Zanskar River, Ladakh, Singapore
Zanskar, a region in Ladakh, is famous for its stunning scenery and Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries. It is isolated with a sparse population living in small villages that dotted the mountain range. Because of its remoteness, Zanskar has few infrastructure. There's only one dead-end road, cutting through high mountain passes of above 5000m, that links Zanskar's small capital, Padum to Leh. In winter, when the high mountain passes are covered in snow and not accessible, the villagers in Zanskar takes to the frozen Zanskar River as the alternative to reach Leh. This frozen river route, which for centuries, has been the most important trading and transportation lifeline of the Zankaris in winter, is now fast becoming a popular trek. It is attracting trekkers from around the world who want to follow the local Zanskaris’ footpath and walk the “ice sheets” (Chadar) of the frozen Zanskar River.
About The Trek
For most of its length between Chilling and the Zanzkar Valley (around 105km 1 way), the Zanskar River is confined within a steep canyon. The trekking route follows the banks of the river, in the gorge to the valleys of Nyerak and Lingshed before reaching Zanskar Valley.
Trekkers can choose to end the trek in Zanzkar Valley near Padum or midway in Nyerak or Lingshed Valley. Because the road to Zanskar is closed by snow, there’s only 1 way in and out of the trek. Trekkers have to back track the same way back to Chilling.
The trek is mostly along the river with some sections on the river itself. While the route is well trotted by both locals and trekkers, it is not a single fixed path. Some sections of the river or route that was safe to walk on before may become dangerous at the time of crossing or the trail may become blocked by thick snow such that a detour is needed to find a safe or accessible alternative. Be prepared to crawl on snow and ice, scramble on rock faces, navigate narrow river terrains with rushing freezing water a few inches below your feet, walk on icy river and sleep in cave camps in the extreme winter temperature of – 10°C in day to -15°C in the night.
We may not camp at the designated campsite for the day and may detour or alter the daily trek, depending on the ground conditions.
The Chadar Frozen River trek can only be done during a 2-month window from mid January to early March when the frozen Zanskar River is the most stable with solid ice.
Dates: 11-25 Jan 2017
Price: $1680 per person (6-12 people)
Trek Grade: 2B+
Trek Leader: Joanne Soo
Day 1: Arrive New Delhi
Day 2: Arrive Leh(3500m)
Day 3: Acclimatization day. Half day sightseeing of Stok Palace Museum, Shey and Thiksey.B/-/-
Day 4-7: Drive to Tilat Sumdo near Chilling to start trek. For the next few days, trek along the banks of the river, in the gorge through the valleys of Nyerak and Lingshed to Tsarak Dho (exit point depending on the condition of the river). Transfer to Karsha Village. (3300m - 3657m). B/L/D
Day 8: Sight-seeing day. Visit a few villages, the famous Karsha Monastery and Padum. Transfer to Zangla village (3900m).B/L/D
Day 9-12: Drive to Tsarak Dho to start trek for return journey to Tilat Sumdo. Drive to Leh. B/L/D (except dinner in Leh)
Day 13: Free & easy in Leh (Buffer day for emergency/stranded on trek)B/-/-
Day 14: Depart Leh. Flight from Leh to New Delhi (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )B/-/-
Return airport transfer in Leh, Ladakh
All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
Meals as indicated in itinerary (vegetarian meals only during trek)
Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Leh
Camping equipment: Three-season sleeping tents (twin/triple sharing), kitchen tents, toilet tents, dinning tables and chairs and sleeping mats
Trek support: Climbing guide, assistant climbing guide, cook and porters
Boiled drinking water during trek
Permits & fees: Conservation, National Park fees and permit
One experience trip leader from Ace Adventure Expeditions
International and domestic air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
Visa Fee (Different fee for different nationalities)
Entrance fees to sight-seeing places like monasteries etc
All beverages except boiled drinking water during trek
Meals not indicated in itinerary
Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover trekking up to 4000m)
Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
Personal travel & trekking gear
Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing
2. Equipment preparation & gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Physical training preparation
4. Trip information kit
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Ladakh, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture.
Trek Leaders: We carefully select our trek leaders. Each trek leader has the relevant trekking/climbing skills, knowledge of care and safety at high altitude and with the right temperament to lead groups. All of our trek leaders are familiar with what we expect from them and how we like them to lead trips on our behalf. Their skills, knowledge and experience complement that of the local climbing/trekking guides . Their main aim will be to ensure that you derive optimum benefit and to maximize your chances of reaching the summit on climbs/treks. They will operate with safety as the prime consideration.
How to sign up
A deposit fee is required to confirm your slot in the team. Please also read our T&Cs.
You can make payment via cheque or Internet /ATM bank transfer.
Ace Adventure Expeditions Pte Ltd
OCBC Bank Code - 7339
OCBC Branch Code - 647
Ø For bank transfer, please indicate your name
Ø For cheque drop, please indicate your cheque number via email
Ø For ATM transfer, please let us know the transaction details
Visit our Facebook to view pictures on previous Chadar Frozen Lake treks.
Email us at [masked] if you have any questions regarding this trek.
You may also form a private group for this trek.