Chadar Frozen River Trek

9 Days | 8 Nights

 

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Highlights:

Region: Ladakh
Duration: 9 Days (Leh to Leh)
Grade: Difficult
Maximum Altitude: 11,125 ft.
Approx. trekking: 55km.
Best time: January 2nd Week to February 2nd Week

 

One of the most thrilling and adventurous jaunts the chadar trek offers a fascinating chance to discover a whole new world of Zanskar Valley. Challenging as it is, it is a lot popular among countless adventure freaks. Considered as a difficult hike, this expedition is best suited for seasoned trekkers. Chadar as the name suggests, denotes a sheet of ice that opens up endless surprises for vivid explorers who visit this spot to plunder its beauty. An extremely nerve-wracking trail, it involves walking over a thick blanket of ice and this is what makes chadar trek a lot tricky. If you are trekking in ladakh and havent tried for the frozen river trek ladakh then there is a lot you have been missing out.

The Frozen River Trek, which is one of the popular winter treks, is also one of the longest trekking trails in the Indian Himalayan region that covers an entire stretch of 90 kilometres in 8 chilly days. Like a walk to paradise, the Chadar Trek swipes several trekkers' dreams making it a part of their diary. The journey leads off from Ladakh to the snowbound villages of the Zanskar Valley.

The ‘Chadar’ is a perfect example of this resourcefulness of the Ladakhis and their indomitable spirit, in the face of such daunting odds. The term ‘Chadar’ means blanket in the local language, thereby giving an indication to the nature of this whole experience. Large sections of the river Zanskar, which is one of the mightiest rivers in Ladakh, freeze over in the dead of winter and are covered by a thick blanket of ice. This frozen blanket or ‘Chadar’ is the only way in and out for Zanskaris in winter, when the road and various other caravan routes are closed due to heavy The icy wonderland of the ‘Chadar trek’ snowfall blocking the high passes. It has been their traditional trade route in winter for Centuries. The seven to eight days walk from chilling to Padum is both challenging as well as an incomparably exiting experience. The landscape acquires a pristine grandeur in winter as the trail enters into the gorge of the Zanskar, where temperatures sometimes drop to –30 to - 35 Degree Celsius.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) No. of Trek Leaders / Guide accompanying the group?
One trek leader, one guide, one cook & around 10-15 helpers and porters, that makes a total staff of around 15 to 20 professionally qualified / locals accompanying 15 to 20 trekkers.

2) How trek leaders manage emergency situations?
Our all trek leaders are aware of high attitude problems, and we carry whole first-aid kit and necessary medicines with our backpack & team is trained and always present to manage emergency situations. Oxygen cylinder remains with the trek leader in all our treks over 4500 mtrs altitude.
Also, trek leaders have a right to change the plan in case there is danger involved for the group or whenever the trek leader deem it necessary. Final word of the trek leaders will have to followed by all the members.

3) Are Crampons provided during the trek?
Yes, we provide crampons / microspikes, depending on requirement. We DO NOT recommend them at all on Chadar Trek. But provide them in case of injury.

4) Who will lead and who all will go along with us?
Always trek leads by professional Trek leader and along with one local guide and supporting staff. Trek leader are vastly experienced in scaling variuos peaks across the country.

5) Is Diamox advisable?
No, Diamox is not advisable. If you want use so please consult your doctor before use.

6) If i am the only girl in trek, so is it safe?
Yes, our first priority is to provide the safety environment for all trekkers and the girls’ safety is of foremost important for us. We always create friendly environment between trekker. And other supporting staff is carefully chosen for your trips. But we would also advise you to take care of your own personal belongings.

7) I can’t carry my bag can anyone carry it for me?
Yes, But you should intimate 15 days in advance, so that we will arrange the porter accordingly.

8) What type of food is served during a trek?
We always serve vegetarian food during the trek.

9) How to get safe drinking water on the trek?
Himalayan water is naturally clean but we use boil and chlorine tablet water for drinking.

10) I should bring my personal medicines with me?
Yes, it is always advisable.

11) What if we cannot complete the trek?
Most of the trekkers complete this trek. But if not it is nothing to be ashamed of. We keep safety and health as the top priority and do not push anyone beyond one’s limits. Even experienced trekkers never complete all of their expeditions!

12) Medical Certificate and Disclaimer Form?
We DO NOT allow anyone on the trek without medical certificate and disclaimer form in the format provided by us.

Inclusions:

Accommodation (Tourist Lodge + Camping) on triple sharing basis.
Meals while on trek (Veg + Eggs).
Trek equipments (Tents, Sleeping Bag, Mattress, Kitchen & dining tent, Toilet Tent, Utensils, Rations, etc.).
All necessary wildlife permits and entry fees EXCEPT Environment Fee of Rs. 2040.
ALTOA Fee.
First aid medical kits, oxymeter and oxygen cylinder.
Experienced and Professional trek leader, guide and support staff.
Transport from Leh to Trek Start Roadhead and back (in group).
 

Exclusions:

Airport Transfers in Leh.
Any kind of personal expenses.
Meals during the stay in Leh.
Insurance.
Environment Fee of Rs. 2040 to be paid at Leh.
Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.
Any additional permits levied over currently applicable by local authorities.
GST Extra (5%)

Twin Supplement - Rs. 2,500/- per person.

Normally Trek And Trips expects you to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you don’t want to carry your backpack so you can give it to porter, but you have to inform us in advance and have to pay (Rs. 500 x 7 = Rs. 3500) extra in advance.

Cancellation Policy:
Up to 30 Days :- 90% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
Between 21 - 30 Days :- 60% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
Between 20 - 11 Days :- 30% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refunded.
Less than 10 Days :- No refund.

 

Any requests on cancellation will not be taken over the phone.

In case the Chadar Trek gets cancelled cause of natural phenomenon or any other reason beyond our control, we shall arrange for alternative treks like Lamayuru Trek, Zanskar Valley Trek or the Indus River Trek looking at the situation and possibility of the events. ?If the participant is unwilling to go for the alternative trek, there would be no refund or no voucher issued? as for Chadar trek, all the services have to be arranged before hand and can not be shifted to any other date.


Rescheduling Policy:

Up to 10 Days:- 30% of Trek/ adventure program cost will be charged.

Less than 10 Days:- No rescheduling allowed.

No show and trek changes/cancellation due to bad weather or natural calamity will be non-refundable. No money shall be refunded in case a person is rescued and brought back to the base camp before the said date. If the travellers need to return before the trip ends, they shall have to bear all the expenses for accommodation and meals at Leh or any other place.

In Case of Casuality:

If any trekker feels unwell and has to be brought back to the base camp. All the charges, Including The rescue fees, medication, Ambulance/Transport, Accommodation apart from the scheduled itinerary, Meals or any other medical or Miscellaneous expenses will have to be borne by the trekker. We have one Backup plan by which people unwilling to continue to carry on with the trek can accompany the person heading back to the base camp with the team only once. If in case a second emergency occurs, The Complete Trek will be terminated and all the participants shall be immediately dropped back to the base camp.


 

P.S. We are only liable to offer the services mentioned as per the itinerary and inclusions.


 

Unused Services:

We shall not offer or pay any discounts or refunds for missed or unused services which were missed or unused by the client due to no fault of ours, or our representatives, which shall include any termination of the client’s participation in the tour product due to the client’s own fault, negligence or breach of these Terms.

Come with only one mind-set i.e.. “I’m going to have a wonderful time and one of the most unique experiences of being in the Himalayas.”

SO NO STUDIES, NO WORK, NO STRESS and NO MORE POLLUTION. Just 09 days of complete BLISS and Ecstasy…


 

- You can leave your extra stuff at Leh and take only necessary things to the mountain, once you are back from the trek you can collect it from our Guest house.

- Trek is led by a professional trek leader. There will one trek leader, local guides, one cook, helper and supporting staff so no need to worry about the safety part.

- We provide only vegetarian food during the trek so kindly do not expect non vegetarian food.

- Kindly re-check the trek essentials list while packing your bag pack.

- Carry enough layers with you as you may never know what nature has in store for you. Don’t stretch it too much, keep it simple.

- For all those photographers and mobile junkies, do carry extra batteries/memory card as batteries tend to drain faster in cold environments. Mobile signals will not be available during the trek.

- Do carry Glucose-D/electrolytes/candy. These things will help you to get back the taste on your tongue and will keep your spirits up. Any ways we will give you enough refreshment to get going on the way.

- Wind-cheaters/Ponchos for protection against wind/rain/snow. Will also protect your thermals from getting wet and damp.

- Floaters/Slippers are a strict NO. Wear good traction ankle covering shoes. Floaters are good only while answering natures calls.

- Carry extra plastic bags in which you can put in your wet clothes/garbage/etc. DON’T LITTER AROUND, KEEP IT CLEAN.

- Remove all your jewelries at home and carry good sun glasses and sun creams.

- ALCOHOL IS TOTALLY PROHIBITED DURING THE TREK. Even though if you wish to carry alcohol or smoke, please do it at your own risk because sometimes it has proven FATAL at high altitudes.

- In case of Emergency:- We have enough no. of support team members during the trek but in any case any casualty happens during the trek, we provide the basic first-aid, oxygen cylinder and provision to bring down the casualty to the road head. For rescue assistance you have to pay on your own.


 

Trek Essentials

Things to Get:

- Backpack (60 – 70 L) with sturdy and comfortable shoulder straps and supporting frame. Add-on poncho can be considered to keep it dry.

- Trekking shoes. Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Shoes should have good grip, ankle support and waterproofing.

- 2 x waterproof track-pants. Track-pants are light. Plus when things get cold you can wear one over the other. DO NOT bring Jeans, Shorts, Capris, etc.

- 3 x cotton t-shirts – full sleeves preferred.

- 1 x Fleece jacket; a woolen sweater would be an alternative.

- 1 x Wind-proof jacket.

- 1 x Down / Feather / Heavy jacket.

- 2 pairs x thermal inner.

- 3 pairs x sports socks and 2 pairs x woolen socks.

- Woolen monkey cap / balaclava that covers the ear.

- 2 pairs x woolen gloves and 2 pairs of synthetic gloves (water proof).

- Sun Cap and Sun-glasses which cover your eyes well.

- People who wear spectacles, choose one of these:

a) Use contact lenses.

b) Photo-chromatic glasses

c) If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.

- Towel (Thin, quick drying type).

- Cold cream and sun screen lotion (SPF 40+) and one Lip-balm.

- 2 x Water bottles (1 L each).

- Torch with extra set of cells (head lamps preferable).

- Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper.

- Although we carry first-aid kit, we recommend you carrying a personal medicine kit. If you are travelling with friends, you can share one amongst 2-3 people. Contents:

a) Crocin – 5 tablets

b) Avomine – 4 tablets

c) Avil 25mg – 4 tablets

d) Diamox – 15 tablets

e) Brufen 400 – 5 tablets

f) Combiflam – 5 tablets

g) Disprin – 10 tablets

h) Norflox – 10 tablets

i) Spasmindon – 10 tablets

j) Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters

k) Band aid – 10 strips

l) Digene – 10 tablets

m) Gauze cloth – 1 small roll

n) Leukoplast – 1 small roll

o) Cotton – 1 small roll

p) ORS – 5 packets

q) Betadine cream

r) Moov / similar spray

s) Dettol / Savlon.

- Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc. (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available during trek)

- Slippers / sandals (for walking around campsite, you can share this with tent mates).

- Trekking / Hiking Poles (at least one – mandatory)

- Some trekkers feel loss of energy more than others. While there is adequate food provided on the trek, carry dry fruit combinations as light snacks. Glucon-D can help in instant energy and considered good in AMS as well (not proven).

- While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.


 

IMPORTANT

NEVER LEAVE ANY PLASTIC OUT IN THE NATURE. Plastic is only for use. If you’ve spare plastic bag, free hands and some will, we’d recommend you collecting non-biodegradable waste from the trail and bringing back as much as possible. We all can do our bit for the Mother Nature.


 

Tips:

- Leave your denims behind – these are ill suited for treks and add weight.

- Do not carry any disposable plastic bottles (Bisleri etc.), plastic wrapped/packaged items. Do not bring any non biodegradable material.

- After packing, weigh your gear. It should be in the range of 7-8 kg – preferably on the lighter side. Anything heavier, you will need to iterate and remove what is not essential.

- Carry light and what is essential. As an example, toothpaste should be bought in small size (that can last you 15 days). The list of things mentioned here are exactly what you need and nothing more.

- To protect yourself from cold, dress in layers. Two T-shirts worn one over the other is warmer than a T-shirt that is thick. 3 T-shirts worn one over the other is as good as a full sweater. This is just a guideline. If you are prone to cold carry an extra sweater.

- The trek dates / itinerary / plan are liable to be changed in case of non viability or hostile weather conditions. So, be prepared and enjoy the time.

- Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents:

An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.

A passport size photo.

A medical and disclaimer certificate.

The documents are mandatory. Without them you will not be allowed to trek.


 

Fitness Required:

For any trek physical fitness is a must. Make sure you start to train yourself a few weeks from the commencement of the trek. Starting from brisk walking to be able to run comfortably for 4-5 kms. in 30 minutes ensures that you are ready to take on the harsh conditions of a high altitude trek. If you are just fit, you will still be able to do the same trek, but the difficulties you face will be harder. So it is best to be 100% fit for you to enjoy the trek without worries.

Day No: 1
LEH ARRIVAL - You need to arrive to Leh on this day (latest). The reporting place is our hotel / guest house in Leh and the address of the same will be provided. You need to come to the place and you will be allotted with your room for the night. You'll be greeted by our team member and passed on with some quick instructions for the first day. This day is for rest and acclimatization to the altitude and cold temperature. We will have detailed briefing about the trek and a quick fitness check. You'll be served with hot and fresh dinner and doze off for tomorrow's trek. Note: It is advisable to come a day early. Anyone coming a day early, can inform us and we'll make extra night's stay arrangements. Charges will be additional.

Day No: 2
LEH - NIMMU - CHILLING - SHINGRA YOKMA ROAD-HEAD and TREK TO SHINGRA KOMA: Today, after breakfast we drive with small brief halt at Nimmu (Sangam), the magnificent confluence of River Zanskar and Indus. We get first glipmse of Chadar from here. We can see the difference that slow flowing Zanskar is frozen and Indus is still flowing much better. We cross Chilling and drive to the roadhead. It may vary depending on snowfall or landslide. We gather at the roadhead and start our journey down to the river. Touching the Chadar first time, we start the trek for about 2-3 hrs along the magnificent frozen river Zanskar till Shingra Koma campsite. Shingra Koma is a big camping ground on your right as you walk up stream. Its right below a huge stone wall which is straight out of a hollywood movie. The Zanskar river takes a beautiful turn right in front of the camp site and sharp peaks rise on the other side of the river. Our trek leader and guide will keep on teaching you about various types of Chadar and different ways to walk on it. Overnight in the camps.

Day No: 3
SHINGRA KOMA TO TIBB CAMPSITE: Today is a long day and we start early. The whole walk might take about 7 to 8 hours including lunch break. Today we would cross Tsomo Campsite (named after an imaginary Zanskari girl), a narrow but magnificent stretch called Tsomo ka Tutu (Tsomo's throat), a perpetual non-frozen fall with green moss around called Tsomo ka Nakung (Tsomo's nose). By cross by multiple frozen waterfalls at distant. We reach Tibb by late afternoon. Tibb means under shadow in local dialect. Called so because the caves at Tibb are under shade for almost whole day. But it has bright patches in campsite and it is where we camp. Overnight in camp.

Day No: 4
TIBB TO NEYRAK CAMPSITE: Again one of the magnificent days on the Chadar trek. The vistas are stunning though as we pass through giant frozen waterfalls, ice cliffs and one may even catch sight of the mountain fox. We have our lunch at a mid camp where another frozen stream joins in, Yokma do, it is about 3 hours from Tibb and 3 hours from Neyrak. We camp tonight at Neyrak. After reaching if we have sufficient time and if the Chadar connection between camp and waterfall is firm, we would visit the waterfall on this day, else we will keet that for tomorrow along with Neyrak village visit.

Day No: 5
NEYRAK (also written as Niraq / Nerak / Nirak / Nearak) VILLAGE VISIT OR BUFFER DAY: This day is for visit to the beautiful village of Neyrak. We leave Chadar that is going further to Zanskar here and take the bridge over frozen river to cross over to the left and join steep 1.5 - 2 km trail to the village. The village has two parts - lower and upper which are situated 500m apart. Both area has DSPT (Satellite phone) from where you can call back home. Charges are around Rs. 8-10 per minute. Village is beautiful but harsh winter lifestyle can be imagined. At the topmost part there is a Gompa. The whole village takes about couple of hours to visit. If we are lucky, we might find a family to serve us hot butter tea with khambir, Ladakhi bread. We come down and camp at Neyrak. THIS DAY IS ALSO A BUFFER DAY. IF FOR ANY REASONS, WE ARE UNABLE TO FOLLOW OUR PREVIOUS SCHEDULE AND FALL BEHIND THEN WE CAN MAKE IT UP ON THIS DAY. IN THAT CASE WE WILL ONLY DO VILLAGE IF TIME ALLOWS.

Day No: 6
NEYRAK TO TIBB: Though technically it is the same way back, it is also quite different. The Chadar or the blanket of ice that is forming on the River Zanskar is always changing, breaking up and forming itself again. As the Chadar dynamics are ever changing, the same route and place would look and feel different as the texture and conditions change. If the whole group is fit and walking fine, we might push this day ahead and camp at an interim camp ahead of Tibb. This will allow us to move early next day and beat the rush.

Day No: 7
TIBB to BAKULA: Today we trek from Tibb / Interim Camp to Bakula. Bakula is about 1-2 hours of walk from the Shingra Yokma camp or the road-head. It is an uncrowded site with hardly any groups preferring to stay here and this makes our last day special away from the crowd. Today is the last night on Chadar so we do our traditional parting ceremony here (if not done at Neyrak the last point) and spend good time with whole staff.

Day No: 8
BAKULA - CHILLING - LEH: Last day of our amazing trekking experience. We trek from our campsite in Bakula to the road-head. If someone is willing to take a dip in the icy cold waters, it is always the last day as we head back home. Shingra Yokma is a great and safe sight for it. We also have our lunch here before the vehicles come and we drive back to Leh. We stop by at Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and thank everyone for the safe and memorable journey. We celebrate at Leh and spend overnight at Leh.

Day No: 9
DEPARTURE FROM LEH: Today morning, we depart from Leh to our destination with some wonderful and lifetime memories.

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