Women Leaders Expedition

Bring solar energy to the remote village of Gongma

today 11 May 2019 to 19 May 2019

access_time 9 Days

Grade : 2

? Grade 1 : Easy
Grade 2 : Moderate
Grade 3 : Challenging
Grade 4 : Hard

place Ladakh, India

Available Slots : 5/18

Expedition Costing :

The Expedition cost will include

1. Cost of Solar Panels and Batteries 

2. Participation Logistic Fee

The exact cost will be shared upon selection only. 

Brief :

This May, Women Leaders from diverse backgrounds will come together for the Second Edition of the Women Leaders Expedition to electrify the remote village of Gongma. A perfect mix of Impact, Cultural Immersion and Spirituality, the expedition will take you to the magnificent Nubra valley of Ladakh.

Soak in the breathtaking views as you travel on the World’s Highest Motorable road to reach the remote village of Gongma.  The village is home to more than 24 households and 300 locals and is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Himalayas on all sides and a view of the glacier which provides water to the village.  Experience the warm hospitality of the community as you setup Solar energy and leave behind a legacy of your visit.

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Trip Highlights :

  • A lifetime experience with 15 Global Women Leaders 
  • Electrify a remote Himalayan village in the Nubra valley of Ladakh
  • Experience centuries old culture and heritage 
  • A short trek through the beautiful Himalayan mountains 
  • Experience a special prayer session at an Old Buddisht Monastery 
  • Crossing the worlds highest motorable road at 18000+ feet

Overall Expedition Journey :

  • 2 Day Vehicular Journey to reach the village
  • Total Car Distance One Way – 150 Kms
  • 1 Hour of trekking into a beautiful valley
  • 2 Nights of Homestays in Villages
  • Average Altitude of Journey – 13200 ft 
  • Highest Mountain Pass During journey- 18300 Ft

Route Map :

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Itinerary Details :

  1. Day 1 Arrive in Leh, Acclimatize
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    You will fly into Leh from New Delhi. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Himalayas and the Karakoram, Leh lies at an altitude of 12000 ft. You will be received at the airport by the GHE team leaders and welcomed with the traditional Ladakhi silk scarf “Khatak”. You will then be transferred to your hotel where you will be stationed for the next two days. The remainder of the arrival day is for you to relax or explore the local market and the Leh city. 

  2. Day 2 Acclimatize and Cultural Immersion
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    Today begins with a visit to the Leh City and a learning experience on the background of the ancient heritage. We will take a tour of the Old City and visit a Monastery, where we shall get in touch with the ancient religion of Buddhism and its ideologies

  3. Day 3 Mountain Biking (Optional) and Leh to Hunder (Minibus)
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    Biking on the dirt trails of Ladakh, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and powered by the will to keep paddling forward, you will indulge in an experience which cannot be matched in any way. It will be perfect opportunity to unwind your body and soak in the terrain at a leisure pace. Biking Distance – 30 Kms 
    We will then get into vehicles and move towards the settlement of Hunder where we will be staying for the night. Enroute we will be crossing the World’s Highest Motorable road at Khardungla Pass. 

  4. Day 4 Hunder to Gongma
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    From Hunder, we will move onwards and leave behind the tar roads to travel on dirt road for a couple of hours before finally reaching the end of the motorable road. The going will be slow, but the conditions of the road will be overcome by the beautiful sights of snow capped mountains and glacier river streams. Once we reach the end of the road, its a short trek to the village that will finally bring us to our destination, the village of LargyabG. The villagers will be greeting us in the traditional ceremony with Chang and Khataks, an experience to be soaked in. Once you settle down in the village, we will form teams and begin our survey work of electrification.

  5. Day 5 Gongma Village Electrification
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    You will be working as small teams and begin the work of electrification of the village. The day is going to be long, but you will be supported by GHE Engineers and the villagers. Be prepared for an overwhelming experience, as you enter the rooms of the villagers and discuss with them on where they want the light bulbs to be put up. You Carry the solar panels to the roof top and set the panels while understanding the practicalities of where the sun rises and sets in different seasons. 

  6. Day 6 Gongma Electrified
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    Today is going to be a very special day. Our team will bring light to this centuries old remotest village, ending eons of darkness that it was immersed in for ages. After breakfast, the Team shall get started to set up the solar panels and do the final touches. The installed grid will then be inaugurated by the villagers in the evening  which we shall have a celebratory dinner with the villagers, and not to forget, the tasting of the famous local Chang! 

  7. Day 7 Gongma to Leh
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    After celebrating with the villagers, it is time to pack our bags and begin our trek back down the valley, moving towards our parked buses. Once we get into the bus, we will begin our long journey back to Leh and enjoy the beautiful vastness of the Nubra valley. We shall again cross the mighty Khardungla Pass and will reach Leh by late evening. 

  8. Day 8 Leh: Experience Sharing and Shopping
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    Today is going to be a day of reflection. We will take a trip down the memory lane and visit the Kargil war Memorial in Drass to pay tribute to the brave Indian Army Soldiers. Post that, the team will have time to go to the market and buy souveniors for their loved ones. In the evening, our team will reflect back on the journey and share their experiences sitting around a bonfire. 

  9. Day 9 Departures
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     “The mighty mountains beckoned and we answered the call“
    It’s time to say our farewell all around and make our way back to the airport with the GHE Team Leaders who will assure your safe departure! 

Inclusions :

  • Airport Transfers in Leh
  • All breakfast, lunch and dinner all days
  • All accommodations including hotels, homestays and camping on shared basis
  • All local transportation including coaches and taxis
  • All meals as per itinerary (excluding drinks)
  • Boiled clean drinking water in Village 
  • Mountain Bikes included

Exclusions :

  • Flight tickets to and fro Leh
  • Visa Fees 
  • Travel Insurance 
Expedition Essentials :

Important Notes:
•    There are a couple of days of long travel in the Bus on mountain roads. However the jaw-dropping scenery should take away the fatigue of bus travel 
•    Since we will be at an average altitude of 13000 feet or 3500m, it will help if you are at good fitness level overall. Also smoking and drinking is prohibited on the expedition. 
•    The weather can be very unpredictable in the mountains. Kindly refer to the instructions in the Expedition essentials document you will find on this page.
•    The homestay in the village will have very basic facilities, you will being staying with the local community and experience life from their point of view.  

Physical Rating: 2 (Moderate)
We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

Arrival and Departure Details
The expedition shall begin from the city of Leh in India, and will also end in the city of Leh. 
The Expedition begins on 11th May and ends on 19th May. This implies that you are to arrive in Leh on 11th May and can depart from Leh on 19th May.
Please note that due to the high altitude, we Include the days of acclimatization in the overall expedition itinerary. You don’t need to come early for acclimatization. 
In case you would like to extend your trip beyond the expedition dates, please feel free to do so at your own discretion and cost. 

Kindly note that even though we have conducted many successful expeditions, we need to be mindful of the conditions we are in and there may be a chance that we have to change the itinerary or the village we electrify due to inclement weather or local conditions. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. You can be rest assured that we will take full care of the impact experience that you get despite the modification in plans.  

Health and Safety:
We trust that when you join us for the trip, you are in an overall good physical condition and not suffering from any medical conditions. Due to the remoteness of the areas, there are very limited or no medical hospitals at times

Please make sure that you have read through the itinerary carefully and assessed your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, GHE reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should also consult your doctor for any health risk associated with altitude, including asthma, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more. 
We recommend that you carry your personal first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. We do have a certified medic on each expedition but they can administer only medicines for general ailments such as diarrhoea, motion sickness or basic high altitude symptoms. 

Food and dietary requirements
On our expeditions, we ensure that the food that you get in the hotels or during the camping or inside the village is unique but at the same time, simple and basic as possible for everyone to eat while also taking care of your gastronomic appetite. Enjoy the local food in the villages but in case you don’t find the appetite for it, we will be having something for you in our menu as well. In case you have any dietary requirements, please inform us beforehand so that we can carry appropriate food for you on the expedition.

Money during the Expedition
Since the trip is already paid for in advance, you can carry some cash to buy souvenirs or to buy some local food. While some areas do have card machines where you can swipe your debit or credit card, in some areas only local currency in cash works. 

Tipping is a basic expectation of all the expedition staff and the hotels that we engage during the expedition. However, we do not encourage tipping directly. We collect the entire tip amount from all our participants and then distribute it fairly in front of the travellers to the expedition staff and any other people from whom we have taken any services during the course of the expedition. We recommend a minimum amount of at least INR2000 per participant for the purpose of tipping. 

Also please note that we try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to at least $300 or equivalent with you in case of any emergencies. 

Phone and internet access
In majority of the cases, we will be travelling to remote communities where there will be no access to any cellular or internet connectivity. Once you land in Leh, we will inform you on the exact number of days that we will be in zero connectivity and you can inform the same to your family and friends so that they don’t have a reason to worry. Our

Expedition Leaders will be able to inform our office staff about your whereabouts on a daily basis and our staff will be sending a collective email to your loved ones updating them about the status of the team.

The most memorable part of our expeditions according to the travellers is being disconnected from the rest of the world and building true meaningful relations with the communities and with the fellow travellers.

Expedition Leader
GHE Impact Expeditions are led by some of the most dedicated and passionate individuals who are committed to the cause of leveraging tourism as a force for good while making the trip as smooth as possible for you. 

The Expedition Leader will provide you information on the places you will be travelling to while also offering their insights into the local communities. We request you to follow the Expedition Leaders instructions as they are trained into conducting expeditions and working with the local communities to maximize the impact

Some Rules:
The expeditions get together a diverse set of people from all over the world who come together with the common mission of electrifying the remote communities. Please be mindful of the diversity of the group and do not engage in any bias or groupism during the expedition. Use the opportunity to understand various cultures and the experiences that all the participants have from their lives. 

Use of Alcohol, smoking and possession of any drugs is absolutely not acceptable on our expeditions. In the village, you will be served local beer which is allowed since that is a mark of respect from the villagers to us, but consume responsibly and adhere to the instructions from the Expedition Leader. 
By joining our expeditions, you agree to adhere to the instructions mentioned by the Expedition Leader and in case you are found to misbehave in any manner, the Expedition Leader has the right to remove you from the expedition and there shall be no refund. 

Essential Trip Information

Need any Help?

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact us at https://www.ghe.co.in/Help/Contact-Us/

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Carbon Offset :

The expedition to electrify the village of Gongma will offset 138 Tons of Carbon from the environment by replacing 2880 Litres of kerosene through setup of 18 Solar microgrids. 

Our estimates suggest that the entire 9 days expedition Carbon footprint, including carbon generated during camping, hotel stay and through the participants return flight tickets, will be around 54 Tons. 

Your trip to the Himalayas will be Carbon Negative!

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