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Abhishek

5.0

It had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ...

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Sateesh

5.0

Amazing trek.. Thanks a lot to THRILLOPHILIA. Life changing experience. This is the master of all the treks. I am marathon runner, always wanted to g...

Overview


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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

Highlights of Chadar Trek:

- 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. 


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 2019 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 Trek, 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 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 Trek 2019 is planned in such a way that you will be covering a distance of almost 65 kilometers 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 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.

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 woolen 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 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 on 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 maneuvering 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 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 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 a 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 offense.
- 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

Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Fly to Leh | Arrival

    Altitude 11,400 ft.

    Arrival in Ladakh

    Acclimatization

    Overnight stay at the hotel/guest house.

    Keep your woolen cap and gloves handy.

    You will be flying over long stretches of snow-covered Himalayan mountains, which will make it evident why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh on road in the winters. The moment you land in Leh, a cold and crisp air will greet you, and you will experience a drastic change in the temperature. Leh has just begun to wake up from its sleep with only a few shops open.

    The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. Be sure to take enough rest to acclimatize to the weather here and remember to drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated, The night is spent in a guest house.

  • Day 2 - Rest and Check-up

    Keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers are facing (Acute Mountain Sickness), as per the new regulations applied by Ladakh Government Authorities, anyone doing the Chadar Trek should be at least spending two days in Leh to get your body fully acclimatized to the weather conditions here. It is irrevocable and it is important that it is strictly followed by every trekker. You can spend the day shopping at the Leh market. It is very important that you get used to the cold temperature in Leh because the temperature will only tend to fall as you start walking on the frozen Zanskar, where the temperatures reach way below zero even in the daytime. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places which are at a higher altitude.

    Today, the stay will be in a tent to give you an idea of the outdoor conditions. This will even allow your body to get used to the temperature range.

    Overnight stay at camp.

  • Day 3 - Leh to Shingra Yokma via Chilling & Tilad Do (65kms drive/3km trek)

    11,480 to 10,550ft

    Drive 3-4 hrs, trek 2 hrs

    After breakfast today, you will start on the way to your first campsite which is Shingra Yokma via Chilling & Tilad Do. It is one of the most scenic drives which brings you the delight of seeing some of the most beautiful spots in Ladakh. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus are some of the places where you can take a pit stop for clicking memorable pictures. An hour and a half of driving along the Zanskar will get you to Chilling. The car will drop you right where the road ends. This will be your starting point of walking on the Zanskar.

    The tents will find their place here, while you ready yourself mentally and physically for the days that are coming your way. Get used to walking with wearing the gumboots, which will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. To get the hang of patterns of ice formation will take some time. You will have to judge the fragile surfaces from the strong ones as there are a number of different kinds of surfaces on Chadar Trek, but once you start walking you will know more about it. Planting your foot will be important in most of the cases, you can check for the ice for its steadiness with your walking stick before stepping on it. Make sure your backpack is light and small so you can manage and use the weight on your own effectively.

    This will be your first experience of camping under sub-zero temperatures.

    Overnight at Shingra Yokma.

  • Day 4 - Shingra Yokma to Tibb Cave | Day of Wild Card Exits

    10,400 to 10,800 ft

    Trek 15 km/ 6 to 7 hours

    Before the start of the day, if you feel that you want to opt out, or have been deemed unfit by the government bodies, you can take a physical wild card and opt for a 'Flavor of Winter Ladakh' Tour, without any extra cost.

    After spending a cold night in the tent at Tsomo Paldar get your breakfast that will re-energize you and power your senses in the morning. The much needed hot cup of tea will be a welcome delight in the cold.

    As you make your way to the campsite of Tibb Cave, you will be seeing some of the most beautiful formations of nature like the frozen waterfalls that stand frozen in time. The source of some of these frozen waterfalls is still unknown and there are a lot of myths and beliefs about them. The mighty Zanskar will be flowing all along with you on the trail and the emerald green water will have a smoothing effect.

    Lunch will be done midway to Tibb cave. After walking for a couple of hours you'll come across different rock patterns along the way which look artistic when the sun rays fall on them making their way from behind the clouds.

    You will be camping near the Tibb cave which is surrounded by dry sand.

    Overnight at Tibb Cave.

  • Day 5 - Tibb cave to Naerak camp

    10,800 to 11,100 ft

    Trek 13 km/ 6 to 7 hours

    The campsite for the day is the most awaited one, as you will be going to Naerak today, after breakfast. The 13 km long trail will bring you the chance of seeing the most scenic landmark of Chadar Trek, that is the frozen waterfall. This frozen waterfall is a nature's masterpiece in itself and attracts trekkers and adventurers from across the globe.

    Hot lunch will be served on your way to Naerak.

    Naerak will be the coldest of all the campsites on the trek where the temperature goes down to as low as -30 degrees during the night. It will be important that you wear proper clothing and in layers to stay safe from the biting cold.

    Reaching the waterfall on time would mean that you will have plenty of time to pay the village of Naerak a visit as well.

    You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the frozen waterfall.

    Overnight at Naerak Camp.

  • Day 6 - Naerak to Tibb Cave

    11,100 to 10,800 ft

    Trek 13 km/ 5 to 6 hours

    After breakfast today, you will start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave.

    If you have the notion that going back is the easier part of the journey, the Chadar will force your mind to think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.

    On your way back to Tibb Cave, you will be seeing a lot of locals negotiating the Chadar wearing the traditional woolen Gonchas, where some of them are monks coming back to Leh from the monastery at Lingshed, while other are young students going back to schools in Leh after their vacations, accompanied by their parents. To see this sight is warming enough. You will be in awe of the way these people have adapted to the temperatures below zero and still smile

    Overnight at camps in Tibb Cave.

  • Day 7 - Tibb Cave to Gyalpo

    10,800ft to 10,500 ft

    Trek 12 km/ 5 to 6 hours

    Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today.

    The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls.

    You will be noticing a lot of fresh trails and footprints all along the trek, belonging to Foxes, Ibex or Snow Leopards.

    Although you would be lucky to spot a Snow Leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.

    Overnight at tents in Gyalpo.

  • Day 8 - Gyalpo to Shingra Yokma & back to Leh

    10,500ft to 10,300ft and drive to 11,400 ft.

    Trek 06 km/ 3 to 4 hours

    Drive 65 km to Leh/ 3 to 4 hours

    Last day on the Chadar Trek.

    Retracing the steps we took, this will be the last chance to look at the majestic and mesmerizing Chadar, which you will miss for sure. Trekkers along the way, who are about to start their trek will for sure ask you the experience. It will be amazing to play guide to these people and to talk to someone about the experience while it is still fresh in your head.

    There will be a farewell get-together and dinner to celebrate the completion of the trek.

    Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house.

    Overnight in Leh.

  • Day 9 - Departure

    Return from Leh

    After breakfast, you will be checking out of the guesthouse and will get a transfer to the airport.

    Continue with your return journey on the flight.

    Experience ends here.

Stay

    7
  • Tents during the trek and Hotel or Guest House in Leh
  • 7
  • The accommodation with heaters will be in Guesthouses / Standard Hotels in Leh where heaters will be used only on Day 8.
  • 7
  • Stay will be on Double/Triple Sharing.

Meal

    7
  • All meals (Vegetarian) while on trek to keep you powered up for the game.
  • 7
  • Breakfast in Leh on day 3 and celebratory dinner on day 8

Activity

    7
  • Trekking
  • 7
  • Camping

Other Inclusions

    7
  • You will get 5 ‘Wild Card Exit’ passes valid from Day 1 to Morning on Day 4, so you can opt out from the trek whenever you wish to.
  • 7
  • Because the trek takes place in high altitude regions, a big oxygen cylinder (15 liters) will be carried throughout the trek for any kind of emergency
  • 7
  • Handpicked Supporting Staff of multiple guides/helpers for the group. This will ensure high safety, accurate information and personal attention which is necessary for this trek. We will be putting you in the hands of qualified & professional trek leaders, guides and support staff with multiple years of experience.
  • 7
  • We believe that roughing it out necessarily doesn’t mean sleeping in smelly sleeping bags, compromising on safety by using low-quality equipment and having unappetizing meals. We focus on your safety, basic comforts and the environment while camping.
  • 7
  • Sleeping Bags: One Clean Sleeping Bag with a temperature range of -15 to -25. Second Sleeping Bag with a temperature range of -10.
  • 7
  • Good Quality Sleeping Tents so the cold doesn’t bite.
  • 7
  • Thick Camping Mattresses to provide a good insulation between your body & cold ground.
  • 7
  • Kitchen Tents with proper dining arrangements, so you can eat in peace.
  • 7
  • Toilet Tents pitched at the campsite.
  • 7
  • Porter/mule charges for carrying camping equipment & rations, so you can enjoy without worrying.
  • 7
  • Camping permission.
  • 7
  • First aid kit/Medical kit, because anyone can get hurt in adventures (our guides are certified in handling first aid situations).
  • 7
  • Facility of keeping extra luggage at Leh when leaving for the trek.

Transport

    7
  • Transport from Leh to road head (on day 3) and return (on day 8)

Things To Carry

    7
  • Backpack (Rucksack) (60 ltr -70ltr) with comfortable shoulder straps, supporting frame and backpack rain cover
  • 7
  • Trekking pole
  • 7
  • Thermo Plastic Water Bottle, Water Purifying Tablets, and Hot water bag
  • 7
  • Gumboots for Chadar Trek
  • 7
  • 3 pair of synthetic track pants
  • 7
  • 3 Full sleeve woolen tees with collar
  • 7
  • Raincoat
  • 7
  • Thick jacket and sweater, both full sleeved
  • 7
  • 2 pairs of thermal inners
  • 7
  • Woolen monkey cap/balaclava that cover the ear, hand gloves + synthetic waterproof glove, head-scarf or muffler
  • 7
  • 2 pairs each of sports socks and woolen socks
  • 7
  • LED Torch & with Extra Batteries
  • 7
  • Cold cream and sunscreen lotion (SPF 40+)
  • 7
  • Snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruits
  • 7
  • Sun Glasses it should be U/V Protected
  • 7
  • Toilet Kit (Toilet Paper) & Quick-Dry Towels
  • 7
  • Personal and necessary medication
  • 7
  • ID proof like driving license, voters ID card, passport
  • 7
  • 4 Passport size photos
  • 7
  • Medical certificate from a recognized practicing doctor certifying your fitness for the trek
  • 7
  • Indemnity certificate

Advisory

    7
  • The above mentioned price is only valid for certain dates.
  • 7
  • A medical certificate is a pre-requisite document for this trek and without which you will not be allowed on the trek.
  • 7
  • Meals during your stay in Leh is not included in the package cost. Camera Charges, Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc. will also be an exclusion
  • 7
  • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc. are not included in the cost.
  • 7
  • Trekking during the nights is extremely dangerous and might lead to unwanted circumstances.
  • 7
  • It is the responsibility of every trekker to maintain the serenity of the surroundings. Thus, one should not litter anywhere and spoil the magnificence.
  • 7
  • Try not to interrupt or disturb the locals during the trek or other times.
  • 7
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, bad weather, expenses incurred on account of sickness etc.
  • 7
  • If the trek doesn't take place due to any reason beyond the control of the operator, you will be offered an alternate experience to substantiate your trek in Leh.
  • 7
  • Liability for change in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control like a change in flight and train schedule; cancellation of flights/trains, political disturbances, natural phenomenon, etc will not be accommodated.
  • 7
  • Please Note: Local authority (LAHDC, ALTOA) charge fee for Environment and Wildlife for the trek which totals to 2650 INR per head (The fee may be revised) will have to be paid by trekkers before starting the trek in Leh, So keep some cash handy.

Tour Type

    7
  • This is a group tour

Cancellation Policy

    7
  • If cancellations are made 30 days before the start date of the trip, 25% of total tour cost will be charged as cancellation fees.
  • 7
  • If cancellations are made within 0-30 days before the start date of the trip, 100% of total tour cost will be charged as cancellation fees.
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    People Shared their Stories
    Story by Abhishek

     Rated : 5.0

    It had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. We were walking on ice, we were drinking those ice (of-course the boiled one), but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme condition. Thank to these amazing group of people I was travelling with. The support staff, the organiser and each and every people related to this trip were an amazing host. They made us feel at home, they fulfilled almost all our demands. I had done 2 treks before with other organizations, but these people were the best. The fun we had is quite vivid with this picture, but trust me nothing can be explained in words, you just have to feel it. Keep yourself fit and go for it . It will change the way you see nature , it will change your perception towards people and many more things. Stay happy and keep trekking

    5
    Story by Sateesh

     Rated : 5.0

    Amazing trek.. Thanks a lot to THRILLOPHILIA. Life changing experience. This is the master of all the treks. I am marathon runner, always wanted to go for a trek. Finalized to go for Chadar trek with little hesitation. But, THRILLOPHILIA cleared all the mental blocks and made me confident. Hats off THRILLOPHILIA. What an experience... People tells Swizz mountains. Guys come to Leh and go for Chadar trek. Then compare :) Again thanks a ton to THRILLOPHILIA

    2
    Story by Dinakar Malik

     Rated : 5.0

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    Our Chadar Trek adventure was one of the best and most memorable treks for all of us. I along with my friend went for this incredible trekking adventure in January 2017. Very well arrangements have been made for us by the team. I have heard about the beauty of trekking in Zanskar River but when I was actually there it was a lot more amazing. You will fall in love with the views and the whole surroundings. We took our flight from Delhi to Leh from where our tour would start, we were joined by another group of trekkers at Leh. I love to keep a track of each day in my diary and today I will share this with you as well. Day 1: We reach Leh on our first day, such a beautiful place, the airport was very well maintained and that too high up in the mountains. It was a very pleasant day and the cool mountain air was keeping us more active. We visited the markets and the nearby places on our first day and also bought few items for the trek and some energy bars too. Day 2: On our second day, we started with a thrilling ride to Tilad Do via Chilling. Passing through the steep hairpins was a bit scary but we had a wonderful driver Gorakh with us. The day was a bit colder and we started climbing to Shanti Stupa, the sunrise was just breathtaking. It was our first-day trekking in the Zanskar. At first, I was scared a bit to walk on the ice but as we continued I was able to walk properly. We reached our campsite by late evening and the sleeping bags were quite a saviour through the night. Day 3: On our third day, we trekked from Tilad Do to Shingra Koma. After a short brief about the whole trek and how to walk on the ice by our trek leader, we started our trek. We had to cover around 10 km today. Be careful while you walk on the ice as it can be very slippery at times, I faced this problem while walking and had to take small steps when I walk. When we reached halfway our cook cum porter prepared some maggi and soupy noodles for our lunch. I just loved to have something warm at the top of the mountain. We passed Shingra koma, and reached our campsite at Gyalpo. The campsite was very beautiful and we could see the mountains on all sides. After our dinner, we enjoyed a sound sleep. Day 4: On our fourth day, we started our morning with a warm cup of tea and delicious breakfast and then went for a quick march. Today was a big day for us as we had to cover around 15 km, we started trekking through the deep ravines of Zanskar, and the day was a bit colder as there was no sunlight at all. We passed through many caves and saw few frozen waterfalls. We reached Tibb cave where we will be camping for the night. We had a wonderful dinner with some roti and a sabji. Day 5: We started our day with a morning breakfast and some tea. Today we had to trek from Tibb cave to Naerak camp. As we started trekking we came across many Junipers and prayer flags tied on a twig. It was such a beautiful sight. We also came across a huge waterfall on our way to the camp. We had to walk slow as few of the paths were bit slippery. We could also see the Narek village and the distance light flickering in the small huts. We set up our tents near the river, it was biting cold and so we made a small bonfire. Our trek leader Mohan was really helpful enough and he told us about the place and our next route. Day 6: Today our trek was from Naerak to Tibb Cave which was basically our return journey. I would advise you to wear thermals to keep off the biting cold, the day was very cold when we started. We saw the local people wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas and few monks taking making their way to the Lingshed Monastery to Leh. It was such a wonderful view to see people how these people have adjusted to the biting cold here. We reached Tibb cave by late evening and then set up our camps for the night. Day 7: Today our trek was from Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma. We came across many pug marks of a fox. We reached our campsite and there we were cooked a delicious warm dinner by our cook. He made us rice, sabji and dal. Day 8: We were almost coming to an end of our trek. Today we had to trek from Shingra Koma to Tilad Do and drive to Leh. We reached Tilad Do, from where we had to bid farewell to our team. Thanks to Mohan ji and Gorakh for making our trek such an awesome one. We checked into our guesthouse Dorje Guest House for the night and spend the night there. Day 9: Today was our last day at Leh, we enjoyed a delicious morning breakfast and was ready for our return journey. We took our flight back home. We had the best time doing this incredible trek, a must do trek for all the adventure seekers, you will just love everything about this trek. Just remember to wear thermals and wear gumboots during the trek. You can buy them at Leh on your first day itself. And click a lot of pictures to cherish these memories. Huge thanks to team Thrillophilia. Keep rocking guys.

    1
    Story by Gopaal Asan

     Rated : 5.0

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    Being fromSouth India, I always had the desire to explore the mountains and I did few treks like Valley of Flowers and Stok Kangri. This time one of my friends asked me for Chadar trek. I was hesitant at first but he forced that we should do this time. The package was really great and the price was very decent including the number of days. We did this trek on February this year and it was the best adventure we had so far. We had a very great organizer and they have done quite good arrangements for us. We both went and bought Gumboots and some thermals for the trek from the local markets here. We started our trek on our second day and took a drive from Tilad Do via Chilling. We had some great view during our drive. Trekking was through remote villages, valleys, snow-covered fields, large white meadows and frozen rivers were just awesome. From Tilad we continued our trek to Shingra Koma, on our third day, our trek leader Subham was very brief about our day and also told was to keep ourselves warm as the temperature seems to drop. It was a beautiful day; today we were able to walk properly on the ice. Our fourth and fifth day was the best. We could see frozen waterfalls, hot springs, large rock faces which was just fantastic. Camping on the Tibb cave was totally a different experience for all of us. It was a wonderful trekking experience for me. During this trek there are few things I would like to mentions. Few do’s and don’ts that we all need to remember. Do’s While you are heading out for your Chadar trek always make sure that you take warm clothes with you and wear thermals inside your woollen wear, the night can be very cold. Always wear Gumboots and waterproof shoes. These boots will help you to have a firm grip on the snow and walk without much difficulty. Although you will have medical emergencies it is advisable to carry your own medical kit and medicines. There will be very less drinking water during your trek so carry water bottles with you and also fill your bottles where ever there is a stop. Also, carry energy bars with you. Trekking in the thin sheet of ice may be difficult so always listen to your trek leaders and follow the guidelines. Don’ts: Always be careful that you don’t pollute the place by littering. This trek is known as the most beautiful trek and so it is advisable that you keep the grounds clean. Do not use shampoos or soaps and contaminate the waterfalls. The local tribe use this water for drinking. Do not point any fingers at the monasteries or the local people, they might find that offensive. Also, don’t click pictures of the monks.

    1
    Story by Treena

     Rated : 5.0

    Chadar trek was always on my wishlist but knowing about the extreme challenges I always gave it a second thought of doing it or not. It was the time I saw the ad of Thrillophilia, read about the schedule and other people's reviews, I just made up my mind to do it. Many thanks to Thrillophilia to make it a dream come true. I simply saw a God made Heaven on Earth amongst the blue Zanskar, white ice and the amber Himalayas. With each day of the trek, we explored newer phases of Himalayas. We had a great team which made the difficulty level of the trek easier. The rooms were very cosy when we reached after landing in Leh. The organizers were very friendly, the helped us with buying proper shoes required for the trek, heaters for our room and also some sightseeing. The cooks made amazing food. Last day we were overwhelmed when he specially made a cake for us with an icing on the top for we completed the trek successfully. We had a group member who had a birthday during those days. When the cook learnt about it, he managed to make gulab jamuns for the entire team. The porters were also very helpful in carrying all our stuff. The gala time we had in the evening bonfire and the music and the tasty snacks and the dinner is never forgettable. They also made sure about all the medical needs of the group members. Overall, we just enjoyed a lot! The beauty of the Himalayas in the Chadar is just spellbound. Every brave heart must make this once in their life..!! Thanks, Thrillophilia..!!

    1
    Story by msbhuvanbhuvi

     Rated : 5.0

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    The vendor took a very good care of the trekkers and made the journey really awesome. It was a great journey with lots of adventures and unique experiences! Pros:- Great food at all camps. It was tasty and healthy.- Accommodation was good at Leh and at the camps (tents and sleeping bags).- Trek guides were quite responsible. Moreover, they were flexible and helped us complete the trek one day early. They were also entertaining and we had a great time interacting with the guides.- The guides and organizers were very helpful during medical needs.Cons:- The toilet tents could have been better. (I think this has been incorporated in later batches). The orientation could have been done better. A group leader could have been assigned who could take up the responsibility of ensuring that group starts the trek on time and who could take a headcount at each checkpoint. The itinerary could be slightly modified to help those who wants to visit the Nerak village.Micro-spikes could be provided by organizers.

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    Story by Arya Devar

     Rated : 4.0

    This trek is underrated! The trek was really good. The surrounding was AMAZING AND SERENE. The trek leader was also friendly. Couldn't be more satisfied.

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    Story by Chandan Nath

     Rated : 5.0

    As I set my first foot on the Chadar, a long kept dream of mine started to materialize out of my imagination and took a perfect shape when I threw my walk-pole into the air upon completion of the trek. Thanks to Thrillophilia, thanks to Adventure Studio for the wonderful service in such a hostile terrain with a special mention of Lobsang, our Trek-guide. We were lucky to experience almost a complete walk on Chadar. It was amazing. I'm still in a trance.

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    Story by Mohit

     Rated : 5.0

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    i am pro mountaineer from nim uttarkashi , but this chadar trek experience is new for me i thanks to ladakh ride adventure to giving me a chance like this thrilling adventure thank u tundup sir & thupstan sir you are the best organisers in leh all the best.. & i also thanks to madhuri from thrillophilia.. thank u guys..

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    Story by Sunita Bhattathiri

     Rated : 4.0

    The chadar trek experience was out of this world. It was not an easy trek but never the less I am satisfied. You not only get to trek through a frozen Zanskar River but also get to witness the beauty of nature at its best. For a trekker, nothing can beat this experience of stepping into the frozen river bed.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How are the weather conditions in Ladakh during winter?

      Ladakh is at a high very altitude which means that the oxygen levels are pretty low as compared to the plains. On reaching Ladakh, you are suggested to take a day off to get use to the sudden change in oxygen levels. In winter, this worsens. This cold desert comes with long, harsh winters from October to early March, with minimum temperatures well below freezing for most of the winter. The city gets occasional snowfall during winter. The weather in the remaining months is generally fine and warm during the day.

    2. What are some highlights of the Chadar trek?

      With proper gear and sensible trekking, the Chadar trek is not a very difficult trek. But what sets it apart is its unique experience. Everything about it is unique: the scenery, temperature, atmosphere, the frozen river, sledges, unusual campsites, caves and the ever changing Chadar. So unique that it makes for an unmissable experience. This trek has been featured as the most unique treks in the country.

    3. How is Ladakh as a destination? Which places can we see in winter?

      Ladakh is a beautiful destination. So much so, that one should definitely plan a visit to this cold desert as a bucket list check box. With beautiful lakes and treks to offer, Ladakh is a must-visit place to go to. In winter, the temperature in Ladakh drops down severely and becomes even more picturesque. One can visit the frozen Pangong Lake, if not the Chadar trek, one can do the trek on the Sham Valley, visit Ladakhi festivals that help you interact with the locals as well.

    4. How difficult is it to walk on the frozen Zanskar river?

      This activity is largely famous among the avid travellers. The beauty of this region attracts a lot of visitors, but its harsh and deserted environment is quite demanding. On a Zanskar Valley trek, you would meet the locals and understand their way of living in one of the most uninhabitable regions in the world. The Chadar frozen river trek is an experience for the brave-hearted and thrill-seekers. The weather and terrain might shake your confidence, but if you can surpass that then the journey to this land will be the most enriching experience of your life.

    5. Can Chadar be my first Trek?

      Once you have acclimatized to Ladakh, you should not have any high altitude related problems on this trek. Next, the trek is not very rigorous. You do not have to be super fit to do this trek. All you have to do is walk carefully on ice with occasional crossings over rocks if the Chadar is broken. Walking on ice is not impossible and can be picked up fast. Trekkers normally have problems adjusting to the penguin gait on the first day and do take a few falls. But from the second day itself you can see the confidence in their strides. This trek is all about preparing to deal with cold temperatures. If one’s physical stamina is equipped to do long walks and you’re reasonably fit, then you will enjoy the mesmerizing scenery during this trek, if not it can be prove to be a challenge. Keeping all this in mind, yes, Chadar can be your first trek.

    6. HOW LONG DO WE WALK ON THE FROZEN RIVER EACH DAY?

      Average walking distance is 10- 12 km each day and trekkers make it mostly in 5-7 hours. You will definitely enjoy it, don’t be disheartened. We try to reach the camp site by the afternoon everyday so that the rest of the day can be enjoyed at leisure.

    7. WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF FITNESS EXPECTED FROM THE PARTICIPANTS?

      Optimum level of fitness is required in the Chadar trek so that you can enjoy your trek without facing any physical issues. The Chadar Trek is not challenging because of the walk on the frozen river as it’s a straight path and not inclined. The temperatures that go beyond -25 Degrees make the route thrilling and challenging.

    8. CAN TREK LEADER / OPERATOR CHANGE THE ITINERARY?

      We usually love to stick to the regular plan. But we always keep a B-Plan ready! Yes, depending on the prevailing situation we can change the itinerary. However the date of trek completion will always coincide with the original itinerary. We should keep in mind that TheChadar Trek is happening into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your trek leader will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.

    9. DO YOU THINK I SHOULD BRING SOME MEDICINES ALONG WITH ME WHILE ON THE TREK?

      Yes, it is always advisable that in any trek carry your own personal medication and basic first aid kit with you. We will provide a list to you. No need to worry!

    10. WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL FACILITIES AND DOCTOR WHILE ON TREK?

      Our trek leaders are certified in first-aid and are aware of high attitude problems. We carry complete first-aid kit, Oxygen cylinders, Improvised Stretchers,necessary medicines (relating to AMS) and extra team members with us may it be any contingency.

    11. WHAT TYPE OF GROUND TRANSPORTATION IS USED FROM LEH TO CHILLING?

      Tempo Traveler,TATA Sumo, Mini Buses are generally used for commuting from Leh to Chilling and back, which are pre checked by our outdoor staff.  The vehicles can also be altered as per the client’s customized requirement.

    12. WILL WE GET SAFE DRINKING WATER ON CHADAR TREK?

      Himalayan water is naturally clean but for safe side we use boiled water and chlorine tablets in our camps, it is requested by all the participants to consult our outdoor team before filling up there water bottles during the trek. Hot water is made available for drinking while on the trek. Travelers should also carry chlorine tablets with them.

    13. WHAT TYPE OF FOOD IS SERVED DURING THE TREK?

      We always serve fresh cooked vegetarian food during the trek. We decide the menu very carefully keeping both health and taste in mind. Also the participants are encouraged to eat well. We try to keep the menu undisclosed in order to keep the suspense on but can be shared on a personal request. Also Jain Food is provided but has to be pre informed at the time of booking.

    14. HOW MANY TREKKERS WILL BE SLEEPING IN ONE TENT?

      We have four men tents but three people will be accommodating in one tent. Also it maintains the temperature required to have a warm and comfortable sleep in the night.

    15. WHAT ARE THE SANITARY FACILITIES?

      Toilet tents will be pitched in the campsites and can be used for sanitary purposes. Do not forget to bring your toilet kits. .

    16. DO YOU PROVIDE ANY EQUIPMENT ON RENT?

      No, we don’t deal in renting of any kind of Equipment’s be it Apparels, Shoes, Equipment’s or Technical gears. But if you wish to, we can suggest you some adventure shops from where all these can be bought apart from Decathlon.

    17. I AM THE ONLY GIRL IN TREK, IS IT SAFE?

      Yes, our first priority is to create a safe environment for all the trekkers, and a girls’safety is the foremost important thing for us. At the time of Rooms/Tents allotment the boys and girls are segregated in different accommodations. We always create a friendly environment between trekker's and other supporting staffs are carefully chosen for your trips keeping all safety measures in mind. But we would also advise you to take care of your own personal belongings.

    18. WHO WILL LEAD THE TREK AND WHO ALL WILL BE PRESENT IN THE TEAM TO GO ALONG WITH US?

      The trek is led by a professional Trek leader who has completed his Basic and Advance mountaineering course with other mountaineering courses like MOI and are also certified in first- aid course. Accompanying the trek leader will be one Local guide with the map of the route in the back of his head to support you. Rest of the team members include the kitchen staff, Porters, helpers and extra trained local supporting staff taken as a backup in case of any emergency.

    19. HOW MANY TREKKERS ARE THERE IN ONE GROUP?

      Normally we take up to15-20 people in one batch including males and females. We need a minimum of 10 people to run a fix departure but for the customized groups, size doesn't matter.

    20. ARE AIRPORT TRANSFERS PROVIDED? WHAT IS THE CHARGE FOR AIRPORT TRANSFERS?

      Airport transfers are not included in the package cost. But there are many taxies available outside the airport which will drop you at the hotel. You can club with other members of the group and come to the hotel on sharing basis. One taxi charges approximately 400 to 500 INR to drop you to the hotel and back.

    21. WHICH TYPE OF SHOES SHOULD I BUY?

      Trekking shoes is one of the most important things needed in any trek, so you have to be very careful before buying it. Recommended only high-ankle and waterproof shoes which are branded and are specifically designed for trekking purposes.Quechua, Zamberlan, Lafuma, Conquest and The North Face are some high quality brands dealing in High Altitude trekking shoes

    22. WHAT ARE THE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT THAT NEEDS TO BE PURCHASED FROM OUR END?

      You can check with the trek essential list for the equipment’s and gears to be brought from your end. We advise you to go through the list thoroughly and arrange for the things from your home town. Ping us in case you find trouble finding anything. Our Team will be there to help you. You can also purchase the same from Leh but it totally depends upon the availability of stock in the market.

    23. WHAT THINGS AND EQUIPMENT DO WE NEED TO CARRY?

      Once you have confirmed the booking, our team will guide you with the trek essentials needed for the trek. Shoes, clothes and other trekking equipment’s are also available in the local markets of Leh. You can buy it on the day of your arrival in the evening when you go for the acclimatization walk. Our Team will help you buy the best quality equipment’s at the best possible price. Also to let you know you get first copy of good quality adventure clothing and other equipment’s at a very good price in the Leh market so you can take away some extra very good and effective winter apparels to your home. (Note-Shopping can be done only on the first day of your arrival in case you have planned as per the itinerary). However, to avoid any risks, we advice buying gears from Delhi / other Metros to ensure the availability and choices.

    24. DO WE NEED GUMBOOTS ON CHADAR TREK? CAN WE PURCHASE IT FROM LEH?

      Yes. Gumboots are required as you may have to cross a path where water levels are high and you wouldn’t want the ice cold freezing water to enter your shoes and make it all wet. Gum boots are easily available in different sizes at the Leh market. You should prefer choosing the Brand “Diamond” If you are looking to buy a gumboots as they are made of soft rubber and thus are comfortable while on the trek. Buying Gumboots should cost you not more than INR 500.

    25. WHAT ARE THE EQUIPMENT PROVIDED FROM THE COMPANY?

      Apart from your clothing and personal equipment’s mentioned in the Trek Essentials List, we provide all that is necessary for the trek to happen safely and comfortably. Equipment’s that are provided from the companies end include Mess Tent, Kitchen Tent, Matrices, Dome Tent, Sleeping Bag resistant up to -30 Degrees with liners, Micro Spikes Crampons and Utensils etc.

    26. DO WE NEED A WALKING STICK ON CHADAR TREK?

      The choice is yours if you want a walking stick or not. But it is always more comfortable with a trekking pole. Also a trekking pole will help you make firm steps and help you grip on slippery grounds.

    27. CAN WE HIRE A PORTER TO CARRY OUR PERSONAL LUGGAGE? WHAT WILL BE THE COST?

      People who think that they cannot carry their personal luggage on their own can hire a local porter @ INR 5800 for 7 Days(*Note- A porter cannot be booked for lesser number of days). A porter carries up to 15 kgs. of weight in one bag so if you are 2 people going together, you can combing your bag pack while on the trek to make it one and hand it over to the porter. Make sure you inform us 20 days prior to the date of departure if you are looking forward to hire a porter as porters have to be pre booked.

    28. HOW MUCH MONEY WE NEED TO CARRY ALONG WITH US TO LEH?

      We do not advice carrying too much money or precious items with you during the trek. Whole trek and food during the trek including transport from Leh to road-head is arranged by us. Only amount we see you spending will be airport transfers, food at Leh and any local market visit you make, which will be a very small amount. However, one part should be kept as emergency money, in cash and also electronically, with you at all times.

    29. CAN WE HAVE LIQUOR OR SMOKE WHILE ON THE TREK?

      Leh is situated at a height of 11,000 Feet and the weather conditions and the thin oxygen levels already make the acclimatization process difficult. Consuming any kind of drugs or liquor might add as a catalyst to make you unwell. In our past experiences, there have been many cases of healthy people who knowingly consumed drugs and alcohol and immediately developed symptoms of AMS and nausea. They had to be sent back from Leh to descend to a lower height immediately after getting hospitalized.

    30. WILL WE STAY IN THE CAVES?

      There are limited number of caves and huge number of people visiting Chadar. If possible and there is vacancy, we would take every chance to make you experience the enchanting caves.

    31. WILL BONFIRE BE POSSIBLE?

      There are no woods in the valley and Leh making it impossible to arrange a bonfire. The only healthy way to keep yourself warm is by wearing as much clothes as you can in layers.

    32. IS DIAMOX IS ADVISABLE?

      No Diamox is not advisable from our side. Acclimatization process should happen naturally and automatically. However, if you wish to use it to acclimatize in case you have altitude problems. If consuming, Diamox has to be taken a day before coming to Leh. We suggest you to consult your doctor before use.

    33. WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE IN THE DAY TIME AND NIGHT TIME?

      Temperature in the day time goes up to -10 Degrees. A sunny day can make the environment warm as well due to the reflection of the sunrays from the ice. Temperatures till -38 degrees have been witnessed by us in the night time. But don’t worry, it is quite warm inside the sleeping tent but the psychological feeling of cold will be there till the last moment of you being on the trek and in Leh as well.

    34. WHAT IS YOUR EVACUATION PLAN INCASE A CONTINGENCY HAPPENS?

      We have a backup of support team with all the equipment’s required to take the patients back to Leh and keep the batch moving ahead. But this can only be done once. If any emergency, happens the second time with the same batch. The entire Batch will have to come back and stand together as a group.

    35. WHAT IF WE FALL IN THE RIVER WITH THE FREEZING WATER?

      Falling in freezing water can be an extremely dangerous situation. Though, it is not common and we ensure that the Chadar is thick enough to walk on. You will follow the footsteps of our Trek Leader and Guide to ensure the platform you are standing on is robust enough to withstand the pressure. Still we need to be prepared for any such accident. The immediate action is for our team to take over and get you out of the water on the ground. Everyone needs to be patient and panic only exaggerates the situation. Once out, immediate thing is to avoid any loss and restore the body heat. Changing of clothes and providing a warm environment to the trekker is very important. Once done, the general health of the trekker is sought and further necessary actionsare taken.

    36. WHO WILL PAY FOR THE RESCUE IF ANY TREKKER GETS UNWELL AND NEEDS TO BE TAKEN BACK TO THE CAMP? WHAT ARE THE OTHER COSTS INVOLVED THE TREKKER WILL HAVE TO BEAR?

      If anyone falls ill or has to be returned back for any reason, as our first priority, we make the arrangements to get the trekker back safely. But, the additional costs, like transport to Leh, stay at Leh (apart from Day 1 and 8), food / meals at Leh, medical expenses, extra staff arrangements, airlifting etc. will have to be borne by the trekker.

    37. WHAT IF CHADAR TREK IS CANCELLED THIS YEAR AGAIN?

      Chadar Trek is taking place this year surely and we have confirmed it from local authorities. Last year, the reason for cancellation was the natural calamity in the region. However, if again for some unforeseen reasons, the route is affected then do not worry, we have crafted one equally good alternate plan that we’ll take you to. The dates will be coinciding with the original plan to avoid any logistic issues. There are other rivers (like Indus) in the region which are frozen at that time, and we’ll take you to other amazing places in the region and make sure that your time and money isn’t wasted.

    38. WHAT ALL INCLUDE IN THE CAMPING AND PERMIT CHARGES WHICH ARE MENTIONED IN THE INCLUSIONS.

      All the Govt. fees and other camping permits are included in the package cost. However there are some Ladakhi local organizations which try to impose some additional charges for trekkers which varies from INR 300 to INR 3,000. Those additional charges will have to be borne by the trekkers themselves.

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