Chadar Trek: Complete Details


Chadar trek is a trek that takes place over the frozen Zanskar river in the Ladakh region of India. It is considered to be one of the most thrilling and adventurous experiences. The trek is done during the winters when the river changes into a thick ice sheet. The frozen blanket over the river or chadar is the only one of transportation for the locals of Zanskar during the winter months when the roads are all shut down and covered with snow. The chadar trek or the Zanskar river is nestled with mountains enveloped by snow on one side and a stream on the other side. It takes around 6 days to complete the whole trek across the frozen Zanskar river.

Some facts about Chadar trek

The Chadar Trek is now on the list of risky trekking spots but the beauty of the Himalayan Mountains allures several trekkers to trek. It is advisable for people with not strong hearts and breathing problems to avoid trekking at Chadar Trek. If you are willing to visit Chadar Trek make sure to wear shoes that might help you to walk on ice sheets. Most of the ice is melting due to the impact of huge global warming.

Reasons to do Chadar trek

Though you might find it to be a difficult trekking spot it is the opposite. All you need is precautions and then you can execute your plans for the Chadar Trek.

The frozen waterfalls during your Chadar Trek is a sight to be amazed by. The lakes might be covered in a thin sheet of ice and you will be walking on it with ease. Though there are itinerary sites to aid you at the Chadar trek if you face any calamities. So, you need not fear getting help during your journey. You will get the option to discover a new zone with less population at the Chadar trek. You can boast about being in a different world at the Chadar Trek.

Best time to do Chadar trek

The bewitching trek at the Frozen River Trek (Chadar Trek) is preferable by lots of trekkers for a long time but if you wish to see the Zanskar River covered in a thin sheet of ice then you must visit the area where the temperatures drop down to a sub-zero level in January, February and early March. The beautiful ice sheet covered Zanskar River will be visible to you.

How to reach?

The Chadar Trek is located in Leh Ladakh and is 11400 feet above sea level. You will be meeting the famous Zanskar River at the end of your trekking days. The white snow blankets the mountain tops giving it a gorgeous sight to behold. The Chadar Trek is also known as the Frozen River Trek because the Zanskar River lies covered in an ice sheet in the winters.

You have only one option to reach the Chadar Trek and that is by air. You have to take a flight towards the base camp of the Chadar Trek. 

You need to take a flight from New Delhi; the Indira Gandhi International Airport towards the Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh. From there you can hire a cab towards Leh and upon reaching the desired destination you can start your trekking towards Chadar Trek. Remember to apply for an authorized representative before you set out on your trekking journey.

Things to carry for Chadar trek

On your trekking journey at Chadar Trek you must carry these necessary items with you :

  1. Your backpack must be a waterproof one and make sure to carry a waterproof coat to protect you from the watery atmosphere at Chadar Trek.
  2. Carry two bottles of water; that can contain 1-litre of water each and a 1-litre thermos flask. (Make sure you have a few packets of Ors to keep hydrated on your 8 days trekking at the Chadar Trek).
  3. Carry three to a maximum of four waterproof shirts and two to three warm sweaters or jackets.
  4. Take with you four pairs of washable and waterproof trousers on your trekking journey.
  5.  Wear a pair of trekking shoes and carry another pair of flip flops on your journey and four pairs of socks.
  6. Gloves, woollen caps, mufflers, sunglasses, an umbrella, toiletries and a few cold creams are necessary items for the trek as well.
  7. Carry a torch with you and a few batteries.
  8. You need a flexible and portable trekking stick for your Chadar trek journey.
  9. Make sure you have a portable charger to charge your cell phone and a camera or you can use your cell phone depending on your choice.
  10. You ought to see a doctor so that you might not face any hazardous condition of your health on your trekking site. Make sure to carry the medical equipment as prescribed by your doctor.

Level of difficulty

If you are going on a trek at Chadar Trek then be prepared to face the jarring and the despotic climatic situation on your way. The level of oxygen in the higher altitudes might vary, but rather than decrease, you will be facing a breathing disorder. Make sure you have a health check-up from a doctor before you set out on your journey. Though beginner trekkers can opt for the Chadar trek with precautions.

Places to visit during Chadar trek

There are many wonderful sites to visit at Chadar Trek make sure you had been to these places:

  1. The camping zone; Tilat Sumdo.
  2. Shingra Koma is another adventurous trekking destination.
  3. The mystical caves and waterfalls of Tibb.
  4. Gyalpo, human-faced rocks are sure to surprise you.
  5. The beautiful Dibyokma is going to set your heart in a peaceful trance.
  6. The local generous people of Ling shed are sure to show their heartwarming welcome.

About the locals

The locals at Chadar Trek are mainly Ladakhis and the Zankaris. They are very honest, innocent and generous people. These locals are now in demand for a road that is being made for the convenience of the locals so that they can reach the main cities for aid. 

The natives have a hard time getting through the icy mountain roads during winter and they seem to walk at distances by the frozen Zanskar River after all that is the only route for them to cross. You can see some tribes or natives at Diskit at Chadar Trek. Their towns are settled in the valley and they lead their lives living with the harsh cold as their partner. The Zanskar river is also a sacred site for the locals at Chadar Trek.

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