Ice Age Expeditions

Ice Age Expeditions

Chadar Trek

Durations

9 Days

Difficulty

Medium

Min Age

16

Enjoy the Adventure

Chadar Trek in Ladakh is like no other trek in the Himalayas. A walk on a frozen glass-like river with dramatic mountains on either side is an experience of a lifetime. Only 11,150 feet above sea level, the Chadar Trek almost feels like a trek to the North Pole, where temperatures drop to -30 degrees at night, food is transported on sleds, and survival instincts flourish, making it a do-before-you-die adventure. You can get to know the Zanskari culture, which is a blend of Tibetan and Indian cultures, in-depth as you trek and experience the hospitality of the locals. A highlight of the Zanskar frozen river trek is the Nerak waterfall, a waterfall that is completely iced over from top to bottom.

Itinerary

Leh is the highest airport in the world, and it’s best to be prepared with warm clothing when travelling there. The town is slowly emerging from its winter slumber and there are limited shops and eateries open, but last-minute trekking supplies can be obtained here. Temperatures are very cold, so stay prepared for a chill and spend the night in a guest house.

The DM of Leh Ladakh has issued a required standard operating procedure for those going on the Chadar trek, as a lack of acclimatisation has caused health issues for many tourists. Visitors can book taxis to visit nearby places but should avoid long-distance travel or sites of higher altitude while their bodies are still in the process of acclimatisation.

To pursue the Chadar trek, you must obtain a NOC from ALTOA and an insurance and wildlife permit from the tourist information centre. After complying with the SOP issued by the DM of Leh Ladakh and undergoing a medical examination, you may be qualified to continue. If you are denied the permit, there are other places in Ladakh that can be enjoyed. Discuss the itinerary with a travel team and if the Chadar trek cost covers all charges, then there is no extra payment needed.

Today’s hike along the Chadar is a 10 km long journey with many obstacles and difficulties to face, such as icy and slippery surfaces or water to wade through. The trek leaders gave a briefing and the locals have a sixth sense of where to step, which helps the hikers to navigate. Along the way, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot soupy noodles for lunch. At the end of the day, the hikers reach the campsite at Gyalpo, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock faces.

This day follows a morning routine of bed tea, breakfast, and a long walk of 15km. The walk is through deep ravines and stunning mountains walls that keep sunlight away for most of the day. There are many caves with frozen waterfalls, and there is a big cave at Tibb that is the dwelling of the porters. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter tea with the porters.

This article describes a trek to a frozen waterfall located between Zanskar and Leh in India. Along the journey, you can find Juniper trees draped in prayer flags, an enormous frozen waterfall with dozens of colours in its surface, and the Naerak village which is an hour-long trek away. A camp is set up close to the river which epitomises the beauty of the journey.

In this journey, you will return back to Tibb Cave, but it will be harder than before as the Zanskar River has changed. Along the way, you may meet locals dressed in traditional Gonchas and monks hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh. Watching them brave the harsh conditions is inspiring and uplifting.

Today marks the final day of the Chadar trek experience when participants are able to take in the breathtaking beauty of the frozen Zanskar river before saying goodbye and returning to the comfortable guest house for the night. The team and porters promise to make the experience a memorable one.

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.

Inclusion/Exclusion

To help you plan your trip, we have put together a list of what’s included and what’s not included in your tour package. This will give you a clear understanding of what to expect and help you make any necessary arrangements before your journey begins.

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