Deep in the valley of Ladakh, tucked away in the ravines, is the wild river Zanskar. Come winter, this lovely river is enveloped by a blanket of ice. And that is what the Chadar Lake refers to – a sheet or a blanket over water.
The Zanskar Frozen River Trek
Deep in the valley of Ladakh, tucked away in the ravines is the wild river Zanskar. Come winter, this lovely river is enveloped by a blanket of ice and trekking over this blanket of ice is what the Chadar Trek refers to. To be specific, Chadar awaits your visit in the months of January and February. Surrounded by the breath taking gorgeousness that Ladakh provides for, walking over the Chadar is nothing less than a surreal experience which will be the stuff, greatest of your memories will be made of.
Considered as one of the toughest treks in the country, the Chadar Trek is often on the bucket list of many trekkers. However, even the most experienced trekkers are sometimes tempted to postpone trekking on Chadar which reaches sub-zero levels in the winters. This trek is all about extreme and insane cold, with temperatures ranging from -1ºC to -20ºC through the day and night. But, fret not.
Here are 6 tips to brace yourself and walk on this breathtaking frozen River Trek ( Chadar Trek) without any glitches.
Prepare Your Mind First
There is no mountain too high and a trek too tough for the mind which has found its resolve and calm. Train your mind to expect and accept the sub-zero level. Do bear in mind that there is life which exists there as well; For centuries Chadar is used as the only way to commute to Leh during winters. Your mental strength will signal your body to withstand the cold clime.
Pack Warm Clothes, Especially Exothermic Pouches
Don’t forget to pack your woolen apparels and accessories – jackets, fleece, thermals, socks, gloves and mufflers. We especially recommend carrying little heat releasing exothermic pouches or pads as they add an extra layer of warmth. Meant for single usage , these pouches are good to last up to 10 hours and are the real live savers while you are at Chadar Trek – The Frozen River Trek. Slip them in your gloves, boots or jackets and they will keep you warm. You can find them online and exclusive adventure shops in your city. Or, you could even purchase them from the local Leh markets.
Carry Gum Boots and Running Shoes
While you may possess the best quality trekking shoes, nothing can beat the grip and comfort of gum boots while waking across and over the Frozen River Trek (Chadar Trek). And not to mention, gum boots are comparatively cheaper and more reliable too. The only downside to gum boots is that your feet will sweat a lot, leaving your socks damp. You will realize this only once you take them off. Hence, make sure throw in a few extra pair of socks in your trekking bag.
There may be stretches with some knee high water levels which you may need to cross. Here, your trekking shoes are likely to give you a better grip than the hiking boots. So, you would need to carry both gum boots and trekking shoes.
Take Along Two Sleeping Bags
As it is clear by now, you will be living in very cold temperatures while you are here. Add to that, the wind element which make the nights even colder. You want to be warm and well rested. So make sure that you have a good sleeping bag (with a liner) and an additional sleeping bag, should you need more protection against the cold. As you tuck yourself in, don’t forget to put all your belongings, including metal flask into the sleeping bag as well. Else they will be frozen, if left outside. Though we will provide you the suitable sleeping bags for Chadar Trek but carrying one of your own always helps.
Stop, observe, go
The locals can give you a first hand training of how to cross the lake on your foot. On a closer observation, you would notice that they walk fast and take Penguin like strides on the ice. As you watch them, you will learn their ways of maneuvering around on the ice blanket and learn when is it wiser to wait than to carry on, or the reverse. A few hours of keen observation should teach you a lot!
Keep Your Electronics Warm
Did you know that cold can drain out the charge from your electronics? So make sure you don’t run out of that precious battery when you want to take those breathtaking photographs. Keep them safe by tucking them in your pockets closer to your body it will keep them warm and long lasting. Additionally, carry some extra batteries too.
Keep the above mentioned points in mind and you will surely breeze through this trek. As courtesy to Chadar Lake and fellow travelers, make sure that you do not litter and are aware of anything accidentally which may be getting thrown in the terrain. It is, after all our duty to keep this little piece of heaven just that- pristine and clean.
Join Renok Adventures on the Chadar Trek as we weave are way through the Frozen Zanskar. The landscape on this unique 8 day trek will leave you spellbound.
During the winter ,Ladakh, is isolated from the whole country due to heavy snowfall. The only way to Ladakh is by air from Delhi. In winter the temperature goes down to 3o below zero and the mighty Zanskar river freezes. This seven to eight day trek from Chilling to Naerak over the Zanskar is both challenging as well as an unforgettable experience. The landscape acquires a pristine grandeur in winter as the trail enters into the gorge of the Zanskar. Trek Duration : 9 Days 8Nights
Chadar Trek Cost : Rs 22,500 (Ex Leh) + 4.50% Service Tax
What’s Included :-
Accommodation during Trek(Camping) and 2 day stay at Leh in Guest house as per itinerary on sharing basis.
Meals only while on trek (Veg)
First aid medical kits
Qualified and experienced Trek Guide and support staff.
Tents & Sleeping bags
Transport from Leh and Return as per Itinerary
What’s Not Included :-
Wildlife Fee if any (There is no fee currently)
Medical expenses (apart from first aid) and insurance of any kind.
Mineral Water & any kind of beverages
Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay / cancellation / hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities or any emergency evacuation expenses.
Meals in Leh
DEPARTURES (All departures for The Chadar Trek are ex Leh)
21st to 29th January 2017
28th to 5th February 2017
Itinerary Detail (Chadar Trek)
Leh Day 1 – Arrival at Leh
Arrive at Leh and check into a hotel. Leh is a high altitude desert and it takes at least a day to acclimatise to these conditions.So rest in your hotel room and in the evening roam around Leh market. Leh is a culturally rich place. There are dozens of monasteries and ancient temples that you can go around. Overnight stay in Leh.
Tilad Do Camp Day 2 – Drive to Chilling roadhead and trek to Tilad Do camp 3100m
Post breakfast we will drive to Chilling from where we will start our Chadar Trek. The drive to Chilling – the starting point of Chadar trek is an adventurous drive. The ride is along the river Indus via village Nimu the place which is the confluence of the river Indus and the Zanskar. To reach camp one needs to cross the frozen Zanskar.
Gyalpo Day 3 – Trek to Gyalpo camp 3170m
After morning stretching exercises and breakfast our instructors will brief you on how to trek on the Chadar Trek. The Frozen Zanskar is hard as rock and slippery in the winter and trekking on this river can be quite challenging. We will stop for lunch prepared by our staff on the Zanskar which is an experience in itself. After passing Shingra Koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo, where tents have already been pitched by the porters.
Tibb Cave Day 4 – Trek to Dib Cave 3225m
Today we will start our trek after a nutritious breakfast.Today’s stretch of the Chadar Trek is around 14 km. Our destination for the day is Dib Cave. Dib Cave is big cave which provides shelter. We welcome you to the cave with a hot cup of ladakhi butter tea. Overnight stay at Dib Cave.
Nyeraks Camp Day 5 – Trek to Naerak Camp 3390m
Today we trek over deep gorges under the frozen Zanskar. You can hear the sound of water flowing beneath it. After trekking for a few hours we reach a huge waterfall. An old, dilapidated bridge on the river, which villagers claim to be more than 1,000 years old, marks Naerak.
Dib Cave Day 6 – Trek to Dib Cave 3225m
Naerak to Dibb: The same way back? Well technically ,yes. In fact the Chadar changes by the minute, and the colors and perspectives all change. Overnight stay in Dib Cave.
Gyalpo Day 7 – Trek to Gyalpo 3225m
We continue walking in the gorge, which is inaccessible in any other season and we come across some stunning frozen waterfalls.
Tilad Do Day 8 – Drive back to Leh from Tilad Do
At the end of an outstanding frozen river Chadar trek through the Himalayas, you are back to Leh. Overnight stay in Leh.
Leh Day 9 – Take your Flight to Delhi
List of Essential items for Chadar Trek 2016
Backpack (Min 60 Ltrs) with Rain Cover
Trekking Shoes. (Quechua Forclaz 500 M Wenge Men Hiking Boots (43))
4 Pairs of Full sleeve shirts/T-Shirt and Track Pants (1 should be waterproof/windproof)
4 Pair of cotton socks. 3 pairs of wollen socks.
2 Full Sleeve Sweater (Quechua Forclaz 50 Fleece, Men’s Large (Black))
One Heavy Down Jacket (Quechua Warm Down Ski Jacket, XXL (Black)
Thermal Inners -2 Pair
2 pair water proof hand gloves
2 Pair woollen Gloves
Cold Cream & Sun Screen (SPF 40+)
Water Bottle 1 Lt
Headlamp or torch with fresh pair of batteries
Personal Toilet Kit and toilet paper
Personal Medicine Kit
Dark Sunglasses (U/V protected)
Walking Stick (At least one)
People who were spectacles- Should avoid contact lenses and use use photo chromatic glasses instead
Join us at Renok on the Goechala Trek through rhododendron forests to the snow-capped peaks and glaciers below the awesome summit of Kangchenjunga .
Goechala Trek – Great views of Mt Kanchenjunga
Goechala Trek gives you the best views of Kanchenjunga – the third highest mountain in the world, provides an inspiring backdrop for the Goechala Trek. Until the discovery of the height of Mt Everest in the 19th century, Kanchenjunga was considered to be the highest mountain in the world. Viewing its huge flanks rising high above the foothills, it is not hard to understand why, while the many 7000m peaks complete an impressive panorama.
Yet there are more than mountain views to whet the appetite of the seasoned trekker. The trails lead from steamy, subtropical forest with bamboo, luxuriant ferns and orchids to temperate forest bands with ancient oak and rhododendron trees before heading to the alpine meadows that afford uninterrupted views of the East Ridge of the mighty Kanchenjunga.
Trek Duration : 10 Days 9 Nights
Cost per Person: Rs 14500 + 4.5% per person (Ex NJP Including Transport)
Book Before 31st January 2017 Cost per Person: Rs 13500 + 4.5% per person (Ex NJP Including Transport)
GOECHALA TREK ITINERARY
Day 1 Goechala Trek :- NJP to Yuksom(5,800ft).
Day 2 Goechala Trek :- Yuksom (5,800 feet) to Sachen (7,200 feet).4 hours.
Day 4 Goechala Trek :- Tshoka(9,650 feet)- Dzongri(12,980 feet) via Phedang (12,050 feet). 5-6 hours
Day 5 Goechala Trek :- Dzongri(12980ft) to Dzongri top and back.
Day 6 Goechala Trek :- Dzongri to Lamuney via Kockchurang(12096ft).6-7 hours.
Day 7 Goechala Trek :- Lamuney(13,693ft) to Goechala(16,000ft) and back to Kockchurang.10 hours.
Day 8 Goechala Trek :- Kokchurang to Tshoka via Phedang. 6-7 hours.
Day 9 Goechala Trek :- Tshoka to Yuksom via Bhakim and Sachen. 6 hours.
Day 10 Goechala Trek :- Drive back to NJP.
What’s Included :-
Accommodation (Camping & Guest House Stay in Yuksom)
Meals while on trek (Veg)
First aid medical kits
Qualified and experienced Trek Guide and support staff.
Transport from NJP and return (as per Goechala Trek itinerary)
What’s Excluded :-
Permit Fee for foreigners.
Meals during transit or in Yuksom.
Mineral Water or Soft drinks.
Any tips or gratuity paid.
Anything which is not a part of our inclusions.
Batch 1: 15th April 2017 – 24th April 2017 Batch 2: 29th April 2017 – 8th May 2017 Batch 3: 13th May 2017 – 22nd May 2017 Batch 4: 27th May 2017 – 5th June 2017 Batch 5: 10th June 2017 – 19th June 2017 Batch 6: 24th June 2017 -3rd July 2017 Batch 7: 2nd September 2017 -11th September 2017 Batch 8: 16th September 2017 – 25th September 2017 Batch 9: 7th October 2017 – 16th October 2017 Batch 10: 21st October 2017 – 30th October 2017 Batch 11: 4th November 2017 – 13th November 2017
DETAILED ITINERARY Day 1: New Jalpaiguri railway station to Yuksom
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station(NJP) is located in the Jalpaiguri District which is considered to be the Gateway to the Northeast. All major cities and towns are connected to NJP via the Indian Railways. The closet airport is Bagdogra Airport which is about 16km from NJP. From NJP we take a taxi to Yuksom in Sikkim. This journey will take us approximately 6 hrs. Yuksom is a beautiful town in West Sikkim which was once the capital of Sikkim. Overnight stay in Yuksom
Day 2: Yuksom(5800 feet) to Sachen (7250feet). 4 hours
This is the first day of the trek. After walking across open fields we enter the beautiful valley of the Rathong river. En route appreciate ancient Oak, Conifer and Bamboo forests and the luxuriant ferns and delicate orchids that line the trail . Yuksom (1760m) marks the entrance to the Kanchenjunga National Park. Just after leaving the village you can see Baktim on a ridge high above the confluence of the Rathong and Prek Rivers, which will give you an idea of how to pace yourself for the day. Sachen is located at about 7200 feet above sea level. At Sachen we will find a lot of Log huts were we will spend the night.
Day 3 :- Sachen (7,200 feet) – Tshoka (9,650 feet). 3 ½ – 4 hours
The trek from Sachen to Tshoka involves quite considerable attitude gain. We continue walking until we reach the bridge over the river,Perk. Prayer flags in the distance are an indication of the start of the Goechala trail. We trek through Oak and later Rhododendron forests. On the way we pass through Bakhim. Bakhim has a forest rest house and a tea and snack stall. We can stop and rest for a while and enjoy the view of the Yuksom Valley. From Bakhim, Tshoka, is about an hour. From a distance you will see a trekkers hut on a plateau.This is Tshoka. Overnight stay in Tshoka.
Day 4 :- Tshoka(9,650 feet)- Dzongri(12,980 feet) via Phedang(12,050 feet). 5-6 hours
On the fourth day we have a steep climb. You will be surrounded by Rhododendron forests all around. After about half an hour in to the trek the trail changes to a well laid out path with wooden logs. In some time we reach Phedang. At 12,000 feet and a source of water nearly Phedang is a perfect place to stop for lunch. We then continue for Dzongri. Through this leg of the trek you will be reaching over 13,000 feet, so headaches are not uncommon due to the thin air. In about 6 -7 hrs we reach Dzongri. Overnight stay at Dzongri.
Day 5 :- Dzongri (12980ft) to Dzongri top(13681ft) and back.
Today we start a steep ascend to Dzongri top which will take up about an hour. This is the highest point on the trek from where we will get a 180 degree panoramic view of the Kanchenchunja range. If we start early at 4am we can reach the top just in time for the sunrise. Experience how the golden rays of the sun interact with this magnificent mountain range. After enjoying this spectacular view we retrace our steps to Dzongri.
Day 6 :- Dzongri(12980ft) to Lamuney(13,692ft) via Kockchurang(12096ft).6-7 hours.
Beyond Dzongri, the peak of Pandim looms above the Prek Valley. Below the mountain peaks are countless hanging glaciers and snowfields that define the upper reaches of this impressive alpine valley and the route to the GoechaLa, providing a taste of the days to follow. The hanging glaciers and moraine fields leave little doubt that you are in the midst of the high mountains while the alpine meadows are particularly attractive during May. From camp, head east from Dzongri to a series of cairns above the Prek Valley. From the ridge, a steep descent though rhododendron forest leads to the riverbed before heading up along the boulder-strewn riverbed to a bridge over the Prek River. The trail leads to the meadows at Thangsing(3930m). Overnight stay at Thangsing.
Day 7 :- Lamuney(13,693ft) to Goechala(16,000ft) and back to Kockchurang.10-12 hours.
The trek to the rarefied climes of the GoechaLa is rewarded with unrivaled views of the massive East Ridge of Kanchenjunga high above the Talung Glacier as well as views of the high ridges and peaks that enclose the upper Prek Valley. Looking north there is a vast mountain region yet to explore, but for now the GoechaLa is as far as you are permitted to go. The pass is often shrouded in mist and cloud not long after sunrise, so an early start is necessary.
The trail heads along the far side of the lake and through moraine before crossing a sandy section alongside the Onglakhing Glacier. From here, you can see the pass at the head of the valley. However, the trek through the lateral moraine is tiring – more so if there has been a recent snowfall.The Goecha La is marked with fluttering, colourful prayer flags, framing the peak of Kanchenjunga.
Lead the same trek towards Lamuney and then move forwards to reach the destination for the day- Kockchurang. You can choose to set up your tent near the bank of the river or you can also reside in the trekkers hut.
Day 8: Kokchurang to Tshoka via Phedang. 6-7 hours
From Kockchurang we trek back to Tshoka via Phedang the way we came. It is going to be downhill walk only but you will be tired and happy at the same time as you have been to Goechala.
Day 9: Tshoka to Yuksom via Bhakim and Sachen. 6 hours.
We retrace our steps back to Yuksom via Bhakim and Sachen and reach Yuksom our base camp for Goechala Trek Trek. Next day we take a cab back to NJP.
Day10 . Back to NJP We drive back from Yuksom to NJP.