chadar-first

Region :  Ladakh  / Duration : 15 Days / 6 Days Trek  / Grade : Difficult / Max Altitude : 3500 m / Trekking Km : 75 Kms.

Presentation

One of the toughest and most adventurous trek, the total distance of this tour (one way) is approximately 105 Km and will be covered with average distance of 15 to 17 km a day. The temperature remains minus 15 to 20 during the day time and – 25 to –35 during the night. After keeping all the facts in one’s mind bring your warmest Jackets and sleeping bags and good shoe.

Most of the trek is done on the ice (Chaddar) but at some places we must climb icy rocks or trails and in Zanskar itself we can walk through the normal trail used by the people daily.

Any person thinking joining this unique adventure must be fully prepared to accept tough camping and walking conditions. Most of the nights will be spending in the caves and in Zanskar we may sleep in the houses provided by the local people. The porters and the kitchen team will be totally Zanskaris, dedicated and who are perfect to work in any weather conditions. There will be three porters after every tourist and food served will be mostly Indian and Ladakhi.

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Arrival to Delhi & Fly to Leh

Transfer and overstay in Yes Cottage Please hotel, rest and transfer to domestic airport Fly to Leh Stay in guest house.

Day 2, 3 : Acclimatization days (optional visits in Monasteries around Leh)

Day 4 : Preparation to the trek

Day 5 : Drive to Tilad Do via Chilling.
Drive 65 kms.
Stay in tent.

Day 6 : Tilad Do to Shingra Koma.
Trek 10 kms.
Stay in tent

Day 7 : Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave.
Trek 15 kms.
Stay in tent.

Day 8 : Tibb cave to Naerak camp.
Trek 12.5 kms.
Stay in tent.
Attraction Frozen waterfall.

Day 9 : Naerak to Tibb Cave.
Trek 12.5 kms.
Stay in tent

Day 10 : Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma.
Trek 15 kms.
Stay in tent

Day 11 : Shingra Koma to Tilad Do and drive to Leh.
Trek 10 kms.
Drive 65 kms.
Stay in guest house.

Day 12 : Return from Leh.

Day 13 : Rest in Leh

Day 14 : Fly back to Delhi

Details

Day 1 : Fly to Leh.

Altitude 3500 m. Flying over miles and miles of heavily snowed mountains will tell you just why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh by road in the winters. The moment you land at the Leh airport, one of the highest airports in the world, you will feel the fresh and crisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature. The town has just begun shedding off the thick winter slumber and is slowly coming to life. Taking a stroll through the Leh market, you will find that very few shops and eateries in the town are open for business; but if required, some last minute-shopping for the trek can be done here. The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. The night is spent in a copy guest house.

Day 3, 4 : Acclimatization days (optional visits in Monasteries around Leh)

Day 5 : Drive to Tilad Do via Chilling                                                                                                              

slide3

Stay in tent.                                                                                                                                                                  Drive 65 kms.                                                                                                                                             

You can start the morning by witnessing the sunrise from the Shanti Stupa , from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire town of Leh and its surroundings. You can also see the peak of Stok Kangri almost beckoning you to climb it.

But today’s agenda includes a very picturesque and thrilling long-drive to Chilling. The roller-coaster ride takes you along the Indus to the village of Nimu, where the Zanskar converges into Indus. After stopping at this confluence point to take in the view, the drive continues and the road begins descending right into the river valley. There are quite a few heart-stopping moments as the vehicle negotiates the steep hairpin bends over snow covered road. The road goes past Chilling to Tilad Do. Among these mammoth mountains, the feeling of insignificance of one’s being does not escape anyone.

To reach the camp-site, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar river and this is when you take your first steps on the Chadar. It takes a while to get a hang of walking on the ice sheet. As the evening comes, the TTH team pitches tents on the banks of the Zanskar, and hands out thick warm sleeping bags. To get some exercise and keep warm, you can climb up the nearby mountains and get a good look at the frozen river. As the sun sets, it drags the temperature down with it, and the sleeping bags in the tents look quite inviting.

Day 6 : Tilad Do to Shingra Koma.

chadar2

Trek 10 kms.
Stay in tent.

The biggest challenge of this day, and all the remaining days, is to get out of the warm toasty sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside, but the steaming cups of tea being served provide ample motivation.

Today is a long walking session, about 10 km, on the Chadar. The trek leaders give a briefing about the day, and give tips on how to walk on the Chadar. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. It can be a cold and hard surface of slippery ice, or it can have a dusting of snow over it, providing a good grip. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. The locals, it appears, have a sixth sense as to where exactly to step on the Chadar. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river. Eventually you get used to walking on the Chadar, which looks like a cross between gliding and skating. Mid way to Gyalpo, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot bowlfuls of soupy noodles for lunch. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake. Nothing makes you adapt to the conditions faster than nicely circulating blood in your system.

After passing Shingra koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo. The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made. All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.

Day 7 : Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave.

Trek 15 kms.                                                                                                                                                                      Stay in tent.

tibb-cave-camp

This day follows the same early morning routine: bed tea at 7, breakfast at 8, and quick-march at 8:30. Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day – almost 15 km. But that is nothing to worry about, all the walking keeps you incredibly warm.

Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either sides of the river keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others. As the fable goes, centuries ago the local villagers faced a dearth of water and went to Tibet to plead for water. They were given a box which they were to open once they reached the village, and not any time sooner. But curiosity got the better out of them, and when they opened the box, two fishes jumped out of it, creating two huge waterfalls. One of those waterfalls, miraculously, is not iced-up even in such freezing cold. The rocks below this waterfall are covered with moss, and this is the only greenery you’ll see on this trek.

At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them!

Day 8 : Tibb cave to Naerak camp.

cascades

Trek 12.5 kms.
Stay in tent.
Attraction Frozen waterfall.

Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags. The porters give you a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a badge of good-luck and good-health. A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. You can see dozens of colours in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh.

The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take you to the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari. The camp is set up close to the river.

Day 9 : Naerak to Tibb Cave.

naerak bridge

Trek 12.5 kms.
Stay in tent.

Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave. And if you thought that it was just a matter of retracing your steps back to Chilling, you can 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 the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas – some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation. Watching the locals negotiate the Chadar is a fascinating sight. They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit.

Day 10 : Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma.                                                                                                          

chadar

Trek 15 kms.                                                                                                                                                                   Stay in tent.

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 can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek – footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards. You would be lucky to view a snow-leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.

Day 11 : Shingra Koma to Tilad Do and drive to Leh.

chadar3

Trek 10 kms.
Drive 65 kms.
Stay in guest house.

This is the last day of treading on the Chadar – the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. TTH team and our porters will take good care of you and make this trek one of the most memorable experiences for you. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house again.

Day 12 : Return from Leh.

As this unforgettable journey gets over, you depart from Leh having a newfound respect for the Zanskaries who brave all odds and survive with style in their beloved land. This trek also leaves behind a tremendous feeling of accomplishment – one of having undertaken and endured an extraordinary and challenging trek. The Chadar trek will be a cherished memory for life.

Day 13 : Rest in Leh

Day 14 : Fly back to Delhi

Day 15 : Departure from India

How to Reach

By Air :

Flying over miles and miles of heavily snowed mountains will tell you just why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh by road in the winters. Jet Airways, Air India and Go Air provide daily (once every day) flight service between New Delhi and Leh. However if you plan a trip to this area of the country, you must try to book your tickets well in advance. This might even cut down the prices which may be levied on booking at the last time. You would enjoy the flight as you would fly over many untouched areas and even some mountain ranges. The aerial view is just fascinating and gives a great start to your tour.

Map

chadarshort

chadarlong

Price

PARTICIPANTSTREK SHORT
PRICE / PERSON (€)
TREK LONG (€)
PRICE / PERSON (€)
516001900
418002100
319002200
221002400

Conditions

Cost Includes :

  • Hotel Yes Cottage Please in Delhi.
  • Domestic flight
  • Hotel or Upper Class Guest House in Leh.
  • All ground transportation in Delhi by air-conditioned car/coach.
  • All ground transportation in Ladakh by non air-conditioned jeep.
  • All camping/trekking arrangements
  • Food (During Trekking and Campings)
  • Two men tent with mattress
  • Kitchen/mess tent with utensils
  • Cook & Helpers
  • Pack ponies for luggage
  • Camping fee
  • Trekking bag for protection of your personal luggage.
  • Local English speaking guide in Delhi & Ladakh.
  • Entry fee to monasteries / monuments in Ladakh only.

Cost Does not Includes :

  • International  Flights
  • Lunches & Dinners in Delhi.
  • Sleeping bag and Personal clothing.
  • Insurance and medical evacuation.
  • Tips, hard & soft drinks, laundry, postage, telephone calls, anything not specified above and any item of personal nature.
  • Any expenses caused by reason beyond our control such as road block and flight cancellations due to natural calamities etc.
  • Entry fee to monuments in Delhi.
  • Any thing not specifically mentioned under the head “Cost includes”.

CANCELLATION POLICY

  • If cancellations are made 30 days before the start date of the trip, 25% of booking value will be charged as cancellation fees.
  • If cancellations are made 15-30 days before the start date of the trip, 50% of booking value will be charged as cancellation fees.
  • If cancellations are made within 0-15 days before the start date of the trip, 100% of booking value will be charged as cancellation fees.
  • In case of unforeseen weather conditions or government restrictions, certain activities may be cancelled and in such cases the operator will try his best to provide an alternate feasible activity. However no refund will be provided for the same.

REFUND POLICY

  • The applicable refund amount will be processed within 10 business days

CONFIRMATION POLICY

  • The customer receives a confirmation voucher via email within 24 hours of successful booking
  • In case the preferred slots are unavailable, an alternate schedule of the customer’s preference will be arranged and a new confirmation voucher will be sent via email.
  • Alternatively, the customer may choose to cancel their booking and a full refund will be processed.

Booking