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Finally our first arrangement on meetup..!! One of the most thrilling, challenging and the glamorous trek – Chaddar. Chaddar- called so as the zanskar river freezes during the peak winter season thus forming a blanket of ice over inturn providing the only route for the zanskar people to travel to Leh via chilling. This route was first brought into limelight by the Discovery channel that made a documentary on the people of this region. With temperatures dropping from -25 to -30 degrees during the night, it really tests your nerves for surviving in the cold conditions. The Chaddar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter-trail in Zanskar region of Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Its walls are near vertical cliffs up to 600 m high and the Zanskar River (a tributary of the Indus river) is only 5 m wide in places. It takes place on the trade route that has been used by the indigenous people for centuries. In local language “chaddar” means layer- indicating the layer of ice that covers the river. The chaddar trek is basically performed on a frozen river called the “Zanskar River”, during the summer this river doesn’t disappoint its enthusiastic tourist as it becomes a perfect location for river rafting expedition and during the winters it transforms into an ice sheet where the famous Chaddar trek is performed. ITINERARY: Day 1: Arrival at Leh: Team would arrive at Leh Airport in the morning, followed by transfer to Guest House. Team can go for shopping during day time followed by a complimentary visit to Shanti Stupa in the evening hours which overlooks the Leh city. No major physical activity this day in order to acclimatize with the thin air conditions. Day 2: Leh to Chilling followed by Trek to Shira Kongma In the morning we leave by our vehicles with our support staff to begin this amazing and most exciting winter trek. Shortly after leaving Leh, we reach Nimoo valley, the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers. The sight is amazing as the iced up and frozen Zanskar meets the fast flowing Indus. We stop here for around 5-10 mts for all to have a view and a click. We then turn down from Nimoo following the track parallel to the frozen River Zanskar, a drive towards the road head beside the frozen river is another amazing experience. Travel distance between Leh and Chilling is around 64 KM. We now reach to the point, past the village of Chilling to where the road head ends. Touching the Chadar first time, we start the trek for nearly 3hrs along the magnificent frozen river Zanskar till we reach Shira Kongma. Overnight in tents Day 3: Shira Kongma to Tibb Wake up time is around 7:00 am, freshen up. Breakfast with hot tea and you are ready for a day full of frozen ice river trek by 9:00 am. Hearing the different sounds of Chadar forming and breaking, you will soon get familiar where the Chadar or the ice cover is thick and thin. With an early lunch break in between, we would soon reach the majestic. Lunch is served in between the trek, where we all stop at a place where sunlight is abundant though duration is much less as the river flows through a gorge and direct sunlight time is limited. We pass through some magnificent beautiful waterfalls and frozen ice cliffs on the left - it is like walking through a giant freezer! The walk also crosses through narrow gorges, where the trekker may have to climb briefly on to the Rocky River bank. Overnight at camp. Day 4: Tibb to Nerak waterfall and back Again one of the magnificent days on the Chadar trek. However, the caution being that this can become a difficult if the Chadar is not very firm. The vistas are stunning though as we pass through giant frozen waterfalls, ice cliffs and one may even catch sight of the mountain fox. After lunch we pass the 'incense tree', so called because the locals use its branches to burn in their morning rituals, and the prayer flag draped tree marks the entrance to Zanskar proper. The porters will normally take a few twigs from the tree. We reach Nerak waterfall by noon. A trail is normally beaten through in the snow towards the village up high in the mountains. We return to Tibb by afternoon. Overnight in camp. Day 5: Tibb to Hodong camping site Soon after breakfast, we start retreating back towards our next halt for the return – Hodong. It would take us nearly 3 hours to reach the campsite where we would set up our tents for an overnight stay. Day 6: Hodong to Shingra Koma We start our trek post breakfast towards Shingra koma, same place where we had set up our first camp. 2-3 hrs of walk over the frozen blanket will help us reach there. Overnight at camp. Day 7: Shingra koma to Leh via Chilling Today is the last day of this amazing and unique trek. We finally return back to the road head where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to our guest house at Leh. A huge goodbye to the support staff; their absolute dedication and support is nothing short of amazing. Finally on reaching at Leh, the guest house room of Leh after some 7 days is most welcome, yet the experiences of this ice trek linger and will be remembered forever. Overnight at guest house in Leh. Day 8: Departure So finally a goodbye and good wishes for your return as you board the early flight back to your home town, and definitely some great memories and a lifetime experience to narrate to your friends and family.