Chadar Trek Guide : An Ultimate Guide to Frozen River Trek
Frozen trekking route over the Zanskar river, iridescent paths, enthralling views and a totally different experience in itself; Chadar trek is an ultimate winter destination for trekkers. Cutting through the snow clad mountains and trekking for 7 days before finally reaching the Tibb Caves; the aura of the trek will not disappoint you. However, the level of the trek being difficult, it is essential to be fully prepared for this trek before deciding to embark on it. Here is a deconstructed guide to the Chadar Trek.
BEST TIME TO DO THE TREK
To experience the raw beauty of the frozen trek, it is highly suggested to do the trek from starting January to February. It is the time when the river has ideally frozen for trekkers to walk upon. During this time, the beauty of Zanskar is at its peak- the experience of walking along frozen river, waterfalls and paths.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE TREK
The altitude, the extreme cold and the chilly wind can get to your nerves in a very unwelcoming manner if you do not prepare yourself properly for the trek. A 7 day journey, the trek can get hectic and unbearable if the variables get to you. An extra step is required as the general trekking gear will not suffice. Items like extra pair of socks, waterproof gloves, body warmers, flask bottles, exothermic pouches, trekking rods and gumboots can make a huge difference.
It is not only important to carry the right gear, but to prepare your body for the trek. Trekking at 11,000+ ft. during the peak of winters, requires one to be physically ready for any challenges. Camping at sub zero degrees can get difficult if you haven’t acclimatized properly. It is thus recommend to start exercising two weeks prior to the trek which will later help your lungs to acclimatize better. It is also recommended to familiarize yourself with long walks. You can also get your medicals done before the trek. This will help you in monitoring your fitness level.
DOs OF THE TREK
- Follow your trek leader- An experienced individual, who will be accompanying you, may have technical knowledge about the trek that you may be unaware about.
- Inform your friends and family about the trek itinerary in advance.
- Intake nutritious food and liquid as the trek is long and wearing. Consume as much water as you can even if you do not feel like. Dehydration hits the body suddenly and unexpectedly during dryness and winters.
- Carry your own personal medical kit. This can include your personal medicines and the basic ones.
- Keep yourself warm. The temperatures are amazingly low during the day time and hover between 15 to 20 degrees while they plummet further to -25 to -35 degrees during the night time. Avoid getting your clothes wet as it becomes nearly impossible to dry them.
- Walk calmly over the ice sheet. Take each step with utter care.
DON’Ts OF THE TREK
- Climate change is real. Do not litter any where. Carry a small bag in which you can keep disposing off your waste.
- Do not venture off alone or without informing anyone. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable and a sudden change can prove to be fatal. It is always safest to follow your trek leader.
- Do not skip any meal. Skipping meals like breakfast and lunch can and will affect the functioning of your body.
- Do not panic if you feel like your body is giving up. It is always advisable to take a break and then move forward. This also suggests that do not rush or push. Analyse your body’s capabilities and trek accordingly.
Things to carry on Chadar Trek
Apart from the things which include in your Chadar trip package, here is a list of things which you have to carry with you while trekking to the Zanskar river.
- Trekking Boots
- Reusable Water Bottles
- Hiking Fleece Jackets
- Sunscreen and Lip Balm
- Toilet Paper
- Hand Sanitizers
- First Aid Box
- Medicines (Personal Medicines and Medicines for High Altitude Sickness)
- Ready to eat Food
- Chocolate Bars
- Garbage bag
- Woolen Gloves
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