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!
- Trek to India's most sought after trail - Chadar in the Zanskar region
- 5 days of lifetime experience trekking on a frozen river
- 4 Nights accommodation with dinner and breakfast at a premium hotel in Leh
- 4 nights premium camping experience with all meals during the trek
- See the confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers
- Airport pickup and drop
- Personalised dri-fit tshirts and goodies
- End-to-end experience. You don't have to worry about anything once you meet us in Leh :)
- Day 01: Arrive in Leh and stay at a hotel
- Day 02: Acclimatise day at Leh
- Day 03: Medical check-up and permit procedure
- Day 04: Travel from Leh to Shingra Yokma & trek to Sumo
- Day 05: Trek from Sumo to Tibb
- Day 06: Trek from Tibb to Nerak, the frozen waterfall
- Day 07: Trek from Nerak to Tibb
- Day 08: Trek from Tibb to Leh
- Day 09: Departure from Leh
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
- Carry hot water bags which can be used to keep yourself warmer inside the sleeping bag. Hot water would be provided by us during the trekking days.
- Cellular network is available only on the post-paid number
- Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
- 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 a Deluxe Hotel in Leh on double or triple sharing basis with dinner and breakfast (Accommodations as per the Premium/Standard/Basic package)
- 04 nights tented accommodation on double or triple sharing basis during the trek
- Meals: Dinner on Day 1, (BF/Dinner) meals on Day 2 & 3, (BF/Lunch/Dinner) meals from Day 4 to Day 8 and BF on Day 9
- Standard vegetarian food (plus eggs) for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the trek
- Hot drinking water facility during the trekking days
- Transportation as per the itinerary by NAC Vehicle, Leh to Shingra Yokma (Day 4) & Shingra Yokma to Leh (Day 8)
- Porter for personal luggage during trek up to 10 kg
- 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
- 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/ ALTOA / Adventure Insurance Premium / Any other authority
- Personal trekking gear
- Tips for guide, chef, porter, etc
- Food (Lunch) 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
Chadar Trek FAQs
How cold does it get on the Chadar Trek? What is the Chadar trek temperature usually like?
On an extremely cold day, the Chadar trek temperature can drop to -30 deg C. Average daytime temperatures are about -18 to -5 deg C on the Chadar Frozen River Trek.
What are the facilities in a Deluxe Hotel? How different are they from Homestays/Hostels?
Deluxe Hotels usually comes with a cozy warm room with private heater and private wash room. These rooms would be on twin sharing basis only. Do get in touch with us for the Chadar trek cost with Deluxe Hotels inclusive in our Premium Package.
What are the facilities in a Homestay? How different are they from Hostels?
Homestays usually have a few extra room for trekkers on the Chadar Trek in Ladakh. Lingshed, Zangla, and Karsha have excellent homestays with heaters in the living room that warm up the entire room in minutes. Do get in touch with us for the Chadar trek cost with Homestay inclusive in our Standard Package.
What kind of footwear do I need to wear on Chadar frozen river trek?
Most local porters wear gumboots on the Chadar trek to Leh Ladakh, easily available in Leh. This appears to be the most practical and cost-effective option for walking on the frozen Zanskar river. We will guide you on buying or renting these gum boots at Leh.
Will I need to wear crampons on the Chadar frozen river trek?
Crampons are not required because walking with crampons all day is exhausting. It's also difficult to walk on the uneven terrain of the frozen Zanskar river with crampons. The crampons will break the ice on the river and may cause injuries.
Does drinking water freeze in Chadar? How can we counter that?
To prevent freezing, drinking water should be kept warm. You are usually given hot water in your water bottles in the mornings. Keep this inside your day bag instead of the side pocket to avoid freezing. The best practice is to keep water in insulated water bottles so you can drink it throughout the day.
What kind of sleeping bags would work on the Chadar Trek?
You'll need sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius. Such sleeping bags are only used by mountaineers climbing Himalayan peaks above 6000m or on winter expeditions. We will provide sleeping bags of similar quality that will keep you warm. If you must bring your own, please choose a higher-quality sleeping bag. Do get in touch with us for more information on the sleeping bag brand, model and other details.
Are walking sticks essential in the Chadar trek?
Trekking on the frozen Zanskar river is very tricky. A pair of walking poles are essential. Walking Sticks are essential on the Chadar Trek. They help in balancing on ice and prevent a trekker from falling.
What kind of cameras would work/not work in that weather?
Any camera would work; it is the batteries which might not work. When the temperatures are low, the batteries discharge faster. Make sure you keep the cameras' batteries warm by putting them in your sleeping bag or inside your jacket so that they do not discharge. You should keep the new set of batteries wrapped in warm clothing like socks so that they don't discharge that easily.
Is there any provision for charging mobile phones and cameras?
Carry a power bank and use your mobile sparingly on the Chadar trek to Leh. Put your mobile on aeroplane mode whenever a signal is not available. Check for power banks that are compatible with charging camera batteries. You also need to ensure that your power banks do not get discharged. You can keep them warm by putting them in your sleeping bag or jacket or socks so they do not discharge.
What are the common injuries on Chadar Trek?
One of the major injuries on the Chadar trek to Ladakh is almost always the result of slipping and falling on ice. Be extremely cautious when walking on glassy ice surfaces, which are extremely slippery!
What are the medical facilities available during trekking?
We carry a first-aid kit available with us. Also, Insurance Co. and Leh Association have a Small Medical Checkup Center – Near Tilat Sumdo Camp Site.
Should I take my first-aid kit or general medicines while on the trek?
Yes, you should always carry your first-aid kit with you. Check with your doctor and carry all essential medicines. We will also provide you with a list of what to carry. We will also carry a basic first-aid kit with us.
What are the edibles we need to carry along with us?
During the trek, you will be given freshly cooked delicious food which is included in our package. You can carry energy drinks, cookies, chocolates, dry fruits, and nuts with you because they are high in calories and give you energy.
Should I train for physical fitness before I go on the Chadar trek? What are the challenges that we may face there?
Yes, being physically fit for any Himalayan Trek is highly recommended. It is advisable to begin some cardiovascular exercises at least a month before coming on the trek. Running, swimming, cycling, and yoga are all good options to start with. You can get in touch with us for a detailed exercise plan and guidance to get fit for a Himalayan Trek.
Here are some tips on how to get fit for a Himalayan trek.
What kind of clothing should I bring during the Chadar trek?
You should carry along proper winter wear, such as thermal clothes, fleece jackets, woolen jackets, and woollen socks, Beanie, scarf, etc. We will be providing you with a detailed list of things to pack along with you.
Will there be an A.T.M. on the Chadar trek route?
The last available A.T.M. will be at Leh city/Leh airport.
What is the Nearest airport for Chadar Trek?
Leh airport is the nearest airport where you have to go for the Chadar trek.
Which is the nearest big city? How to reach from here?
The nearest and only big city is Leh. From Leh, we will take care of transport to and fro to the trekking route and it is included in the trekking cost. You will start your journey towards Shingra Yokma on a bus. After the bus journey and arrival at Shingra Yokma, you start trekking towards the Sumo campsite, which will be your first campsite during the trek.
What types of stays/accommodations will be available on the Chadar trek?
You will be staying either in a homestay or a hotel in Leh based on the package you choose, and premium camping tents/camps during the trek.
Is a proper cellular network available on the Chadar trek route?
After Leh, you may not get a proper cellular network on the trek.
Will there be toilets/restrooms on the trail?
The Ladakh government sets up dry toilets at the campsites. They are made up of metal and fibre and are found to be quite sturdy. They also have secure doors. These toilets will be available at Shingra Koma, Tibb caves, and Nerak. We will also be setting up dry toilets near our campsite.
What is the total Chadar trek distance?
The total Chadar trek distance is around 60kms.
What is the Chadar trek height?
The highest point of the Chadar trek height is 11,100 ft (3,400 m) at Nerak. At Nerak, you will get to witness the beautiful frozen waterfall chadar trek- the famous Nerak waterfall.
What is the best time for Chadar frozen river trek?
Chadar trek's best time is supposed to be from early January to early February.
What is the Chadar trek price with TrekNomads?
Chadar trek cost with TrekNomads is ₹23,799 per person. To get more details about our Chadar trek package, you can reach out to us at email@example.com.