Chadar Frozen River Trek (8 days)
Leh, Ladakh, India
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Rs. 24,000
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Trekking
8Duration
in Days
15Max
Group Size
16+
years
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Cultural (4)

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Size
Cost
Per Person
1
Rs. 24,000
  • 8
  • Duration in Days
  • 15
  • Max
    Group Size
  • 16
  • +
    years
View
scales >
Physical (5)

Cultural (4)

Nature (5)

Trekking
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  • Trip introduction

    In winter, when the temperatures drop to sub-zero, the stark landscape of Leh turns into an icy paradise. The raging Zanskar river turns into a sheet of ice, forming the only connecting route between villages when the roads are snowed in.

    This eight-day itinerary gives you a complete experience of the Chadar trek. You'll spend a day to acclimatise in Leh, before heading out to take your first steps on ice. As you trek, you'll pass frozen waterfalls, cliffs, rockfaces, and weather-blackened trees with bare branches.

    Listen carefully to the sounds around you: if you're lucky, you can hear the sheet of ice creaking and groaning under you as it breaks and reforms. It's a scary sound, but it's incredibly thrilling.

    If you are not cleared in the medical test in Leh, you will not be allowed to join the trek. There are NO refunds in this case, and the operator will not be liable to make alternate arrangements for your time in Leh.

    Destination

    The Chadar trek is a unique journey that is on the bucket list of almost all trekkers. Known as Khado Sanglam in the local language, the trail takes you through the valley that has been carved by the river over time. While the Chadar trek is a valley trek that doesn't take a toll on your legs, you'll need to get used to the temperature more than anything. You walk in sub-zero temperature during the day and sleep in temperatures that can reach -25 degrees. This is all part of the once-in-a-lifetime Chadar trek experience though, and you'll be well equipped with the right gear to stay warm.

    Destination highlights

    • Book the Chadar trek and walk on a sheet of ice that blankets the Zanskar river.
    • Take in magnificent views of the Himalayas.
    • Rest under starry skies in temperatures way below sub-zero.
    • Complete one of the toughest treks of your life.

    Fine print

    Rules on the trip

    Travellers are required to adhere to instructions of the trek leader during the Chadar trek.

    Consumption of alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited during the trip.

    Travellers are requested to treat the local culture with respect and avoid littering, defacing property and monuments and causing general disturbance.

    If you are not cleared in the medical test in Leh, you will not be allowed to join the trek. There are NO refunds in this case, and the operator will not be liable to make alternate arrangements for your time in Leh.

    Cancellation policy

    For cancellations made more than 30 days before departure of the Chadar trek: 90% refund.

    For cancellations made 21-30 days before departure of the Chadar trek: 60% refund.

    For cancellations made 20-11 days before departure of the Chadar trek: 30% refund.

    For cancellations less than 10 days before departure of the Chadar trek: No refund.

    No show: No refund.

    For cancellations of the Chadar trek due to unsuitable climate conditions: No refund, however, the tour operator can arrange for alternative treks, depending on weather conditions and viability.

    No refunds will be processed for unused services or unforeseen circumstances such as a forced evacuation or changes in the itinerary.

    Additional instructions, booking policies, terms and conditions

    Travellers will be sent a format of a medical certificate and a disclaimer form to be completed before beginning the trek.

    Travellers will need to pay for specific environment and local permits on the spot. Please ensure you carry about INR 5000 in cash for the same, per person.

    The tour operator takes utmost care to ensure safety of the travellers and shall not be held responsible for any mishap, accident or loss of life during the Chadar trek.

    The tour operator reserves the right to cancel or alter the itinerary of the trek to ensure maximum safety for travellers as well as staff.

    Travellers will be required bear any additional costs arising due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.

    If you are not cleared in the medical test in Leh, you will not be allowed to join the trek. There are NO refunds in this case, and the operator will not be liable to make alternate arrangements for your time in Leh.

    If you have to remain in Leh during the trek, the operator is not responsible for any activities you choose to undertake, and any consequences/illnesses/injuries.

    Trip details

    Pick up point
    Leh guesthouse
    Get directions >
    Drop off point
    Leh guesthouse
    Mode of transport
    Private vehicle
    Start point
    Shingra Yokma
    Get directions >
    End point
    Shingra Yokma
    Time of departure
    07:00 AM
    Time of return
    05:00 PM

    Activity Details

    Total trekking time
    35 hrs
    Total distance covered
    50 kms
    Start point elevation
    11483 ft
    Maximum elevation
    11125 ft
    Minimum elevation
    11125 ft
    Average per day distance
    10 kms
  • Day 1 of the Chadar trek: Arrive in Leh

    Land at Leh Airport and proceed to a pre-arranged guesthouse. The first day of the Chadar trek is always spent acclimatising and getting used to the altitude and weather. Take it easy today and avoid any exertion. You should sip on water, eat well, and avoid smoking or drinking. In the second half, you can go for a short walk to get your trekking muscles warmed up. Overnight at Leh in guesthouse.

    Day 2 of the Chadar trek: Day at Leh

    Continue the acclimatization process and spend another day at Leh. You'll attend a briefing session with your trek leader where you'll be taken through the detailed itinerary of the Chadar trek and the equipment or gear to be used during the trek. You'll also visit a hospital in Leh to undergo a health check-up and obtain medical clearnance to attempt the Chadar trek. Overnight at Leh in guesthouse.

    Day 3 of the Chadar trek: Leh to Tsomo Paldar

    Today, you'll be driven from Leh to Shingra Yokma, stopping briefly to admire the gorgeous confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers at Chilling. You'll disembark at Shingra Yokma and put your first steps on the frozen Chadar. You'll begin with a 5-6 hr trek to Tsomo Paldar, your campsite for the night. The landscape is dramatic and stark, with weather-blackened trees and arid land. You'll spend most of the trek trying to keep your balance while you walk, and will eventually learn how to read the frozen river. Overnight at Tsomo Paldar in tents.

    Day 4 of the Chadar trek: Tsomo Paldar to Yokma Do

    One of the longer days of the trek, today you'll trek from Tsomo Paldar to Yokma Do. En route, you'll cross a narrow stretch of the river that features a perpetually non-frozen waterfall called Tsomo ka Tutu. After making your way across moss-covered rocks and frozen water streams, you'll arrive at the famous Tibb Cave where trekkers often seek refuge from the cold weather. Continue trekking and proceed to your destination. Overnight at Yokma Do in tents.

    Day 5 of the Chadar trek: Yokma Do to Naerak

    Things can get a little difficult, especially if the Chadar is not very firm, so you may have to trek on the land beside the river. The Naerak waterfall is the highlight of the day, and you'll have some time to stop to admire it and take pictures. This section of the Chadar trek is very remote, so if you're lucky, you might get a glimpse of the elusive mountain fox. As you approach today's destination, you'll leave the Chadar behind and trek onwards to Naerak village, located high above, beyond a bridge that links Naerak village with Lingshed. Overnight at Nareak in tents.

    Day 6 of the Chadar trek: Naerak to Hotong

    Marking the half-way point of the Chadar trek, you'll turn back and begin the return journey back to Leh. The frozen river keeps melting and breaking the ice before freezing all over again. This ensures that although you've trekked over the route before, you'll be facing an entirely new terrain as you trek to Hotong, a little-known camping destination along the river. Overnight at Hotong in tents.

    Day 7 of the Chadar trek: Hotong to Leh

    Today is the last day of your Chadar trek. You'll trek from Hotong, all the way back to the start point of Shingra Yokma. Here, there are vehicles waiting to take you back to Leh. You'll be happy to rest your legs on the drive back to Leh, and even happier to check in to the guesthouse there. Overnight in Leh at guesthouse.

    Day 8 of the Chadar trek: Depart from Leh

    Check out of the guesthouse and proceed to the airport. Your trip ends here.

    Day 1 - Milestone

    Start point
    Leh
    End point
    Leh
    Day start time
    06:00 AM

    Day 2 - Milestone

    Start point
    Leh
    End point
    Leh
    Day start time
    06:00 AM

    Day 3 - Milestone

    Start point
    Leh
    End point
    Tsomo Paldar
    Day start time
    06:00 AM
    Trekking distance
    9 kms
    Trekking time
    6 hrs

    Day 4 - Milestone

    Start point
    Tsomo Paldar
    End point
    Yokma Do
    Day start time
    06:00 AM
    Trekking distance
    10 kms
    Trekking time
    8 hrs

    Day 5 - Milestone

    Start point
    Yokma Do
    End point
    Naerak Pullu
    Day start time
    06:00 AM
    Trekking distance
    8 kms
    Trekking time
    5 hrs

    Day 6 - Milestone

    Start point
    Naerak Pullu
    End point
    Hotong
    Day start time
    06:00 AM
    Trekking distance
    13 kms
    Trekking time
    8 hrs

    Day 7 - Milestone

    Start point
    Hotong
    End point
    Leh
    Day start time
    06:00 AM
    Trekking distance
    10 kms
    Trekking time
    8 hrs

    Day 8 - Milestone

    Start point
    Leh
    End point
    Leh
    Day start time
    06:00 AM
  • Reviews section coming soon
  • Includes / Excludes

      Includes
    • Travel arrangements from Leh-Leh in private, shared SUV
    • Accommodation in guesthouse and tents on triple-sharing basis
    • All equipment required for camping: tents, sleeping bags, mattresses
    • Common kitchen/dining and washroom tents while camping
    • Vegetarian meals from dinner on day 3 to breakfast on day 7
    • Services of experienced trek leader and camping crew
    • Services of porters/mules to carry common camping equipment
    • Adventure travel insurance (details on request)
    • First aid kit (including oxygen cylinders)
    • All applicable taxes
      Excludes
    • Travel arrangements between home city-Leh
    • Airport transfers at Leh
    • Meals during stay in Leh
    • Extra charge of INR 5000 per person, for environmental and wildlife fee, permit fee by ALTOA and LAHDC, mandatory adventure insurance, medical test charges. This will have to be paid on the spot in cash, so please do carry enough cash per person.
    • Services of porters/mules to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 2,500 per bag of maximum 10 kgs, for the entire trip, if booked in advance)
    • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
    • Personal expenses such as additional meals and beverages etc.
    • Any additional costs for medical evacuations, emergency health or injury treatment, etc
    • Anything not mentioned in inclusions

    What to Wear

      What to Wear
    • Trekking shoes (Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Shoes should have good grip, ankle support and waterproofing)
    • 2 waterproof track-pants
    • 3 full-sleeved cotton T-shirts
    • A fleece jacket or a woollen sweater
    • 1 wind-proof jacket
    • 1 down/feather/heavy jacket
    • 2 pairs of thermal inners
    • 3 pairs of sports socks
    • 2 pairs of woollen socks
    • Woollen monkey cap/balaclava that covers the ear
    • 2 pairs of woollen gloves
    • 2 pairs of synthetic waterproof gloves
    • If you wear spectacles, then please use either contact lenses or photo-chromatic glasses. If that’s not possible, carry sunglasses that can be worn over your spectacles.
      What not to Wear
    • Expensive jewellery or watches
    • Sports shoes/floaters/slippers
    • Restrictive clothing

    Equipment / Gear

      We Provide
    • All camping equipment like sleeping bags, tents, mattresses
    • Kitchen tent, utensils, etc
    • Crampons for ice trekking
    • One trek leader, local guides, one cook, helper and support staff
    • First aid medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder
      You need to get
    • Backpack (60-70 litres) with sturdy and comfortable shoulder straps and supportive frame
    • COMPULSORY: 1 passport size photograph, ID card (Aadhar/PAN card or voter's ID, original and photocopy), medical and disclaimer certificate
    • Poncho
    • Sun cap and sunglasses
    • Towel (quick drying type preferred)
    • Cold cream
    • Sunscreen lotion (SPF 40+)
    • Lip balm
    • 2 water bottles (1 litre each)
    • Torch with extra set of batteries (head torch preferred)
    • Camera, memory-cards and extra batteries (No electrical points available during trek)
    • Slippers or sandals for walking around campsite
    • 1 trekking or hiking pole
    • Glucon-D, dry fruits, candy bars/energy bars
    • TIP: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

    Medical Kit

    • Carry a personal medicine kit. If you are travelling with friends, you can share the following among 2-3 people:
    • Crocin – 5 tablets
    • Avomine – 4 tablets
    • Avil 25mg – 4 tablets
    • Diamox – 15 tablets
    • Brufen 400 – 5 tablets
    • Combiflam – 5 tablets
    • Disprin – 10 tablets
    • Norflox – 10 tablets
    • Spasmindon – 10 tablets
    • Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
    • Band aid – 10 strips
    • Digene – 10 tablets
    • Gauze cloth – 1 small roll
    • Leukoplast – 1 small roll
    • Cotton – 1 small roll
    • ORS – 5 packets
    • Betadine cream
    • Moov
    • Dettol/Savlon
  • Day 1 of the Chadar trek: Arrive in Leh

    Overnight at Leh in guesthouse. | Arrive at a pre-booked guesthouse in Leh and spend the day acclimatizing to the high altitude. Stay hydrated, have frequent meals and rest in the guesthouse. Since no meals are included in today's package, you can visit any of the restaurants in Leh to have meals at your own expense.

    Day 2 of the Chadar trek: Day at Leh

    Overnight in a guesthouse at Leh. | Acclimatize to the altitude and visit a local hospital for a basic medical check-up. This check-up will include basic tests to measure your heart rate, oxygen level and blood pressure. You'll be accommodated in the same guesthouse at Leh. Since no meals are included in today's package, you can visit any of the restaurants in Leh to have meals at your own expense.

    Day 3 of the Chadar trek: Leh to Tsomo Paldar

    Overnight in tents at Tsomo Paldar. | Travel from Leh to the road-head in a private, shared SUV and trek to Tsomo Paldar. You'll be accommodated in tents at Tsomo Paldar on a triple-sharing basis. You'll be provided with a sleeping bag and mattress for a restful night's sleep. Today's meal package includes dinner only. You can visit any of the restaurants in Leh to have additional meals at your own expense.

    Day 4 of the Chadar trek: Tsomo Paldar to Yokma Do

    You'll camp outside today. You'll be provided with a triple-sharing tent, sleeping mattresses and sleeping bags. There is also a kitchen tent in which you can eat your meals in shelter.

    Day 5 of the Chadar trek: Yokma Do to Naerak

    You'll camp outside today. You'll be provided with a triple-sharing tent, sleeping mattresses and sleeping bags. There is also a kitchen tent in which you can eat your meals in shelter.

    Day 6 of the Chadar trek: Naerak to Hotong

    You'll camp outside today. You'll be provided with a triple-sharing tent, sleeping mattresses and sleeping bags. There is also a kitchen tent in which you can eat your meals in shelter.

    Day 7 of the Chadar trek: Hotong to Leh

    Overnight in a guesthouse at Leh. | Bid goodbye to the Zanskar River and travel to the comforts of a guesthouse in Leh via a shared, private SUV. You'll be accommodated at a guesthouse in Leh on triple-sharing basis. The guesthouse room will have comfortable beds and blankets to ensure a restful night's sleep. Today's meal package includes breakfast only. You can visit any of the restaurants in Leh to have additional meals at your own expense.

    Day 8 of the Chadar trek: Depart from Leh

    Your trip ends before nightfall. | Check-out of the guesthouse at Leh and proceed to your next destination. Your trip ends here.

    Food

    No meals are provided today.
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  • Marker on map shows trip start point.