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Importance Of Chadar Trek

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Chadar Trek is arguably one of the wildest trek in the world. Walking on ice is an ultimate experience for an adventure lover.

Etymology

Chadar means layer. Chadar in Chadar Trek refers to the layer of ice formed over Zangskar river during extreme winter.

History

Chadar Trek route since ages has been the only way in and out of Zangskar valley during winter when all other ways remain blocked due to snow. It is also the trade route for Zangskaries (people from Zangskar Valley). One can find some of the caves on the route named after ancient monks.

Location/Route

The Zangskar trek is actually, over Zangskar river from Chilling to Padum. While Chilling is about 60 Km (westward )from Leh, Padum is about 240 K from (Eastward) Kargil. Zangskar
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It is arguably the wildest in the world due to following reasons:

1. Unpredictability : Be it the snowfall, be it the temperature or be it the chadar (ice layer). a little bit of change in any of these can change a lot in the route.

Snowfall, if heavy, can cause avalanche and break the chadar, which means, one has to climb up the rocks to cover distance. But due to snowfall, the rocks also become very dangerous as you may slip while walking!

A little bit of increase in temperature can melt the chadar or make it thin enough make walking over it dangerous. If one fails to identify the places, one can surely go down the Zangskar river, never to be discovered again. The better way is to climb up the rocks. Climbing is a tough and risky affair in itself.

Chadar itself will never show you the same face on any two given days. There are places where, it becomes impossible to climb, unless you have special training and equipments. If the chadar is weak or not formed in any of these places, one can get stuck for good amount of
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This is must. Since the density of air is low at that altitude, obviously the amount of oxygen available is low. Our body needs to adjust to this. Diamox can enhance the process of acclimatization. One can start taking Diamox from 2 – 3 days before reaching Leh and continue taking it for next 2-3 days (when you reach Ladakh).

Day 1 and Day 2: Acclimatization, roaming around the town or local sightseeing if interested. The best thing is to take rest and sleep. It helps in acclimatization.

Day 2: In the morning, start for Chilling. It’s about 60 Km from Leh on road. Takes about 2-3 hours by bus. On the way there are three places which are of tourist importance. Union of Zangskar and Indus, Guru Pathar Sahib and Magnetic Point.

Just after crossing Chilling village, the actual trek starts. You have to get down on the Zangskar and place your first step on the chadar!

A 3 hours walk will take you to Tilatsumdo, where you stay for the night.

Day 3: Start from Tilatsumdo for Deepyokma very early in the morning. If you are fast enough and if the route is smooth, you will be able to reach Deepyokma. Else, you’ll have to halt at
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