Snow Leopard Trial
Difficulty : Comfort
Reference Code: SLTIN
Trip Start: Delhi
Trek Start: Leh
Trek Days: 13 days
Season: Spring, summer and Autumn
Accommodation: Hotel, Lodge and camp
Service: Full Board
Trip End: Delhi
Trek End: Leh
Trip Durations: 15 days
Physical Rating: Comfort
Group Size: 2-20
This epic adventure takes you to Hemis National Park in Ladakh, India's best-protected area for Snow Leopards and a good place to sight this magnificent cat. Being whitish-grey in color (tinged with yellow) and patterned with dark grey rosettes and spots, the Snow Leopard exhibits superb camouflage for its mountain environment of bare rocks and snow. It is on account of its reclusive nature that it is often referred to as the Grey Ghost of the Himalayas.
Since Snow Leopards are generally found at elevations between 3000 - 4500m, the trek takes you through stunning Himalayan alpine and sub-alpine zones where vegetation is sparse and temperatures are extreme. Snow Leopards are most active at dawn and dusk and show a strong preference for cliffy habitat with moderately to very broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines. They are opportunistic predators and are known to take prey up to three times their own weight, though a large part of their diet comprises of small prey like marmots, pika, hare, birds and domestic livestock
Accompanying us are local trackers whose local expertise in this harsh terrain and their intrinsic training to look for the minutest evidences like pugmarks, scrapes and scats to track this elusive cat, is unmatched. While the sighting of this mysterious cat can in no way be guaranteed, and if this elusive leopard is sighted it is often at a distance where a spotting scope is required. The Snow Leopard Trek offers a unique opportunity to understand this amazing specimen and its habitat while trekking through some spectacular scenery.
The present global distribution of Snow Leopards is in the high mountain ranges of Central Asia scattered over 12 countries in fragmented habitats. Highly endangered throughout its range in Asia, the loss of habitat and prey, poaching and retaliation killings blamed for livestock losses have reduced its numbers to dangerously low levels. Adventure Zambuling treks has completed this favolous trial many times.
Day 01 Arrival at Delhi
Arrive Delhi airport and transfer to hotel, followed by tour briefing and orientation in the morning. Afternoon visit some important sites of Old and New Delhi. Overnight at hotel
Day 02 Fly Delhi - Leh (3445mtrs)
In time transfer to airport to board the flight for Leh. Arrive Leh and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure / acclimatization. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 Rest and preparation day
Day at leisure for acclimatization. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 Full day visit Shey, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries around Leh
You will first visit Shey Palace and Monastery. The palace and adjacent fort are in ruins but the monastery is in use to this day. Inside is a 39-foot statue made of gilded copper of the Sakyamuni Buddha. Thikse Gompa is an impressive imitation of Lhasa’s Potala Palace – dramatically perched on a slope overlooking the Indus Valley. Within one of the newly built structures lies a three-story statue of the Maitreya Buddha, one of the most beautiful pieces of religious art in Ladakh. Founded in the 1630s by Stags-Tsang-Ras-Pa under the royal patronage of the great ruler of Ladakh, Sengge Namgyal, Hemis is the largest and richest Monastery in Ladakh. In the evening you can explore at your leisure the Leh markets
Day 05 Morning walk around Leh Palace.
Leh Palace, a building in the grand tradition of Tibetan architecture said to have inspired from the famous Potala in Lhasa, which was built half a century later. The palace was built in the 17th century and had nine storeys . It was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok in the 1830s. Within the palace are Buddhist wall paintings, centuries old 'tankas' or painted scrolls and other artefacts. Above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill, is the Victory Tower, built to commemorate Ladakh's victory over the Balti Kashmir armies in the early 16th century.
Day 06 Drive from Leh to Zingchen (approx 2 hours drive) and then trek to Husing (approx 2 hour 30 minutes)
Drive from Leh to Zingchen (approx 2 hours drive) and then trek to Husing (approx 2 hour 30 minutes) where your camp will be setup. Husing is at the intersection of three prominent valleys well known for sightings of Snow Leopard and known globally as “the Snow Leopard World Capital”. We make Husing campsite our base camp as we venture out for the next day towards the many by-valleys that dissipate out of the Husing pastureland.
Day 07 Explore Hemis National Park
Full day explore Husing Valley. Overnight in tent.
Day 08 Exploration day for Snow Loepard
Today your local expert will take you on an early morning excursion to the trails frequented by the ever elusive Snow leopard. Throughout the day you will learn how to interpret the movements of the leopard through local art and techniques of smelling of rock spray (smell of urine of the leopard), reading of pug marks, scrape (digging of ground by the animal), scat (stool) and rock-face rubbing of the snow leopard. Your trip leader and expert will also share local traditional knowledge on how to identify the hunt patterns and kill spots of the snow leopard
Day 09 Explore and afternoon trek to Kharlung
Morning explore the valley and later in the afternoon hike around Kharlung. Overnight in tent.
Day 10 Trek to Rumbak Doh
Today we break camp and shift towards the upper Rumbak Valley towards a place locally known as “Rumbak Doh” where we stay in local village houses and continue our search for the elusive Cat (approx 1 hour trek). Home-stays offer you a unique opportunity to stay with and share the culture of the Ladakhi people in remote villages during the night and explore the rugged habitat of the endangered snow leopard during the day. By staying with the local people of Ladakh you help generate an income for the villagers through tourism and also in promoting the benefits of “snow leopard tourism”. Rumbak Doh also offers excellent vistas into the higher ridges where the snow leopards hunt, so we can maximise our chances of spotting snow leopards at every opportunity.
Day 11 Explore Rumbak Valley
Morning explore the surrounding area. Later continue return trek to Rumbak valley. Overnight in tents.
Day 12 back to Leh
Morning continue return trek to Zingchen and drive back to Leh. Arrive Leh and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13 Rest at Leh
Full day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14 Fly to Delhi
In time transfer to airport to board the flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel with rest of the day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 Final departure
Day at leisure or free for optional activities or visit Taj Mahal at Agra. In time transfer to Delhi airport to board the flight for onward destination.
Accommodation on twin sharing Basis as per selected Package category.
All Meals (Breakfast + Dinner).
To & Fro Leh Airport Transfers.
Transportation by Non A/C Innova, Xylo, Mahindra XUV or Tata Arya as per mention tour plan
With Tempo Traveler for 6 / 8 / 10 person complete journey.
Wild Life Fees & Ladakh Inner line permit.
Any Air fare, Any Kind of Personal Expenses or Optional Tours / Lunch or Extra Meals.
Monument Entrances, Rafting & Camel Safari Charges.
Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls.
Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated)
Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
5.09% GST will be applicable on total amount.
Clothing and Equipments List
» Pack to pack out - bring enough waterproof bags to carry all non-biodegradable rubbish back down the mountain.
» Remove all unnecessary packaging before leaving home.
» Bring enough warm dry clothes so that you can wrap up rather than burn firewood in the evenings.
» If you are going to trek higher than 5000m or you know it will be cold, buy an aluminum water bottle which can also be used as a hot water bottle at night.
» The easiest way to keep hydrated while trekking is to buy a 1 x liter platypus-drinking bladder to carry in your day pack.
» Make sure to buy proper trekking socks. Don’t buy synthetic socks as these promote sweating and can give you blisters. Always carry a few blister pads in your first aid kit and keep them handy in your day pack.
» Walking poles are very useful while trekking and helpful when descending.
» Please remember that waste disposal and recycling facilitates are limited in Nepal. When buying batteries make sure they are rechargeable and/or high quality so they last longer, and take them home to recycle.
There is no definitive list. What you bring will vary according to the area, time of year and the length of your trek. Below is a suggested check list which you should adapt to your own needs. Ask yourself: Will there be snow/how long /high is the trek/are we camping?
» Good quality trekking boots with ankle support
» Lightweight shell/raincoat with hood
» Detachable fleece liner or separate fleece
» Fleece trousers
» Shorts and / or convertibles trousers- quick drying
» Sun hat and warm hat(good quality)
» Spare T-shirt x 3
» Sweat towel x 2
» Spare socks x 3 ( walking sock and thin inner sock)
» Small day sack
» Sun cream
» Small water bottle aluminum doubles as a hot water bottle.
» Iodine or water purifying kit,
» Soluble vitamin tablets to taste water or powder fruit drink
» Talcum powder
» Walking sticks or Trekking poles(good quality)
» Camp shoes/trainers/flip flops to wear in evening.
» Spare underwear 3
» Toilet kit
» Pen knife
» Bum bag
» Head torch(good quality)
» Biodegradable washing liquid / soap
» Ear plugs
» Sleeping bag liner(good quality)
» Sleeping bag(good quality-30)
» Bin bag/ gasbag to keep kit dry
» Small towel
» Lip balm
» Available in KTM
Personal First Aid (Aids Kit)
» Blister plasters
» AMS medication like Diamox
» Eye drops – it can get very dusty on trails
» Paracetamol and/or ibuprofen
» Rehydration sachets, Imodium and antibiotics for traveler’s diarrhea
» Sterile dressing
» Sticking plasters and tape
» Throat lozenges / sweets
» A sewing needle etc.
This trekking equipment list has been prepared by Adventure Zambuling Treks (P) Ltd.