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 copy guest house.
The biggest challenge of this day, and all the remaining days, is to get out of the warm toasty sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside, but the steaming cups of tea being served provide ample motivation.
Today is a long walking session, about 10 km, on the Chadar. The trek leaders give a briefing about the day, and give tips on how to walk on the Chadar. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. It can be a cold and hard surface of slippery ice, or it can have a dusting of snow over it, providing a good grip. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. The locals, it appears, have a sixth sense as to where exactly to step on the Chadar. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river. Eventually you get used to walking on the Chadar, which looks like a cross between gliding and skating. Mid way to Gyalpo, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot bowlfuls of soupy noodles for lunch. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake. Nothing makes you adapt to the conditions faster than nicely circulating blood in your system.
After passing Shingra koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo. The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made. All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.
This day follows the same early morning routine: bed tea at 7, breakfast at 8, and quick-march at 8:30. Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day – almost 15 km. But that is nothing to worry about, all the walking keeps you incredibly warm.
Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either sides of the river keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others. As the fable goes, centuries ago the local villagers faced a dearth of water and went to Tibet to plead for water. They were given a box which they were to open once they reached the village, and not any time sooner. But curiosity got the better out of them, and when they opened the box, two fishes jumped out of it, creating two huge waterfalls. One of those waterfalls, miraculously, is not iced-up even in such freezing cold. The rocks below this waterfall are covered with moss, and this is the only greenery you’ll see on this trek.
At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them!
Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags. The porters give you a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a badge of good-luck and good-health. A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. You can see dozens of colours in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh.
The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take you to the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari. The camp is set up close to the river.
Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave. And if you thought that it was just a matter of retracing your steps back to Chilling, you can think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.
On the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas – some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation. Watching the locals negotiate the Chadar is a fascinating sight. They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit.
Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today. The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls. You can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek – footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards. You would be lucky to view a snow-leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.
This is the last day of treading on the Chadar – the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. Our team and our porters will take good care of you and make this trek one of the most memorable experiences for you. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house again.
As this unforgettable journey gets over, you depart from Leh having a newfound respect for the Zanskaries who brave all odds and survive with style in their beloved land. This trek also leaves behind a tremendous feeling of accomplishment – one of having undertaken and endured an extraordinary and challenging trek. The Chadar trek will be a cherished memory for life.
|DELUXE PACKAGE||BUDGET PACKAGE|
|Accommodation on Triple sharing basis.||Accommodation on Twin/Triple sharing basis.|
|First and Second day Leh Local Sightseeing.||First day Leh Local Sightseeing.|
|Breakfast and Dinner in Leh(First and Last night)||Breakfast in Leh Included First and Last Night)|
|All Meals while on Trek(Vegetarian)||All Meals while on Trek. (Vegetarian)|
|Trekking equipment (Sleeping Bag, Mattress, Kitchen & Dinning Tent, Utensils, and Tent).||Trekking equipment(Sleeping Bag, Mattress, Kitchen & Dinning Tent, Utensils, Tent).|
|First Aid Medical Kits, Stretcher and Oxygen Cylinder.||First Aid Medical Kits, Stretcher and Oxygen Cylinder.|
|Qualified & professional Trek Leader, guide and Support Staff.||Qualified & Professional Trek Leader, guide and Support Staff.|
|Both way Airport Transfers. Transportation from Leh to Trekking point and back.||Both way Airport Transfers. Transportation from Leh to Trekking point and back.|
|Travel insurance.||Travel insurance.|
Note: In case the Chadar Trek gets cancelled cause of natural phenomenon or any other reason beyond our control, we shall try to arrange for alternative treks like Lamayuru Trek, Zanskar Valley Trek or the Indus River Trek looking at the situation and possibility of the events. If the participant is unwilling to go for the alternative trek, there would be no refunds. As for Chadar trek, all the services have to be arranged before hand and cannot be shifted to any other date.
No show and trek changes/cancellation due to bad weather or natural calamity will be non-refundable. No money shall be refunded in case a person is rescued and brought back to the base camp before the said date. If the travellers need to return before the trip ends, they shall have to bear all the expenses for accommodation and meals at Leh or any other place.
|Package||Hotel Name||Per Person on Triple Sharing basis|
|Deluxe||Hotel The Zen Ladakh / Similar||Rs. 32,999/-Per Person|
|Budget||Guest House / Similar||Rs. 20,999/-Per Person|
Environment Fee of Rs. 2500/-PP additional. & 5% GST EXTRA
|SL No.||Start Date||End Date|
The Himalayan foothills are just ideal for trekking, Hiking and Camping offering energetic out-door people a different and exciting option for a Adventure holiday. The Ladakh and Zanskar regions of Jammu & Kashmir are the most popular destinations for trekkers. Walking in the Mountains: Mountain walking is an art in itself. A good trekker is economical in his actions. If you watch a Hillman or a shepherd walking after his sheep, you will observe that he does not waste energy in unnecessary flailing of arms or legs. His strides are sure and steasy, and he soes not appear to be in a hurry. He thus reaches his destination without undue fatigue.Keep in mind the following points:
1. During a rest period, lie against a tree trunk or a big stone. Place your legs on your rucksack or on any other higher place. This will regulate your blood circulation.
2. Stop about 15 min. after the first start to readjust your rucksach or to tie a shoelace etc.
3. Do not make halts frequent or prolonged. Too many halts destroy walking rhythm. Frequent rests are not needed if you follow the right walking techniques. Stop should be made, wherever possible, at natural stopping points, like on the top of a ridge, of before a difficult ascent, or at a scenic viewpoint.
The following list only mentions the essential elements. You have to prepare a list of clothes and small personal articles you will need during the trek. A small backpack (about 40 l. It will contain what you will need during a trekking day and carried by you), a kit-bag with padlock (or a big backpack. It will contain the 12 kg personal belongings, which will be carried by horses or porters. We advise you to protect the inside of the kit-bag with a plastic bag), a good sleeping bag, a sweater, a fleece jacket and a waterproof jacket (preferably Gore-Tex), good trousers as well as a waterproof trousers (preferably Gore-Tex), gloves and cap, hiking shoes, sunglasses and sun cream, a walking stick (optional), a frontal lamp or an electric torch. A foam mattress is provided, but if you have a self-inflating mattress, bring it: you will feel more comfortable First aid kit: Here are the main things which can be useful: iodine tablets, tincture or crystals for water purification, analgesics, antidiarrhoeal, intestinal disinfectants, antibiotics, antiseptic, eye drops, bandages, cutaneous antiseptics, waterproof tape, adhesive pads, cotton swabs, skin applications (burn, sunburn, bites or stings), acetazolamide (Diamox) for acute mountain sickness...
Leh is connected by good motorable roads to all major places in India. Leh is 1047 km from Delhi, 434 km from Srinagar, and 230 km from Kargil, 494 km from Manali, 380 km from Keylong, 118 km from Deskit (Nubra Valley), 690 km from Jammu. However, during winter all the roads get closed. The only way to reach Leh is by Air.
Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport of the area. The flights are directly connected from Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu. Daily flights are run by Air India, Go Air and Jet Airways. The flights can get delayed or cancelled during winter so one must keep their options open.
Going on Chadar is very adventurous but one requires taking proper precautions to really minimise the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Headache, Nausea and general discomfort are the normal symptoms of AMS. One requires taking proper rest for at least 8 hours to avoid AMS. Make sure one drinks lot of water and Black Tea. One may opt to take Diamox tablet which will help you to acclimatize the climate.
If you start feeling AMS, immediately inform our crew and follow their instructions. Normally, we do have oxygen cylinders to fight AMS. In severe cases we will admit the guest to the hospital. Travel and Health insurance is covered in your cost.
Weather in Himalayas is very unpredictable. Although our team is very careful about weather but abrupt changes are bound to happen sometimes. Please be fully prepared for the change in climate. If there are landslides or the weather is not good, our team head will take the final decision to proceed or not.
Minor injuries like leg sprain, bruises can happen during trekking over the difficult terrains. Our team are certified and well trained to tackle First Aid injuries.
Mobile networks do not work in remote areas of Himalayas, so it is good that you inform your loved ones and family members in advance about the same so that they are not worried. Normally in Leh post paid Airtel and BSNL connections work.
On a trek you need to manage with minimum resources. This can be challenging. But the lesser you carry, the easier it is for you to trek. Here are some things you shouldn’t have in your backpack.
|Sleeping Bag||1||CTL will provide. If you have one, bring your own after consulting with us for hygienic reason.|
|Sleeping Mattress(Foam/Rubber)||1||CTL will provide.|
|Trekking Shoe||1||A) A good quality rubber sole with mid sole and ankle support (Medium or high ankle) shoe. Break in well before that you don’t face any sores/blisters when you are on mountain.
B) Optional. Carry an additional shoe for longer duration treks. While walking on snow, shoe may get wet completely.
|Rucksack/Back Pack||1||Must, Between 35 to 50 Litre|
|Rucksack cover (Waterproof)||1||Good to have for protection from rain/dust/stain etc.|
|Daypack/Knap sack||1||Optional ( Can carry along with you with water bottle, food, camera and wind/water proof etc) if you want to offload your Rucksack in permitable routes.|
|Thermal wear (Base Layer)||1 pair||Upper and lower (Woolycot)|
|Under garments/Inner wear||As per need|
|Cotton socks||2/3 pair||Use full length socks (Don’t use tennis socks)|
|Woolen socks||1 pair|
|Woolen gloves||1 pair|
|Waterproof gloves||1 pair||Optional. Nice to have, especially on high altitude treks where snow/ice is encountered.|
|T-shirt||3/4||As per need. Take at least one dry fit/quick dry type of synthetic material.|
|Trek pants||2/3||Can be Tracks, 3 quarter/Cargo or Convertible kind. One dry fit lower of synthetic material is recommended.|
|Camp sandal||1 pair||Can be a strap on sports sandal/Hawaiian sleeper.|
|Balaclava/Woolen skull cap/Monkey Cap||1||Protection from cold.|
|Sun cap/Wide-brimmed Hat/Bandana||1||Protection from sun.|
|Walking Sticks/Trekking Poles/Ski Poles||1 pair||Nice to have, reduces the pressure on knees and gives balance specially while descending.|
|Heavy Jacket||1||Double layer/Fleece/Synthetic fill/Down feather|
|Windproof Jacket/Wind Cheater||1||Must. Better if hooded and water resistant/repellent|
|Raingear/Poncho/Waterproof clothing||1||This is a must, specially in monsoon. Separate upper (with hood) and lower is better option.|
|Water bottle/Hydration pack||1||Good quality plastic.|
|Sunglasses||1||This is must for all the high altitude treks. Polarised/Anti glare is always a better option in snow with UV400 (UV A & B) protection. Trekkers with spectacle can order customised powered sunglasses.|
|Sunscreen lotion||1||Optional. At least 30/40 SPF.|
|Chap Stick/Cold & Moisturising cream||Optional. As per need. Use small tubes/bottles.|
|Tooth brush and tooth paste||1||Carry smallest available tube of tooth paste.|
|Towel||1||Medium size (light weight).|
|Soap/Soap strip||1||Carry small pocket size soap, or Soap strip.|
|Hand sanitiser||1||Optional. Small bottle|
|Tissue roll ( Toilet)||1||This is a must item as water may not be available in the vicinity.|
|Anti Fungal Powder||1||Optional. This helps to keep the socks and the trek shoe drier and odour free to an extent. Carry smallest container.|
|Knee cap||1 pair||Optional. Makes a difference especially if you have knee injures/problems.|
|Torch/Head Lamp with extra batteries||1||Must. Head torch keeps your hands free.|
|Camera with extra cells||Battery pack||Optional. As per need. Normally there is no charging point on the Himalayan trek routes.|
|Dry food items||Kit||Must. Carry some candy, chocolate bars/energy/nutri bars and Glucon C/D/Gatorade sachet.|
|Personal first-aid kit||Kit||Anti septic cream, Betadine/Dettol/Savlon, Band aid, cotton, crepe bandage, safety pin etc.|
|Medicines(This is a simple guide line and a doctor’s consultation is recommended.)||Kit(Mandatory)||a)General medicines comprising of headache, fever, vomiting, stomach upset and pain killer (Volini gel/spray)
b)Anti Diarrhoearalc)Antibiotics –( choose broad spectrum antibiotics for treating a variety of infections – carry a course of each)
c)Mild analgesics – (Aspirin/Paracetamol etc but DONOT take Codeine based painkillers).
e)Strong analgesics ( Co-Proxamol/Ponstan/Temgesic, use with care).
f)Anti inflammatory (Nurofen or diclofenac sodium)
g)Diamox – This helps in acclimatisation (a proper dosage is must if taken. Drink lot of water as this is a diuretic drug.
Take all the accessories that you need. Buy gumboots as the normal hiking shoes aren’t enough. They prevent the feet from frostbite, don’t get wet easily, and cost INR 400. Extra pair of socks, waterproof gloves, body warmers, flask bottles, exothermic pouches, trekking rods, couple of sleeping bags are some of the most basic things.
We request all the trekkers to consult a physician and conduct a medical check up before venturing in any Himalayan Trek. However this is NOT MANDATORY for all the treks, but helpful and advised. For certain treks this is MANDATORY (check with us for the same)