Trek Name: Chadar Trek
Trail Difficulty: Extreme
Season: January to February
Length: Approx. 65 miles (105 km) One way
Altitude: 11,000 ft
Number of Days and Nights: 9 Days and 8 Nights
The Chadar trek is one of the most unique treks that take the traveler over the stretch of 105 km long frozen river Zanskar at an altitude of 11000 ft.
It connects the villages in the Zanskar valley and then goes all the way along the frozen Zanskar river till it finally reaches the Chilling on the road to Leh. The hike to the Zanskar valley will take more than a week and at night porters often take shelter in caves of the canyons.
Type of Trek
The Chadar trek is also one of the most difficult treks challenging the traveler through steep mountains, snow clogged passes and rocky boulders. One might feel intimidated by the idea of walking on frozen river but it is critical to have a good guide when you are going on the Chadar trek expedition.
It is often difficult to assess the thickness of the ice and there may be times when climbers will have to walk along a narrow strip of ice, with deep rushing water on one side and the constraining canyon walls on the other side. The water is deep and fast and anyone accidently slipping into it would likely be swept away in seconds.
Nevertheless, it is the only means of transport for the Ladhakhis during the Winter when the caravan routes and the roads are blocked because of heavy snowfall.
Trekking through the Chadar trail offers you the experience of how the local inhabitants there walk on the frozen river to commute daily. It sets forth a perfect example of the indomitable spirit of the Ladhakhis in the face of all daunting odds. The Chadar trek is considered as an endangered activity that will cease to exist within five years.
The journey to the Chadar trek might not be that smooth. However, its magnanimous and magnificent journey is what makes the trek a lifetime experience.
Chadar Trek Highlights
1. Crossing the frozen Zanskar river
2. Frozen waterfalls with dangling icicles
3. Camping inside the Tibb Cave
4. Star gazing night stay
5. Cracking sound of ice formation