Chaddar Ice Trekking
Chaddar Ice Trek
Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days
Destination: Leh – Chilling – Tilad Do Camp – Gyalpo Camp – Dib Cave – Nieraq Camp – Ligshed – Tip Yokma – Darbau – Chiling – Leh
Day 01 : Leh
After landing at Leh airport, meet our representative who will transfer you to your hotel in Leh. Take good rest as at such elevations, it is extremely important to be accustomed to the climate. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Leh – Chilling – Tilad Do Camp
After breakfast, get ready for a long drive to Nimu village near confluence of Indus and Zanskar river. Enjoy nice view at the confluence and then drive further to Chilling. The road would start descending into the river valley and you will be thrilled when driver negotiates sharp bends on a snowclad road. In order to reach the campsite, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar river and that will be your first experience with Chadar; a trail over frozen Zanskar river. After light lunch at Chilling, start trek following the river till Tilad Do Camp (3100M). Camp will be pitched on bank of the river for overnight stay.
Day 03: Tilad Do Camp – Gyalpo Camp
After breakfast, get out of your cosy sleeping bag to start trek in freezing temperature following the river. You will be briefed how to walk on the Chadar and It is advised to follow the footsteps of porters who are experienced to find the best way to walk on the ice sheet as this is probably only trek in the world where the trail disappears under your feet as the ice formation keeps shifting constantly. The trail is mostly flat upstream passing through deep gorge and the rock wall towering on both side of the river. You will be served light lunch on the way to keep your fluid intake at appropriate level which is important. It will be amazing watching herd of ibex on the gorge walls and occasional foot print of snow leopard. Stop for lunch en route. Finish the trek in late afternoon at Gyalpo Camp (3175M) and set-up camp for overnight stay.
Day 04: Gyalpo Camp – Dib Cave
By now, you would get used to getting up early and venture out into the chilling weather to walk on ice. After breakfast we start another day of trek on Zanskar River which is going to be the longest walk on Chadar. After few hours of trek in fascinting deep ravies, you pass through a number of astonishing hot water springs with green algae. Today, you will also come across a large frozen waterfall coming down from Nierag village on the mountains on your left. As the legend goes, the waterfall is said to have come from a river gifted to local Ladakhis who visited Tibet centuries ago to plead for water for their barren land. They were given a box and they were instructed to open this only when they return home. But, one of them who was very curious, opened it just before reaching home. As soon as he opened the box; out jumped a tiny fish, and the river sprung from the ground high above here. The village cannot be seen from here as it is high above the river. However, there is a bridge overhead which connects the village. You stop for lunch in this area nearby as wood is available here. You walk for few more hours till you arrive at a cave (locally know as Dib Cave at 3230M) to spend the night.
Day 05: Dib Cave – Nieraq Camp
Today would be another spectacular day on this trek. Early morning after breakfast start trek on the ice. The day will be spent in most scenic area of the Zanskar gorge. You cross gorges walking on river on ice sheet and find Jupiter trees, covered with prayer flags. People carry a twig of the tree and prayer flag as a sign of good omen. This also marks the entrance to Zanskar region. Today, you will also be the day to capture most famous image of the Chadar Trek on google; the mother of all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation which is very tall and wide. It is really unforgettable to see many colours in this huge structure when sunlight plays off its surface. Continue walking and at many places you will find snow leopards foot prints on the snow and you are certain to see many ibex seemingly sticking to the vertical walls. You cross into the Zanskar region to reach Nieraq. Zanskar range is between Ladakh and Kashmir valley and Zanskar falls in Kargil district, with Padum as its head quarter. Here the valley opens up, and we see few small huts that mark some of the summer grazing of the Nieraq villagers (3400M).The camp is set up close to the river for overnight stay.
Day 06: Nieraq Camp – Lingshed
After breakfast, the trail follows the river for some distance. At many places the gorge becomes very narrow and rises abruptly from river bank. After walking for one hour, you leave the main river and the trek follows a side stream towards Lingshed which is a small village famous for its monastery & the Lingshed solar school. You need to go for a steep climb to reach Lingshed (3875M). On arrival set-up camp for overnight stay.
Day 07: Ligshed
After breakfast, go for a short but steep uphill walk to reach Linghshed Monastery, the local gompa, majestically located in the shadow of a high cliff. There are various caves which are pitted against the walls in the cliff below the monastery which are used for meditation by people given an ideal setting. From here you can see Mangan La and Hanumil La which are part of famous Lamayuru – Padum – Zanskar trek. After spending few hours at Monastery, return to camp for a good rest which you deserve after a hard day. Overnight stay in camp.
Day 08: Ligshed – Nieraq
Today we will walk down from Lingshed Village to Lingshed Do. The trail here goes through narrow gorge and we will enjoy tea at a local tea shop and then we will walk again on Chadar from Lingshed Do to reach Nyerak. Overnight stay in camp.
Day 9: Nieraq – Tip Yokma
After Breakfast, we start our trek, Today, we shall walk again through the deep ravines of the Zanskar which is going to be a memorable experience. The sublime walls of the mountains on both sides of the river keep sunlight away from you for most of the time. You will also come across few frozen water falls. Overnight stay in camp at Tip Yokma.
Day 10: Tip Yokma – Darbau
On today’s trek, we will come across a waterfall named Chhumchar which seems to be coming out of a rock. We may also be lucky to see wildlife in herd of groups on this day. Reach Darbau and overnight stay in camp.
Day 11: Darbau – Chiling – Leh
Today we realize that all good things must come to an end and it will be our last day of Chadar trek. We set foot on this ice sheet for last time and this will eventually bring us full circle back to Chilling. From here we return to Leh by vehicle. Reach Leh and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 12: Leh
Morning, you will be transferred to Leh airport or we shall drop you at any location in Leh if you so desire.
(Trekking distance 4/5 hours)