Local people say it is not just a trek, it is an experience. I must say it is a lifetime experience. Yes I am talking about Chadar Trek -every adventure junkie's dream trek. Chadar Trek is walking on frozen Zanskar river, sometimes walking on hard rock glass type ice through which you can see flowing Zanskar, sometimes fragile ice sheet, sometimes you have to cross knee deep sub zero water of mighty Zanskar, sometimes you have to do climb the rocks if Chadar doesn't form well to walk on. Formation of Chadar changes everyday. You will spend your nights inside the sleeping bag in a tent and the temperature is freezing cold like anything, ranging -25°C to -30°C. But trekking with 12 unknown people from different parts of India who made the coolest group ever, is really a lifetime memory for me. Being completely cutoff from everything, those 9 days with my "crazy Chadar family" and the local guide and porters, the real 'Heroes' of Chadar were simply awesome. So come let's celebrate Chadar with "Juley(Hello in Ladakhi)- Kabhi na Bhuley!!"
Where it is?
Leh, Jammu & Kashmir, India
Here I would like to mention one thing. Please try to choose your dates at the starting. Because the formation of Chadar changes almost every day.. Later the Chadar may got broken or melted and you may be missing out to reach upto frozen waterfall at Nerak.
How the trek happened to me?
I am not an avid trekker. Before doing Chadar, I did only Sandakphu Trek in West Bengal and that too in Winter. Yes I have experiences of some small treks. Chadar was always on top of my Bucket List. During November 2018, I got to see the advertisement of Chadar trek from Thrillophilia while surfing the net and I just casually asked some of my friends, one of them said 'Yes'. Then we started to plan. After a brief research on Google, we zeroed out one trek organiser - Trek The Himalayas(TTH). Then after managing the leaves, we finally booked the trek. And then with the rising excitement we started gearing up for experiencing the wildest.
Itinerary with experience:
Reached Leh from Delhi in the morning enjoying the majestic view of the almighty Himalayas from flight and was welcomed at Leh Airport by the chilly breeze. Our joyride took us on a ride from 20°C to -10°C in one hour!! When we landed in the beautiful Leh airport, though it was cold like anything but we can feel the heat of excitement of many Chadar trekkers who were onboard with me. We already met three of our trek members at Delhi airport and came together in the same flight. So we took a cab together and headed towards our hotel-The Auspicious Hotel. The cab cost Rs. 400. It was a rest day specially to acclimatise with the sudden rise of height(approx 11000 ft) and sudden drop of temperature(20°C to - 10°C). We met our other group members at the hotel. After lunch we were supposed to be briefed by TTH members. Since they didn't show up, we enjoyed a brief UNO session with some of the group members. In the evening we were briefed by TTH members along with some formalities and met our trek leader (TL) Dilip.