Chadar Trek Details Guide 2019

Chadar Trek Guide 


Best period: Mid January till late February
Height: 11,100 ft above sea level
Route: Leh- Bakula Cave- Shingra Yokma- Shingra Kongma- Tibb cave- Nyerag 

Zanskar valley in the southwest of Leh, surrounded by the Himalayan and Zanskar ranges have spectacular ancient monasteries and stupas of Kanishka period.  While there is no accessibility to the valley in the winter months, the land offers a thrilling experience to walk on the frozen river popularly known as Chadar Trek. The route was in ancient days used by the traders because of the limited road option in winters. Chadar refers to the sheet which is formed on the Zanskar River in winter months.

Chadar trek is one of the famous trekking routes and a must experience trek for adventurous trekkers. The trek is moderate and the total distance of approximately 62km is covered in 7 days.  

Walking on the frozen Zanskar River, challenging trails surrounded by snow-covered mighty mountains in the sub-zero temperature will surely take you to another world. The temperature remains minus 15 to 20 during the day time and minus 25 to 35 during the night.

Like the saying goes ‘Life starts at the end of the comfort zone’, at some places the overnight halts are done in caves or tents giving you an ultimate experience.

The trek starts from Bakula Cave locally known as Bakula Bao is named after 18th Bakula Rinpoche Lobzang Ishey Stanba Gyalson. The place is considered as the great abbot meditated in the cave.  Walking on the ice sheet, crossing the fast flowing Zanskar Rivers, frozen waterfall, strenuous vertical climb sweeping panoramic view, sleeping in inhospitable condition will surely push the limits.

Best time for Chadar Trek

Chadar trek is done in winter months because the Zanskar River remains frozen. The best time to do the trek would be around mid-January till February ending because the ice tends to be in a stable state.

Challenges
While doing the trek the major challenge is the harsh climatic condition and high altitude. Walking on the ice sheet will definitely be one of the challenges but you will get trained after a few walks. The long journey will be exhausting and the night is spent in tents and caves.

Prerequisites
Regulations and standard operating procedures focusing on safety and environmental protection are must to follow before starting on the trek which includes:
• While applying for the Chadar Trek, all the foreign and domestic tourists must have medical insurance.
• 3 nights stay in Leh on arrival for rest and acclimatization is mandatory
• Day 3–Get a pre-medical checkup, Insurance, Wildlife Permit, and ALTOA NOC 
• Persons found medically unfit will not be issued clearance 
 
After the entire pre-medical checkup, registration for rescue and insurance, permit from wildlife and NOC from ALTOA only 100 people will be allowed for Chadar trek per day. No trekkers will be allowed without completing all the procedures.  Groups are allowed between 8 AM and 5 PM.
 

Important Tips for Chadar Trek

Make sure you bring warm clothes and proper gears
Don’t get panic when you slip and fall and avoid cracks on the ice sheet
Follow the guidelines and tips provided by the guides seriously
Make sure to get the garbage back and contribute your part in making the Chadar trek sustainable
 
 
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