Chadar

9 Days 8 Nights Plan

Day 1: Fly to Leh | Arrival

  • Altitude 11,400 ft.
  • Arrival in Ladakh
  • Acclimatization

Keep your woollen cap and gloves handy. You will be flying over long stretches of snow-covered Himalayan mountains, which will make it evident why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh on road in the winters. The moment you land in Leh, a cold and crisp air will greet you, and you will experience a drastic change in the temperature. Leh has just begun to wake up from its sleep with only a few shops open.

The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. Be sure to take enough rest to acclimatize to the weather here and remember to drink enough water and keep you hydrated. The night is spent in a guest house.

  • Leh

Day 2: Rest and Check-up

Keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers are facing (Acute Mountain Sickness), as per the new regulations applied by Ladakh Government Authorities, anyone doing the Chadar Trek should be at least spending two days in Leh to get your body fully acclimatized to the weather conditions here. It is irrevocable and it is important that this is strictly followed by every trekker. You can spend the day shopping at the Leh market. 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, where the temperatures reach way below zero even in the daytime. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places which are at a higher altitude.

Night stay will be in a tent to give you an idea of the outdoor conditions. This will allow your body to get used to the temperature range.
Overnight stay at camp.

  • Leh

Day 3: Leh to Shingra Yokma via Chilling & Tilad Do (65kms drive/3km trek)

Altitude : 11,480 to 10,550 ft
Drive 3-4 hrs, trek 2 hrs

After breakfast today, you will start on the way to your first campsite which is Shingra Yokma via Chilling & Tilad Do. It is one of the most scenic drives which brings you the delight of seeing some of the most beautiful 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 memorable pictures. An hour and a half of driving 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.

The tents will find their place here, while you ready yourself mentally and physically for the days that are coming your way. Get used to walking with wearing the gumboots, which will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. To get the hang of patterns of ice formation will take some time. You will have to judge the fragile surfaces from the strong ones as there are a number of different kinds of surfaces on Chadar Trek, but once 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. Make sure your backpack is light and small so you can manage and use the weight on your own effectively.

This will be your first experience of camping under sub-zero temperatures.
Overnight at Shingra Yokma.

  • Shingra Yokma

Day 4: Shingra Yokma to Tibb Cave | Day of Wild Card Exits

Altitude : 10,400 to 10,800 ft
Trek 15 km/ 6 to 7 hours

Before the start of the day, if you feel that you want to opt out, or have been deemed unfit by the government bodies, you can take a physical wild card and opt for a 'Flavor of Winter Ladakh' Tour, without any extra cost.

After spending a cold night in the tent at Tsomo Paldar get your breakfast that will re-energize you and power your senses in the morning. The much needed hot cup of tea will be a welcome delight in the cold.

As you make your way to the campsite of Tibb Cave, you will be seeing some of the most beautiful formations of nature like the frozen waterfalls that stand frozen in time. The source of some of these frozen waterfalls is still unknown and there are a lot of myths and beliefs about them. The mighty Zanskar will be flowing all along with you on the trail and the emerald green water will have a soothing effect.

Lunch will be done midway to Tibb cave. After walking for a couple of hours you will 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.
Overnight at Tibb Cave.

  • Tibb Cave

Day 5: Tibb cave to Naerak camp

Altitude : 10,800 to 11,100 ft
Trek 13 km/ 6 to 7 hours

The campsite for the day is the most awaited one, as you will be going to Naerak after breakfast. The 13 km long trail will bring you the chance of seeing the most scenic landmark of Chadar Trek, that is the frozen waterfall. This frozen waterfall is a nature's masterpiece in itself and attracts trekkers and adventurers from across the globe.

Hot lunch will be served on your way to Naerak.
Naerak 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 and in layers to stay safe from the biting cold.

Reaching the waterfall on time would mean that you will have plenty of time to pay the village of Naerak a visit as well.

You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the frozen waterfall.
Overnight at Naerak Camp.

  • Naerak camp

Day 6: Naerak to Tibb Cave

Altitude : 11,100 to 10,800 ft
Trek 13 km/ 5 to 6 hours

After breakfast, you will start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave.
If you have the notion that going back is the easier part of the journey, the Chadar will force your mind to think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before or not.

On your way back to Tibb Cave, you will be seeing a lot of locals negotiating the Chadar wearing the traditional woolen Gonchas, where some of them are monks coming back to Leh from the monastery at Lingshed, while other are young students going back to schools in Leh after their vacations, accompanied by their parents. To see this sight is warming enough. You will be in awe of the way these people have adapted to the temperatures below zero and still smile
Overnight at camps in Tibb Cave.

  • Tibb Cave

Day 7: Tibb Cave to Gyalpo

Altitude : 10,800ft to 10,500 ft
Trek 12 km/ 5 to 6 hours

Starting from Tibb, you will go up to Gyalpo.
The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls. You will notice a lot of fresh trails and footprints all along the trek, belonging to Foxes, Ibex or Snow Leopards.
Although you would be lucky to spot a Snow Leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.
Overnight at tents in Gyalpo.

  • Gyalpo

Day 8: Gyalpo to Shingra Yokma & back to Leh

Altitude : 10,500ft to 10,300ft
Drive to 11,400 ft.
Trek 06 km/ 3 to 4 hours
Drive 65 km to Leh/ 3 to 4 hours

Last day on the Chadar Trek.
Retracing the steps we took, this will be the last chance to look at the majestic and mesmerizing Chadar, which you will miss for sure. Trekkers along the way, who are about to start their trek will for sure ask you the experience. It will be amazing to play guide to these people and to talk to someone about the experience while it is still fresh in your head.
There will be a farewell get-together and dinner to celebrate the completion of the trek.
Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house.
Overnight in Leh.

  • Leh

Day 9 : Return from Leh

After breakfast, you will be checking out of the guesthouse and will get a transfer to the airport, or you can choose to spend a few extra days in Ladakh.

  • Leh Airport