Chadar 9 Day Trek

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.

Destination

This trek route takes you over the frozen surface of the Zanskar river, during the coldest months of the year. Temperatures can drop as low as -20 degrees during this time. Although the Chadar 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. Along your route, you'll see frozen waterfalls, spectacular river confluences, all forms and hues of ice, and ancient caves and cliffs.

Destination highlights

Book the Chadar trek and walk on the frozen Zanskar river. | Camp in caves and wake up to crisp cold mornings. | Take a dip in the freezing water, if you dare! | Earn boasting rights to one of the most iconic treks in the world.

10700

11150

10390

75 kms

45 hrs

12 kms

Hotel in Leh

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Hotel in Leh

Private vehicle

Leh hotel

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07:00

17:00

Arrive at a pre-arranged guesthouse in Leh. You’ll be staying in a clean, comfortable rooms with central heating and running hot water. Today is your acclimatisation day. Use the time to catch up on sleep, make sure you drink plenty of water, and do some light activity like strolling around the marketplace. It’s also the day to stock up on last-minute essentials before the trek begins. Overnight at Leh in guesthouse.

Overnight in a guesthouse in Leh.

You will be staying in a clean, comfortable hotel with central heating and running hot water, like Hotel Chube Leh or Hotel Panorama Leh, or hotels of a similar grade. It is also the day to stock up on last-minute essentials before the trek begins. Do not forget to charge all batteries at night. You will not have any access to electrical points after this.

Food

There are no meals provided today.

Veg

Day 1 Milestone

Leh

Leh

07:00 AM

To acclimatize to the high-altitude of Leh, you'll embark on an early morning trek to the Shanti Stupa, a Buddhist landmark near Leh. Return back to the guesthouse and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Keep yourself hydrated and have frequent meals. Go on short walks to explore the city, but avoid too much exertion and activity. Overnight at Leh in guesthouse.

Overnight in tents.

Today you will drive via Chilling, to Tilad Do. It is a 65-km drive that gives you a chance to admire the stark beauty of the landscape. It is also your first camping night. A hot dinner will be served at your campsite.

Food

Dinner

Veg

Day 2 Milestone

Leh

Tilad Do

07:00 AM

To ensure that everyone is healthy enough to embark on the Chadar trek, you'll visit the Sonam Norboo Memorial Hospital for a medical check-up. The hospital will issue a certificate after ensuring that travellers are adequately fit and acclimatized for the Chadar trek. Without this medical clearence, travellers may not be allowed to continue the trip. Overnight at Leh in guesthouse.

Overnight in tents.

You will be accommodated in tents in Shingra Koma. The regular menu on this trek is rice pulao, potato, dal, local dishes, hot soups, eggs, bread, poha, sweet, tea, milk, high energy bars, dry fruits, juices etc.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 3 Milestone

Tilat Do

Shingra Koma

07:00 AM

Begin the day by boarding vehicles that will drive you to Shingra Koma. After a 75-km drive along a bumpy road with hairpin bends over the mountainous terrain of Ladakh, you'll disembark and continue the rest of the journey on foot. After a three day wait, you'll finally begin the trek to Chadar by hiking to Tsomo Paldar campsite. Overnight at Tsomo Paldar in tents.

Overnight in tents.

You'll arrive at Tibb Cave today, where all the other trekkers and porters gather, and the atmosphere is lively. Your twin/triple sharing tents are set up nearby, and you'll be provided with warm sleeping bags and mattresses. A kitchen/dining tent is set up to shelter you while you eat, and toilet tents are provided for your convenience.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 4 Milestone

Shingra Koma

Tibb Cave

07:00 AM

Embark on a trek from Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave, one of the most iconic landmarks of the Chadar trek. For decades, it has formed a welcoming shelter to porters and locals while they cross the Chadar. There’s always a group of friendly trekkers waiting to welcome you with hot buttered tea at the cave. Overnight at Tibb Cave in tents.

Overnight in tents.

You'll be sleeping in twin/triple sharing tents, with warm sleeping bags and mattresses provided. A kitchen/dining tent is set up to shelter you while you eat, and toilet tents are provided for your convenience.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 5 Milestone

Tibb

Nyerak

07:00 AM

Nyerak is the half-way point of the trek. From here, you’ll be turning back and retracing your footsteps. The trek is marked by the frozen waterfall which is the most recognizable sight of the trek. Overnight at Naerak in tents.

Overnight in tents.

You'll be sleeping in twin/triple sharing tents, with warm sleeping bags and mattresses provided. A kitchen/dining tent is set up to shelter you while you eat, and toilet tents are provided for your convenience.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 6 Milestone

Nyerak

Tibb

07:00 AM

Today, you’ll turn around and trek back to Tibb Cave. The Chadar shifts and changes almost every day, so it’s very likely that it’ll look entirely different on your way back. Local villagers, wearing woollen robes, can often be seen travelling over the Chadar on this route. Overnight in tents at Tibb Cave.

Overnight in tents.

You'll be sleeping in twin/triple sharing tents, with warm sleeping bags and mattresses provided. A kitchen/dining tent is set up to shelter you while you eat, and toilet tents are provided for your convenience.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 7 Milestone

Tibb

Shingra Koma

07:00 AM

On the last trek of the trip, you'll make your way back to Shingra Koma. Here, there are vehicles waiting to pick you up and take you back to Leh. You’ll be happy to be sleeping in a comfortable bed and hot showers, but the mystical Chadar landscape will remain etched in your mind forever. Overnight at Leh in guesthouse.

Overnight in a guesthouse in Leh.

You'll check into a guesthouse in Leh tonight. It will feel wonderful to take a shower and fall asleep in a soft bed again tonight, after days of camping. But you'll feel yourself missing the silence and beauty of the Chadar trek.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch

Veg

Day 8 Milestone

Shingra Koma

Leh

07:00 AM

Check-out of the guesthouse in the morning. Your trip ends here.

Trip ends in the morning.

Today you will check out and depart for your next destination. Trip ends here.

Food

There are no meals provided today.

Veg

Day 9 Milestone

Leh

Leh

07:00 AM

Includes / Excludes

Includes

  • 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

Excludes

  • 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

What to Wear

What to Wear

  • 2 pairs of synthetic track pants for layering
  • 2 full-sleeved tees with collars (fleece jacket - sweaters are highly discouraged)
  • A full sleeve thick jacket
  • 4 pairs of undergarments
  • 2 pairs of thermal inners (upper and lower)
  • 2 pairs of sports socks
  • 2 pairs of woollen socks for the nights
  • Woollen monkey cap/balaclava that covers your ears
  • Woollen hand gloves
  • Synthetic waterproof gloves
  • A woollen head-scarf or muffler
  • Not to wear - Expensive jewellery or watches
  • Denims or jeans
  • Sports shoes or sneakers
  • Do not carry bags more than 8 or 9 kgs - repack bags if needed

What not to Wear

  • Loose clothing that will tangle around you while swimming
  • Restrictive clothing
  • Flip-flops

Equipment / Gear

We Provide

  • All camping equipment like sleeping bags, tents, mattresses
  • Kitchen tent, utensils, etc
  • One trek leader, local guides, one cook, helper and support staff
  • First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder

You need to get

  • Compulsory: One photo ID card (driver's license/Voter's ID) with a photocopy
  • Compulsory: Passport sized photo
  • Compulsory: Medical certificate duly filled in (the operator will send this to you after booking confirmation)
  • Compulsory: Disclaimer certificate duly filled in (the operator will send this to you after confirmation)
  • Hot water bottle/bag - available at any medical store
  • Sun glasses with 100% UV protection (mandatory)
  • Gumboots
  • Backpack (55-65 ltrs) with sturdy straps and supporting frame
  • Daypack (20 ltrs) for essentials – only if you are hiring a personal porter
  • Trekking shoes: good standard trekking shoes, not sports shoes
  • Trekking pole (mandatory)
  • Thin, quick dry towel
  • Chapstick or lip balm
  • Cold cream
  • Sunscreen lotion (SPF 40+)
  • 2 water bottles (1 ltr each) insulated bottles preferable, but regular will do)
  • Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper
  • Headlamp (preferable) or LED flashlight
  • Small repair kit consisting of safety pins, needle, thread and string (mandatory)
  • Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc
  • Plastic bags for wet clothes

Medical Kit

  • Carry a personal medicine kit. If you are travelling with friends, you can split and share these supplies. Do ensure you carry per person:
  • Crocin - 6 tablets
  • Avomine - 4 tablets
  • Avil 25mg – 4 tablets
  • Combiflam -5 tablets
  • Disprin - 10 tablets
  • Norflox - 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 or any antiseptic cream
  • Volini/Moov/Relispray
  • Diamox - 10 tablets (to be taken only if required and but not as preventive medicine
  • Any personal or prescribed medicines

Cancellation policy

For cancellations of the Chadar trek made before 15th Dec, 2018: 50% refund.

For cancellations of the Chadar trek made on or after 15th Dec, 2018: No refund.

No show: No refund.

All refunds will be processed after deducting any transaction charges.

Rules on trip

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

Consumption of alcohol, drugs, tobacco products and cigarettes 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 able to join the trek. This decision is final. There are no refunds in this case, but the operator will offer an additional stay in the Leh guesthouse instead.

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 2,500 in cash for the same, per person.

Travellers are requested to limit the weight in their bags to 8-10 kgs, for ease of carrying during the trek.

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 do not clear the medical test and opt for the Leh guesthouse stay instead, the operator is not responsible for any activities you choose during this time. Additionally, the operator will not bear any additional expenses incurred during this time.