Back Things to make a note of before visiting the winter wonderland: Chadar Trek

Things to make a note of before visiting the winter wonderland: Chadar Trek

The desire to see the unseen, to explore the unexplored, the will to know your limits to push, has upsurged visitors to the Chadar trek. It is the most popular trek or a winter trek to be precise. Situated in the Zanskar region of the Jammu Kashmir state, the trail of Zanskar river tends to freeze in extremely cold conditions, forming a thick covering which can be stepped on. Well, this may sound as fun as skating on ice, the only difference is that skating on ice is much safer than walking on Chadar.

Well, before going on a thrilling and mysterious jaunt, there are some ground rules to be followed or homework needed for a successful conquest.

  1. Mentally prepared

Before we kick off anything in life, our mind must be conscious of it. Be it bad effects or good outcomes. Same applies to a trekking expedition. A strong mind can conquer a strong opposition.

 -30 degrees, reddish nose, fingertips getting numb, sleepless nights due to cold feet, tons of layers yet the pricking cold. Some of the tricks to combat cold are,

Despite trying them, you may still feel chilly. In fact, our staff also undergoes it. Cold is the same for everyone. Cold is only in mind. Therefore, be prepared for the harsh freezing weather and ignore it. Do not let cold spoil your fun.

Mountains are calling and we must go, leaving behind the luxury life. So do not expect the ride on mountains to be extravagant. Be prepared for no cosy beds, a big dinner table, delicious dishes or security of a house. Though we try to offer all the facilities, do not expect it to be as a hotel at sea level. Whether you do not like the taste of the food or want a coffee instead of tea, or want a separate tent, or want a bowl instead of a plate, the only answer is an adjustment. Adjustment with nature, because it is the master, we have to obey it.

Past life encounter is an incredible tutor. If you have been on 2-3 snow or winter treks then you will automatically be prepared for the Chadar Trek. The previous freezing encounters will make you an efficient trekker. You will know how to manage the cold, walk on the snow, carrying a trekking pole. More importantly, your mind is stronger. We always choose trekkers with previous trekking history, preferably winter treks. This helps us work better for their betterment. Also, when we take some actions against the trekkers, new trekkers tend to argue but experienced ones will respectfully accept.

  1. Physically prepared

Chadar trek or any other trek for that matter is like an examination. It tests your mind and body. Once you are mentally adjusted, next step it to train harder. Chadar trek route is not as intensive but the snowy and icy trail makes it challenging. Hence, one must learn walking on ice and snow. We include a spare day in our itinerary where our staff teaches all the technicalities.

  1. Prepared for the unpredictable

Its nature, its unpredictable! However, determined you are to complete the trek, you have to bow down in front of nature. There will be times when the weather suddenly changes and you may have to call off the trek. The Chadar forms and deforms every night. It melts when the temperature during afternoon rises and freezes again during the night. Sometimes due to the cloudy sky, the temperatures do not fall down, hence Chadar may not be as rigid and one cannot walk on it. Sometimes, there might be uncalled snowfall closing the trails. Sometimes the Chadar may break due to sudden pressure on it. Sometimes Chadar may not form at all. All these misfortunes cannot be predicted by any scientist, being prepared is the only solution.

Another undue mishap is AMS. We get frequent allegations from trekkers when they are asked to go back due to a minor headache or weakness. Although One must understand that these are symptoms of AMS, which is also governed by nature to some extent. We always try to convince them that incomplete trek is also complete only when you return home safely.

  1. Preparing backpack

We have another hack…a smart backpack. Apart from the trek essentials, there are some things that must be avoided like the contact lens, plastic bottles. Gumboots are significant since they enhance your grip on the snow and are waterproof. Along with it, use a trekking pole as a walking aid. Make a habit to use chapsticks, cold cream and sunscreens to avoid damaging your skin. We suggest our trekkers pack a headtorch instead of a hand torch. The earlier one is comfortable and does not engage your hands. It is tiresome to steadily focus lights when fingers are chilled. Carry a thermal flask to keep the water warm. The right way to pack your bag is to,

  1. Prepared for the rules by TTH

We have grown with our own experiences and observations. Hence, we induce some regulations. Our motive is only the safety of our trekkers. Thereby, we follow them and expect the trekkers to cooperate,

  1. Learn during the trek

Learning never stops. Until the last day of the trek, you must assimilate. During the trek make a point to watch the local guides. Try to copy their hiking pace, body posture, style and everything. Keep your eyes and ears open. Listen, observe, practice. If there were some blunders in your trek preparation try to resolve it by learning on the field.

Now you yourself can decide if you are ready to go for the stunning winter trek. If yes, grab a seat and strictly do your homework. Because it is Chadar trek, my friend, being prepared will make it a perfect end!

Written By
Nutan Shinde
(Official Content Writer at TTH)