Leh Ladakh Tour Chadar Trek (8N/9D)
Destinations Covered: Leh – Gyalpo-Tibb Cave – Naerak Camp – Leh
Day 1: Fly to Leh | Arrival Altitude 11,400 ft. Arrival in Ladakh
Overnight stay at the hotel/guest house in the outskirts of Leh city.
Keep your woolen cap and gloves handy.
You will be flying over long stretches of snow-covered Himalayan mountains, which will make it evident why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh on road in the winters. The moment you land in Leh, cold and crisp air will greet you, and you will experience a drastic change in the temperature. Leh has just begun to wake up from its sleep with only a few shops open.
The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. Be sure to take enough rest to acclimatize to the weather here and remember to drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated.
Overnight stay at guest house.
Day 2: Acclimatization Day
Keeping in mind the health problems that trekkers are facing (Acute Mountain Sickness), as per the new regulations applied by Ladakh Government Authorities, anyone doing the Chadar trek should be at least spending two days in Leh to get your body fully acclimatized to the weather conditions here. It irrevocable and it is important that it is strictly followed by every trekker. You can spend the day shopping at the Leh market. It is very important that you get used to the cold temperature in Leh because the temperature will only tend to fall as you start walking on the frozen Zanskar, where the temperatures reach way below zero even in the daytime. It is advisable that you avoid visiting places which are at a higher altitude.
It is also advised that you check and cross check all the essentials before going to bed.
Overnight stay in Leh.
Day 3: Medical Check up | Day of Wild Card Exits
As per the Government guidelines in Jammu and Kashmir, the trekkers will need to go through a medical check up.
Only after you get cleared by the officer will you be allowed to get a green signal for Chadar. Also, the trekker will be issued there wildlife permits, insurance, and other important documents.
Before the morning of the 4th day, if you feel that you want to opt-out, or have been deemed unfit by the government bodies, you can take a physical wild card and opt for a ‘Flavor of winter Ladakh’ tour, without any extra cost.
Overnight stay in Leh.
Day 4: Leh to Shingra Koma via Chilling & Tilad do and Trek to Gyalpo 11,480 to 10,500ft Drive 3-4 hrs, trek 5 hrs/11 km
On this day, you will be heading to the starting point of the, which is Shingra Koma.
One of the most scenic drives in the entire region of Ladakh, you will get to see many top spots like Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus, a drive of about 90 minutes along the Zanskar River will bring you to Chilling.
The car will drop you where the road end and this is where you start walking on Zanskar. Walking with you gumboots on will definitely be a challenge in the initial stage. To get the hang of patterns of ice formation will take some time. You will have to judge the fragile surfaces from the strong ones as there are a number of different kinds of surfaces on Chadar trek, but once you start walking you will know more about it. Planting your foot will be important in most of the cases, you can check for the ice for its steadiness with your walking stick before stepping on it.
Make sure your backpack is light and small so you can manage and use the weight on your own effectively.
The trek for the day will take you to the first campsite of the journey, Gyalpo situated at the river bend, covered by High peaks and amazing rock faces. This will be your first experience of camping under sub-zero temperatures.
Overnight at Gyalpo.
Day 5: Gyalpo to Tibb Cave 10,500ft to 10,800 ft Trek 12 km/ 5 to 6 hours
Chadar is not a trek where altitude keeps on the rise at a fast pace. As you trek for 5 to 6 hours, you will only gain an altitude of 300ft from Gyalpo to Tibb Cave. Wake up from a chilling night and enjoy a warm breakfast.
As you head to the next campsite at Tibb Cave, you will come across some of the most beautiful frozen waterfalls. These waterfalls have a mystery revolving around their origin or source but are nonetheless breathtaking.
With the Zanskar flowing right beside you with its emerald green waters, you will stop midway to Tibb Cave for Lunch.
As you move ahead, you will come across various rock patterns which will shine distinctively as the rays of the sun fall on them.
The campsite for the day will be near Tibb Cave which is surrounded by dry sand.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 6: Tibb cave to Naerak camp 10,800 to 11,100 ft Trek 13 km/ 6 to 7 hours
The campsite for the day is the most awaited one, as you will be going to Naerak today, after breakfast. The 13 km long trail will bring you the chance of seeing the most scenic landmark of Chadar trek, which is the frozen waterfall. This frozen waterfall is a nature’s masterpiece in itself and attracts trekkers and adventurers from across the globe. Hot lunch will be served on your way to Naerak. Naerak will be the coldest of all the campsites on the trek where the temperature goes down to as low as -30 degrees during the night. It will be important that you wear proper clothing and in layers to stay safe from the biting cold. Reaching the waterfall on time would mean that you will have plenty of time to pay the village of Naerak a visit as well. You will be camping at a distance of 15-20 minutes from the frozen waterfall.
Overnight at Naerak camp.
Day 7: Naerak to Tibb Cave 11,100 to 10,800 ft Trek 13 km/ 5 to 6 hours
After breakfast today, you will start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave.
If you have the notion that going back is the easier part of the journey, the Chadar will force your mind to think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature,and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before. On your way back to Tibb cave, you will be seeing a lot of locals negotiating the Chadar wearing the traditional woolen Gonchas, where some of them are monks coming back to Leh from the monastery at Lingshed, while other are young students going back to schools in Leh after their vacations, accompanied by their parents. To see this sight is warming enough. You will be in awe of the way these people have adapted to the temperatures below zero and still smile.
Overnight at camps in Tibb cave.
Day 8: Tibb Cave to Shingra Yokma via Gyalpo, Drive back to Leh 10,800ft to 10,300 ft and drive to 11,400 ft. Trek 18 km/ 7 to 8 hours
Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo, and then trek on to reach Shingra Yokma today.
The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls.
You will be noticing a lot of fresh trails and footprints all along the trek, belonging to Foxes, Ibex, or Snow leopards. Although you would be lucky to spot a Snow Leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time. Retracing the steps we took, this will be the last chance to look at the majestic and mesmerizing Chadar, which you will miss for sure. Trekkers along the way, who are about to start their trek will for sure ask you the experience. It will be amazing to play a guide to these people and to talk to someone about the experience while it is still fresh in your head. You will reach Leh by approximately by 6:30 in the evening. It is recommended that you book your return flight on the 9th day instead of the 8th day. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house.
Overnight stay at Leh.
Day 9: Departure Leh
After breakfast, you will be checking out of the guesthouse and will get a transfer to the airport. Continue with your return journey on the flight.