Chadar Trek – The Best Trekking Adventure You'll Ever Have

Kaza, Ladakh, India - Chadar Trekking in Ladakh is one of the top adventure activities you can do in India. What’s more, it’s among the best treks in India. The trek goes along the frozen Zanskar River with views of snow-capped mountains and past frozen waterfalls that trickle over ice-covered rocks. It’s an adventure like no other, and here are some reasons why you should definitely do Chadar Trekking in Ladakh once in your lifetime.

You’re going to hear plenty of adjectives and nouns used to describe the frozen river trek through the Himalayas, but you won’t find any better than these few simple ones. Chadar Trek – Frozen River Trek is one of the best trekking adventures you’ll ever have, and one that you should definitely add to your bucket list if you haven’t already. Here are five reasons why it’s the best trekking adventure around and exactly what makes it so special. The Best Trekking Adventure You'll Ever Have!

How to Prepare
For first timers, there are several things you’ll need to do before and after your trek. The most important thing you can do is actually prepare for your trip. The first step to preparing is signing up for a trek guide with a reputable company that specializes in treks in Ladakh. These companies usually include everything from airfare, to hotels, to airport transfers and most importantly (if not obvious) a professional trek guide who will assist you every step of the way. As you get closer to your departure date it’s time to buy some extra gear if needed – tents, sleeping bags, boots and other necessary equipment can be purchased in Leh or New Delhi but make sure they have quality liners as they’re better at protecting against water leakage.

What to Expect
If you're looking for an adventurous trek that takes place along a frozen river, look no further than Chadar. This frozen part of a larger region in northern India is unofficially referred to as Leh-Ladakh, after its two largest cities. It's home to some of Ladakh's most iconic mountain ranges, like Pensi La and Namika La—which both have peaks over 21,000 feet—as well as endless rolling desert dunes. And its famous Chadar trek offers more adventure than one could ever expect from a walk across ice.

How to Start Trekking on the Frozen Zanskar River
When most people think of winter travel, they think of sledding down snowy hills and making snow angels in sub-zero temperatures. But for experienced trekkers with sufficient skills and a high tolerance for risk, a frozen river can be far more inviting. In fact, crossing a frozen river can offer some adventure seekers an unrivaled outdoor experience that is safe to attempt with competent training from experienced guides. Here’s how you can join them on Chadar Trek – one of India’s most exciting trekking adventures.

Where to Stay
If you're not camping, I recommend camping at least one night. While there are many campsites throughout Zanskar and Ladakh, most of them are on or near river banks. If you don't like crowds or prefer to be in a more secluded area, consider finding a campsite elsewhere. It can be difficult to find such areas without help from locals who know their way around (or GPS), but it's worth looking for it if you have time.

What's Included
The Chadar trek is considered to be one of the most exciting and entertaining trips one can take to Ladakh. This trek takes you through frozen rivers, villages, and remote lakes nestled in beautiful valleys. The first few days are spent acclimatizing your body to cold weather so that by day 3 you’re completely ready for a full day of walking on ice. What makes it even more unique is that since there is no tourist activity during the winter season, you are truly one of a kind! It does get very cold (temperatures reach as low as -45 degrees) so layers are a must-have along with thermal socks, boots and gaiters.

Things to Pack
The most important thing to bring with you on any trek is good company. The great thing about a Chadar trek is that you’ll be sharing your journey with a group of people who share your passion for adventure. Just remember to pack enough clothes for the trip, including warm jackets, waterproof shoes and equipment like trekking poles. Make sure you’re covered up in layers to keep yourself warm – even if it’s not cold, wind can cause your body temperature to drop quickly. Also be sure to pack rain gear as that constant moisture will seep through clothing and leave you shivering!

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