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About this tour
Snow leopards are one of the most elusive mammals in the world but in winter they descend from the High Himalaya in search of food. As they inhabit some of the most remote and mountainous regions of Central Asia, the mission to see this enigmatic cat is really more of a pilgrimage. Other rare high-altitude wildlife and isolated Himalayan Buddhist communities only add to this quest’s allure. The itinerary varies slightly by departure date to fit in the different festivals. All departures are led by specialist Himalaya trekking guide Valerie Parkinson.Valerie won Best Tour Leader 2021 in the prestigious Wanderlust World Guide Awards.Valerie was born by the seaside in Blackpool, UK, and spent much of her younger days walking with her parents in the Lake District. After finishing her studies, Valerie worked in Germany and Switzerland, until 1984 when she took a break that would change her life forever. She travelled to India for a three-week trek through Kashmir and Ladakh and found her spiritual home in the High Himalaya. She has spent the rest of her life leading treks (and bike trips) in the Himalayan region and her knowledge of the local culture, religion, art and wildlife is second to none. Her enthusiasm for trekking developed into climbing. In 2008, she became the first British woman to summit the 26,781ft (8,163m) tall Mount Manaslu without the use of supplementary oxygen and she attempted Everest in 2009. Over the years, Valerie has been instrumental in setting up and running Himalayan Community Projects, which now operates through the Exodus Travels Foundation.
Age range18 - 99
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Day 1: Start Delhi
Day 2: Fly across the Himalaya to Leh (breakfast,lunch,dinner)
Day 3: Full day at a monastic festival or visit Shey, Thikse and Stakna monasteries (breakfast,lunch,dinner)
Day 4: Drive to Jinchen; trek to Rumbak Sumdo (breakfast,lunch,dinner)
Day 5-9: Five days of wildlife spotting in Hemis National Park (breakfast,lunch,dinner)
Day 10: Return to Leh (breakfast,lunch,dinner)
Day 11: Full day at a monastic festival or visit Shey, Thikse and Stakna monasteries (breakfast,lunch,dinner)
Day 12: Fly to Delhi (breakfast)
Day 13: Free day in Delhi for individual sightseeing (breakfast)