Walking on Frozen river of Zanskar is the ultimate experience for any adventure lover. The traditional name of the trek is "Chadar Trek" the frozen sheet, which was the only way in and out for Zanskar in winter when all other ways are closed due to heavy snowfall at high passes. Therefore, it has been the trade route for centuries for Zanskari People. Now the route is also famous as winter trekking among adventure lovers.
Click here to read a more detailed guide on the Chadar Trek.
LADAKH is the home to numerous natural wonders, but the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land is the Chadar Trek. The trek is all about persistence & survival – of learning to survive in the harsh terrains at sub-zero temperatures, interacting with the locals & understanding their way of living, especially in one of the most inhabitable regions in the world, while you trek across a dramatic gorge with frozen waterfalls on the frozen trail of Zanskar spanned out like a “Chadar” it acts as a mirror for the sky!
LEH is located in the northernmost parts of the country. It is traveller friendly, enchanting and a hassle free fun town lapped in the snow-covered fringes of the Himalayas. You can explore the bustling Local bazaar, enjoy some delicious food ranging from the local cuisine, Mughlai, Tibetan, Chinese to Italian. Narrow footpaths, sturdy walls, a view of snow covered mountains, make you fall in love with the place instantly. There are a number of interesting places and monasteries to visit in and around Leh, such as – Shanti Stupa, The Leh Palace, the monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thiksey and Lamayuru, the Armed forces Hall of fame and much more!
DAY 1: Arrival in Leh
Located at an altitude of 3,500 m, Leh is a part of the newly formed Union Territory Ladakh. As you reach Leh, you will be greeted by our team. In the evening, you will be briefed on the plan and the other formalities. Post checking in to your hotel, you can retire for the day.
Day 2: Today's plan is to help you acclimatize yourself to the altitude. You can spend the day sightseeing in Leh and visit the very famous and popularly photographed Shanti Stupa, a sacred Buddhist Stupa in Leh. Stay the night Leh and prep yourself for the trek the next day.
Day 3 will go for a medical check-up and permit procedure. Once you are okayed in the Medical check-up, you can go ahead with the permit process. You will be issued a clearance certificate after your health check-up by a positioned medical center. The certificate will only be issued if you are deemed to be fit and fully acclimatized.
Day 4: Leh to Shingra Yokma & trek to Sumo
Trek Distance: 3km
Time Taken: 4-5 hr
You start your journey towards Shingra Yokma on a bus. This ride is full of bumpy roads and hairpin bends with sights of snow-capped peaks. Post the bus journey and arrival at Shingra Yokma, you start trekking towards the Sumo campsite which will be your first campsite during the trek.
Day 5: Sumo to Tibb.
Trek Distance: 12km
Time Taken: 6-7 hr
Altitude: 3,300m/10,800 ft
Today you start your trek towards the Tibb Cave. Get ready to be awestruck by nature's beauty as you will pass through ravines and gorges on the trail to Tibb. The high cliffs on either side make it impossible for sunrise to entre the area leaving the weather dull & gloomy. On reaching Tibb, you will come across a large cave which will be your campsite for the night. Once you freshen up, you will be served butter tea with some snacks. After this, you can retire for the night.
Day 6: Tibb to Nerak, the frozen waterfall
Trek Distance: 10km
Time Taken: 6 hr
Altitude: 3,398 m/11,150 ft
The trek on Day 6 is considered to be the most scenic, highly photographed and extremely rewarding. On the trek today, you come across the very famous frozen waterfall and the sacred prayer flags which will give you goosebumps. You will also come across a bridge that is built right next to the waterfall site, this also happens to the route for people to reach Zanskar from Leh. Towards the end, you reach the next halt which is a small village called Nerak, a small community. Tonight you stay in the comforts of the village.
Day 7: Nerak to Tibb
Trek Distance: 10km
Trek Time: 6 hr
Altitude: 3,300m/10,800 ft
Today you start your trek back to Tibb. The journey back is challenging as the river would now be reacting to the changing temperatures. You will also notice that the trail would have started looking different by now. The beauty of the trail now would be entirely different than what you saw when you started the trek. There is also a chance that you will meet locals from Zanskar wearing traditional woolen Gonchas (robe). You halt for the night is the Tibb cave where you will be camping.
Day 8: Tibb to Leh
Trek Distance: 13 Km
Trek Time: 5-6 hr
Altitude: 3,300 m / 10,800 ft to 3,200 m / 10,400 ft
Travel Distance: 70 Km
Travel Time: 3-4 hr
Wake up early today to start your walk back to Shingra Koma crossing Gyalpo. Today is going to be a long as you would have to cover a13 Km walk along with travel to Leh. On the trail back to Shingra Koma, you will notice high mountain passes and pugmarks on the snow. These pugmarks belong to snow animals such as Leopards, Ibex & Foxes, if we're lucky enough we may even get to spot one. Upon reaching Shingra Koma, you start your journey back to Leh and spend the night in luxury in a 3-star hotel in Leh.
Day 9: Leh & then Home.
Today, this unimaginable experience of taking on one of India's most challenging and exhilarating trail comes to an end. You wake up leisurely, freshen up, check out from the hotel and head to the airport from where you head back home.
- Keep your woollen cap and gloves handy before you land at Leh airport
- Bring 4 copies of your ID proof and 4 photographs
- Cellular network is available only on the post-paid number
- Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
- If you don't want to carry your backpack so you can hire a porter, but you have to keep us informed about this in advance and you have to pay INR 700 to 1,000 (subject to change) extra per day per bag.
- We strongly suggest that you should carry your own backpack and the weight of the backpack should not be more than 8-10 Kg maximum.
- All trekkers going for Chadar Trek must spend at least three nights in Leh or acclimatization.
- Trekkers who will not undergo three days of rest in Leh, any permissions and permits for Chadar trek will not be issued to them.
- Trekkers will have to keep the boarding pass to prove their date of arrival in Leh before beginning the Chadar trek and whether they have spent the required three days time within Leh.
- The boarding pass will be verified at the time of Pre Medical Check-up in Leh, so please make sure you keep them safe with you
- On Day 3, Trekkers must undergo a compulsory medical check-up in Leh which will provide clearance for undertaking the Chadar trek. Trekkers who are found medically unfit will not be allowed to go the trek.
- Once the Trekkers clear this medical test, they will have to apply and get adventure travel insurance for Chada trek from authorized insurance providers.
- After getting the approval for the medical test and buying the adventure travel insurance, trekkers need to apply for the permit for Chadar trek from the Wildlife Department in Leh.
- Finally, Trekkers have to get a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from ALTOA (All Ladakh Tour Operator Association) to go for Chadar Trek.
- We would be there to guide you in person for each of these tests, permits and necessary permissions.
- If Minimum group strength is not met, we have the right to cancel the departure. Should you wish to customize the trip as per your preferred date, separate charges will apply.
- Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change.
- TrekNomads reserves the right to change expedition dates or itineraries as conditions warrant.
Risk and Liability
We will endeavor to make your program smooth and as pleasant as possible. However, the entire course of trekking depends on the ranges of the mighty mountains, physical health, and environmental conditions. Therefore, TrekNomads shall not be responsible for any changes in the itineraries due to unavoidable circumstance and natural disasters such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snowing, cancellation of flight and delay, any types of sickness including altitude sickness.
This trek requires a good level of fitness.
To register for this trek you are required to complete a 5K run in under 35 minutes. Once you do register, please share the run details with our Trek Captain.
If you're not already following a fitness regime, you would need to follow the regime that will be shared with you. The training routine is spread over four months and you would be expected to work out at least 4 times a day. The regime is designed to help you climb smarter even in higher altitudes. The regime consists of a good combination of exercises that works on all parts of your body including - Upper Body, Core, Endurance, Lower Body, Shoulder strength and along with streamlining your breathing pattern. When followed religiously, you can rest assured that you will be ready for the trek. Not only does this regime help you with the trek, but it will also help you inculcate a sense of fitness in your day-to-day life.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- We believe in leaving the mountains in a better condition, which is why we follow a no-litter policy on our treks. Each trekker will have to bring back the waste that is created during the trek.
- Trekking is best enjoyed when you’ve worn comfortable clothes. Try and avoid wearing Jeans, bright colours and heavy apparels as much as possible.
- A lighter backpack always helps you have a better trek, try and carry just as much as needed.
- Always be in sight of your trek lead, if you feel the need to stop for any reason at all, please keep the trek lead informed.
- If you do come across any reptiles, animals or even insects during the trek, please keep your calm and let it patiently pass by. Any kind of noise and panic will scare them as well.
- Do not venture out into the forest/waterfalls on your own as it may be dangerous.
- Trekking is a good adventure, having said that, it is our primary responsibility to take good care of ourselves and be compassionate towards fellow trekkers
- If, at any point, during the trek, you feel uneasy or unwell, please inform the trek lead immediately
- Tune in to the sounds of nature while on a trek and avoid carrying speakers or playing music during the course of the trek
- To help you enjoy the trek to the fullest, we avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol, and other intoxicants during the course of the trek
What is included in the tour
- 04 nights accommodation at Northern Singge / Singge Palace or Similar in Leh on double or triple sharing basis at Leh
- 04 nights tented accommodation on double or triple sharing basis during the trek
- Meals: Lunch + Dinner on Day 1, (BF/Lunch/Dinner) meals from Day 2 to Day 8 and BF on Day 9
- Standard vegetarian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Transportation as per the itinerary by NAC Vehicle, Leh to Shingra Yokma (Day 4) & Shingra Yokma to Leh (Day 8)
- Trek equipment: Sleeping bags, Mattresses, Utensils, Ropes
- Tents: Trekkers tent (twin/triple sharing), Kitchen & Dining tent, Toilet tent
- 1 Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader
- Local Guide (Number of guides depending on the group size)
- 1 High Altitude chef & support staff
- Porters for carrying common equipment (like rations/tents/utensils/groceries)
- Basic First aid Kit with a portable oxygen cylinder.
- The facility of keeping extra luggage at Leh when leaving for the trek
- Personalised Dri-Fit T-shirt
- TrekNomads goodies
What is NOT included in the tour
- The cost to reach Leh and back
- Environmental Fees to be paid on Day 01 at Leh
- Medical checkup and insurance fees
- Personal accident and travel insurance
- Medical, Emergency Rescue and Evacuation cost
- Any additional charges by Govt and Forest Dept / LAHDC/ Any other authority
- Personal trekking gear
- Tips for guide, chef, porter, etc
- Food during your stay at Leh
- Local sightseeing and monastery entrance fee, camera fee, etc
- Transportation is not on disposal basis. It is strictly as per the program, any extra running will be charged extra.
- Any other expenses incurred apart from inclusions
- All personal and medical expenses, emergency expenses like extra day stay or vehicle charges due to delays, natural calamities (landslides, floods), flight delays / rescheduling / cancellations, any accidents / medical evacuations, riots/strikes & etc.
- Leh: 11,400 ft (3,500 m)
- Tsomo Paldar: 10,400 ft (3,200 m)
- Tibb Cave: 10,800 ft (3,300 m)
- Nerak: 11,100 ft (3,400 m)
- Best Months to trek: January, First week of February
- Trek Gradient: Difficult
- Trek Distance: 60+ Km
- Assembling Point: Leh
- Trek Duration: 25+ hours
- Average Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -15 to -25 degrees (during the night)
- Season: Early January - Early February
- Nearest Airport: : Leh Airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport)
- Nearest ATM: Leh Airport and Market