We Start On
The frozen Himalayas have eluded many travelers in Ladakh in winter. This cultural, wildlife and nature travel experience allows the new-age backpackers to do exactly that - explore this region, and that too in a season that is all about snow and ice! We will drive, ride & hike through white landscapes, live with nomads and other locals, soak in some stories on the way and have some of our own to tell. The perfect way to enjoy the chill this season, away from city hustle.
Hailing from Ladakh and spending his crucial formative years traversing the tough terrain, has imbibed in Stanzin an accurate understanding of life and landscape in the region. With extensive study & practice in social reforms and community development, he returned to his roots to contribute his learnings through local schools, organisations and his own ventures. A photographer and hotelier by profession, he has been constantly stimulated by experiencing and providing travel escapades for the last decade.
Everyone's done Ladakh in the middle of the year. But winter brings out the real rawness of this region. The temperature dips to well below freezing and life begins to turn icy and white. Its a time when Nature takes over, with short sunny days of walks and long winter nights for stargazing and snuggling around the fire hearth! The touristy markets are shut so we can see true local life through the eateries, activities and general trade that is open.
We will be staying in a lovely hostel run by Stanzin that's well-known in the backpacking community, plus local villagers' homes in the nomadic settlement. We may even set up camp in the snow for a night or two! Perfect way to immerse ourselves in the terrain and its character.
Flickr.com / Silver Blu3
Flickr.com / Laura Blankenship
Ladakh has an indigenous community with organic agricultural practices. We will explore life in the slow season in Leh, tribal settlements and villages, follow a farm day, walk through water channels and enjoy lively farm evenings! Basically, do what the locals do.
We drive to and stay near Tsomoriri, frozen at this time, and where Yaks cross it going from one settlement to the other.
We'll be spending time with the Changpa tribe when we go to Korzok- hearing their stories and understanding their community. They spend their entire lives in one of the most inhospitable, un-agricultural parts of the world and getting a glimpse into their daily lives will be fascinating.
Flickr.com / Nevil Zaveri
Walking on the Zanskar is one of the most amazing and tough hikes in India. While the full trek is a bit long, we will be doing a part of this amazing experience to check the legendary icy-river-walk off our bucket-list!
This region is home to many natural and man-made sights & experiences including the Confluence en-route, and we will be exploring them- even camping there one night!
One cannot go to Ladakh and not come close to the religious-spritual energy of the place. We will be channeling our own spiritual side by visiting some monasteries, offering prayers and maybe even meditating.
Kiran Jonnalagadda / Flickr
Since we're travelling in the off-market snowy winter, we'll be eating some delicious local food, and also take our kitchen along when we travel outside of Leh. We'll have some meals with our hosts in the nomadic regions and carry cooking supplies / ingredients and make food to share together. What better way to bond than to have a common meal in a hostel or at a village hearth!
The prices quoted are for online payment, payment by bank transfer, or cheque. You can pay the trip deposit to block your spot. In order to confirm your spot, you must make full payment before the due date notified. If full payment is not received your booking may be cancelled and your trip deposit retained by us as cancellation fee.
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If it becomes necessary to cancel your booking, you must notify White Collar Hippie immediately by mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellation will take effect only after we receive the email from you. Following is the cancellation policy:
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Please note that the above quoted amounts may change without notice. If the tour/itinerary price is quoted as a package, no partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. White Collar Hippie reserves the right to cancel any trip or booking in which case participants will be given a refund in full. However, you will not be entitled to make any further claim for any injury, loss, expenses or damage (either direct or consequential) or for any loss of time or inconvenience which may result from such cancellation (including but not limited to any travel reservation, visa, passport and vaccination charges, or departure, gear purchases, airport and airline taxes). We strongly recommend that you book refundable tickets. We also recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.
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The best thing about WCH is that these guys are totally customer centric, right from booking accommodations to setting an itinerary! The itinerary itself doesn't feel like you're on some tour with a rigid schedule. It is pretty free flowing, but extremely well thought out at the same time. I recently went for their Windrush Rising trip in place of my cancelled Eurotrip and I genuinely believe it was one of the best decisions I made.
Trekking with WHC has been one of the most beautiful experience & with perfect team cordination & arrangments provided even at the top of the mountain Wouldn"t expected more, the vibe was just right with like minded people waiting for sunrise. Would highly reccomend everybody to go with WHC (you guys rock!!) thanks for being patient. Thanks Kunal for helping me till the end & Kuntal for sharing your experiences. & would love to trek again in any furture treks.