|Suitable for:||Serious trekkers who want to experience extremely cold temperatures|
|Experience:||Experience of any high altitude trek, at least 1 treks of 5,000m/16,400ft.|
|Fitness:||Sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes|
WHY IS IT A MUST-DO TREK?
Chadar Trek in Ladakh is like no other trek in the Himalayas. A walk on a frozen glass-like river with dramatic mountains on either side is an experience of a lifetime. Only 11,150 feet above sea level, the Chadar Trek almost feels like a trek to the North Pole, where temperatures drop to -30 degrees at night, food is transported on sledges, and survival instincts flourish, making it a ‘do before you die’ adventure. You can get to know the Zanskari culture, which is a blend of Tibetan and Indian cultures, in-depth as you trek and experience the hospitality of the locals. A highlight of the Zanskar frozen river trek is the Nerak waterfall, a waterfall that is completely iced over from top to bottom.
One of the most stunning and exhilarating winter treks across the blue planet, the Chadar Trek is a thrilling expedition over the frozen Zanskar River. There is also a possibility of seeing some exotic wildlife such as blue sheep, snow leopards, and ibex in the frozen surroundings. Success in this challenging trek provides trekkers with an unparalleled sense of satisfaction and exhilaration. Adventurers traverse through jaw-dropping scenery and bone-chilling climates.
Trekkers who have a passion for adventure and are prepared for harsh conditions cannot afford to miss out on the Frozen River Trek. The high spirits that can be felt by traversing through the snowy boulders are beyond words.
ABOUT THE TREK
This magnificent trek lies in the Leh region of Ladakh. The Chadar Trek, one of the popular winter treks, is also one of the longest trekking trails in the Indian Himalayan region that covers an entire stretch of 62 kilometres in 8 chilly days. The Chadar Trek swipes several trekkers’ dreams like a walk to paradise, making it a part of their diary. The journey leads off from Ladakh to the snowbound villages of the Zanskar valley. This trek grades as difficult as walking on this frozen river isn’t an easy task.
Apart from the apparent speciality of making the trekkers walk on a thick sheet of ice covering the Zanskar river, the Chadar Trek is also a major attraction for adventure seekers for the many fascinating and out-of-this-world sights that the trek brings you across. Starting from the Magnetic Hill and the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, the trek brings you across natural wonders like the frozen waterfalls, knee-deep snow, and white sand – the epitome of a cold desert-like Ladakh! The most iconic sight of the Chadar Trek is the frozen Nerak waterfall. The water, falling from a height of 56 ft, seems frozen in time itself, suspended mid-air. The curious sights will set your senses on fire and make the memories of Chadar trek sharp in your memory every time you envision them later! If you are looking for a splendid trekking experience in India, the Chadar trek is the answer!
The best time for the Chadar trek is from mid-January to mid-February, that is when the Zanskar river freezes, and you get to walk on massive slabs of ice, spreading for miles and miles. The landscapes and overall experience will leave their imprints on your hearts forever. When it comes to trekking In India, Chadar is the most glamorous trek.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TREK
The journey starts at the mountain town of Leh. The only way to reach Leh is by flight, and it is surrounded by snow giving it a complete white look. One can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped mountains from the flight as it descends toward Leh, located at 11400 feet above sea level. Airport pick up is arranged for you and is included in the cost. The network is available here (only post-paid). ATM is available so collect all the money required for the trip.
Things to keep in mind-
Bring a copy of ID proof and 2 photographs. For Foreigners, a copy of passport and visa to be brought.
Keep the boarding pass with you it will be needed for permission on the third day.
Gumboots are mandatory.
Carry two thermos flasks of 1 litre each.
Visit to any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable.
Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited.
Walking in gumboots will take a while, so be prepared for some slips and falls! It’s advisable to carry a small backpack which will protect your back at the time of falls.
If the medical tests declare that you are not fit to go for the Chadar trek, you will not be allowed. For refund policies, please contact your Trek Coordinator.
Across the Ice
The ice can be as dangerous at times as it can be safe during others. One needs to figure out the safe paths over the precarious sheet and always be aware of the ice conditions below the feet. The trekkers can camp in the caves along the banks like the locals or set up tents where the ice is the most stable. The setting is close to twenty degrees below freezing point and decreases further after sundown as well. Warm and layered clothes are recommended, as is being on the move as much as possible. This helps invariably keep the body warm, prevent cold sores, and keep the blood from freezing.
Walking with gumboots on will be a challenge in the initial stage. Understanding the ice patterns will take time slowly but steadily, you will know which surface is fragile and trustworthy. There are multiple ice surfaces that you would come across while walking on the mighty Zanskar, and as you start walking, you will know more about it. Planting your foot will be important in most cases you can check for the ice for its steadiness with your walking stick before stepping on it completely. A small and light backpack will help you to manage your body weight effectively.
Nerak 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 vital that you wear proper clothing in layers to stay safe from the biting cold. If you manage to reach the waterfall on time, there are chances of paying a visit to the Nerak Village. You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the waterfall.
Better Safe than Sorry
It is always recommended to be aware of the ice conditions at all times. There are several factors to consider for ensuring a safe journey. Most of these factors involve the conditions of the ice and the footing choices of the trekker. The precautions include:
The trekker must be aware of the ice sheet conditions.
There may be cracks in the ice this should be avoided.
Finding spots with a coating of snow is the best place to walk normally.
Slippery ice can be found on several sections as well and should be walked on with utmost care.
Cracks may suddenly appear under one’s feet, and it is required to move to more solid footing immediately.
The ice is not always in trekker’s favour, and one should always respect it and be aware of the conditions at all times, especially while choosing the camping spot.
Gear and Trekking Info
Trekking gear should be brought from home as there are not many places available at Leh during the winter where supplies can be bought. Food that can be preserved and made quickly, such as instant noodles, is an excellent addition. One should always have enough before starting off as it is recommended to be moving for the better part of the day to keep warm and keep the journey in momentum. Ice picks, trekking boots, several layers of extra warm clothing are a compulsion in such conditions. Tents are recommended but optional as one can easily camp in caves like the locals who journey across the river. However, being a non-local, that idea may not be advisable and carrying tents is always commendable.
The best time for the Chadar trek is from January to the end of February. The river freezes into a mesmerising sheet of ice during this time, perfect for taking up this adventurous trek. Nerak 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 in layers to stay safe from the biting cold. If you manage to reach the waterfall on time, there are chances of paying a visit to the Nerak Village. You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the waterfall.
Nerak serves as a base camp for the trek and the first village of the Zanskar region. The view of the sunset from Nerak is so gripping that an avid adventurer cannot afford to miss it. This region is sheer bliss for a nature lover’s eyes. The inhabitants of Nerak village have to trek the mountains for one and half days to reach Leh town during summer, and during winter, they use the...
frozen Zanskar River for their journey to the district headquarters. The village is comprised of a rudimentary health dispensary and a solar plant. The children study at the residential school in Lingshed and shift to Ladakh for further studies. In the winter they come to the village for holidays. The children trek to Lingshed village, crossing Zingla pass at the height of 5200 mts.
As you move on to Nerak, the 13km long trail will take you to the most iconic landmark of the Chadar trek. i.e. The frozen waterfall. The frozen waterfall is a nature’s masterpiece that attracts trekkers around the world. Nerak Waterfall is 56 feet high. The blue colour visible gives a hint of the running flow of water behind this frozen form. Due to the climate, very few trekkers can reach here. The challenges that are met on this route are many. Sometimes the ice sheet hasn’t formed, or the waterfall isn’t frozen. In such cases, trekkers have to trek up the mountain.
Tilat Sumdo – Tilat Sumdo acts as a campsite for Chadar Trek. ‘Sumdo’ literally means ‘the confluence’. There is a small stream meeting the Zanskar at this point. Tilat Sumdo offers splendid vistas of the Himalayan Range.
Shingra Koma – Positioned about 10 kilometres away from Tilat Sumdo, Shingra Koma is a scenic spot showcasing rustic beauty that simply spellbinds travellers. Shingra Koma is a place with unsurpassed tranquillity and a mesmerising panorama.
Tibb – Tibb is a picturesque place offering a fascinating waterfall and cave. This Tibb cave is also used for overnight stays by the trekkers. The vistas of sun-kissed mountains from Tibb are an enchanting sight to witness
Nerak – Nerak serves as a base camp for the trek. The sunset view from Nerak is so gripping that an avid adventurer cannot afford to miss it. This region is sheer bliss for a nature lover’s eyes.
Dibyokma – Dibyokma is a campsite that offers dream-like panoramas, including breathtaking views of the Himalayas. The serene and intact environment of Dibyokma makes tourists fall in love with this place.
Lingshed – One of the oldest villages in Ladakh, Lingshed boasts awe-inspiring exquisiteness of nature. This region is prominently famous for the Lingshed Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh.
When trekking from Shingra Koma to Tibb, Midway through the day, you’ll come across a giant waterfall that is not entirely frozen and small prayer flags on the trees around mark this place.
It is said that Nerak once ran out of water and a holy man went to Kailash to pray for water for his people. On his way back, he was carrying a pot of water with two fishes with the instructions of not keeping it down anywhere along the way. But he happened to put it at this spot, and two fishes jumped right out to create this giant waterfall. Legend has it that this waterfall traces its origin back to Kailash.
Chadar Trek that we all know as one of the most adventurous treks in India, was never supposed to be a trekking or any adventurous hiking route.
With a population of about 14,000 people, Zanskar valley connects its administrative capital Padum to the mainland of Leh via Pensi La, about 250 km from Kargil.
Now, every winter, when the temperature goes down to -10 C to -15 C, this Pensi La pass gets heavy snowfall making it completely inaccessible by the locals, making Zaskar completely cut off from the rest of the Jammu amp Kashmir for the next 3-4 months.
Now, this is when the Zanskar river freezes to create a highway of ice known as chadar, and locals call it “Khado Sanglam”, and let people walk on it.
Local people of Zanskar decided to use this not so easy 100km route to reach Chilling, from where they can take the all-weather road to Leh. Every year, people wait for the winters so that when the river can freeze, they can make a walkable path of ice and reach back home.
Even schools kids studying in Leh use this frozen route to go back home during winter holidays.
All this looks like a very local affair until some adventure-seeking travellers came to know about his route. They found that these massive mountains walking on a frozen river can be a great adventure and a profitable business. And now we all know this as Chadar Trek.
You will be landing at the Leh airport which is one of the most picturesque airports that you would come across. Just before the touchdown time, you'll be greeted with the entire range of snow-capped peaks that will surely get you wonderstruck. It's important to keep your warmies handy as you'll fell the sudden drop in temperature as soon as you arrive at the Leh airport. A jacket, woolen gloves and a woolen cap is a necessity. After reaching the guesthouse you will be given enough time to relax and acclimatize to the conditions. Later in the evening, you can spend some time at the Leh market for last minute window shopping. 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. From the end of January to mid-February, the temperature can be anything between -10 to -15 degrees during the day. It is also important to keep your body hydrated by increasing the intake of fluids that will help to maintain your body temperature.
Keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers are facing (AMS), as per the new regulations applied, anyone doing the Chadar Trek should be atleast spending two days in Leh to get your body fully acclimatize to the weather conditions. It is irrevocable and it is important that it is strictly followed by every trekker. You can spend the day by visiting the places around the city. You can also join us while we conduct a small sight seeing session(included in the cost). It only for 3-4 hours, covering all the major spots of Leh. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places which are at a higher altitude. Crosscheck you essentials before going to bed.
Today is the big day. This day decides whether you continue further or not. Wake up early and to reach the Medical Camp as early as possible. Even though tests take less time, due to tourists rush it gets delayed. In the late afternoon we shall finish insurance formalities, if any. In case the tests declare you are not fit go for Chadar trek, you will not be allowed. For refund policies, please contact your Trek Coordinator.
Note: Walking in gumboots will take a while, so be prepared for some slips and falls! It’s advisable to carry a small backpack which will protect your back at the time of falls.
On this day, you'll be headed to the first campsite which is Tsomo Paldar via Chilling & Shingra Koma. Shingra Koma is the most unique place of Chadar for it is placed at U bend of Zanskar. Forming a wonderful place with lots of views. Today, will be one of the most scenic drives which lets you witness some of the top spots in Ladakh. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus are some of the places where you can take a pit stop for clicking pictures. After 3-4 hours drive along the Zanskar will get you to Shingra Koma. The car will drop you right where the road ends, this will be your starting point of walking on the Zanskar.
The layer of Chadar may seem thin here, you can also see various rock formations. Walking with gumboots on will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. Understanding the ice patterns will take time, slowly but steadily you will know which surface is fragile and which is trustworthy. There are multiple number of ice surfaces that you would come across while walking on the mighty Zanskar and as 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 wholeheartedly. A small and light backpack will help as you will able to manage your body weight in an effective manner. After an hour and half of slipping, falling and trying to gather your balance you'll be reaching your first campsite at Tsomo Paldar. This will be your first experience of camping under sub-zero temperatures.
Chadar is one such trek where your not gaining altitude in quick successions. Slowly but gradually from Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave (6-7 hours), you will be gaining an altitude of 400ft. (Tsomo Paldar: 11,400 to Tibb Cave: 11,800) After spending a cold night in the tent at Tsomo Paldar get done with you breakfast that will re-energize your senses in the morning. The much needed hot cup of tea will be special in such frosty conditions. As you start heading to the next campsite which is Tibb Cave, this trek route has some of the most eye-catching frozen waterfalls that you'll see. Waterfalls that stand frozen in time. The source of some of these frozen waterfalls is still unknown and there are a lot of myths amongst the villagers. The mighty Zanskar will be flowing all along with you on the trail and the emerald green water will have a smooth soothing You will be served lunch midway to Tibb cave. After walking for a couple of hours you'll come across different rock patterns along the way which look art looks when the sun rays fall on them making their way from behind the clouds. You will be camping near the Tibb cave which is surrounded by dry sand.
As you move on to the most awaited campsite of the trek which is Nerak, the 13km long trail will take you to the most iconic landmark of the Chadar trek. i.e. The frozen waterfall. The frozen waterfall is a nature's masterpiece that attracts trekkers around the world. Hot lunch will be served on your way to Nerak. By far, Nerak 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 in layers to stay safe from the biting cold. If you manage to reach the waterfall on time, there are chances of paying a visit to the Nerak Village as well. You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the waterfall.
You might have heard stories of how unpredictable the weather patterns can get here on the Chadar trek. There are instances where the formation of Chadar no longer exists on your way back from Nerak. In the same way, you will witness a new layer of Chadar formed at some. Even though it's the same route, you'll be amazed to see how different it appears while coming back. Chadar Trek is an experience of a lifetime that every trekking enthusiast should witness. And then, what if we told you that these eight days of your life are going to be some of the best days you've lived so far and that you'll cherish these moments till the very end.
Today retrace your steps back to Tibb Cave. You get another last chance to cherish, relive and gather the memories. Wave goodbye to all the locals while you make your way back. Be careful and enjoy your last stay in tents.
Note: Distance, Altitude and Trekking hours are approximate and round off.
Again wake up early for a long walk back. It is not really retracing steps because you may observe a lot have changed. Chadar may have melted, layer of Chadar may have gotten thin, wonderful rocks are visible now. Wea ll, that's the beauty of nature and Chadar trek. Reach Shingra Koma and get ready to board on vehicles. Another bumpy ride and you will arrive in Leh.
The only way to travel is to fly to Kushok Bakula Rimpochi Airport located in Leh. It is just 4 km away from the main city. The airport is well connected to Delhi and also receives flights from Mumbai, Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh and other general destinations in India. Even international travellers can fly directly from major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.
Once you reach Leh airport, TTH will take care of your onward travel planning.
Travelling by both the road routes, the Manali-Leh Highway and Srinagar-Leh Highway, is not possible since they are not open in the snowy winters of Ladakh.
The Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways are generally closed by October-November
Pick up will be done according to flight timings
We will drop you at Leh Airport, Please check out early in the morning because all flights fly in the morning only.
1. Accommodation: (as per the itinerary).
• Guest house (centrally heated room)(attached washroom) in Leh on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 & Day 8 (twin sharing basis, triple in very rare case).
• Camping during the trek (Day4 to Day 7).
2. Meals (Veg + Egg):
• Day 4 breakfast to day 8 lunch.
3. Trek equipments:
• Sleeping bag, Mattress, Utensils.
• Trekkers tent (twin sharing), Kitchen & Dinning tent, Toilet tent, Ropes.
4. First aid:
• Medical kit.
• Oxygen cylinder.
• 1 Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader.
• Guide (Number of guides depend on the group size).
• 1 High Altitude chef.
• Support staff.
6. Transportation: (as per the itinerary)
• Leh to trekking point (Day 4).
• Trekking point to Leh (Day 8).
7. Hot water
• Hot water in buckets on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 .
• Running hot water in taps on Day 8 .
8. Sightseeing included in the cost (Hall of Fame, Shey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery).
9. Facility of keeping extra luggage at Leh when leaving for trek.
10. Porters to carry the central luggage.
11. Pickup and drop from airport.
12. Services from Leh and return.
1. Food in Leh.
2. Any kind of personal expenses.
3. Mule or porter to carry personal luggage.
4. Insurance, Wildlife/environmental charges, Altoa and entry fees.
5. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.
6. Any kind of emergency evacuation charge, hospitalization fee or etc.
7. Any additional cost due to the fianl decision incurred by the administrative
Normally TTH expect 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 Rs. 5000 for entire trip (subject to change)/- extra per bag.
The fee can be paid by online transfer/Check deposit/Cash deposit/Demand draft. Instruction for
payment will be forwarded along with your confirmation email. When your transfer is done, please
e-mail us a confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow up your reservation efficiently.
For the cancellation of services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, Trek The Himalayas must be notified of the same in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org At the time we receive your written cancellation, refunds based on the total fare are as follows.
Cancellations prior to 25 days from the start of the Trip
Cancellation between 24 days and 15 days to the start of the Trip
Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the Trip
Cancellation less than 9 days to the start of the trek
If by a rare consequence TTH calls off/cancels a trek:
At TTH, we almost never call off or cancel our treks. But in the rare event that we do call off or cancel a trek due to any unforeseen circumstances or natural catastrophes like continuous rain or snow, thunderstorms, snowstorms, landslides, floods, earthquakes, or any other natural calamity that prevents us from carrying out a trek in a safe manner, unforeseeable circumstances like local riots, curfews, pandemics, lockdowns, government orders, or any such situations that prevents a safe trekking experience, TTH will issue a voucher summing up to the same amount as your trek fee. The voucher can be redeemed on any of the treks over a period of the next year.
In the rare event that TTH shifts a trek:
As we mention always, weather conditions at high altitudes are extremely unpredictable and can change at any time of any day. Also, situations like natural calamities or political unrest, pandemics and lockdowns, etc are out of our control and if an event cannot run under any such circumstances that we do not directly have control over then we will try to give you an alternative trek, which means your trek will be shifted from one trek to another, which will be safer and more favourable.
In these cases, a voucher is issued to mitigate the difference in cost between the two treks. You can redeem the voucher at any time over a period of one year from the date of issue. A refund fee or refund of the difference is not applicable.
Cash Voucher Terms:
Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. "Trek The Himalayas" reserves the right to change expedition dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which TTH or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. TTH reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.
|Back pack & rain cover||(50 - 60 ltr) with comfortable shoulder straps|
|Day pack + rain cover||15 - 20 ltr (If hire a porter)|
|Walking stick||1 Nos.|
|Water bottle/Hydration pack||2 thermos flask bottles of one litre each, Avoid hydration pack.|
|Snacks||Energy bars, dry fruits, electral/ors|
|Personal Medical Kit||Consult your doctor|
|T-shirts||1 Full sleeves (Non-cotton)|
|Fleece T-shirts||2 Nos.|
|Fleece jacket||1 Nos.|
|Down feather / Hollofil jacket||1 Nos.|
|Waterproof (jacket & pant)||1 Pair|
|Windstopper Pant||1 Pair|
|Thermal inners (upper and lower)||2 Pair|
|Waterproof gloves||1 Pair|
|Fleece/woollen gloves||1 Pair|
|Hand sanitizer||Antibacterial powder|
|Toothbrush and toothpaste||Lip balm / Chapstick|
|Toilet Paper & wipes||Quick dry towel|
|Head torch||1 Nos.|
|Woolen cap||1 Nos.|
|Sunglasses||Dark with side cover, it should be U/V protected, avoid contact lenses.|
|Gumboots||1 Pair (Its advisable to buy it from Leh)|
|Trekking shoes||1 Pair (Optional but highly recommended))|
|Cotton socks||6 pairs|
|Woollen socks||6 pairs|
|Floaters/flip-flops Not required|
Fitness regime for:
Calculate Your BMI :
Congratulations, your body is in good conditions!
|Less than 16.5||Serverely Underweight|
|16.5 - 18.5||Underweight|
|18.5 - 25||Normal|
|25 - 30||Overweight|