Among many surprises in Ladakh, the short lived ice-treat at around 11,000 ft above sea level in the form of frozen river trek is one of the most coveted winter adventures. The River Zanskar flowing from Chilling to Zanskar Valley gets frozen with steep drop in temperature up to -35 degree centigrade during harsh winters. This is the time all the other route to travel gets blocks and monks and other locals are forced to take on Chadar snow trek which is nothing but free-flowing river turned ice-sheet, solid enough to walk over.
‘Chadar’ is a term referred to the sheet of ice; hence the name ‘Chadar Trek’ to the frozen River Zanskar. The trek features extreme winters, but not without its uncertain attitude. The ice sheet could be firm at some place and soft at other; being careless can get trekker in danger. Sometimes sudden warmth in the climate forces the river to melt to its original state, as a consequence of which this trek has to be abandoned before accomplishing.
These elements of Chadar trekking tour in Ladakh makes it all the more exciting with unexpected surprises. One should be primarily physically fit and mentally determined to take a look on this side of Nature and thrill aspect of it. Other requisites include a minimum of 10 days in hand, knowledge and possession of snow trekking gears, background info on climate of the Zanskar Valley in general and weather predictions, if any.
Frozen River Zanskar trek is thus route to the buzz of adventure ecstasy filled with captivating views of Nature, monasteries and gompas, Na Chhumchhar waterfall and many such trekker's bait. When are you going to join next expedition?
Day 1 Delhi - Leh (Complete Rest in Leh for Acclimatisation)
Take the morning flight for Leh. Check into the guest house and relax the whole day. This is necessary for getting acclimatised. Overnight at the guesthouse.
Day 2 Leh - Shey - Thiksey - Hemis
On this day you will go a sightseeing trip to some ancient monasteries in this area.
Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17’Th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa.
Thikse Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order.
Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17’Th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long Mani walls. Overnight stay at the guest house.
Day 3 Leh (Local Sightseeing)
In the morning Day trip Phyang, Shankar Gompa & Leh Palace. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 4 Leh - Chilling (5 hrs drive)
In the morning drive to chilling along with our porters from Pishu village of Zanskar, visit coppersmith workshops. Dinner and overnight stay at guest house
Day 5 Chilling - Zaribago (5 hrs)
In the morning set out for a walk on ice of the frozen Zanskar river, Chadar. Feel the thrill of adventure. Dinner and overnight stay at cave.
Day 6 Zaribago - Deepyokma (4 hrs)
Today we will trek up to Deepyokma. Dinner and overnight stay at cave.
Day 7 Deepyokma - Nyrakpulu (4-5 hrs)
Trek up to Nyrakpulu. Today we will camp below Nyarak village, ten minutes up along a small stream. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 8 Nyrakpulu - Lingshed
Today we will trek an hrs walk on frozen river (Chadar), after that 5 hrs steeply up to Lingshed village. In this day we will stay in private house, relax in a heated room. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 9 Lingshed
The day is for relax. This is one of the most remote villages in Ladakh, visit Lingshed monastery, school for monks, explore the village. Dinner and overnight stay at village houses.
Day 10 Lingshed - Deepkongma (4-5 hrs)
Today we will trek up to Deepkongma. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 11 Deepkongma - Warsangdo (5 hrs)
Trek up to Warsangdo. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 12 Warsangdo - Pishu
In the morning we will trek up to Pishu. Dinner and overnight stay in cave.
Day 13 Pishu - Karsha
In the morning trek to Karsha. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 14 Karsha
The rest day at Karsha. After breakfast visit Karsha Gompa. Dinner and overnight stay in tent.
Day 15 Karsha - Zangla
Today we will trek up to Zangla. Upon arrival at Zangla visit the Zangla Gompa. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 16 Zangla - Sarakdo
Trek up to Sarakdo. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 17 Sarakdo - Nyrakpulu
Today we will trek up to Nyrakpulu. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 18 Nyrakpulu - Tsomopaldar
Trek up to Tsomopaldar. Dinner and overnight stay in cave.
Day 19 Tsomopaldar - Tilatdo.
Today we will trek up to Tilatdo. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 20 Tilatdo - Chilling
The last day of our trek. Today we will trek up to chilling and from here return back to Leh by Toyota Qualis/jeep. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel.
Day 21 Leh
Full day of rest in Leh. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 22 Leh - Delhi
Early in the morning transfer to airport and from here catch a flight for Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi transfer to international airport to catch a flight for onward destination.