The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter trail in the Zanskar region of Ladakh. Traditionally the only means of travel in the area during the harsh winter months, the trail has become popular with international adventure tourists. Its walls are near vertical cliffs up to 600 m high and the Zanskar River (a tributary of the Indus) is only 5 metres (16 ft) in places. The overall distance is approximately 105 kilometres (65 mi) – an average trekker walks 16 kilometres per day. The best time to do the Chadar trek is January to February, when the temperature during the winters drops sometimes to -30 to -35 degrees
- Please note the cellular network in Ladakh is very poor and in most places you will not have any connectivity. BSNL postpaid network works best.
- The route is subject to change depending on weather conditions, political reasons or other unforeseen circumstances.
- A minimum of 7 travelers will be required for the trip to be conducted
- Number of days can be increased based on the requirements.
- Please note this trek is not for the faint hearted. Fitness is of utmost importance and should not be neglected. There is a possibility of extreme weather conditions due to which there could be a threat to life. We as a team take complete preventive precautions but owing to the extreme temperatures, there might be a possibility of a mishap. Hence an indemnity form will have to be filled by each individual who wishes to enroll for the trek. if the medical officer deems an individual unfit, the participant will have to withdraw from the trek. In such a case the participant will be provided with stay in Leh for the duration of the trip. A private vehicle will be provided for Local sightseeing, although these areas will be restricted and can be extended at an additional cost to be borne by the participant.
- Please note, this quote is given as per basic infrastructure that the region offers.
- Any required changes in the travel plan with regards to the places of travel/ choice of stay, mode of transportation, MAP plan, can be accommodated as per the requirements, at an additional cost.
- Accommodation on all days (Hotel in Leh and tents/caves while on the trek)
- Food on trek days
- Breakfast in Leh
- Sleeping bag
- Internal transport from the leh homestay to chilling (the starting point of the trek and back)
- All permits
- Medical check up
- Airport Transfer (Fixed departure)
- We will also be carrying a few oxygen pumps in case of emergency
- Meals not mentioned
- Personal travel gear
1. Fly to the highest commercial airport in the world at Leh. With the scenic view of the himalayas and the karakoram mountain ranges on either sides, witness the beauty of these snow covered mountains from a birds eye view.
2. Once you reach the airport, take a cab and reach the hotel (20mins)
3. Rest of the day spend in the home stay for acclimatization.
1. Start the morning by witnessing the sunrise at Shanti Stupa, from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire town of Leh and its surroundings.
2. In the morning we head out to get the regular medical check up. This will determine if your fitness levels are appropriate for the high altitude trek.
3. Spend the evening walking around the Ladakh main area, for any last minute shopping for snacks etc just before your trek begins.
1. This morning after we receive your medical reports, we will head for the trek insurance which is mandatory for the trek.
2. Post this we head to take blessings at the Monasteries of Shey and Thiksey.
3. Return to Leh in the evening and rest before we begin the trek the next day or visit the Hall of Fame museum to witness the army parade and movie before calling it a night.
1. Drive to Tilad do(2-2.5hrs) in a car (Innova/xylo/sumo) via Nimu, the confluence of the serene Indus and the mighty zanskar rivers.
2. From here the trek of about 10 km on the Chadar begins.
3. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river.
4. You reach the camp-site for the day at Shingra Koma. Spend night in tents.
1. This day follows the same early morning routine: tea at 7, breakfast at 8, and quick-march at 8:30. Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day – almost 15 km.
2. Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either side of the river to keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. 3. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than others.
4. Once you have made it to Tibb, spend the night in tents/cave.
1. Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags. A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls. You can see dozens of colors in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface.
2. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh.
3. The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take you to the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari. The camp is set up close to the river.
1. Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave. And if you thought that it was just a matter of retracing your steps back to Chilling, you can think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.
2. On the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woolen Gonchas – some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation. Watching the locals negotiate the Chadar is a fascinating sight. They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds.
3. From Tibb, go up to Gyalpo. You might see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek – footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards.
4. Reach Gyalpo and spend the night in the tented accommodation.
1. This is the last day of treading on the Chadar, the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river.
2. Once you have reached Tilad do, hop into the car and return back to the Homestay to spend the night comfortably on a bed.
As this unforgettable journey gets over, you depart from Leh having a newfound respect for the Zanskaries who brave all odds and survive with style in their beloved land. This trek also leaves behind a tremendous feeling of accomplishment – one of having undertaken and endured an extraordinary and challenging trek. The Chadar trek will be a cherished memory for life.