Duration: 09 Days
Grade: Moderate +
Max Altitude: 11200ft
Best Season: Jan - Feb
Max group size: 12
"CHADAR" refers to the blanket or sheet, as the Zanskar river transforms itself from a rapid river into a white blanket of ice during winter. The Trekkers will be in complete awe of this frozen spectacle. The massive blanket of ice ranges from a bluish tinge to a golden yellow when the sunlight falls directly into the gorge. Ice forms break and change colour every few hours. Travel magazines worldwide show incredible pictures of Buddhist monks walking bare feet on the frozen river. The adventurous and at times challenging trek across the Zanskar will include opportunities to savour ancient Buddhist monasteries and remotes villages within the depths of the Trans Zanskar ranges. At places the Chadar (or ice) does not form over the river. Trekkers then have to forge a new trail, while climbing over snow covered embankments to descend towards more stable portions of the ice. With multiple layers and sensible trekking, the Chadar trek is not a very difficult trek but what sets it apart is its unique experience. The scenery, atmosphere, the frozen river, sledges, unusual camp sites, caves and the ever changing Chadar. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Below is the brief itinerary and the detailed itinerary.
Day 1: Report to Leh & stay overnight
Day 2: Acclimatize at Leh
Day 3: Leh to Tilat Sumdo(by private bus or jeeps), camp at Tilat Sumdo.
Day 4: Trek from Tilat Sumdo to Shingra Koma, 9.5 kms, 6 hrs.
Day 5: Trek from Shingra Koma to Dibb cave, 15 kms, 7 - 8 hrs.
Day 6: Trek from Dibb cave to Nyerak Pullu, 12 kms, 7 hrs.
Day 7, 8 & 9: Return from Nyerak Pullu.
Day 1 & 2: Report at Leh. Stay over night.
As your aircraft enters the Ladakh region, look below to see the undulating mountain ranges enveloped in a white blanket of snow. The temperature in Leh is always in the negative. You must bring along a jacket, woolen cap and gloves (detailed list provided below). Leh is totally covered by a blanket of snow. Sometimes even the roads have a coating of thick ice. You must watch out when you walk on them due to the possibility of slipping and falling. The city of Leh is only partly open during the winter months. You will notice that there are only the shops catering to the local needs. Buy all your gears from your city and don't keep any major shopping to do at Leh. You should get used to the cold at Leh during the day, but get straight into your rooms once the sun goes down.
Day 3: Drive to Chilling. 3 hours. Trek to Tilat Sumdo. 2 kms 1 hour.
We start the day with a drive from Leh to Chilling. We will make a brief halt at the magnificent confluence of River Zanskar and Indus. Then we shall drive to Chilling, one of the most famous villages in Ladakh. This place is known for craftsmanship, especially the metal works. From here we finally move on to the Chaddar. . Take your first few steps on Chaddar carefully, so you can get a feel of the surface you are stepping on. The Chaddar surface can be varied, from weak to hard and with different textures. We will trek for around 1-2 hours along the magnificent frozen river Zanskar till we reach Tilat Sumdo. . Sumdo means confluence. On the opposite side are a few caves. The locals on their journey through the Chadar tend to stay in these caves. Tilat Sumdo will be your first experience of camping out in the freezing temperatures. Overnight in the cave/camp/tent.
Day 4: Trek from Tilat Sumdo to Shingra Koma.9.5 kms, 6 hours
Tilat Sumdo, like most parts of the Chadar, gets direct sunlight only during mid day. This is another reason why the Chadar forms and remains. The morning walk on the Chadar may feel like a walk inside a deep freezer. Your face should be the only exposed skin, however regardless of that, this will be a nice freezing experience. As we walk on the Chadar, listen to the sounds it makes. Depending on the thickness of the Chadar, the sounds change. You will soon start recognizing where the Chadar is thick and where it is thin and dangerous. At times do not fear to get down to your fours or even lie down on your tummy so you can crawl. Shingra Koma is almost 10kms away from Tilat Sumdo. Mid way through the trek around noon, find a sunny section where your cook can dish out a quick hot meal of Maggie and tea. Packed lunches are ruled out on the Chadar trek because the food will become way too cold by noon to be eaten. While on the Chadar, do not be surprised to spot pug marks. The big cats roam around pretty freely, though they are elusive to the human eyes. Shingra Koma is a big camping ground on your right, as you walk upstream. It’s right below a huge stone wall which is straight out of a hollywood movie. The Zanskar river takes a beautiful turn, right in front of the camp site, as sharp peaks rise on the other side of the river. Shingra Koma gets its name due to the abundance of a plant called as Shingra.
Day 5: Trek from Shingra Koma to Dibb cave. 15 kms, 7 - 8 hours
The trek from Shingra Koma to Dibb is a long one. It is also one of the most beautiful days of the trek. Watch the small waterfalls on the left standing still in the form of icefalls. A couple of hours into the days walk, we reach a massive waterfall on the left and we will see prayer flags fluttering on the trees in front of the waterfall. This place is revered by the Ladakhis. Surprisingly this waterfall won’t be frozen. You will notice the greenish moss growing on the rocks under the water. Legend goes that, one year the Nyerak Pullu ran dry and a holy man went to Kailash to pray for water. He came back with a pot full of water and 2 fishes. But there was a condition that he had to follow. He was restricted from placing the pot anywhere. He still did so and two fishes jumped off creating this massive waterfall. The rocks behind seem to have two nostrils. One which is full of water and the other dry. According to legend, this waterfall has its source at Kailash in Tibet. The lunch point for the day is exactly mid way and under an overhang of rocks. Post lunch, the Zanskar river passes through narrow gorges where the width of the river can be covered by 4 people holding hands. The narrow gorge hardly gets any sunlight, so the river is non existent. Generally, a thick chadar forms end to end here. Two more hours of walk through the various hues and forms of Chadar brings us to a large camping area called Dibb. To the left again are caves were 8 to 9 people can be comfortably accommodated. The Dibb campsite also has more dry vegetation around.
Day 6: Trek from Dibb to Nyerak Pullu. 12 kms, 7 hours
Once again, another magnificent day on the Chadar trek. Today we will be trekking from Dibb to Nyerak Pullu as we pass through a beautiful landscape of cliffs, gorges and the valleys of Chadar. We may even be lucky enough to get a sight of the mountain fox. 5 hours into the trek and after your lunch break, we will see the first sights of Nyerak Pullu. Prayer flags around Juniper shrubs by the Chadar signal that we are now close to Nyerak Pullu. A kilometer ahead lays the famous and much awaited Nyerak Pullu waterfall, also known as the frozen waterfall. The Nyerak Pullu pul or bridge lies just ahead of the waterfall. It’s a nice experience walking on the rickety bridge and catching the sight of the waterfall from the top. There is a lone shelter at the Nyerak Pullu campsite which serves as a Rafting point in the summer months. During winters, it serves as a shelter for the Chadar trekkers. Nyerak Pullu is notorius for its really cold nights and winds. The temperature can dip as low as -25 or lower. This is going to be the coldest point of your trek so be prepared.
Return from Nyerak Pullu:
The return path is theoritically a retrace of the route you took the last 3 days, but in reality can feel like a totally new one. We will keep 01 day as the buffer day. The dynamics of the Chadar can make the whole place look and feel different. Old Chadar breaks, new ones form where there was none earlier, and the texture of the Chadar changes. After reaching back, the journey comes to an end. In short, your experience on this trip and what you see, will be a very delightful and unique experience.
Between -5° to -10°C during the day. Can drop to -25°C during the night at some camps
1. Full sleeves (Shirts / T-shirts)
2. Track Pants (Synthetic, quick dries) & Cotton pants
3. Windproof jacket
4. Fleece / Full-sleeve Woolen sweater
5. Thermal inner wear (upper & lower)
6. Woolen cap
7. Woolen gloves + synthetic glove (water proof).
9. 02 layers of Woolen socks (extra pairs to be carried)
10. Trekking/Hiking shoes
11. Raincoat / Poncho
12. 1 pair of thermal inners
13. Hot Water bottle/bag
14. Cap / Hat
15. Walking stick / Trekking pole
16. Sunscreen Lotion
17. Lip Balm
18. Torch / Flashlight (with extra batteries)
19. Medicines, if requiring any specific medication
21. Sunglasses (No blue coloured sunglass — they don’t block UV)
22. Personal toiletries
23. While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes
1. Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)
2. Meals while on trek (Veg.) (Egg)
3. Trek equipments.
5. First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder.
6. Qualified & experienced Professional trek Leader, Guide and Support staff
7. Transport from Manali and return.
In the event of cancellation of trek/adventure activity services due to any avoidable / unavoidable reasons we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive advice in writing, and cancellation charges would be as follows: -
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