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Best Time for this Trek is during Winter – December/January/Febraury
Altitude 11,400 ft. Stay in guest house. Keep your woollen cap and gloves handy. Flying over miles and miles of heavily snowed mountains will tell you just why it’s impossible to reach Ladakh by road in the winters. The moment you land at the Leh airport, one of the highest airports in the world, you will feel the fresh and crisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature. The town has just begun shedding off the thick winter slumber and is slowly coming to life. Taking a stroll through the Leh market, you will find that very few shops and eateries in the town are open for business; but if required, some last minute-shopping for the trek can be done here. The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. The night is spent in a copy guest house.
11,400 to 10,390 ft. Drive 65 kms. Stay in tent. You can start the morning by witnessing the sunrise from the Shanti Stupa , from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire town of Leh and its surroundings. You can also see the peak of Stok Kangri almost beckoning you to climb it. But today’s agenda includes a very picturesque and thrilling long-drive to Chilling. The roller-coaster ride takes you along the Indus to the village of Nimu, where the Zanskar converges into Indus. After stopping at this confluence point to take in the view, the drive continues and the road begins descending right into the river valley. There are quite a few heart-stopping moments as the vehicle negotiates the steep hairpin bends over snow covered road. The road goes past Chilling to Tilad Do. Among these mammoth mountains, the feeling of insignificance of one’s being does not escape anyone. To reach the camp-site, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar river and this is when you take your first steps on the Chadar. It takes a while to get a hang of walking on the ice sheet. As the evening comes, the TTH team pitches tents on the banks of the Zanskar, and hands out thick warm sleeping bags. To get some exercise and keep warm, you can climb up the nearby mountains and get a good look at the frozen river. As the sun sets, it drags the temperature down with it, and the sleeping bags in the tents look quite inviting.
10,390 to 10,550 ft. Trek 10 kms. Stay in tent. The biggest challenge of this day, and all the remaining days, is to get out of the warm toasty sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside, but the steaming cups of tea being served provide ample motivation. Today is a long walking session, about 10 km, on the Chadar. The trek leaders fromTTH give a briefing about the day, and give tips on how to walk on the Chadar. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. It can be a cold and hard surface of slippery ice, or it can have a dusting of snow over it, providing a good grip. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. The locals, it appears, have a sixth sense as to where exactly to step on theChadar. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river. Eventually you get used to walking on the Chadar, which looks like a cross between gliding and skating. Mid way to Gyalpo, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot bowlfuls of soupy noodles for lunch. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake. Nothing makes you adapt to the conditions faster than nicely circulating blood in your system. After passing Shingra koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo. The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made. All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.
10,550 to 10,760 ft. Trek 15 kms. Stay in tent. This day follows the same early morning routine: bed tea at 7, breakfast at 8, and quick-march at 8:30. Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day – almost 15 km. But that is nothing to worry about, all the walking keeps you incredibly warm. Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either sides of the river keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others. As the fable goes, centuries ago the local villagers faced a dearth of water and went to Tibet to plead for water. They were given a box which they were to open once they reached the village, and not any time sooner. But curiosity got the better out of them, and when they opened the box, two fishes jumped out of it, creating two huge waterfalls. One of those waterfalls, miraculously, is not iced-up even in such freezing cold. The rocks below this waterfall are covered with moss, and this is the only greenery you’ll see on this trek. At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them!
10,760 to 11,150 ft. Trek 12.5 kms. Stay in tent. Attraction Frozen waterfall. Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags. The porters give you a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a badge of good-luck and good-health. A few steps awaystands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. You can see dozens of colours in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh. The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take you to the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari. The camp is set up close to the river.
11,150 to 10,760 ft. Trek 12.5 kms. Stay in tent. Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave. And if you thought that it was just a matter of retracing your steps back to Chilling, you can 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 the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas – some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation. Watching the locals negotiate the Chadar is a fascinating sight. They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit.
10,760 to 10,550 ft. Trek 15 kms. Stay in tent. Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today. The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls. You can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek – footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards. You would be lucky to view a snow-leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.
10,550 to 10,390 and drive to 11400 ft. Trek 10 kms. Drive 65 kms. Stay in guest house. This is the last day of treading on the Chadar – the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. TTH team and our porters will take good care of you and make this trek one of the most memorable experiences for you. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house again.
In the Morning Transfer to the airport for Flight to Delhi and connect onward flight.
Starts from US$
Price on request.
Your contract is with Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels. A contract exists between us when we have confirmed you on our tour / hotel booking / or any other travel related services of your choice and we have received your booking request and deposits. All correspondence/s in respect of Tours / Travel Service bookings should be addressed to Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels.
For the services contracted, 40 % advance payment should be made to hold the booking on a confirmed basis and the balance amount should be paid before commencement of your tour. We hold the right to decide upon the amount to be paid as an advance payment, based on the nature of services and the time left for the commencement of the services.
Payment can be made by Bank Transfer, Cash payment to our office or by Demand Draft / Cheque. All payments should be free and clear of any withholding tax and deduction. Bank charges, if any, for remittance (by remitting bank or by intermediary bank) would be strictly borne by payer.
Tour once commenced will strictly go as per the itinerary finalised. In case of events and circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to change all or parts of the contents of the itinerary for safety and well being of our esteemed passengers.
In case of cancellation of tour/travel services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reason/s we must be informed in writing. Cancellation charges would be effective from the date we receive letter in writing and cancellation charges would be as follows:
Please note – Irrespective of above mentioned cancellations slabs – in case of cancellation of tour services after the booking is made with us – a minimum 10% service charges would be applicable.
In case you cancel the trip after commencement refund would be restricted to a limited amount that too would depend on the amount that we would be able to recover from the hoteliers we patronize. For unused hotel accommodation, chartered transportation and missed meals etc. we do not bear any responsibility to refund.
Where as in case of Cancellation before the commencement, it will take atleast two weeks time to refund the said amount.
Please note that after the finalization of the tour/service cost, if there are any hikes in entrance fees of monuments/museums, taxes, fuel cost or guide charges by the Govt. of India, the same would be charged as extra.
Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels act only in the capacity of agent for the hotels, airlines, transporters, railways & contractors providing other services & all exchange orders, receipts, contracts & tickets issued by us are issued subject to terms & conditions under which these services are provided by them.
All itineraries are sample itineraries, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants etc. may dictate itinerary changes either before the tour or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change any schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort & general well being.
Our rates are based on the prevailing rates as negotiated by us with the hotels, airlines etc. Hotels and Airlines retain the right to modify the rates without notice. In case of such changes the rates quoted before the modification, can be changed by us according to the modifications by hotels or airlines. All hotel bookings are based on usual check in and checkout time of the hotels until unless indicated in the itinerary.
We shall not be responsible for any delays & alterations in the programme or expenses incurred – directly or indirectly – due to natural hazards, flight cancellations, accident, breakdown of machinery or equipments, breakdown of transport, weather, sickness, landslides, political closures or any untoward incidents.
We shall not be responsible for any loss, injury or damage to person, property, or otherwise in connection with any accommodation, transportation or other services, resulting – directly or indirectly – from any act of GOD, dangers, fire, accident, breakdown in machinery or equipment, breakdown of transport, wars, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferages, epidemics, medical or custom department regulations, defaults, or any other causes beyond our control.
We do not have any insurance policy covering the expenses for accident, sickness, loss due to theft, or any other reasons. Visitors are advised to seek such insurance arrangements in their home country. All baggage & personal property/s at all times are at the client’s risk.
To travel to India from overseas countries except for the citizen of Nepal & Bhutan, one needs a 06 months valid passport and a valid Visa. And processing of Passport and Visa are not included in the tour cost.
Any person who has a contagious disease is forbidden to travel, any person found during the tour with such a disease will be asked to leave the tour and will have to make their own arrangements to return home.