Best Time and Season to Visit Chadar Trek - 2020

Winter is the best time to Chadar Trek as the Zanskar river freezes during this time making it available for the adventure seekers. The temperatures fluctuate from -5 degree Celsius to -25 degree Celsius, extremely piercing within the skin. Be careful as you step on this straight walk as there are chances you might dip your feet in the numbing water as the temperature fluctuations of the day and night cause a lot of broken trails. The extreme negative temperature of the winter season makes Chadar Trek the toughest winter trek of India.

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Being the best season to visit Chadar trek, winters experience a lot of trekking enthusiasts from all over the world flocking to Ladakh to test their limits and endurance. The panoramic view of the majestic Himalayas will motivate you to stand against all the difficulties of the trek and reach the point of triumph. Cold is the constant enemy you need to fight during the trek as the Chadar Trek is only possible in this season. 

You must prepare well prior to your trip and pack all the essentials according to the guidelines of the operators. Make sure you choose your operator well as it can directly affect your experience at the Chadar Trek.  January and February are the only months ideal for the Chadar Tek. When the Zanskar River freezes into a thick sheet of ice due to the extreme weather conditions, the Chadar Trek is set up just ready for the adventurous ice trail that you were looking for.

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Chadar Trek 2020, Ladakh - Frozen River Trek Book @ ₹19,500
  • 9D/8N
  • Leh
  • 9D/8N
  • Leh
₹26,500 ₹19,500
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Available Group Departure for Chadar Trek 2020:
January:
SOLD OUT: 12,19,23,29, Jan and 1st Feb and 3rd Feb
Very Few Slots left:
10,13,18,24,25,26 in January
Open Slots:
11,14,15,16,20,21,22,31 January 2020 
2,3,7 February 2020

Quick Facts:
Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -20 to -30 degrees (during the night)
Trekking Distance:  62 km
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult 
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Chadar Trek Cost: Starting from ₹19,500. (Prices are Dynamic and are subject to availability of slots)

Highlights of Chadar Trek 2020:

- Ladakh has always captivated visitors with its magical charm and beauty. Be it the picturesque mountain peaks, azure lakes or the challenging trekking trails, this scenic valley is known for all. While during the summers, the region adorns the most vibrant colors of nature, during the winters it is embraced with heavy snowfalls that cut off the entire region from the rest of the world.

- Nestled deep within the whirly passages of the snow-clad mountains, this frozen river also entices thousand of trekkers from different corners of the world. 

- Popularly known as the 'Chadar Trek' due to the formation of the thick blanket of the snow, it is considered as one of the challenging as well as tricky treks in the world. 

- In some places, there may be cracks in the ice and when this happens, the only way to continue with the trek is to hike through the snowy rocks and boulders beside the river. 

Thrillophilia Exclusive: (Available only to trekkers who have booked with Thrillophilia)
Option to change the tour plan:
Till day 3, if you feel that you can’t do this trek or the Govt. bodies declare you unfit for the trek, don’t get disheartened as the first 5 trekkers from the group can opt for an alternate package “Flavour of Ladakh” at no additional cost.
(To know more, hit the Send Enquiry button and get in touch with the Trek Expert)



About the Destination:

Ladakh is the home to numerous natural wonders, but the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land is the Chadar Trek. The ultimate thrill of walking upon the frozen waters of Zanskar River in extremely low temperatures sets this trek apart in the list of extreme adventures. Adding grace to the beauty of Ladakh with its unique adventure experience, the Chadar Trek 2020 has the kind of charm that is second to no other adventure.

The frozen Zanskar River trek is actually a connecting link between the villages of Zanskar Valley and the town of Chilling in Ladakh and acts as the only and the most stable way of staying connected to the rest of world for the people here in the months of extreme winter. Passing through the deep valley, the frozen river is bounded by huge walls of mountains on both sides, making a person feel like walking amidst high castle walls. Frozen Waterfalls, flowing green river on the trek, the cold temperatures and the warm smiles of the local Ladakhis who are going by their normal day are the elements that make the Chadar Lake and in fact, all of Ladakh a beautiful paradise to visit. 

Located in the midst of two great mountain ranges of the world, the Himalayas and the Karakoram, the land of Ladakh is blessed with many of its own mountain ranges, like that of the Zanskar. And with all the amazing mountains, glaciers and rivers, one of them better served frozen, Ladakh is never short of surprises to leave you spellbound.

About the Chadar Trek:

Chadar Trek in Ladakh takes the element of trekking and adds its own element of extreme adventure in the form of walking on a thick sheet of ice. The river Zanskar freezes over in the months of winters in Ladakh, creates a kind of sheet of ice on it, hence the name “Chadar”. After arrival in Leh, you will be visiting the market of Leh for some shopping before getting checked by the government officials on your fitness for the rather challenging trek in the Himalayas. The adventure of Chadar Trekking 2020 is planned in such a way that you will be covering a distance of almost 65 kilometres by trekking. 

You will get a transfer to Shingra Yokma from Leh via Chilling and Tilad Do for your first taste of walking on the sheet of ice. You will also get acclimatized with the sub-zero temperatures here, as well as figure out where is the best place to plant your foot on the ice. The Zanskar frozen river trek has taken its form because of the extreme temperatures, and so it is extremely important that you take ample time and precautions here. The next day will be the last day for you to opt for the physical wild card exits. 

After this, the trek leads to several points on the way as you move on the Chadar Frozen River Trek, taking you to Tibb Cave, and the Naerak, where you will see the village and mighty frozen waterfalls, while the turquoise green water of the river flows right by you. As you turn around and make your way back, you will encounter Tibb Cave, Gyalpo and finally Shingra Yokma, from where you will go back to Leh and bring the experience to an end the next day. All the while through this trek, you have gone from a minimum elevation of 10,400 ft to 11,123 ft above sea level, and have gained a lot of more attributes on the way.

Who Can Go:
- Experience of trekking or good fitness level.
- The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 45 minutes without a stress.
- The climber should be able to carry a 10 kg backpack.
- Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.

Tips for Chadar Trek:

1) Prepare your mind first: This is a difficult trek that comes with a lot of extremities. From the weather to physical requirement. Train your mind to expect and accept the sub-zero level. Do bear in mind that there is a life which exists there as well; for centuries Chadar is used as the only way to commute to Leh during winters. Your mental strength will signal your body to withstand the cold climb.

2) Be Warm: Next is to keep oneself warm as the temperature falls severely on this trek. To keep going and not be deterred by the weather conditions, use 4 layers for the Torso that includes a jacket and a wind sheeter which is waterproof and has a fleece lining. For the bottom, a base layer, thermal underpants and waterproof pants with a fleece lining, should suffice. Make sure your fleece and jackets have zips down the front so that you can unzip them as the day grows progressively warmer.

3) Keep a woollen cap and gloves (a must): Essentially you need to sleep well during the night to keep you fresh for the next day of the trek. Keep an insulating water bottle to keep your sleeping bag warm during the night. Use Silk liner inside your bags to keep it warm enough.

4) Footwear: Hiking shoes + Gumboots At occasions, trekking on the Chadar involves wading through knee-deep cold water. Though hiking shoes are highly recommended, gumboots help keep your shoes and feet secure from the icy cold water. It is practically impossible to dry anything at Zanskar trek in Ladakh, so gumboots are a compulsory and crucial addition to the footwear.

5) Expect sweet pain: The Chadar is a glossy, slippery sheet of ice and will never let you walk carelessly. But no matter how careful one is, everyone falls and slips more than once on the Chadar. If you fall, just get back up by rolling on your knees and keep walking with confidence. Gumboots might give you shoe bites, but you’ll get used to it as you walk.

6) Observe and keep moving: The locals can give you firsthand training on how to cross the lake on your foot. On closer observation, you would notice that they walk fast and take Penguin like strides on the ice. As you watch them, you will learn their ways of manoeuvring around on the ice blanket and learn when it is wiser to wait than to carry on or the reverse.

7) Keep your electronics warm: Extreme cold climate can ruin electronics. Hence keep them warm by keeping them safe by tucking them into your pockets closer to your body it will keep them warm and long-lasting.

8) Protect your fingers and toes: In sub-zero temperatures, fingers and toes are the most exposed and can be frozen resulting in bad pain when camping. Carry waterproof woollen socks and gloves. An extra pair of socks would help as they gather moisture while wearing gumboots.

9) Warming pads: Warming pads are very helpful for those who feel cold sooner than others. These are exothermic pads to be slipped in your gloves and socks. They release heat and keep you warm for up to 10 hours.

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Do's and Don'ts On Chadar Trek

Do’s of Chadar Trek

It’s always good to plan for an additional day to accommodate any unforeseen conditions like bad weather, broken bridges, flight delays, casualties that may arise.
- One should inform one’s family before coming for this trek, so in case of an emergency, they can come for help.
- The temperature extensively drops down in the region. Therefore, it is advisable to keep warm clothes and shoes at hand. The shoes must also be waterproof.
As there won’t be any pharmacies on our trek, please do carry required medications and a first aid kit, in case of any bruises or cuts
The area of this trek has hardly any shop to stop for food or drinks, hence it is advisable to carry water and energy giving food like energy bars and other eateries to be had at regular intervals. We also travel with plenty of water
- Always take note of the weather reports and avoid getting caught in any sort of natural ravages.
Trekking in the Frozen River is certainly a difficult task and thus, one should not try to be over-smart. Following the tips and guidelines is a must to carry out this trek safely.
It is advisable to consult an expert trekker before backpacking a heavy backpack might slow down your trekking speed.
- While visiting the monasteries and other religious sites, abide by the instructions and guidelines laid by the authorities.
- Abide by the instructions given by the trek leader or instructor in order to enjoy a safe and sound trekking


Don'ts of Chadar Trek
Since you will be trekking in an eco-friendly zone, make sure you do not litter the vicinity and carry your leftovers back.
Flowy and frilly clothing might hinder your movement. It is better to avoid such type of clothing.
- Do not rely on sports or casual shoes as they might compromise grip on the snowy surface.
The wonderful waterfalls should not be contaminated by the use of shampoos and soaps. Thus one should avoid using them. The local habitat tribes use this water for drinking purpose so one should keep it as clean as one expects its drinking water to be.
When meeting monks or other locals on the way, pinpointing is not advisable as they make take offence.
- Respect the serenity of the shrines and thus one should never disturb the monks or prayers in the monasteries on the route.
Avoid heavy meals during the trek as it leads to tiredness.
Avoid: Denim or jeans clothing, Soda and alcoholic beverages, Plastics of all kind, and Tobacco
02

Chadar Trek in January

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Chadar Trek in January

Though the temperature in January droops down to negatives, the raging Zanskar river takes up to the mid-January to freeze down properly for the enthralling Chadar Tek. It is certainly not a good idea to plan your expedition at the beginning of this month as the ice sheet is not solid enough to hold any weight and you might land up in a serious problem.

It is better to wait for the right time and make the best memories while you triumph over this exciting excursion. 
January is the month you must keep for the last minute packing, physical and mental training, and not to forget acclimatization. Acclimatization is indeed very crucial so as to avoid getting into the grasp of Acute Mountain sickness. 

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04

Average temperature of Night and Day

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Average temperature of Night and Day

The direct rays of the Sun cause the temperature to fluctuate during the day and night to an extent that the thick sheet of the frozen Zanskar River melts at some places and then refreezes at the night. While the day experiences a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius, their drops to -25 degrees Celsius at the night.

The wintry nights need a lot of endurance on the trekker's part as they might get prone to Acute Mountain Sickness or hypothermia if they do not work on it prior to this trek. The Chadar trek test the stamina, endurance as well as the physical and mental fitness of the adventure enthusiasts.

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Chadar Trek in February

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Chadar Trek in February

The Zanskar River completely freezes at the beginning of the month making it the ideal time to act on your much-awaited Chadar Trek plan. With temperatures oscillating between -5 degree Celsius to - 25 degrees Celsius, this trek is regarded as the toughest winter trek in India. The temperature fluctuations of the day and night bring out the most hazardous hurdles of the trek - Broken Trails. 

It becomes quite difficult to walk on the frozen river if you do not have a skilled guide by your side. Hence, it is very important to choose your operator well for a flabbergasting trek experience. Though the beginning of February is regarded as the best time to Chadar Trek, make sure you do not go for the excursion after the middle of the month as the river starts returning to its usual state.

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Why you should visit Chadar Trek

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Why you should visit Chadar Trek

Do you remember the trekking gear you brought this Christmas? Are you still wondering where to try them for the first time when it January already?  How about the exciting walk over the frozen Zanskar river?

Live to the best of your fantasies while you walk on the ice sheet and feel the raging Zanskar river flowing underneath your shoes. The spellbinding view of the snow-capped mountains amidst the peaceful surrounding is just the right way to break out of your monotonous life.

Still in confusion, if it is worth it? We have curated reasons that will definitely convince you of the Chadar trek grandeur.

Unique: While the idea of trekking brings the first thought of climbing the rocks in your mind, the Chadar Trek excursion will change the stereotypical definition for you.  This trek does not demand much of climbing due to the lack of elevation but the extreme weather conditions with the temperature dropping down to -25 degrees Celsius, this is indeed not a cakewalk. Considered as the toughest trek of India, this 105 Km trek will bring you to the larger than life experience.

Insight to the white world: The snow-capped mountains, ice sheet taming the raging river underneath, and the biting cold winds, the Chadar Trek takes you away from the civilization where even adapting isn’t the way to survive.

You need to struggle against the white snow demons falling over your head to accomplish the journey you’ve taken up. Your stamina and will are the fuels that will ignite and keep you warm along with the warmers of course! Make sure you pack well as this trek is a hell of a challenge yet fun that you cannot afford to miss.

Capture, upload and brag: Though this trek is said to not be just an ordinary trek about flaunting and bragging over the social media updates and living the moments and documenting the moments, hey a little bragging doesn’t hurt right?

After facing all the hurdles of surviving the negative temperatures ranging from -5 degree Celsius to -25-degree Celsius and walking the 105 km trail on the frozen Zanskar river, this is your moment to triumph and celebrate.

Flaunt the pictures and let the world know about it through your social media feed. Let nothing come in between your enthralling expedition and visit before Global Warming ruins it!

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