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Chadar Trek

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We will arrange the transport and they will meet you at Dehradun railway station to pick you for long but scenic drive Sankri via Mussoorie, Purola

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Camping, Guided Tours, Trekking
  • Activity Level Moderate
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  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the Chadar Trek.

Region : Leh, Ladakh, J & K

Duration : 9 Days

Grade : Difficult

Max Altitude : 11,123 Ft. Approx

Trekking Km : 75 Kms.

Temperature : Winters -30 to -35

Reporting Months: January, February

 

This seven to eight day trek from Chilling to Naerak over the Zanskar is both challenging as well as an unforgettable experience. The landscape acquires a pristine grandeur in winter as the trail enters into the gorge of the Zanskar.

The journey starts at the mountain town of Leh. The only way to reach Leh is by flight and it is surrounded by snow giving it a complete white look. One can catch a glimpse of the snow capped mountains from the flight as it descends toward Leh which is located at 11400 feet above sea level. The trek is over the Zanskar Riverwhich lies frozen during the winter. The most preferred time to cross the ice would be in February. During that time, the ice tends to be at its most stable state. The Frozen Zanskar Trek begins from the small village of Chilling from where the Zanskar River begins to freeze.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

1. Accommodation. (Camping) and Leh Guest House (Day 1, and Day 8 according to Itinerary)

2. Meals while on trek (Veg.)

3. Trek equipments.

4. Permits.

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.

8. Transportation from Base Camp Leh to Leh is included in the package as per the itinerary.

What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.

1. Food / Meal in Leh. Available in Hotel @ Rs.250/- Per Meal

2. Any kind of personal expenses.

3. Insurance

4. Local Fees ALTOA, LAHDC etc ranges between Rs.300/- to Rs.2300/-

5. Porter to carry personal luggage. The same be arranged @ Rs.750/- Per Day up to 9Kg baggage

6. Anything not specifically mentioned under ‘Inclusions’

  1. Day1 Day 1 :- Fly to Leh.

    Altitude 11,400 ft.

    Stay in guest house.

    Keep your woollen cap and gloves handy.

    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. The moment you land at the Leh airport, one of the highest airports in the world, you will feel the fresh and crisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature. The town has just begun shedding off the thick winter slumber and is slowly coming to life. Taking a stroll through the Leh market, you will find that very few shops and eateries in the town are open for business; but if required, some last minute-shopping for the trek can be done here. The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. The night is spent in a copy guest house.

  2. Day2 Day 2 :- Drive to Tilad Do via Chilling.

    11,400 to 10,390 ft.

    Drive 65 kms. 

    Stay in tent. 

    You can start the morning by witnessing the sunrise from the Shanti Stupa , from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire town of Leh and its surroundings. You can also see the peak of Stok Kangri almost beckoning you to climb it.

    But today’s agenda includes a very picturesque and thrilling long-drive to Chilling. The roller-coaster ride takes you along the Indus to the village of Nimu, where the Zanskar converges into Indus. After stopping at this confluence point to take in the view, the drive continues and the road begins descending right into the river valley. There are quite a few heart-stopping moments as the vehicle negotiates the steep hairpin bends over snow covered road. The road goes past Chilling to Tilad Do. Among these mammoth mountains, the feeling of insignificance of one’s being does not escape anyone.

    To reach the camp-site, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar river and this is when you take your first steps on the Chadar. It takes a while to get a hang of walking on the ice sheet. As the evening comes, the team pitches tents on the banks of the Zanskar, and hands out thick warm sleeping bags. To get some exercise and keep warm, you can climb up the nearby mountains and get a good look at the frozen river. As the sun sets, it drags the temperature down with it, and the sleeping bags in the tents look quite inviting.

  3. Day3 Day 3 :- Tilad Do to Shingra Koma.

    10,390 to 10,550 ft.

    Trek 10 kms. 

    Stay in tent. 

    The biggest challenge of this day, and all the remaining days, is to get out of the warm toasty sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside, but the steaming cups of tea being served provide ample motivation.

    Today is a long walking session, about 10 km, on the Chadar. The trek leaders . give a briefing about the day, and give tips on how to walk on the Chadar. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. It can be a cold and hard surface of slippery ice, or it can have a dusting of snow over it, providing a good grip. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. The locals, it appears, have a sixth sense as to where exactly to step on theChadar. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river. Eventually you get used to walking on the Chadar, which looks like a cross between gliding and skating. Mid way to Gyalpo, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot bowlfuls of soupy noodles for lunch. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake. Nothing makes you adapt to the conditions faster than nicely circulating blood in your system.

    After passing Shingra koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo. The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made. All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.

  4. Day4 Day 4 :- Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave.

    10,550 to 10,760 ft.

    Trek 15 kms. 

    Stay in tent. 

    This day follows the same early morning routine: bed 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. But that is nothing to worry about, all the walking keeps you incredibly warm.

    Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either sides of the river keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others. As the fable goes, centuries ago the local villagers faced a dearth of water and went to Tibet to plead for water. They were given a box which they were to open once they reached the village, and not any time sooner. But curiosity got the better out of them, and when they opened the box, two fishes jumped out of it, creating two huge waterfalls. One of those waterfalls, miraculously, is not iced-up even in such freezing cold. The rocks below this waterfall are covered with moss, and this is the only greenery you’ll see on this trek.

    At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them!

  5. Day5 Day 5 :- Tibb cave to Naerak camp.

    10,760 to 11,150 ft.

    Trek 12.5 kms. 

    Stay in tent. 

    Attraction Frozen waterfall.

    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. The porters give you a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a badge of good-luck and good-health. A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. You can see dozens of colours in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh.

    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.

  6. Day6 Day 6 :- Naerak to Tibb Cave.

    11,150 to 10,760 ft.

    Trek 12.5 kms.

    Stay in tent.

    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, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.

    On the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woollen 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. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit.

  7. Day7 Day 7 :- Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma.

    10,760 to 10,550 ft.

    Trek 15 kms. 

    Stay in tent. 

    Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today. The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls. You can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek – footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards. You would be lucky to view a snow-leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.

  8. Day8 Day 8 :- Shingra Koma to Tilad Do and drive to Leh.

    10,550 to 10,390 and drive to 11400 ft.

    Trek 10 kms.

    Drive 65 kms. 

    Stay in guest house. 

    This is the last day of treading on the Chadar – the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. Our team and our porters will take good care of you and make this trek one of the most memorable experiences for you. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house again.

  9. Day9 Day 9 :- Return from Leh.

    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.

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Camp,Guest House

Stay

  • Guest House
  • Home-stay
  • Campsites

 

Meal

  • Vegetarian and Egg dishes
  • All Meals Included

 

Activity

  • Trekking
  • Camping

 

Things to get for Trek:-

 

  • Carry 2 pair of synthetic track pants. Track pants are light and when things get cold you can wear one over the other.
  • Carry 2 Full sleeve tees with collar.
  • Fleece jacket – sweaters are highly discouraged.
  • A full sleeve thick jacket.
  • Carry 4 pairs of undergarments.
  • Get 2 pairs of thermal inners.
  • Carry 2 pairs of sports socks. 2 pairs of woolen socks.
  • Woolen monkey cap/balaclava that cover the ear.
  • Woolen hand gloves + synthetic glove (water proof). If you dont have synthetic gloves, get two pairs of woolen gloves and a surgical glove.
  • Hot water bottle/Bag – available at any medical store.
  • Sun glasses, branded company with 100% UV protection. Curved ones will cover your eyes well. Sunglasses prevent snow blindness. Sunglasses are mandatory for this trek.
  • Gumboot, if not purchased from Leh.
  • Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Daypack (20 L) is required only if you wish to offload your backpack to our support team. If you don’t want to carry your backpack you can give it to porter, but you have to inform us in advance and charges would be Rs. 700/- extra per day per bag. Please also do inform us about this at least 15 days in advance.

Trekking shoes: Good standard trekking shoes are sufficient for the trek. On Chadar, which is solid ice or a slight cover of snow on slippery ice, trekkers have found to their amazement that a simple gumboot finally is the best for Chadar. Most of the outside agencies in order to impress tell about crampons. In my years of experience in Ladakh and on Chadar too, I can absolutely say that crampons are quite dicey – quite a few trekkers have injured themselves or worse broken their ankle while a crampon get stuck on the fine cracks in the ice. Gumboot is available in Leh hardware shop and can be purchased here itself. If your shoe size is 9-10, getting a pair might be tough..so start searching as soon as you land in Leh. Sports shoes are not allowed. You need traction on snow and

  • sport shoes with their PVC soles are hardly the choice. Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Trekkers will soon learn and modify their trek to the “penguin walk” style on seeing from the porters and guide! It is a kind of dragging your foot and not lifting much.
  • People who wear spectacles, choose one of these: i. Use contact lenses. ii. Photochromatic glasses. ii.If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
  • A woolen head-scarf or muffler.
  • Trekking pole is mandatory.
  • Light towel (should be thin, quick drying kind).
  • Chapstick or lip balm.
  • Cold cream and sun screen lotion (SPF 40+). While sun screen help prevent sun burns, a better option is to stay covered.
  • 2 Water bottles (1 L each). The insulated water bottles are good but even normal water bottles will suffice.
  • Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper.
  • LED Torch with extra set of cells (head lamps are much more preferable).
  • Small repair kit consisting of safety pins, needle, thread and string (mandatory).
  • Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available)
  • While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes

 

The Big NO:

 

  • No denim or jeans – not suited for this trek.
  • Snacks, colas, alcohol and personal food – No need to overburden yourself with food. Do not carry any disposable plastic bottles like (Bisleri, Aquafina), plastic wrapped/packaged items. Do not bring any non bio degradable material.
  • After packing, weigh your gear. It should be in the range of 8-10 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 10 days).
  • Some general advice about clothing: To protect yourself from cold, dressing in layers is the mantra. 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 extra warm clothing.

 

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

 

  • An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
  • A passport size photo.
  • A medical certificate Format will be sent after confirmation.

 

  • Disclaimer certificate. Format will be sent after confirmation.

 

Payment Terms:

  • 25% as booking amount (non-refundable)

 

Cancellation Terms:

  • 50% refund if cancelled between 15th November 2018 to 10th December 2018
  • No refund if cancelled after 10th December 2018

Booking amount is non-refundable

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.

1. Accommodation. (Camping) and Leh Guest House (Day 1, and Day 8 according to Itinerary)

2. Meals while on trek (Veg.)

3. Trek equipments.

4. Permits.

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.

8. Transportation from Base Camp Leh to Leh is included in the package as per the itinerary.

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1. Food / Meal in Leh. Available in Hotel @ Rs.250/- Per Meal

2. Any kind of personal expenses.

3. Insurance

4. Local Fees ALTOA, LAHDC etc ranges between Rs.300/- to Rs.2300/-

5. Porter to carry personal luggage. The same be arranged @ Rs.750/- Per Day up to 9Kg baggage

6. Anything not specifically mentioned under ‘Inclusions’