Discover to Drive
Discover to Drive
Discover to Drive
Discover to Drive

THE FROZEN RIVER TRAIL

The Road Less Travelled’s unique initiative – THE FROZEN RIVER TRAIL – will take you for a walk along the breathtaking Zanskar river on one of the most challenging treks in the world. 

  • Duration 11 Nights & 12 Days
  • Total Trek Covered 75 kms
  • Vacation Style Winter Adventure, Trekking
  • Group Size 20 pax
  • Dates 12th January 2019 to 23rd January 2019
  • Drive Route LEH – CHILLING – SHINGRA–DIPYOGMA– NERAK– LINGSHED –NERAK – DIPYOGMA – SHINGRA –CHILLING- LEH
All about the 'THE FROZEN RIVER TRAIL'
  • One of the most unique & challenging treks in the world, the walk along the frozen Zanskar River, on one of the most beautiful and breathtaking terrain, we cross frozen waterfalls, bearing witness to some little seen Himalayan topography.
  • The Frozen river trail includes a stay at the mouth of caves along the route, on the banks of the river, which are hitherto inaccessible, during the other times of the year.
  • Temperatures range from -20 degrees to -5 degrees, but safely ensconced in our tents and being pampered by the accompanying TRLT team.
  • The trip is scheduled from 12th – 23rd January 2019. Stays have been arranged at campsites, caves and hotels to give a complete end-to-end experience of a trekker as well as the Zanskari local lifestyle. Our well-equipped team comprising of trekkers, guides, cooks, porters and helpers carrying essentials and luxuries will accompany us.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR

  • A 12 day journey into one of the most challenging parts of the mountains, especially at a time when you can choose to stay away and admire from a distance or else go close and embrace the frozen river from within.
  • Witness old Chadar breaks, snowfalls, frozen waterfalls & new Chadar as the terrain constantly evolves, making the previous days terrain unrecognisable.
  • Bathing in freezing water.
  • Meet & greet locals & monks; as we watch them in awe, breezing through the chadar.
  • Experience Zanskari way of life, through culture, food & interaction with the locals that expose us to little known nuances, hidden facts & local lore of the region.
  • Caves will be our constant companions during the trek. At various points, they serve as our resting points or night halts, providing us with respite against the biting cold.
  • Enjoy a hassle free luxury trek with hot meals at all times, fully equipped & stocked camp sites, experienced guides, hot water at all times, chemical toilets & much more.
  • Accompanied by trekking experts we will be sensitized about the beauty and natural changes in the river through the year.
  • Braving the harsh winter climate – with night temperatures plummeting to -20 degrees.
  • Accompanied by modern technology & a vast entourage to help make our stay comfortable – Generators, Heaters, cooks & helpers.
  • Visiting natural wonders & manmade architectural marvels enroute.

 

The Tour Package inclusions & exclusions at a glance
Whats included in this tour Items that are covered in the cost of tour price.
  • Stay on twin share basis as per the itinerary (The Grand Dragon at Leh)
  • Stay at campsites and caves through most of the adventure, with a full set up travelling with us.
  • All meals – breakfast, lunch
  • An entourage comprising of experienced guides, chefs, helpers and porters (to carry bags) will be accompanying us throughout journey to provide best of the services.
  • Customized meals to suit our tastes
  • Double lining, brand new alpine camping tents, sleeping bags with fleece and pillows at all campsites, heaters/hot water bags, provision of electricity at all stay places.
  • Experiences at each destination as specified in the itinerary.
  • Toilet tents at all campsites, along with toilet cleaners
  • Trained trekkers and guides to go ahead
  • Agency representatives accompanying the team always.
  • Airport Transfer in Innova.
  • Travel in Gypsies/Taveras (3 guests to a vehicle) all regular points of the route.
  • Provision of enroute refreshments, each day.
  • Private transfers Innovas/ Taveras (4 guests to a vehicle) all through.
Whats not included in this tour Items that are covered in the cost of tour price.
  • Flights into Leh and out of Leh (This can be arranged by us at flight costs prevalent at the time of confirmation).
  • Any Expenses, personal in nature.
  • Shopping expenses, adventure activities, etc if any.
  • Alcoholic Beverages or any related expenses.
  • Personal Accident/ Medical Insurance Cover, as per the individual’s requirements.
  • Any extensions in stay, self chosen or due to circumstances beyond our control.
  1. DAY 1- SATURDAY, 12th JANUARY 2019 ARRIVE AT LEH

    Our TRLT colleagues welcome you in Leh and immediately take you to your place of stay where the next three days of acclimatization takes place. Leh and most of the places in Ladakh are located above the altitude of 10,000 feet and therefore it is likely that visitors may experience dizziness, headaches and even acute mountain sickness (AMS). A lot of this can be controlled if the right amount of time is spent in a base location to understand and let your body feel comfortable with the weather. These three days will therefore be spent in regular day-to-day activities and sightseeing in Leh, so that the water, air and food familiarize itself with your body and constitution.

    Today, we visit the Leh market. The main market of Leh is a Street market with many lanes and bylanes, all of which have small shops selling a variety of products. One can find everything here from shoes to clothes and woolen wear as well as jewelry. Also, carpets, shawls, and souvenirs are available here. The Tibetan Refugee Market is also set up here, which sells locks with unique carvings, artifacts, and souvenirs. The market also sells sonorous bowls prepared by a combination of nine metals like cymbals, decorative brass and copper trumpets. Bargaining is essential in a market like this.

     

    Meals: Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in THE GRAND DRAGON, Leh

  2. DAY 2 & 3 – SUNDAY & MONDAY, 13th & 14th JANUARY 2019 STAY IN LEH

    While we continue to acclimatize, it is important to relax, drink extra water and keep ourselves hydrated, eat food that is high on carbohydrates – to provide strength and energy, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol – basically anything that dehydrates us, and get some relief from headaches. It is essential that we attune ourselves, as it is preferred not to go up the trail until symptoms (if any) go down.

    Over these two days, we look around Leh. We visit the Gurudwara Pathar Saheb - Located 25 kms from Leh city, this Gurudwara was built in the 1600s to commemorate Guru Nanak Dev’s visit to Leh. We then drive through Magnetic Hill. Magnetic Hill lies on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. It’s a place that best symbolises the wonders of nature - a stretch of road where the laws of gravity do not work thanks to the strong magnetic field that envelopes the region. We also visit the beautiful Sangam point. This is the valley where the Indus and Zanskar rivers meet. We sit here and soak in the energies from the blue-green confluence, take a dip in the glacial melts and let the mineral rich water cleanse our skins. A visit to Leh is not complete without dropping into the Leh Palace. Modeled on the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa (home of the Dalai Lama), the Leh palace was the former home of the kings of Leh. Built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century. It is 9 storeys tall with the upper rooms (reserved for the royal family) giving us sweeping views of the valleys around.

    Leh has evolved from being distinctly Tibetan into a global town. Cafes & restaurants serving global cuisine and open bars celebrate summers about the town. Visiting a place also means soaking in the culture & vibrancy. Evenings are spent walking around the markets of Leh, celebrating the best ambience that nature can offer.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in THE GRAND DRAGON, Leh

  3. DAY 4 - TUESDAY, 15th JANUARY 2019 LEH – TILAT DRIVE & TILAT – SHINGRA TREK

    Today, we leave Leh and enter Tilat. Post breakfast, we head for Tilat, a three-hour drive through tar roads covered with snow and the Indus river riding along with us, almost like an envelope of water before Zanskar takes the relay baton and then freezes like a chadar for our trek. Our lunch is a hot serving at Chilling, and then the trek along the Chadar begins. Amidst the wind blowing on our face and the porters carrying out luggage ahead of use, we set out on this momentous trek for the next five hours from Tilat to Shingra.

    Crampons are provided to help us with the walk and this stretch is covered in a slow to moderate pace to give everyone the space and time to adjust to the new surroundings.

    Much in contrast to the environment outside, we enter a cozy heated environment at our campsite, which has already been set up at Shingra. Our day ends in the middle of the mountains and rivers. After a hot dinner, we are ready to hit the bed.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in CAMPSITE

  4. DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY, 16th JANUARY 2019 SHINGRA – DIPYOGMA TREK

    Post breakfast, we leave for Dipyogma which is a 15 kms walk that takes about 8 hours to traverse. While the trek in itself is not very difficult, it is important to maintain a steady pace and beware of getting breathless. Remember, the awe-inspiring surroundings require just a little bit longer to get used to. Once again our luggage and camps are on the way, ahead of us. We stop for some hot lunch served along the way and stop to visit the cave where Kushok Bakula Rimpoche (an emanation of the Buddha Amitabha and one of the 16 disciples of Buddha) used to meditate.

    The temperature ranges from -5 to -25 degrees and therefore it is essential to stay warm and hydrated with soups and maggi noodles, the staple diet of the mountains.

    We end the day with the exhilarating realization that we have walked the entire day on the Zanskar river – a beautiful blue, green, white combination which flows with gusto through nine months of the year, just to allow trekkers like us to experience it in an up-close-and-personal way by freezing.

    Today since we . Hot dinner, warm beds and songs to take us easily to bed.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in CAMPSITE

  5. DAY 6 - THURSDAY, 17th JANUARY 2019 DIPYOGMA – NERAK TREK

    Today, as the cold morning sun rises, we have our hot breakfast, cover ourselves to stay warm and step out further on the frozen river trail moving from Dipyogma to Nerak.

    At Nerak is where we see several frozen icicles and frozen waterfalls. The next 14 kms, which takes us around 8 hours from the time step out after breakfast, is the home of the most gorgeous frozen waterfall. The chadar route here is quite beautiful too, with deep gorges and cliffs. By this time, you would be completely accustomed to the chadar trek and able to thoroughly enjoy the brilliant scenery. A little ahead from the massive waterfall is the Nerak pull or bridge. It's an old wooden bridge that can hold atleast 4 people at a time. You get a better view of the waterfall from here.

    One of the winter marvels in the Himalayas – an entire waterfall frozen as if time has come to a standstill, is the frozen waterfall at Nerak. Walking along the frozen Zanskar river we reach the Nerak Village. We walk on absolutely slippery ice to reach the frozen waterfall & fulfill our photographic aspirations.

    The Nerak village is 2000ft higher, while the camping site is 200 ft higher than the river bed. Nerak is known for its cold nights and shivering winds. This would be your coldest night on the frozen river trek, with temperatures possibly dropping to -25 or even lower. This is the final destination of the Chadar trek.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in CAMPSITE

  6. DAY 7 - FRIDAY, 18th JANUARY 2019 NERAK – LINGSHED TREK

    If there is such a place where time stands still, it is here…. In NERAK.  The way of life for the residents is like their ancestors have followed for centuries. Neither has technology invaded their lives nor have their habits changed.

    This morning, we take the opportunity to meet the hardy residents of Nerak – which remains cut off from the rest of the world for 9 months of the year. The only time the residents can travel out is during winters, only if they are willing to walk on ice (not a very rosy option, one would say). We interact with locals over a cup of Tibetan tea, understanding their way of living, food habits & culture.

    It is essential to remember never to litter in such surreal surroundings because as responsible citizens, this is something that we owe to mother nature.

    From here, we walk, gingerly so to say, to the last stop of our walk, before we turn back. The walk today will take us 8 hours. The vistas continue to enthrall as reach the midpoint of the trek (yes, we need to return back the same path to complete the trek)

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in CAMPSITE

  7. DAY 8 - SATURDAY, 19th JANUARY 2019 LINGSHED – NERAK TREK

    Today is when we start our return journey back to modern civilization taking with us unforgettable experience and memories. It may seem that we are retracing our steps back to where we started. But the uniqueness of this frozen river trek, is that the old chadar breaks, there are snowfalls and the new chadar forms constantly. It changes its form so often that you may feel like you are taking a new trek or following a new path altogether.

    Our next 3 days is to travel back where we started from on Day 9 we walk back to reach Dipyogma from Nerak covering a distance of 12 Kms.  Likewise, Day 10 we begin our walk from Dipyogma Campsite, walking of around 15 kms. to make us reach Shingra campsite; our halt for the night.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in CAMPSITEWe return  towards NERAK.

  8. DAY 9 - SUNDAY, 20th JANUARY 2019 NERAK – DIPYOGMA TREK

    We return towards DIPYOGMA.

  9. DAY 10 – MONDAY, 21st JANUARY 2019 DIPYOGMA - SHINGRA

    This is from where we start our trek back to Chilling and Tilat. It may seem that we are retracing our steps back to where we started. But the uniqueness of this frozen river trek, is that the old chadar breaks, there are snowfalls and the new chadar forms constantly. It changes its form so often that you may feel like you are taking a new trek or following a new path altogether. The Chadar trek is absolutely as unique as it sounds, but it is a far more fascinating and enriching experience that you can imagine.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High-Tea and Dinner

    Overnight in CAMPSITE

  10. DAY 11 – TUESDAY, 22nd JANUARY 2019 SHINGRA – TILAT & TILAT – LEH DRIVE

    This is our last day in our return journey. We probably feel the absence of water below our feet as we take the 5 hour walk from Shingra to Tilat after a heavy breakfast. We set out early and our altitude-acclimatized body seems to be too sad to leave this beauteous surrounding as we step into Chilling for a steaming hot lunch of soups, rotis, saag & momos. Our porters bid us goodbye with smiles, welcoming us to the frozen river once again.

    After a 3 hour drive from Tilat to Leh, we are quite exhausted by the time we reach Leh and once again check in to The Grand Dragon hotel. However, we are excited about the evening as well. So after a snooze, warm shower (after 8 days), tea and snacks, we head to the restaurant for an evening of celebration – our last night in this amazing belt of India.

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, DInner

    Overnight in THE GRAND DRAGON, LEH

  11. DAY 12 – WEDNESDAY, 23rd JANUARY 2019 DEPARTURE FROM LEH

    After an early breakfast, we bid each other goodbye and the TRLT team as we get into our vehicles to proceed to the airport or any other drop-point in Leh where we wish to go. Of course, there are several moments of selfies-group selfies & other pictures of the surrounding taking back so many memories from this unforgettable journey of togetherness with man, mountain, air, water and earth.

     

    Meal: Breakfast

  1. DAY 1, 2, 3 & 11 The Grand Dragon, Leh

    The Grand Dragon Ladakh is a 10-minute walk from Leh Palace and Leh Market. It is a 5-minute walk from the Main Bus Stand and a 10-minute drive from Shanti Stupa. Enjoy majestic 11views of the mountains and Leh's landmarks from The Grand Dragon that feature the Sojla bakery and local cuisine. Sojla is the in-house bakery, which serves scrumptious baked goodies. The Zasgyath cafe is a multi-cuisine restaurant that features favorites around the world and changes with the seasons. Tusrabs is the other dining option that serves authentic Ladakhi, Tibetan and Chinese cuisines.

    Boasting an eco-friendly set-up, The Grand Dragon Ladakh is located in Leh. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Leh Airport, which is 3 km away while the nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi, which is 654 km away from the hotel. The hotel provides Deluxe rooms and Premier rooms. The rooms come with amenities such as double glazed windows, individually controlled centralized heating, in-room electronic safe and flat-screen satellite TV. Most of the rooms offer stunning views of the snow- capped Stok Kangri Mountains. Basic services offered include 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and currency exchange.

  2. DAY 4 TO 10 Campsite & Caves

    Our campsites during all our adventures comprise of a full set up travelling with us. Double lining alpine camping tents set up river with adequate lighting to help us navigate our way through in the night. SO WHATEVER BE THE WEATHER OUTSIDE, TENTS REMAIN WARM & COZY.

    A separate dining tent will be available for us to enjoy hot meals from the kitchen tent set up nearby.

    Separate tents with chemical toilets set up at each location to ensure privacy. A team of cleaners to keep it clean & ready for use each day.

    The highlight during the Chadar trek is the caves. These caves will be our constant companions during the trek. At various points, they serve as our resting points or night halts, providing us with respite against the biting cold. Here, by the comforts of a warm fire, we relax after a hard days walk.

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