Complete Guide for Chadar Trek
CHADAR FROZEN RIVER TREK
“Chadar” refers to the sheet of ice that from over the Zanskar river as it transforms itself from a rapid flowing river into a white blanket of ice during winter. It ecomes a frozen spectacle of glass ice ranging from a bluish tinge to golden yellow that is seen during the few hours that sunlight reaches directly into the gorge to the milky whitish on a moonlit night – as said a trek journey like no other.
Chadar connects villages in the Zanskar valley (deep in the mountains) with Chilling (on the road to Leh) along the frozen Zanskar River. This route has been used for centuries for trade and transportation, and is most reliable in February when the ice is most stable.
Suggestive Things for Carry Chadar Trek 2018:
• Carry 2 pair of synthetic track pants. Track pants are light and when things get cold you can wear one over the other.
• Carry 2 Full sleeve tees with collar.
• Fleece jacket – sweaters are highly discouraged.
• A full sleeve thick jacket.
• Carry 4 pairs of undergarments.
• Get 2 pairs of thermal inners.
• Carry 2 pairs of sports socks. 2 pairs of woolen socks.
• Woolen monkey cap/balaclava that cover the ear.
• Woolen hand gloves + synthetic glove (water proof). If you dont have Synthetic gloves, get two pairs of woolen gloves and a surgical glove.
• Hot water bottle/Bag – available at any medical store.
• Sun glasses, branded company with 100% UV protection. Curved ones will cover your eyes well.
• Sunglasses prevent snow blindness. Sunglasses are mandatory for this trek.
• Gumboot, if not purchased from Leh.
• Backpack (55 – 65 L) with sturdy straps and supporting frame. Daypack (20 L) is required only if you wish to offload your backpack to our support team. If you don’t want to carry your backpack you can give it to porter, but you have to inform us in advance and charges would be Rs. 700/- extra per day per bag. Please also do inform us about this at least 15 days in advance.
• Trekking shoes: Good standard trekking shoes are sufficient for the trek. On Chadar, which is solid ice or a slight cover of snow on slippery ice, trekkers have found to their amazement that a simple gumboot finally is the best for Chadar. Most of the outside agencies in order to impress tell about crampons. In my years of experience in Ladakh and on Chadar too, I can absolutely say that crampons are quite dicey – quite a few trekkers have injured themselves or worse broken their ankle while a crampon get stuck on the fine cracks in the ice. Gumboot is available in Leh hardware shop and can be purchased here itself. If your shoe size is 9-10, getting a pair might be tough..so start searching as soon as you land in Leh. Sports shoes are not allowed. You need traction on snow and sport shoes with their PVC soles are hardly the choice. Ensure the shoes are well broken in before the trek. Trekkers will soon learn and modify their trek to the “penguin walk” style on seeing from the porters and guide! It is a kind of dragging your foot and not lifting much.
• People who wear spectacles, choose one of these: i. Use contact lenses. ii. Photochromatic glasses. ii. If either of the above is not possible, wear your spectacles and carry a big sunglass that can be worn over your spectacles.
• A woolen head-scarf or muffler.
• Trekking pole is mandatory.
• Light towel (should be thin, quick drying kind).
• Chapstick or lip balm.
• Cold cream and sun screen lotion (SPF 40+). While sun screen help prevent sun burns, a better option is to stay covered.
• 2 Water bottles (1 L each). The insulated water bottles are good but even normal water bottles will suffice.
• Personal medicine kit containing: Crocin – 6 tablets/Avomine – 4 tablets/Avil 25mg – 4 tablets/Combiflam -5 tablets/Disprin – 10 tablets/Norflox – 10 tablets/Crepe Bandage – 3 to 5 meters/Band aid – 10 strips/Digene – 10 tablets/Gauze cloth – 1 small role/Leukoplast – 1 small roll/Cotton – 1 small roll/ORS – 5 packets/Betadine or any antiseptic cream/Volini or Moov or Relispray/Diamox – 10 tablets (to be taken only if required and but not as preventive medicine/Any other medicine that you take.
• Personal toilet kit (minimal) and toilet paper.
• LED Torch with extra set of cells (head lamps are much more preferable).
Small repair kit consisting of safety pins, needle, thread and string (mandatory).
• Camera, memory-cards, batteries etc (carry enough spare batteries. Electricity is not available)
• While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes
The Big NO
X Denim or jeans – not suited for this trek.
• Snacks, colas, alcohol and personal food – No need to overburden yourself with food. Do not carry any disposable plastic bottles like (Bisleri, Aquafina), plastic wrapped/packaged items.
• Do not bring any non bio degradable material.
• After packing, weigh your gear. It should be in the range of 8-10 kg – preferably on the lighter side. Anything heavier, you will need to iterate and remove what is not essential.
• Carry light and what is essential. As an example, toothpaste should be bought in small size (that can last you 10 days).
• Some general advice about clothing: To protect yourself from cold, dressing in layers is the mantra. Two T-shirts worn one over the other is warmer than a T-shirt that is thick. 3 T-shirts worn one over the other is as good as a full sweater. This is just a guideline. If you are prone to cold carry extra warm clothing.
Along with the above list, please ensure you also carry the following documents:
✓ An identification card (like driving license, voters ID card etc), along with a photocopy.
✓ A passport size photo.
✓ A medical certificate Format will be sent after confirmation.
Disclaimer certificate. Format will be sent after confirmation.
The documents are mandatory. Without them you will not be allowed to trek.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Available dates for Chadar Trek
13, 14, 20, 21, 26, 27,28 January’2018 and 3,4, 10,11 February’2018
2. Pricing and Variants
+ Airport transfers one way @ Rs.1000/- Per Taxi
+ Permits @ Rs.2, 300/- Per Person for Indians and Rs.2, 800/- Per Person for Foreigners(ALTOA, LAHDC,
+ Additional Night at Hotel in Leh with Central Heating and Hot running water @ Rs.1800 Per Person/Night on Twin Sharing Basis without meals to be reserved in advance.
+ Sight seeing/Taxi can be arranged from our travel desk at the Base Camp Leh on actual as per the rate of Leh Transport & Taxi Union.
3. Booking and Cancellation
All the booking cancelled before 15-December’2017 are eligible for 50% refund. There will not be any refund applicable for new bookings and existing bookings after 15th-December’2017.
4. What if someone booked the tour but the trek didn’t happen? (Refunds and operations)
In case the Chadar is not formed we will offer the alternate trek for same duration.
5. What if some natural calamities happen in between the treks?
Hippy Traveller takes utmost care to ensure safety of its members during the trekking expeditions. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, International Youth Club will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part
in the trekking and expeditions.
6. If any kind of permission required entering in some certain areas?
Any other charge that the local authority (LAHDC, ALTOA or any other) may charge development fee during the trek (which may range anywhere between 500- 3000 INR per head). All of these kind of charges are to be paid by trekkers in advance before starting the trek and not included in the package. Currently the Fee is Rs.2, 300 for Indians and Rs.2, 800 for Foreigners.
7. To and Fro transportation details?
Transportation from Base Camp Leh to Leh is included in the package as per the itinerary.
Airport transfers pick up or drop may be arranged at an additional cost of Rs.1000/- Per Taxi
8.Stay during the trip?
Stay will be in Hotels with heating and hot water facility while in Leh City.
Tented accommodation will be provided on twin/triple sharing basis while on the trek.
+ Single Supplement @ Rs.8500/- Extra (1 Person 1 Room and 1 Tent)
9. Food: What and how will it be provided?
Meals will be provided while on trek. Our cooks will be serving the simple vegetarian nutritious veg hot meals for breakfast and dinner during the camping. Pack lunch will be provided during the trek. (Rice pulao, potato, dal, local dishes, hot soups, eggs, breads, poha, sweet, tea, milk, high energy bars, dry fruits, juices etc. is the regular menu)
Oxygen cylinders and first aid will be there during the trek. Rescue and medical team will be available on call in case of any exigencies.