Chadar Trek – The Frozen River

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Last Updated on December 13, 2022

Chadar Frozen River Trek is the most beautiful gift provided by nature in the magical land of Ladakh. This is one of the most challenging treks in India as this trek demands staying in harsh terrain at uneasy climatic conditions for about one week. This trek helps you in understanding the way of living of the locals. Interaction with the new people, sleeping in caves, and enjoying the campfire are the major elements of this spellbinding experience. 

Chadar Trek is another name for survival and persistence and only a few chosen ones with strong willpower can successfully complete this trek. Ladakh is one of the most inhabitable areas of the world and Trekking across the narrow passage covered with frozen waterfalls is not for people with weak hearts. Hence, you can only go for Chadar Trek in Ladakh if you consider yourself physically as well as mentally fit. 

Why you should go on the Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek
  • Being one of the most challenging treks in India, it is not the people’s first choice considering the difficulty level. But all the struggle is worth it as soon as you witness the bewitching views of the frozen waterfalls. The scenic beauty is enough to make you hooked on the Chadar Trek for life. 
  • The authentic experience of walking on the frozen Zanskar is a major tourist attraction. 
  • You not only get to witness the stunning views of the Zanskar Village but you can also politely interact with the locals to help you understand the history of this gorgeous place. 

Camping in the Chadar Trek

  • The lively camping experience at Chadar Trek gets a lot more interesting when you have your loved ones accompanying you. The campfire at night along with music and dance adds to the charm of this beautiful place.
  • You get to spend the night in camps at Tibb Cave, Gyalpo, and Naerak which is exhilarating considering that these spellbinding places serve the most exotic views to soothe your soul. 
  • The calmness of the river accompanied by the starry sky will surely relax your mind at night. The hot meals with singing lessons will make the chilly air a lot more exciting and fun. 
  • Trekkers love spending the night in an ancient cave known as Tibb Cave. You can try having hot liquids here such as beverages and soup.

Also, Read: Ladakh – The Land of high passes

Interesting facts about Chadar Trek

  • It takes approximately 9 Days and 8 Nights to complete the trek. 
  • Maximum Altitude: 11,123 feet
  • Chadar Trek Distance: 62 km
  • Level of difficulty: Difficult Chadar Trek
  • Temperature: 5 to 15 degrees (daytime) and 15-25 degrees (overnight )
  • Last ATM: Leh Market and Airport.
  • Chadar Trek is so unique because it happens on a frozen surface. This quality makes it stand out from the rest of the challenging treks in India. Other treks are normally in mountains or hills and they are covered with rich vegetation. 
  • The temperature of Tibb Cave is 20 degrees below the freezing point and it is advisable to fully pack yourself with woolen clothes while spending the night in this ancient cave. If you are interested in dealing with the freezing cold yet romantic weather, then you should definitely go for this Chadar Trek. 
  • The best time to go for this Chadar Trek is during early January and early February. The river freezes at that time of the year and it is such a heavenly experience to witness the sheet of ice covering the area. The lively views accompanied by the chilly air add to the perfect weather for your adventure-craving personality. 
  • If you are between 15 and 18 years of age and you want to go on the Chadar Trek solo, then you need a disclaimer form signed by a parent or guardian.

Highly Recommended places to visit near the Chadar Trek

  • Tilat Sumdo: this place is best for viewing the Himalayas.
  • Shinra Koma: this picturesque location is just a few meters away from Tilat Sumdo. 
  • Diploma: Visit this place if you want the breathtaking views of the Himalayas. 
  • Lingshed: this old village in Ladakh is decked up with the most beautiful natural beauty. Ladakh’s oldest monastery, Lingshed Monastery is located here. This monastery is one of the major tourist attractions in Lingshed. 

Do’s and Don’ts On Chadar Trek

Chadar Frozen River Trek (Do’s)

  • You need to inform at least one family member before going on this trek so that they can help in emergencies. 
  • It is advisable to carry a first aid kit with you as there are no pharmacies on the Chadar Trek. 
  • Please make sure to follow all the instructions of the trek guide to have a safe journey. 
  • You need to plan an extra day for emergency situations such as bad weather, broken bridges, and flight delays. 

Don’ts of Chadar Frozen River Trek

  • Hiking shoes are a must for snowy surfaces. 
  • Please make sure your backpack should be lightweight. 
  • Kindly avoid flowy and frilly clothing in order to complete your trek without any hindrance. 
  • Please make sure to not litter this beautiful eco-friendly zone. Please don’t throw plastic bags and leftovers in the area. 
  • You need to meet the monks with respect and pinpointing is considered offensive here. 

Things you should carry in Chadar Trek

Here are some of the things that you need to survive in Chadar Trek: 

  • Hiking shoes
  • Head torch
  • Rain cover
  • Toilet paper & wipes
  • Walking stick
  • Lightweight backpack (with waterproof linings)
  • Water bottle
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Fleece jackets and thermal inners
  • Led torch (with extra batteries)
  • Lightweight quilt or blanket
  • Warm clothes: Woollen cap, socks, mittens & scarf
  • Mosquito & insect repellent

How to get to Chadar Trek, Ladakh – Frozen River Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Leh 

  • Spend the night in one of the hotels in Leh city. The chilly air will greet you as soon you enter this city. Please make sure to take enough rest and drink enough water to withstand the weather. 

Day 2: Acclimatization Day

  • At least spend two days in Leh to get your body fully adjusted to the extreme weather conditions. Please make sure you carry all the essentials required for the trek. 

Day 3: Medical Check-up

  • You will be allowed in the Chadar Trek only after you go through a medical checkup. You also need to issue wildlife permits, insurance, and other important documents.

Day 4: Leh to Shingra Koma via Chilling & Tilad do and Trek to Gyalpo

  • You need to head to the starting point, which is Shingra Koma. A drive of about 90 minutes along the Zanskar River will take you to Chilling.
  • You need to start walking on Zanskar. Please be careful on the fragile surfaces after you reach the ice formations. 
  • The trek will take you to Gyalpo, the first campsite of your trek. Spend the first night covered with high peaks in Gyalpo. 

Day 5: Gyalpo to Tibb Cave

  • Trek for 12 km from Gyalpo to Tibb Cave. Stop by for lunch. It will be interesting to witness the mysterious frozen waterfalls.
  • You need to move ahead to get the beautiful rock patterns. You will be amused by how the rocks shine when the sunlight falls on them.

Day 6: Tibb cave to Naerak camp

  • Trek for 13 km to reach Naerak. This is the most beautiful landmark of the Chadar Trek. Make sure to cover yourself with layers of woolen clothes. 
  • Spend the night appreciating the beauty of the frozen waterfalls at Naerak. 

Day 7: Naerak to Tibb Cave

  • After Breakfast, return back to the Tibb Cave. 
  • Spend the night camping at the Tibb Cave. 

Day 8: Tibb Cave to Shingra Yokma via Gyalpo, Drive back to Leh

  • Trek for 18 km from Tibb to reach Gyalpo. 
  • Trek back to Shingra Yokma. 
  • Take a flight to Leh city to spend the 8th night in the warm hotel. 

Day 9: Departure 

  • Return from the beautiful Leh city to your home. We are now at the end of the Chadar Trek. 

Points to keep in mind before going on Chadar, Leh Trek

Here are some of the things that you need to be aware of before going on the Chadar Trek: 

  • You will not be able to trek until you submit a medical certificate as this frozen river trek isn’t child’s play. Only physically active people can complete the trek.
  • The climbers who are mentally and physically fit and have sufficient stamina to cover the distance of 5 kilometers without any problem can go for this trek. 
  • Children who are below 15 years of age can’t trek without the company of a guardian. 
  • Junior trekkers who are 15 to 18 years of age are able to trek solo by submitting a disclaimer form signed by a parent or guardian.
  • This trek is not suitable for pregnant women, people with major surgery or broken arm or leg, or people with extreme back or neck pain. 
  • It is extremely dangerous to trek at night. 
  • Trekkers should try to maintain peace while Trekking in order to not disturb the locals existing in the place. 
  • Trekkers must not litter the surroundings in any circumstances. 
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