Chadar Trek

duration Duration 8 Nights / 9 Days
altitude Maximum Altitude 11,123 ft
visit Best time to visit Jan - Feb
age Minimum Age 8+
Camp Base Camp Leh
Camp Accommodation type Tents
About the Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek - What if you have the opportunity to trudge on the frozen ice sheets along an icy emerald green river running beside you? How will it feel to sip tea and devour Maggi at almost blood-freezing temperature? What if you have the rarest chance to cuddle a waterfall and feel the pointed tips of it? 

Amidst the ever scenic and stunning Leh at an altitude of 11,400 feet, there flows the splendid Zanskar River which stays frozen all throughout the December – February. Chadar which translates into ‘Blanket’ in English depicts the frozen river, and is also widely famous with the name ‘The Frozen River Trek’. Unlike any other treks in India, this Himalayan trek is not where you have a set trail or the itchy forests around you but it brings you the opportunity to venture out to an unparalleled experience of trekking amidst the vast mountains and sporadic slippery trail. You won’t be pitching your tents in wild and thick meadows or dense forests but right under the umbrella of erratic meteor showers.

Also See: Kedarkantha Trek

The best time for Chadar Trek is ideally between late December and early February.  Most of the usual treks have around 3 to 10 degree Celsius average temperature but Chadar trek’s temperature will ask you to hold yourself and your clothes tight for – 15 to – 20 degree Celsius. Candid moments such as occasional visits of the sun during the trek or the singing songs during the bonfires will elate you and discover a marvelous life. Chadar trek, Ladakh is one of in a lifetime experience of trudging on an outstanding trek route full of almost transparent ice sheets and massive yet breathless mountains. The trek invites out of the world experience of uncertainty, astonishment, adventure, and the quest to conquer your fear.

One of the added advantages to Chadar trek is the extra stay at Leh, Ladakh. While your body is acclimatizing to the new environment and is getting adjusted to the oxygen level, (without planning another trip) you have got two extra days to walk through the local markets, visit some of the historical places, and get to feel the local culture and unique cuisine. As many have recounted their experiences in Leh in January, we too believe that Ladakh is simply nothing less of a winter paradise. The vast barren lands full of flawless white-coloured snow botched with blue coloured rare lakes and rivers are true delight to the travelers. Unlike other places, Ladakh is a town where you will find warm and genuine hearted people in local homestays. If you have got enough energy and zeal left even after the trek, you must make plans to drive through a few of the most prominent places such as the ever famous ‘Pangong Lake’ and Thiksey Monastery. Fancy racing your friends across a river? Ladakh’s got plenty of frozen rivers for you!

Along with all the sightseeing opportunities and befriending some locals to savour the tastiest local food, if you are lucky, you might also get a chance to witness some extravagant local festivals such as Ladakhi Losar, Matho Monastery festival, Thiksay Gustor and Spituk Gustor. Well, the way Ladakh is full of surprises and gifts, you too can stuff in some vivid coloured local dresses for yourself and your special friends! Wouldn’t it be so amazing to wear them and remember your relished memories of Chadar Trek and unbelievable Ladakh? But despite all the benefits which Ladakh gives you over any other place, don’t forget about your ‘THE’ moment – The Chadar Trek. What better deal would give you a blended experience of a trek and local sightseeing all at one place!

Moustache treks will ensure that that 54 km over the Zaskar frozen river and in one of the most beautiful valleys will not only be safe and accommodative but also be the most adventurous trek of your life. We hope, the Chadar Trek brings you a large bouquet of vivid and flamboyant memories. Are you already feeling the cold? The thrills? The shivers down your bones?

Place your faith on us and give us the chance to take you a parallel paradise of ice, music and adventure while trekking on Chadar – The Frozen River Trek.

Day 1: Arrival at Leh. Acclimatize – Rest day 


Altitude - 11,400 ft

Meals Included - Dinner

Stay Type - Hotel

  • The only means to travel to Leh in the winters is through the air. Take this opportunity to peak your view of the stunning snow-topped mountains and the serenity of the Zanskar Region.

  • Depending on the place you are travelling from, embrace yourself to a sudden burst of cold. It is advisable to keep your extra warm clothes ready to adjust your body to the new climate.

  • Once you are done with your arrival at the airport, check-in with the guest house and settle down.

  • First day is entirely to adjust your body and acclimatize with a different kind of atmosphere. Keep yourself warm and cosy and relax for the rest of the day.

 

Day 2: Acclimatize - Rest day


Altitude - 11,400 ft 

Meals Included - Breakfast + Dinner

Stay Type -  Hotel

  • Today’s day is again an important day for your body to adjust to the oxygen level and the climate density.

  • Start your day with a delicious breakfast and scenic mountains lurking outside of the windows. 

  • It is good if you can take a walk around the guest house and feel the cold air. If you think you are somewhat adjusted, this is your best chance to visit the nearby places, eat at some of the eateries and explore the excitement. 

  • As you will have the entire day to yourself, you can use it to your own convenience. It is prudent not to wander off to any high-altitude place during your rest days at Leh.

 

Day 3: Medical Checkup


Altitude - 11,400 ft

Meals Included - Breakfast + Dinner

Stay Type - Hotel

  • Today will be your third and final day before starting with the trek. After eating the breakfast, enjoy the walk to the government medical camp led by the trek guide which goes through some of the local markets. Get to befriend some of the locals too.

  • The government officials will examine your oxygen saturation, blood pressure and BPM. Once you have passed the medical test, you will receive your medical fitness card and from there you will be allotted the permit for Chadar the trek.

  • It is important that you keep the permit safely throughout the trek because it certifies you that you are capable and have the required capacity to undertake the trek.

  • Scan through all your vital items required during the trek. See if there is anything essential you are missing out on. Prepare and get excited to start with your adventure from the next day. Sleep well at night.

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


Drive - 90 min (1.5 hr.) drive

Altitude - 11,480 ft- 10,500 ft

Trek - 11 km, 3-4 hrs.

Meal Included - Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Tea, Dinner

Stay Type - Tents


  • Finally, after your body has acclimatized to the environment, after a heavy breakfast we will drive to Shingra Koma via chilling which is one of the most charming villages in Ladakh.

  • Unlike any other drives, here you will have several picturesque moments to look over the beautiful Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, the ever-famous Magnetic Hill and the spectacular confluence of the point where Zanskar river and Indus river meet. 

  • After the drive you will have the first touch on the frozen Zanskar river and the early gumboots walks might be challenging. Try judging the fragile paths while keeping in mind the overall weight (your weight + luggage). Alas! a few meters into the trek you will be able to catch the hitch to walk over the frozen river.

  • The trek will end at the Gyalpo campsite, situated at the river bend covered by high peaks and pretty sky. Experience your first night at a sub-zero temperature campsite and dare yourself to stargaze at night.


Day 5: Gyalpo to Tibb Cave


Altitude - 10,500 ft - 10,800 ftx

Trek - 12 km, 5-6 hrs 

Meal Included - Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Tea, Dinner

Stay Type - Tents

  • After a sub-zero adventure last night, wake up to your fifth day at the frozen river trek. Cramdown your hot breakfast amidst freezing weather and get ready to walk deep into the mysterious valley.

  • Today’s day will be marked with a gradual ascend of 300 ft. with some of the stunning waterfalls and sturdy trails.

  • The infrequent sun peeping through the mountains will be a treat to your face and body. Feel the warmth with small stops with hot tea and breath in the mightiness of the nature around yourself.

  • One of the best parts of this trek is to walk along the running emerald green water of the Zanskar river and explore the sharp edges of the hills. 

  • In the night enjoy the campsite around the dry sand area of Tibb cave under the beautiful shining starry sky.

 

Day 6: Tibb Cave to Nerak and back to Tibb Cave


Altitude - 10,800 ft - 11,100 ft and back to 10,800 ft 

Trek - 13 km, 6-7 hrs

Meal Included - Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Tea, Dinner

Stay Type - Tents

  • Remember our ‘What If’? This is the day when you experience a real adventure, a little difficulty, and the gateway to heaven: The Iconic Frozen Waterfall.

  • Throughout 13 km you will walk through exciting terrain, emblematic mountains and breathless icy cold flowing rivers. This part of the trek is a little difficult yet the most cherished.

  • After an exhausting and challenging trek, you will reach the iconic giant frozen waterfall which is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of nature ever seen.

  • Spend some time around the waterfall, capture memories alongside your peeps, fill up your gallery with some amazing pictures and make the best out of this time.

  • We will be staying over the dry sand area of Tibb Cave the same as last night. Once reaching the campsite, relax, get some storytelling running around and retire to the starry night.

 

Day 7: Tibb Cave to Gyalpo 


Altitude - 10,800 ft to 10,500 ft

Trek - 13 km, 6-7 hrs

Meal Included- Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Tea, Dinner

Stay Type - Tents

  • After waking up on a good morning, spare some time to rejoice the memories of Frozen Waterfall and have your breakfast at the campsite.

  • Today we will be heading back to Gyalpo, the starting point of Chadar Trek. 

  • Right after a few meters into the trek, you will land in a spot where the mountain walls rise in such a way that it feels like massive castle walls are protecting you.

  • Observe the fresh trails of snow and footprints all along the trek, belonging to Foxes, Ibex, or Snow leopards. You might get a glance over the foxes too, you never know!

  • Reach the campsite, enjoy your steaming meal and relish some of your adventurous memories. Adore your last night on the frozen river under a clear sky.

 

Day 8: Gyalpo to Shingra Yokma, Drive back to Leh


Altitude - 10500 ft - 10300 ft, Drive to 11400 ft

Trek - 7 km, 4 - 5 hrs

Drive - 90 min (1.5 hr.)

Meal - Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Tea, Dinner

Stay Type - Hotel (Centrally heated)

  • Start your chilly morning with a warm tasty breakfast served at the campsite, pack your bags, un pitch your tents and start your trek back to Shingra Yokma.

  • During your trek back to Shingra Yokma, you will observe that the route has slightly changed. The ice sheets have melted - thin layers of frozen Zanskar and astounding patterns of rocks are visible now.

  • You are now trekking over the last patch of beautiful Chadar. After reaching Shingra Yokma start your 1.5 hr drive back to Leh.

  • During your drive back to Leh, you will be ascending to an altitude of 11,400 ft from 10,300 ft. Reach the guest house and enjoy your hot meal served with the beauty of Leh and retire for the day.

 

Day 9: Departure

  • Wake up to a fresh morning and bid bye to the beautiful adventures and head back to the airport.

  • Moustache Escapes appreciate your reliance on us and hope to see you soon again!

Your Chadar experience ends here.

Air: The only way to reach Leh during winters is by flight.

1. Shirts / T-shirts –2/3, Jeans / Trekking Pants/ Bottoms and Lowers -2

2. Windproof jacket of good quality preferably with a hood or a cap

3. Warm and thick Fleece / Full-sleeve Woollen sweater

4. Thermal inner wear (upper & lower), Scarf/muffler (optional)

5. Woollen cap, Woollen gloves, Woollen socks & regular socks (3-4 pairs) - Important

6. Comfortable Trekking/Hiking shoes (shoes with thick soles are advisable)

7. Lightweight floaters/sandals/slippers

8. Raincoat / Poncho, Small lightweight towel

9. Water bottle (sturdy ones, no empty Bisleri bottles!!)

10. Cap or a Hat to protect your face from the strong sun.

11. Sunglasses, Walking stick / Trekking pole

12. Sunscreen Lotion, Lip Balm, Torch / Flashlight, Moisturizer etc.

13. Medicines, if requiring any specific medication

14. Personal toiletries

15. Day pack/small bag which you will carry on your back every day and keep your essentials in it

16. Camera if you like (with fully charged batteries)

 

Advisory:

 

There will be no equipment on rental available at Leh, hence we advise to carry all the equipment mentioned from your home town.

Inclusions:

 

1. All accommodations as below -

i. Stay in a hotel on a sharing basis. (Day - 1,2 and 3)

ii. Stay in tents on a sharing basis. (Day - 4,5,6 and 7)

iii. Stay in a centrally heated hotel on a sharing basis. (Day 8)

2. All veg meals as below - 

i. All meals on MAP (Breakfast + Dinner) from Day 1 to Day 3.

ii. All meals on AP (Breakfast + Lunch + Evening Tea + Dinner) from Day 4 to Day 8.

3. All Transportation as below -

i. Airport transfers to hotel and back on day 1 and 9.

ii. Transfer from Hotel to trekking point on day 4 and back to hotel on day 8.

4. Kitchen, Dining and Toilet tents will be used during the trek.

5. Cooks/Helper and other requisite staff.

6.. Experienced trek leader, one on one assistance team with ample knowledge of the route.

7. Porters for carrying common equipment (like rations/tents/utensils/groceries).

8. . Equipment – Tents / Sleeping bags / Sleeping Mats.

9. Basic First aid Kit with a portable oxygen cylinder.

10. The Facility of keeping extra luggage at Leh when leaving for the trek.



Exclusions:

 

1. The total trek expenses does not comprise of the GST charges (5%).

2. Services for Luggage offloading or Personal Potters for carrying bags or any other equipment.

3. Fees - Permit/Wildlife fee/ALTOA fee/Insurance(total cost is approx 5000 - 8000 per pax).

4. If by any chance your trek remains incomplete or you fail to start the trek because of "force majeure", medical emergency or by personal choice after you arrive at the starting point, you will not be able to get a refund, reschedule or replace any services that remain unutilized by you.

5. Any additional cost incurred due to changes in Government Guidelines related to travel/trek/COVID-19 will be borne by the Guest.

6. Anything which is not included in Inclusions.


1. If cancellations are made within 2 days prior to the start of the trek, 100% advance will be charged as cancellation fee.

2. If cancellations are made between 3-7 days prior to the start of the trek, EITHER 75% of total package amount will be returned to the guest (25% of total package amount will be charged as cancellation fee) OR whole advance amount can be adjusted against any trek within next 6 months.

3. If cancellations are made prior to 7 days from the start of the trek, 100% of the total advance will be refunded.

4. If you book the trek by paying 25% of the booking amount and fail to make the 100% payment before 25 days from date of travel. In this case, your booking will get cancelled automatically and can only be reconfirmed once you make the full payment, depending on the availability of slots.

5. In case if your trek remains incomplete or uninitiated because of "force majeure", medical emergency or by personal choice after you arrive at the starting point, you will not be able to get refund, reschedule or replace any services that remain underutilized by you.

6. Cancellations are strictly subjected to cancellation policies mentioned on the website & are irrespective of the date of booking.

7. The applicable refund amount will be processed within 10 business days.

Q1. How difficult is the Chadar Trek? 

Answer: The Chadar trek falls under the moderate category in terms of physical fitness as it will be a straight walk over the frozen river, however, it is a bit challenging in terms of acclimatization due to the sudden altitude shift and the low temperature.

 

Q2. What is the network and internet connectivity during the Chadar Trek?

Answer: Only the postpaid mobile networks of BSNL, Jio, and Airtel works at Leh city in the Union Territory of Ladakh. Hence no network and internet connections are available during the Chadar Trek.


Q3. How to reach Chadar Trek?

Answer: In order to start the Chadar Trek, you have to reach Leh and it is only possible via air during winters as the roads remain closed during this time of the year.


Q4. Is Chadar Trek for beginners?

Answer: Yes, as the Chadar trek falls under the moderate category of the trek and is a straight walk over the frozen river. For beginners, we recommend one should start preparing 1 month prior to the start date of the trek and should be focusing more on daily fitness and cardio exercises.


Q5. Will you give certificates on completion of trek?

Answer: Yes, our team will provide you the Chadar Trek certificates on completion of the trek.

 

Q6. What is the maximum height reached in the Chadar Trek?

Answer: The maximum height reached on the Chadar Trek will be 11,400 ft during the stay at Leh and 11,123 ft during the trek over frozen Zanskar.


Q7. What is the total distance covered in the Chadar Trek?

Answer: The total trek distance covered in the Chadar Trek will be around 56 km.


Q8. Can Chadar Trek be done solo?

Answer: Yes, the Chadar trek can be done solo. However, you need to hire a guide for the whole trek as per the rules and regulations set by Govt.


Q9. Is Chadar trek safe?

Answer: Yes, the Chadar trek is a safe trek if you follow the rules and regulations set by the concerned authorities. During the trek, you must pay heed to the trek guide for a safe and adventurous journey.


Q10. Which is the nearest airport to Chadar Trek?

Answer: The nearest airport for the Chadar trek will be Leh airport. Many Delhi to Leh flight transfers are available during the season of frozen river trek.


Q11. Is it possible to do Chadar Trek in December?

Answer: No, the Chadar Trek is a walk over the frozen river of Zanskar. Generally, the Zanskar river gets completely frozen only in the month of January or sometimes in late December depending on the weather.

 

Q12. Is it possible to do Chadar Trek in June?

Answer: No, the trek of Chadar is a walk over the frozen river, and during the month of June, the river stays in its original and gushing state.

 

Q13. What is the minimum and maximum age limit?

Answer: The minimum age is 8 years and the no maximum age limit to trek for Chadar Trek if a person is fit enough to do it.

 

Q14. What will be the accommodation type on the Chadar trek?

Answer: There is a mixed type of accommodation on the Chadar Trek as on Day 1,2,3,8 you will be staying in the guest house and from Day 4 - 7 in the tents.


Q15. What kind of tents and sleeping bags will be provided to us?

Answer: High-quality tents and sleeping bags will be provided which can hold up to - 40-degree temperatures for the Chadar Trek.


Q16. Are there any washroom/toilet facilities on Chadar trek?

Answer: Yes, with the inclusion of the attached washroom facility during the stay in guest houses and dry toilet tents during the trek over the frozen river.

 

Q17. Is there an option to offload my backpack?

Answer: Yes, you can offload your backpack at the allocated guest house before stepping over the frozen river at an additional cost which is to be paid on the ground.


Q18. What's the Chadar Trek temperature?

Answer: The temperature during the Chadar trek varies from -15 to -30 degrees celsius.

 

Q19.Can I take gumboots or other trekking gears on rent?

Answer: No, the gumboots and other trekking gear are only available for sale purposes at Leh during the Chadar Trek season.

 

Q20. What type of food is served during the Chadar Trek?

Answer: The food served during the Chadar trek will be simple, veg and nutritious.

 

Q21.What is the level of fitness required for Chadar Trek?

Answer: A trekker should be able to jog for 3-5 km on a daily basis.


Q22. How long is the Chadar Trek?

Answer: The total trek distance covered in the Chadar Trek will be 56 km long.


Q23. What is the best time to do Chadar Trek?

Answer: The best time to do the Chadar trek is from Mid January to Mid February.

 

Q24. How should I select my trekking shoe for Chadar Trek?

Answer: We recommend Gum Boots with soft sole for Chadar Trek, they are waterproof and provide a better grip while walking over the frozen river. Please make sure not to buy the hard sole gumboots, we also recommend that you buy the gumboots from the Leh market as they are custom-built for the Chadar Trek.

 

Q25. What are the nearby attractions that I can explore at Leh?

Answer: The following nearby attractions that you can explore at Leh are- 

(i) Khardungla Pass

(ii) Magnetic Hill

(iii) Sangam point

(iv) Shanti Stupa

(v) Patther Sahib Gurudwara

(vi) Shey Monestry.

 

Q26. Who will lead us on the trek?

Answer: The experienced trek leader and its team will lead you for the Chadar Trek.

 

Q27. Are there any local stores/shops where I can shop for trekking equipment?

Answer: Yes, some of the shops are available at the Leh main market from where you can shop for Chadar Trek.

 

Q28. is it safe for a solo woman traveler to trek in Fixed departures?

Answer: Yes, it is totally safe for a solo woman to join the fixed departures.


Q29. What time will you drop us at the endpoint on the last day of the trek?

Answer: You will reach Leh on Day 8th of the trek at around 6 pm in the evening

 

Q30. What are the mandatory documents required for this trek?

Answer: The Mandatory documents required for Chadar Trek are- 

(i) Valid Government ID Proof such as - Passport, Driving License, Aadhar

(ii) Medical certificate from the concerned authorities of Leh

(iii) Permits issued over the medical certificate

Average Rating 4.5