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The Chadar Trek in Ladakh (Long)

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Chadar trek a thrilling and adventurous trek in India. In the local language “chadar” means layer- indicating the layer of ice that covers the river .


The chadar trek is basically performed on a frozen river called the “Zanskar River”.
During the summer this river it becomes a perfect location for river rafting expedition and during the winters it transforms into an ice sheet where the famous Chadar trek is performed


The Chadar trek route has been used from Centuries as a trade link by Zanskaris. On the way you will also get a chance to stay with the local Zanskaris.  Visit some of the ancient monasteries behind the Ice walls, wedged between the mighty Karakoram & the Great Himalayan range.


Life Away from Life , a mountaineering knowledge based company has one of the best crews to handle difficult situations during the trek. We get the best local information regarding the Chadar condition. Based on up to date info we plan the right itinerary for our clients. Our guides are from Lingshed and other local areas of the Zanskar valley.


The most important feature for the trek to be successful and enjoyable is the use of good equipment’s.


Highlights of the chadar trek :


  • Best Time: Mid January to Mid February. 

  • Duration: 9 days.

  • Focus  Ice trek, Ladakh’s winter life, culture, monks and monasteries. 

  • Physical Challenge: Some long trekking days & Harsh Cold, Tough Expeditions. 

  • Highest Point: Leh 3,505 Mts. & Padum 3,610 Mts.

  • Climate: Usually sunny days but dry chilly winds, temperature can drop up to minus 25 Centigrade (- 25ºC).

  • Group Size: 5 to 10 people.

  • Good quality High altitude sleeping bags  are provided.

  • Two sharing tents give spacious comfort in adverse conditions.

  • Highly qualified LAFL coordinators accompany the team.

  • High nutrition meals are provided.

  • Porters are there to carry your extra luggage.



Day 1 - Reach Leh by Flight and rest for the day Complete rest during the day to get acclimatized to high altitude and prepare for the trek. Stay over night at the hotel.


Day 2 - Leh to Chiling drive & Trek to Tilat sumdo - rest and acclimatize for the day Morning drive to the Chilling, one of the most famous villages in Ladakh, known for craftsmanship, especially the metal works. One the way, we will take a brief halt to experience the magnificent confluence of River Zanskar and Indus. Touching the Chadar first time, we start the trek for 1-2 hrs 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 - Trek to Tsomo Paldar Wake up time is around 7:00 am, freshen up. Breakfast with hot tea and you are ready for a day full of frozen ice river trek by 9:00 am. 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. Lunch is in between the trek, where we all stop where sunlight is abundant though duration is much less as the river flows through a gorge and direct sunlight time is limited.We trek again on frozen ice towards the designated camping site for the day. Overnight at camp


Day 4 - Tsomo Paldar Dibb Early in the morning after having our breakfast, it is an another day of ice t expedition among some of the most fantastic landscapes and ice vistas. Vast mountain sides rise up abruptly from the river as it flows through gorge. We might even catch sight of bharals or blue sheep as we trek along the frozen river. Not to say about the frozen waterfalls! Though today is the longest day of the trek, we 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.We trek again on frozen ice towards the designated camping site for the day. Overnight at camp


Day 5 - Trek from Dibb to Nyerak Pullu Again one of the magnificent days on the Chadar trek. However, the caution being that this can become a 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. After lunch we pass the ‘incense tree’, so called because the locals use its branches to burn in their morning rituals, and the prayer flag draped tree marks the entrance to Zanskar proper. The porters will normally take a few twigs from the tree. We reach Naerak campsite by late afternoon. An old, dilapitated bridge on the river as folklore goes is thought to be more than an 1000 years old. A trail is normally beaten through in the snow towards the village up high in the mountains. Overnight at camp.


Day 6 - Return trek: Naerak 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. All along the way, trekkers will pass by and meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woolen Gonchas, trekking their way towards the village of Padum, Lingshed and Naerak. Pleasantries are exchanged and even a few stories and legend about Zanskar and its people can be heard. Their warmth and smile is amazing among all the hardships. Overnight at camp.


Day 7 - Return trek Return trek from Tibb to Shingra Koma


Day 8 - Return trek Trek from Shingra Koma to Tilat Do, and drive to Leh.


Day 9 - Departure Airport drop to catch early morning flight .


Cost per person (INR)
Date From 24th Jan, 17 to 11th Jun, 21
Where Ladakh
Duration 9 days and 8 nights
Difficulty Moderate
Capacity NA
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7838984471, 8368292699, 01142156013
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Prateek Gupta

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