Brief about Chadar Trek-
Chadar Trek is well known for being a unique winter journey through Ladakh. It can be termed “Khado Sanglam” by Zanskari vocabulary. It travels through the actual route (Dakini Path) which the people of valley use as the last resort to connect to the outside world when there is no link for several weeks at this time of year because of heavy snowfall.
“Chadar” is a common Indian word that means “sheet” and is used to refer here to the sheets of ice formed over the Zanskar river on which we also trek along our route. This specific trek is considered as one of the most amazing one in India due to its unique trekking experience. Chadar frozen river trek offers you some of the most breath-taking sights, ice-peaks along with unforeseen landscapes that are bound to stay in memories forever. The Chadar formations, frozen waterfalls and the whole landscape is different each year.
Chadar Trek is a valley trek and hence doesn’t take much toll on your legs but the difficult part is the temperature. Day temperatures in Leh and while on trek are sub-zero and usually around -5 degrees. The temperatures during night falls drastically to -25 degrees. The ultimate challenge is to keep yourself focussed in completing the challenge.
During the winter ,Ladakh, is isolated from the whole country due to heavy snowfall. The only way to Ladakh is by air from Delhi. In winter the temperature goes down to below zero and the mighty Zanskar river freezes. This seven to eight day trek from Chilling to Naerak over the Zanskar is both challenging as well as an unforgettable experience. The landscape acquires a pristine grandeur in winter as the trail enters into the gorge of the Zanskar.
Day one is acclimatisation and rest at Leh to high altitude and harsh weather. Day two onward we start with remarkable journey through the Ladakhi landscape. We return on day eight, rest and cherish the time spend in the remote ‘white’ wild and pack our bags to leave back to our homes on day nine morning.
Short Itinerary for Chadar Trek:
Day 1: Report at Leh. Acclimatize and Overnight at Guest House. Advisable to come a day before for better acclimatization.
Day 2: Morning Drive to Darr / Shingra Yokma [3 to 4 hours]. Trek to Shingra Koma camp [4 km / 2 to 3 hours].
Day 3: Trek from Shingra Koma Camp to Tibb Camp. Lunch at Tsomo. [9 km / 6 hours].
Day 4: Trek from Tibb to Neyrak Camp. Lunch at Yokma Do. [13 km / 8 hours]
Day 5: Day free to explore the beautiful Neyrak village / Buffer Day.
Day 6: Trek from Neyrak to Tibb / Interim Camp.
Day 7: Trek from Tibb / Interim Camp to Shingra Koma / Bakula Camp.
Day 8: Morning Trek from Bakula / Shingra Koma to Roadhead and drive back to Leh.
Day 9: Return from Leh.
How is it different from Chadar Trek provided by Others?
There will be no gap in promised and delivered as our outdoor team are always present in Leh and also a qualified mountaineer from our team leads every batch.
Our vendor is the only one who carries sleeping bag with lab testing to be comfortable in -15°c and thus can withstand extremes of -20°c or lower with ease.
Rest all rations, team and gears are quality checked by the team, and safety and best experience are our priorities since last 4 years of Chadar Trek.
LEH ARRIVAL: Arrive by flight and report at Leh. Rest of the day free for acclimatization. Stay overnight at the hotel. Get also used to the cold.
LEH – CHILLING – TILAT SUMDO CAMP: Drive from Leh to Chilling and trek to Tilat Sumdo. Today in the morning drive with small brief halt at the magnificent confluence of River Zanskar and Indus and then again a drive to the Chilling, one of the most famous villages in Ladakh, known for craftsmanship, especially the metal works. Touching the Chadar first time, we start the trek for 1-2 hrs along the magnificent frozen river Zanskar till Tilat Sumdo. Overnight in cave/camp/tent. Also learn the fun way to adjust yourself to Ladakhi Shuffle walk style on the frozen slippery ice of River Zanskar.
TILAT SUMDO – TSOMO PALDAR / SHINGRA KOMA: After the breakfast call at 7:30 am and an early departure, the walk on the Chadar has fully started. Hearing the different sounds of Chadar forming and breaking, you will soon get familiar where the Chadar or the ice cover is thick and thin.
SHINGRA KOMA / TSOMO PALDAR – DIBB: It is the longest day of the trek, we pass through some magnificent beautiful waterfalls and frozen ice cliffs on the left – it is like walking through a giant freezer! The walk also crosses through narrow gorges, where the trekker may have to climb briefly on to the rocky river bank. The sharp bends and current of the river breaks the ice in some places. Lunch in between on a flat rocky hill side by the river.
DIBB TO NEYRAK PULLU: Again one of the magnificent days on the Chadar trek. However, the caution being that this can become a difficult if the Chadar is not very firm. The vistas are stunning though as we pass through giant frozen waterfalls, ice cliffs and one may even catch sight of the mountain fox. Nyerak village is located high above. Beyond the bridge that links Nyerak village with Lingshed, small huts mark the summer grazing shelters of the villagers.
NEYRAK TO DIBB: Though technically it is the same way back, it is also quite different. The Chadar or the blanket of ice that is forming on the River Zanskar is always changing, breaking up and forming itself again. As the Chadar dynamics are ever changing, the same route and place would look and feel different as the texture and conditions change.
DIBB (TIBB) to SHINGRA KOMA: Today we trek from Dibb to Shingra Koma. Shingra Koma is a big camping ground on your right as you walk up stream. Its right below a huge stone wall which is straight out of a hollywood movie. The Zanskar river takes a beautiful turn right in front of the camp site and sharp peaks rise on the other side of the river.
SHINGRA KOMA – CHILLING – LEH: Last day of our amazing trekking experience. We trek from our campsite in Shingra Koma to Chilling which was also the start point of our trek. From Chilling we drive back to Leh. Overnight at a guesthouse.
DEPARTURE FROM LEH: Today we depart from Leh to our destination with some wonderful and lifetime memories.
List of Essential items for Chadar Trek
1. Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy and comfortable shoulder straps and supporting frame. Add-on poncho can be considered to keep it dry.
2. Trekking shoes. Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Shoes should have good grip, ankle support and waterproofing.
3. 2 x waterproof track-pants. Track-pants are light. Plus when things get cold you can wear one over the other. DO NOT bring Jeans, Shorts, Capris, etc.
4. 3 x cotton t-shirts – full sleeves preferred.
5. 1 x Fleece jacket; a woolen sweater would be an alternative.
6. 1 x Wind-proof jacket.
7. 1 x Down / Feather / Heavy jacket.
8. 2 pairs x thermal inner.
9. 3 pairs x sports socks and 2 pairs x woolen socks.
10. Woolen monkey cap / balaclava that covers the ear.
11. 2 pairs x woolen gloves and 2 pairs of synthetic gloves (water proof).
12. Sun Cap and Sun-glasses which cover your eyes well.
13. People who wear spectacles, choose one of these:
a) Use contact lenses.
b) Photo-chromatic glasses
c) If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
15. Towel (Thin, quick drying type).
16. Cold cream and sun screen lotion (SPF 40+) and one Lip-balm.
17. 2 x Water bottles (1 L each).
18. Torch with extra set of cells (head lamps preferable).
19. Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper.
20. Although we carry first-aid kit, we recommend you carrying a personal medicine kit. If you are travelling with friends, you can share one amongst 2-3 people.
20. Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc. (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available during trek)
21. Slippers / sandals (for walking around campsite, you can share this with tent mates).
22. Trekking / Hiking Poles (at least one – mandatory)
23. Some trekkers feel loss of energy more than others. While there is adequate food provided on the trek, carry dry fruit combinations as light snacks. Glucon-D can help in instant energy and considered good in AMS as well (not proven).
24. While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
IMPORTANT: NEVER LEAVE ANY PLASTIC OUT IN THE NATURE.
Plastic is only for use. If you’ve spare plastic bag, free hands and some will, we’d recommend you collecting non-biodegradable waste from the trail and bringing back as much as possible. We all can do our bit for the Mother Nature.
Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents:
1. An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
2. A passport size photo.
3. A medical and disclaimer certificate. The documents are mandatory.
Without them you will not be allowed to trek
For any trek physical fitness is a must. Make sure you start to train yourself a few weeks from the commencement of the trek. Starting from brisk walking to be able to run comfortably for 4-5 kms. in 30 minutes ensures that you are ready to take on the harsh conditions of a high altitude trek. If you are just fit, you will still be able to do the same trek, but the difficulties you face will be harder. So it is best to be 100% fit for you to enjoy the trek without worries.
Frequently Asked Questions For Chadar Trek:
1) No. of Trek Leaders / Guide accompanying the group?
One trek leader, one guide, one cook & around 10-15 helpers and porters, that makes a total staff of around 15 to 20 professionally qualified / locals accompanying 15 to 20 trekkers.
2) How trek leaders manage emergency situations. Do we have stratures, oxygen cylinder at all times?
Our all trek leaders qualified “Advance mountaineering course” from (NIM, HIM, & ABVIMAS) & trek leaders are certified in “Wilderness first-aid” and are aware of high attitude problems, and we carry whole first-aid kit and necessary medicines with our backpack & team is trained and always present to manage any emergency situations. Oxygen cylinder remains with the trek leader in all our treks over 4500 mtrs altitude.
Also, trek leaders have a right to change the plan in case there is danger involved for the group or whenever the trek leader deem it necessary. Final word of the trek leaders will have to followed by all the members.
3) Are Crampons provided during the trek?
Yes, we provide crampons / microspikes, depending on requirement. We DO NOT recommend them at all on Chadar Trek. But provide them in case of injury.
4) Who will lead and who all will go along with us?
Always trek leads by professional Trek leader who has completed Basic and Advance mountaineering course and certified in first-aid course leads and along with one local guide and supporting staff. Trek leader apart from professional qualification are vastly experienced in scaling variuos peaks across the country.
5) Is Diamox advisable?
No, Diamox is not advisable. If you want use so please consult your doctor before use.
6) If i am the only girl in trek, so is it safe?
Yes, our first priority is to provide the safety environment for all trekkers and the girls’ safety is of foremost important for us. We always create friendly environment between trekker. And other supporting staff is carefully chosen for your trips. But we would also advise you to take care of your own personal belongings.
7) I can’t carry my bag can anyone carry it for me?
Yes, But you should intimate 15 days in advance, so that we will arrange the porter accordingly.
8) What type of food is served during a trek?
We always serve vegetarian food during the trek.
9) How to get safe drinking water on the trek?
Himalayan water is naturally clean but we use boil and chlorine tablet water for drinking.
10) I should bring my personal medicines with me?
Yes, it is always advisable.
11) What if we cannot complete the trek?
Most of the trekkers complete this trek. But if not it is nothing to be ashamed of. We keep safety and health as the top priority and do not push anyone beyond one’s limits. Even experienced trekkers never complete all of their expeditions!
12) Medical Certificate and Disclaimer Form?
We DO NOT allow anyone on the trek without medical certificate and disclaimer form in the format provided by us.
*NOTE: Environment Fee of Rs. 2040 is additional and to be paid directly at Leh.
Cost Inclusions for Chadar Trek
- Accommodation (Tourist Lodge + Camping) on triple sharing basis.
- Meals while on trek (Veg).
- Trek equipments (Sleeping bag, mattress, Kitchen & dinning tent, crampon, utensils, tent).
- All necessary permits and entry fees.
- First aid medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder.
- Mountaineering qualified & professional trek leader, guide and support staff.
- Transport from Leh to Chilling / Roadhead and back (in group).
- Staff insurance.
Cost Exclusions for Chadar Trek
- Any kind of personal expenses.
- Food during the stay in Leh.
- Airport Transfers in Leh.
- Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.
- Any additional permits levied over currently applicable by local authorities.
- We expect you to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you don’t want to carry your backpack so you can give it to porter, but you have to inform us in advance and have to pay extra.
Cancellation and Refund
- Up to 30 Days :- 90% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
- Between 21 – 30 Days :- 60% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
- Between 20 – 11 Days :- 30% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
- Less than 10 Days :- No refund.
- In case the Chadar Trek gets cancelled cause of natural phenomenon or any other reason beyond our control, we shall arrange for alternative treks like Lamayuru Trek, Zanskar Valley Trek or the Indus River Trek looking at the situation and possibility of the events. If the participant is unwilling to go for the alternative trek, there would be no refund or no voucher issued as for Chadar trek, all the services have to be arranged before hand and can not be shifted to any other date.
If any trekker feels unwell and has to be brought back to the base camp. All the charges, Including The rescue fees, medication, Ambulance/Transport, Accommodation apart from the scheduled itinerary, Meals or any other medical or Miscellaneous expenses will have to be borne by the trekker. We have one Backup plan by which people unwilling to continue to carry on with the trek can accompany the person heading back to the base camp with the team only once. If in case a second emergency occurs, The Complete Trek will be terminated and all the participants shall be immediately dropped back to the base camp.
We shall not offer or pay any discounts or refunds for missed or unused services which were missed or unused by the client due to no fault of ours, or our representatives, which shall include any termination of the client’s participation in the tour product due to the client’s own fault, negligence or breach of these Terms.