About | The Frozen Zanskar River Chadar Trek
Ladakh is the home to numerous natural wonders, but the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land is the Chadar Trek. The trek is all about persistence & survival – of learning to survive in the harsh terrains at sub-zero temperatures, interacting with the locals & understanding their way of living, especially in one of the most inhabitable regions in the world, while you trek across a dramatic gorge with frozen waterfalls on the frozen trail of Zanskar spanned out like a “Chadar” it acts as a mirror for the sky!
The primal thrill of sleeping in caves, musing over blazing bonfires in freezing temperatures with most definitely the ever-present sense of danger, yet surviving it all – makes it the “Do before you die” journey!
Chadar Trek Quick Facts:
Chadar River Trek Duration: 9D/8N
Chadar Trek Distance: 62 km
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Chadar Trek Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -15 to -25 degrees (during the night)
Chadar Trek Best Time: Early January – Early February.
Start and End Point of the Trek: Guest House in Leh.
Nearest Airport: Leh airport. (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport)
Last ATM: Leh Market and Airport.
How to Reach Leh :
The easiest way to travel to Leh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) located in Leh. This airport is connected with many international airports in India like Delhi. It also receives flights from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh, and other common destinations in India.
HB Travel Exclusive:
> Option to change the tour plan
Till DAY 3, If you feel that you can’t do Chadar river 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.
( To know more, hit the Send Enquiry button and get in touch with the destination expert )
Chadar Trek Package 2022 Inclusions:
Do’s and Don’ts On Chadar Trek
> Do’s of Chadar Frozen River Trek
> Don’ts of the Chadar Frozen River Trek
Altitude 11,400 ft.
Overnight stay at the hotel/guest house in the 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, 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 the Chadar river 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 Zanskar river trek should be at least spend 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 river, where the temperatures reach way below zero even in the daytime. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places that 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 the Frozen River Trek. Also, the trekkers will be issued their 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 your gumboots on will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. Getting 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 the Chadar trek, but once 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. 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 the Chadar river trek, which is the frozen waterfall. This frozen waterfall is a natural masterpiece in itself and attracts trekkers and adventurers from across the globe. Hot lunch will be served on your way to Nayak. Nayak 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 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 others 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 Chadar river trek, belonging to Foxes, Ibex, or Snow leopards. Although you would be lucky to spot a Snow Leopard, 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 a guide to these people and to talk to someone about the experience while it is still fresh in your head. You will reach Leh 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. The Chadar trek package ends here.