Trek Grade: Difficult
Ladakh is part of Jammu & Kashmir and it is frequently referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" - actually "there is no place like the serene Ladakh in Switzerland - correction, anywhere else on Earth." The hike on the frozen Zanskar River follows a spectacular route patronized by the people of the Zanskar valley for hundreds of years. This was their only contact with the outside world for trade during the 8 months long winter.
Ladakh is famed for its high passes, brackish water lakes, a stunning lunar-like landscape, a Buddhist culture warped in time, deep blue endless skies, and a landscape that is larger than life. It is an adventure-seeker's paradise. Many have said Ladakh is the most beautiful place in the world, but we seek a beauty even more surreal and attempt one of the most celebrated, difficult and exquisite treks of the region. We will walk on a frozen river bed, camp near caves along the way and encounter cold and altitude to get the unique Chadar experience.
Caution & Remarks:
- Fitness: this trek involves walking for 5-6 hours daily at an average pace. The highest altitude that we attain on this tour is 3,500m/ 11,484 ft. We do not recommend this tour to people with chronic problems like epilepsy and those related to blood pressure or heart or diabetes.
- Even though participants do not need to submit any health certificates those with a history of medical problems, particularly cardiac or respiratory, should consult a doctor before undertake the trip.
- Individuals with allergies and minor health issues should carry appropriate prescribed medication.
- Avoid medication such as sleeping tablets, sedatives, strong painkillers, and anti histamines as these depress the respiration and increase the risk of (AMS - Acute Mountain Sickness), especially while asleep.
- Smoking and alcoholic beverages not allowed during the trek.
- Permits & Documents: it’s mandatory that all the participants carry a valid photo id / passport for issuance of permits and 2 passport size photographs.
- Baggage & Porters: you can hire a porter so that he can walk along with him, then an extra porter can be arranged on the spot for which the client must make an extra payment.
- Temperature: day temperatures average minus 13 ºC (-8 °F) and at night it can drop to minus 30 ºC (-22 °F). Temperatures can vary a lot depending on the season and altitude.
- Travel: All the Delhi – Leh flights are scheduled in the early morning hours hence it is advisable to fly to Delhi a day in advance.
- Participants are advised to purchase travel insurance that provide care and services for sickness, accidents, emergency rescue.
- Leave behind a copy of the trip itinerary and contact details with friends or home for emergencies.
What is included in the tour
- Surface Transfers from Leh Hotel to Base Camp and Back to Hotel
- Accommodation in Leh for 2 Nights on Triple Sharing
- Accommodation during Trek in Alpine Tents along with Sleeping bag to sustain temperature upto - 40°C
- Simple, nourishing, & vegetarian meals during the trek
- Services of experienced guide, cook, & porters during trek
- Basic Medical kit & Oxygen cylinder
What is NOT included in the tour
- Cost for Airfare, Train fare, Insurance Premiums
- Travel expenses to reach and return from Leh
- All Meal in Leh including 2nd days Breakfast
- Proposed Wildlife Fees, Environmental Fees and other fees
- Airport / Railway station transfer
- Additional accommodation and food expenses if trek gets delayed due to weather, health or any other reason
- Porter’s service to carry your personal luggage
- Expenses for evacuation and rescue operations due to natural calamity, mishaps, injury or any health problem
- Service Tax as per govt. norms
- Unique experience of trekking on the frozen Zanskar river
- Amazing scenery, wild gorges and frozen waterfalls
- Countryside trekking hospitality at its best
A Nine Days High Altitude Trek for Mountain Lovers
Day 1: Fly in to Leh & Report at Guest House
Arrive by flight and report at Leh. Rest of the day free for acclimatization. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Chilling to Tilat Sumdo
Drive from Leh to Chilling and Tilat Sumdo. Today in the morning drive with small brief halt at the magnificent confluence of River Zanskar and Indus and then again a drive to the Chilling, one of the most famous villages in Ladakh, known for craftsmanship, especially the metal works. Touching the Chadar first time, we start the trek along the magnificent frozen river Zanskar till Tilat Sumdo. Overnight in cave/ camp/ tent. Also learn the fun way to adjust yourself to Ladakhi Shuffle walk style on the frozen slippery ice of River Zanskar.
Day 3: Tilat Sumdo to Tsomo Paldar
After the breakfast call at 7:30 am and an early departure, the walk on the Chadar has fully started. Hearing the different sounds of Chadar forming and breaking, you will soon get familiar where the Chadar or the ice cover is thick and thin. With a early lunch break in between, we would soon reach the majestic Tsomo Paldar.
Day 4: Tsomo Paldar to Dibb
Today is the longest day of the trek and gives us the opportunity to pass through some magnificent beautiful waterfalls and frozen ice cliffs on the left. It is like walking through a giant freezer! The walk also crosses through narrow gorges, where the trekker may have to climb briefly on to the rocky river bank. The sharp bends and current of the river breaks the ice in some places. Lunch in between on a flat rocky hill side by the river.
Day 5: Dibb to Nyerak Pullu
One of the magnificent days on the Chadar trek. However, the caution being that this can become difficult if the Chadar is not very firm. The vistas are stunning though as we pass through giant frozen waterfalls, ice cliffs and one may even catch sight of the mountain fox. Nyerak village is located high above. Beyond the bridge that links Nyerak village with Lingshed, small huts mark the summer grazing shelters of the villagers.
Day 6: Neryak Pullu to Dibb
Though technically it is the same way back, it is also quite different. The Chadar or the blanket of ice that is forming on the River Zanskar is always changing, breaking up and forming itself again. As the Chadar dynamics are ever changing, the same route and place would look and feel different as the texture and conditions change.
Day 7: Dibb to Shingra Koma
The ever changing topography of the Chadar makes the trek to Shingra Koma interesting as well as challenging. The trek on this day allows one to take in the beautiful landscape that one might have missed during the beginning of the trek.
Day 8: Shingra Koma to Tilat Sumdo & onwards to Leh
Trek to Chilling and enjoy the Chadar for one last day before heading back to Chilling for the drive back to Leh.
Day 9: Check out & Fly out of Leh
Check out of Hotel & Head for Leh Airport for Flight back home.
In case, anyone drops out during the trek:
In case of ill health or any other reason, if any participant has to turn back to Leh, the cost of heading back to Leh (Travel + Porter) along with the Cost of stay in Leh has to be borne by the Participant himself/ herself.