Chadar Trek | Wheel Wanderers
Known for its stunning beauty with the snow capped mountains and covering the Zanskar river with ice, Chadar trek is one of the most popular trek in the Himalayas. If you love trekking and exploring the beauty of the mountains then this trek is a must visit for you. The magnificence of the trek lies in the trail that wanders through the entrancing gorges and overpowering canyons of the Zanskar Valley. As trekking through the ice can be dangerous at times, let’s make this easier for you with this Guide to the Chadar Trek.
Mostly known for its mesmerizing beauty of a blanket of ice covering the whole river, Chadar is very famous among the trekkers. Once you reach there you will be illusion as you are walking on a sheet of ice. This is how the trail got its name ‘Chadar’. This trek has slowly gained its significance among the professional trekkers as well as the amateurs. You will be starting your trek from a small village from where you can see the river in its frozen state.
The beauty of Chadar can be best enjoyed during the winters and as you will be travelling during these periods bring your warmest Jackets and dozing sacks and great shoe. You also need to keep in mind about the weather conditions of this region and plan accordingly. These help perpetually in keeping the body warm and anticipate cold sores. Most of the time you will be spending your evenings in the cave and also with the locals who are said to be very warm hearted.
Leh is impossible to reach in winters. Hence, the only entry point is the Ladakh Airport, the highest airport in the world. The moment you land at the Leh airport, you will feel the fresh and crisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature. Most of the shops are closed during this time of the year, and the chill in the air is just a precursor of what lies ahead. The night is spent in a cozy guest house.
Day 02: Leh to Chiling to Tilat Sumdo (3200m) 4 hrs drive (Taxi/Bus)
Start off our journey with a drive to Tilad. The ride takes you along the river of Indus to the village of Nimu. Stop by at the confluence point for a while to sink in the view. The road then goes past Chilling to Tilad. To reach the campsite, cross the frozen river of Zanskar; and this is when you take the first steps on the Chadar (blanket). It takes a while to get the hang of walking on the ice sheet. In the evening, pitch tents on the banks of Zanskar. A few warm-up exercises are done to keep warm. As the sun sets, it drags the temperature down with it, and its time to tuck into the sleeping bags to start the trek the next day.
Day 03: Trek Tilat Sumdo to Gyalpo (3300m) 5-6 hrs.
The biggest challenge of this day from now on would be to get out of the warm sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside. The steaming cups of tea provided to the team give ample motivation. Day 03 is a long walking session on the blanket of ice on the river. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can have various forms. It can be a cold, hard surface of the slippery ice, or it can have snow dust on it providing a good grip. Eventually, you get used to walking on the Chadar. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake hence have hot soupy noodles at regular intervals. Reach the Gyalpo campsite by evening, where the tents will already be pitched by the porters. The campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and mountain walls. The view is fascinating. Have an early dinner to start off early the next day.
Day 04: Gyalo to Tibb Cave (3300m) 4-5 hrs
Have proper breakfast, today is the longest walk of the day – almost 14 km. Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the mountains on either side of the river keeps the sunlight away from the Chadar for the most part of the day. There are numerous big & small caves in these mountains. At Tibb, there is a big cave which is the dwelling point of all porters. They welcome you warm-heartedly and can share a cup of buttermilk with them.
Day 05: Tibb Cave to Nyerak (3400m) 5-6 hrs.
Today is the most spectacular day of the trek.Trek to the Nyerak Village, the place where all Zanskaris live. Walking on the river, coloursreach the Sacred Juniper trees. The locals give us a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a token of good luck and good health. Here, you can also see the biggest frozen waterfall in the region. The sun rays play with the ice to show the beautiful rainbow colours. You can see dozcolorsin this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. The Nyerak village lies several feet above the river, an hour-long trek. The camp is set up close to the river.
Day 6: Nyerak to Tibb Cave (3300m) 4-5hrs
Start the return journey and make way back to the Tibb cave. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and is constantly changing. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and it will almost be impossible to know that youve had been here before. You would also be meeting a lot of monks and locals here.
Day 07: Tibb Cave to Gyalpo (3300m) (3-4hrs)
Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today. The high walls of the mountains look almost like castle walls. This region also has a lot of foxes, ibex and snow leopards. If you are lucky enough to spot a Snow Leopard, that would be a cherry on the cake.
Day 08: Tibb Cave to Tilat do to Chilling to Leh
This is the last day of walking on the blanket of ice. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. Sleep in a warm guest house again at Leh.
Day 09: Departure
Take a flight back from Leh
All Accommodation on Twin Sharing basis with all meals during trek & Breakfast & Dinner in Leh only.
Vehicle Transfer for Shopping and sightseeing on Day 1 and Day 8th of Stay in Leh.
Two men tent, Kitchen, and dining tents.
Stool Table and mattresses
Food veg and non-veg during the trek.
Cook, Helper, Expert Mountaineering guide.
Individual Porter for Every Traveler.
Permit fee, wildlife fees, and camping charges.
Trekking Shoes and clothing
Medical evacuation charges.
Any kind of repatriation charges.
Damages/ claims of any nature.
Expenses of personal nature like telephone calls, Laundry, and any kind of hard or soft drinks.
Any other expense not mentioned in the cost inclusion column.
Any cost Escalations Due to natural Reasons
Meals other than cost inclusions
Any kind of insurance, Medical evacuation charges, Travel insurance, repatriation charges.
Damages/ claims of any nature, Expenses of personal nature like telephone calls, Laundry.
Any kind of hard or soft drinks.
Any kind of personal clothing
Any other expense not mentioned in the cost inclusion column.
Any cost arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Personal porter to carry Luggage
Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated)
Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
GST of 5% percent as per updated government regulations
Things to carry
Duffel back with personal gear
Garbage bag (preferably micro-polythene disposable bags)
Waterproof, high ankle hiking boots or gumboots to wear over hiking/trekking shoes
Half three-point crampons or front spikes for grip on ice
Seven pairs of thermal, thick wool and synthetic socks and seven pairs of liner socks
Fleece pants/Inner thermals/Quick-dries/Waterproof outer pants
Fleece jacket/Windproof jacket
Thermal inners, both lower and upper
Good waterproof outers
Wool hat that covers the ears
Long-sleeved thermal shirts/light fleece shirts for trekking
Two pairs of fleece/woollen inner gloves
Outer synthetic water-proof gloves
Sunglasses with UV protection
Lip protection + Moisturiser with high SPF
Two water bottles, preferably with insulated cover
Headlamp/flashlight with spare batteries - cold kills batteries
Camera with spare batteries and memory cards - cold kills batteries
Lightweight toiletries, including hand sanitizer
Personal first aid kit, including medicines for high altitude sickness
Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport
NH 1D, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101