I have been eagerly waiting for this trip for close to six months now. Planning began in late May, ticket bookings took place in July and gear purchases were made from Aug through December. Joining me on this trip are three other close friends and fellow travellers. All four of us leave for Delhi today and are headed into Leh tomorrow early morning. The next 2 weeks will be spent exploring the Ladakh region.
We do have an itinerary in mind, which involves 2 days of acclimatization at Leh, a 5 day trek in the Zanskar range and 5 days of exploring the scenic locations around Leh, namely, Pangong Tso Lake, Hemis High Altitude National Park, the Changthang belt (Tso Moriri Lake, Tso Kar Lake), Nubra Valley, Khardungla, Lamayuru and the city of Leh.
I am sure that we will not be able to visit all of these places, but we will pick n choose depending on weather and road conditions. Weather plays an instrumental role in Ladakh especially during winters as temperatures drop to as low as minus 40 degree Celsius in some places. Wind Chill is also quite severe here especially in the night and early mornings and this can lower the ‘Real Feel’ temperatures even further down. Ice sheets cover most of the terrain and most of the lakes, rivers and other water bodies freeze.
To tackle this tough weather, we have with us the following gear: ‘800 down’ sleeping bags, ‘800 down’ jackets, thermal wear, backpacking boots, moisture wicking alpine socks, woollen socks, fleece balaclavas, alpine skull caps, woollen mittens, gaiters and others. And we plan to take crampons, ice axes and ropes as need be on hire from Leh. But, I am sure that we will face the ladakhi icy chill in spite of all this. And that is part of the adventure we are going for.
On most of my previous travel trips, my followers and readers have complained that I don’t post updates while I am travelling. Hence, this time around, I will consciously attempt to post pictures and updates on my facebook profile page while I am exploring. Hopefully, I will have get some cell phone connectivity and my phone battery lasts a while in those low temperatures.
I am hoping this will be a great trip. My adrenalin levels have already risen, my heart is pumping wildly and my pulse is racing. I am really excited. Let’s see how it goes…