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Snow Leopard Trip Introduction


The dramatic Asiatic Ibex and localized LadakhiUrial (Red Sheep) are the main goals of a short extension, as well as more chances of Snow Leopard (we saw fresh pug marks in the area in 2014), and Wolf – we missed some by less than a day in 2014! Add to that some wonderful, and different mountain scenery, and that we stay in a “home stay” (guesthouse) high in the hills, then this is a ‘must’ to round off the trip if you have the time. We will depart Leh on the morning that the main tour for a three night stay high in the hills at a small Ladakhi guesthouse. The three hour drive (plus several stops for photographs and wildlife) gives us an opportunity to see much more of Ladakh than we have done already. Initially, leaving Leh we drive down the Indus Valley, past the confluence with the Zanskar river near Nimmu villlage, before climbing up into the hills on a back road that is very little used - we probably won’t see another vehicle! The tarmac ends and the road winds higher and higher until, at the very end of the track, we reach a tiny hamlet at 14,500 feet which will be our home for the next three nights. Welcomed by our hosts we will settle in to our rooms before beginning a gentle exploration of the surrounding hills. We will follow the by now familiar routine of scanning with our binoculars and telescopes, whilst sipping hot tea, but now it will be from a homestead, not a campsite. The scenery is quite different from narrow valleys where we looked for Snow Leopard, the landscape immediately around the homestead is more rolling, the vistas more expansive, and many of the hills not quite so steep. We are very likely to find the Ibex in the hills very close to our guesthouse. We found a herd of 39 Asiatic Ibex in 2014, as well as fresh Wolf tracks and Snow Leopard tracks.

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