The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter trail in the Zanskar region of Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Traditionally the only means of travel in the area during the harsh winter months, the trail has become popular with international adventure tourists.
Chadar Trek in Ladakh is like no other trek in the Himalayas. Walking on a frozen thick glass like river, with dramatic mountains on both sides, is an experience of a lifetime. At only 11150 ft altitude Chadar Trek almost feels like an expedition to the North Pole, where the temperatures drop down to -30 degrees at night, the ration is transported on sledges, you find refuge in caves and life blossoms on survival instincts, making it an eminently ‘do before you die’ trip. The Chadar trek allows you to get to know the Zankari culture up close through the locals you meet on the trek and experience their hospitality. One of the highlights of the Zanskar frozen river trek is the most magnificent waterfall frozen completely from top to bottom called Nerak waterfall. The best time for Chadar trek is from mid-January to mid-February, that is when the Zanskar river freezes and you get to walk on massive slabs of ice spreading for miles and miles. The landscapes and overall experience will leave their imprints on your hearts forever.
After arriving at the airport you will be transferred to your hotel. Today, we would spend the day in the room itself to acclimatize to the high altitude. This is absolutely necessary and is most important for the days ahead. Overnight in the hotel.
On the second day one can do their own thing or can choose to go on a sightseeing trip, explore the local market or just relax at the hotel. Overnight in hotel.
On this day we will we will go to SNM hospital, Leh for the health check-up. It is mandatory from the government to get a medical certification before we undertake the Chadar trek. A clearance certificate after the medical check up will be issued by the Sonam Norbu Memorial (SNM) Hospital. This will be issued only after the participant is acclimatised and fit for the trek. Overnight in hotel
Post breakfast, we take a beautiful drive through the beautiful scenery with your first views of the Indus river and later the Zanskar river at their confluence at Nimoo. From Nimoo you follow the Zanskar to the roadhead at ShingraYokma. Deboard the vehicle after a point and trek towards SomoPaldar campsite. Overnight in tents.
Your trek to Dibb Cave begins today.Trek through the deep gorges of the Zanskar valley with sheer cliffs on both sides. The lack of direct sunlight keeps the snow well packed for the trek. We end the day at the big cave here which is used by the locals when traversing this valley and set up camp for the night. Overnight in trekking tents.
Post breakfast, we continue the walk through the gorges to the Nyerak village. Enroute we pass a large frozen waterfall which is gushing water during the non-winter season and is a stop point on our rafting trips down the Zanskar river during the Aug-Sep period. Today we camp below the Nyerak village and one can go up to the village in the evening. Overnight in trekking tents.
From Nyerak on this day, we retrace the same route and stop at Hotang. Overnight in tents.
Today is your last day of the trek. Post breakfast we trek back towards Shingra Yokma walking on thick ice of Chadar. You will be trekking for about 9 hours with a couple of breaks in between. We will camp here for the night. Overnight in trekking tents
You will be transferred to the airport. Depart to your onward destination. Trip End Your memorable trip of Prashar Lake ends here keep tach with Vagabond Holidays in What’s app / Facebook & Instagram.
1.Transportation from Leh
2.Meal (Breakfast + Dinner)
3.Accommodations in Hotel/Resort or Camps
4.All Local Sightseeing & Trek
5.Driver Night Charges, Toll Tax & Parking Charges
1. GST (5%) is applicable extra.
2. Any type of Insurance
any kind of food or beverage that is not included in the package like alcoholic drinks, mineral water, meals/refreshments/lunches on the highway.
3. Any personal expenses.
4. Any cost arising due to natural calamities like landslides, roadblocks etc. (to be borne directly by the customers on the spot)
5. Anything not mentioned in the inclusions.
Things to carry for chadar trek (Chadar Trek Essentials)
If you are going going for trek shoes are the most important equipment, especially on Chadar Trek.
Trekking shoes: Your trekking shoes should have three important things; high-rise ankle, waterproofing, and insulation on the outside.
Gum Boots: You will need gumboots to wade through water. You can get a pair from Leh. Make sure it is one size large to escape the shoe bite. We do not provide Gum Boots, so please carry your own Gum Boots or buy the same in Leh.
Crocs or open-toe slippers: You will need these in your campsite so that you can roam around easily without wetting your socks.
Many people make a mistake of over-packing. They only realize this when they are panting lugging their heavy backpack on the trail.
Pack light. Pack smart.
Avoid carrying sweaters as they consume too much space. Rather stick with fleece jackets. They consume less space and provide better insulation.
Synthetic Trek pants - 2
Windcheater - 2
Body Thermals (upper & lower) - 2 pair
Warm pants- 2
Full sleeves collar T-shirts - 2
Fleece jacket- 1
Merino Trekking Socks - 2-3 pairs
Undergarments - 4 pairs
Rain coat or poncho
Do not forget to pack with you:
Woolen Gloves + Synthetic Waterproof gloves (Both are necessary)
Woolen Cap that covers the ears
Woolen Socks for sleeping in the night
Woolen stole or balaclava to wrap around the neck.
The trick to stay protected from biting cold on Chadar Trek is in layers of clothing. Multiple layers of clothing trap air in between the layers and provide insulation from the cold.
While walking in the day, thermal insulators will absorb the sweat losing its thermal property and getting heavy. Therefore, it is better to add moisture-wicking polypropylene based inners as the base layer. Wear a fleece over it.
When you reach the camp, add two more layers of fleece and a down jacket. The uppermost layer should be capable of keeping rain, snow, and wind out. If you still feel cold, add one more layer beneath. That ought to save you from the chill.
Pack small bottles of toiletries which are just enough for a week. It will save you lot of space and unnecessary weight.
Lip balm, Sunscreen, Cold cream, Small toothpaste, Trek Equipments, UV Protection Sunglasses to protect you from snow blindness., Head Torch, Daypack, Rucksack (50-60 L), Miscellaneous, Important Medicine kit, Warmees, Hot Water Bag, Hot Water Bottle, Insulated water bottle or thermos flask, Utensils, Trail Munchies, Ziplock bags or poly bags to compartmentalize wet, dry, and dirty stuff.
Going for Chadar Trek? Here is what all you should pack and whats not!!
DO’s & DONT’s
Don’t carry jeans with you. It is of no use in Leh.
Do not carry/use trekking poles, microspikes, crampons, etc.
Do not carry any plastic water bottle
Don’t carry sodas, alcohol, or packets of chips etc.
Carry a daypack if you decide to offload your rucksack. Keep important stuff handy in your day pack.
Your load should be between 8-10 kgs.
Now that you know what to pack learn more about how to combat challenges faced on Chadar Trek.