Chadar is more than a 1000 year old trail over a frozen river used by ancient traders of the Zanskar region to reach the city of Leh in winter. Chadar, which literally means 'Layer', refers to the veil of snow and ice that forms over the river. This is the only way in and out of the Zanskar Valley to Leh, when all other routes are closed due to massive snowfall in winter. Its a walk through time, a travel through history, fighting every moment with the biting cold temperature and solving the puzzle of the continuously shifting ice. A must do trek for those seeking adventure to the extreme.
Arrival at Leh – This day should be kept strictly for Acclimatization. During winter you need to acclamatize not only with the thin air of 3000m plus altitude, also get used to with extreme sub zero cold. At evening briefing of detail itinerary and essentials to check Chadar. Stay at Leh.
Day 2: Acclimatization Day
A photographic tour in and around the snow covered Leh. Stay at Leh.
Day 3: Trekking Day
Leh to Shingra yoma and beyond by car (72Km, 4 hrs). Camp at Shingra Goma (3217m, 2 Km/1-1.5 hrs)
Day 4: Trekking Day
Trek from Shingra Goma (3217m) to Tibb/Dibb Cave (3283m, 12.5Km/6-7hrs)
Day 5: Trekking Day
Trek from Tibb/Dibb Cave (3283m) to Nyerak (3390m, 12Km/7hrs).
Day 6: Trekking Day
Exploration day to Nyerak village (3400m, 4Km/4hrs) and start your return journey. Camp at Doe (3300m, 4Km/2hrs).
Day 7: Trekking Day
Trek from Doe to Chokdo (3100m, 15Km/7hrs)
Day 8: Trekking Day
Trek from Chokdo to Shingra Goma/ Yoma (3217m, 6Km/2-3hrs). An Drive back to Leh.(4 hrs)
Day 9: Explore winter Pangong
Reserve & contingency Day. We will use the day to a exploratory drive winter Pangong OR to manage the unpredictable scinario of Chadar
Steve Long, Chairman of the Training Standards Panel of the UIAA (International Federation for climbing and mountaineering) suggested a safety guideline for Chadar. We are proudly following those. A safer choice is not always the cheaper one too.
Read the details of essential safety guidelines at
Flights are there from Delhi,Simla and Srinagar To Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport in Leh. Flight tickets can be cheap if booked well in advance.
Road at this time of the year is closed till Leh. Flight is the only option to reach Leh from the nearest Airports.
Delhi is the nearest Railway Station if you are planning to catch a flight from Dehli. Otherway Jammu, Katra, (KEA), Jammu Tawi ( JAT) are the available options from Srinagar side if your flight is from Jammu or Srinagar to Leh.
Stay at Leh on 2 sharing bases in a temperature controlled room. Centralized heating system for premium accommodation on the premium package in a 4-5 star category hotel and deluxe guest house with room heater for standard accommodation will be provided.
Daily breakfast during acclimatization & return stay at Leh.
Airport pickup & drop.
Transportation from Leh to the road head at Chilling from where the trek starts and return.
Stay at the campsite on 2-3 sharing basis into a tent
Camping Charges, Wildlife Fees, Environmental fees, and Permit Fees as being put forward by LAHDC and ALTOA and Service Tax
4 meals -Breakfast, Snacks, and Dinner at the campsite and packed lunch during activities.
Double sub-zero Sleeping bag, Double foam sleeping mat of pro-quality standards especially for Chadar.
Services of experienced, Exploration Leader and support staffs with due knowledge of the terrain and natural elements to enrich your trek.
Personal winter and trek requirements like Gumboot, jackets~ sun glasses~ gloves~ and trekking poles.
Personal expenses and tips.
Offloading of a personal weight can be done at an additional cost 500 INR per day up to 10Kg.
The cost involved in any change in the itinerary due to bad weather or terrain / stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather~ ill health~ roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
Anything is not mentioned into above inclusions.
Based on our previous experiences, Chadar trail may get close for many natural reasons – Like a landslide, Chadar or frozen ice sheet melt off etc. In case, it happens after you start the trek; we will figure out the best possible option to spend the remaining days over group discussion and additional cost-sharing basis.
In case, it happens at least 2 days before your trek start dates then we will conduct Sham Valley Trek as an alternative to experience the winter of Ladakh.
In the case of both scenarios, no refund can be provided.
Cancellation prior to 30 days from the start of the event– full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 15 days to the start of the event– 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 15 days to the start of the event– No refund, but if you want to do the same or any other itinerary sometime later within a year, you can avail 50% of the cost paid as a discount on new Itinerary Fee.
There will be a deduction of 3.09% as bank processing charges on all refunds.
To cancel the registration, an email intimation needs to be sent to email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
T Shirts | Socks | Undergarments | Thin Nylon Ropes for multi-purpose use | Toilet Paper Roll | Towel | Soap Papers | Head lamp / Torch | Batteries & charger | Water Bottles | Light weight Pants | Personal Medical & First Aid Kit | Tickets & bookings | Photo Identity Card
Ruck Sack/ Day Pack | Sleeping Bag (Provided) | Trekking Shoes | Snow Gaiters | Trekking Stick/pole | Camera
Enrolled participants good to have prior Himalayan trek experiences to deal with 600m+ exposure and long walk on summit day into the thin air.
Better acclimatization can keep you ahead to enjoy the trek. It’s really important to get used to the thin air of Ladakh.
To get prepared, involve into brisk jogging, cycling, walking or any other sort of cardiac exercise routine at least 45 days prior to the event.
Enrolled participants need to submit a duly filled medical report of basic wellness authorized by certified physician. Clik here to download CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL FITNESS
Safety & Medical
Acclimatization Guidance; mandatory medical health check-ups of all participants prior to activity start day.
Duly prepared First aid box including an oxygen cylinder.
All major safety gears related to each category of sports are mandatory to use.
Contingent to be accompanied by certified & capable trainers and guides
Emergency evacuation services available (*at own cost)
Enrolled participants need to submit a duly filled medical report of basic wellness authorized by a certified physician. Click here to download CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL FITNESS
Also, the participant needs to sign a release of liability form prior trek. This is a legal document and the judicial part of writing may lead to confusion for a nonfamiliar mind. Please reach us for clarification. Click here to download RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM
‘Responsible Traveller & outdoor ethics’ – session for the participants on acclimatization day.
Bio & Non-Biodegradable waste segregation at Campsite.360 degree waste management at the event.
Cleaning & collection team at the end of the event, in case required for big team size.
Leave no trace, bring only memories.
As a part of ‘An Earth Day Resolution’ project, We will plant 2 trees for each traveler traveled with us.
Every time you travel with us, you contribute a minimum of 500 INR to RockyFeet Environment Fund to support our conservation project.
The prominent and major difference between standard & premium package is the accommodation in Leh. While standard offers guest house, the premium will be a 3-star centralized heating hotel with generator backup & running water. In winter, all guest houses will not be able to provide running water (cold or hot) and more than 6 hrs heating with electric or gas heater in a room per day. Water freezes in the bucket and becomes hard to use. Accommodation during Leh is important as you get used to the hard climate in the initial days or want to take a bath before or after your trek.
One of the most unique and magnificent treks of the world, Chadar Trek is hugely popular now. Chadar or cover signifies the frozen sheet of ice that is formed on the raging River Zanskar due to extreme cold as well as due to the less amount of direct sunlight as the river flows through a narrow gorge. Solid ice is best around the time the Chadar trek takes place, from 2nd week of January to 2nd week of February – the time when the coldness is at it maximum during the winter months, hence this time frame is the best time for this Zanskar River trek.
Chadar Trek is the only route available to the villagers in the Padum and Lingshed region to go to Leh and back. Regular up-downs are done by the locals to earn their wages. The trek itself is the quintessential example of the resourcefulness and the indomitable spirit of the Ladakhi people. Though, the trek will soon cease to be the sole mode of access between Leh and Padum in winters. A road is being constructed by blasting off the rock-face above the river. It will be a much safer and convenient route for the locals, but surely mark the end of an ancient local custom.
You need to walk to an average of 5 to 6km. As such anyone with good or average fitness can do this trek. Any kind of cardiac exercise which makes you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more. Overall chadar walk is a moderate trek but the climatic hardness makes it Strenuous according to our grade. Temperature wise it is very cold, though, after the first couple of nights on the Chadar, trekkers are much more adjusted to the bitter cold!
Wearing clothes in layers is much effective is combating the bitter cold, particularly at night. Layer 1 – Starting with inner thermals Layer 2 – full sleeves t-shirt and track pants; Woolen Socks (One double woven woolen socks with one warm nylon or normal woolen socks inside). Carry enough spare socks and other undergarments. Layer 3 – Fleece Jacket. Good thick Woolen head Cap or Balaclava with woolen Muffler Layer 4 – Wind Proof and Water Proof down Jacket Layer 5 – A jacket or another layer of inner thermals. Two Pair of gloves (Thin Woolen inside and outside Wind Proof / Waterproof Snow Gloves). Good Pair of Sun Glasses with Good UV Protection.
Wearing in layers also helps to remove one or two layers as you feel warm due to the activity of trekking; similarly, while going off to sleep in the sleeping bag, a few layers can be removed if feeling uncomfortable. Avoid cotton T-shirts.
Pack similar things such as clothes or toiletries or others in separate polythene bags so they are easier to find and pull out. A trekking pole is absolutely desirable as it greatly helps during the Chadar trek.
We will recommend you to buy a pair of gumboot from Leh market for river water crossing at broken chadar. Also, you can carry good standard trekking shoes for the trek, example Forclaz 100/500 from Quechua. On Chadar, which is solid ice or a slight cover of snow on slippery ice, RockyFeet will provide walking crampon for trekkers. Also, Trek leader will help you to learn a walk over hard ice with the use of crampon. To understand the walk and shoes of chadar in detail please read more at HOW TO WALK ON CHADAR? THE PENGUIN STYLE
We will build a team consists of max 10 participants. These team will be lead by an experienced exploration leader with due mountain medical knowledge. A team of local Zanskar crews will assist us to manage load and kitchen. These people from Zanskar will not only help you combat the extreme winter, also help you to understand the life of Zanskaris, their culture and much more stories untold.
Himalayan water is considered as a clean and mineral water but for safe side we use to boil water and chlorine tablet in our camps, during the trek asks once to trek leader or guide from where to fill water bottles. It is important to keep sipping on water through the trek. as one can get dehydrated and still not feel it due to the cold.
Our team will have the medical kit and oxygen cylinder to support high altitude seriousness. But also it’s important and recommended for every trekker to bring their personal medical kit focusing their own well-known & chronical health issues. Also, it is mandatory to submit Medical certificate and release of liability form prior the adventure.
Depending on the prevailing situation, however, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary, for example, incomplete formation of Chadar. In such cases, we or your trek leader will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.
You have only one option to reach Leh during winter, i.e. fly to and fro all other routes are blocked due to extreme winter. Expensive crews rates are more than double in the bitter cold and harsh winter months compare to summer of Ladakh. All food has to be flown into Leh from city outsides, so obviously is very expensive. Fuel since limited is expensive, it takes almost twice the amount of fuel to cook the food than in normal conditions.
Everything is paid for and arranged more than a month before the trekking season, due to the scarcity of material and men during those two extreme cold months.
Chadar, Frozen River Trek October 29th, 2018RockyFeet