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About the Chadar Trek 2018

The magnificent Zanskar flows through the weather-bleached landscape of Ladakh, cutting gorges into the rocks and bringing fertility into the otherwise arid land. During the summer, the Zanskar river offers some of the most thrilling whitewater rafting in the country, but in the deepest winter, when the temperatures drop as low as -35 degrees, the river freezes over. This is when the Chadar trek is conducted, for 5-, 7-, 9- or 15-day itineraries.

About the Chadar trek

The Chadar trek takes you right onto the frozen Zanskar river, into the middle of an untamed winter wilderness. The only thing separating you from the icy depths of the river is a sheet of ice. You'll see waterfalls frozen in mid-flow, bubbles trapped under the ice, and trees with no leaves. You'll stop at the famous Tibb Cave to share a cup of hot buttered tea over a blazing fire, and camp at night in tents under starry skies. It's going to be an unforgettable experience!

Top Chadar treks

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days

9
Chadar trek in Ladakh
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹24,500
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Leh, Ladakh
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9
Price from:
₹24,500
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Trip Description
The Chadar trek is one of the most thrilling treks in India, and takes you out onto the frozen Zanskar river at the peak of winter. When the temperature drops in Ladakh, this raging river turns into a sheet of ice. You'll be trekking on the ice for six unforgettable days, discovering ancient caves, walking between the towering walls of the river gorge, and stopping in front of waterfalls that have frozen in mid-air.

IMPORTANT: This trek is not recommended for first-timers, as you'll be dealing with extreme temperatures of about -20 degrees celsius, and camping by the river.
    Inclusions
  • Accomodation in guesthouse/hotel in Leh for three nights (twin-sharing)
  • Accommodation in twin-sharing tents for 5 nights
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mattress
  • Transport from Leh to Tilad Do and back
  • All veg meals from lunch on Day 3 to lunch on Day 8
  • Snacks while on trek
  • Trekking guide
  • Kitchen staff and helpers
  • Porters for common camping gear
  • Safety gear as required
  • Oxygen cylinder
  • First aid kit
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Meals in Leh or at hotel/guesthouse
  • International or domestic airport transfers to and from Leh and visa charges
  • Trekking permits and environmental/wildlife fees (to be paid by the guest directly in Leh, between INR 1000 to INR 3000)
  • Any personal equipment like walking sticks, rain coats, gloves etc
  • Personal porters (can be arranged at INR 600/- per day)
  • Any kind of insurance
  • Medical emergency and evacuation
  • Sightseeing costs, or monument, monastery or museum visit fees
  • Any personal expenses
  • Tips to porters, camping team, driver etc
  • Single room accomodation (can be arranged at an additional cost)
  • Cost incurred due to change/extension in the itinerary due to roadblocks, bad weather, flight delay or vehicle breakdown etc
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days

9
Chadar Snow Trek - 9 Day Itinerary
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹27,200
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days

9
Price from:
₹27,200
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Trip Description
The Chadar Trek is one of the most unique treks in India, and possibly in the world too. It offers a fascinating opportunity to experience a winter phenomenon in the legendary Zanskar Valley. This 9-day trek is as challenging as it is popular. The first two days are very light, allowing you to acclimatise fully. After this, your trek across the frozen river begins.

This Chadar trek is not a challenging climb as it goes along the flat surface of the Zanskar river, but it involves some trekking over ice of varying thicknesses, and sleeping in caves and tents. You can expect it to be very very cold, so do be prepared for this.
    Inclusions
  • 2 guides for the group of maximum 15 trekkers or 1 guide for 8 group members
  • Accommodation in a clean, comfortable hotel or guesthouse (twin sharing)
  • Camping equipment and accommodation during trek
  • Fresh, clean sleeping bags
  • Camping mattress
  • Mess tent
  • Two toilet tents with portable toilet seats
  • All meals starting from lunch on day 2 till lunch on day 8
  • Camping permissions
  • First aid kit
  • Porter/mule for carrying equipment
  • Service tax
    Exclusions
  • Airport transfers in Leh
  • Any meals in Leh
  • Personal porters for your baggage (can be arranged for INR 4400 for a bag under 10 kgs)
  • Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
  • Bottled water, alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
  • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, expenses incurred on account of sickness etc.
  • Wildlife and ALTOA Fees (Participants has to pay this fees directly in Ladakh)
  • Any meals/services not mentioned above
  • Rental of heavy, down jacket from Day 2 to Day 8 (can be arranged for INR 2500 per person)
  • Insurance
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days

9
Chadar 9 Day Trek
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹20,000
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Leh, Ladakh
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days

9
Price from:
₹20,000
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Trip Description
In the cold of winter, when the Zanskar river freezes over, it looks like a sheet of ice. The ice is so thick that it forms a trekking trail for locals who are otherwise cut off from civilization by the snow. You’ll be trekking on the glassy surface of this river, passing waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow, hot springs that bubble up from the earth’s hot core and melt the ice, and sleeping in tents and caves.

On moonlit nights, the ice turns a ghostly milk-white, weaving through the dark walls of the gorge formed by decades of the river’s changing course. While you sleep, the Chadar cracks and re-freezes in new patterns, creating different landscapes every day. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear this at night. Watch out for the perfect photo-opp – a picture of your boots on a sheet of glass-like ice, with the bubbles of the river frozen in place below! It’s going to be an unforgettable experience! | NOTE: If you are not cleared by the doctor in the medical test in Leh, you will not be allowed to go on the trek. There will be no refunds, but the operator will offer you a stay in Leh in the guesthouse instead.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in triple-sharing tents
  • Stay in hotel like Hotel Galwan Palace/Hotel Panorma or similar on Day 1 and Day 8 of the trek
  • In room facilities: central heating/room heaters and hot water (on request)
  • Meals from lunch on day 2 to lunch on day 8 (veg.)
  • Kitchen and dining tents with utensils
  • Toilet tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camping mattresses
  • First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder
  • Qualified and experienced trek leader, guide and support staff to help trekkers
  • Transport from Leh to road head and return
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Additional ALTOA fee (will be approximately INR 2500, to be paid in cash)
  • Meals in Leh (available at the hotel for INR 250 per meal)
  • Pick up and drop from Leh Airport (can be pre-booked for approximately INR 500 one way, to be paid on the spot)
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Porters to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 650 per day per bag up to 9 kgs)
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under inclusions
  • Crampons
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks, medical evacuation, etc
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days

8
Chadar Trek (8 days)
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹23,800
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Leh, Ladakh
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days

8
Price from:
₹23,800
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Trip Description
This 8-day Chadar trek takes you into the wintery interiors of Ladakh during the coldest months of the year. This trek is one of the most challenging treks, not in terms of technical climbing, but because of the harsh weather you will face.

This trek takes you along the frozen Zanskar river, with bubbles trapped in the ice under your feet. You'll walk through rock canyons with steep walls on both sides; you'll camp in tents on snowy silent nights; you'll see waterfalls frozen in mid-flow; and if you're lucky, you might even spot a snow leopard.
    Inclusions
  • Airport transfers
  • Accomodation for 3 nights in Leh in twin-sharing hotel/guesthouse
  • In room facilities: room heaters, attached washroom
  • Accommodation for 4 nights in twin-sharing tents
  • In tent facilities: Sleeping bags, sleeping mats
  • Kitchen/dining tent, camping stools
  • Porters to carry kitchen and common equipment
  • Stool, tables, mattresses
  • Trek guide, cook and helper
  • All meals in Leh and on trek
  • Wildlife fees and camping charges
  • ALTOA fee (INR 2000-2500)
  • All transportation by mini bus
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Any flight or train tickets
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips, insurance, laundry, phone calls
  • Any kind of drinks
  • Extra costs due to any change in the itinerary, stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, road blocks or any factors beyond control
  • Any expenses not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Personal porters (available at INR 1000 per porter)
  • Accomodation in single tent (available at an additional charge of INR 400 per day)
  • Rental of down jackets, trekking poles, gum boots (available, with advance notice and at an extra charge)
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days

8
Chadar Frozen River Trek (8 days)
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹24,000
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days

8
Price from:
₹24,000
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Trip Description
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.
    Inclusions
  • 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
    Exclusions
  • Travel arrangements between home city-Leh
  • Airport transfers at Leh
  • Meals during stay in Leh
  • Local permit fees by ALTOA (approximately INR 2,800, to be paid in cash)
  • 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
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days

5
Chadar Experience - 5 Day Itinerary
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹17,800
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days

5
Price from:
₹17,800
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Trip Description
This whirlwind itinerary of the legendary Chadar trek gives you the experience of trekking on the frozen river, without taking too long. It's perfect for those who are not sure they'll be able to handle longer durations in the freezing weather, or for those who have time restrictions.

In this itinerary, you'll spend one night in Leh to acclimatize, trek for three days on the river, and end with one last night in Leh. The Chadar trek starts in Tilat Sumdo, which is your first experience of the Chadar trek, and you'll never forget it. 'Sumdo' means confluence, and this campsite is named after the views of the confluence of the Zanskar river and the Khurna river. All along the Chadar trek, you'll see gorgeous stretches of the river curving through the stark landscape of Leh.
    Inclusions
  • 2 guides for the group of maximum 15 trekkers or 1 guide for 8 group members
  • Accommodation in clean guest house on twin sharing (hotel Zik Zik or similar)
  • Fresh, clean sleeping bags
  • Camping mattress
  • Mess tent
  • Two toilet tents with portable toilet seats
  • All meals starting from lunch on day 2 till lunch on day 4
  • Large oxygen cylinder
  • Porter/mule for carrying equipment and rations
  • Forest entry charges and camping fees, if any
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Airport transfers in Leh
  • Any meals in Leh
  • Personal porters for your own bags (can be arranged for INR 2200 for a bag under 10 kgs)
  • Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
  • Bottled water, alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
  • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, expenses incurred on account of sickness etc.
  • Wildlife & ALTOA Fees (Participants has to pay this fees directly in Ladakh)
  • Any meals/services not mentioned in inclusions
  • Insurance
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days

9
Frozen River Chadar Trek
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹25,700
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days

9
Price from:
₹25,700
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Trip Description
The Chadar trek is one of the most iconic treks in India, and offers you the unique experience of trekking on a frozen river. In the summers, the Zanskar river rages through narrow gorges and out across the stark landscape of Ladakh. But in winters, when temperatures drop to sub-zero, the river freezes over, forming a thick sheet of ice over the river.

When the roads are snowed in, this river trek is the only way for locals to travel from one village to the other, and they've mastered the art of walking on ice. You, however, will have to learn this quite quickly. Your guides will teach you how to walk with the peculiar shuffling gait that you need to get by on the ice, and hopefully your trekking boots will help.

NOTE: This is a high altitude trek that takes place in the coldest winter. The Chadar trek is recommeded only to trekkers who have previously attempted at least one high-altitude trek.

MEDICAL TEST: If you are not cleared in the medical test in Leh, you will not be allowed to join the trek. There are NO cash refunds in this case, but the operator will give you a voucher for 70% of the trip cost, to be redeemed for a year. No alternate arrangments will be made.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements from Leh-Leh, as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in guesthouse and tents on triple-sharing basis
  • All equipment required for camping: sleeping bags and tents
  • Common kitchen/dining and washroom tents
  • All technical equipment required for the trek
  • All vegetarian meals from lunch on Day 3 to lunch on Day 8
  • Services of experienced trek leader and camping crew
  • Porters and mules to carry common camping equipment
  • First aid kit (including oxygen cylinders)
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Travel arrangements between base city and Leh
  • Environmental permit charges (INR 2,000-2,500 per person, to be paid on the spot)
  • Meals during travel in vehicles and stay in Leh
  • Porters and mules to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 4,200 per person, for the entire trek)
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
  • Personal expenses such as tips to staff, additional meals or beverages etc.
  • Adventure travel or medical insurance
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions