RLT welcomes you at Leh Airport. As soon as your flight lands in Leh, you will feel the drastic drop in temperature, a gentle preview to the sheer cold during the trek. 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. Overnight in Leh.
The day starts with a thrilling drive to Chilling along the Indus River. Arrive at Nimmoo (Confluence of Indus & Zanskar rivers) for a short photography stop. Continue along the snow-covered road, negotiating several hair-pin bends as you reach Chilling. To reach the camp site, you take the first steps on the Chadar, from where you reach camp within 1-2 hours. Overnight in camps at Tilat Sumdo.
Day 3: Tilat Sumdo - Tsomo Paldar (9kms/6hrs trek)
Wake up around 7am, freshen up & after breakfast you are ready for a day full of frozen ice river trek by 9am. As you get familiar with the different sounds of Chadar forming and breaking, you will soon start to understand where the Chadar or the ice cover is thick and thin. Lunch is in between the trek, where we all stop where sunlight is abundant though duration is much less as the river flows through a gorge and direct sunlight time is limited. Witness the majestic frozen waterfall as we trek towards the designated camping site for the day. Overnight at camp.
After breakfast, we head for another day expedition on ice among some of the most fantastic landscapes and ice vistas.
Though today is the longest day of the trek, 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. The sharp bends and current of the river breaks the ice in some places. We might even catch sight of bharals or blue sheep as we trek along the frozen river. Lunch in between on a flat rocky hill side by the river. Overnight at camp.
Day 5: Trek from Dibb to Nyerak Pullu(11.5kms/7hrs).
Again one of the magnificent days on the Chadar trek. However, the caution being that this can become 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 Naerak campsite by late afternoon. An old, dilapidated bridge on the river as folklore goes is thought to be more than an 1000 years old. A trail is normally beaten through in the snow towards the village up high in the mountains. Overnight at camp.
Though technically it is the same way back, it is also quite different. The Chadar or the blanket of ice that is forming on the River Zanskar is always changing, breaking up and forming itself again. As the Chadar dynamics are ever changing, the same route and place would look and feel different as the texture and conditions change. All along the way, cyclists will pass by and meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woolen Gonchas, trekking their way towards the village of Padum, Lingshed and Naerak. Pleasantries are exchanged and even a few stories and legend about Zanskar and its people can be heard. Their warmth and smile is amazing among all the hardships. Overnight at camp.
Starting from Tibb, go up to Shingra 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
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.
You depart from Leh having a newfound respect for the Zanskaries who brave all odds. You bid farewel to RLT team and new found friends on trek as you board the flight with cherished memories of Chadar Trek.