About the Destination:
Known for its enchanting beauty with the snow capped mountains, Chadar Trek is just the perfect trek for the ones who are looking for some adventure. Ladakh has always a magical charm that haunts every traveller or adventure lover even after multiple visits. The ingredients making Ladakh beautiful are plenty and they have the specific influence on the visitors. One such ingredient is Chadar Frozen River and the trek upon it.
The Chadar trek is a connecting link between the villages in the Zanskar Valley with Chilling which has been used as the route for trade and this is the only reliable route to connect with the outer world during February when the ice is most stable. The snow-capped mountains and the frozen lake will definitely make your adventure an exciting one. A land like no other with the superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and astounding scenes, stunning individuals and culture, Ladakh is genuinely a paradise on Earth.
With the beauty of two world's mightiest mountain runs, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh and the Zanskar. Ladakh is otherworldly in every one of the circles it covers, from nature, topography, views to the unobtrusive societies that it cultivates. Ideal from gompas to the exciting momos, the superabundance of attractions to visit influences this city to make it paradise on earth. It is said that exclusive in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade experience the ill effects of sunstroke and frostbite in the meantime.
About the Trek:
Chadar Trek is without any doubt the most beautiful trek in the world. This trek takes you through the magnificent beauty of the region with the hills and the valleys. The best part about Chadar trek is that you will walk on the frozen river trek Zanskar shinning bright and beckoning you to explore it more. This exciting 9-day Chadar trek which is rated as difficult as the trail goes through the thick snow cover till an awesome height of 11123 feet above sea level. And remember, this is not for the faint-hearted ones since the spine-chilling cold will not be friendly to all.
On an average, you would be covering 75 kilometres by trekking alone with this glacier walk. During your trek, you will get a chance to witness the sunrise from the mighty Shanti Stupa. You will trek to Tsomo Paler on your third day and then continue to Gyalpo via Shingra Koma. Keep continuing your trek and you will come across the frozen Zanskar which is around 14 kilometres. As you keep moving forwards you will come across the famous Dibb Cave.
On your fifth day, you will reach the famous Nyerak Village which is a beautiful place suitable for sightseeing. Enjoy camping under the clear night sky while you explore the Dibba caves. On your seventh day, start off the trek to Shinga Koma which is another beautiful campsite. On your eight day, you will leave for Leh and there explore the nearby areas. Visit the monasteries and listen to the chanting of the monks and the distant bell ringing which will lure you away. Conclude this thrilling trek in a period of 9 days and head back home. The ice can be as hazardous now and again as it can be sheltered amid others.
One needs to make sense of the sheltered ways over the dubious sheet and should dependably know about the ice conditions underneath the feet. The trekkers can camp in the caverns along the banks like local people or set up tents where the ice is the steadiest.
Temperature: 15 to 20 degrees (during the day) and -25 to -35 degrees (during the night)
Trekking Distance: 75km
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Highlights of Chadar Trek:
- The Zanskar trek is considered as one of the most beautiful and sought off treks in the world. So doing this trek will be a lifetime experience for you.
- Get a chance to walk through the thin sheet of ice of the Zanskar River and also witness the magical charms of the mountains calling you from the distant.
- Meet the friendly local people here and visit the beautiful monasteries perched high up in the mountains and listen to the bells ringing luring away the distant travellers.
- Enjoy camping under the billions of stars shining bright and twinkling every time you stare at the vast sky.
- Explore the famous Dibba caves during this magnificent trek and catch the glimpse of the valleys and the flickering lights at the villages.
Tips for Chadar trek
1) Be Mentally Prepared: While you are heading out for you Chadar trek you have to be mentally prepared. This is a difficult trek that comes with a lot of extremities. From the weather to the physical requirement you will have to get prepared. As you will be trekking in sub-zero level so prepare your mind about that. 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) Keep Warm: As the temperature falls severely on this trek you have to keep yourself warm. To keep going and not be deterred by the weather conditions, use 4 layers for the Torso that includes, a jacket and a wind sheter 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) Proper 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 Chadar, so gumboots are a compulsory and a crucial addition to the footwear.
5) Expect sweet pain: The frozen chadar trek can be slippery at the time and you might get slipped at times. Be very careful while you walk on the thin glossy slippery sheet of ice. 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 a firsthand training of how to cross the lake on your foot. On a 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 in 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 into bad pain when camping. Carry waterproof woolen socks and gloves. An extra pair of socks would help as they gather moisture while wearing gumboots.
Do's and Dont's on Chadar trek
Do’s of Chadar Trek
- Before starting your trek one should inform one’s family before coming for this trek, so in case of any emergency, they can come for help.
- As the temperature keeps on dropping here it is advisable that Warm and layered garments are suggested as is being progressed however much as could be expected. Keeping the body warm and avoid mouth blisters and furthermore shield the blood from solidifying.
- Also, wear waterproof shoes which will help you through your trek.
- Do carry your required medicines and first aid kit as you won’t find pharmacies on your trek.
- 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.
Dont’s of Chadar Trek
- As this place is known for its beauty and surroundings, it is the responsibility of every trekker to see that they do not litter and spoil the magnificence of the region.
- As you keep continuing your trek you will come across beautiful waterfalls. Do not contaminate the water by using shampoo and soaps. The local habitat tribes use this water for drinking purpose so one
- Do not pinpoint and monks or other locals residing in the region while you meet the local people as well the monks here.
- Respect the serenity of the shrines and thus one should never disturb the monks or prayers in the monasteries on the route.