GRADE: Challenging because of cold. Attractions: Ladakh monasteries, Frozen Zanskar River, and Chilling winter. No of days: 10. The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter-trail in Zanskar region of Ladakh. Its walls are near vertical cliffs up to 600 m high and the Zanskar River (a tributary of the Indus) is only 5 m wide in places. The Chadar Trek is on the frozen Zanskar River which provides an access route to the Zanskar Valley and is used as a trail by locals and tourists during the winters. It takes place on the trade route that has been used by the indigenous people for centuries and is a fairly well established trek. Chadar trek is a thrilling and adventurous trek. In the local language “chadar” means layer- indicating the layer of ice that covers the river. The chadar trek is basically performed on the frozen Zanskar River. During the summer this river doesn’t disappoint its enthusiastic tourists as it becomes a perfect location for river rafting expedition and during the winters it transforms into an ice sheet where the famous Chadar trek is performed. The frozen Zanskar river served and still serves as the traditional and only way of connect between Leh and Zanskar for the locals in the harsh winters of Ladakh. It’s being used by the locals for centuries. The documentary of National Geographic Channel first brought this journey of the locals to the outside world and since then Chadar - The Frozen River Trek has hit the popularity burst. It’s rated as one of the best treks existing on the planet by many.
|Day 1||Leh: Arrive at Leh and transfer to hotel. Free day to explore Leh city. Evening visit Shanti Stupa, Overnight in hotel in Leh.|
|Day 2||Leh: Acclimatisation day.|
|Day 3||Leh- Chilling to Shingra- Post breakfast drive until Guru Dho along with the porters (2.5 hrs). Start walking from the bridge point beyond Guru dho on the ice of frozen Zanskar river. After an hour stop for hot lunch at Takmar Yogma. Enjoy beautiful view from the junction where Zanskar river meets with the Zara Chu. Post lunch leave for Shingra (1.5 to 2 hrs). Reach Shingra and set the camp for overnight stay.|
|Day 4||Shingra- Tib bao- Morning pack up the camp and start trek on ice of the frozen Zanskar River – Chadar. The Zanskar Valley is the most isolated of the Trans-Himalayan valleys and that true sense of remoteness will become all the more evident as we approach our camp. Lunch halt after walking for 3 hrs. This day there is more of zig- zag crossing and the valley gets narrower. Arrive at Tip Yogma and set the camp for overnight stay.|
|Day 5||Tib bao - Nerak- Post breakfast pack up the camp and start walking on the plain ice chadar. The whole view doesn’t change a lot today. We encounter some spots of hot springs and waterfalls in Zanskar due to which the ice becomes less strong and needs to be frequently checked by the guide. In case the ice is broken or thin we may have to climb a small peak to avoid river crossing. This day we walk almost 5 – 6 hrs. Nyrek village is situated just above the cave where we plan to setup the camp. There is a small cave which can accommodate very few people.
Arrive Nryakpullu and set the camp for overnight stay.
|Day 6||Nerak- Tib bao - Start trek post breakfast. After walking for an hour we reach a place called Omma which is considered the worst part in case of bad weather. Here, in case of broken/thin ice we have to take a longer route.|
|Day 7||Tib bao - Shingra(5 hours)
|Day 8||Drive back to Leh.|
|Day 9||Transfer to Airport- Post early breakfast, transfer to the airport to board flight to onward destination.|
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