thEscape announces it's fifth Photography and Art tour to the adventurous winter lands of Ladakh offering an exclusive itinerary with an intent to capture it's pristine winter beauty in collaboration with GloryTrip which has an experience of over 6 years serving clients with some great logistics for high altitude Himalayan trips and Nikon India Official as the equipment partner.
Ladakh 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 -45 to -50 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 harsh weather conditions to carry out Landscape Photography in those pristine lands.
Highlights of our Tour
Group size of not more than 11 participants and minimum 9 participants accompanied by two landscape photographers on first come first serve basis to ensure personal attention.
An extensive and exclusive 8N/9D well planned out trip to ensure we cover every possible place of Winter Ladakh 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 and Tanay Das who have an experience of photographing Himalayas and showcasing it's beauty in the most purest form. Both of them are 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-Leh with transfer of participants in TWO comfortable Tempo Travelers from Leh to different places and back. Leh is only connected with rest of India in the winter season with flights. Tempo Travelers will not have the heating facility because of the harsh climatic conditions and unavailability of fuel at remote places in winters.
The accommodation of the participants will be in comfortable hotels and home stays throughout the tour with heating facilities. Only non-heating would be at Tso Moriri where the participants will spend one or two nights with Hot Water Bags and Blankets.
We ensure State of the Art food facilities. We will make our participants eat both at the hotels and otherwise too as we will have our Kitchen staff (Make Shift Kitchen) accompanying us as a support operated with top notch professional chef serving breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner with both Veg and Non-Veg options throughout the tour.
All meals having both Veg and Non-Veg options i.e. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner. Non-veg options at Nubra, Pangong, Hanle and Tso Moriri would be subject to availability. Eggs will be served throughout the tour.
Mineral Water Bottle during transit of Day 1 and Day 2 to each Participant. Rest of the days, we provide warm heated water during transits and at home stays.
Refreshment Basket (chips, biscuit, chocolates, dry fruits) in each Tempo Traveler.
2 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 Union Territory of Ladakh at the time of the tour.
Detailed Itinerary Day Wise
5th March- Day -1 (Saturday) - Participants reach Leh by taking the morning flights from their respective locations. Participants who complete the Winter Kashmir tour with us take a flight from Delhi or Chandigarh and reach Leh. The two tempo travelers depart from Leh airport at 10:30AM and 12:30PM respectively. Participants are required to reach before that time. Transfer to a 3 Star Hotel for stay. On this day, we do the local sightseeing of Shanti Stupa Leh Palace and market. We give here an hour or so for participants to buy anything from Leh Market. Overnight in Hotel.
6th March - Day -2 (Sunday) - In order to acclimatize, we visit the Sangam at Nimmu and go to Chilling, the starting point of Chadar trek. Have some time moving around and then return to Leh Hotel. Overnight at Leh Hotel.
7th March - Day -3 (Monday) - On this day, the real adventure begins as we cross Khardungla Pass to reach Nubra Valley. the captures revolve around the sand dunes of Hunder. Overnight in Hunder hotel and some astro photography sessions.
8th March - Day -4 (Tuesday) - This day, we take the less explored route of Shyok and move towards Frozen Pangong Lake. The stay happens at Tangste as we have heating facility there, though we keep an option open here of staying at Pangong Lake if an accommodation is available there depending upon the weather in Feb end and March beginning of Ladakh. Sunset shoot happens at Pangong.
9th March - Day -5 (Wednesday) - On this day, we start early from Tangste and catch the first light at Pangong. After the sunrise shoot, we move towards Chusul and again take the less explored route through Tsaga-La to reach Hanle. Overnight and Astro Photography at Hanle.
10th March - Day -6 (Thursday) - On this day, after the sunrise shoot at Hanle, we move to Frozen Tso Moriri and do the sunset shoot there along with astro shots. Overnight at Tso Moriri.
11th March - Day -7 (Friday) - We go to Puga in the morning to capture the frozen Vapours of that region along with the nomadic life of Changpas. On that night we either stay at Tso Moriri or we come to Chumathang depending upon the sustainability of the participants because the cold conditions as we might not have heaters available at the stay at Tso Moriri. Overnight in either Tso Moriri or Chumathang Hot Water Spring Guest House.
12th March - Day -8 (Saturday) - This day we start from either Tso Moriri or Chumathang and come back to Leh and stay at Hotel.
13th March - Day -9 (Sunday) - After having breakfast at Hotel, the tempo travelers drop us at Leh airport at 8AM and 830AM respectively and we fly out to our respective destinations with beautiful memories of this adventurous winter Ladakh Tour.
Twin Sharing- Rs. 59,000 per person (Ex-Leh for participants only doing Winter Ladakh with us)
Twin Sharing- Rs. 56,000 per person (Ex-Leh for participant doing both Winter Kashmir & Ladakh with us)
Single Supplement - Not Available for this Tour
Additional Rs. 3000 ( For people who want their works to get published in the Bi-Annual edition of thEscape Book)
All accommodations at Leh on twin sharing basis in Leh Hotel in Day 1 and 2 and on Day 8.
All accommodations during the tour in entire of the valleys in comfortable home stays and hotels on twin sharing basis and at some points on Triple Sharing Basis (though not for all) especially at Hanle and Tso Moriri.
Airport Transfers to and fro Leh Airport.
All Inner Line Permits.
All transfers in Ladakh in Two comfortable Tempo Travellers.
All Breakfast, Lunch Evening Snacks and Dinner from Day 1 of Tour to Day 9. (Breakfast on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 9 is not included)
Lunch during transits.
Mineral Water Bottles in Leh during transit on Day 1 and Day 2(1 bottle to each each participant)
Heated water throughout the transit of the tour.
One complimentary Hot Water Bag to each participant.
Facility of Refreshment Basket in each tempo traveler replenished everyday having chips, biscuit, dry fruits and chocolates.
Facility of Cook with his helper and Make Shift Kitchen with all necessary raw materials.
First Aid kit.
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.
Travel to Leh and return travel from Leh to your location.
Flight Travel from Delhi or Chandigarh to Leh who would also do Winter Kashmir with us.
In transit meals during the travel from your location to Leh and Leh to your location.
Breakfast on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 9.
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.
1. What are the terms of Payment and Booking Procedure?
FOR PARTICIPANTS ONLY DOING WINTER LADAKH
Booking Amount - Rs. 23,000 for Twin Sharing at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 36,000 for Twin Sharing 14 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 20th February, 2022.
FOR PARTICIPANTS DOING BOTH WINTER KASHMIR & WINTER LADAKH
Booking Amount - Rs. 22,000 for Twin Sharing at the Time of Confirmation.
Final Payment - Rs. 34,000 for Twin Sharing 14 days before the Departure Day, i.e. by 20th February, 2022.
2. What is the Cancellation and Refund Policy?
If cancelled 30 days prior to Departure, ie. on or before 5th February, 2022- Full Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 30 days prior to departure date and 14 days prior to Departure, i.e. b/w 5th February, 2022 and 20th February, 2022 - 50% Refund of Advance Amount.
If cancelled between 14 days prior to departure and Departure Date, i.e. between 20th February, 2022 and 5th March, 2022 - 50% Refund of Full Amount of Trip (considering the final payment is paid by 20th February, 2022 )
For people not paying the final payment by 20th February, 2022 and cancel their participation between 20th February,2022 and 5th 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, Rs. 6500 will be non-refundable of the Advance Amount or Full Payment made by the participants. This is unlike our every tour where we promise to return all the money deposited with for any covid related issue. The reason we will deduct this money is because the home stays especially in the remote regions of Ladakh will specially make the arrangements for us for a comfortable winter stay in those -40 degrees. They won't be able to make a refund after I give them the token advance as they would be spending it before hand to operate for us during that time.
But thEscape will keep that Rs. 6500 to be used up for any further tour of ours by that participant or all the participants. In a way, il also not be making a loss as I would be using up that fund with GloryTrip in our future Ladakh Tour.
3. What are the precautions to be kept in mind as winters of Ladakh are extremely harsh and temperature dips to below to -20 to sometimes -30 degrees?
First of all, winters of Ladakh 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 -50 degrees, but the stays we will have will have the heating facility in place. If at all due to remoteness of the region and harsh conditions, we don't get a facility of heating due to electricity failure or any unforeseen circumstances, participants should use the hot water bags provided along with the hand and feet gels to keep oneself warm. Apart from that, one also 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 Ladakh 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 Ladakh.
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 9 people and maximum of 11 people. In case the minimum number doesn't enroll, we will not conduct the tour and return the advance deposited by the participants. Also for any number of participants above 9, we would be going ahead with the tour.
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 Leh or Delhi
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 Leh 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 are the Photography Partners and we see his work online?
Nilakkhya Dutta and Tanay Das are going to be the photography assist during this trip and will be working closely with the participants on the concept of Travel, Share and Learn. For the works,
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 trip 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 trip? 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 and GloryTrip 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 and drivers. 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 twin sharing will be allotted to opposite sex people.
14. Is there any Mobile connectivity in these valleys of Kashmir?
The service is going to be on and off in entire of these valleys. Internet services would also be there on and off throughout. Only Postpaid Jio and Airtel works in Ladakh along with BSNL.
15. How many people would be going along with the tour participants?
Nilakkhya and Tanay Das would be the photography partners. Ritu Patra Dutta to oversee the tour logistics along with the tour leader and support staff.
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. Since this tour doesn't have a 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 Leh on 5th March, 2022 by evening 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, w