We travelled to Hemis National Park on 19th March and the Snow Leopard
'hunt' began. The trip, as my previous 2, has been organized by Exotic
Travel tourist agency (http://www.exoticladakh.com/
This year was poor in sightings, previous encounters were on 25th Feb
and 9th March. Several groups left with no success. This was not so
promising for us.
Our camp from the viewpont where we were scanning for Leopards every morning and evening.
Optik is supporting Snow Leopard conservation in the area for many
years. They've sent a pair of binoculars with me this year too. Our
spotters, Smanla and Dorjay were happy for the surprise!
The eldest man from Rumbak village. He's 77 years old, and he greated me as a returning visitor from 2011.
6th day, in Tarboung-valley. Hopelessness started to creep into out team.
Another hopeless team left this message in the valley: '8 days no leopards'.
Bharal skull. Killed by a Snow Leopard long time ago.
Bharal or Blue Sheep, the main Snow Leopard target.
our 5th day, on 23rd March, local villagers found fresh Snow Leopard
tracks in the Rumbak-valley. One single animal passed some 4-500 meters
from our camp during the night. We've followed the tracks for long, but
the cat seemed to be long way away by daytime, so we gave up.
Fresh Snow Leopard scraping. They use this for marking their territory.
rock-scent markings (the dark patches on the rock). The Snow Leopards
use this for marking their territories. They also scratch their bodies
to these rocks. You can see some hairs on the upper right side of this