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Spiti Snow Leopard Trail : Winter in Kinnaur & Spiti

Key monastery , Spiti

For summer- time tourist it may feel bizarre to travel Kinnaur and Spiti in the winters but for a die-hard mountain lover the ranges of Great Himalaya and Zanskar Himalaya are winter refuge and peaceful sojourn. Winter has its own charm and vulnerability. The charm lies in less to no crowd, snow laden landscape, no electricity and no internet. Travelling to Kinnaur and Spiti in winter is complete digital detox. In winter you get to know local life and culture more intimately and see for yourself how hard it is to survive in the Himalayas. The vulnerability lies in no road connectivity, no running tap water, limited warm water and room heating. But major concern always is fragile road connectivity which get snapped when there is heavy snowfall and avalanches blocks the road for weeks.

Spotting wildlife in Spiti involves short hikes and snow trekking in snow in Pin valley and around Kibber Wildlife sanctuary. One should be in no illusion about how difficult it would be to photograph a snow leopard at decent range. Their camouflage and cautious nature make them difficult to spot and locate. Winter is the best time to see the mountain cats because snow will drive them to lower elevations where it’s easier to find food, and starting in mid-February, mating season commences, so you’re more likely to get leopards crossing into each other’s territory. Read more…

Lamkhaga pass trek blog – June 2015

Lamkhaga pass snowfield

The Lamkhaga Pass (17300 ft) is a fairly remote and one of the most challenging trek, surrounded by snow capped mountains, glaciers and streams. This beautiful trek takes you through some of the most remote areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
We, the Mumbaikars, this time decided to have something tricky achievement in our pockets by crossing Lamkhaga Pass. The Pass having approx elevation of 5300 meters is a strenuous trekking expedition, believed to be more difficult from Kinnaur side. The Lamkhaga Pass trekking expedition starts from Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh and ends in Harshil, Uttarakhand. The period was around Dec’14 when our group of 5 peoples from Mumbai decided to accept the challenge. Then it came to search other participants. The challenge was to create a team that’s strongly aligned to the common purpose and it was not a tedious job as Facebook and other blog websites helped to get the job done sooner.
The team was set. I referred as Vikas, Rohit, Vishnu, Aaditya, Durgesh all from Mumbai, Karan from Chandigarh, 2ndAaditya from Chennai, Smita from Hyderabad and Rashmi from Bengaluru were the team members who hailed from different fields of Job and Business. The diversity and size of the team was a challenging factor to get the team united for the purpose as some were already experienced whereas some were laymans, however it was a motive that provided sufficient courage to go for it. Apart from 9 member’s team of trekkers, in total there were 21 members involving guide, cook, support staff and porters.
Read more….

Lamkhaga pass trek expedition blog – June 2014

Lamkhaga pass basecamp

This is a report of the Lamkhaga Pass Trek, done June 21st to 28th 2014 from Chitkul (HP) to Harsil (UTTK)

Getting there: arrived Delhi from Pune, and got the pre-booked Volvo HRTC from ISBT at 2100 hrs. Reached Shimla at 0450 old terminal, and immediately took the local shuttle bus to the New ISBT Shimla 15 minutes away. Got the Delhi-Reckong Peo bus at 0600 hrs and left at 0630 from Shimla. Got a little delayed due to the landslide near Karcham, and changed buses at Karcham at 1700 hrs, getting the RecongPeo – Sangla bus, reaching Sangla at 1800 hrs. This should normally take 10 hrs. Took the bus at 1200 next day to base camp Chitkul alt. 3455mtr. Met up with the team there. the next 4 days were done walking the Baspa Valley, with slight height gains daily. Read more…

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