The Chadar Frozen River Trek - Ex Leh

Region: Leh, Ladakh, J & K
Duration: 09 days
Grade: Difficult
Max Altitude: 11,123 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km: 75 kms.

The 'Chadar' is a perfect example of this resourcefulness of the Ladakhis and their indomitable spirit, in the face of such daunting odds. The term 'Chadar' means blanket in the local language, thereby giving an indication to the nature of this whole experience. Large sections of the river Zanskar, which is one of the mightiest rivers in Ladakh, freeze over in the dead of winter and are covered by a thick blanket of ice. This frozen blanket or 'Chadar' is the only way in and out for Zanskaris in winter, when the road and various other caravan routes are closed due to heavy The icy wonderland of the 'Chadar trek' snowfall blocking the high passes. It has been their traditional trade route in winter for Centuries. The seven to eight days walk from chilling to Padum is both challenging as well as an incomparably exiting experience. The landscape aquires a pristine grandeur in winter as the trail enters into the gorge of the Zanskar, where temperatures sometimes drop to –30 to -35 Degree Celsius.

8 Nights 9 Days Available on request Leh
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • 2 nights’ accommodations in a guest house in Leh on twin sharing basis.
  • 6 nights’ accommodations in trekking route in a tent with twin/three share
  • Basis Tea, Coffee, Break Fast, Lunch and Dinner in trekking route, all meals are
  • Vegetarian. Services of a trekking guide.
  • All required equipments like tents and sleeping bag.
  • First aid kit and oxygen cylinder.

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Travel expenses to reach and return from Leh.
  • All meal in Leh including 2nd days Breakfast.
  • Soft-drinks / Beverages / Alcohols / Snacks / Chocolates etc.
  • Airport drop and pick up.
  • Additional accommodation and food expenses if trek gets delayed due to weather, health or any other reason.
  • Porter’s service to carry your personal luggage.
  • Health Insurance, Personal Insurance and other travel insurance.
  • Expenses for evacuation and rescue operations due to natural calamity.
  • Mishaps, injury or any health problem.
What makes this tour special
  • Leh Market
  • Shanti Stupa
  • Stok Kangri
  • Walking On Top Of Thick Ice Sheet Above The Zanskar River
  • Confluence Point In The Village Of Nimu, Where The Zanskar River Converges Into Indus River.
  • Tent Stay On The Banks Of The Zanskar River
  • Shingra Koma, A Huge Camping Ground
  • Tibb Cave - Stay Inside A Large Cave

Brief Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Fly to Leh. Stay overnight in the guest house.
  • Day 2: Drive to Chilling (3 hours), and trek to Tilat Sumdo (1-2 hours): overnight in Tent.
  • Day 3: Tilat Sumdo to Shingra Koma(6-7 hours) overnight in Tent.
  • Day 4: Shingra Koma to Tibb( 7- 8 hours): overnight in Tent.
  • Day 5: Tibb to Nerak (7 hours): overnight in Tent
  • Day 6: Nerak to Tibb
  • Day 7: Tibb to Shingra Koma
  • Day 8: Shingra Koma to Tilat Sumdo and drive back to Leh: overnight in Hotel.
  • Day 9: Departure

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 01: Fly into Leh
    • 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 cozy guest house.
  • Day 02: Drive to Tilad Do via Chilling
    • 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; 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 03: Tilad Do to Camp at Shingra Koma (3170 m) (05 km apprx/5 hours)
    • Get up in the morning and prepare yourself to walk for a distance of 12 km above the frozen river to reach Gyalpo. The leader of the group will give you advice on what to do or not along the way. The thickness of ice on the river is variable, so it would be best for you to follow things said by the guide. Proper hydration is required to keep the blood flowing in the veins, so on the way, you will be given soupy noodles for nutrition. To reach the campsite in Gyalpo, we will have to trek past Shingra Koma, a huge camping ground. On reaching the campsite in Gyalpo, relax and soak in the views of the surrounding areas. This is the place where there are steep rock faces throughout the landscape and the river curves. Stay overnight at the campsite.
  • Day 04: Shingra Koma to Tib Cave/Tibb (3225 m) (14 km/8 hours)
    • After tea and breakfast in the morning, commence your journey for the day to Dib Cave. During the day, you will behold the breathtaking beauty of the region including ravines and gorges. You might not see sunshine properly as the steep cliffs in this area obstruct them. Once you reach Dib, you will see a large cave. This is the place where you will halt for the night and rest. Butter tea would be offered and we recommend you to try it. Enjoy overnight stay at the campsite.
  • Day 05: Dib Cave/Tibb to Camp at Naerak (3390 m) (10.5 km/7 hours)
    • Today, you will trek the most scenic part of the region and get a chance to witness the largest frozen waterfall and prayer flags. The bridge built next to the site of the waterfall is used in summers to reach Zanskar from Leh. Thereafter, you can proceed towards the village of Naerak to mingle with the locals and understand their way of living. Stay overnight at the village camp comfortably.
  • Day 06: Naerak to Tibb
    • On this particular day, start your return trip and proceed towards Tibb. The return trail would not be easy and the river quickly reacts to any change in the temperature. By now the frozen river might have taken an entirely new form. On the way back, admire the beauty of the region, click pictures and meet locals, who can be seen wearing traditional woolen Gonchas (robes). Upon Dib Cave, relax and stay overnight at the campsite.
  • Day 07: Tibb to Shingra Koma
    • In the morning, get ready to leave Tibb and proceed towards Shingra Koma, crossing Gyalpo. The trail today will give you a chance to witness high mountains and pug-marks of wild animals like snow leopards, ibex and foxes. If lucky, you just might spot a leopard; even if you do not, then at least be sure, you would be watched by them.
  • Day 08: Shingra Koma to Chilling | Chilling to Leh
    • Today, it finally would be the last day of your trekking excursion on the Chadar and so admire the undulated beauty of the Zanskar River. As you head towards Chilling from Shingra Koma, click some final pictures as memories. Finally, on reaching Tilad Do, it would be time to bid goodbye to the locals of Zanskar. On reaching Chilling, drive to Leh and stay overnight at the pre-arranged guesthouse.
  • Day 09: Departure from Leh
    • Today, the mesmeric journey to one of the finest scenic destinations of India will ultimately come to an end. The entire experience, we are sure, would give you an unmatchable feeling of achievement and satisfaction. In the morning, check-out from the guesthouse and depart from the Leh airport.
Pickup point
Leh Airport , Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. View on Map