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Chadar – The Frozen Zanskar River Trek
The journey begins at the mountain town of Leh. The only way to reach Leh is by plane and it’s surrounded by snow giving it a complete white appearance. Snow-capped mountains can be seen from the flight as it descends to Leh, located 11,400 feet above sea level. The trek is on the Zanskar River which is frozen over during the winter. The preferred time to cross the ice would be in February. During this time, ice tends to be at its most stable state. The Frozen River Trek starts from the small village of Chilling from where the Zanskar River begins to freeze.
Region :- Ladakh (Leh)
Duration :– 8 Days
Grade :- Difficult
Max Altitude :– 11,100 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :– 62 Kms.
The precautions include:
- The trekker must be aware of the ice sheet conditions.
- There may be cracks in the ice which should be avoided.
- Finding places with a coating of snow is the best place to walk normally.
- Slippery ice can be found on several sections as well and should be walked on with utmost care.
- Cracks may suddenly appear under one’s feet and it is required to run to more solid footing immediately.
How to reach
Flying over miles and miles of snow-capped mountains will explain why it is impossible to reach Ladakh by road in winter. Jet Airways, Air India and Go Air operate daily flights (once a day) between New Delhi and Leh. However, if you are planning a trip to this part of the country, you should try to book your tickets well in advance. It could even reduce the prices that can be collected on the last booking. You will enjoy the flight as you would fly over many unspoiled areas and even some mountain ranges. The aerial view is simply fascinating and gives your visit a good start.
Where to stay
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Gazing at Lake Goecha with its teardrop-shaped structure, the awe-inspiring awe of sunrises and sunsets, overcast of gigantic Himalayan snow, the breathtaking view of sixteen magnificent peaks visible from the top of Dzongri, the verdant Himalayan forest, its winding rivers, meadows, rhododendrons, the reasons to fall in love with the magnificent Goechala Trek are endless. For a trekker, it is a journey full of adventures where one can enjoy the adrenaline rush with its steep trails, bask in the beauty of nature and learn more about Sikkim, the land of serene beauty.
Region :– Sikkim
Duration :– 11 Days
Grade :- Moderate To Difficult
Max Altitude :- 15,100 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 90 Kms.
Best Time For Trek
The best time to hit the hiking trails of Goechala is in the summer season between the months of April to June or much later in Autumn during September and October. From June end till beginning of September it’s better to avoid the track, as it is the monsoon time and landslides, slippery roads, muddy tracks is quite common making it difficult and dangerous to trek.
Who Can Go
- Experience of any high altitude trek, at least 1 trek.
- The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.
- A goods carrying benchmark relevant in this expedition, the climber should be able to carry a 10 to 15 kg expedition bag pack.
- Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have these conditions mentioned above.
How to Reach
New Jalpaiguri or NJP is a major railway station located in south west of sikkim. There are many long distance trains arrives or pass through the NJP station. You can choose to come to Kolkata and take one of the many trains to NJP. Flying to Bagdogra is another option that you can choose though flights to Bagdogra tend to be pricier than those to Kolkata. Most of the flight foremost metros in the country come here.
- Head torch with extra batteries – Hand torch an alternative
- Sun Cap – Sunglasses
- Identity proof (must)
- Two Full Trekking Pants – Quick Dry Material
- Two T-shirts – Full sleeves – Quick Dry Material
- Wear dark coloured clothes
- Walking stick advisable
- Trekking shoes with good grip on wet rocks and Waterproof
- Water bottle / Hydration bag 2 – 3 liters
- Snacks – Energy bars – Dry fruits – Glucon D – Ors Powder
- Glucon D / Energy bars
- Personal Medical Kit – Please carry First Aid Kit
- Please visit your Doctor before starting any outdoor trek or activity
- Sunscreen cream – Hand sanitizer
- Rain Jacket – Poncho – Waterproof pants if you don’t want to get wet
- Dry Bag or Plastic bag to keep clothes dry
- Double pack your valuables / phones in plastic bags
- Carry alternate phone or dry bag for phone and power-bank for charging
- Heavy Rains are expected, so pack your bags accordingly to save them from getting wet
The trek starts from Naddi village above Dal Lake, 4 km from McLeodganj. From Naddi there is a moderate trail leading to Baal village. 2 kilometres away from Baal village is the Guna Devi temple. There is no need for accommodation as it is a one day hike. Triund is the easiest Himalayan trek. With breathtaking views of the Kangra valley and the snow covered Dhauladhar ranges, it is also very picturesque.
2. Indrahar Pass
What initially seems a pleasure, turns out to be a real test of endurance. Half of the Indrahar Pass trail is on the same route to Triund. In fact, you would cover Triund on the way. It’s like killing two birds with one stone! See the horizons change colors and travel high altitude on foot. One of the highest in fact. Expect plenty of acclimatization opportunities. Expect a magnificent snow line. Expect the bewitching Indrahar Pass.
3. Minkiani Pass
It can be approached from Triund via the Lahesh Caves, Kuwarsi Village and Drakund or can be approached from the side of Kareri Lake. Adventurers generally prefer the lakeside route as it is slightly easier and takes less time, but the other route is also fabulous. The summit offers unforgettable views of the Lunar Sickle and Brammah peaks that fall in the Kashmir region.
4. Bir Billing
Bir Billing is one place you must visit if you are anywhere near the McleodGanj region. Home to Asia’s highest paragliding site and a bustling cultural melange of Tibetan culture – Bir is destined to make you fulfil all your getaway goals. Soar across the skies between the Dhauladhar ranges and watch as everything becomes tiny underneath your feet.
Best Time To Visit
The peak tourist season in Mcleodganj is summer from March to June with an average temperature hitting 34 degree Celsius. From December to February you can see the quaint town covered in snow with day-time temperature fluctuating around 7 degree Celsius. The hill station receives rainfall from July to August sometimes stretching till September and it’s a call to be made by the tourists whether they want to visit Mcleodganj during rains.
How to Reach
By Air: Gaggal Airport or Kangra Airport at Dharamshala is about 20 km away from McLeod Ganj and is well connected to Delhi, Kullu and Chandigarh.
By Road: A number of state owned and private buses connect McLeod Ganj with other cities like Delhi (500 km), Chandigarh (250 km) and Dharamshala (20 km). In New Delhi, most of the buses leave from the Kashmiri Gate ISBT and Majnu-ka-Tilla (a Tibetian camp)
By Train: Pathankot Railway Station, situated approximately 90 km away, is the closest broad gauge railhead serving those headed to McLeod Ganj.
Where to stay
There are many choices for trekking in Ladakh. Your choice will depend on how much time you have, how far you want to go, and what hard level you’re looking for. Some of the more remote treks require special permits as they can go to sensitive border areas, but trekking companies can easily take care of this for you in a day or two. There are endless variations of treks you can take in Ladakh.
1. Markha Valley:
Markha Valley is the largest valley of the region. Of course, Leh is the start point of this trek, which is an added advantage to explore the Buddhists monuments in Leh. You will be astonished to traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude. Surprisingly, these villages host cafes or tea houses serving rejuvenating hot drinks when you are tired from the strenuous hike. One after another, Rumbak, Yurutse, Skui, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling settlements will revitalize you. Not only that most of the villages have preserved monasteries, ruined forts and temples. Amongst them, the Tacha monastery is an eye and heart catcher that lies between the mountains.
2. Kharnak trek
The Kharnak Nomad Trek is a wonderful high altitude trek that crosses some mountain passes offering spectacular views of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges. It starts from Shang and goes to the pastures of Nimaling, to Zalung Karpo La, to Tsokar Lake. We then cross the “Changtang” plateau where nomads move from one place to another with their yaks in search of pasture.
3. Zaskar Range
Zaskar Range, also spelled Zanskar, a group of mountains in the Himalayas, south-central Asia, northern India, and western China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. They extend south-east for 640 km from the Karcha (Suru) river to the upper Karnali river. Kamet Peak (25,446 feet [7,756 meters]) is the highest point, and the most important passes are Shipki, Lipu Lekh (Lipulieke) and Mana.
Best Time To Visit
Summer (April-June) is undoubtedly the best season to travel to Ladakh. It is when the snow melts and spectacular hues are spread all across the region. Breathtaking scenery along with enchanting Buddhist festivals like the famous Hemis Festival (June-July) can be witnesses during this period.
How to Reach
The easiest way to travel to Ladakh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport located in Leh. This airport is connected with many international airports in India like Delhi. It also receives flights from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh and other common destinations in India.