Chadar Trek A perfect Detailed Guideline. Chadar trek is one of the most adventurous and difficult treks in India. It is situated in Ladakh and has a panoramic view. This trek is also called the Zanskar trek because of the river Zanskar. Many adventurous activities happen in the summer season around the Zanskar river when the water is flowing.
During winters, the river freezes and thus appears like a blanket or chadar, as called in the local language. This chadar then acts as a route for trekkers and locals. The Zanskar Valley gets covered in snow and therefore the frozen river is the only way of transport.
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Let’s understand the basics.
Chadar trek is situated in Ladakh. It is a 105 km long trek and is the only way to reach the top during winters. You will have to walk around 12 km a day to complete this trek. The temperature there can vary to 20 degrees celsius in the day and -35 degrees celsius at the night. There is a small window of 30 to 40 days between January and February when the river freezes. Therefore this trek can be done only in that small time. The trek is about 11,123 ft high and is extremely difficult.
Why Chadar Trek?
Chadar Trek will make you realize the value of natural beauty. The snow-peaked mountains will definitely leave you amazed. Also, the experience of walking on a frozen river will be ineffable. Sometimes you can even see the water swirling and some air bubbles beneath the layer of ice. You can see the ice breaking and forming in front of you when the temperature changes. If you are amongst the lucky people, some mountain goats will pass right across you.
How to reach there?
By Air: The nearest airport to Chadar Trek is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh. This airport is connected to all major international airports in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, etc.
By Train: The New Delhi Jammu Tawi Rajdhani Express, leaves Delhi at 8:40 pm. and arrives in Jammu at 5:45 am. As there are no direct buses from Jammu to Leh, you will have to switch the bus in Srinagar.
By Road: You can reach Leh via NH1 from Delhi. It is 1,266 km apart. It will take you around 24 hours to complete the journey.
Things to carry
These are the essential things you will have to carry to make your trek a little easier.
- Woolen cap, socks, scarf, and mittens
- Head torch
- Rain cover
- Warm clothes
- Toilet paper & wipes
- Walking stick
- Water bottles
- Backpack with waterproof linings
- Fleece jackets and thermals
- Led torch (with extra batteries)
- Lightweight quilt or blanket
- Mosquito & insect repellent
- Waterproof windcheater
- Energy/protein bars
- Sleeping bag
- Sunscreen with SPF 40 or higher
- Moisturizers and lip balm
- Travel soap
- Powerbank (preferably 2)
- Dry fruits and nuts
- Trekking shoes(preferably waterproof)
- Personal medication(if any)
Avoid carrying anything made with cotton, including your t-shirts, pants, napkins, socks, etc. It is very hard to dry cotton fabric.Have zipper pockets so that you can carry necessary items in your pockets without fearing that they would fall.If you have glasses, get oversized sunglasses over them. You can also use your contact lens but make sure you carry enough cleaning liquid to clean your hands also.
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This trek is a very difficult one and needs physical as well as mental preparation. The long walks of around 5 to 6 hours on the ice with the weight of your bag against the harsh weather conditions is a challenging task. At night you will have to sleep in caves or/and sleeping bags at a temperature of as low as -35 degrees celsius after a tiring day. If you have already trekked in the Himalayas you can probably do this trek.
You can buy your equipment but these are quite expensive. You can rather try getting the equipment on rent. If you are a first-timer and/or are not sure if you will use them again, you can choose the latter option. You will find many local people renting out trekking gear. This way you will also get to try different options and select the one which suits you the best.
This trek will give a whole new perspective to your life. It will challenge you so much and even make you appreciate the most basic things you have. This trek will definitely thrill the adventurer in you. This trek will exhaust and relax you at the same time.
We hope you really enjoy Chadar Trek A perfect Detailed Guideline.