Ladakh is home to numerous natural wonders, but the Chadar Trek is the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land. The trek is all about perseverance and survival – learning to survive in harsh terrains at sub-zero temperatures, interacting with locals and understanding their way of life, especially in one of the world’s most inhabitable regions, while trekking across a dramatic gorge with frozen waterfalls on the frozen trail of Zanskar that acts as a mirror for the sky!
What is the Chadar Trek?
This magnificent trek lies in the Leh region of Ladakh. The Chadar Trek, one of the popular winter treks, is also one of the longest trekking trails in the Indian Himalayan region that covers an entire stretch of 62 kilometres in 8 chilly days. The Chadar Trek swipes several trekkers’ dreams like a walk to paradise, making it a part of their diary. The journey leads off from Ladakh to the snowbound villages of the Zanskar valley. This trek grades as difficult as walking on this frozen river isn’t an easy task.
Apart from the apparent speciality of making the trekkers walk on a thick sheet of ice covering the Zanskar river, the Chadar Trek is also a major attraction for adventure seekers for the many fascinating and out-of-this-world sights that the trek brings you across. Starting from the Magnetic Hill and the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, the trek brings you across natural wonders like frozen waterfalls, knee-deep snow, and white sand – the epitome of a cold desert-like Ladakh!
The most iconic sight of the Chadar Trek is the frozen Nerak waterfall. The water, falling from a height of 56 ft, seems frozen in time itself, suspended mid-air. The curious sights will set your senses on fire and make the memories of the Chadar trek sharp in your memory every time you envision them later! If you are looking for a splendid trekking experience in India, the Chadar trek is the answer! The best time for the Chadar trek is from mid-January to mid-February, that is when the Zanskar river freezes, and you get to walk on massive slabs of ice, spreading for miles and miles. The landscapes and overall experience will leave their imprints on your hearts forever. When it comes to trekking In India, Chadar is the most glamorous trek.
History of Chadar Trek
Chadar Trek in Ladakh is unlike any other Himalayan trek. A walk along a frozen glass-like river with dramatic mountains on either side is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Chadar Trek, at only 11,150 feet above sea level, almost feels like a journey to the North Pole, where temperatures drop to -30 degrees at night, food is transported on sledges, and survival instincts flourish, making it a must-do adventure. As you trek and experience the hospitality of the locals, you can learn about the Zanskari culture, which is a blend of Tibetan and Indian cultures. The Nerak waterfall, which is completely iced over from top to bottom, is a highlight of the Zanskar frozen river trek.
The Chadar Trek is a thrilling expedition over the frozen Zanskar River, and it is one of the most stunning and exhilarating winter treks on the planet. In the frozen landscape, there is also the possibility of seeing exotic wildlife such as blue sheep, snow leopards, and ibex. Success on this difficult trek provides trekkers with an unparalleled sense of accomplishment and exhilaration. Adventurers travel through breathtaking scenery and freezing temperatures.
Risks Involved In Chadar Trek
(i) Negotiating and overcoming the High Altitude:
Leh is located at an elevation of 3500 metres, and in the winter, the only mode of transportation available is by flight. This dramatically raises your altitude from nearly sea level to 3500 metres, a gain of 3500 metres in only one and a half hours. There are peaks of this altitude in the Alps that people climb for days. Kedarkantha peak in Uttrakhand is 3800 metres high and can be climbed in 2 – 3 days by a beginner. However, you can reach a height of 3500 metres without doing any work. Furthermore, climate change is dramatic. All of this places you in a dangerous situation of Acute Mountain Sickness, which can be fatal.
(i) Extreme Temperatures ranging from minus 17 to minus 32 degrees Celsius:
The Chadar trek has extremely high temperatures. The temperature in Leh ranges from -10 degrees during the day to -25 degrees at night. It gets much colder on the trek as you camp beside the freezing Zanskar river. The temperature drops to -32 degrees Celsius. Getting used to these temperatures can be difficult. To beat the cold, you need proper trekking jackets and should wear them strategically.
(i) Inconsistent Weather, which can change the entire look and feel of the trek at any time:
During the months of January and February, the weather in Ladakh is highly variable. It is extremely unpredictable. Sometimes it snows late, causing the Chadar over the Zanskar river to form incorrectly. Sometimes it snows right in the middle of the trekking season, which is already a month and a half long. Too much snow is bad for the Chadar because it weakens it and makes the route more difficult. Snow also wreaks havoc on the mountains of the Ladakh Himalayas, and landslides and rockfall are extremely dangerous, yet a common occurrence on this trek.
Importance Of ASC 360 Travel Insurance In Chadar Trek
- Covers All Trekking Expeditions Outside India upto 6000 Metres/ 19,600 feet Peaks
- Covers Medical Evacuation Including Air Evacuation
- Covers Death And Disabilities
- Covers All Kinds Of Accidents & Sickness (AMS, HAPE/HACE, Frost Bites Etc)
- Covers Accidental Hospitalisation And OPD Expenses
- Covers Travel Insurance
- Covid 19 positively related claims are covered under this policy, **Covid Negative Report is required, 96 hours before the commencement of the plan
This plan is exclusively for Chadar Trek 2023 upto 4500 mts
Premium rates are inclusive of GST @18%
Valid for Indian nationals and NRIs travelling within India
This plan covers all types of accidents and illnesses during the event
Sickness, HAPE, HACE, and Hypothermia are also included
Register before you reach Ladakh and avail 10% discount
You can choose from ASC360’s two early bird packs.
Check Out Our Plan Details
- Medical Evacuation and Hospitalisation expenses for illness & Injury (includes air evacuation)
- Personal Accident (Death & Disability)
- Delay of Checked-In Baggage
- Loss of checked-in baggage
- Loss of Passport & Driving licence
- Trip cancellation
- Trip Interruption & curtailment
- 500+ Sports & Adventure Activities Covered
- 99% Insured 99% Of All Indian Expeditions Above 6000 And 8000 Metres In Nepal And China Since 2017
- 2.5 Lac+ policies issued in the last 5 years by asc360
- ASC360 Provides Local Rescue Teams
- Evacuated 250+ People, From Emergency Situations.
- ASC360 Has On Call Medical Advisory And Evacuation Assistance
- Insured 3260 Trekkers On Chadar Trek 2019, Treated 1367 Patients, And Rescued 33 Trekkers.
- Introduced Annual Adventure Insurance For The Adventure Professionals Of The Tour Operators.
Let’s Conclude It With A Smile
It’s exciting! It’s fascinating! It’s difficult! It’s completely unpredictable! What’s more, it’s jam-packed with surprises for you to discover every day. If you like the words ‘extreme,’ ‘harsh,’ ‘ice,’ ‘cold,’ and ‘unpredictable’ before the word ‘adventure,’ the Chadar Trek in Ladakh is probably your soul trek because these are the very elements that make this wonder of a trek an experience unparalleled in the vast landscape of the Himalayas.