs went inside the chadar upto knee. Being an experienced trekker he immediately came out and changed his socks. We didnt have any option so we started walking on the chadar. I being second last in my group saw my group mates how carefully they were walking on chadar, I heard the satisfying sound of crushing the chadar when my right foot went inside the chadar and my gumboots was filled by water. Ah i didn't went mad but stayed calm, my friend Dev behind me shouted Dorge sir come here, and he within 30 seconds came back to me removed my gumboots and helped me to change the socks. We successfully made it to our tents that day and the rest of the journey. All I want to say is we were a group of motivators, we became a family and from day 1 to day 9 we all were positive and supported each other. Much thanks to all the porters who made such yummy foods for us. Thank you to dorge sir & Sonam Sir who always said we will go to Nerak. Thank you to Satya sir and Shashank sir who's briefings really helped me during the trek. I wish again to be with this group because we became a family. Thankyou Thrillophilia for such a wonderful journey on chadar. I will be uploading my chadar trek journey on youtube soon i.e. PUNEET VLOGS. Peace
Rated : 5.0
Amazing trek.. Thanks a lot to THRILLOPHILIA. Life changing experience. This is the master of all the treks. I am marathon runner, always wanted to go for a trek. Finalized to go for Chadar trek with little hesitation. But, THRILLOPHILIA cleared all the mental blocks and made me confident. Hats off THRILLOPHILIA. What an experience... People tells Swizz mountains. Guys come to Leh and go for Chadar trek. Then compare :) Again thanks a ton to THRILLOPHILIA
Rated : 5.0
Chadar Trek - Feb 2019 Julley!!!!! It's been 15 days my trek is over but chadar effect is still Onn!!!! Without fail I see the same pics again and again, take the pride to share my Chadar experience with my friends. Thanks to Satya, Shanshank, Guide, Porter's, my Group and Thrillophilia for this amazing and lifetime experience. Chadar denotes to the Frozen Zanskar River which transforms into thick layer of ice and it's a beautiful trek admist the Zanskar Valley. It was my first trek of life and really grateful to my sister as it was her plan and it's only because of her I had this lifetime unforgettable experience. Day - 1: Acclimatization The only Challenge in Chadar trek is adverse temperature which drops down to -30 and low oxygen due to high altitude. Trekker from all over the INDIA come for Chadar trek and due to drastic change in weather and temperature there is high probability of AMS hence government from this year has made a mandate 3 days acclimatization rule. So before carrying out the trek it a mandatory 3 days stay in Leh city which is followed by Medical. Once you are hit by AMS the only option left is fly back from Leh . While taking flight from Delhi to Leh don't forget to take window seat kyuki everyone knows Badal important hai but yahan Badal keh sath snow capped Himalaya ka view bhi milta hai and it's very beautiful. After landing in Leh airport we were received by Mr Tanzin who took us to our hotel. It was my first visit to the cold desert and I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of Ladaki people. We met Satya, our trek leader and over all in charge from Thrillophilia who welcomed us and had a short introduction over break fast. On Day1 we were strictly adviced to stay in hotel and not to exhaust ourself and to have at least 5litres of water - only saviour. Meanwhile all others members of our group came and in no time from stranger we became friends. In the evening there was an official introduction round of our group and we had a great time over tea and we were given briefing about the trek by our Guide Sir about Do's and Don't during the trek. Day - 2 : Leh Sight Seeing / AMS / Tension We were fortunate enough, big thanks to Thrillophilia for this add on and taking us for Leh city tour. We were taken to Thiksey monastery, Shey Palace, the meeting point of Indus and Sindhu river, Magnetic hill and local market. The scenic beauty was mesmerising and can't be captured and defined in words. It's way beyond beautiful. WARNING -Please don't forget to carry your water bottles and drink water at regular intervals. AMS - After the tiring day my brother in law was having a head ache and the moment we reached our hotel we reported this to Satya.The moment he heard he rushed my brother in law to hospital and asked us to stay back. His oxygen level was low and was hospitalized. He was hit by AMS and he was medically unfit to take this trek. All of a sudden all the excitement vanished and pressure crept in. It was certainly a tough call for all three of us. It was my sister's dream to take this trek and her husband was hospitalized due to low oxygen level and the only option left for him was fly back to Delhi. My sister almost made up her mind that she is going to fly back too . Shanshank Role- Experience Counts. While Satya was at hospital with my brother in law, Shanshank stepped in gave moral boost to my sister and convinced her not to quit and carry on. He told us that my Brother In law was absolutely fine it's just due to altitude and it's very common and he will be completely fine once he lands in Delhi. Satya after coming from hospital gave me a hug and asked me to be prepared for medical. Unfortunately my brother in law had to fly back to Delhi. Day-3: Medical From Jan 2019 it is mandatory for trekker to undergo medical test even if anyone has medical certificate from any doctor. The government has also introduced a mandate insurance policy for trekker keeping in mind the safety issue of trekker. Every person is issued an insurance card which is valid for 10days and any medical emergency during the trek is covered under it . Even doctors are available at camp sight and any casualty during the trek can be addressed. They have been given satellite phones and at utmost emergency, the evacuation process is carried out by helicopter. A great initiative by the government keeping in mind the safety of the trekkers. After medical clearance the excitement level was at different level. Finally we were given green signal and my wishlist was going to be fullfilled. Everyone from our group cleared the medical and for the next 5 days we were going to be in Chadar. On returning to hotel we were congratulated by Satya and Shanshank on clearing the medicals.On day 3 we have to sleep in tents just to have a feeling of Chadar. We were given briefing about how to use sleeping bags and be organized and take care of ourselves during the trek. It was altogether a different experience for me as it was my first trek of my life and I had never slept in tents before. The sleeping bag used was of same quality as used my military and it was very comfortable Day(4-9) : The Day - How's the Josh? Chadar here we come. After 3 hours of ride from our hotel we finally arrived at Chilling (from where our trek started) at around 12noon. The first step- It was like a dream come true. I was definitely on cloud9 . It's a 2 hour trek on the first day from Chilling to Tilad just to familiarize ourself with Chadar. Message - Please follow your guide instructions very carefully as smartness can be fatal at times specially in Chadar which changes every hour. Weather plays a vital role. Keep your sunglasses , sunscreen handy and cold cream handy, make sure your ears are covered. Relish your trek as it is one time. Enjoy the beautiful Zanskar Valley. Respect the environment and don't throw your waste in the Zanskar. Enjoy the freefall at Chadar as everyone falls and no one laughs at you. Food- I just couldn't believe that I will have such an amazing experience with food in Zanskar. I really am speechless . I never had such tasty food experience in my life. I had the most tasty veg Momo's of my life. And the love with which the cook served won everyone's heart. The support Staffs are the main hero of Chadar trek without whom it won't be possible. Enjoy your night and have good sleep. Tilad - Tibb Caves. The next day you start your trek after your breakfast and it's going to be a tiring day with 8hours trek. You have a lunch break in between where you are served kashmiri kawa and Maggie or Thupa. And around 4 in the evening we reached our camp site. Please change your socks immediately once you reach your camp site. After having our evening tea we went to medical camp site where our oxygen level and pulse rate was checked as routine check-up. You can explore camp site or choose to stay at dinning tent and chill with your group . Tibb Caves to Nerak. By next day your Josh has come down in the freezing cold valley but once you reach Nerak all your pain just vanish and its Worth it. The sight of huge waterfall and the feeling of completing the trek successfully brought in you a new Winner and you take the pride of earning it. Bravo!!! You have made it... It's a beautiful trek and sincere thanks to Satya, Shanshank, Dorje Sir, Tharchin Sir, and Thrillophilia for giving me this lifetime experience and the joy of completing the Chadar trek. Come and enjoy the C - Chilling, H- High, A-Altitude, D- Daring, A- Adventurous, R- Zanskar River T R E K.
Rated : 5.0
Our Chadar Trek adventure was one of the best and most memorable treks for all of us. I along with my friend went for this incredible trekking adventure in January 2017. Very well arrangements have been made for us by the team. I have heard about the beauty of trekking in Zanskar River but when I was actually there it was a lot more amazing. You will fall in love with the views and the whole surroundings. We took our flight from Delhi to Leh from where our tour would start, we were joined by another group of trekkers at Leh. I love to keep a track of each day in my diary and today I will share this with you as well. Day 1: We reach Leh on our first day, such a beautiful place, the airport was very well maintained and that too high up in the mountains. It was a very pleasant day and the cool mountain air was keeping us more active. We visited the markets and the nearby places on our first day and also bought few items for the trek and some energy bars too. Day 2: On our second day, we started with a thrilling ride to Tilad Do via Chilling. Passing through the steep hairpins was a bit scary but we had a wonderful driver Gorakh with us. The day was a bit colder and we started climbing to Shanti Stupa, the sunrise was just breathtaking. It was our first-day trekking in the Zanskar. At first, I was scared a bit to walk on the ice but as we continued I was able to walk properly. We reached our campsite by late evening and the sleeping bags were quite a saviour through the night. Day 3: On our third day, we trekked from Tilad Do to Shingra Koma. After a short brief about the whole trek and how to walk on the ice by our trek leader, we started our trek. We had to cover around 10 km today. Be careful while you walk on the ice as it can be very slippery at times, I faced this problem while walking and had to take small steps when I walk. When we reached halfway our cook cum porter prepared some maggi and soupy noodles for our lunch. I just loved to have something warm at the top of the mountain. We passed Shingra koma, and reached our campsite at Gyalpo. The campsite was very beautiful and we could see the mountains on all sides. After our dinner, we enjoyed a sound sleep. Day 4: On our fourth day, we started our morning with a warm cup of tea and delicious breakfast and then went for a quick march. Today was a big day for us as we had to cover around 15 km, we started trekking through the deep ravines of Zanskar, and the day was a bit colder as there was no sunlight at all. We passed through many caves and saw few frozen waterfalls. We reached Tibb cave where we will be camping for the night. We had a wonderful dinner with some roti and a sabji. Day 5: We started our day with a morning breakfast and some tea. Today we had to trek from Tibb cave to Naerak camp. As we started trekking we came across many Junipers and prayer flags tied on a twig. It was such a beautiful sight. We also came across a huge waterfall on our way to the camp. We had to walk slow as few of the paths were bit slippery. We could also see the Narek village and the distance light flickering in the small huts. We set up our tents near the river, it was biting cold and so we made a small bonfire. Our trek leader Mohan was really helpful enough and he told us about the place and our next route. Day 6: Today our trek was from Naerak to Tibb Cave which was basically our return journey. I would advise you to wear thermals to keep off the biting cold, the day was very cold when we started. We saw the local people wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas and few monks taking making their way to the Lingshed Monastery to Leh. It was such a wonderful view to see people how these people have adjusted to the biting cold here. We reached Tibb cave by late evening and then set up our camps for the night. Day 7: Today our trek was from Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma. We came across many pug marks of a fox. We reached our campsite and there we were cooked a delicious warm dinner by our cook. He made us rice, sabji and dal. Day 8: We were almost coming to an end of our trek. Today we had to trek from Shingra Koma to Tilad Do and drive to Leh. We reached Tilad Do, from where we had to bid farewell to our team. Thanks to Mohan ji and Gorakh for making our trek such an awesome one. We checked into our guesthouse Dorje Guest House for the night and spend the night there. Day 9: Today was our last day at Leh, we enjoyed a delicious morning breakfast and was ready for our return journey. We took our flight back home. We had the best time doing this incredible trek, a must do trek for all the adventure seekers, you will just love everything about this trek. Just remember to wear thermals and wear gumboots during the trek. You can buy them at Leh on your first day itself. And click a lot of pictures to cherish these memories. Huge thanks to team Thrillophilia. Keep rocking guys.
Rated : 5.0
Being fromSouth India, I always had the desire to explore the mountains and I did few treks like Valley of Flowers and Stok Kangri. This time one of my friends asked me for Chadar trek. I was hesitant at first but he forced that we should do this time. The package was really great and the price was very decent including the number of days. We did this trek on February this year and it was the best adventure we had so far. We had a very great organizer and they have done quite good arrangements for us. We both went and bought Gumboots and some thermals for the trek from the local markets here. We started our trek on our second day and took a drive from Tilad Do via Chilling. We had some great view during our drive. Trekking was through remote villages, valleys, snow-covered fields, large white meadows and frozen rivers were just awesome. From Tilad we continued our trek to Shingra Koma, on our third day, our trek leader Subham was very brief about our day and also told was to keep ourselves warm as the temperature seems to drop. It was a beautiful day; today we were able to walk properly on the ice. Our fourth and fifth day was the best. We could see frozen waterfalls, hot springs, large rock faces which was just fantastic. Camping on the Tibb cave was totally a different experience for all of us. It was a wonderful trekking experience for me. During this trek there are few things I would like to mentions. Few do’s and don’ts that we all need to remember. Do’s While you are heading out for your Chadar trek always make sure that you take warm clothes with you and wear thermals inside your woollen wear, the night can be very cold. Always wear Gumboots and waterproof shoes. These boots will help you to have a firm grip on the snow and walk without much difficulty. Although you will have medical emergencies it is advisable to carry your own medical kit and medicines. There will be very less drinking water during your trek so carry water bottles with you and also fill your bottles where ever there is a stop. Also, carry energy bars with you. Trekking in the thin sheet of ice may be difficult so always listen to your trek leaders and follow the guidelines. Don’ts: Always be careful that you don’t pollute the place by littering. This trek is known as the most beautiful trek and so it is advisable that you keep the grounds clean. Do not use shampoos or soaps and contaminate the waterfalls. The local tribe use this water for drinking. Do not point any fingers at the monasteries or the local people, they might find that offensive. Also, don’t click pictures of the monks.
Rated : 5.0
Chadar trek was always on my wishlist but knowing about the extreme challenges I always gave it a second thought of doing it or not. It was the time I saw the ad of Thrillophilia, read about the schedule and other people's reviews, I just made up my mind to do it. Many thanks to Thrillophilia to make it a dream come true. I simply saw a God made Heaven on Earth amongst the blue Zanskar, white ice and the amber Himalayas. With each day of the trek, we explored newer phases of Himalayas. We had a great team which made the difficulty level of the trek easier. The rooms were very cosy when we reached after landing in Leh. The organizers were very friendly, the helped us with buying proper shoes required for the trek, heaters for our room and also some sightseeing. The cooks made amazing food. Last day we were overwhelmed when he specially made a cake for us with an icing on the top for we completed the trek successfully. We had a group member who had a birthday during those days. When the cook learnt about it, he managed to make gulab jamuns for the entire team. The porters were also very helpful in carrying all our stuff. The gala time we had in the evening bonfire and the music and the tasty snacks and the dinner is never forgettable. They also made sure about all the medical needs of the group members. Overall, we just enjoyed a lot! The beauty of the Himalayas in the Chadar is just spellbound. Every brave heart must make this once in their life..!! Thanks, Thrillophilia..!!
Rated : 5.0
Had an amazing experience in the February batch of Chadar Trek. Trek was well coordinated and Mr. Thupstan ensured that we were taken care of on all days in Leh. His team of Superhumans (trek guide and portors) made the experience even more fun filled and memorable.
Rated : 5.0
Chadar trek or The Frozen River Trek as it is called by many is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I’m sure you must be wondering, is this experience worth the difficulty it is advertised? To be honest the only real challenge on this trek is if you can get properly acclimatised and can bear the numbing cold (mind you the temperatures can fall to as low as -30degrees in night). All in all its mostly a flat walk with a few occasional patches that need some easy climbing or a knee-deep dunk in Zanskar’s frozen water. Don’t worry the local Ladakhi porters and your tour guides are your best friend. That being said this has to be the most difficult walk as you have to carry a heavy backpack on your shoulders and walk on slippery ice. It’s almost impossible to complete this trek without falling. If you are afraid of hurting your bum the trick is to slide across the surface like penguin (but what’s the fun without falling in the snow amidst the beautiful Zanskar valley). The trek arrangement was good enough and our group size of 17 slightly more than to our liking. Expect lots of nutritious and tasty food cooked while you trek including everyones favourite Maggi and Pasta. How cold you’ll feel is truly different for each individual, only real advice would be to layer up(at least 4) and enjoy the trek. Photography is pretty rewarding but at the same time is absolutely difficult because of the cold and you’ll be amazed on how fast your batteries can deplete.Since you have first 3 days for Acclimatisation which you can spend sightseeing Leh, grab hold of your closest friends and plan this trek because Leh in winter is very mesmerising. However with the state of Chadar deteriorating every year and increasing number of trekkers arriving, this trek’s days are numbered. Do plan to do it as early you can or as soon as you gather courage to do this mighty trek ;)
Chadar trek is considered as the toughest winter trek in India, it is indeed a difficult adventure. But with the gain of information on the end of the operators, it is no longer a daunting task and can also be done by the first time trekkers. All you need is proper preparation which includes physical and mental training along with the smart packing regime. If you make all the pieces to fall in the correct pieces, it does not matter even if you are a first timer.
The distance of Chadar trek is 105 Km, where an average trekker walks around 16-17 Kilometers on foot. It takes around 5-6 hours of walking every day to make them reach the desired distance. Though the walk is straight featuring less elevation, the extreme negative temperature and the broken trails increase the difficulty of this trek. Work on your stamina and endurance at least a month prior to your trip.
With the altitude up to 11,123 feet, Chadar Trek is a straight walk over the frozen Zanskar river facing the staggering extreme temperature. Due to the high altitude, the oxygen level is low, and so it is advisable that people suffering from asthma or any other breathing problem should not take it. If they want to take up this challenge then they require the medical approval and gear up to unveil the enthralling expedition.
Yes, Chadar Trek could be accomplished by a beginner. There are certain things which should be considered before initiating the trek:
- Physical fitness and diet should be watched at least 4 weeks before the trek.
- At least 3 days of proper acclimatizing is needed to let your body adjust to the high altitude.
- Proper medical examination is mandatory to begin hiking.
The Chadar Trek experiences a temperature ranging from -5 degree celsius to -25 degree celsius. The temperature during the day is between -5 degree celsius to -10 degree celsius, it eventually drops down to -25 degree celsius at night. The biting climate of the place is one of the major hurdles that make the Chadar Trek so tough. It needs a lot of endurance and stamina to survive the biting cold of the destination. But with proper planning and guidance, this larger than life expedition can be easily triumphed. Make sure you carry clothes and essentials as per the guidelines of the operator.
This activity is largely famous among the avid travellers. The beauty of this region attracts a lot of visitors, but its harsh and deserted environment is quite demanding. On a Zanskar Valley trek, you would meet the locals and understand their way of living in one of the most uninhabitable regions in the world. The Chadar frozen river trek is an experience for the brave-hearted and thrill-seekers. The weather and terrain might shake your confidence, but if you can surpass that then the journey to this land will be the most enriching experience of your life.
Zanskar Trek is indeed the most adventurous and dangerous trek in India. But it is those challenges which makes it the most gratifying trek. While on the trek, you can get nauseous, tired, exhausted and much more, but some precautions could get everything straight.
First, you should understand that Leh is at a very high altitude starting with 9,800 ft. Hence, Acute Mountain Sickness is very common so consider medical examination and body signals before trekking.
Moreover, the terrain is extremely unpredictable as a slight variation in the temperature can lead the ice to form, break or melt throughout the day.
Lastly, you should be aware of the fact that it would take 12-48 hours to rescue a person as there is no nearby checkpoint and one would need to reach Leh and inform the army to the rescue.
Chadar Trek is taking place this year surely and we have confirmed it from local authorities. Last year, the reason for cancellation was the natural calamity in the region. However, if again for some unforeseen reasons, the route is affected then do not worry, we have crafted one equally good alternate plan that we’ll take you to. The dates will be coinciding with the original plan to avoid any logistic issues. There are other rivers (like Indus) in the region which are frozen at that time, and we’ll take you to other amazing places in the region and make sure that your time and money isn’t wasted.
The best time to do Chadar Trek are the winter months of January and February. The Zanskar River is frozen at this time of the year and most of the groups prefer trekking in these months.
Falling in freezing water can be an extremely dangerous situation. Though, it is not common and we ensure that the Chadar is thick enough to walk on. You will follow the footsteps of our Trek Leader and Guide to ensure the platform you are standing on is robust enough to withstand the pressure. Still we need to be prepared for any such accident. The immediate action is for our team to take over and get you out of the water on the ground. Everyone needs to be patient and panic only exaggerates the situation. Once out, immediate thing is to avoid any loss and restore the body heat. Changing of clothes and providing a warm environment to the trekker is very important. Once done, the general health of the trekker is sought and further necessary actionsare taken.
Temperature in the day time goes up to -10 Degrees. A sunny day can make the environment warm as well due to the reflection of the sunrays from the ice. Temperatures till -38 degrees have been witnessed by us in the night time. But don’t worry, it is quite warm inside the sleeping tent but the psychological feeling of cold will be there till the last moment of you being on the trek and in Leh as well.
Leh is situated at a height of 11,000 Feet and the weather conditions and the thin oxygen levels already make the acclimatization process difficult. Consuming any kind of drugs or liquor might add as a catalyst to make you unwell. In our past experiences, there have been many cases of healthy people who knowingly consumed drugs and alcohol and immediately developed symptoms of AMS and nausea. They had to be sent back from Leh to descend to a lower height immediately after getting hospitalized.
No, Chadar Trek should never be done solo as it is one of the treacherous treks ever. It is highly recommended to have a group even if it is a small one, to accompany you throughout the trek.
The choice is yours if you want a walking stick or not. But it is always more comfortable with a trekking pole. Also a trekking pole will help you make firm steps and help you grip on slippery grounds.
You will need to prepare for the Chadar Trek 4 months before the commencement:
- Start watching your diet and exercise 4 months before you have to trek.
- Once you reach Leh, give at least 3 days for acclimatizing to the high altitude of the city.
- Do examine your health and do not skip the medical examination.
- Do pack your best quality woollens to fight with the extremely cold weathers.
- Equip the best sleeping bag which could withstand the temperature as low as -20 °C.
- Pack extra clothes and shoes so that you can change when you are wet.
- You can pack gumboots to secure yourself from the icy cold water.
- Packing crampons would be a great idea to get ease while walking on ice.
- 2 water bottles of 1 litre each.
Yes. Gumboots are required as you may have to cross a path where water levels are high and you wouldn’t want the ice cold freezing water to enter your shoes and make it all wet. Gum boots are easily available in different sizes at the Leh market. You should prefer choosing the brand “Diamond” If you are looking to buy a gumboots as they are made of soft rubber and thus are comfortable while on the trek. Buying Gumboots should cost you not more than INR 500.
Once you have confirmed the booking, our team will guide you with the trek essentials needed for the trek. Shoes, clothes and other trekking equipment’s are also available in the local markets of Leh. You can buy it on the day of your arrival in the evening when you go for the acclimatization walk. Our Team will help you buy the best quality equipment’s at the best possible price. Also to let you know you get first copy of good quality adventure clothing and other equipment’s at a very good price in the Leh market so you can take away some extra very good and effective winter apparels to your home. (Note-Shopping can be done only on the first day of your arrival in case you have planned as per the itinerary). However, to avoid any risks, we advice buying gears from Delhi / other Metros to ensure the availability and choices.
You can check with the trek essential list for the equipment’s and gears to be brought from your end. We advise you to go through the list thoroughly and arrange for the things from your home town. Ping us in case you find trouble finding anything. Our Team will be there to help you. You can also purchase the same from Leh but it totally depends upon the availability of stock in the market.
Chadar Trek is a difficult trek because of the terrain. As the altitude rises, chances of AMS increases which leads to difficulty in sleeping, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, breathing issues and more.
This could be cured if you give yourself time for acclimatization. Ideally, you should initiate your trek 3 days after you reach the place to give time to your body for adjusting with the environment. Besides this, you should watch your diet and exercise at least a month before the trek.
Trekking shoes is one of the most important things needed in any trek, so you have to be very careful before buying it. Recommended only high-ankle and waterproof shoes which are branded and are specifically designed for trekking purposes.Quechua, Zamberlan, Lafuma, Conquest and The North Face are some high quality brands dealing in High Altitude trekking shoes
Airport transfers are not included in the package cost. But there are many taxies available outside the airport which will drop you at the hotel. You can club with other members of the group and come to the hotel on sharing basis. One taxi charges approximately 400 to 500 INR to drop you to the hotel and back.
Normally we take up to15-20 people in one batch including males and females. We need a minimum of 10 people to run a fix departure but for the customized groups, size doesn't matter.
The trek is led by a professional trek leader who has completed his basic and advance mountaineering course with other mountaineering courses like MOI and are also certified in first- aid course. Accompanying the trek leader will be one local guide with the map of the route in the back of his head to support you. Rest of the team members include the kitchen staff, porters, helpers and extra trained local supporting staff taken as a backup in case of any emergency.
Yes, our first priority is to create a safe environment for all the trekkers, and a girls’safety is the foremost important thing for us. At the time of Rooms/Tents allotment the boys and girls are segregated in different accommodations. We always create a friendly environment between trekker's and other supporting staffs are carefully chosen for your trips keeping all safety measures in mind. But we would also advise you to take care of your own personal belongings.
No, we don’t deal in renting of any kind of Equipment’s be it Apparels, Shoes, Equipment’s or Technical gears. But if you wish to, we can suggest you some adventure shops from where all these can be bought apart from Decathlon.
Toilet tents will be pitched in the campsites and can be used for sanitary purposes. Do not forget to bring your toilet kits. .
We have four men tents but three people will be accommodating in one tent. Also it maintains the temperature required to have a warm and comfortable sleep in the night.
We always serve fresh cooked vegetarian food during the trek. We decide the menu very carefully keeping both health and taste in mind. Also the participants are encouraged to eat well. We try to keep the menu undisclosed in order to keep the suspense on but can be shared on a personal request. Also Jain Food is provided but has to be pre informed at the time of booking.
Himalayan water is naturally clean but for safe side we use boiled water and chlorine tablets in our camps, it is requested by all the participants to consult our outdoor team before filling up there water bottles during the trek at Chadar Lake. Hot water is made available for drinking while on the trek. Travelers should also carry chlorine tablets with them.
Tempo Traveler, TATA Sumo, Mini Buses are generally used for commuting from Leh to Chilling and back, which are pre-checked by our outdoor staff. The vehicles can also be altered as per the client’s customized requirement.
Our trek leaders are certified in first-aid and are aware of high attitude problems. We carry complete first-aid kit, oxygen cylinders, improvised stretchers,necessary medicines (relating to AMS) and extra team members with us may it be any contingency.
Yes, it is always advisable that in any trek carry your own personal medication and basic first aid kit with you. We will provide a list to you. No need to worry!
We usually love to stick to the regular plan. But we always keep a B-Plan ready! Yes, depending on the prevailing situation we can change the itinerary. However, the date of trek completion will always coincide with the original itinerary. We should keep in mind that the Chadar Trek is happening into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your trek leader will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.
Optimum level of fitness is required in the Chadar trek so that you can enjoy your trek without facing any physical issues. The Chadar Trek is not challenging because of the walk on the frozen river as it’s a straight path and not inclined. The temperatures that go beyond -25 Degrees make the route thrilling and challenging.
Average walking distance is 10- 12 km each day and trekkers make it mostly in 5-7 hours. You will definitely enjoy it, don’t be disheartened. We try to reach the camp site by the afternoon everyday so that the rest of the day can be enjoyed at leisure.
Apart from your clothing and personal equipment’s mentioned in the Trek Essentials List, we provide all that is necessary for the trek to happen safely and comfortably. Equipment’s that are provided from the companies end include Mess Tent, Kitchen Tent, Matrices, Dome Tent, Sleeping Bag resistant up to -30 Degrees with liners, Micro Spikes Crampons and Utensils etc.
The weather in Chadar Trek is extremely chilling. With the temperatures going negative to zero degree celsius, it adds to the difficulty of the Chadar trek. The piercing winds and sudden leg dips into the numbing water will challenge you to the core. The days are comparatively warmer than the nights as the sharp rays of the Sun flash over your heads, making the temperature rise to -5 degree celsius. The night cold is a test that can be qualified if you do not let your skin exposed to the freezing -25 degree celsius temperature outside and stay in your sleeping bags.
People who think that they cannot carry their personal luggage on their own can hire a local porter @ INR 5800 for 7 Days(*Note- A porter cannot be booked for lesser number of days). A porter carries up to 15 kgs. of weight in one bag so if you are 2 people going together, you can combing your bag pack while on the trek to make it one and hand it over to the porter. Make sure you inform us 20 days prior to the date of departure if you are looking forward to hire a porter as porters have to be pre booked.
Complying the insulating properties of air, Layering is a technique that will help you withstand the piercing cold of Ladakh. Ensure that you wear around 4-5 layers of clothing throughout this trek. These layers include warmers, sweaters, fleece jackets, Balaclavas, gloves, socks and several other clothing essentials. You need to ensure that none of your skin is exposed to the cold and stays covered. Cotton gears should be completely avoided during the trek as they absorb the sweat and make your body feel cool, which you would not want. Quick-dry and breathable clothes are preferable for this exciting excursion. Avoid denims and woolen clothes as they take too much time to dry.
Taking you through the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas on a 105 Km trail on the frozen Zanskar river is an enthralling experience. Though the adventure is full of cuts, bruises, pain, and hardships, it will be one of a kind experience to behold. Laden with hurdles, this trek is full of broken trails due to the temperature fluctuations making every step seem like an achievement unlocked. The choice of an operator can result in a safe and exciting trek while lack of guidance and information on the part of the operator can arise a needless problem in the expedition.
There are limited number of caves and huge number of people visiting Chadar Lake. If possible and there is vacancy, we would take every chance to make you experience the enchanting caves.
Once you have acclimatized to Ladakh, you should not have any high altitude related problems on this trek. Next, the trek is not very rigorous. You do not have to be super fit to do this trek. All you have to do is walk carefully on ice with occasional crossings over rocks if the Chadar is broken. Walking on ice is not impossible and can be picked up fast. Trekkers normally have problems adjusting to the penguin gait on the first day and do take a few falls. But from the second day itself you can see the confidence in their strides. This trek is all about preparing to deal with cold temperatures. If one’s physical stamina is equipped to do long walks and you’re reasonably fit, then you will enjoy the mesmerizing scenery during this trek, if not it can be prove to be a challenge. Keeping all this in mind, yes, Chadar can be your first trek.
There are no woods in the valley and Leh making it impossible to arrange a bonfire. The only healthy way to keep yourself warm is by wearing as much clothes as you can in layers.
No Diamox is not advisable from our side. Acclimatization process should happen naturally and automatically. However, if you wish to use it to acclimatize in case you have altitude problems. If consuming, Diamox has to be taken a day before coming to Leh. We suggest you to consult your doctor before use.
We have a backup of support team with all the equipment’s required to take the patients back to Leh and keep the batch moving ahead. But this can only be done once. If any emergency, happens the second time with the same batch. The entire Batch will have to come back and stand together as a group.
We do not advice carrying too much money or precious items with you during the trek. Whole trek and food during the trek including transport from Leh to road-head is arranged by us. Only amount we see you spending will be airport transfers, food at Leh and any local market visit you make, which will be a very small amount. However, one part should be kept as emergency money, in cash and also electronically, with you at all times.
Having an altitude of 13,000 ft above sea level, Chadar Trek could be very difficult for adjusting to the harsh climate. Besides, it is long and it could be exhausting but having high endurance, expertise and good planning can make it a lot attainable.
If anyone falls ill or has to be returned back for any reason, as our first priority, we make the arrangements to get the trekker back safely. But, the additional costs, like transport to Leh, stay at Leh (apart from Day 1 and 8), food / meals at Leh, medical expenses, extra staff arrangements, airlifting etc. will have to be borne by the trekker.
All the Govt. fees and other camping permits are included in the package cost. However there are some Ladakhi local organizations which try to impose some additional charges for trekkers which varies from INR 300 to INR 3,000. Those additional charges will have to be borne by the trekkers themselves.
Ladakh is at a high very altitude which means that the oxygen levels are pretty low as compared to the plains. On reaching Ladakh, you are suggested to take a day off to get use to the sudden change in oxygen levels. In winter, this worsens. This cold desert comes with long, harsh winters from October to early March, with minimum temperatures well below freezing for most of the winter. The city gets occasional snowfall during winter. The weather in the remaining months is generally fine and warm during the day.
With proper gear and sensible trekking, the Chadar trek Ladakh is not a very difficult trek. But what sets it apart is its unique experience. Everything about it is unique: the scenery, temperature, atmosphere, the frozen river, sledges, unusual campsites, caves and the ever changing Chadar. So unique that it makes for an unmissable experience. This trek has been featured as the most unique treks in the country.
Ladakh is a beautiful destination. So much so, that one should definitely plan a visit to this cold desert as a bucket list check box. With beautiful lakes and treks to offer, Ladakh is a must-visit place to go to. In winter, the temperature in Ladakh drops down severely and becomes even more picturesque. One can visit the frozen Pangong Lake, if not the Chadar trek, one can do the trek on the Sham Valley, visit Ladakhi festivals that help you interact with the locals as well.
Chadar Ice Trek is a trek commenced in the winter season when Zanskar River is frozen which is located in Ladakh.
The temperature during this Leh Ladakh trek could fall as low as -30 °C and never rises more than 3 °C.
Distance between Leh to Chadar trek base camp is 105 KM.
To reach Leh, you will have to take a flight as there is no other means of transport till Leh. Further, you will be provided with transportation to travel by road to the base camp.
Chadar or Zanskar Trek should be done in the winter months of January and February as these are the months when the Zanskar River is frozen.
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