Chadar Trek

About the Chadar Trek

The Frozen River Trek, also known as the Chadar Trek, is one of the most difficult treks in the Ladakh region, and it takes place against a surreal backdrop of vibrant natural colors. The hard mountain trek on the ice-clogged river under the blue winter sky travels through valleys, mountain caves, and frozen waterfalls as it winds its way through the mountains. Trekkers will encounter rugged rocks and temperatures that may fall below minus 10 degrees Celsius, making it one of the most demanding treks in the Indian Himalaya. It is also one of the most dangerous treks in the country.

A popular winter journey, the Chadar Trek is also one of the longest trekking trails in the Indian Himalayan region, covering an entire stretch of 90 kilometers in eight frigid days. It is also one of the most difficult winter treks to complete. The Chadar Trek, like a stroll to paradise, captures the imaginations of several trekkers and becomes a part of their travel diaries. The journey begins in Ladakh and ends in the Zanskar Valley, which is surrounded by snow-covered settlements.

One may become acquainted with the stars and questions, such as, ‘what compelled you to explore the barren beauty?’ A simple walk down the Chadar trail can transport you to a state of complete ecstasy amidst the vibrant colors and textures of nature.

Highlights of Chadar Trekking Tour

  • Walking on ice along the frozen Zanskar river, the historic winter commerce route connecting Padum and Ladakh, is an unforgettable experience.
  • Every year, just a handful of groups embark on this incredible journey, making it a true adventure. Because the river conditions can be unpredictable, it is necessary to adopt a flexible strategy!
  • During your journey, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the distant cultures of Zanskar and Ladakh, as well as to stay with native Zanskaris along the way.
  • While you are allowing your body to adjust to the altitude, take a sightseeing excursion to view the Gompas and forts in the surrounding area.
  • Observe and photograph uncommon Ladakhi creatures such as the snow leopard, ibex, Himalayan Tahr, blue sheep, and others.

The story of how the Chadar Trek came to be

The last time I bought an old National Geographic magazine from a street cart was probably 15-16 years ago, when I was wandering the streets of Delhi looking for treasures.

The sight of monks from the interiors of Zanskar making their journey to Leh in the midst of winter, for food, provisions, and market took my breath away. I was working on a photo story at the time. After traveling for 7-8 days through a frozen river of ice and taking refuge in caverns, they were left with very little clothes or winter gear. They were also quite cold.

Temperatures dipped below – 30 degrees Celsius during this dangerous journey, according to the tale. Because National Geographic is National Geographic, the photographs that accompanied the article were breathtaking. Even at the time, I believed that this was the closest you could get to the physical and mental limits of human endurance.

A year or two later, I was having supper with a trekking companion that I had met before. He was giddy with excitement.

He explained that he had just returned from performing an astonishing feat. He’d traveled to Ladakh in the winter and attempted this journey on the frozen river during his visit. He’d done it with a bunch of people from another country. They had one option, but it began to snow severely as they contemplated it. They had to be airlifted away in a helicopter.

In his speech, he reflected on the incredible adventure, the landscape, and the cold conditions he had endured. He was right in front of me, a survivor of this trauma, and I was speechless. In many ways, it was similar to the mountain adventure stories you hear about – people in extraordinary circumstances displaying gallantry and fortitude.

As the years went by and my expertise and interest in trekking expanded, I began to hear more and more about the grueling walk that people from Zanskar took to get to Leh during the winter months. The Discovery Channel also aired a documentary that I watched.

That’s when I first heard about this as a trek that some groups of people, generally foreigners, would go on and complete. In order to get back to their home in Padum, the capital of Zanskar, they would have to trace the route taken by these travelers across the frozen Zanskar river. The walk was dubbed the Chadar Frozen River trek because of the river’s frozen state. It took 15 days to complete the expedition.  Cheap Trip Deal:- Las Vegas Trip Deals: A Budget-Friendly Trip Guide

Since then, the prospect of embarking on this remarkable journey has been nagging at me.

The new path to Stok Kangri has been completed

The Stok Kangri peak trek in Ladakh was one of the more well-known treks in the region. It was the highest trekkable summit in India, rising slightly above 20,000 feet, and it was the most difficult to reach. The summit drew trekkers from India and throughout the world (mainly from outside) who came to experience the rush of ascending above 20,000 feet for themselves.

In the summer of 2011, we tackled the Stok Kangri summit through a different route from the one we used the previous year. In particular, we were dissatisfied with the rapid ascents that 90 percent of the teams made to reach the top of Stok Kangri. 

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