This trek is considered as one of the most exciting and unique treks – a very special and an extraordinary trek on shiny ice on the bank of Tsarap River. You will be dropped by a vehicle at Chilling Sumdo (crossed road) then your trek leads in a narrow valley filled with breath-taking views of ice-peaks and unexpected hanging icicles that will attract your gaze for some time. You will spend the night at cave camps with the help of a bonfire that will keep you warm and relaxed.
Our daily trek begins at around 9:00am and by then the sun’s up and blue skies bring cheer despite the cold temperatures. The trek goes along the Tsarap River in the region of Nyerag, Lingshed and constitutes to Zanskar!
Needless to say, having a good guide is critical on the Chadar trek. Trekking on the ice was intimidating. A covering of snow made it difficult to assess its thickness. At times we had to walk along a narrow margin of ice, constrained by the canyon wall on one side and deep rushing water on the other. Slipping in or falling through would not just be cold; it could be fatal. The water was deep and fast, and you would likely be swept under the ice in seconds.
For better or worse, the Chadar trek is an endangered activity and within 5 years will cease to exist in its current form. A road is currently being blasted out of the rock face above the river. When completed, winter access to the Zanskar valley villages in the interior will be relatively straight-forward. The road will certainly be safe and more convenient than the river, but its completion will mark the end of an ancient local practice.
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.
Pick up Point:- Leh
Investment – INR 22,500/+Service Tax
1. Accommodation. (Camping) and Leh guest house (Day 1, and Day 8 according to Itinerary)
2. Meals while on trek (Veg.)
3. Trek equipment’s.
5. First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder.
6. Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff to help trekkers.
7. Transport from leh to Road head and return.
1. Food / Meal in Leh.
2. Any kind of personal expenses.
4. Porter to carry personal luggage.
5. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head price Includes.
6. Equipment like winter jacket, gloves and goggles to be brought by each participant on his own.
Things to Carry
1. To carry your own luggage you will need trek bag at least 50 to 60 liters capacity depending on your luggage carrying tendency. We won’t recommend you to carry luggage more than 65 lit as at that altitude it would be very tough to carry so much luggage.
2. At least 3-4 pairs of dry fit trousers to be carried along. The material should be of quick dry type. It is essential because body heat melts the snow on your clothes and wet your clothes. Easy dry materials avoid your inconvenience because of wet clothes.
3. Carry good quality trekking shoes with enough anti skid pattern on the bottom. Trekking shoes with good rubber sole are the best. Do not go for running shoes. They are usually insufficient and have tendency to slip.
4. Two set of traveling clothes. This set you can keep behind in hotel luggage and can pick up after trek.
5. At least 4 set of warm socks. (Can sustain upto -25 to -30 degree.)
6. Monkey cap (fleece material). Avoid handmade caps. A monkey camp with thick weaving is recommended as it protects you not from cold but from wind chill factor as well.
7. At least 4 set of Dry fit T-shirts with long sleeves.
8. Warm jacket and fleece jacket.
9. Two Good quality hand gloves (warm) added with another set of hand gloves (waterproof)
10. Thermal wear. Very important for this trek.
11. Waterproof & windproof jacket
13. Sunscreen, Lip balm, Cold creams etc.
More detailed checklist will be provided to registered participants 10 days prior to the activity which will help you in packing and cross checking.
Day 1:- Fly to Leh 3500m
Day 2:- Drive to Tlad Do via Chilling
Day 3:- Tilad Do to Gyalpo
Day 4:- Gyalpo camp to Tibb Cave
Day 5:- Tibb cave to Naerak camp
Day 6:- Naerak to Tibb Cave.
Day 7:- Tibb Cave to Gyalpo.
Day 8:- Gyalpo to Tilad Do and drive to Leh.
Day 9:- Return from Leh.
How to Reach Leh
Flying over miles and miles of heavily snowed mountains will tell you just why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh by road in the winters. Jet Airways, Air India and Go Air provide daily (once every day) flight service between New Delhi and Leh. However if you plan a trip to this area of the country, you must try to book your tickets well in advance.
This might even cut down the prices which may be levied on booking at the last time. You would enjoy the flight as you would fly over many untouched areas and even some mountain ranges. The aerial view is just fascinating and gives a great start to your tour.