Ladakh in Winter – 21st January to 27th January 2017

Dates : From 21st Jan 2017 to 27th Jan 2017

Plan :

Dates Route Details Night Stay at
21-Jan-2017  Saturday Land at Leh in Morning Pickup from Leh to Hotel, Relax at Hotel, acclimatize
We will visit the market in the afternoon for any warm gloves, caps or socks anybody wants to buy.In evening we will visit Shanti Stupa to the coldest sunset in India (where civilians can visit 😛 ).Meanwhile we will arrange permits for next 7 days
Leh
22-Jan-2017  Sunday Leh – Local sighseeing Leh Palace, Thiksey Monastry, and Ice Hockey if its happening on that day. Leh
23-Jan-2017  Monday Leh – Chumathang – Hanle We will leave Leh by 8:00 Am, take a break at Chumthang to experience the hot water sulphur springs coming out of frozen Indus.If time permit, we will take a diversion for Puga to see the frozen cones around sulphur springs.Finally will reach Hanle for the night stay at one of the guest house.If time and energy permits, we can visit the Hanle Monastery at sunset. If you are brave enough to handle -20 degree celcius, you can experience the clear sky of Hanle.we will also try to visit the Observatory at Hanle. Hanle
24-Jan-2017  Tuesday Hanle – Loma – Chusul – Merek – Spangmik – Pangong Tso This is an interesting section , and access to it is purely dependent on weather and permits. We will take a right turn from Loma and will cross Razangla Memorial.  Passing through Spangmik and then frozen Pangong Tso, we will stay for the day at Tangste, which is 25 km from Pangong Tso Lake. Tangste
25-Jan-2017  Wednesday Tangste – Pangong Tso – Durbuk – Shyok – Nubra First thing in the morning will be a visit to the lake again for the sunrise. And then we will head for another interesting section of the journey, to reach Nubra valley via Shyok. Once again it depends on the weather and condition of the roads, which we will get to know only when we are there.Night stay will be at Hunder Hunder
26-Jan-2017  Thursday Explore around Nubra – Turtuk We will keep it a relaxed day, with a day trip to Turtuk Turtuk
27-Jan-2017  Friday Turtuk – Nubra – Khardungla – Leh Finally we will be crossing the nighty Khardungla and reach back Leh for the last night stay of the trip Leh

 

28 and 29 Jan as backup day

 

Cost:

Cost sharing model

24,000 INR Per Person (Excluding Flights)

14,000 to be paid by November 15, as a commitment for the trip.

Rest 10,000 INR, to be paid during first week of January 2017

 

Participants Confirmed (no open seats as of now)

  1. Varuna
  2. Mohan
  3. Vijayalaxmi
  4. Mayank
  5. Kumar Gaurav
  6. Hari
  7. Arun
  8. Arpana

 

Inclusion:

  •  Local Transport in SUV/MUV for the whole trip plan with in Ladakh. Including pickup from Leh Airport.
  • All governments’ fees and taxes for normal journey within Ladakh, Non-Indians will have to pay little extra for the fees.
  • All basic meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), morning and evening tea.
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis, in limited availability during winter, standard hotels or guest houses.

 

Exclusion:

  • Flight or travel expenses to reach Leh.
  • Travel or medical Insurance.
  • Any medical emergency or rescue cost.
  • Anything not mentioned in included section.
  • Winter cloths and accessories.
  • Tips and phone calls.
  • Photography equipment of any kind.
  • Hotel and Other costs added to the trip due to road blockage or landslide, that has to be paid on actual basis, by participants.

 

Other T&Cs

  • Ladakh in winter is highly unpredictable, and plans can change due to snowfall. We might have to change plans and locations while on trip, based on situation.
  • While Leh will have proper hotels with limited duration room heating, most of the stay arrangements in remote areas will be with guest houses and home stays. We will ensure it’s clean and hygienic, but room heating will be very limited.
  • Photography is restricted for some of the areas and objects like bridges, Army camps and office, some for the restricted zones like Hanle.
  • Please ask before taking a picture of or with an Army personnel or local.
  • We will need a copy of an ID proof issued by government organization for permits and other processes. You need to carry the same ID all the time during the trip.
  • You are responsible for keeping Ladakh clean and we would need your help to bring back all our garbage back to Leh where it can be disposed of properly.
  • Winter is tough time not just for humans but for local wild life. Do not disturb or provoke wildlife for the sake of a good picture.
  • While its a cost sharing excursion, the final decision on the logistics, plan, options remains with the trip organizer.

 

FAQ:

 

Q: What will be the expected temperature and weather?
A : Day temperature will hover around -5 to -10 degree Celsius, while night temperature can go down to -20 and at some places to -30 degree.

Q: Roads remains open in winter?
A: Yes, most of the roads inside Ladakh region remains open, there could be a blockage due to snow fall, but gets cleared in a day or so.

Q: What is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?
A: AMS is result of sudden exposure to reduced air pressure and lower oxygen level at high altitude. General symptoms are Headache, Fatigue, Nausea, and Loss of appetite, sleeplessness, heavy breathing. Descending down and inhaling oxygen can cure it faster. That is why we recommend to spend at least two days in Leh, so that you get some time to acclimatize.

Q: What are the precautions for photography gears?
A: You don’t need to worry much about the professional gears much, they are built to sustain such extreme weathers. For basic gears, just keep that battery at warm places like inner pocket and avoid sudden transition from cold to warm places. Battery tend to drain faster in colder conditions

Q: I had no time to prepare, can I buy warm cloths in Leh?

A: Yes you can, though I would prefer you buy it at home location and try it out couple of times

Q: Is there some trekking involved in this?
A: No

Q: I have medical history related to breathing, blood pressure or anything significant, Can I travel at such height and low temperature?
A: Please consult your doctor for the same.

Q: What about the phone connectivity
A: Only postpaid Airtel and BSNL works with no guarantee of tower working. But you will get the opportunity to call back home almost everyday. Here is the status of phone or landline connectivity:

Mobile Landline Satellite
Day 1 21-Jan-17 Saturday Airtel/BSNL Yes NA
Day 2 22-Jan-17 Sunday Airtel/BSNL Yes NA
Day 3 23-Jan-17 Monday BSNL at Hanle
Day 4 24-Jan-17 Tuesday BSNL at few areas No No
Day 5 25-Jan-17 Wednesday BSNL at few areas No No
Day 6 26-Jan-17 Thursday BSNL at few areas No No
Day 7 27-Jan-17 Friday Airtel/BSNL Yes NA

 

Preparation (Work in Progress section):

 Cloths

Upper Body
Layer 1  : Warm Inner
Layer 2 : Body fit sweater, I use a ultra warm but thin, high neck sweater
Layer 3 :  Warm Fleece, thick one
Layer 4 :  Down Jacket, this is absolutely must

Quick Notes:

For last few years, I am using the 100% merino wool inner, and with that, you can remove “Layer 2” completely. Though 100% merino wool inner are almost 3-4 times the cost of normal inner. ONN and few other companies are selling genuine 100% merino wool stuff.

Down or duck feather jacket is a guarantee for warmth, but a good quality synthetic foam filled jackets will work as well, just keep an extra layer of inner in that case

The important point to note is, that the layers of cloths should allow the free movement of limbs and blood circulation. Don’t go for tight fits.

Lower Body
Layer 1 : Warm Inner, I again use 100% merino wool lower
Layer 2 : Foam Filled Lower, I have a synthetic foam filled paint, which is pretty loose.

Quick Notes:

If your foam filled pants are little larger, you can wear a fleece pants between inner and pant, if you feel cold in two layers.

We can get the foam filled pants custom stitched in Delhi, if we have 3-4 orders, I did that few years back


Hands
Layer 1 :  Thin Inner layer fleece gloves, Decathlon sells it for 300 Rs I guess
Layer 2 : Water Proof thick gloves, again you can buy the same from Decathlon.

Two layers of gloves will keep your hands cozy, if not warm.


Feet
Layer 1 : Nylon Socks: pure nylon socks will keep the humidity out
Layer 2 : Woolen Socks, get those thick woolen socks
Layer 3 : Good quality shoes, with double layer of socks , you will need a size bigger shoe, don’t worry, a size bigger shoes works well once you use them with single layer of socks in summer. Quechua forclaz 500 are quite famous, but your regular trekking shoes will also work.

See the point is, no layers of socks and shoes will make your feet warm in that kind of cold, all you need to target is that your feet and fingers don’t feel cold.

If your feet start feeling cold, just walk a bit and you should be fine.

Head
Balaclava, that monkey cap, is the best inner layer

You can use muffler for covering neck, my jacket has a neck restraint, which is foam filled and covers the neck
Thick woolen cap, that covers your ears completely

Sun glasses are must

Other Stuff

A towel, I prefer that thin “Parna” type towel as it gets dry quickly

 

Medicines and Toiletry

SPF 60 sun lotion, very important, and good quantity.

Mustard oil, another very important item, it will be cold and almost zero humidity, skin will dry up very, and only the the pure mustard oil will not freeze at that temperature.

Toilet Paper Roll, you will need that, I guarantee 😀 , we will buy and keep few in our vehicles. You can buy it from Leh market

Rest of the medicine list is for your reference and as per your requirement

Diamox

Cheston Cold
Oxyflocin
Crocin
Paracitamol
Soframycin
Anti alergic
cough/cold
Anti vomiting
Brufin

 

Camera and Electronics

Camera and Lenses
Batteries, keep few extra, cold reduces the performance of the battery by 30-40%. I will share the tricks to handle cold.
Extra Memory Cards
Tripod
Charger
Solar Charger
Torch
Tent light
Head Light
Extra AA Battery

Other important essentials

Sun Glasses

Rubber water bottle, used for warming up sprained body parts, works very well for warming up the quilts as you get inside for sleep for the night, it’s works awesome if your feet feel cold, just put one near your feet inside quilt and you will be cozy.
Extra Power Glasses (if you wear power glasses)
License/Personal IDs/Debit/Credit Cards etc
Hot Flask 500ml or 1 Ltr, I carry boiling water in it
Hot Flask 1 ltr, carry lukewarm water for drinking, water will freeze in non-insulated water bottles in minutes, plastic bottles will not work
Nutrition Bars of your taste, just to munch in between
Dry Fruits mix, just for emergency, not necessary though, I carry it when I travel alone

 

Good to have

Chemical warmers: my experience is mixed with them, it works good when you insert them in gloves or socks, while you are inside room.

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