New! Quest for the Snow Leopard | Mountain Travel Sobek

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New! Quest for the Snow Leopard

Trip Length 14 days

From $5,995

  • Track the enigmatic snow leopard through the remote Ladakh region, accompanied by famed local guides—an MTS exclusive!
  • Camp for five nights in enchanting Hemis National Park, surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery on earth
  • Visit ancient monasteries with no tourists around, participate in morning chants with the monks, and get rare insights into local Ladakhi traditions
  • Enjoy the solitude of an off-the-beaten-track destination that few adventurers visit

When it comes to mystique, few creatures can rival the snow leopard, one of the most elusive and endangered big cats in the world. On this one-of-a-kind journey, you'll learn how the snow leopard has evolved to survive in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, and have an excellent opportunity to see the ethereal “Grey Ghost” in its natural habitat. Guided by a seasoned team that’s worked on documentaries for Planet Earth and Human Planet, you’ll spend three days trekking the isolated valleys around Husing, which boasts maximum sightings of snow leopards as well as a variety of other wildlife. Next, you’ll track the leopard by foot and SUV through the spectacular Ulley valley, staying in the home of a Ladakhi family at night. Offering a deep immersion into local nature and culture, this experience takes Himalayan adventure to new heights.

Day 1: Welcome to India!

Arrive in Delhi, where you’ll be met and transferred to your luxury hotel. Receive a traditional garland welcome at the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

Day 2: Fly to Leh in the heart of the Indian Himalaya

Fly to Leh in the dramatic Ladakh region of the Indian Himalaya, bounded by two of the world’s biggest mountain ranges. Spend the afternoon at leisure, acclimatizing to the high elevation. Enjoy an overnight stay at the opulent Grand Dragon Hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 3: Visit the Buddhist temple of Sankar Gompa and the ruins of Leh Palace

Activities are light today as you prepare for the strenuous trek ahead. If desired, take a short walk to the timeless Buddhist temple of Sankar Gompa, residence of the head of the Gelupka (or “Yellow Hat”) Sect. Or visit massive, white-domed Shanti Stupa, set high on a hilltop overlooking Leh. At sunset, we’ll head to the majestic ruins of Leh Palace, where you can photograph Shanti Stupa gleaming in the distance.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 4: Take a scenic trek to Husing in Hemis National Park

Drive to Zingchan to begin your 2-hour trek to Husing, one of the best areas in the region for spotting the ethereal snow leopard. This beautiful walk takes us along icy rivers at the foot of the mountains. Optional visit to Rumbak Village, a tiny but culturally rich hamlet surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Tonight we camp at Husing in spectacularly scenic Hemis National Park, the largest national park in South Asia.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Husing Camp

Days 5-8: Rise early in search of the elusive snow leopard

Using Husing as a base, we’ll head out in a different direction each day in search of the “Grey Ghost!” With a population of between 3,500 and 7,000 and occupying highly remote regions of Central Asia, snow leopards are among the most elusive big cats remaining in the world—but this camp boasts maximum sightings, so our chances are good. Three valleys meet here at Husing, and all are used by the snow leopard as they move to lower altitudes following their primary prey, the sure-footed bharal (Himalayan blue sheep). We may see a variety of other species as well, such as yak, ibex, and Tibetan wolf, but we’ll encounter few other travelers. Trekking is around 3 to 5 hours per day, including rest time along the way.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Husing Camp

Day 9: Journey back to Leh

Take a quick downhill trek to Zingchen and drive back to The Grand Dragon hotel in Leh for hot showers and a restful sleep in heated rooms.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 10: Travel west along the Indus River

Today we drive west along the Indus River to Ulley village. This is excellent ibex country—keep your eyes open for magnificently horned males perched high on the rocky outcroppings. This afternoon, we’ll check into the superbly located Snow Leopard Lodge, run by a local Ladakhi family. Apart from being more comfortable than camping, staying at the lodge puts money directly into local hands, and lets you see inside a traditional Lakakhi home and understand their lifestyle. We provide our own cook and camp staff, along with important luxuries such as warm showers and comfy mattresses.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Snow Leopard Lodge

Days 11-12: Track snow leopards in the Ulley region

Explore the numerous valleys of the Ulley region by foot and vehicle, tracking the snow leopard with your expert local guide, Norbu. We are almost certain to see Ibex here and if we’re lucky, much other wildlife including wolf, urial sheep, Himalayan snowcock, bearded vulture, and Himalayan fox. Norbu interacts closely with the local people and uses the network of intelligence to narrow down the likely sites for spotting snow leopards. In the process, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to get insights into local folklore and customs as you enjoy a homestay.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Snow Leopard Lodge

Day 13: Return to Leh and enjoy a Ladakhi farewell feast

Drive back to Leh and overnight at The Grand Dragon hotel. Enjoy a farewell feast of traditional Ladakhi fare.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 14: Depart from Delhi

After breakfast, transfer to the local airport and fly to Delhi. Afternoon is at leisure. We have reserved day rooms at the hotel.  This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

Oct 27, 2017 - Nov 09, 2017

Mar 21, 2018 - Apr 03, 2018

Oct 26, 2018 - Nov 08, 2018

pricing

2017 Prices

$5,995 (6-12 members)

$385 internal airfare Delhi/Leh/Delhi - subject to change
$1,100 single supplement

2018 Prices

$6,295 (6-12 members)

$385 internal airfare Delhi/Leh/Delhi - subject to change
$1,700 single supplement

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Husing Camp — Ladakh

Our camp will be set up in Husing, an area that boasts maximum sightings of snow leopards. Three valleys meet here, all of which are used by the snow leopard in its search for prey, making it an excellent base for our daily treks. The camp consists of cozy, two-man tents with comfortable trekking mattresses and hot water bottles, a basic toilet tent, and a spacious dining tent equipped with tables and chairs. An experienced cook and support staff will ensure we’re well cared for. Meals, which include a range of basic Chinese, Ladakhi, Indian, and Continental cuisine, are prepared fresh in the kitchen tent.

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi — New Delhi

The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi offers the convenience of its location near the airport with the comfort of lavish amenities. The hotel consists of 261 modern rooms and suites that offer spa-inspired bathrooms, LCD televisions and complimentary high-speed Internet. Guests can enjoy a delicious meal at The Great Kabab Factory or grab a drink at Savannah Bar. The hotel also features an on-site spa, fitness studio, and a beauty salon.

Snow Leopard Lodge — Ladakh

Located in the spectacularly scenic Ulley Valley, the family-run Snow Leopard Lodge offers charmingly rustic accommodations along with the unique opportunity to experience the day-to-day life of a Ladahki household. The lodge only has six rooms, so sometimes single guests are asked to share or beds are set up in the dining room to accommodate everyone. Bathrooms are separate from the lodge and feature western-style toilets and bucket showers with piping hot water. We’ll also provide our own cook and camp staff, but you’ll be able to spend time with the family in their large, warm kitchen. The surrounding landscape is a haven for wildlife, including ibex, Himalayan fox, and the elusive snow leopard.

The Grand Dragon Ladakh — Leh

The Grand Dragon Ladakh is an excellent hotel in this exotic location, with views of the Stok Kangri range of the Himalayas. Acclimatization is not always easy at this altitude, but the incredibly attentive staff and comfortable accommodations help ease the transition. There are several dining options and the rooms are modern and well-appointed.

  • Track the enigmatic snow leopard through the remote Ladakh region, accompanied by famed local guides—an MTS exclusive!
  • Camp for five nights in enchanting Hemis National Park, surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery on earth
  • Visit ancient monasteries with no tourists around, participate in morning chants with the monks, and get rare insights into local Ladakhi traditions
  • Enjoy the solitude of an off-the-beaten-track destination that few adventurers visit

When it comes to mystique, few creatures can rival the snow leopard, one of the most elusive and endangered big cats in the world. On this one-of-a-kind journey, you'll learn how the snow leopard has evolved to survive in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, and have an excellent opportunity to see the ethereal “Grey Ghost” in its natural habitat. Guided by a seasoned team that’s worked on documentaries for Planet Earth and Human Planet, you’ll spend three days trekking the isolated valleys around Husing, which boasts maximum sightings of snow leopards as well as a variety of other wildlife. Next, you’ll track the leopard by foot and SUV through the spectacular Ulley valley, staying in the home of a Ladakhi family at night. Offering a deep immersion into local nature and culture, this experience takes Himalayan adventure to new heights.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to India!

Arrive in Delhi, where you’ll be met and transferred to your luxury hotel. Receive a traditional garland welcome at the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

Day 2: Fly to Leh in the heart of the Indian Himalaya

Fly to Leh in the dramatic Ladakh region of the Indian Himalaya, bounded by two of the world’s biggest mountain ranges. Spend the afternoon at leisure, acclimatizing to the high elevation. Enjoy an overnight stay at the opulent Grand Dragon Hotel.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 3: Visit the Buddhist temple of Sankar Gompa and the ruins of Leh Palace

Activities are light today as you prepare for the strenuous trek ahead. If desired, take a short walk to the timeless Buddhist temple of Sankar Gompa, residence of the head of the Gelupka (or “Yellow Hat”) Sect. Or visit massive, white-domed Shanti Stupa, set high on a hilltop overlooking Leh. At sunset, we’ll head to the majestic ruins of Leh Palace, where you can photograph Shanti Stupa gleaming in the distance.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 4: Take a scenic trek to Husing in Hemis National Park

Drive to Zingchan to begin your 2-hour trek to Husing, one of the best areas in the region for spotting the ethereal snow leopard. This beautiful walk takes us along icy rivers at the foot of the mountains. Optional visit to Rumbak Village, a tiny but culturally rich hamlet surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Tonight we camp at Husing in spectacularly scenic Hemis National Park, the largest national park in South Asia.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Husing Camp

Days 5-8: Rise early in search of the elusive snow leopard

Using Husing as a base, we’ll head out in a different direction each day in search of the “Grey Ghost!” With a population of between 3,500 and 7,000 and occupying highly remote regions of Central Asia, snow leopards are among the most elusive big cats remaining in the world—but this camp boasts maximum sightings, so our chances are good. Three valleys meet here at Husing, and all are used by the snow leopard as they move to lower altitudes following their primary prey, the sure-footed bharal (Himalayan blue sheep). We may see a variety of other species as well, such as yak, ibex, and Tibetan wolf, but we’ll encounter few other travelers. Trekking is around 3 to 5 hours per day, including rest time along the way.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Husing Camp

Day 9: Journey back to Leh

Take a quick downhill trek to Zingchen and drive back to The Grand Dragon hotel in Leh for hot showers and a restful sleep in heated rooms.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 10: Travel west along the Indus River

Today we drive west along the Indus River to Ulley village. This is excellent ibex country—keep your eyes open for magnificently horned males perched high on the rocky outcroppings. This afternoon, we’ll check into the superbly located Snow Leopard Lodge, run by a local Ladakhi family. Apart from being more comfortable than camping, staying at the lodge puts money directly into local hands, and lets you see inside a traditional Lakakhi home and understand their lifestyle. We provide our own cook and camp staff, along with important luxuries such as warm showers and comfy mattresses.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Snow Leopard Lodge

Days 11-12: Track snow leopards in the Ulley region

Explore the numerous valleys of the Ulley region by foot and vehicle, tracking the snow leopard with your expert local guide, Norbu. We are almost certain to see Ibex here and if we’re lucky, much other wildlife including wolf, urial sheep, Himalayan snowcock, bearded vulture, and Himalayan fox. Norbu interacts closely with the local people and uses the network of intelligence to narrow down the likely sites for spotting snow leopards. In the process, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to get insights into local folklore and customs as you enjoy a homestay.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Snow Leopard Lodge

Day 13: Return to Leh and enjoy a Ladakhi farewell feast

Drive back to Leh and overnight at The Grand Dragon hotel. Enjoy a farewell feast of traditional Ladakhi fare.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Grand Dragon Ladakh

Day 14: Depart from Delhi

After breakfast, transfer to the local airport and fly to Delhi. Afternoon is at leisure. We have reserved day rooms at the hotel.  This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi
lodgings

Husing Camp — Ladakh

Our camp will be set up in Husing, an area that boasts maximum sightings of snow leopards. Three valleys meet here, all of which are used by the snow leopard in its search for prey, making it an excellent base for our daily treks. The camp consists of cozy, two-man tents with comfortable trekking mattresses and hot water bottles, a basic toilet tent, and a spacious dining tent equipped with tables and chairs. An experienced cook and support staff will ensure we’re well cared for. Meals, which include a range of basic Chinese, Ladakhi, Indian, and Continental cuisine, are prepared fresh in the kitchen tent.

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi — New Delhi

The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi offers the convenience of its location near the airport with the comfort of lavish amenities. The hotel consists of 261 modern rooms and suites that offer spa-inspired bathrooms, LCD televisions and complimentary high-speed Internet. Guests can enjoy a delicious meal at The Great Kabab Factory or grab a drink at Savannah Bar. The hotel also features an on-site spa, fitness studio, and a beauty salon.

Snow Leopard Lodge — Ladakh

Located in the spectacularly scenic Ulley Valley, the family-run Snow Leopard Lodge offers charmingly rustic accommodations along with the unique opportunity to experience the day-to-day life of a Ladahki household. The lodge only has six rooms, so sometimes single guests are asked to share or beds are set up in the dining room to accommodate everyone. Bathrooms are separate from the lodge and feature western-style toilets and bucket showers with piping hot water. We’ll also provide our own cook and camp staff, but you’ll be able to spend time with the family in their large, warm kitchen. The surrounding landscape is a haven for wildlife, including ibex, Himalayan fox, and the elusive snow leopard.

The Grand Dragon Ladakh — Leh

The Grand Dragon Ladakh is an excellent hotel in this exotic location, with views of the Stok Kangri range of the Himalayas. Acclimatization is not always easy at this altitude, but the incredibly attentive staff and comfortable accommodations help ease the transition. There are several dining options and the rooms are modern and well-appointed.

Dates and Pricing

Oct 27, 2017 - Nov 09, 2017

Mar 21, 2018 - Apr 03, 2018

Oct 26, 2018 - Nov 08, 2018

pricing

2017 Prices

$5,995 (6-12 members)

$385 internal airfare Delhi/Leh/Delhi - subject to change
$1,100 single supplement

2018 Prices

$6,295 (6-12 members)

$385 internal airfare Delhi/Leh/Delhi - subject to change
$1,700 single supplement

Activity Level Moderate
Trip Length 14 days

From $5,995

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