How would you feel walking across a giant frozen sheet of ice? We bet, just imagining so might open a torrent of emotions surging through your being. That is what Chadar Trek does to you. It makes you feel infinite and humble at the same time.
As the name suggests, the Chadar Trek is nothing but a gigantic sheet of ice spanning more than 100 km geographically.
However, every hassle taken to travel here is definitely worth it because as you reach here, you are introduced with the raw immensity of nature; for instance, the temperature here can sink down to - 25 degree Celcius and along with that the Himalayan peaks welcome you with their grandeur.
There is no doubt that Chadar Trek is totally one of the toughest and challenging treks in India, more so because of the climatic conditions and not much because of the geographical hindrances.
It is basically a six-eight day trek and is mostly conducted during the second half of January and continues until the end of February. However, this completely depends on the overall weather conditions of those specific months each year.
Chadar Trek Itinerary
Day 1. On day 1, arrive at Leh and settle in your hotel. It would be best that you do nothing major on the first day itself, rather take a day off to adjust yourself as per the climate and high altitude conditions.
Day 2. If you want, do some travelling or sightseeing activities. Enjoy and be a bit self-indulgent.
Day 3. It is very important to be in a physically fit condition to complete the whole journey without damaging your body. Thus, you will have to go through a mandatory process of medical certification by the government.
Day 4. On day 4, drive via hotel cab and introduce yourself to the ancient Indus and Zanskar rivers. From here, you can start your journey from Tilat Sumdo and head towards Shingra Yokma towards the campsite and spend the night there.
Day 5. With the onset of another beautiful day, start your trek towards the Dibb cave while walking past the deep gorges and high peaks. At the end of the day, you will be at the campsite.
Day 6. As another day welcomes you, start heading towards the Nyerak village. En route, you will pass by large frozen waterfalls where many people go for rafting trips (usually in the months between August and September). You will need to spend your night in the village.
Day 7. Head towards Hotang the next day and enjoy your night stay there.
Day 8. Then go to Shingra Yokma by walking over the thick ice. The trek back home may take you about 9-10 hours including a break of a few minutes.
Day 9. By now you would have enjoyed the journey of a lifetime and as you leave Leh in your flight, you get to witness the grandeur of these peaks right above you and the snowy desert below you.
Chadar Trek: Some Dos and Don’ts You Need to Know
Consider travelling here only if you are physically fit and can walk for some hours without too much hassle. Like every other destination, this too has some of its dos and don’ts, for instance.
1. While visiting here, at least wear 4 layers of woollen clothing
2. Don’t travel here without your gumboots
3. Keep the medicines handy
4. Have extra passport photos