A really brief take on the Chadar Trek
Formerly, the Chadar route used to be taken by the natives of Zanskar Valley to source their basic supplies from main towns during peak winters. Today, spanning 105km, trekkers need to be exceptionally fit, with 15-16 kilometres to be covered on a daily basis. In the words of Wing Commander Amit Chowdhury, an expert mountaineer, avid skydiver and skier, Chadar's an easy trek with no real challenge other than the low temperature. According to him, though the frozen river has its own, one-of-a-kind magic but it still is the same landscape on loop, repeating at every bend. Then comes the crowd, which teems with first-timers, doing the trek primarily for bragging rights and one too many status updates on Facebook. Also with over 400 people hoarding the trail, this trek is not the best option if you're looking for some peace and quiet. And all this is not taking into account the human excreta, litter and waste left by the thousands who flock to the narrow river gorge every season.