Chadar Trek - How to prepare to walk on a frozen river in subzero temperatures?Thursday, January 30, 2014
Chadar means a blanket, a blanket of ice that forms over the Zanskar River during winters. Zanskar is a wild river flowing through the gorgeous ravines and inaccessible canyons of Ladakh. In winters, specifically during January and February, the river freezes and calms down. She lets the locals trapped in the remote Zanskar valley to walk over her and reach civilization in case of any emergencies.
Of course the fad these days is trekkers like you and me who go there to walk on the frozen river for exclusive bragging rights and a unique experience to last a lifetime! And even though we aren’t prepared to handle the extreme cold, with some preparation, as I find out, we can very well trek and enjoy it as well. So here are my top tips that might help you endure and enjoy Chadar better.
Update - Tracked the whereabouts! Pricey, but yay! :) Adventure 18 store in Delhi sells handwarmers and footwarmers. If anyone has used them, please leave a comment below on how well they work.
Also here's a handy list of all adventure equipment selling stores in India, check with these places as well, they might have stock too - Camping and Trekking Equipment in India
So now, who all are ready for the Chadar Trek?
Note : I went for this trek on invitation. The trek was made possible by founder of Himalayan Explorers Club, Rohit Khattar(+91-7602865245/ email@example.com). Rohit is a former corporate employee who fell for the mountains and now organizes small group treks to Chadar.
I just got back from Chadar Trek 2 days ago and these are my top tips to enjoy the very unique frozen river trek. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.