Chadar Trek is one of the most adventurous and unique treks on the planet. Often called the frozen river trek, Chadar trek is like no other trek, It is a century-old way of staying connected for the locals of Zanskar region to Leh when all other ways get blocked due to heavy snowfall during wintertime. For its distinctness and the extremity involved, it has been repeatedly featured in some of the most popular travel journals and international magazines.
The word Chadar refers to the layer of a sheet of ice that covers the most part of Zanskar river during the peak winter months of January and February. The steep rock faces on each side of the canyon let a very little or no direct sunshine to fall on the river. This keeps the ice hard and walkable to become what is sometimes called the frozen highway. However, underneath the layer of ice is the same gushing river of Zanskar that see some of the most challenging rapids in the summer, making it more adventurous and thrilling.
While on the Chadar you will be stunned by the natural beauty of the Zanskar canyon, the interesting myriad rock formations and the caves in the rock faces. The frozen natural hot springs and heights of icefalls are the icing on the cake.
Also, you may get to meet some Zanskar local peoples coming from either side, they can be young school kids returning back to school in Leh or monks from different monasteries in Zanskar fetching important supplies for their monastery.
Trekking on the Chadar trail demands a certain level of fitness and definitely a good level of acclimatization. It involves daily trekking of 4 to 7 hours And camping by the riverbank under temperature as low as -30 during the night, one should prepare well few weeks before the start of the trek.
What is included in the tour
Accommodation and Meals
- 4 Night stay in Super Deluxe Hotels at Leh.
- Breakfast and Dinner at the Hotel.
- Camping on twin Sharing basis (during the trek)
- All Meals during the trek (veg and egg)
- Airport transfers.
- Sightseeing on Day 2 in central Ladakh.
- Transportation to/from Trekking point by Innova/Scorpio/Tempo.
- Pop tents for Sleeping
- Sleeping Bag
- Gum Boot
- Trekking Pole.
- Kitchen tent.
- Kitchen Equipment.
- Dining tent.
- Toilet tent.
- Trek Guide
- Porters for transporting common luggage.
Permits and Fees
- LAHDC Environmental Fee.
- Wildlife Fees
- ALTOA Fees
- Medical Checkup
What is NOT included in the tour
- Any flight tickets.
- Extra porter to carry personal items.
- Any Kind of Personal Expenses or Optional Tours / Extra Meals Ordered
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Prices Included”.
- Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated)
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- GST 5%
Duration : 10 Days.
Activities: Trekking, Camping / Homestays, villages, ice walk
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Best Time: January and February
Trek Start: Leh
- Tour End: Leh
Day 1 - Fly to Leh | Arrival
The flight to Leh will be early in the morning and is undoubtedly one of the most scenic flights with endless snow peaks and glaciers of Himalayan and Karakoram ranges. The winter climate of Ladakh is very harsh and cold, and poles apart from what would be in Delhi. So, you must carry your Jacket, gloves, hat etc in your handbag for easy access.
You are advised to keep the boarding pass with you as proof of arrival for the mandatory medical check-up on Day 3.
The day like any tour/trek of Ladakh will be an acclimatization day. You are advised to take good rest and let yourself adapt to the new environment slowly. Also, drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated and refrain from doing anything that puts exertion on your body. Overnight stay in Leh.
Altitude 11,400 ft.
Day 2 - Rest Day
The Day is completely reserved for rest as advised by the district administration Leh due to increasing casualties and evacuation in recent years. In the evening we can take mild walks to the local attractions like Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Leh Bazaar etc.
This will ensure proper acclimatization and also help to get you through the mandatory medical checkup tomorrow. Overnight stay at Leh.
Day 3 - Medical Check-u, Insurance and Permit.
Today is the day of the medical checkup at the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) Leh. As notified by the District Administration earlier this year, all participants of the Chadar Trek must undergo a medical Checkup. This will be done only on production of the Airline boarding pass to prove that the participants have spent at least 3 days before the date of trekking.
You will also acquire the mandatory Insurance from their stalls at TIC itself.
Later, we will also get the NOC from the ALTOA office and also the trekking permits from the Wildlife Department, Leh.
Overnight camping in Leh
Day 4 - Leh to Tsomo Paldar via Chilling & Shingra Kongma (65kms drive/3km trek)
After breakfast at the campsite in the morning, we will start driving towards Chilling. Along the way, which ideally is the Leh-Srinagar Highway up to Nimmu village, we will stop for short while at some of the most beautiful and popular spots like Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic hill, Sangam-the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar river. We will then cross the Indus river and drive alongside the Zanskar river till Chilling.
We will start trekking towards Shingra Kongma after you get used to the Gumboots and learning the penguin walk technique which helps to keep traction on hard ice. As the trek progresses you will learn and get used to it and the weather. We will set pitch our camp at Shingra Gongma by the banks of the Zanskar river and spend the night in the tent.
11,480 to 10,550ft
Day 5 - Shingra Kongma to Tibb Cave
In the morning after waking up you will be served hot tea and breakfast. The trek to Tibb is a 5-6 hours trek and is going to be one of the most visually appealing ones as you will get to see a number of caves, interesting rock formations and frozen waterfalls (Tsomo) that pop up out of nowhere.lunch will be served midway to the camp.
Overnight camping in tents at Tibb.
10,400 to 10,800 ft
Day 6 - Tibb cave to Naerak camp
Start trekking towards the Neraks/nerags icefall, which is undoubtedly the most scenic and photographed place on the entire chadar trail. If reached early, we can visit the Nerags village, which will definitely give some insight into the lives of the Zanskar which remains cut off from the rest of Ladakh.
10,800 to 11,100 ft.
Day 7 - Naerak to Tibb Cave
After a hot breakfast in the morning, we will start trekking towards the Tibb cave. Chadar trails mostly comprising of the frozen river surfaces is different each time unlike any other trekking trail and the return trek is going to be as challenging.
11,100 to 10,800 ft
Day 8 - Tibb Cave to Shingra Gongma
After breakfast in the morning, we will retrace the trail further and trek towards Shingra Gongma among the same deep gorges. We can expect local peoples including monks and young kids coming from Leh side with essential supplies or simply returning home in Zanskar. With a fair bit of luck, we can find fresh signs of wild animals who descent to lower altitude in the winters. Overnight camping at Shingra Gongma.
10,800ft to 10,500 ft
Day 9 - Shingra Gongma to Shingra Yokma & back to Leh
The last part of the Chadar trek trail is the trek from Gyalpo to Chilling via Shingra Gongma. After reaching Chilling, we will be picked up by car and return back to Leh.
stay at Leh.
10,500ft to 10,300ft and drive to 11,400 ft.
Day 10 - Departure
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and we will drop you at the Leh airport to catch your flight back home.
the journey ends with lots of memories and adventures.