Itinerary : Snow Leopards – Snow Mountains

We think of our itineraries as melodies: they have a beginning and an end, a certain arc, dramatic highlights and a few surprises. We like to improvise, to adapt to the mood of our guests or to circumstances that arise — an invitation to a traditional wedding, say, or a local ethnic festival…

Crafting beautiful, harmonious trips with delightful twists is our trade mark and passion.

A conservation challenge in India’s Kumaon Himalaya

Day 1
We meet in Delhi and take the night train (sleeper) to Kathgodam.
Day 2
A long drive through a beautiful landscape to the hill station of Munsiari. 2300 m.
Day 3
A free day to rest and acclimate to the altitude. 2300 m.
Day 4
After a 14 km jeep ride, we meet our porters for a warm up trek to our first campsite. 4 km, 1976 m.
Day 5
We ascend the locally named ‘stairway to heaven’ to a ridge at 2,796 m. Have cameras ready for breath-taking views of the river valley and griffons and lammergeyers flying way below us. From here we descend a forested slope towards the spectacular Gori River gorge. 17 km, 2450 m.
Day 6
A steady upwards trek through the gorge, above the steeply cascading Gori River, then onto a wide valley to our campsite. 15 km, 3388 m
Day 7
A day to rest or take acclimatization walks in the valley. 3388 m.
Day 8
A gradual ascent through splendidly coloured birch and sorbus forests, towards the high mountains of Nanda Devi and Nand Kot. We camp on a wide gentle alpine meadow. From here onwards, the sighting of Bharal sheep is common. They are the staple prey of the snow leopard – so keep a sharp lookout!  10 km, 4225 m.
Day 9
A short trek, keeping an eye out for signs of snow leopards. We arrive at one of the most beautiful shepherds’ camps in the area, with spectacular views of Nanda Devi East and Nanda Kot. This also serves as the base camp for climbing expeditions to these high mountains. 4 km, 4225 m.
Day 10
A relaxing day as we spend two nights at this spectacular camp. We have time to do a circuit trek or set camera traps, etc.
Day 11
A long but gentle descent to a village where we camp for the night.  14 km, 3360 m.
Day 12
A short trek, giving us time to take in the stunning landscape and interact with people in the village where we camp for the night. 7 km, 3600 m.
Day 13
A challenging trek, over a high pass, but with huge rewards: breath-taking views of a host of snow capped mountains including four over 7,000 meters high. 12 km, over a 4666 m pass. Camping at 3438 m.
Day 14
A day of changing landscapes: along grassy ridges, through thick oak and maple forests, and across two rivers by simple bridges to reach an impressive rock overhang, the traditional camp ground of shepherds and our stop for the night. 20km, 3000 m.
Day 15
We traverse the eastern slopes of a valley to a summer village and cross splendid alpine meadows. Oaks give way to fir trees and vegetation such as sorbus and cotoneaster as we make our descent to the last permanently inhabited village of this valley. 18 km, 3648 m.
Day 16
A relatively short trek to reach the road head, where we say farewell to our porters. A jeep takes us to our final homestay near Munsiari, for a celebration of amazing adventure and its crucial purpose! 8 km, 2300 m.
Day 17
Say farewell to Munsiari and drive to Kathgodam. (10 hrs)
Board the night train (sleeper) for Delhi.
Day 18
Arrive in Delhi early in the morning. End of trip.

Please note: this itinerary serves as an example of trip highlights and is subject to change.

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