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Old 21st January 2015, 19:26   #1
//M
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Default Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?

I had booked a slot for the Chadar Trek through altitudeadventures from 7th Feb to 15th Feb. However, the Government has now issued a notice to immediately stop the trek stating threat due to natural calamity.

Apparently a blockage of the river has been caused due to landslides, causing the river to turn into a glacial lake. The water has turned into a frozen temporary lake near Shaday Sumdo and may burst any time causing a natural calamity. The nearby villages have been evacuated.

Source: Chadar Trek

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Chadar Trek, also known as the frozen river trek has been stalled, this year. This dangerously beautiful trek, which involves crossing the frozen river, is flocked by tourists from all over the world. The perfect time to complete this 20-day trek is during peak winters, so as to ensure that the river is in its most frigid state. So while many tourists might be gearing up for this trek, nature had different plans in store. We hear that the famous Phutkal-Lungnok River was blocked due to a landslide, which resulted in the creation of a 5-km long artificial lake upstream, between Shaday Sumdo and Mar-Shun in the Kargil district of Ladakh.

Shocked by this unforeseen disaster, the authorities have decided to stall the famous Chadar trek for tourists and have even asked people from 4 villages to shift, as there’s a grave possibility of dangerous flooding. The accumulated water can burst anytime. Rajesh Basotra, sub divisional magistrate of Zanskar was quoted by a daily, “It is a very big river which flows very fast. People living in four villages have been advised to shift.”

Skalzang Wangyal, executive councilor, tourism and power, Ladakh Autnomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) said that 97 percent of the river has been blocked. Reportedly, the river discharge has dropped from 50 cusecs on December 17 to 15 cusecs in early January. He added, “Due to the lake formation the soil in the area has become loose. It poses greater danger to the people living in the low lying areas. It has also become life threatening because the domestic and local tourists walk on the frozen ice along the Chadar trek.”

The impact of the situation is not yet completely known. However, every measure is being taken for the safety of the locals as well as tourists. The reason for the landslide is being researched by experts. An official told a leading daily, “We cannot say off hand whether it is because of the global warming. Let the experts assess the situation and report. We will then only be able to know the exact reasons.”

Those who had planned to ‘walk on ice’ are sure to be disappointed by this environmental disaster. We hear that trekkers have been advised to contact their operators and shift to an alternate trek. Meanwhile, we hope that the villages near the newly formed artificial lake are vacated soon, and that, no one has to bear the brunt of yet another natural calamity in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Due to this the trek has been called off currently. My tour operator has provided me with either of these options as I have already paid the trek amount in full, have got my flight tickets done as well:

1. For those who are arriving to Leh, a day trip to Shey, Hemis and Thiksey monastery and an alternate winter trek - Sham winter trek covering Likir, Hemis Shukpachen, Temisgam, Skidyang and Lamayuru.

2. A flat 50% return of trek fee if payment has already done in full will be paid back for any trekker who cancels the trip. This condition is will be applicable to only those trekkers who have paid in full. All refund would be processed between 16th to 26th of February, 2015.

3. If you would like to transfer the trek to 2016, 35% would be deducted and the rest 65% would be adjusted to whatever the final trek fee of 2016 is decided.

4. A trekker can transfer to the 7th to 15th February or 8th to 16th February batch, subject to availability. This is being done in the hope, as per the Administration, that by February the river blockage would be blasted and the danger averted and also Administration gives permission for Chadar Trek to commence again.

5. For any trekker who still has payment left, strict refund policy would be adhered to and as such no refund would be given since for less than 20 days, no refund is applicable.

Since I am in the 7th-15th Feb slot, the organisers are expecting that with permissions the trek may start for the last two slots as mentioned in Point No 4.

However, if that does not happen I will be left with the other options. Since I have already got my tickets done (Got non-refundable tickets as I was getting them for cheap so didn't think twice ), is the Sham Trek as beautiful as Chadar? I have not heard about anybody doing the Sham Trek in the winters so little confused as to which option shall I go for, if the Chadar Trek remains closed till 7th Feb.

I did a few quick google searches but didn't get much help, not many pics of the Sham Trek during winters too.

Anybody scaled the Sham Trek during peak winters? How difficult are the gradients?

I am confused.

Attaching a couple of pics of the Police Notice.
Attached Thumbnails
Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?-notice1.jpg  

Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?-notice2.jpg  


Last edited by //M : 21st January 2015 at 19:31.
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Old 21st January 2015, 20:27   #2
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Hi, the news is confirmed. In fact the situation is dangerous as the avalanche has created a small lake on the other aide and a sudden discharge of this water can cause flooding in the areas below. I hope nature doesn't show us it's fury.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 09:29   #3
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Default re: Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?

Best is to go to Leh and look at alternate visits. Keeping a background hope in mind that the landslide will clear due to blasting or natural pressure of blocked off water.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 09:35   #4
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Default re: Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Best is to go to Leh and look at alternate visits. Keeping a background hope in mind that the landslide will clear due to blasting or natural pressure of blocked off water.
Yes I am hoping that till 7th Feb, the Local Administration will permit the trek. If not, Sham trek it is.

I, however, have not been able to source any pics/details about the Sham Valley winter trek. Any leads would immensely help !
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Old 23rd November 2015, 16:38   #5
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Default Re: Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?

Hi, Out of curiosity wanted to know that whether you were able to do the Chadar Trek or tried any other alternate option?
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Old 23rd November 2015, 17:15   #6
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Default Re: Chadar Trek cancelled for 2015?

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Originally Posted by anubshar View Post
Hi, Out of curiosity wanted to know that whether you were able to do the Chadar Trek or tried any other alternate option?
Hi anubshar, I did go ahead with an alternate option and it was totally worth it. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip amidst surreal and stunning landscapes in sub-zero temperatures.

Here's the travelogue: Winter sojourn to Ladakh (Where eagles dare: A winter sojourn to Ladakh!)
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