This year (2019), the most sought out winter adventure in India, the Chadar trek in Ladakh is undergoing some wonderful administration & procedural changes to save the human lives, environment, and the ecology of the fragile region.
In a very welcoming move, finally, Leh DC Office administration has come forward to protect the ecology of Chadar trek and regulate the procedures for tour operators, trekkers, and tourists who are willing to embark on this ultra lifetime adventure in Leh Ladakh.
The new set of rules, guidelines, permits, and procedures for Chadar trek 2019 not only protect or care about the environment but also take care of the safety of trekkers and their rescues if the need
Rules & Regulations for Chadar Trek 2019
The Chadar called after frozen Zanskar River) is depleting year by year due to mass uncontrolled and unregulated tourism in the Ladakh region. The new district administration in Ladakh is taking various steps to protect the fragile ecology of the Ladakh.
After the blanket ban on the illegal campsites at Pangong Lake, the administration has published a comprehensive set of rules and guidelines for trekkers and tour operators going for Chadar Trek.
- All tourists going for Chadar Trek must spend at least three nights in Leh at a minimum for acclimatization.
- Tourists who will not undergo three days of rest in Leh, any permissions and permits for Chadar trek will not be issued to them.
- Tourists will have to keep the boarding pass to prove their date of arrival in Leh before beginning the Chadar trek. Whether they have spent the required three days within Leh.
- The boarding pass will be verified at the time of Pre Medical Check-up in Leh. So please make sure you keep them safe with you.
- On Day 3, tourists must undergo a compulsory medical checkup in Leh, which will provide clearance for undertaking the Chadar trek. Tourists who are found medically unfit will not be allowed to go the trek.
- Once the tourists will clear this medical test; they will have to apply for adventure travel insurance for Chada trek from authorized insurance providers.
- After getting the approval for the medical test and buying the adventure travel insurance, tourists need to apply for the permit for Chadar trek from the Wildlife Department in Leh.
- Finally; tourists have to get a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from ALTOA (All Ladakh Tour Operator Association) to go for Chadar Trek.
- To save the environment, all authorized tour operators for the Chadar trek must provide the list of rations and food items to the Wildlife Department. This step is required to ensure whether the group has brought back the trash or not, including tins, plastic bottles, and other plastic materials. The local tour guide of the group for Chadar trek will is responsible for ensuring it gets done and will also be held responsible for any littering.
- The wildlife department will provide the green bags for the trash. It will collect a security deposit from the local guide. The security amount will be refunded to the guide after the completion of Chadar trek and verifying whether all the required trash has been brought back from the trek or not.
You must be wondering now, “Ohh man !! This sounds rubbish, a lot of red-tape and messy administration work !!” Well, to be frank enough, the administration has set up a single-window clearance.
The Tourist Information Center in Leh main market opposite of J&K Bank will be set up for single clearance window for the entire process of Chadar trek. At this window only, the tourists will
- register at this window for the Chadar trek,
- complete the pre-medical test,
- get the adventure travel insurance,
- get the permits for Chadar trek from Wildlife department,
- get the approval NOC from ALTOA (All Ladakh Tour Operator Association)
If you are doing the Chadar trek through a local tour operator, they will assist you throughout the process.
How to get permits for Chadar Trek?
Now, you understand the rules and regulations for planning the Chadar trek, let’s look at how to get permits in 2019 for Chadar trek.
- You should fill the registration form provided by your tour operator, or you can get this Chadar trek registration form at TIC Leh.
- On the third day after your arrival in Leh, you should submit your duly filled registration form, original boarding pass and a copy of your photo ID proof. Valid ID proofs are Driving License, Aadhar Card, Passport or Voter Id Card.
- Next, you should check with your tour operator about the time slots for a medical checkup at TIC and issuing the adventure travel insurance. You should get the registration form for pre-registration from your tour operator to avoid last-minute rush.
- Once you are finished with registration, you will undergo the pre-medical checkup.
- After the doctors provide you the medical clearance; they will provide you an ASC360 Adventure Travel Insurance and a Medical Rescue Card.
- After obtaining both Medical Clearance / Rescue Card and Adventure Travel Insurance, you need to apply for Wildlife Permits for Chadar trek and the NOC letter from ALTOA.
- Either you can ask your tour operator of Chadar trek to make the payments, or you can yourself make these payments on the spot at TIC too.
- Finally before you start the actual trekking for Chadar trek, you will need to present your Medical Rescue Card and the permits at the check post at Phyang or Chilling
What happens in case of an emergency on Chadar Trek?
If you have a medical emergency while trekking, you should contact your Chadar trek tour operator and the ASC360 rescue professional stationed at the ASC360 rescue post for any further assistance.
At Stok Kangri base camp, the administration has set up an ASC360 High Altitude Medical Rescue Center (HAMRC). If required, tourists can get free treatment in HAMRC after producing the Medical Rescue Card.
Chadar trek patrolling doctor, who will also be mostly on the trek itself, can also be contacted in case of a medical emergency.