Chadar Trek is the Most Difficult Trek In India, Know why!

This fast-paced life has transformed people into robots. There is no pause button as everyone is in a never-ending rush. Hence, it becomes imperative to rise from such life and be close to nature. For adventure lovers trekking has always been a satisfying experience.

Walking on the ice sheet and exploring the furious Zanskar river flowing underneath your shoes. Along with the spellbinding view of the snow-capped mountains amidst the peaceful surrounding is just the right way to break out of your monotonous life.

The Chadar Trek located in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, manages to add to the charm in an unmatched style.  

The best time to Visit chadar Trek: The only time to go for Chadar Trek is when the river is frozen. It’s the only window of opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty that has been conserved for centuries. The winter months of January and February as best suited. It is suggested to go in February because the ice is the most stable during that time. So, you’ll find it safer and a bit easier to trek over.

If you are wondering is this trek worth the time and effort, here are some reasons that will convince you of the Chadar trek grandeur.

- Considered as the toughest trek of India, this 105 km trek will bring you to the larger than life experience.

- This trek does not demand much of climbing due to the lack of elevation but the temperature dropping down to -25 degrees celsius with extreme weather conditions.

- The snow-capped mountains, ice sheet taming the raging river underneath, and the biting cold winds, the Chadar Trek takes you away from the civilization.

- Proclaimed as one of the most dangerous treks in the world, the Chadar Trek combines two elements that excite adventure tourists – Ladakh, and trekking.

- What makes it one-of-a-kind is the fact that the trekking happens on the surface of a frozen river. 

Before commencing the trek, you are required to take a fitness certificate from government officials in Leh. After you become acclimatized to the weather and altitude, you are all set to travel to Chilling. On the way there, you will cross several pitstops worth experiencing like the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers, Magnetic Hill and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib etc. Shingra Yokma will be the point where the trekking will begin. 

Each day of the trek entails walking for about 6 to 7 hours on the frozen river and then establishing up camp for the chilly night. You can camp in caves, along with the locals to interact with them, hear stories of how they connect with the rest of the world during the unimaginable winters, ask for trekking tips and even consume some of the hot, delicious food if possible.

As you proceed with the trek, you will come across the majestic frozen falls at the Tibb Cave. It is suggested to take a moment to breathe in the beauty as you might not get a chance to witness something like this again. In case you are lucky, you might even spot foxes and snow leopards, making their way through the chadar of snow. After about 5 days of strenuous but sweet pain, the trek will end at Shingra Yokma, the point from where you had started. And with enormous stories of your thrilling adventures, you can head back to Leh and continue your journey back home.

Trekking Essentials for Chadar Trek

Here are the absolute essentials you need to carry. Most noteworthy, everything needs to be waterproof and must guarantee your warmth in the sub-zero temperatures.

- Backpack (60-70 litres) and rain cover

- Trekking stick

- Chadar Trek route map

- Gumboots and trekking shoes

- UV-protected sunglasses

- Insulated water bottle and water purifier

- Sleeping bag

- Hot water bag

- Headlamps & Flashlights

- Energy bars and dry fruits

- Cold cream, lip balm

- Toilet paper and wipes

- Personal medication and emergency kit

- Raincoat

- Synthetic trekking pants

- Full sleeve woollen sweaters

- Full sleeve thick jacket

- Body Warmers

- Gloves (both, thermal and waterproof), socks, monkey cap, muffler

- Valid ID proof (like passport, driving license) and copies

- 4 passport size photographs

What to do on Chadar Trek?

- Inform close people about your trek itinerary. And leave the number of your trek leader or the company that organized the trek, so they can contact you in case of any emergency.

- Always keep yourselves warm. Wear warm clothes as the temperature can drop extensively, unexpectedly.

- Eat and drink water as frequently as possible. There are high chances of people skipping to drink the water due to the cold climate and eventually getting dehydrated.

- Carry your first-aid kit and necessary medicines as bruises and cuts during the trek are quite common.

- Walk briskly and carefully as the ice sheets will be slippery, and you need to be careful.

What not to do on Chadar Trek?

- Do not litter anywhere. Do not throw away plastic and non-biodegradable stuff on the trail.

- While bathing in waterfalls, do not use chemical soaps or any other harmful substances. The locals in nearby villages use the water from the falls for their drinking purposes.

- Do not be loud or rude towards co-trekkers.

- Do not disobey the advice of your trek leader. 

- Do not skip a meal or drinking water. 

- Do not take things for granted and wander on your own. 

Make sure to carry everything you need for the trek. In case you miss out on something important, you can shop when in Leh. Consulting the locals for expert tips on this can prove to be beneficial.