Fixed departure dates to join a group are
About the Activity:
- 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 colour of the nature, during the winters it is embraced with heavy snowfalls that cuts 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.
- When this happens, the only way to continue with the trek is to hike through the snowy rocks and boulders besides the river.
Temperature: 15 to 20 degrees (during the day) and -25 to -35 degrees (during the night)
Trekking Distance: 75km
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
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 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 woolen cap and gloves (a must).Essentially you need to sleep well during the night to keep you fresh for the next day of 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 Chadar, so gumboots are a compulsory and a 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 a firsthand training of how to cross the lake on your foot. On a 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 in 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 into bad pain when camping. Carry waterproof woolen 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.
Do's and Dont's on Chadar trek
Do’s of Chadar Trek
- Needless to say that one should inform one’s family before coming for this trek, so in case of any 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 should 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.
Dont’s of Chadar Trek
- It is the responsibility of every trekker to maintain the serenity of the surroundings. Thus, one should not litter anywhere and spoil the magnificence.
- 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 offense.
- Respect the serenity of the shrines and thus one should never disturb the monks or prayers in the monasteries on the route.
- 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.