Seven days in Little Tibet

A blow-by-blow account of a week spent in the restricted NarPhu valley searching for snow leopards and their calling cards.

Day 1

Start: Koto 2600m

Finish: Mehta 3560m

Net altitude gain: 960m

Journey time: 8 hours 45 minutes

Armed to the teeth with permits, we were let into the valley by the police without any problems.  Immediately a different world: no tourists, no road, hardly any litter.  The river gorge we followed was incredible – 1,000m/3,300ft rock walls towering over us on both sides, the sky a sliver of light far above.  Sore neck from continually gaping upwards.  Below the narrow path a sharp fall to certain death in the ferocious Naar khola (river).  Exhausting walk.  Out like a light. Continue reading

Water of life

Water is key to understanding snow leopard habitat and snow leopard conservation. Jonny explains.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Coleridge

Life in the Himalayas is defined by water. It’s everywhere, but like in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, there’s less of it to drink than you might think. That’s because the majority of the water is ice and snow. Indeed, there’s so much ice and snow here that the region has been dubbed ‘The Third Pole’. Across the snow leopard’s mountain kingdom – in the Himalayas and other Central Asian ranges – there are four main ways that water relates to the species.

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