Friday, January 9, 2015

snow leopard

On the trail of the snow leopard

Take the Times Passion Trail through Ladakh's stunning mountainscape in search of the elusive snow leopard and also get a fascinating peek into local culture
If you are fit, enjoy the outdoors and don't fear heights, here is the journey of a lifetime: the Ladakh Winter Trek.The latest Times Passion Trail will take 12 nature lovers through some breathtakingly beautiful mountain dessert terrain where there will be precarious climbs, steep falls, bone-chilling cold and heart-war ming sights. Leading the trip will be Ajeet Bajaj, an entrepreneur and adventurer. During harsh winter months, the snow leopards come down to the lower altitudes of Rumbak valley in the Hemis National Park.This is the time when their prey, the bharal, the Himalayan blue sheep, too moves down the mountains.
“My fascination for snow leopards began after seeing signs of their presence during a mountaineering expedition to the Garhwal Himalaya and later actually having the great fortune of a distant sighting of a mother and two cubs on a ridgeline from the base camp of the Stok Kangri peak in Ladakh,“ says Bajaj.
The chances of spotting this rare cat in its natural habitat are remote. But on this trail you may also chance on the blue sheep, Arg ali (the largest wild sheep in the world), red fox, golden eagle and Lammergeier ( a b e a rd e d vulture).
The participants will be camping at a picturesque spot called Husing and they will be taught by local naturalists how to look for the snow leopard.
Participants will also be taken on local excursions to Tarbung and Khardung valleys to study its habitat. A highlight of the Trail will be a home-stay in Rumbak village, an opportunity to study this unique culture.
A community for all Trekking Enthusiasts TOI is also offering a platform for interested trekkers to share their thoughts and express their love for their passion. The community is on Facebook: Times Passion Tribes ­ Trekking. All updates on the trail will also be covered on this platform along with various engagement activities planned for the readers.

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