Wonders of the Chadar trek
Chadar (Frozen River) Trek is by far the most intriguing adventure. Who could have imagined that the human would evolve so much that someday we would literally walk on water? Well, at least on the frozen river while the water is still flowing beneath the frozen ice. It is not walking on the frozen river that is astonishing. But, the extremities attached to this adventure that makes it wonderful. So, what are the true wonders of this Winter Wonderland?
- Of course the frozen Zanskar river
Zanskar is a river of Ladakh region, which is popular for its unique colour. Although, it is even alluring in its frozen form. The Chadar trek starts from Chilling to Shingra Koma. This is another unusual spot to view Chadar for the first time. It is located a U- shaped section of the river, which offers the most stunning sight of the Zanskar and the mountains around. The adrenaline rush then just keeps rising which each breath as you walk on the thin ice. You can see through this ice layer and river flowing below it if you are lucky!
Walking on the jigsaw puzzle of the frozen pieces of the river is like a nightmare and one of the dreams come true!
- Nature stands still, frozen in time
If walking on the frozen river is the real adventure, then Chadar trek offers many perks too. On the way towards Tibb Cave and Nerak, you can spot many waterfalls frozen in time. Just keep your eyes open, you might spot a droplet of the waterfall frozen in time.
Everything around the river will be cold, hard, frozen. Even things you carry will tend to become ice hard. Be it your drinking water, your used socks, tents. Take anything to the Chadar it will freeze them!
- Peace in the burning cold
You can only imagine the magnitude of the cold to keep everything still in time. The temperatures are remarkably extreme. It ranges from -10 in the daytime to -30 degrees at night. Nerak will be the coldest places where you will spend the night. You will quench for warmth, but any degree of warmth will not suffice. Try wearing layers, covering up, you will always be cold. Nights will be the worst.
Despite all that, spectacles every day or even at night are negligible in front of any degree of cold. You will enjoy the peacefulness of frozen nature.
- Discovering the unseen
However, cold it may be, just try to look at the night sky. You will get to experience heaven. In the night sky, the mountains seen from Chadar are stupendous. They are literally out of the world. Nowhere on Earth will one find such a spectacle.
We know that Ladakh is dry region. Only on Chadar trek, you will get to witness the authenticity, serenity of the arid mountains. Brown, barren mountains under the shining blue sky and its reflection on the thin ice of Chadar. You have discovered the unseen!
- Into the unknown
Mountains are unpredictable we know that. What if the trek route itself disappears? How surprising is that? Right, sometimes the Chadar breaks and your only path to walk on the river vanishes. Then you have to walk over the rocks and hike like a normal trek or sometimes even cross the cold river. Well, it is disappointing. That is why we say nature is unpredictable.
Even if Chadar does not break, the ice structures keep moving. The trail of Chadar is never the same. It will be different even while you are going back from Nerak. Now, this adds a lot of spice. You are not only walking into the wild, but you are also walking into the unknown.
- Into the uncomfortable
As if walking on the ice is easy! It is not at all the cakewalk. Standing straight on ice is a challenge at first. Even with gumboots, it takes time to get used to the technique and walk properly without disturbing the Chadar.
The walking can be mastered, but adjusting to cold is an everyday challenge. No matter how hard you try, everything freezes, your water, contact lenses, food, tents, socks become hard. The cold slows down your every movement. Sometimes when Chadar breaks, you will be asked to walk through the river. Right, in the intense cold, gushing water. It brought goosebumps only with the thought of it!
Well, Chadar trek is not only walking into the unknown, but it is also actually walking into the uncomfortable. But that is the whole point of going an adventure like Chadar. To test ourselves, to boost ourselves, to fight weaknesses, to discover the comfort in the discomfort, to satisfy ourselves. Isn’t it?
Tell us according to you, what is that is wonderful about Chadar trek.
TTH Official Content Writer