Frozen River Zanskar Chadar Trek
Dates - 18th Jan 2019 to 27th Jan 2019
Frozen River Zanskar Chadar Trek is unique, and a lifetime experience for the terrain, the gorge, the below freezing temperatures, the campsites, the scenery and the thrill of walking over a frozen river which otherwise is raving in the gorge. Unfortunately, a road is being built and slowly the formation of Chadar is being disrupted due to growing CO2 levels and global warming. as per a study in few years time, people will not be able to walk on the Frozen Zanskar river.
Frozen River Zanskar Chadar Trek Itinerary
The trek – Chadar – meaning a sheet, gets its name as river Zanskaar, freezes in the winter months and is covered by a sheet of ice. During these months, a lot of places in Ladakh are inaccessible as the higher reaches are snowbound, and the gorges with the frozen river are the only way to access few of these villages.
Fly Delhi – Leh and rest. Overnight hotel Leh.
Free day at Leh. Optional sightseeing around Leh. Overnight at Hotel at Leh.
Leh – Chingra Yokma 03 hrs drive then trek to Shingra Gongma 3/4 hrs trek. Overnight Camp.
Shingra Gongma to Tib. 5/6 hrs, Overnight Camp.
Tib – Nyrek. 5/6 hrs trek. Overnight Camp.
Nyrek – Tib 4/5 hrs Camp. Overnight Camp.
Tip – Shingra Gongma trek 4/5 hrs. Overnight Camp.
Shingra Gongma to Shingra Yokma 3/4 hrs, trek then drive back to Leh. Overnight Hotel Leh
Leh – Delhi.
Clothing / Gear
How to dress – Smart dressing with layers is the trick. As discussed we must wear
Lower Body – 1 pair of tights + 1 pair of normal thermal (trek mates/jockey/neva) + 1 pair of trek pants + 1 pair of waterproofs to block the wind – people with a lesser tolerance of cold can wear a fleece on top of the thermal layer. If you can get a fleece lined trek pant its great!
Feet – Normal trekking boots (Quechua ) is good, but it has to be properly lined with socks – the choices are
a) One pair of thermal socks/liners plus one layer of heavy Woolen socks
b) One pair of cotton liner + one pair of thin woolen socks + 1 pair of heavy woolen socks
But our experience is that an Oversize Gumboot (which will cost only Rs.350-400) with 2-3 layers of socks is a very good option. We did the entire trek on the same, so do the locals and porters. For extra grip on Chadar, we provide Yak foots (which can be fixed to any boots)
Upper Body – One pair of tights + one pair of thermals (Trek mates/merino / jockey / Neva + 1 pair of woolen/warm shirt + one pullover / fleece + one heavy jacket / or a double layered jacket.
Neck – scarf + fleece
Head – 1 Balaclava (preferable fleece) + 1 thick cap with ear protection.
Hands – 1 thin liner/woolen glove + 1 pair of thick glove.
List of clothing/ gear to carry –
1. Backpack (55 – 65 L) or a dry bag with sturdy straps to carry your stuff. This will be carried for you.
2. Daypack (20 L) is required for your camera, water, extra layer, wallet etc.
3. Trekking shoes – 1 pair + Slippers/sports sandals (for walking around campsite).
4. Carry 2 pair of track pants (at least one should be synthetic quick-dry kind). Or 3 pair of cotton pants with lots of pockets.
5. Carry 4 Full sleeve cotton/woolen tees with collar.
6. Bring 2 full sleeve sweaters. A fleece jacket would be an alternative.
7. A full sleeve thick jacket or a double layered jacket (like the Northface we saw yesterday)
8. One pair of synthetic liners/ tights (Nike is a good option)
9. Get 1 pair of thermal inners.
10. Carry 4 pairs of sports socks. 2 pairs of woolen socks, 2 pairs of liners
11 Minimum 6 pairs of undergarments
12. Fleece/Woolen balaclava that covers the ear. Special high altitude balaclava that also serves as neck warmers is also available in the market.
13. Woolen hand gloves + synthetic glove (waterproof). If you don’t have synthetic gloves, get two pairs of woolen gloves and a surgical glove.
14. Sunglasses – curved ones will cover your eyes well. No blue colored sunglasses — they don’t block UV. Blacks, greens, browns are fine.
15. People who wear spectacles, can either use contact lenses or Photo chromatic glasses or wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
16. A woolen head-scarf or muffler.
17. A trekking pole is mandatory. Duralumin 4-step telescopic anti-shock trekking poles are available in the market.
18.Light towel (should be thin, quick drying kind).
19. Chapstick or lip balm.
20. Cold cream and sunscreen lotion (SPF 40+). While sunscreen help prevents sunburns, a better option is to stay covered.
21. 1 Water bottle (Approx 1 L ).
22. Personal medicine kit ( we will be carrying a medical kit as well)
23. Personal toilet kit (minimal).
24. LED Torch/head light with an extra set of cells (headlamps preferable).
25. Small repair kit consisting of safety pins, needle, thread and string (mandatory).
26. Camera, memory cards, batteries etc (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available on the slopes)
27. Slippers/sports sandals (for walking around campsite).
28. While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes
Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents
1. An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
2. Two passport size photo.
The trek inclusions:
Transfer upon arrival from Leh airport to Guest House.
Hotel with Breakfast and Dinner for 03 Nights in Leh.
All surface transport indicated in the itinerary.
All Camping fees and Monasteries fees.
Wildlife fee for the applicable area.
Local English speaking guide (during trek only)
01, Cook, 01 Helper, and support staff to carry the food/ equipment.
Sleeping Bags, Liners, and mattresses for each person.
Tents ( dome altitude tents double sharing)
01, Kitchen, all Kitchen materials.
All three meals during trek. (Packed/picking lunch)
Transfer from Hotel to Leh airport.
Wholesome meals having options of Indian, Chinese and continental ( veg and non-veg) served hot (Even the lunch is at times prepared and served hot).
All trekking support gear – Sleeping bags, mattress, tent (living, dining, loo) will be provided. However, some guest prefers carrying there own sleeping bags.The hotel/guest house in Leh are comfortable they don’t have running water in winters due to extreme cold but hot water in a bucket is available all the time.
The cost does not include
Return Airfare from Delhi to Leh.
Porter to carry your personal gear (Available at ₹5000/- for the trek)
Personal and incidental expenses.
Tips and gratitude.
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek – Full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek – 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek – No refund.