What if you had the chance to trudge on frozen ice sheets alongside an icy emerald green river? How will it feel to drink tea and eat Maggi at near-freezing temperatures? What if you had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snuggle a waterfall and feel its pointed tips?
Amidst the ever picturesque and breathtaking Leh, at an elevation of 11,400 feet, flows the magnificent Zanskar River, which remains frozen from December to February. Chadar, which translates to ‘Blanket’ in English, depicts the frozen river and is also known as ‘The Frozen River Trek.’ Unlike other treks in India, this Himalayan trek does not follow a predetermined route.
Ladakh is home to a variety of natural wonders, but the Chadar Trek is the most beautiful gift endowed upon this magical land. The trek is all about perseverance and locals and knowing their way of life, especially in one of the world’s most inhabitable regions, while trekking across a spectacular gorge with frozen waterfalls on the frozen trail of Zanskar, which acts as a mirror for the sky!
The primitive thrill of sleeping in caves, pondering over fiery bonfires in freezing temperatures, and surviving it all – this is the “Do before you die” journey!
- Duration: 9 days
- Distance: 62 km
- Altitude: 11,123 ft
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Day temperature: -5 to -15 degrees
- Night temperature: -15 to -25 degrees
- Best time to do: January to February
- Start/End point: Leh
Reasons To Do
- Get a one-of-a-kind opportunity to step on the frozen Zanskar river while taking in the scenery.
- Witness the majestic beauty of the Frozen waterfall to relieve your soul.
- Interact with the people of Zanskar Village during the Chadar Trek 2022 to understand about the area’s history.
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How To Reach
The quickest way to get to Leh is by plane. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) in Leh is the nearest airport. This airport is linked to many international airports in India, including Delhi. It also gets flights from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh, and other popular Indian destinations.
What To Carry
- Appropriate shoes – The trek distance is long and you will need to walk for long distances , so make sure to bring comfortable trekking shoes.
- A sturdy backpack – A backpack with strong straps and a sturdy frame . A rain cover for your backpack is highly recommended.
- Additional trek pants – The trip should only require one pair of pants. However, you should keep a spare pair on hand in case the 1st one gets dirty. Wear one and keep the other pair in your bag. Denims , leggings and shorts are not recommended for hiking.
- At least 2 t-shirts – Carry light, full-sleeved t-shirts to protect your neck and arms from sunburn. Trekkers frequently make the mistake of not changing their t-shirts frequently enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body sweats profusely. Trekkers who do not change into fresh clothes after arriving at the campsite become ill as a result of their wet clothes and are frequently unable to complete their trek.
- Thermals (optional) – Carry thermals for night time because the temperature drops dramatically and can get very chilly at the top.
- Others – Sunglasses, Sun Cap, Woollen Gloves, Socks, LED torch, Toiletries, Water Bottles and a mandatory personal medical kit.
Do’s Of Chadar Trek
- It’s always a wise idea to strategize for an extra day in case of unforeseen circumstances such as poor weather, ruptured bridges, flight delays, or casualties.
- Before embarking on this journey, one should notify one’s family so that they can assist in the event of an emergency.
- Because there will be no pharmacies along the Chadar river trek, please bring the necessary medications as well as a first-aid kit in case of any bruises or cuts.
- Follow the instructions of the trek leader or facilitator to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.
Don’ts Of Chadar Trek
- Because you will be trekking in an environmentally friendly area, make sure you must not litter the area and carry your waist back with you.
- Flowy and frilly clothing may restrict your movement. It is best to avoid wearing such clothing.
- Sports or casual shoes should not be worn because they may compromise grip on the snowy surface.
- When passing by monks or other locals, it is not advisable to pinpoint them because they may take offence.