Planning a Ladakh winter trip, February 2019

  • Gurkirat Singh on #84235

    Hi. Me and a few friends have decided to go to Ladakh in winters this time, after visiting in summers last year. We plan to go in the month of February, and I would like to know :-
    1. Weather conditions- what temperatures can be expected? Most of us have been to Ladakh before and could deal with the altitude sickness, how different will it be in winters?
    2. What places are accessible in the winters? Where are decent overnight stays possible, with running water, except for Leh?
    3. An extension of second question, what are some good hotels that remain open in winters in Leh? Budget is not a problem. We have a couple of girls with us, so will need running water, preferably hot.
    4. How much do the taxi guys charge in winters? Assuming a 5-7 day itinerary.
    5. How many buffer days should be kept in case of delays due to road blocks? Is it advisable to book return flights in advance?

    Thanks for your help

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    Vinod Raman on #85316

    Hi Gurkirat

    I understand you’ve been to Ladakh earlier, but I still suggest you do not ignore AMS. Please take precautions as though it is your first time, since AMS can strike anyone. In terms of weather, it would be very very cold, expect negatves in the night and single digits during day time.

    As to your other questions, roads inside Ladakh are kept open by the Army, so you can do the usual itinerary of Nubra valley, Pangong Tso, Tso moriri, Hanle etc. You will fund guest houses outside Leh, but nowhere you will have running water – in winters, the pipes would freeze with water inside it and burst. You would get hot water in buckets, but no running water. In Hunder Habib guest house would be there. In Tangtse, Hotel Chang la (rooms on first floor only with ladakhi style toilet), in Hanle of course Padma Sonam guest house, and the one in Chumathang also.

    Expect a discount of 40% over the taxi union rate in winters. You’ll need buffer days based on your itinerary, but if it is the regular Nubra, Pangong, Tso moriri, ONE buffer day should be enough. May be we can advise better if we know your itinerary.

    You can book your return flights in advance, most people do!

    Gurkirat Singh on #89684

    Thanks for your reply, Vinod sir!
    I feel it would not be safe to visit remote places in winter, so We are planning just a regular itinerary with Nubra, Pangong and Tso Moriri like you said. Although, I would like to visit hanle if possible. It would be really helpful if you can suggest a brief itinerary of a week or so, keeping in mind that we would prefer to spend the nights in Leh city, as far as possible.

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