Leh, which lies at an altitude of more than 3500 meters above sea level, is the second-largest UT in the country. In winters, as most passes leading to Leh are closed, you will be flown to the Leh airport which has the distinction of being the highest airport in the world. As soon you land at the airport, you will be greeted by dry and cold air, but what will take all your attention is the lofty, snow-capped mountains all around; a sight that will remain with you forever. After completing the arrival formalities and picking up your bags from the baggage counter, take a taxi and proceed towards the pre-arranged hotel or guest house. Enjoy an overnight stay in the hotel or guest house.
Get up early in the morning and begin the process of acclimatization at a high altitude. Proceed to walk towards Shanti Stupa, a sacred Buddhist stupa, from where you will get an opportunity to witness a beautiful view of the sunrise and a panoramic sight of the town of Leh. Stay hydrated as you spend your first day of the trek in Leh.
Due to the challenging nature of this particular trek, the government has made it mandatory for participants to acquire medical certification before they undertake the Chadar trek. A clearance certificate upon a medical check-up will be issued by the ALTOA designated medical camp. One will get a certificate only when adequately fit and acclimatized for the trek.
Enjoy tea and breakfast in the morning and start your journey by driving to Shingra Koma. This ride is not for the faint-hearted as bumpy roads and hairpin bends are quite common on this route. The sight of the surrounding high mountains will give you a sense of awe. After a point, you will have to deboard from the vehicle and trek towards Somo Paldar campsite. Your Chadar trek expedition starts here.
Meals: B, L, D
Today, you will set out to trek to Dib Cave/Tibb. During the day, you will behold the breathtaking beauty of the region including ravines and gorges. You might not see sunshine properly as the steep cliffs in this area obstruct them. Once you reach Dib, you will see a large cave. This is the place where you will halt for the night and rest. Butter tea would be offered and we recommend you try it. Enjoy an overnight stay at the campsite.
Meals: B, L, D
Today, you will trek the most scenic part of the region and get a chance to witness the largest frozen waterfall and prayer flags. The bridge built next to the site of the waterfall is used in summers to reach Zanskar from Leh. Thereafter, you can proceed towards the village of Naerak to mingle with the locals and understand their way of living. Stay overnight at the village camp comfortably.
Meals: B, L, D
On this particular day, start your return trip and proceed towards Tibb. The return trail would not be easy and the river quickly reacts to any change in the temperature. By now the frozen river might have taken an entirely new form. On the way back, admire the beauty of the region, click pictures and meet locals, who can be seen wearing traditional woolen Gonchas (robes). Upon Dib Cave, relax and stay overnight at the campsite.
Meals: B, L, D
In the morning, get ready to leave Tibb and proceed towards Shingra Koma, crossing Gyalpo. The trail today will give you a chance to witness high mountains and pugmarks of wild animals like snow leopards, ibex, and foxes. If lucky, you just might spot a leopard; even if you do not, then at least be sure, you would be watched by them. In the evening, drive back to Leh and stay overnight at the hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Today, the mesmeric journey to one of the finest scenic destinations of India will ultimately come to an end. The entire experience, we are sure, would give you an unmatchable feeling of achievement and satisfaction. In the morning, check out from the guesthouse and depart from the Leh airport.
Transport from Leh to Leh
Three meals in a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). From Breakfast on Day 4 to Breakfast on Day 8
Accommodation is on Hotel/Guest House (Day 1 to Day 3 & Day 8), Camp (Day 4 to Day 7)
Celebratory Dinner on Day 8 in Leh
Qualified & Experienced Trek Leader, Guide And Support Staff
Common equipment (Tents, Kitchen tent, Dining tent & Toilet tent)
Personal equipment (Sleeping bags & sleeping mats)
Airport pick from the Leh Airport (Govt Pre Paid Taxi Charges @ Rs.500/-)
Food / Meal in Leh. Available in Leh Hotel/Guest House @ Rs.250/- Per Meal (Approx)
Any permit/entry fee
Mules or porter to carry personal luggage
Any kind of personal expenses
Any kind of emergency evacuation charge, hospitalization fee or etc
A. Booking Term
1. If booked more than 45 days before the trip start date, advance of 30% of the total booking value is payable at the time of booking. Balance amount shall be paid no later than 45 days before the trip start date.
2. If booked less than 45 days prior to the trip start date, the full booking value is due at the time of booking.
3. If the due amounts are not paid as per the payment schedule, bookings shall stand cancelled.
B. Cancellation Policy
1. If cancelled more than 45 days before the trip start date, the advance shall be refunded net of a 5% transaction fee.
2. If cancelled between 45 to 15 days before the trip start date, 30% cancellation fee of the total booking value.
3. If cancelled less than 15 days prior to the trip start date, the booking amount shall not be refundable.
In the event you opt for Refundable Booking, click here to read the terms and conditions for claiming a refund.
C. Changes to and / or cancellation of trips
Itineraries shown are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. The operators reserve the right to change expedition / trek / package 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 the operator or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. The operator reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.
The Chadar Trek on the frozen Zanskar river is well known to offer one of the most jaw-dropping scenery of the Indian Himalayas. While the freezing cold will definitely make the adventure challenging, hiking while looking at the water running deep below your feet is an experience that should not be missed.
While not the most challenging physically, the Chadar Trek will test your boundaries when it comes to the cold. It is essential that you are well prepared for sub-zero temperatures and can layer clothes appropriately, especially at night. Furthermore, the local administration has recently decided to institute various rules that trekkers must follow in order to limit the negative impact on the environment. These include a mandatory three days in Leh prior to the trek as well as a medical check-up. You MUST comply with these rules if you want to be able to start your trek.
The Chadar Trek length is approximately 105 kilometers. The Chadar Trek duration is usually ten days. But you might have to keep additional days in the itinerary in case the Chadar melts, and you have to take the high mountain passes to return to your location.
The Chadar Trek is among the most dangerous and challenging treks globally, not just in India. Hence, seasoned campaigners with tons of experience are the ideal candidates for the Chadar Trek. Having prior knowledge of high-altitude expeditions could come in handy during this immensely arduous trek.
But recently, beginners with extreme physical and medical fitness are also attempting the Chadar Trek. To do the same successfully, you need to undergo rigorous physical and mental training well in advance.
The Chadar Trek is unanimously recognized as an arduous and demanding trek. It commands a very high difficulty level. With severe climatic conditions and sub-zero temperatures throughout, you have to traverse almost 105 kilometers on foot.
The Chadar Trek is not suitable for solo traveling, primarily due to its immense difficulty level. You can set forth with a group of at least five to six members. At times, the number of members could range from 15 to 18. However, it is pointless to have a bigger group than this as it will not ensure seamless management and might negatively impact the trekking experience of some members. Usually, the group is always accompanied by a professional lead trekker who is well-versed in mountaineering and trekking.
Your Chadar Trek packing list should include all the necessary items you need to embark on this challenging journey. While your footwear should include high-ankle trekking boots, gumboots, and open-toe slippers, your headgear should comprise sunglasses, woollen caps, and hats. The clothing list should contain long-sleeve hiking shirts, fleece and down jackets, woollen thermals, appropriate inners, few pairs of underwear, sports bra (for women), quick-dry synthetic pants, woollen trousers, inner and outer socks, raincoats or poncho, etc.
Apart from the list mentioned above, you need to carry certain essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, biodegradable soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, sanitary napkins or menstrual cups (for women), medicines and first aid kit, water purification tablets, insulated water bottles and thermos flasks, a duffel bag or a daysack, sleeping bags, trail munchies, etc.
The ever-changing and dynamic forms of Chadar could increase the level of difficulty of the Chadar Trek. While you are making your way across the frozen Zanskar river, you will never know what kind of terrain lies ahead. Slight alterations in temperature have a massive impact on the Chadar, causing ice to melt, break and reform throughout the day.
You might have to make your way across blocks of ice that are porous underneath and walk cautiously across narrow and winding paths while dodging the sleds that lie ahead. When the ice starts to melt, you might have to wade your way across the slush or skip an entire stretch of the river and go over the rocks and eventually step on the icy trails yet again. Thus, walking on the frozen river is immensely demanding. However, if you are reasonably fit and full of enthusiasm, you should never shy away from such a rewarding experience!
The unique thing about the Chadar Trek is the terrain. You need to make your way across the frozen Zanskar river to reach the end of your trail. The river gets frozen during winters and is covered by thick ice sheets that resemble a ‘Chadar’ or a blanket. It is one of the unique treks that has lured international tourists and adventure seekers for a long time.
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