Retreating Winter Spiti Landscape Photography Tour

Updated: Feb 11


thEscape announces yet another Photography and Art tour to the adventurous winter lands of Kinnaur and Spiti offering an exclusive itinerary with an intent to capture it's pristine winter beauty in collaboration with Nikon India Official as the equipment partner.



Spiti is always considered as an adventurous destination be it any time of the year. But winters of this region adds up to the spice as the temperature dips to as low as -20 to -30 degrees in winters. Characterized by frozen lakes, frozen streams, frozen river beds, this entire region freezes during winters and if one thinks of carrying out a landscape photography tour to this region, then that person is bound to get some real great content. With that intent, thEscape has designed a special itinerary with the required logistics to move around in the the retreating winters to carry out Landscape Photography in those pristine lands.




Highlights of our Tour


  • Group size of not more than 10 participants and minimum 8 participants accompanied by one landscape photographer and one liaison person on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.

  • An extensive and exclusive 7N/8D well planned out trip to ensure we cover every possible place of Winter Spiti and not leave out the vantage points conducive for carrying out Landscape Photography.

  • Working on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn on Landscape Photography with Nilakkhya Dutta who has an experience of photographing Himalayas and showcasing it's beauty in the most purest form. Nilakkhya is a published photographers across different platforms and magazines around the globe.

  • Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.

  • We will also publish a book in collaboration with our publishing partner of the works of our participants during the trip be it photographs, a write up or a painting. This anthology will have introduction of the participants and the showcase of their work at an added cost. This book comes out as an Bi-annual edition of thEscape. Participants who pay for being published are given 3 copies of the book.

  • Through our NGO partner, we will be selling copies of the book on Amazon and the sale proceeds of it will go as a donation to the remote backward areas of Himalayas in the form of books, clothes and essential products.

  • thEscape will provide 6 hours of Post Processing Online One on One session to each participant and help him/her with the post processing of the photographs taken during the trip after coming back to the ones who would need the hand holding.

  • We give the trip ex-Chandigarh with transfer of participants in one comfortable Tempo Traveler from Chandigarh to different places and back. Chandigarh is well connected with rest of India with flights, trains and by road.

  • The accommodation of the participants will be in comfortable hotels and home stays throughout the tour. Heating Facility where ever available will be offered at an extra cost if needed by the participants. ( Though Home Stays in Spiti have traditional internal heating systems which keeps their houses warm)

  • Food facility would be given at MAP basis ie. Breakfast and Dinner on all days in the hotels and home stays where we would be staying throughout the tour at different locations.

  • Meals will have both Veg and Non-Veg options i.e. Breakfast and Dinner. Though Non-veg options at remote locations would be subject to availability. Eggs will be served throughout the tour.

  • Mineral Water Bottle will be provided throughout the tour, ie. 2 Bottles per person.

  • Refreshment Basket (chips, biscuit, chocolates, dry fruits) in the Tempo Traveler.

  • Oxygen Cylinders and First Aid Kit.

  • Above all, we will ensure Covid Protocols by each participant and the staff giving a Negative RTPCR report 72-96 hours before the trip depending upon the protocol of the state of Himachal Pradesh at the time of the tour.



Detailed Itinerary Day Wise


  • 26th March- Day -1 (Saturday) - Participants reach Chandigarh by taking the morning flights from their respective locations and reach Chandigarh. The tempo traveler departs from Chandiagrh by 12 Noon maximum . Participants are required to reach before that time. Transfer to Rampur(1020m) (235 kms). Overnight in Hotel.

  • 27th March - Day -2 (Sunday) - On this day, the real fun begins as we enter Kinnaur and drive till Rakchham(2900m) (110 kms). We carry out our photography by the riverside during the golden hour, blue hour and then pursue Astro photography. Overnight in Hotel/Home Stay.

  • 28th March - Day -3 (Monday) - On this day, after the sunrise shoot, we further drive to the higher reaches of Kinnaur to reach Nako(3660M) (140kms). Here we will find the Nako lake frozen or semi frozen. We carry out photography activities during sunset and create Astro captures by the lake side. Overnight in Hotel/Home Stay.

  • 29th March - Day -4 (Tuesday) - This day, after sunrise, we drive to Pin Valley(130 kms) and set our base at Mud Village(3800M). Here the photography happens towards the wide open spaces towards the Pin Bhabha and Pin Parvati Pass both for sunset and Astro. Overnight in Home Stay.

  • 30th March - Day -5 (Wednesday) - On this day, after sunrise shoot, we move to Langza(4400M) village via Hikkim and Komic villages considered as some of the highest motorable villages of the world for around 75 kms. Here we capture the pristine beauty of Buddha statue during sunset and create the Astro images around the same. Overnight in Home Stay.

  • 31st March - Day -6 (Thursday) - On this day, after the sunrise shoot, we follow the route and visit Key Monastery, Tashigang, Kibber, Chiccham, try to visit Losar if possible and rest our day at Kibber village(4270M) for around 40-50 kms. We create the famous photographs of retreating winters here of the monasteries and villages on our visit. Overnight at Hotel/Home Stay.

  • 1st April - Day -7 (Friday) - After sunrise, we take a long route back today to Kalpa(2900M) and drive around 250kms. Enroute we visit the famous Tabo Monastery and pay a visit to Dhankar Monastery too. Overnight in Kalpa Hotel.

  • 2nd April - Day -8 (Saturday) - After early morning sunrise shoot over Kinner Kailash, we drive back to Chandigarh(330Kms) by evening and end our tour with some great captures and happy memories.

  • 3rd April - Day -9 (Sunday) - This day we keep as a buffer for any road closures and if we get stuck anywhere due to snow.




Package Cost


Rs. 38,500 per person (Ex-Chandigarh for Twin Sharing)

Single Supplement - Cost on Request

Additional Rs. 3000 ( For people who want their works to get published in the Bi-Annual edition of thEscape Book)


Inclusions

  • All accommodations in Home Stays and Hotels on twin sharing basis.

  • All Transfers from Chandigarh to all places and back in a Tempo Traveler.

  • All Permits.

  • All Breakfast and Dinner from Day 1 of Tour to Day 8. (Breakfast on Day 1 and Dinner on Day 8 is not included)

  • Facility of Refreshment Basket in tempo traveler replenished everyday having chips, biscuit, dry fruits and chocolates.

  • Two Bottles of Mineral Water every day to each Participant.

  • First Aid kit.

  • Oxygen Supplement

  • Photography Assistance for day time Landscapes and Night Astro scape on all days with image critique.

  • Experiencing Nikon high end Z series cameras and lenses.

  • Making participants understand the settings of the camera for capturing the scape.

  • Online 6 hours of one on one session to each participant after coming back.

  • 3 copies of published anthology book to each participant who opt for the book.

Exclusions

  • Travel to Chandigarh and return travel from Chandigarh to your location.

  • Any accommodation facility in Chandigarh.

  • In transit meals during the travel from your location to Chandigarh and Chandigarh to your location

  • Breakfast on Day 1 and Dinner on Day 8.

  • Lunch on all Days

  • Charges of Heating Facility at Hotels/Home Stays if available.

  • Any cost arising out if we have to extend a day of the tour as per actuals of transportation and food.

  • Expenses of personal nature including tips, laundry or similar.

  • Expenses of extra food or beverages both soft and hard ordered though we try to avoid hard drinks at high altitudes and not recommend it to our participants.

  • Any cost arising out for Medical emergency of any participant.

  • Any cost arising out if there is an increase in the number of days due to unforeseen civil unrest, weather disruption or anything beyond our control.


FAQ's


1. What are the terms of Payment and Booking Procedure?


Booking Amount - Rs. 16,000 at the Time of Confirmation.

Final Payment - Rs. 22,500 15 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 11th March, 2022.


2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?

  • If cancelled 30 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 26th February, 2022- 50% Refund of Advance Amount.

  • If cancelled between 30 days prior to departure date and 15 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 26th February, 2022 and 11th March, 2022 - No Refund of Advance Amount.

  • If cancelled between 15 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 11th March, 2022 and 26th March, 2022 - No Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 11th March, 2022 )

  • For people not paying the final payment by 11th March, 2022 and cancel their participation between 11th March,2022 and 26th March, 2022- No Refund of Advance Amount.


Any cancellation of Trip from the organizer side due to surge in Covid cases (3rd Wave) or a Lockdown imposed or any participant testing positive in RTPCR with due diligence, FULL REFUND WILL BE GIVEN of the Advance Amount or Full Payment made by the participants. Nothing will be held upon on our side. Though participants may wish to keep that amount with us as an deposit for the next trip planned by thEscape.


3. What are the precautions to be kept in mind as winters of Spiti are harsh and temperature dips to below to -20 to sometimes -30 degrees?


First of all, winters of Spiti especially to pursue Landscape Photography are for participants who are mentally and physically strong. On the temperature part, yes it may dip to as low as -20 degrees, but some precautions help to keep oneself safe and running. Like one has to make sure that they are properly dressed with appropriate layering of woolens and thermals along with down jackets with gloves and woolen socks always on to avoid any kind of mis-happening. Keeping oneself hydrated at all times would be another need of the hour. Though we will have the facility of supplement oxygen and first aids, but still one has to keep himself/herself fit and warm enough to carry out the photography activities. Moreover Winters of Spiti is uncertain because of both weather and other reasons, so there might be a case that we change the itinerary or skip a place keeping in mind the well being of the participants and their physical and mental health. The decision of the tour leader would be final here and the team has to adhere to the decision whatever made. No Refund would be made in that case. Rest we will undertake this tour with a strong mind and a passionate heart and I'm sure the team will come out with flying colors and some great content of Landscape Photography of Winter Spiti.


4. What is the minimum and maximum number of participants and what does happen if the minimum participants don't enroll for the tour?


The minimum participation we are looking at is of 8 people . In case the minimum number doesn't enroll, we will try to conduct the tour but with some increased cost per participant.


5. If due to an emergency, the participant wishes to leave the trip in between, is the fee refunded and arrangements made for his/her return to Chandigarh?


In case due to any unforeseen circumstance, a participant wishes to leave in between the trip, No Refund would be made. Moreover the cost of arranging the transport for going back to Chandigarh and to their respective destination has to be borne by him/her.


6. What Photography Equipment are expected by the participants to carry?


The trip is characterized as a Landscape Photography tour but at the same time invites are also for people who wish to create some art in the mountains in the form of paintings or creative writing which can be published in the anthology. Hence for photographers, minimum expectation is of a camera, preferably a wide angle lens, a tripod for slow shutters and night photography, filters though optional. Since it is a trip to some remote lands with a chance of electricity being off unexpectedly, we also expect that the photographers get their extra battery sets in case they run out of charge. An extension board for putting in extra chargers would also be handy if participants carry it. For keeping the batteries not running out of charge due to the cold bitter weather, participants can keep them attached to the bare body inside their clothes. For painters and writers, the expectation is that they bring their creative kits with them in the form of copies, pens, painting sheets or canvas, colors etc.


7. Who is the Photography Partner and we see his work online?


Nilakkhya Dutta is going to be the photography assist during this tour and will be working closely with the participants on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn. For the works,


Nilakkhya Dutta


https://www.thescape.biz/founder-gallery-thescape

www.instagram.com/thescape_nilakkhya


8. Can a participant bring a Non- Photographer Friend or Companion or a Non-Photographer or a Non-Artist Join?


We here invite two sets of people, one who are keen on Landscape Photography and second who are painters or writers as we publish an anthology for them. Apart from these two, if someone wants to join in the tour is welcome because we do a lot of sight seeing too in this tour but subject to the following conditions-

  • No reduction in Fee Cost

  • If they don't create any form of Art, then their name doesn't go in the anthology we create.

  • Photography and Art tours are slow moving as we will stop at a lot of places and spending time on creating the Art Form and the Non- Art participant is thereby expected to respect the time of the Artists and move as per their pace.

9. What is the fitness level required for this trek? Does it involve Trekking or Long Walks?


Any person visiting the Himalayas is expected to have a minimum level of fitness for carrying out day to day activities during the tour. Now since this tour would be in winters and at most of the places above 3000 meters, participants are expected to be fit both mentally and physically for this tour. Though our trip is a driving tour majorly and not involving full day hikes or treks, the participant may still have to walk some distance in order to reach a point from the car parking or visiting a sight seeing point. Apart from that minimum level of fitness, it is also expected that any medication to be also taken care by him/her during the course of the trip and carry them in adequate quantities to avoid any kind of mishaps. Rest for a while if facing any issues and move forward at a pace best suited for his/her body. Participants hence are expected to bring in their medical and first aid kits. It's the participant's responsibility to notify the staff of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability that may affect his/her ability to travel on this trip.


10. What is the Age Group of travel and Can the Participants bring their kids?


Since the entire region falls under the altitude of over 3000 meters , it is advisable not to bring in kids and if brought then taking his/her entire responsibility. Further, it's an Art trip with Photography being the primary motive, it's advisable to bring in kids only when they are able to comprehend the pace of the trip and respect the precision of the artists at work. Any child below 15 years of age will not be allowed for the tour due to it's high altitude nature and harsh climatic conditions.

11. Will the organizers use the photos taken by the participants or of the participants for Promotional Purpose?


Yes, with signing of the trip, the participant will also grant thEscape the right to use some of their images taken by the participant and of the participant and art created with due credits to the artists on their Website and Social Media handles. By joining the trip, the participant will also grant the permission for creating an anthology and publishing it in the form of a book by Raindrops Publishers and selling it online in order to proceed the sale grants to the backward Himalayan region.


12. Does the organizer hold the right to cancel the participation of any member during the course of the trip and under what circumstances?


Any misbehavior or misconduct by any participant during the course of the trip like causing distress and annoyance to co-travelers, any kind of damage to property of any supplier or travel companions, any kind of sexual harassment or misconduct, the participant will be terminated from the trip without any kind of refund of the fee amount and also has to bear the cost of him/her going back home. The decision of the Group Leader will be binding here keeping the respect of the group and artists intact. At the same time, we at thEscape expect the participants to be polite to the hotel staff, drivers and trek support staff. Any kind of foul language used with them and calling out to them in a disrespectful manner will invite a warning from the group leader and repeatedly doing so will invite a termination from the tour. We also have zero tolerance towards any kind of misbehavior after consuming alcoholic drinks. Though we discourage its consumption during high altitude tours, but participants consuming it for keeping themselves warm or similar should keep in mind to be in discipline with the co-participants.


13. What if any odd numbers come out of the Male Female Ratio while assigning twin sharing to participants ?


In that case, the best possible solution will be given by the organizer and under no circumstance, a triple sharing will be allotted to opposite sex people.


14. Is there any Mobile connectivity in these valleys of Spiti?


The service is going to be on and off in entire of these valleys. Internet services would also be there on and off throughout. Airtel, Jio and BSNL work well in some parts.


15. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?


Nilakkhya would be the photography partner plus one liaison person to oversee the tour logistics.


16. Use of Psychotropic Substances Alcohol and Smoking during the Tour


Use of psychotropic substances(drugs) is strictly prohibited during the tour. Any one caught possessing or consuming it will be terminated from the tour immediately. Smoking and consumption of alcohol will be allowed till the point it doesn't create any disturbance to co-participants. People not opting for Single Supplement provision, it is advised to all the participants to consume it taking his/her room mate into confidence.


17. Are there any other Terms and Conditions which needs to be kept in mind?


  • It is a fundamental condition that the participants acknowledge that this is a high altitude tour. This requires some flexibility. The day-to-day itinerary is taken as a guideline only. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, we shall be responsible for providing suitable alternatives, which could be decided upon mutual agreement. Any extra cost arising for the same will have to be borne by the participants.

  • If the participant doesn't show up at Chandigarh on 26th March, 2022 by 1PM max, we will assume the participant has been delayed and has cancelled the tour and will be considered as "No Show". There is no refund of any money paid in that case.

  • We reserve the right to revise pricing rate posted on our website, under any circumstances, or on the pressure of various external factors that are further than our control. But, we put forth effort to keep on the present rate. In case of minor increase in price of hotels or other related factors, we don’t revise the cost of the trip, which was already confirmed & booked by deposit.

  • We highly recommend our participants to have a medical insurance and an insurance against any unforeseen event before attending this trip or any trip for that matter.

  • The tour date is fixed for the itinerary and the plan we have made. No alterations would be possible in this with regard to the participant's need. The itinerary has been made keeping in mind the best time in winters to visit Spiti keeping in mind the need of Landscape Photography.

  • This tour will pass through some points which are checked by officials of Spiti. Participants will have to keep in mind to not take photos where is it not allowed. At the same time, the participants have to show their Govt. Issued Ids at all the checkpoints and have to deposit with the authorities too where ever required.

  • Participants are requested to keep their documents handy during the trip for any kind of checking by the authorities and administration. We’re not accountable in case of any non-compliance if the authorities ask for your document and you fail to provide it. Before commencing the trip, the participants also need to deposit the indemnity bond duly signed by them and show their Aadhar Cards to the organizer.

  • You understand that during the course of the trip certain events may occur, including, but not limited to, accident or illness in remote places without medical facilities, political instability and the forces of nature. You agree to assume all risks associated with the journey to the maximum extent permitted by Indian law.


For Booking and queries, write to us "thescapebiz@gmail.com" or call on +91 9717960028 and speak to Nilakkhya and discuss on the same.


For Transfer of Advance Amount of Booking and for the Final Payments, we will share with you the Bank Account Details along with the contract and acknowledgement of the trip. Lets get it rolling and make it one of the most memorable trip of our lifetime with loads of images and artwork. Looking forward to hear from you soon.


Disclaimer- All photographs used here in the post are from the locals of Spiti and does not showcase the genre of Landscape Photography we would be undertaking during the tour. Photographs are put up here to showcase the actual scenery of the place. thEscape's Landscape Photography team will be visiting this place for the first time for the content creation along with the participants.


Anyone making the payment for booking will be considered as an acceptor of the above policies and will fall under the above Terms and Conditions.

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