The Chadar trek (or the frozen Zanskar Gorge) is a winter trek in the Zanskar region of J & K. The trek though is a beautiful one, but only advised for adventure buffs, lethargic and unfit trekkers are recommended not to continue. Here the difficulty bar is raised a little bit, with trek distance counting to about to 6 5 kms and temp dropping to -30 C.
The Zanskar river in this sub zero temp transforms from a rapid flowing river to a white sheet of ice and that is what Chadar actually means ‘ A sheet’. The best time to encounter this wonder is from Mid Jan to Mid Feb, as this is the time of the year when the temp drops to sub-zero and turns the gushing Zanskar into a Chadar and high cliffs along the river keep away the sunlight and so it stays that way for the season.
A little detail of the Zanskar river. Zanskar is a north flowing tributary of the Indus river. A river named Lungak converges into a narrow Zanskar Gorge and unites with Doda river to form the main Zanskar river. This river further at a place called Nimmu, ends up into the Indus river.
Traditionally, the Chadar has been used as a route by the Zanskaris to reach Leh during the winter months, for their different purposes of trade, emergency supplies etc. But in the recent years this route has gained popularity among trekkers as one of the wildest and extreme trek and I guess, the only one with an opportunity to walk on a frozen river. This made the Chadar route a big business and easy money and hence Zanskar opened it’s door to the world to witness this magic. And now, what was once counted as a holy crossing for the Zanskaris, came out as one of the wildest treks of the world. Elsewhere such an adventure is not available so easily, you might have to opt for an expedition to an extreme high altitude or something like that to have such a thrilling and beautiful experience. The trek takes you through steep canyons and as you continue your walk on the frozen river, the never seen before picturesque views overwhelm you with the beauty and intensity of nature around you and will surely make you count this trek among ‘to do things before you die’.
Health and Safety
- For any Himalayan Trek, Ideal BMI for a trekker should be 18.5 to 24.9
- To keep a check of this please calculate BMI here
- Below given Safety checks should be done to get prepared for any Himalayan Trek.
- Balance : As well said a balanced mind and body gives out best in every condition and that too works in Himalayan treks as well.
- Legs Strength : Body and Legs Strength is required to carry body weight as well as the backpack while trekking in uneven multi terrains. Generally, a good strength on legs works out good in any Trek. One can gain legs strength by doing simple Squats.
- Muscle Flexibility : While trekking in Trans Himalayan region with a flexible body one can easily achieve full range of movement and this can be really helpful for trekkers as well as trek leads. A good flexible will be an advantage while walking on trails, climbing and river crossing etc. Flexibility can be achieved by simple stretching, yoga etc.
- Cardiovascular Endurance : Cardiovascular endurance is defined as the ability of lungs and heart to transmit oxygen to the body muscles. All Himalayan treks are basically ascending descending the slopes and for this trekkers should be having a good cardiovascular endurance. Anyone planning for a Himalayan trek can attain this capacity by doing any cardio exercise like running, swimming, cycling etc.