How can anything survive up here? Yet SNOW LEOPARDS take the Himalayas in their stride….. Small wonder this elegant-but-evasive cat became an icon of BBC One’s Planet Earth II in 2016 and Planet Earth a decade earlier. Its extreme scarcity is a factor, too. Though the species has been – controversially – downlisted from Endangered to Vulnerable, it remains vanishingly rare. Maybe 4,000–8,000 survive.- Bjorn Persson is a wildlife photojournalist based in Sweden.
An exclusive Snow Leopard photography tour with Bjorn Persson, a reknowned wildlife photojournalist.
Hi On Life Adventures having officially adopted a Snow Leopard mother and her cub in the wild, brings you this amazing expedition for sighting Snow Leopard in their natural habitat. We have chosen the Hemis National Park in Ladakh which has an almost 90% sighting chance in the previous trips. This trip also supports for the conservation of this beautiful animal as a part of the price goes directly towards its conservation.
This trip offers an excellent chance of seeing Snow Leopards in their natural habitat and the oppertunity to capture it in your camera under the guidance of world reknowned wildlife photographer, Bjorn Persson. The mountain valleys of the Himalayas are the domain of the elusive Snow leopard. They are more prominently spotted in the remote and starkly beautiful mountain valleys of Ladakh in NW India, close to Tibet. Bisected by the headwaters of the mighty Indus river, Ladakh’s vast, rocky, dry, seemingly barren landscapes, has an average population density of less than two people per square kilometer. This untouched part of the Himalayas has very little impact by human activities. People living in the areas that we visit are Buddhists of Tibetan descent, and are as warm and friendly who lives in traditional mud and stone buildings, adorned with prayer flags, their flat roofs act as storage areas for fuel and cattle feed. Hunting has never been part of the culture in this Buddhist region, so there are maybe no better places for the Snow leopard.
It is here that we will camp in a remote mountain valley with the hope of seeing its most famous, most enigmatic, and most elusive inhabitant: The Snow Leopard.
- Mountain Flight to Leh the capital of Ladakh
- Sightseeing and Monastery visits around Leh
- 8 nights camping in Hemis National Park- the Realm of the Snow Leopard
- Breathtaking mountaineous landscapes
Day 1- Arrive Delhi/ Transfer to hotel/ Welcome dinner
Day 2- Fly to Leh/ Transfer to hotel/ acclimatize altitude / Overnight Hotel in Leh
Day 3- Early morning bird watching around Indus River and Visit Thiksay monastery. Overnight Hotel in Leh
Day 4- Drive to Zingchen 45 minutes drive (entry point to Rumbak Hemis national Park) walk 1 1/2 hours to campsite. Overnight Camp.
Day 5- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 6- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 7- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 8- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 9- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 10- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 11- Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park. Overnight Camp.
Day 12- Trek back to Zingchen and drive back to Leh, Overnight Hotel in Leh
Day 13- Fly to Delhi/ Afternoon sightseeing and Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi
Day 14- Departure
Björn Persson is an internationally renowned wildlife photographer from Helsingborg, Sweden. He has spent many years travelling in search of adventure and spectacular images. Several of his photographs have won prestigious awards in international photography competitions, and his work can be seen in galleries throughout the world.
Apart from photography, Björn is committed to documenting and raising awareness to the threatened species situation. His passion for wildlife was born when he trained in field care and worked with anti-poaching in South Africa. That’s when he discovered what a critical state the wildlife is in. Since then, Björn has used his photography as a weapon against wildlife poaching, and donated substantial amounts towards wildlife conservation. This year he will have exhibitions in New York, Stockholm and London, and release his new photography book The Real Owners of the Planet.
Ladakh, “The land of high passes”, is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Although, rock carvings found in many parts of Ladakh indicate that the area has been inhabited from Neolithic times, not much is known about Ladakh before the 1st century. During the 2nd century when much of eastern Ladakh and western Tibet was still practicing the Bon religion, Buddhism started to spread into western Ladakh from Kashmir. In 842 Nyima-Gon, a Tibetan royal prince annexed Ladakh after the break-up of the Tibetan empire, and founded a separate Ladakhi dynasty. During this period, Ladakh acquired a predominantly Tibetan population. Also known as “Little Tibet” Ladakh’s culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet.
The largest town in Ladakh is Leh, followed by Kargil. Ladakhis are Tibetan-Mongoloid in appearance although traces of Kashmiri Moslem influence can also be seen. The predominant religion in Ladakh is the Tibetan form of Buddhism, although Islamic influences are found from the Kashmir Valley as far as Kargil, and there are some Christian families in Leh.
Some interesting facts about Ladakh
- Ladakh is the highest settlement in India.
- The fields at Korzok, on the Tso-moriri Lake, at 4,600m are widely considered to be the highest cultivated lands in the world.
- A Bailey bridge between the Suru River and Dras River in Ladakh, is the highest bridge in the world at an altitude of 5,602m.
- Only place in India where twin humped Bactrian camels can be found.
- Ladakh is home to the mystical Magnetic Hill, which is a so-called “gravity hill”. The alignment of the road with the slope of the background can give the illusion that cars are able to drift upwards.
- The Pangong lake in Ladakh is one of the highest salt lakes in the world
- Kadakh is also home to some of the rare species of wildlife including Snow Leopard, Kyang (wild ass), Black Necked Cranes, Himalayan Ibex and several other species of brids and animals.
Snow Leopard Sighting Expedition
Our trip starts in the capital, Leh, a small town, in the Indus valley. Cut off by road from the rest of India for the five months of winter, life is sedate and far slower-paced than almost any other town anywhere on the sub-continent. It is not until the onset of summer, in May, that Leh gets busy. We will stay two nights to help us acclimatize to the altitude – at 3600m. We will take gentle excursions, exploring for wildlife along the banks of the Indus in search of enigmatic birds such as Ibis bill, Solitary Snipe and Gouldenstadt’s (White-winged) Redstart. We will also visit a monastery as part of our stay. The shops in Leh offer the last chance to purchase any items that you may have forgotten.
After Leh, we head off to the mountains. Ten nights of camping are the core of the trip, in an area where Snow Leopards spend the winter. We have carefully chosen the timing, towards the end of the mating season and the coldest temperatures of winter to try and spot the Snow Leopard. The winter snows in this arid environment drives the Snow Leopards and their prey, the Blue Sheep, to lower elevations which are almost snow free, concentrating them in a smaller area. This offers us much easier access to look for them. We will have local guides who know the area, and the habits of the Snow Leopards. By keeping in radio contact with the park rangers and other local guides we will increase our chances of seeing leopards even more.
The chance for photographing Snow Leopard is moderate, as any sightings will probably be at some range, so big lenses and converters are the best options. Viewing with spotting scopes however can be extremely rewarding. During the daytime, as most cats do, the Snow Leopards snooze, thus providing a prolonged period of spotting, if and when they are spotted. However, as the sun sinks, the viewing conditions return to optimal just as the Snow Leopards typically arise from their afternoon nap.
Day 1: Arrive New Delhi/ Transfer to Hotel/ Welcome dinner:Day 1: Arrive New Delhi/ Transfer to Hotel/ Welcome dinner:
On arrival to Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi and finish with the immigration and custom formalities, our representative will meet you at the Main Exit with a Hi On Life Adventures placard. It is about 15 to 20 mins drive to the Aerocity where we have chosen your hotel for the practicality for the next days early morning domestic airport transfer. When you arrive at your hotel you will be briefed about your trek and “do’s and don’ts” while your stay in India. In the evening we will have a welcome dinner to begin the taste of India at one of the finest dining in New Delhi.
Day 2: Fly to Leh:
Early morning drive to the domestic airport to fly to Leh. Be prepared for an extensive security checks for your own safety owing to the fact that Leh is strategically located close to Pakistan and China. The flight has a a strict regulation of 15 kg baggage allowance. It will be an early morning flight to Leh which is a fantastic mountain flight. The flight takes about 1 hour and 10 mins to Leh and approach to the airport at Leh is extremely scenic, so get your cameras ready. The airport at Leh is also an Indian Air Force Base, therefore it is heavily guarded and again extensive security checks. We will be received at the airport by a representative from Ladakh and will be transferred to our hotel. An important component of our trip that we must adhere to is the acclimatization required due to high altitude. Do not plan on heading out at all today. Rehydration is the key to cope up with the high altitude, so drink water regularly. We will take this first day at high altitude with leisure, maximum exertion should maybe be a small stroll outside to the neighboring shops.
Day 3: Acclimatization- Visit Shey Palace, Hemis and Thikse Monastery
Today we vist the following:Shey monastery: Along with the Palace was built in 1655 by King Deldan Namgyal. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Boudha. Palace was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh.Thikse monastery: It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Thikse monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat Hemis monastery: Built in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyalis , is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Drukpa Lineage,located in Hemis. The annual Hemis festival honoring Padmasambhava is held here in the month of June or July. En route, we explore the wetlands and riverbanks along the Indus, including the thick buckthorn patches, the shoreline and grazing land. These areas are excellent for many species including Bluethroat Luscinia svecica, Water Anthus spinoletta and Rosy A. roseatus Pipits, Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus, Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii and Hobby in summer, or Water Rail Rallus aquaticus, White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogaster and Streaked Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilloides in winter.
By late afternoon we arrive back at Leh. Overnight hotel.
Day 4: to Day 10: At Hemis National Park
After breakfast we drive the 1 hour drive to Zingchen. Zingchen is the entry into Hemis National Park. We leave our vehicles at Zingchen and start the hike to Husing. There are chances of spotting the Urial, Bharal during this hike. This area also provides opportunities to see Red Foxes, Lammergeyers and Golden eagles. On arrival at Husing, we will be welcomed with hot tea / soup, followed by tent allotment and hot lunch. After lunch, we will explore the area nearby Husing camp. Snow leopards are regularly spotted here. Our trackers would be on it! Meanwhile, we will do some brid watching. There are chances to sport the Wallcreeper and the Ibisbill. The adjacent hills are the territory of red foxes which can sometimes be seen hunting for the Tibetan Snowcocks. After a late evening session, we return to the campsite.
Include the following, all of which were seen in 2014, with the exception of Lynx and Wolf – of which fresh tracks were seen, but no sightings of the actual animals themselves
Blue Sheep (Bharal)
Ladakh Urial (Red Sheep)
Eurasian Sparrow hawk
Yellow-billed (Alpine) Chough
Dark (Black) -throated Thrush
White-winged (Gouldenstadt’s) Redstart
White-browed (Stoliczka’s) Tit-Warbler
Horned (Shore) Lark
Tibetan Snow finch
Great Rose finch
We will have a fixed camp for a week at Husing and/or Rumbak village (separated by only 6 kms wals). Each day, at dawn and dusk, our trackers would set out to see movements of the snow leopard as these cats are mostly active during night and at dawn/dusk. While our guides are busy looking for a lead to spot the Snow Leopard, following pugmarks, scar marks, mating calls etc. our spotting scopes would be at work from vantage points around the Husing camp. Each day, all the trackers from different groups meet back at Husing camp for sharing their information and tracks. We will explore the Tarbung valley, Rumbak valley and other ridges along the river to spot the big cat. The trackers will keep a watchful eye on the activities of the Bharal too, as they being the main prey for the Snow Leopards. The days are spent in the field trying to spot different animals and birds, where we will also be provided with packed/ hot lunch. Evenings are more productive in spotting Snow Leopard as most resting snow leopards start moving at evening. These illusive cats are so well camouflaged that they are most conspicuous only when they are moving.We keep inspecting the cliff edges as the Snow Leopard like to walk on them, since it gives them a good view on both sides, thus maximizing their chances of securing a prey.Winters are also the mating season for the Snow Leopards, hence the mating calls would help us track movements of females and males towards each other. Our camps have comfortable tents with thick insulated mattresses and very warm sleeping bags. We also have warm mess tent with heater and tables and chairs. Toilet tents and shower tents are also provided. We end each day with delicious three course meals and share our stories and hear the stories form our guides/ trackers in our warm dining tent.
Day 11: trek to Zingchen and drive to Leh
Today we set out to Zingchen, which is a 2 hours walk from our camp. Here we take our vehicle to drive back to Leh. The afternoon can be spent walking in the main Bazaar and shopping. Overnight hotel.
Day 12 : Fly Leh – Delhi.
Early morning drive to the airport to catch early morning flight to Delhi. Once again prepare for an extensive security checks. On arrival to New Delhi we are transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon we take a Rikshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi- a “must do” fascinating trip.
Daily activities in camp
The calls of Himalayan Snow cocks and Chokers are most likely the first sound that you will hear each day. the mating call of a Snow Leopard, the bark of a Red Fox, or the howling of Wolves during the night. The typical day will start with hot tea/coffee delivered to your tent, followed by a bowl of hot water for a refreshing wash. Our guides will be already on the lookout for Snow Leopards, either from camp, or from a vantage point close by. You can choose to join them on the lookout, or take your time and have a leisurely start. Breakfast will be in the dining tent, where the welcoming warmth of a gas fired heater will ensure breakfast to be a more comfortable and enjoyable experience in the cool of the morning. Afterwards, if no Snow Leopard has yet been spotted, we will hike out of camp to carry on searching for them. You may choose to stay around camp, or join the group.
You may, if you wish, choose to stay around camp all day, read books etc and just head out when a Snow Leopard is spotted. However, we encourage you to hike a few miles every day. We hike the uphill sections being at a slow pace due to the altitude. You will certainly notice the reduced amount of oxygen when walking uphill. Most of the hiking will be on gentle inclines, on primitive trails, but occasionally we may want to get into a better position for viewing which may involve much steeper walking for short distances. Basically, the amount of hiking you choose to do is entirely up to you, but within certain parameters.
Most days, when we are away from camp, our staff will bring us hot tea, coffee and a snack, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, whilst in the middle of the day, we’ll get a hot lunch delivered to wherever you want..
With around 12 hours of daylight a day, which is beneficial to spot the Snow Leopard, it is an ample amount of time for our day time activities. It also ensures a long good night’s rest, although it is a welcoming “disturbance” to be woken up in the night by the mating call of a Snow Leopard, the bark of a Red Fox, or the howling of Wolves while running their nightly errands.
While in Delhi we have chosen 5 star luxury category of hotel, and in Leh we have chosen 3 star category of hotel. Rooms are en-suite, but in winter it is common for the pipes to freeze, so it is likely that hot and cold water will be provided in buckets. The hotel is basic, but comfortable, with heating mornings and evenings. Electricity and internet can be expected, but not guaranteed. Bottled water is available for drinking. We will have three hot meals per day.
The camping is full service and we will be very well looked after, with a whole team of cooks and camp helpers attending to our needs. We provide Safari style cottage tents with camping bed along with thick matresses. We have a large mess tent which is heated by a gas heater, where we will be served with hot meals at breakfast and dinner, and sometimes lunch too. Usually lunch is more likely to be a picnic with hot soup, a hot main course and tea/coffee, brought to us almost no matter where we have walked to. At mid morning, and again at mid afternoon hot tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided. There will also be a toilet tent at our camp. We will provide a generator or a solar panels that we will use occasionally for battery charging, if and when needed.
The cook and the kitchen crew prepares hot food which is normally a very balanced diet comprising of fresh vegetables and breads, to pastas and sandwiches and occasionally even cakes and pizzas. Breakfasts are usually bread eggs and cereals, and lunch and dinner are a three course meals. We make sure that you get the required amount of carbohydrates and proteins and vitamins, so plenty canned vegetables, canned meat and fish and eggs and cereals are carried.We provide boiled and treated water 4 times a day. As Ladakh is cut off by road for the entire winter, there will be very few, if any, fresh vegetables.
Expect daytime temperatures to rise close to freezing, or, on sunny slopes, above that.
The early morning low can be around -10c to -15c although it could be colder, sometimes even down to around -25c.
Clear conditions will be interspersed with cloudier, even overcast days. We are in an area that is in a “rain” shadow, so heavier snowfalls are unusual, but we can expect some light snowfall occasionally, about 2 to 4 cm.
Generally there is little wind – although a slight breeze often picks up on the afternoons.
Recommendations for things you should bring:
- Warm hat wool or synthetic that covers your ears
- Sunglasses polaroid or Category 2 minimum
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
- 2 cotton t-shirts
- 2 polypropylene long sleeve t-shirt
- 2 long sleeve thermal underwear shirts, lightweight
- 2 long sleeve thermal underwear shirt, heavy weight
- 1 polar fleece or prima loft or thin down jacket
- Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- 1 Heavy goose down jacket Please note: We will provide adequate down jacket, but you may bring your own if you want.
- 1 pr. lightweight poly-liner gloves
- 1 pair wind stopper working glovs
- 1 pair down/ prima loft mittens
- 1 pair walking shorts
- 1 to 2 pair walking trousers for trekking and around camp
- 2 pair lightweight thermal bottoms
- 1 pair heavy weight thermal bottoms
- 1 pair primaloft/ medium weight down trouser
- 1 pair Gore-Tex trousers, Waterproof/breathable with side zips
- 1 pair treking /walking boots with good ankle support
- 1 pair trainers, running shoes and/or sandals for Delhi and in camp;
- 1 pair down booties (optional)
- 2 pair heavy preferably wool socks
- 3 pair liner preferably wool socks
- 1 pair lightweight trekking socks, wool
For high altitude, 1 down (duvet) sleeping bag (rated comfort – 20 Centigrade or -0 F ) Please note: We will provide adequate sleeping bag, but you may bring your own if you want.
Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (40-60 litres)
- Small padlocks for duffel kit bags.
- We provide you 2 big duffle bags.
- 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing repair kit
- 1 cigarette lighter
- 1 compass or GPS (optional)
- Nylon stuff sacks for food and gear storage, large Ziplocs are useful also
- 1 Water bottles (1 litre)
- 1 plastic cup and spoon
- 1 small folding knife
- Books, playing cards, ipod/mp3 player, games, musical instrument etc
- Adequate amount of batteries
- Telescope, tripod
- Camera + lenses / dig scoping kit
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizers
- Essential medications for at least one week longer than the intended duration of the trip
- Personal Toiletries.
Delhi/ Leh Flights:
It is approximately 1 hour flight from Delhi to Leh, which is a fascinating mountain flight. The airstrip in Leh is a large military one, has a good approach and is well maintained.
Baggage allowance: Delhi-Leh is only 15 kg per person, unless you have a connecting ticket on the same airline internationally. However, excess baggage charges are only ($5) per kilo, and all decent cold weather gear is very lightweight, plus you’ll want to wear a fair bit of that on the plane to ensure it arrives with you and so as you can wear it as you walk from the plane to the terminal on arrival in Leh.
Additional Advice: Delays at Leh airport are always possible due to weather. Lithium Batteries (eg spare camera batteries) must be in your checked luggage for the return flight from Leh back to Delhi.
On this trek you will be going up to 4500m, so it is very important to understand the affects of altitude. The greatest provocation is going too high too fast. Basically, on this trip you are camping at one spot and only taking day hikes, nevertheless, it is still recomendable to take symptoms of altitude seriously. Headaches and breathlessness are common at altitude which in itself is nothing to worry about. In rare cases, this may worsen to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), so a close watch is kept on all trekkers by the group leader who is trained to recognize the symptoms of AMS which are severe headaches, nausea, lethargy, loss of appetite serious breathlessness even at rest. If any trekkers show such signs they will be descended to relatively lower and safer altitude. The Group Leader’s decision on evacuating such person to a safe altitude is final. Do not medicate yourself without first informing your group leader. Going to altitude slowly with adequate rest and adequate intake of fluid (3 to 4 litres per day), you will most likely have no problems apart from breathlessness on hills which is completely normal as the percentage of Oxygen in the air is relatively lower to that at sea level. The most important thing is not to worry about altitude because our team is there to take care of you.
We highly recommend you to take a comprehensive Personal Travel Insurance before leaving home. This should cover for your loss of baggage, airline delays, sickness, and accidents. It should cover all incuring costs for evacuations.
The ideal currency to bring with you is USD or Euro. You can exchange them in Delhi or Leh. You can also draw money from ATM machines in New Delhi or Leh.The exchange rate is 1 USD = 62 Indian Rupees approx. (subject to change)
In Delhi and Agra: Delhi has a wide variety of restaurants with a very wide range of price. Depending on where you eat, each meal will cost anything between 5 to 25 USD + drinks. Plus 20 to 30 USD for your taxis if you wish to go around the city.
On trek: Basically there are no place where you can spend money on the trek. However, in few places you might find small tea shops that sells cold drinks, chocolates etc. It is recomended to bring around 5 USD per day. This money is chocolates, soft drinks and beers etc and also for small donations in the monasteries.
Although tipping is entirely optional and personal matter the following is recommended as a guideline
In Delhi and Leh: for bellboys, waiters and porters 50 to 100 Indian Rupees
On the trek: At the end of the trek it is a customary to tip the field staff. The recommended amount is 100-150 USD depending on group size. The Group leader will collect the tip and then split it between the staff and put it in envelops so that the trekkers can give it to the staff during the “Farwell Ceremonies”.
Please note- the Group Leader is not included in this tip. If you want to tip the Group Leader, you can do it seperately.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Ladakhki people treat visitors as special guests. Although they will never rebuke you publicly for unknowingly offending them, we must consider their culture.
While in Ladakh please observe the following:
- Full or partial nudity is not accepted.
- Over display of affection between men and women, especially in temples and monasteries are discouraged.
- Please remove your shoes before entering monasteries and temples.
- Never point the soles of your feet at a person or shrine.
- Locals walk around the Mani walls and Stupas in a clockwise direction as a respect and they expect you to do the same although it is not compulsory.
- Please ask before taking pics of a person or his/her child
Some useful tips while travelling in Delhi and other parts of India if you have booked and extension
Dress code: Dress sensibly and don’t walk around alone at night. For men knee length shorts and t shirts and sandals are best to cope up with the heat but in some temple and mosques you need to wear long trousers. For women it would be wise to cover up and dress modestly to avoid unwarranted advances. Light cotton trousers or knee length skirts are ideal and avoid bare back dresses.
Personal space: The concept of personal space is almost nonexistent in almost all over India. Whether you’re standing in a queue or walking in a crowded Bazaar, get used to moving shoulder-to-shoulder.
People in North India tend to stare a lot: Please don’t be offended because most of them do this out of curiosity. Easy way to deal with this is to not make direct eye contact with strangers and passersby. Get used to it and don’t let this make you uncomfortable.
Bargaining skills: In shopping malls the prices are fixed and you cannot bargain. However, in rest of your shopping adventure, it is inevitable that you will be exploited to a certain degree, the simple fact is that most vendors know you have money. Skillful bartering takes practice- a beginner’s rule of thumb is to cut the
starting price in half and then work your way to a middle ground.
Beware of Pickpockets: The streets of Delhi can become very crowded, exposing you up to a risk of being easily pick-pocketed. Keep your money in your money belt or in a forward facing backpack to avoid any thieves. If you need to take money out of your wallet, it is best to find a quiet spot and do it quickly to avoid being robbed.
Beggars: You will likely see things that strike your emotional core, but it is important to realize that these are deep rooted problems with no easy fix. Moreover if you give money to one beggar, within secs you will find yourself surrounded by a dozen other beggars from children to adults. Also keep in mind that beggar mafias control much of the inner city.
Street Hawkers: When you walk out of the sightseeing points you will meet several hawkers trying to sell you small souvenirs from pics and all sorts of things. Do not engage in a bargain or converstation unless you really want to buy them. They can be very pushy sometimes.
Go With the Flow: Despite the fact that the cities in India can be tiring with all the staring, crowded streets, beggars, pestering hawkers’ etc. try not to care about the small stuff. If you get caught up and stress about the little things, you will miss out on the bigger picture, which is that you are in one of the most distinctive and important cities in the world. The city will often come to feel like another planet entirely.
“TODAY IS YOUR DAY! YOUR MOUNTAIN IS WAITING, SO… GET ON YOUR WAY!”
- From arrival in Leh, until morning of departure from Leh:
- All internal transportation in private vehicle
- Receive at New Delhi airport and transfer to Hotel
- 2 nights at 5 star hotel in new Delhi
- Welcome dinner
- Sight seeing of Delhi with Rickshaw ride
- Delhi/ Leh/ Delhi domestic flight fare
- 3 nights at 3 star hotel in Leh with all meals
- Guided Sightseeing in and around Leh with all entrance fees
- 8 days Camping with all camping facilities
- Safari style single cottage tent with comfortable camping bed and matresses
- Kitchen tent, Dining tent with comfortable tables and chairs, toilet tents,
- Serives of English speaking guide
- Serivcies of Cheff and kitchen helpers
- Mules and horses for transfering of baggages
- All meals while on trek with unlimited supply of hot beverages and biscuits and snacks
- All Camping fees, Wildlife fees and Snow Leopard Conservation fee
- Insurance: Travel/Accident/Medical /emergency evacuation
- Private room accommodation in Delhi and Leh unless a single supplement is paid.
- Staff tipping
- Indian Visa
- Telephone, laundry, mineral water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
- Emergency rescue evacuation cost if needed
- All other personal nature expenses.
Inquire for Price
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Our grading system for trekking:
There are many different factors that contribute to the difficulty of a particular trip
Our grading are based on various factors such as length of trek and walking day, trail conditions, maximum altitude and average altitude, elevation gain/loss per day, prevailing weather conditions, temperature range, remoteness and general level of comfort.
Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please contact us at email@example.com
Grade A: Leisure
These adventure tours are our least demanding trips suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health. These trips may involve long drives usually on private transport. Sightseeing trips are conducted on foot. The itinerary may also take you to remote places with basic lodging facilities and may also involve a day or two of hiking. We expect you to carry a small back pack weighing about 4 to 5 kgs.
Recommended preparation: Walking on undulating terrain for an hour, for at least 2-3 months prior to departure.
Grade B: Easy to moderate
These adventures involve trekking between 7 to 10 days in remote areas where facilities are often basic. These trips involve some camping or basic lodging. The trekking days are often between 3 to 6 hours of walking each day on good trails with plenty of time for sightseeing. The itineraries often include 1 or 2 rest days. The trails are generally well defined and relatively easy, but it doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park. In the Himalayas, flat trail are extremely rare sights, so there will be plenty of ascents and descents on rocky terrains and often on stony steps. The altitudes are moderate and rarely go above 3800m. The average daily ascents and descents will be about 300m to 400m with perhaps an odd day ascending/ descending about 800m. There are no extremes of weather and the daytime temperatures generally do not get lower than 5C with exceptional cases during bad weather when it can get down to 0C.
Recommended preparation: Walking or jogging 45 mins to 1 hour for at least two times a week on undulating terrain or on a tread mill with inclined angle for at least 3 months prior to departure.
Grade C: Moderate
These treks are slightly more difficult. Our moderate treks are between 11 to 15 days in remote areas with camping or basic lodging. The trekking days are often between 4 to 7 hours of walking each day on good trails with plenty of time for sightseeing. The itineraries often include 1 or 2 rest days. The trails are generally well defined but with plenty of ascents and descents on rocky terrains and often on stony steps. The altitudes are moderate and rarely go above 4500m. The average daily ascents and descents will be about 300m to 500m with occasional harder days ascending/ descending about 800m. There are no extremes of weather and the daytime temperatures generally do not get lower than 5C with exceptional cases during bad weather when it can get down to -5C.
Recommended preparation: Walking or jogging 45 mins to 1 hour for at least two times a week on undulating terrain or on a tread mill with inclined angle for at least 3 months prior to departure.
Grade D: Challenging
These adventures are more challenging and remote and with altitudes up to 5600m. Our challenging treks are between 13 to 24 days in remote areas with camping or basic lodging. The trekking days are often between 5 to 7 hours of walking each day with some days involving crossing a pass with up to 10 hours walking. Generally the trails are well defined, but there will be days which involve climbing steep rocky terrains at high altitudes and crossing icy and rocky glaciers in harsh weather conditions.
The average daily ascents and descents will be about 300m to 500m with a few harder days ascending/ descending about 1000m. The itineraries often include rest days after such big ascents.
Temperatures can get below Zero in the daytime at high altitudes and can fall down to -10C at night.
Recommended preparation: Stamina is essential, as walking days are long. We recommend previous trekking experience, preferably at altitude. Walking or jogging 45 mins to 1 hour for at least two times a week on undulating terrain or on a tread mill with inclined angle for at least 3 months prior to departure. Cycling is recommended. Long day hikes on weekends with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.
Grading system for Expeditions:
A realistically chosen trip maximizes both your enjoyment of the experience, as well as your chances of summit success. Selection of a trip that is beyond your ability could result in uncomfortable experiences. You might end up having the leader not taking you on the climb for your own safety and for the safety of the other team members.
Therefore to let you make a more realistic selection of your mountain, we have categorized each mountain into 2 tired grading systems which describes the technical difficulty (I-V) and fitness (A-E) required for each expedition.
I Straightforward climbing/ scrambling on low angle snow/ rocks. Previous climbing experience is not essential. No ropes required.
II Involves glacial travel on ropes with ice axe and crampons. Previous experience of Ice axe and crampon comes in handy but not a compulsory.
III Involves ice climbing on short sections of snow or ice up to about 50 degrees. Previous snow/ ice climbing experience are essential.
IV Good all-round climbing ability required. Involves low grade rock climbing and long, steep snow and ice slopes over 50 degrees.
V Difficult climbing on very steep ice or technically difficult rock. It is suitable only for competent and experienced mountaineers who have successfully summited technical mountains above 6000m.
A Good basic fitness required. Ability to walk 6 to 8 hour over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.
B Good cardio-vascular fitness required. Regular training, by running, hiking and perhaps some gym work is essential. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra-long day.
C High level of fitness coupled with physical endurance required with regular training as part of your normal routine. Expect days of up to 8 hours and longer while carrying a pack up to 8-12kg in weight. Summit night could be easily in excess of 12 hours.
D Superlative fitness is called for. Climbs of this grade are exceptionally strenuous and some weight loss is inevitable. Regular, long and intense physical training is required for preparation. Expect 10-15 hours of climbing in testing weather conditions (especially summit day) carrying up to 10-15kg in weight.
E Extreme physical effort at extreme altitude which requires arduous preparation based on your experience of previous trips. You will be pushed physically to the limit and then beyond. Be prepared for very long, sustained days with 10 – 12 hours on a regular basis and more than 15 hours on the summit day. Discomfort to achieve your goal is to be expected.
If you need further help, please do not hesitate to contact us, who are happy to discuss which trips would be suitable for you.
Booking terms and conditions
What are the booking procedures, terms and conditions?
The following procedures, terms and conditions apply if you are joining one of our trip.
At the bottom of each tour/trek/ expedition page that you wish to participate, you can click the link to book that trip and you will come to a page with instructions on how to book a trip with us. We will then send you an invoice for deposit payment of 250 USD, which is non-refundable. Once we receive this payment we will send you a confirmation on your reservation of the trip.
The balance payment is to be made at least 45 days prior to departure, payable by bank account transfer. If the balance is not paid when due, Hi On Life Adventures reserves the right to regard the reservation as canceled.
Cancellations & Refunds:
In case you should cancel your reservation, the following cancellation charges apply:
Days prior to trip Start date Cancellation Fee
31-45 days 50% of trip price
16-30 days 75% of trip price
0-15 days 100% of trip price
Exceptions to these policies cannot be made for any reason. However, if you wish to transfer from one trip to another, we are happy to assist you at no extra charge, provided that it is done before 60 days prior to the trip start date. Thereafter, our cancellation policy applies. Hi On Life Adventures reserves the right to cancel a trip for any reason. In such an instance, we will refund all payments received, which will be regarded as full settlement.
Grade: A- Leisure
Duration: 7 days
Grade: A- Leisure
Duration: As per package
Grade: A- Leisure
Duration: According to package