“And then there was the small matter of the snow leopard, whose terrible beauty is the very stuff of human longing. Its uncompromising yellow eyes, wired into the depths of its unfathomable spirit, gaze out from the cover of innumerable editions. It is, I think, the animal I would most like to be eaten by.” ― Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

It is -25C; everything is frozen. Knife like cold air pierce through your cheeks and clouds of warm breath blurs everything in front of you. Surrounded by craggy rocky ridges of the unforgiving high mountains of the Himalaya, you will wonder- how can anything survive up here? Yet, this is the domain of the SNOW LEOPARD…..

Photo- Bjorn Persson

This trip offers an excellent chance of seeing Snow Leopards in their natural habitat and the opportunity to capture it in your camera. The mountain valleys of the Himalaya 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 mighty Indus River, Ladakh’s vast rocky and dry barren landscapes, has an average population density of less than two people per square kilometre. 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. They are warm and friendly people who live in traditional mud and stone buildings, adorned with prayer flags. 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 our team of expert local guides, who are naturally trained to spot the enigmatic and elusive inhabitant of the mountain: The Snow Leopard.

Trip Highlights:

  • Snow Leopard!
  • Spectacular 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
  • Breath-taking mountainous landscapes
  • Sightseeing of Delhi- The capital of India
Photo: Phunchok

Itinerary:

Day 1- Arrive Delhi/ Transfer to Hotel Pride Plaza or similar/ Welcome dinner

Day 2- Fly to Leh/ Transfer to Hotel Spic and Span or similar

Day 3- Monastery tours and bird watching tour around Indus river/ Overnight Hotel in Leh

Day 4- Drive  to Zingchen  45 minutes drive (entry point to Rumbak Hemis national Park) walk 1 ½ hours to campsite. Overnight Camp.

Day 5 to 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

 

 

About Ladakh

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
  • Ladakh 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.
Tsokar Lake- breeding grounds for migratory birds

Trip summary

You arrive at New Delhi and begin this fantastic tour with a spectacular mountain flight to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. 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. During these two days, we will take a sightseeing tour of the monasteries around Leh and explore the banks of the Indus in search of enigmatic birds such as Ibis bill, Solitary Snipe and Gouldenstadt’s (White-winged) Redstart. 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 in an area where Snow Leopards spend the winter is the main objective of the tour. 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 an easier access to look for them and a better chance to spot 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.
Almost all the companies operating this tour provides small dome tents during the camping and most customers complain about the uncomfortable and cold nights having to crouch into the tiny tent at -25C. We provide safari style tents with folding beds for comfortable sleeping and heated dining tent.

Photo- Bjorn Persson

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive New Delhi/ Transfer to Hotel/ Welcome dinner

  • Altitude: 216m

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 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. Overnight hotel

Day 2: Fly to Leh

  • Altitude: 3500m
  • Flight duration: 1 hour 15 mins

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 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 15 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. Re-hydration 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.

Overnight hotel

Day 3: Monastery tours and bird watching tour around Indus River 

  • Altitude: 3500m- 3100m
  • Sightseeing duration with drives: 6 to 7 hours

Today we visit the following:

Shey monastery and Shey Palace: built in 1655 by King Deldan Namgyal. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Buddha.  Palace was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh. Thiksey monastery: It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

Hemis monastery:  A Tibetan Buddhist monastery of  the Drukpa Lineage, located in Hemis, built in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyalis. 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 Water Rail Rallus aquaticus, White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus Erythrogaster and Streaked Rosefinch Carpodacus Rubicilloides during the winter months.Overnight hotel.

Stakna Monastery at the banks of river Indus

Day 4: Drive to Zingchen and trek to Husing Camp 

  • Drive: 25 kms,  45 mins
  • Trek distance: 5 km,  1 ½  hours
  • Elevation of Zingchen: 3400m
  • Elevation of Husing Camp: 3900m

After breakfast we drive 23 kms to Zingchen which is the entry into Hemis National Park. After completing registering permits and other formalities, we begin our trek 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 can enjoy some bird 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. Overnight camp

Day 5 to Day 11: Snow leopard sighting- Hemis National Park.

We will have a fixed camp for a week at Husing and/or Rumbak village separated by a distance of 6 kms. Each day, at dawn and dusk, our trackers will set out to see movements of the snow leopard as these cats are mostly active during night and at dawn/dusk. We will explore the Tarbung valley, Rumbak valley and other ridges along the river to spot the big cat.
Our guides will look for various leads to spot the Snow Leopard, following pugmarks, scar marks, mating calls etc. while our spotting scopes would be at work from vantage points around the Husing camp. An important lead for the trackers is the activities of the Bharal, as they being the main prey for the Snow Leopards. 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. Evenings are more productive in spotting Snow Leopard as most resting snow leopards start moving at evening.
Each day, all the trackers from different groups meet back at Husing camp for sharing their information and tracks.

Photo- Bjorn Persson

Day 12: Trek to Zingchen and drive to Leh

  • Trek: 1 hour 30 min to Zinchen
  • Drive: 25 kms,  45 mins

Today we pack up our camp and head back out to Zingchen, which is an hour and a half walk. Here we take our vehicle and drive back to Leh. The afternoon can be spent walking in the main Bazaar and shopping. Overnight hotel.

Day 13: Fly Leh  – Delhi.

  • Flight duration: 1 hour 25 min
  • Afternoon sightseeing of Delhi

We fly early morning to New Delhi. Due to airport security regulations, NO CABIN BAGGAGE allowed on any flights originating from Leh.

Upon arrival to Delhi, we drive to Aerocity and check in to our hotel. At around 3 PM we will take a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi.The sightseeing begins with a drive through the historical monuments and government buildings of New Delhi. New Delhi was established by the British and most of the buildings were built in the Lutyen style. Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memorials and public buildings in New Delhi.After a short drive through New Delhi, we enter the heart of Delhi, the Chandni Chowk. Suddenly you are in another era of history and culture. We will take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of the Spice Market and Bride’s market, more commonly known as the Khari Baoli. It is a fascinating ride where you can witness real India, with people literally walking over each other, deafening noise along with the vibrant colors that Indian is known for, and intriguing aroma of the spices and food.Overnight HotelDay 14: Departure- Trip endsYou will be transferred to Indira Gandhi International airport 4 hours before your flight departure time.

The following can be spotted during the trip:

Potential Mammals

Snow Leopard                Lynx                                               Wolf
Mountain Weasel          Blue Sheep (Bharal)                   Asiatic Ibex
Tibetan Argali                Ladakh Urial (Red Sheep)         Woolly Hare
Royle’s Pika                   Pika spp                                          Red Fox

Potential Birds

Himalayan Snowcock           Tibetan (Hill-)Partridge
Chukar                                     Gadwall                                 Mallard
Goosander                               Northern Pintail                 Common Teal
Rock Pigeon                            Hill Pigeon                           Snow Pigeon
Solitary Snipe                         Common Snipe                   Common Redshank
Common Greenshank           Green Sandpiper                 Ibis bill
Lammergeyer                         Himalayan Griffon
Eurasian Sparrow hawk       Northern Goshawk
Golden Eagle                          Common Kestrel                 Great Cormorant
Magpie                                    Red-billed Chough              Carrion Crow
Common Raven                    Brown Dipper
Blue Whistling-Thrush        Common Starling                Wall creeper
Eurasian Wren                      Great Tit                                Horned (Shore) Lark
Tibetan Snow finch              White Wagtail                      Water Pipit
Robin Accentor                     Brown Accentor
Fire-fronted Serine              Brandt’s Mountain-Finch
Mongolian Finch                  Great Rose finch                   Little Owl
Red St                                     Mountain Chiffchaff            Rosy Pipit
Robin Accentor                    Brown Accentor                    Fire-Fronted Serin
Twite                                      Rose Finches

Yellow-billed (Alpine) Chough                                Dark (Black) -throated Thrush
White-winged (Gouldenstadt’s) Redstart              White-browed (Stoliczka’s) Tit-Warbler

A Citrine wagtail, a Common Chiff Chaff and a Black necked Crane- Photos by Phuntsok

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 day usually begins with a wake up around 7 with hot tea/ coffee followed by a bowl of warm water for washing.
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 served in the dining tent which is heated by a gas fire heater. After breakfast we usually take day hikes in the potential areas for Snow Leopard sighting. While you are away on hikes trying to spot different animals and birds during the daytime, you will be provided with packed/ hot lunch. You will also be provided with hot tea, coffee and snacks.
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. The hikes up the hill sections are taken at a slow pace due to the altitude. You will certainly notice the reduced amount of oxygen when walking uphill. Basically, the amount of hiking you choose to do is entirely up to you, but within certain parameters. You need to carry a small daypack with extra warm jacket, camera and water.
We will have around 12 hours of daylight a day, which is beneficial to spot the Snow Leopard, and an ample amount of time for our day time activities. We usually go to bed early to ensure 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.

Local guides scrutinaizing the rocky cliffs for Snow Leopard

Facilities at camp

Our camps have comfortable safari tents with an inside layer made with insulated dacron filled wall. Folding beds with thick insulated mattresses are provided with expedition weight -25C sleeping bags. The mess tent is a double layered winter season tent heated by a gas fire heater, with tables and chairs. Toilet tents and shower tents are also provided. We will provide a generator and solar power that we will use occasionally for battery charging, if and when needed.
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. 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. 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.

Safari style cottage tents for members
Toilet and shower tent

Weather

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.

Hotel accommodation in Delhi and Leh

While in Delhi, you will stay at a 5 star hotel on Bed and Breakfast, and in Leh you will stay at a traditionally built 4 star hotel. All meals are provided at the hotel while your stay at Leh. During the winter months in Leh, the pipes freeze, so it is likely that hot and cold water will be provided in buckets. Electricity and internet can be expected, but not guaranteed.

Recommendations for things you should bring:

Clothing:

Head

  • Warm hat wool or synthetic that covers your ears
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses Polaroid or Category 2 minimum
  • Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions

Upper body

  • 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.

Hands

  • 1 pr. lightweight poly-liner gloves
  • 1 pair wind stopper working glovs
  • 1 pair down/ prima loft mittens

Lower Body

  • 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

Feet

  • 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

Sleeping

1 down sleeping bag (rated comfort -20 C or -4 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.

Assesories

  • 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
  • Camera
  • Adequate amount of batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Telescope, tripod
  • Camera + lenses / dig scoping kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Essential medications for at least one week longer than the intended duration of the trip
  • Personal Toiletries.
Photo-Bjorn Persson, wildlife photojournalist

High Altitude

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 recommendable 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.

Insure yourself:

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 incurring costs for evacuations.

Money Matters

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 = 68 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.

Tipping

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”.

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!”
DR. SEUSS

 

Price Includes:

  • 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

Price excludes:

  • 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

Please fill up below form for Trip Price inquire.






Grading

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 info@hionlifeadventures.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.

Technical Difficulty

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.

Fitness

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.

Booking:

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.

Balance Payments:

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.

 

For more visit our FAQs section in details here

Quick Facts

Destination:
 India
Trip Code:
 HOD-S
Trip Grade:
 A- Leisure
Duration:
 14 days + extensions
Trek Distance:
 xx
Starting Elevation:
 3500 m
Peak Elevation:
 4500 m
Accommodations:
 Hotels and camping while on trek
Best Season:
 December till February

Map

If you have extra days in Nepal, you can book an extension.

Available Extensions

Pokhara and Close up with Annapurna

Grade: A- Leisure

Duration: 7 days

Pokhara & Bandipur

Grade: A- Leisure

Duration: As per package

Chitwan Jungle Safari

Grade: A- Leisure

Duration: According to package

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