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  • The Chadar trek Ladakh is one of the most unique treks in India, and possibly in the world too. It offers you a chance to test your endurance and witness winter in the legendary Zanskar Valley. As you trek you’ll see majestic snow-clad peaks, frozen waterfalls of ice, and bubbles trapped in ice under your feet. You’ll drink hot butter tea in ancient caves with campfire-blackened walls, sleep in tents under an expanse of starry skies, and come back with the memories of a lifetime.

    The frozen Zanskar trek

    Over hundreds of years, the Zanskar river has carved a path for itself through the rocky gorges of Ladakh. The walls of the gorges can go up to 2000 feet tall in some places. During the summer, the river is a perfect location for rafting, and during the winters it transforms into a sheet of ice. The ice on the river forms such a thick layer that the locals use it as a road. You’ll be walking on this icy sheet for your trek.

    What the Chadar trek is like

    This thrilling trek involves walking on the frozen Zanskar River, camping in an icy wonderland, and discovering the dramatic beauty of a winter landscape. Through much of the trek, steep canyons accompany you on both sides. Sometimes the canyon walls are the only support you have as you make your way across the sheet of ice, with a raging river just beneath. At night, you camp in tents on ice or in ancient caves.

    The Chadar trek Ladakh is a unique journey that is on the bucket list of almost all trekkers. While it's a valley trek across flat ground that doesn't take a toll on your legs, it's the temperature that you need to get used to. You walk in sub-zero temperature during the day and sleep in temperatures that can reach -25 degrees. Although the trek has gained popularity in recent years, it is still an isolated place where you and your team might be the only people as far as your eye can see. If you’re thinking of doing the Chadar trek Ladakh, here are the top five reasons you definitely should.

    Itineraries Chadar trek Ladakh

    You can choose from whirlwind itineraries of the legendary frozen Zanskar river trek that give you a taste of the experience, 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. There are also longer itineraries that gives you enough time to acclimatise before heading out to take your first steps on ice. Here is a complete list of things to carry on the Chadar trek.

    NOTE: All departures for Chadar trek Ladakh 2019 have a compulsory medical check-up in Leh. This is to ensure that you are fully acclimatized and fit to undertake the trek. Read a complete list of things you should know about the Chadar 2019 trek before you book.

    Chadar Trek Summary

    • State: Ladakh
    • Nearest city: Leh
    • Total days: 5-12 days
    • Grade: Challenging
    • Max altitude: 11,480 feet
    • Total trekking distance: 40-70 km
    • Season: January to mid-February
    • Avg temperature: -20 to -5 degree Celsius
  • 12-Day Chadar Trek Itinerary

    Sketch itinerary:

    • Day 1: Arrive at Leh

      • Altitude: 11,400 feet
      • Acclimatization
      • Orientation and briefing
      • Overnight stay: Hotel
    • Day 2: Acclimatization at Leh

      • Acclimatization
      • Sightseeing
      • Do not exert yourself
      • Overnight stay: Hotel
    • Day 3: Medical check-up

      • Drive to Government Medical Camp
      • Oxygen and BP reading
      • Insurance formalities
      • Overnight stay: Hotel
    • Day 4: Leh to Shingra Koma

      • Drive to road head at Tilat Do
      • Trek from Tilat Do to Shingra Koma
      • Trekking distance: 4 km
      • Trekking time: 2 hours
      • Overnight stay: Tents
    • Day 5: Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave

      • Destination altitude: 10,800 feet
    • Day 6: Tibb Cave to Nyerak Pulu

      • Destination altitude: 10,760 feet
      • Trekking distance: 10 km
      • Trekking time: 8 hours
      • Trek past the famous frozen waterfall
      • Overnight stay: Tents
    • Day 7: Nyerak Pulu to Lingshed

      • Destination altitude: 12,713 feet
      • Trekking distance: 10 km
      • Trekking time: 8 hours
      • Spectacular views of the rocky, mountain terrain
      • Overnight stay: Tents
    • Day 8: Lingshed to Nyeruk Pulu

      • Destination altitude: 10,760 feet
      • Trekking distance: 10 km
      • Trekking time: 6 hours
      • Retrace steps back to Nyeruk Pulu
      • Overnight stay: Tents
    • Day 9: Nyerak Pulu to Tibb Cave

      • Destination altitude: 10,800 feet
      • Trekking distance: 10 km
      • Trekking time: 6 hours
      • Overnight stay: Tents
    • Day 10: Tibb Cave to Gyulpo

      • Destination altitude: 10,550 feet
      • Trekking distance: 12 km
      • Trekking time: 8 hours
      • Trek past Shingra Koma
      • Enjoy the views of frozen waterfalls and icy mountains at Gyalpo
    • Day 11: Gyalpo to Leh

      • Trek to Tilat Do road head
      • Trekking distance: 5 km
      • Trekking time: 2 hours
      • Drive to Leh
      • Shopping at Leh
      • Overnight stay: Hotel
    • Day 12: Depart from Leh

      • Check-out of the hotel
      • Depart for home-city
      • Trekking distance: 9 km
      • Trekking time: 5 hours
      • Slippery trail with few tricky sections
      • Overnight stay: Tents
    Detailed itinerary:

    Day 1: Arrive at Leh

    Arrive and check-in at the hotel where you can spend the rest of the day at your leisure or making last minute preparations for the trek. Remember not to exert your body. Overnight in a hotel at Leh.

    Day 2: Acclimatization at Leh

    Today is an acclimatization day, so spend the day relaxing at the hotel or exploring the colourful town of Leh. Remember to not exert your body otherwise you face the risk of acute altitude sickness during the trek. Overnight in a hotel at Leh.

    Day 3: Health check-up at Leh

    Today, you'll wake up and head to the Government Medical Camp for health check-up. Since there is a lot of rush during the Chadar trek season, you might end up spending a few hours in the queue. After that, you will return to the hotel and you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in a hotel at Leh.

    Day 4: Leh to Shingra Koma

    Today, you'll begin your day with a drive to the road head at Tilad Do. From there, begin your Chadar trek. Today's trek is short, where you'll perfect your skills of walking over frozen Zanskar river. Overnight in tents at Shingra Koma.

    Day 5: Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave

    You'll continue your Zanskar trek over the frozen river to Tibb Cave. The trail consists of a few tricky sections, so caution is advised. Overnight in tents at Tibb Cave.

    Day 6: Tibb Cave to Nyerak Pulu

    Today, you'll proceed deeper into the Zanskar gorge to reach Nyerak Pulu. You'll also trek past the famous frozen waterfall. Overnight in tents at Nyerak Pulu.

    Day 7: Nyerak Pulu to Lingshed

    Today, you'll continue trekking through the gorge to reach the Lingshed village and you'll also enjoy spectacular views of the rocky mountain terrain. Overnight in tents at Lingshed.

    Day 8: Lingshed to Nyreruk Pulu

    Today, you'll begin your return trek to Nyeruk Pulu. The trail will be slightly different since the ice often breaks and reforms over the night. Overnight in tents at Nyeruk Pulu.

    Day 9: Nyerak Pulu to Tibb Cave

    You'll continue walking along the gorge to reach the Tibb Cave. You'll also encounter several locals wearing traditional woollen robes, hauling goods on the same route. Overnight in tents at Tibb Cave.

    Day 10: Tibb Cave to Gyulpo

    Today, you'll trek past the Shingra Koma campsite to reach Gyalpo. There, you'll enjoy gorgeous views of the frozen waterfalls and towering mountains. Overnight in tents at Gyalpo.

    Day 11: Gyalpo to Leh

    Today is the last trekking day as you head to Tilat Do. From there, you'll be driven to Leh. You can spend the rest of the day resting or shopping for some souvenirs for your loved ones. Overnight in a hotel at Leh.

    Day 12: Depart from Leh

    Today, you'll wake up and check-out of the hotel, and head for your home-city. Your trip ends here.

    Inclusions:

    This package includes all travel from Leh to Leh, as per your itinerary, in a private, shared vehicle. While you’re in Leh, you’ll be staying in twin-sharing hotel rooms with heaters, with attached washroom. On the trek, you’ll be sleeping in twin-sharing tents, equipped with sleeping bags, mattresses. For your convenience, you’ll also get dining tents, toilet tents, and a kitchen tent. During the trek (from lunch on Day 4 to lunch on Day 11), you’ll be served all meals. Your crew on this trip consists of porters/mules to carry common camping equipment, as well as cook and support staff. You’ll be led by an experienced trek leader with porters, who will have a First Aid kit on hand at all times. The operator will provide all the technical or safety gear you require for the trek, if any. Apart from this, your package includes all applicable taxes. Depending on the package you choose, your package will cover some additional costs like entry fees and medical test fees.

    Exclusions:

    These packages do not include any flights/travel arrangements from your home city to Leh. During your stay in Leh, you will not be served any meals, but there are plenty of eateries around where you eat delicious food. All Chadar trek packages do not include the additional costs incurred by unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, road blocks, etc. If you decide to spend anything on personal expenses such as tips to staff, additional meals and beverages etc., it will not be covered. Your package also does not include any adventure travel or medical insurance costs. Apart from this, anything not mentioned in inclusions will not be covered.

    9-Day Chadar Trek Itinerary

    5-Day Chadar Trek Itinerary

  • Best time to go/Weather - Chadar trek

    The Chadar trek, also known as the frozen Zanskar trek, takes place in the coldest time of winter when the river of Zanskar is completely frozen over. This is only possible in in January and February.

    The temperatures during the Chadar trek range from -10 to -5 degree Celsius during the day, and -20 to -15 degree Celsius during the night. It’s easier to keep warm during the day, but you'll feel the cold once you settle down in your tents for the night. Make sure you have the right thermals, fleeces, jacket, gloves and socks, hats, etc. for the night.

  • Chadar Trek - Route Map / Altitude Map

    • The Chadar trek - Route map

    • The Chadar trek - Altitude map

  • Chadar Trek - Frequently Asked Questions

    What will the weather be like on the Chadar trek?

    The Chadar trek takes place in the coldest time of winter so that the Zanskar is completely frozen and you can trek on it. You can expect days to be anywhere between -5 and -10 degrees Celsius. However, at night it can drop drastically, going to -15 to -20 degrees Celsius. During the day, it’s not difficult to stay warm while you’re walking, but once you arrive at camp, you’ll start to feel the cold. Make sure you have the right thermals, fleeces, jackets, and hats, socks, gloves, etc.

    Is the Chadar trek dangerous?

    What gear should I carry for the Chadar Trek?

    Can I go as a first-time trekker with no experience?

  • Reviews

    • Rated : 4

      27-03-2020

      great experience.. very helpful staff .. loved their service

    • Rated : 5

      27-03-2020

      great experience.. very helpful staff .. loved their service

    • Rated : 5

      27-03-2020

      'Its really great to have my tracking with 'The great Next' group.. All activities are done very efficiently.. The supporting team is really cooperative.. Our group leader in trip is very experienced and staff is gud. Specially Harshal of THE GREAT NEXT very much help me in planning my whole trip.. And the trip is really AWSOME. THANX'

    • Rated : 5

      27-03-2020

      It was the best experience ever in my life

    • Rated : 5

      27-03-2020

      Excellent...coordination....Nice trek organised thanq

  • Getting There

    Leh is a small town in Ladakh from where people embark on the famous Chadar trek, also known as the frozen Zanskar trek. But during winter, Leh is inaccessible by road from both Manali and Srinagar due to thick snow at the high passes. The only way to reach Leh, then, is by flight. There are several airlines which operator flights from the major cities of India, especially from Delhi where the frequency is high. The tickets too can be booked for cheap is they are booked well in advance.

    What To Wear

    The temperatures during the Chadar trek range from -10 to -5 degree Celsius during the day and from -20 to -15 degree Celsius during the night. Hence, it is crucial that utmost attention is paid to the clothes that you'll wear during the trek.

    You need to cover your head with a good quality balaclava or a woollen hat. For your torso, you need to layer your clothes, including thermal inners, fleece jackets, wind and waterproof jackets, and sweaters. As for your legs, remember to wear thermal inners along with good quality trek pants.

    since the trail is very slippery, you should pay close attention the footwear. Wear good quality gumboots that will not only provide good grip but also protect your feet from the biting cold ice of the frozen Zanskar river.

    What To Carry

    Your operator will provide you with a complete list of gear to pack. Make sure you go through this and take each item. Talk to your operator to ensure you get the right quality, and check all your gear before you leave home. It’s always a good idea to break in your trekking shoes so you don’t suffer blisters on the trek. You can read this complete list of items to pack for the Chadar trek but do follow your operator’s list to the word.

    Preparation/Fitness

    Although the Chadar trek isn't that long, it takes place in an extreme environment. For this trek, fitness should not be taken lightly. Before you even embark on this trek, you need to be sure that your body can handle the extreme weather of the coldest time of winter in a high-altitude place like Ladakh.

    To prepare for the Chadar trek, you should start training a few months prior to the trek. You should be able to run 4-5 km and have high endurance levels. Focus on cardio workouts as they will make your lungs strong, giving you the ability to process less air for more work.

    Additionally, you can also train your body to handle the extreme cold by avoiding hot water baths, warm clothes, blankets in your own city for a couple of months before the trek.