- Trek Overview
- Inclusions / Exclusions
Chadar is a trek that needs little introduction. It has gained fame internationally as one of the treks you have to put as on your bucket list– after all, the trek is entirely on a frozen river. The Zanskar river, which incidentally is a rafting destination in summer, comes to a standstill in the winters and becomes a route that connects Zanskaris to rest of Ladakh. No day on the frozen Zanskar, called the Chadar meaning “blanket”, is the same. Sometimes the ice you walk on is a thick sheet of white, sometimes it is a transparent and you see the frozen bubbles rising to the surface. And sometimes the ice curves around the gorge and the electric blue river gasps to life in middle. This trek is an experience. Couple it with the seclusion of Ladakh in winters and you have yourself a unique winter experience!
Ladakh is bordered by the Greater Himalayas in the west and south, the Karakoram in the north and the Tibetan Plateau in the east. These ranges form a natural barrier and does not allow clouds to enter this valley making it a rain shadow region and thus a cold desert. The term Ladakh translates to land of high passes. Some of the highest motorable roads in the world are here.In winters Leh isn’t accessible by road and most tourist places are shut barring a few hotels and a few sightseeing places.
How are we different from others?
We take smaller groups. We camp in non common places where we will have limited crowd and we take our trekkers for lots of exploration hikes after reaching the camp.
We also make sure you get a taste of the local culture, local cuisine, and winters in a Himalayan household!
- Snow/Snowfall on trail – Very likely
- Minimum Temperatures – The temperature is a lot cooler in Leh as compared to other areas in the Himalayas.
Afternoon upto -5 degrees
Nights – Around -30 degrees (extreme)
DISCLAIMER FOR CHADAR TREK: Over the recent years the Chadar trek has become very unpredictable. Due to the changing weather patterns the Chadar does not form as it used to earlier. Additionally, the Government and police authorities too have gotten involved in the running of the Chadar trek which results in added complications. They come up with last minute regulations, at times they cancel the entire Chadar expedition, not allowing any trekkers to go on the Chadar due to the unpredictability of its forming.
Keeping into account all of the above, in the likelihood of the Chadar trek being cancelled (by the government/police authorities or it not being formed), we will take the participants on an alternate trip in Ladakh. This trip will include trekking in and around Ladakh, maybe snow leopard spotting hike. The itinerary for this trip will be shared in case when Chadar trek gets cancelled.
Kindly note, we will not be issuing a refund or a voucher if the Chadar trek gets cancelled. We will be taking all the participants on an alternate trek/trip in Ladakh itself.
Things to Get – Chadar
- Good Sturdy Backpack: Prefer a trekking pack over a backpacking one. The size of the backpack depends upon the participant. Normally for a 5-6 day treka 40-50 litre pack should
- Shoes: For chadar, it is best to trek in Gumboots. Gumboots are water proof and grip well on the ice.Gumboots are available in the Leh market for 400 INR.You will need warm camp shoes too. Your normal trekking shoes can work as camp shoes.
- Socks: 3 pair cottons and 4 pairs of woolens. (You get very good woolen socks in Leh market. I’d recommend you buy from there)
- Trek pants(Ideally Water Resistant): They are very important and help you a great deal on your trek. You can get two trek pants on this trek both should be slightly thick, winter trekking pants. If you don’t have a trek pants you can replace it with Thick Gym Track pants too. Don’t trek in Jeans/Pants. You get quality trekking pants in leh for 800 INR
- T shirt/Base layer: One can get 2 T shirts/trekking base layer on the trek, both of which should be thick and full sleeve. Avoid cotton and prefer dry fit. https://www.decathlon.in/p/8369745_mens-warm-long-sleeve-snow-hiking-t-shirt-sh100-black.html
- Fleece/ Sweater/Good quality Hoodie: Onecan get 2 fleece jacket or sweater (Prefer fleece over sweater and Hoodies)if they are not sure about their down jacket else get only one. Fleece is preferred over sweater as it is lightweight and easy to carry.Sweaters and Jackets can be heavier than Fleece for the warmth they offe If (https://www.decathlon.in/p/8505196_mens-fleece-mh520-black.html)
- Down/ Padded Jacket– Down/Padded jacket (Upto -20 degress capacity) is a must for Chadar. If you are not sure about the quality of your padded/Down jacket or your resistance to cold get an extra (https://www.decathlon.in/p/8373600_men-s-mountain-trekking-down-jacket-trek-900-black.html)
- Thick track pants for camp – These are specifically for cold evenings at the campsite.This can be ignored if you are comfortable wearing your thick trekking pants in the camp.You get good camp pants in Leh market for 500 INR. These can be substituted by thick Pyjamas too.
- Thermals : 2pair. We wear thermals on top only upon reaching the campsite not while trekking. If you don’t want to invest a too much you get resonably good thermals in Leh market. You can wear one into Leh and purchase one from Leh.
- WindproofJacket: All rain proof can be used as Wind proofs. Required as an additional layer during trekking in windy conditions. Avoid if you have a rain proof jacket.
Option A – Rain set –
One Waterproof jacket (3000 mm waterproofing), Rain proof pants and Bag cover
Option two – Poncho
Covers your body and bag completely.
I ideally recommend Option 1 as poncho makes trekking difficult.
- Woolen Cap/ Balaclava: (2) To cover your ears and head. Get a thick fleece lining one. Can be purchased from Leh market for 100 INR
- Neck Warmer/ Scarf (1): For evenings.Can be purchased from Leh market for 100 INR
- Gloves: 2 gloves out of which 1 can be water proof and one woollen. The waterproof one has to bepadded ( https://www.decathlon.in/p/8398722_adult-downhill-skiing-gloves-100-black.html)and a size larger than you normally use so that you can wear both your gloves together if required.
- Suncap– 1
- Sunglasses – 1(carry an extra if you want)
- Toiletries – Also include sunscreen, moisturizer and lip-cream
- Headlamp/Torch (Prefer a head lamp) -1with extra batteries.
- 2 water bottles (1 litre each) – One has to bethermas Flask. Avoid hydration packs.
- Camp shoes/Flip flops – Prefer your normal trekking shoes
- Plastic coversfor inside the backpack to keep your clothes dry
- Daypack– Required if you have a summit days climb.Preferably one that can be compressed.
- Documents: 2 passport sized photograph, Address and Photo proof (Driving License or Aadhar card), Doctor’s Medical certificate saying that you are fit for the trek (I reserve the right to not take you on the trek, if you fail to produce this).
- Boarding pass: We need your boarding pass for the medical check up. Without this you wont be allowed on the trek
- Day 1: Arrive at Leh (3300 mts). Overnight stay in a Hotel. Evening hikes to Shanti Stupa for Acclimatization.
- Day 2: Acclimatization day at Leh. You can devote today for local sightseeing. A vehicle can be arranged for you at an additional cost. Trek briefing in the evening.
- Day 3: Mandatory medical check up at SNM Hospital. According to the new rule laid out by ALTO(All Ladakh tour operators association),trekkers attempting Chadar are supposed to undergo a mandatory medical check up at SNM hospital on the 3rd day after arrival. Trekkers failing to do this will be not allowed to go on the trek.
- Day 4: Drive to Shingra Yokma from Leh via Chilling and trek to Tsomo Paldar. (Drive 65 kms, Trek Distance - 3Kms, Trek Time - 2 Hours)
- Day 5: Trek from Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave (Trek Distance -10 Kms, Trek Time -6-7 hours)
- Day 6: Trek from Tibb cave to Nerak via Hotong. Camp at Hotong (Trek Distance -18 kms , Trek Time - 6-7 hours)
- Day 7: Trek from Hotong to Yokmado (Trek Distance - 13 kms, Trek Time - 6- 7 hours)
- Day 8: Yokmado to Shingra Yokma (Trek Distance - 10 kms, Trek Time -5 hours, Drive 3 hours). Night stay in Hotel in Leh.
- Day 9: Trek ends today. Drop arranged for airport
- Complete Food (except lunches in Leh)
- Complete accommodation (Twin/Triple sharing basis) for the entire trek
- Hotel stay in Leh
- Airport Pickup and Drop. (On trek specific dates only. Note you have to manage your travel yourself if you come early or leave later)
- Rentals for all common gear provided to you like tent, sleeping bags, crampons etc.
- Technical gear provided to you like Ropes, harness, carabiners and crampons
- Camping charges
- Guide and expertise charges
- 5% GST
- Meals or drinks purchased by participants during the travel or trek (example biscuits, fruits etc)
- Rentals for personal gear (Refer things to get section)
- Trek Insurance – Insurance is available at 2000 INR at Leh for the duration of stay.
- Medical checkup cost on day 3 – 200 INR
- ALTOA (ALL LADAKH TOUR OPERATORS ASSOSIATION ) Fees to facilitate medical check up – 800 INR
- Forest entry permission – The forest department charges 2000 INR per trekker as forest entry fees only after you clear the medical checkup on day 3.
- Any extra government charges.
- Flight/Train/Bus ticket till Leh.
- Backpack offloading charges. You are expected to carry your own backpack. Trekkers unable to do so can opt for a porterage service at 600/day
Leh is only accessible by flight in winters. It is advised you book your flight tickets as early as possible.
Yes, one can go to these places providing you are acclimatizing well. We can arrange a cab at an additional cost for all the participants that are interested.
It is not advisable to go to that altitude on your second day at Leh. You can visit it after the trek.
Yes. A lot of trekkers visit leh in the winters and so many hotels are open around that time of the year.
A certified trek leader, a naturalist, cook & porters will accompany you during the trek
The common perception is that alcohol makes you feel warmer, however it also dehydrates you & dehydration can be fatal while trekking. Hence consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Smoking in camps is not allowed.
Wild animals do not frequent camps. They tend to stay away.
We've been organizing treks for over two years and have had many female trekkers on our treks. In fact, a lot of them come solo for treks. There has never been a complaint about the atmosphere of a trek, about other trekkers or our professionalism. They have all been kind enough to leave a review on our website
In all the camps where the accommodation is in guest houses/home stays, there will be proper toilets. On the day of camping, we will have toilet tents, the standard, most hygienic way of answering nature’s call. A deep pit will be dug in the ground and once you’re done, you will have to use a shovel & throw in some dirt from a mound of dirt kept nearby. These will be dry toilets with no water hence please carry tissue roll for the toilet tent (refrain from using wet wipes as they are not bio degradable), for the rest of the days, you can carry rolls as per your convenience.
Yes, you are ideally expected to carry your backpack. But you do have an option of offloading your bags on a mule for an additional cost. The cost will be 600/ per day per bag. One is expected to inform us about offloading 1 month prior to the trek
This is not a very difficult trek as you hardly gain altitude. On most occasions it is just a plain walk, so one doesn’t require a great deal of physical preparation. The cold is a bigger challenge. First timers can do this trek, provided they have good personal gear that keeps them warm.