Chadar Trek is a most demanding winter trek which is in Ladakh region of India. It is also known as the Frozen river trek, It involves walking on frozen Zanskar river.
During the trek one can cover beautiful landscapes, It offers a unique and challenging adventure.
The Trek route on frozen river was a trade route during old days, It is one of the killer treks in India not because of technicality but dangerous because of uncertainty.
Table of Contents
Why it is known as Chadar Trek?
Chadar is the thick layer of ice that forms over the Zanskar river during winters, mainly in the month of January, the entire area covered with snow and it gets so cold that the temperature drops down between -30 to -35 degrees this led to the formation of chadar over the Zanskar river, which freezes it forms layers of ice known as Chadar.
Walking on Chadar to reach The Grand icefall of Ladakh is known as Chadar Trek.
Chadar Trek During Old Days
Chadar trek in Ladakh was a trade route in the early ’90s.
In winter, people from the village used to come to Ladakh by walking over the frozen river as It saves their time and is an easy way to connect to Ladakh during that time transport was not an option available.
What it takes to do the Chadar trek?
- Age: 15 Yrs and above
- Experience: At least 1 high altitude treks close to 4000m/13,100 ft
- Knowledge: Must know the basics of trekking in snow.
- Luggage: Must be able to carry own luggage of 12-15 kilos backpack.
- Health Monitor:
- Pulse Rate: 60-90 bpm
- BP Reading: Diastolic 70-85, Systolic 100-130mm Hg
- Breathing: 12-20 breaths per minute
- Make sure you don’t have Kidney or Liver issues
- Ongoing heart problems, Asthma, Epilepsy
- No pacemaker implant
- Average fitness to walk long distances
Basic Backpack Essentials for Chadar Trek.
- 50-60 ltr Backpack with Rain cover
- Walking stick
- Water bottle
- Personal Medical Kit
Chadar Trek Complete Guide
Chadar trek is a 35-40 km one-way trek. The specialty of the Chadar Trek is the beauty that you encounter and the life-changing experiences during the trek, It makes you stronger and more confident.
As we all know, Ladakh is known as ‘Heaven on Earth’ – you can imagine how beautiful it is to walk on the frozen river. At the final stage of the trek, you will find “THE GRAND ICEFALL OF LADAKH”.
If you want to be a part of the Chadar Trek 2024 and want to witness the thrilling adventure then you must have to register yourself and book the slot with the best travel company and prepare yourself mentally and physically for the journey.
Details of Chadar Trek
- Altitude : 11125 ft.
- Difficulty Level : Difficult
- Best Time : January to February
- Distance : 55-60 Km approx.
- Temp : 0 to -30 Degrees
Registration Process for Chadar Trek, Ladakh
This blog will help to plan your trek and will guide you to the registration process for the Chadar Trek, The thing you are now looking for – is the information required to partake Chadar trek below, I will provide some guidance and the actual cost.
- Enroll yourself with any travel organizers registered under ALTOA (All Ladakh Tour Operators Association) for the Chadar trek. Usually, they will charge you for the entire trek somewhere around 18000 – 22000. It depends upon group size.
- After arrival, get acclimatized. You then have to undergo a medical test. (Note: Medical Test Document is attached below )
- Apart from that, you have to pay an Environmental Fee of Rs 2200/-
- One another fee of Rs 100/- for wildlife protection.
- Permit for Chadar trek.
Once you register, your group is ready for adventurous Chadar Trek. Below we have put down all the documents necessary and the fee structure charged by the tour operator.
Itinerary for Chadar Trek, Ladakh
Day 1 & Day 2 – Ladakh Acclimatization
Once we reached Ladakh, we met our local tour operator at the airport and headed toward the hotel, We rested and as there was acclimatization for next 2 Days. So on both days, we covered some famous sightseeing places nearby like Tsemo Castle and Shanti Stupa and enjoyed the local market it was one of the best thing to enjoy the local cuisine and will help you to know Ladakh better.
Day 3 – Medical and Registration
On the 3rd day, to undergo a medical test, we reached the city hospital in the morning to get a fitness check. There was a Chadar trek registration camp right next door. So we completed all the formalities and paid the fees. Fees are generally not included in the package.
Day 4 – Shingra Koma to Tsomo Paldar
In the morning, we started early. It took us 4 hours to cover 70km by vehicle and later checked in at Shingra Koma. From here, we started our journey to Tsomo Paldar. The mountains stood tall as we walked on the frozen river after covering a distance of 5-6km. After reaching, we stayed overnight in the valley. The valley was so beautiful as the arm of the Milky Way beauties the sky.
Day 5 – Tibb Cave
In spite of the cold the previous night, in the morning, we packed our bags. We had our breakfast and headed towards the next campsite, Tibb Cave. Along the way, we stopped for our lunch and a small tea break. It was a bright sunny day.
The scenic beauty fell short of words. After covering a distance of ~15 km, we reached Tibb cave.
Day 6 – Grand Icefall of Ladakh
In fact, we started at the same pace and covered the 10-15km distance, and in the evening, we reached “The Grand icefall of Ladakh’. During the walk, we faced some challenges. At a certain point, the Chadar was open. As a result, we walked over the boulders taking different routes. But, the feeling is enigmatic.
Walking on the Chadar in the deep valley reminds me of the grand canyons of the United States. That night we stayed at the campsite right next to the grand icefall. We spent some quality time at the location while being cozy inside our sleeping bags. The cold was unbearable.
Day 7 – Rescue Chadar Trek
Unfortunately, we got the news about Chadar breaks. We had to halt overnight and wait for Chadar to be ready and walkable. The next day, it was the same. All in all, we had to stay back again. It will take more time for the Chadar, and no one can cross the river.
(If this had not happened, we would have reached well on time on the 8th Day at Leh. Never did we imagine this situation. But the experience was raw, and we were mentally prepared to face this. We were super excited.)
Rescue in Chadar Trek, Ladakh
After spending two days, rescue people came and told us to head back again to Nyraek village. At the icefall, the conditions started changing, and there was snow everywhere. The weather was getting worse in front of us. We ran to save our lives.
After spending a night in Nyraek Village, we ran sort of cash. We did not have rations too. So, the next day we walked to the Nyraek village. We climbed for 3 hours as some people told us that there was a satellite phone we could access. After speaking to our families, we picked up our luggage. Upon reaching Nyraek, at the helipad, army personnel got the news that some tourists were stuck.
The next day, the rescue mission started. Other groups also reached the village as choppers came to see us, but there was no place to land. Due to the heavy snowfall, the helipad was under the snow. We took the initiative and made space for the helicopter to land. After which, the rescue started.
First time in my life, I saw a chopper landing right next to me. It was amazing. Soon, the people who were hurt took priority, and thus, the window for the day was closed. Again we spent the night with the Braveheart’s Army personnel (special thanks to Ladakh scouts)
Meanwhile, we thank Tashi Bhaiya, a localite, who gave us shelter and food. He helped us in our bad times. In next morning, after prayer, we boarded the chopper and flew back to Ladakh.
Videos on Chadar Trek – Experience the Journey
We have covered the entire Chadar trek journey to give you an idea about the Chadar Trek as it is covered in parts and posted in n our Youtube Channel @Joshimilestoner.
Chadar Trek – Part 01 Journey
Chadar Trek – Part 02 Journey
Chadar Trek – Part 03 Journey
Chadar Trek – Part 04 Final Part
For any update or announcement regarding Chadar Trek Visit Official Site – Click Here
Are you a Trek agency and looking to promote Chadar trek for 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chadar Trek is Difficult?
Chadar trek comes under difficult category because of tough climatic conditions as temp. at night drops down to -30degrees and some uncertainties like chadar breaks because of global warming.
How much will it cost for Chadar Trek?
If you are interested in this trek, the budget will vary from 18000 INR to 24000 INR. This is just for registration, and the trek package includes food, accommodation, etc. But one has to carry their bag and personal trekking equipment. If somebody wants a private porter, then factor in additional cost accordingly.
Chadar Trek is open after Covid or Not?
Trek starts in January in winters because of covid 19 trek 2021 and 2022 stand cancelled due to the Omnicron but now it is again started if you wanted to book for the treks bookings are open.
Where to get more information about Chadar Trek
Before coming for the trek you can get in touch with the local tour operator about the dates of the trek or you can check on the official website for any update.
What to Carry for Chadar Trek?
You have to be fully prepared come with winter clothing that can stand even in sub zero temp, you can read the blog for more information.
Chadar Trek Dates for 2024?
Chadar Trek booking is now open for 2024 it starts rom 6th January till 11th Feb 2024.
Web Story on Chadar Trek
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