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Chadar Trek Frozen River

Chadar Trek

(GST 5.00 %)
(Leh to Leh)
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Region :- Leh, Ladakh, J & K
Duration :- 9 Days
Grade :- Difficult
Max Altitude :- 11,100 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 62 Kms.

The Start of the Journey

The journey starts at the mountain town of Leh. The only way to reach Leh is by flight and it is surrounded by snow giving it a complete white look. One can catch a glimpse of the snow capped mountains from the flight as it descends toward Leh which is located at 11400 feet above sea level. The trek is over the Zanskar River which lies frozen during the winter. The most preferred time to cross the ice would be in February. During that time, the ice tends to be at its most stable state. The Frozen River Trek begins from the small village of Chilling from where the Zanskar River begins to freeze.

Across the Ice

The ice can be as dangerous at times as it can be safe during others. One needs to figure out the safe paths over the precarious sheet and must always be aware of the ice conditions below the feet. The trekkers can choose to camp in the caves along the banks like the locals or set up tents where the ice is the most stable. The setting is close to twenty degrees below freezing point and decreases further after sundown as well. Warm and layered clothes are recommended as is being on the move as much as possible. These help invariably in keeping the body warm and prevent cold sores and also keep the blood from freezing.

Better Safe than Sorry

It is always recommended to be aware of the ice conditions at all times. There are several factors to consider ensuring a safe journey. Most of these factors involve the conditions of the ice and the footing choices of the trekker. The precautions include:

  • The trekker must be aware of the ice sheet conditions.
  • There may be cracks in the ice which should be avoided.
  • Finding places with a coating of snow is the best place to walk normally.
  • Slippery ice can be found on several sections as well and should be walked on with utmost care.
  • Cracks may suddenly appear under one’s feet and it is required to run to more solid footing immediately.
  • The ice is not a trekker’s friend and one should always respect it and be aware of the conditions at all times especially while choosing the camping spot.

Gear and Trekking Info

Trekking gear should be brought from home as there are not many places available at Leh during the winter where supplies can be bought. Food that can be preserved and made quickly such as instant noodles is an excellent addition. One should always have enough before starting off as it is recommended to be moving for the better part of the day in order to keep warm as well as keeping the journey in momentum. Ice picks, trekking boots, several layers of extra warm clothing are a compulsion in such conditions. Tents are recommended but optional as one can easily camp in caves like the locals who journey across the river. However, being a non-local, that idea may not be advisable and carrying tents is always commendable.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Reporting day at Leh

  • Altitude 11,400 ft.
  • Keep your woollen cap and gloves handy at Airport
  • Orientation & Briefing of the trek at 12:00 noon (Mandatory)
  • Check in Hotel (10:00 am) (Centrally heated room)
  • Bring a copy of ID proof and 2 photo graphs. Foreigner, a copy of passport and visa
  • Network is available (only post-paid)
  • ATM is available
  • Visit of any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
  • Spend the day in the room itself to acclimatise

  • Day 2: Acclimatization Day

  • Rest + Acclimatisation day
  • Sightseeing included in the cost (Hall of Fame, Santhi Stupa, Shey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery
  • Visit of any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
  • Stay in Hotel (Centrally heated room)

  • Day 3: Leh to Tsomo Paldar via Chilling & Tilad do

  • Altitude 11,400 to 10,400 ft.
  • Drive 65 km, 3-4 hrs
  • Trek 3km, 2 hrs
  • Gumboots are mandatory
  • Carry two thermos flask of 1 litre each
  • Stay in tents
  • Drive through Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus

  • Note :- Walking in gumboots will take a while, so be prepared for some slips and falls! It’s advisable to carry a small backpack which will protect your back at the time of falls.

    Day 4: Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave

  • Altitude 10,400 to 10,800 ft.
  • Trek 15 km / 6-7 hrs)
  • Hot Lunch on the way
  • Make sure you fill your thermos with warm water before you leave
  • Pass through a waterfall which never freeze
  • You will only get sunshine around 9-10 am
  • Stay in tent

  • Day 5: Tibb Cave to Nerak

  • Altitude 10,800 to 11,100 ft
  • Trek 13 km / 6-7 hrs)
  • Hot Lunch on the way
  • Make sure you fill your thermos with warm water before you leave
  • Nerak is the first village of Zanskar region
  • If we reach on time at Nerak camp, accordingly we can go to visit Nerak village
  • Attraction Frozen waterfall
  • Stay in tent.

  • Day 6: Nerak – Tibb Cave

  • Altitude 11,100 to 10,800 ft
  • Trek 13 km / 5-6 hrs)
  • Hot Lunch on the way
  • Make sure you fill your thermos with warm water before you leave
  • Stay in tent

  • Day 7: Tibb Cave to Gyalpo

  • Altitude 10,800ft to 10,500 ft.
  • Trek 12 km / 5-6 hours
  • Hot Lunch on the way
  • Make sure you fill your thermos with warm water before you leave
  • Stay in tent.

  • Day 8: Gyalpo to Tilad do to Leh

  • Altitude 10,500ft to 10,300ft and drive to 11,400 ft.
  • Trek 06 km. / 3-4 hrs
  • Drive 65 km, 3-4 hrs
  • Hot Lunch on the way
  • Make sure you fill your thermos with warm water before you leave
  • Reach Leh by 06:30 pm
  • De- briefing and certificate distribution just before dinner
  • Stay in Hotel (Centrally heated)

  • Day 9: Fly to your desired destination

  • Checkout 10.00 am from Leh Hotel

  • Who Can Go:-
  • Experience of any high altitude trek at least 1 trek
  • The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 45 minutes without a stress.
  • The climber should be able to carry a 10 kg backpack.
  • Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.
  • Detailed Itinerary

    Day 1: Reporting day at Leh

    You will be landing at the Leh airport which is one of the most picturesque airports that you would come across. Just before the touchdown time, you'll be greeted with the entire range of snow-capped peaks that will surely get you wonderstruck. It's important to keep your warmies handy as you'll fell the sudden drop in temperature as soon as you arrive at the Leh airport. A jacket, woolen gloves and a woolen cap is a necessity. After reaching the guesthouse you will be given enough time to relax and acclimatize to the conditions. Later in the evening, you can spend some time at the Leh market for last minute window shopping. It is very important that you get used to the cold temperature in Leh because the temperature will only tend to fall as you start walking on the frozen Zanskar. From the end of January to mid-February, the temperature can be anything between -10 to -15 degrees during the day. It is also important to keep your body hydrated by increasing the intake of fluids that will help to maintain your body temperature.

    Day 2: Acclimatization Day

    Keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers are facing (AMS), as per the new regulations applied, anyone doing the Chadar Trek should be atleast spending two days in Leh to get your body fully acclimatize to the weather conditions. It is irrevocable and it is important that it is strictly followed by every trekker. You can spend the day by visiting the places around the city. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places which are at a higher altitude. Crosscheck you essentials before going to bed.

    Day 3: Leh to Tsomo Paldar via Chilling & Tilad do

    On this day, you'll be headed to the first campsite which is Tsomo Paldar via Chilling & Tilad do. It is one of the most scenic drives which lets you witness some of the top spots in Ladakh. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus are some of the places where you can take a pit stop for clicking pictures. An hour and a half drive along the Zanskar will get you to Chilling. The car will drop you right where the road ends, this will be your starting point of walking on the Zanskar. Walking with you gumboots on will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. Understanding the ice patterns will take time, slowly but steadily you will know which surface is fragile and which is trustworthy. There are multiple number of ice surfaces that you would come across while walking on the mighty Zanskar and as you start walking you will know more about it. Planting your foot will be important in most of the cases, you can check for the ice for its steadiness with your walking stick before stepping on it wholeheartedly. A small and light backpack will help as you will able to manage your body weight in an effective manner. After an hour and half of slipping, falling and trying to gather your balance you'll be reaching your first campsite at Tsomo Paldar. This will be your first experience of camping under sub-zero temperatures.

    Day 4: Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave

    Chadar is one such trek where your not gaining altitude in quick successions. Slowly but gradually from Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave (6-7 hours), you will be gaining an altitude of 400ft. (Tsomo Paldar: 11,400 to Tibb Cave: 11,800) After spending a cold night in the tent at Tsomo Paldar get done with you breakfast that will re-energize your senses in the morning. The much needed hot cup of tea will be special in such frosty conditions. As you start heading to the next campsite which is Tibb Cave, this trek route has some of the most eye-catching frozen waterfalls that you'll see. Waterfalls that stand frozen in time. The source of some of these frozen waterfalls is still unknown and there are a lot of myths amongst the villagers. The mighty Zanskar will be flowing all along with you on the trail and the emerald green water will have a smoothing effect. You will be served lunch midway to Tibb cave. After walking for a couple of hours you'll come across different rock patterns along the way which look artistic when the sun rays fall on them making their way from behind the clouds. You will be camping near the Tibb cave which is surrounded by dry sand.

    Day 5: Tibb Cave to Nerak

    As you move on to the most awaited campsite of the trek which is Nerak, the 13km long trail will take you to the most iconic landmark of the Chadar trek. i.e. The frozen waterfall. The frozen waterfall is a natures masterpiece in itself that attracts trekkers around the world. Hot lunch will be served on your way to Nerak. By far, Nerak will be the coldest of all the campsites on the trek where the temperature goes down to as low as -30 degrees during the night. It will be important that you wear proper clothing in layers to stay safe from the biting cold. If you manage to reach the waterfall on time, there are chances of paying a visit to the Nerak Village as well. You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the waterfall.

    Back from Nerak:

    You might have heard stories of how unpredictable the weather patterns can get here on the Chadar trek. There are instances where the formation of Chadar no longer exists on your way back from Nerak. In the same way, you will witness a new layer of Chadar formed at some. Even though it's the same route, you'll be amazed to see how different it appears while coming back. Chadar Trek is an experience of a lifetime that every trekking enthusiast should witness. And then, what if we told you that these eight days of your life are going to be some of the best days you've lived so far and that you'll cherish these moments till the very end.

    Day 6: Nerak – Tibb Cave

    Day 7: Tibb Cave to Gyalpo

    Day 8: Gyalpo to Tilad do to Leh

    You will reach Leh by approximately by 6:30 in the evening. We recommend trekkers not to book a flight on Day 8th of the trek instead, book it on the 9th Day.

    How to Reach

    By Air :-
    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. Jet Airways, Air India and Go Air provide daily (once every day) flight service between New Delhi and Leh. However if you plan a trip to this area of the country, you must try to book your tickets well in advance. This might even cut down the prices which may be levied on booking at the last time. You would enjoy the flight as you would fly over many untouched areas and even some mountain ranges. The aerial view is just fascinating and gives a great start to your tour.

    Cost Terms

    Inclusions :-
    1. Accommodation: • Guest house (Centrally heated) in Leh on Day 1, day 2 and day 8 as per the itinerary.
    • Camping during the trek
    2. Meals while on trek (Veg.+ Egg)
    3. Trek equipments: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin sharing), kitchen & dinning tent, toilet tent, utensils
    4. Necessary permits and entry fees
    5. First aid medical kits, stretcher & oxygen cylinder
    6. Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide, cook and Support staff
    7. Transport from Leh guest house to Tilad do and return as per the itinerary

    1. Any kind of personal expenses.
    2. Airfare
    3. Food in Leh
    4. Any kind of emergency evacuation charges
    5. Pickup and drop from airport
    6. Wildlife/environmental charges
    7. Porter to carry personal luggage
    8. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head

    Note :
    Normally TTH expect to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you don't want to carry your backpack so you can give it to porter, but you have to inform us in advance and have to pay Rs. 800 to 900 (subject to change)/- extra per day per bag.

    Paying the Trek/ Adventure activity fee:
    The fee can be paid by online transfer/check deposit/ demand draft. Instruction for payment will be forwarded along with your confirmation email. When your transfer is done, please e-mail us a confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow up your reservation efficiently.

    When to book:
    It is wise to make your booking at least two months in advance. However, if you want a good deal on your domestic/international flight, we recommend organising your trip at least five months in advance. (Please contact us if you require a late booking)

    In the event of cancellation of trek/adventure activity services due to any avoidable / unavoidable reasons we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive advice in writing, and cancellation charges would be as follows: -

    Cancellations prior to 24 days from the start of the trek
    Book any other trek till one year or get 95% refund
    (Note: If the trek charges are more, the balance needs to be paid by the trekker)

    Cancellation between 24 days and 14 days to the start of the trek
    Choose to go for the same trek, with any other batch, till year or get 70% refund

    Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the trek
    Choose to go on the same trek, in the same season, with any other batch or get 50% refund.

    Cancellation less than 10 days to the start of the trek
    Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend. No cash refund.

    1)- Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch.
    2)- In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should satisfy all the mandatory requirements put forward by TTH.
    3)- TTH holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice.

    Trek Essential


    Fitness regime for:

    Calculate Your BMI

    If your BMI is normal, you can plan your fitness regime as mentioned. If your BMI is not normal, consult your trusted physician before you plan your fitness regime.
    If you're suffering from any chronic illnesses consult a medical practitioner.



    Risk & Respond

    High Altitude Treks: Risk and Response A high altitude trek calls for an adventurous attitude, but embarking on an adventurous trip without calculating the risks is utter stupidity. That’s why we have listed a few risks and the response planned by TTH to minimise or address the risks in the best possible way.

    Risk: Altitude Before you start the trek, it is important to understand the implications of high altitude on your body. Be aware of symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) like mild headache, nausea and general discomfort.

    Response: If you feel any of these symptoms, inform the trek leader on priority and follow his instructions. Every campsite has as stretcher, fully equipped first aid kit, oxygen cylinders to address the situation.

    Risk: Weather Weather is unpredictable in the Himalayas. Though we are always observant about the changing weather, no one can guarantee a snowfall, rain or Sun. Do understand that your security is of utmost importance to us and we will not proceed any further from the campsite if the weather is not favourable.

    Response: The decision of the Trek Leaders and Guides to proceed or wait for the weather to get better will be final.

    Risk: Injuries Often, while trekking over difficult terrains, you might have minor injuries like leg sprain, bruises etc. Serious injuries like fractures or major cuts are very rare.

    Response: All our Trek Leaders are Certified Wilderness First Aid responders. They are trained to handle emergencies and can tackle minor injuries with a well-equipped first aid kit. In case of serious injuries, the patient is carried on a stretcher to the nearest road-head and is led to nearest medical centre.

    Risk: Lack of communication devices In the remote areas of the Himalayas, mobile networks do not reach. On a trek, one is cut off from the world of calls, SMSs or watsapps.

    Response: We rely on walkie-talkies and runners to communicate between the campsites and the base camps.

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    Fixed Departure

    Brief Detail

    Trek Itinerary

    Day 1: Reporting day at Leh
    Day 2: Acclimatization Day
    Day 3: Leh to Tsomo Paldar via Chilling & Tilad do
    Day 4: Tsomo Paldar to Tibb Cave
    Day 5: Tibb Cave to Nerak
    Day 6: Nerak to Tibb Cave
    Day 7: Tibb Cave to Gyalpo
    Day 8: Gyalpo to Tilad do to Leh
    Day 9: Fly to your desired destination

    Trek Info:-
    Region: Leh, Ladakh, J & K
    Duration: 9 Days
    Grade: Difficult
    Max Altitude: 11,100 Ft.
    Trekking Km: 62 Km
    Trail Type: One way trail, The trek starts and ends at Tilad Do
    Road: The drive is not accessible
    Airport: Leh airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport)
    Base Camp: Leh
    Best Season: January to Mid February
    Services from: Leh Hotel to Leh Hotel
    Batch Size: 15 trekkers including Male and female.
    Food: Meals while on trek (Veg + Egg)
    Stay: Guest house, Camping
    Fitness: Click here

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    Posted By: Priya

    The Helpers were amazing ,helped us complete in good spirit & satisfaction. The Trek would have been more difficult & hard to complete without their help (especially khilab sir).

    Posted By: Saurabh

    This trek was an entirely new experience for me and I was also cutely pleased with the way it turned out. The experience provided was truly once in a lifetime experience & the credit goes to the trek leader & supporting staff to a great extent.

    Posted By: Shailesh

    The trek was organized in a very perfect manner. Everything was perfect

    Posted By: Satish

    Snow made it very difficult. The height is fine but temperature made it difficult to handle.

    Posted By: Priyanka

    Enjoyed a lot. Everyone should do a winter trek.

    Posted By: Anshumaan

    Excellent itinerary and very helpful staff. The leaders Abhishek, Mahavir and Ashish were very motivating.

    Posted By: Abhishek Malhotra

    I can write only few words here for all the staffs. I can’t describe the felling with which I am returning. All the TTH members were amazing as guide mentor leader. I will miss Thakur Sir, Kuwar Sir, Suraj Bhai, Gabbar Team. Arrangements were amazing and I can say I have a proud feeling for this trek as not only did we complete it but also made lifelong friends. Thakur sir is an amazing person. He always supported all our team members and played a big role in team bonding. We will always remember him ?.