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FAQs

About our FAQs

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages. Here you’ll find answers to questions that we’re currently being asked about the Snowland activities and its destinations and services. We offer multiple types of trips to many different countries. Answers to frequently asked questions differ depending on your destination and activity; however the following are answers which apply to most of our trips regardless of country and type of Holiday.

Please also note that most of our trips and destinations have their own in-depth FAQs.If you have any questions about any activity or destination that are not covered here or elsewhere on our website, please email info@snowland.com.pk  or snowlandtours@gmail.com. We’re committed to keeping our website as up-to-date and as relevant as we can. To achieve this, we’ll be monitoring what you’re asking us on a monthly basis, and will use this to add new FAQ or amend existing FAQs.

GENERAL-FAQs

How can I get more information about a particular trip?

We produce comprehensive information for each of our trips. Once you've decided which trips interest you, please e-mail/call for a trip dossier. The trip notes/dossiers contain a detailed day by day route, photos and other information which may help answer any questions you may have. Our website’s trip pages also provide a lot of information. You can discuss any particular trip with our office staff, who can give you practical first hand advice. Please email us at info@snowland.com.pk or snowlandtours@gmail.com  for further information, or use Contact Us form to send you inquiry.

How do I book?

Discuss your ideas for your trip with us. We will then give you a proposed itinerary and costing. When you are happy with this we need a deposit to confirm the arrangements. More details of how the payments work are here.

How do I know if the trip I want is available?

Trip availability is displayed on home page Fixed Departure page and on each trip description page (Departure Dates).

  • Spaces - This date is available and open for bookings. Go ahead and reserve your place. 
  • Guaranteed - Minimum numbers have been reached and this trip is guaranteed to depart. Confirmation subject to availability at time of booking. Go ahead and reserve your place. 
  • Limited - There are a very limited number of available places on this departure. In some cases trips with limited status include elements that cannot be confirmed immediately and extra time may be needed to inform you of the status of your request. Confirmation subject to availability at time of booking. Immediate booking is recommended. 
  • Closed - This trip is now closed.

My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket?

'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in many countries that we operate. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows our local staff to assist with changing your return flight plans if need be, while you are in the mountains.

How far in advance do I need to book my trip?

There is no hard and fast guide, although some trips are popular and book up quickly.  To ensure a place, you can simply pay a deposit at any time, and then pay the balance after your arrival to destination before starting the trip.  Also, be sure to allow yourself enough time to obtain visas and vaccinations where necessary.

If I book late is it cheaper?

No, it is not a package with charter flights and accommodation, whereas if there is spare capacity the price is reduced to ensure it fills up. With small group adventures domestic flights and ground arrangements are reserved separately, due to the flexibility involved. Speak to a Travel Consultant for more information, but the rule of thumb is it’s best to reserve your place earlier.  

Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?

No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome, and encouraged, to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time.

Can I get a cheap ticket online?

The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward, and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money!

What are the visa requirements for the country I am travelling to?

We would recommend you check with the trip notes that have been provided for each tour and our website’s Travel Guide Sections of destination countries or the embassy or high commission of the country you are visiting (Or their website where available).

 

What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Snowland highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.

What is the best way to take money with me?

A combination of cash, an ATM card and perhaps a credit card as back-up is good. Travellers cheques are a safe way to carry money, however travellers can find it difficult in some areas to exchange them. As a general rule, American dollars are accepted throughout the world, but make sure you have small denomination bills, and that they are not ripped or marked, as this may affect your ability to change them. And remember to check with your bank about using your bank cards overseas.

How much spending money do I need?

Our trip notes give an indication of some typical prices of the destination you’re going to, and your pre-departure information pack will give more details. Remember that with Snowland some of your meals, your transport, accommodation and entrance fees to major sites are paid in advance, so you don’t need to worry about these when you’re on holiday.

Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?

Our International trips generally originate in the particular country's main airport.  One of our Guide or Representative will be there to pick you up off your flight on the scheduled arrival date. If you are arriving before the scheduled trip start date, we can often make arrangements for a pick up, though taking a taxi is generally the easiest form of transport before your trip starts.

What if I am arriving early or departing late?

Snowland can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.

What is the level of accommodation like?

You'll generally stay in a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. This all adds to the experience and as a result a little comfort is sometimes sacrificed.    We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert. There are also camping options on several of our trekking and wildlife trips, for which all equipment is provided, but it might be necessary to bring personal gear such as sleeping bags.   Accommodation commences on the first night of the "without flights" itinerary until check-out on the day of departure. Please note accommodations on all trips are subject to change.

Is there a maximum age?

All of our trips are designed to be accessible to anyone with a good level of fitness. If you are concerned we recommend looking at The Collection trips, which generally have a more relaxed feel. If you are travelling on one of our southern Africa tours and are aged 65 or over, you will need to provide a medical certificate signed by your doctor.

What is a group adventure?

The average group size is between 4-12, although groups can be larger or smaller than this. Generally they will be of all ages and from all walks of life. However, you will have similar interests and the shared experiences on the itinerary soon bring everyone together.

Can I book on my own?

Due to the fact that every trip is made up of a group of people who don't know everyone else, our group adventures are ready made for people booking on their own. Around 50% of all bookers are travelling by themselves and you'll find that everyone gets to know each other very quickly.

On top of this we also offer many dedicated solo departures; trips which on particular dates are exclusively for people booking on their own. These trips have an extra social element, as everyone is in the same situation.

What do I take with me?

See your Trip Notes, these have a detailed packing list. On most international flights you're restricted to twenty kilograms baggage and we recommend you always pack light. Generally hard suitcases are not suitable.

What’s included within the trip price?

Everything listed within the itinerary is included; accommodation, on-tour transport, the services of a group leader and local guides, entrance fees, excursions and activities, as well as a number of meals. See your Trip Notes for full details. Transfers to and from the airport in-country are also included for those on Group Flights. 

What’s not included in the price?

Generally anything not listed in the itinerary. This includes optional tours and excursions, some meals, visas, vaccinations, excess baggage charges, porterage at hotels, insurance, international and entry/departure taxes overseas, and things of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, room service charges, phone calls, etc. As well as any new government taxes or price increases for hotels, transportation and airfares implemented before the booking confirmation.  

What is Ramadan and when is it?

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting. During this time sites and museums are subject to reduced opening hours and there may be some limitations as to the provision of services. The impact on our trips is usually minimal and indeed this can be an interesting time to visit, as the streets are unusually lively during the late evenings. The month culminates in the celebration of Eid al Fitr, when families eat together in celebration. In 2014 Ramadan runs for 30 days from 28th June to 27th July.

Can I change the currency back when I get home?

No. The import and export of the local currency is prohibited, so you will have to change it before you leave.

Will I have time to change money at the airport as I arrive?

Money exchange offices are open at the airport even when arriving late. Clients will also have the possibility to change money the next day in the city.

Do I need malaria tablets?

Although malaria does exist in most parts of the destination that we visit, however, we recommend to bring insect repellent, containing 'Deet', or a natural one such as 'MosiGuard' to reduce the number of insect bites. Consult a doctor or travel clinic 6-8 weeks before departing to get the most up to date information.

Will I be able to re-charge camera batteries?

On a hotel based trip this is no problem, but what if you're in a remote or mountainous area? Every trek is different so please check the relevant trip notes for details. In remote parts of the Himalayas for example you can still re-charge batteries from village electricity supplies, for a small charge. Remember that your camera batteries run down more quickly in the extreme cold. It's a good idea to carry one or two spare batteries just in case.

What are the best cameras for photography in Alpine environments?

There is an extensive section in our reference notes, which are sent out on receipt of your trip registration form and deposit, explaining about photography in the mountains.

Remember photos are wonderful records of your expedition but keep camera gear simple and light to best enjoy the trip you are on.  Disposable and digital cameras are the lightest weight, but all cameras have maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered before bringing them to high elevations.

Will the hotels have towels?

The hotels you stay at will all be good quality, with en suite facilities. As such, towels are usually provided but it's always a good idea to pack a small emergency one in the end of your bag as well, just in case. You may have an odd night where the standard is slightly lower but this will usually be due to where you are and, as such, limited by what is available.

I am a vegetarian, will there be food for me?

Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in very rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

Why are not all meals included on the hotel trips?

All hotel foods are not always included, so that you can choose from a wide variety of local cafes and market stalls, to really experience the local cuisine and atmosphere.

Can I stay on after the trip for a holiday?

Yes, it is usually possible to stay on in the country after the trip, just let us know as soon as you can so that we may be able to help you or advise on booking your own domestic flights within the cities.  Any arrangements we make for you will incur an administration fee. We offer several short escapes and day trips as an extension after you have completed your main trip. 

Is it possible to extend our holiday?

Soft Landings and Extensions: We are very happy for you to arrive early for your tour or take an extension at the end, and have quoted prices for our group tours on a land only basis. We are very happy to accommodate and organise whatever additions you would like to make as this can get you onto the right time zone before your tour starts or give you a pleasant rest after the tour has finished.

I want to travel, but none of the dates/trips you run coincide with my holiday dates?

Don’t despair!  Along with our small group adventure tours, Snowland offers a tailor-make holiday service for all of the destinations featured on our website - and a few more besides.  Alternatively, if you can get your own group together (4+ persons) we are happy to lay on a private group tour for you, either on one of our existing itineraries or if you prefer, we can help you devise your own.

Do single travellers have to pay a supplement?

Snowland does not impose surcharges on single travellers, but the costs are sometimes greater. If you share a room and a vehicle this brings the cost down. If you want exclusivity this will cost more.

Is there any back up for emergencies?

In some countries (We have our main office in Pakistan) we have our own staff and offices and in other countries we work with experienced and reliable ground agents who provide full emergency cover. They all have systems in place to cover any situation. Snowland is in constant contact with the local guides and offices and will always help in any situation.

 

Will I be in any danger on a trip?

Many of the trips go to areas where life is not as certain as at home. We constantly monitor any local problems and avoid sending you anywhere unsafe. Many of our trips go to less developed countries and remote areas. Health and hygiene standards will not be the same as at home and people often have a different concept of time. A flexible approach and sense of humour are essential for maximum enjoyment of adventure travel. Bad weather, flight cancellations, sickness, damage caused by monsoon rains etc, may necessitate a change in the most carefully made plans. Delays, discomfort and inconvenience are possible despite the best efforts of Snowland and our local guides and representatives. When you join a tour with you acknowledge that the above may occur and agree to respect the authority of the guide to make decisions that are in the best interests of the safety and well being of the group. Major changes in itineraries are rare, but it is essential that you are aware of this possibility.

Are payments for travel arrangements protected?

We are a registered adventure tour operator and have also coordination office in the UK so all monies paid by you for the holiday is safe and refundable before starting the trip. For further information please see our Booking Conditions.

Do you practice Sustainable Tourism?

Long before ‘Sustainable Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made the minimum impact on the environment and a highly positive impact on the local communities we pass through. Regular employment in poor areas is vital and impacts on every aspect of the life of the family of each guide, porter, driver or cook we employ. In addition, we are involved with several community projects on a long-term basis. We believe that our trips have many positive advantages for the worldwide communities we work with, the charity you are raising money for and, of course, for you! 

Do you allow smoking on your tours?

Smoking is not permitted on any transport or during sightseeing excursions. Smoking is permitted in your own room, private areas and in designated smoking sections.

 

Would it be possible for me to talk to someone regarding their experience on a particular tour?

We are able to provide telephone numbers or e-mail addresses of previous participants who have taken a specific tour. All of these people have volunteered to be a reference and will be happy to talk to you about our tours. We have an extensive list of references, and we will try to find one close to your hometown. Alternatively, our well-travelled staff is able to provide you with first-hand experience. Many of our staff members have participated on our tours, and they'll be happy to share their experiences with you. 

Can I have a list of all the hotels used?

In short, no. A list of the hotels that we use is often not finalised until quite close to departure and so it is not practical to give out a list of accommodation which might change. 

Do you offer tailor-made holidays and private tours for groups?

Absolutely!  In fact this makes perfect sense – if you love the trips we offer but want to do it your way with just your friends or your partner, why not use our expertise to arrange your very own privately-tailored tour? You tell us where you want to go and what you want to do and we make it happen.  So what are you waiting for?  Go to http://snowland.com.pk/service/tailor-made-holidays/ for further information or contact our office on info@snowland.com.pk  

Is the destination that I’ll be visiting safe?

With all trips, whether it’s to Mongolia or Nepal, we can never guarantee that an area is one hundred per cent safe. However, we take the safety of our travellers and our tour leaders, extremely seriously, and would not operate in an area where we consider there to be a significant risk. When deciding matters like this we take advice our local staff, representatives, to make sure that we base our decisions on the most up to date and accurate information. 

What’s the mix of single travellers and couples on your tours?

It’s always difficult to generalise as every tour is different. However we do usually get a good balance of singles and couples on our tours. 

I understand you offer discount – is this correct?

Yes, we offer THREE great discounts: Loyalty Reward - if you’re a returning customer looking to enjoy another adventure with us, your loyalty will be rewarded with a 5% discount; Group Reward - if you’re booking for a group of 6 or more people we will offer you 5% discount from your journey cost; Early Bird- If you are booking a tour in a year in advance, we will offer you 5% discount.

TREKKING-FAQs

How long a trek should I opt for?

If you have never trekked or camped before, it is often a good idea to start with a shorter trek of less than 12 days. However, if you have walked any of the long-distance trails in the home country or elsewhere, then you will be familiar with the cumulative effects of walking day after day.

 

How will I cope without my home comforts?

Most people soon adapt to the trek routine and to sleeping in a tent. On some trek routes solar showers, bottled drinks and chocolate bars are available at tea houses/lodges along the way but in off-the-beaten-track areas there are no facilities. However, our staff will do everything possible to make things comfortable for you. You'll be brought a hot drink with your wake-up call and warm water for washing. Our staff erect and pack away the tents - all you do is pack your own bag and day sack. All your meals are provided during the trek, leaving more time for you to relax and enjoy yourself.

What sort of people travel with us?

A typical Snowland Trips group consists of 4 to 12 participants but occasionally we may take as few as 2 or as many as 16. Most groups consist of a mix of couples, friends and single travelers in the age range 18 to 70. Just over half of our clients are women.

What happens if we don’t get enough people to run a trek?

The minimum number of trekkers varies according to the destination. Each itinerary confirms the minimum numbers required. In general, we can run treks with as few as 2 people, where tea houses (In Nepal) are available, but a minimum of 4 people is needed for camping treks. Very occasionally we may not get enough people to run the trek as advertised and we will notify you of this no later than two months prior to departure.

When we operate the trip using tea house accommodation, there is no surcharge. In other cases we will offer you the same holiday at a surcharge OR the option of transferring to another holiday or departure date OR a full refund.

I have selected a trek but the scheduled dates are not convenient – can you help?

We are very happy to talk about customizing trek routes and dates to suit customers.

Age – am I too old or too young?

There will be people of all ages trekking, the most usual range is mid 20’s to mid 60’s. Travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. We have a policy of not arranging trips which ascend over 4500 metres for trekkers who are 14 years old or younger. With this exception we are happy to organise trips to suit all age ranges and will advise on physical/medical conditions if you have any doubts.

 

How fit should I be?

Whether you have done any trekking before or not you will still need to train - on as varied terrain as possible - so that you gain maximum enjoyment from the trek. You will be walking for between five and nine hours a day for several days in succession. This will depend upon the planned route for the day, local weather conditions, your own pace and that of all group members. The trek is not a race; you will be encouraged to go at your own pace but we must stress that pre-trek training is essential. Notes and advice on a training routine will be sent to you on registration.

What will the trekking facilities be like?

You will share a double tent unless you wish to pay a supplement for a single. You do not have to do any cooking or erect tents - our treks are fully catered with staff to guide, cook, put up the tents and clear the campsites prior to departure. There will be no showers but you will be provided with hot water for washing and there will be toilet tents

What will the food be like on trek?

All meals and hot drinks on trek are included. This will be 3 cooked meals per day - a high-carbohydrate, largely vegetarian diet consisting of a mixture of western and regional food.

What is the trekking day like?

Every morning you will be woken (early – usually daybreak) with a hot drink and hot water for washing; you will get a good cooked breakfast before you set off. The distance walked each day is measured in hours rather than kilometres – estimated times are on the detailed itineraries. There is a break at midday when lunch is provided and every evening there is a three-course meal served in the mess tent at camping tables and chairs.

What will I have to carry whilst on trek?

You will carry a small day-sack with, for example, your camera, sun cream, waterproof layer, lightweight additional clothing, snacks and water. Your water will be provided each day – boiled and safe to drink. You should not attempt to carry more than 6 kg in your day-sack.

What will the weather be like?

As our treks are in mountain terrain the weather can be variable. The best times to trek can be accessed. Please read the specific trip dossiers for more details.  

What happens if I am ill or have an accident?

There is a first aid kit and the trekking staff has received first aid training. You must be responsible for your own, personal medical requirements (if any) and you must complete our standard medical information form. You will also need travel insurance that will cover helicopter rescue and repatriation in the event of serious emergency. Further information about this is provided on registration.

What’s included/excluded in the price?

A full list of exclusions and inclusions is given at the end of all our itineraries but the most important point to note is that our trek prices are for the land only part of the package, international airfares are excluded.

 

Will I have to carry my luggage?

Not on trek. All trek baggage will be transported by porters or in support vehicles unless otherwise stated. You will only need to carry your day sack on trek with your personal items you need for the day.

Do I require specialist kit?

Our “Preparing for your Trek” document will confirm for you the equipment or clothing you will need and our staff are on hand to advise in case of further questions.

How knowledgeable and experienced is the Group Leader/Guide?

The local guides undergo extensive training in all aspects of travel in the region. They are full-time professionals and are selected for their empathy and knowledge of the area you are visiting.

Can I organise a trip with just my friends or family?

Yes, just let us know your chosen trip and we can organise a private departure. Prices may vary from those given on the website, depending on the size of the group and date of departure.

Are sleeping mats provided?

Yes, sleeping mats are provided. They are foam mats with a cotton cover, approximately 7 to 8 cm thick. You can also bring your own insulating mats if you want and use the foam and insulating mats together.

Can I drink the water on trek?

You can drink tap water or water from the stream that is boiled or purified using purifying tablets. You should bring extra purification tablets with you.

Can I hire a sleeping bag and how much will it cost?

Yes, sleeping bags can be hired from our local office. This is payable to the group leader on arrival, but you must requested a sleeping bag from us (Snowland) prior to departure. All sleeping bags are cleaned after every trip. The cost will depend on which trip you are on. Please contact us to request a sleep bag and to confirm the cost.

What camping equipment is provided?

The camping will be in two man dome tents with mattresses. You will need to bring a sleeping bag.

Will I be affected by altitude?

Most walking is less than 3,000 metres.  Above this some people may feel short of breath as air gets thinner and walking can seem harder than normal. The Group Leader is fully aware of these effects and will adjust pace as required.  Altitude sickness is not generally a problem, even at maximum height reached.

Will there be time to do my own thing during my trip?

There will be several opportunities for free time during your trip depending on the activity and destination for more details please read the specific trip dossiers. 

What distance do we walk each day?

When walking in the mountains, the distance you cover each day can vary greatly due to gradient, terrain and altitude. As such it is very hard to give specific distances on each day.

For example, you might walk 7 miles one day and it takes 5 hours. The next day the trail might be very steep, rocky and gain substantial altitude and such factors mean you cover just 2 miles in 5 hours!

In the Himalaya, even the local people only ever talk about distances in the mountains in terms of how long it will take, i.e. 5 hours walk. On most trekking trips, you will walk for 3-4 hours in the morning and another couple after lunch.

Are walking poles necessary for the treks you offer?

Although not strictly necessary, some people do like to take them along as they can be useful, especially on the descents. However, remember to pack them in your hold luggage.

Is it possible to buy extra equipment in the destination towns/cities of the trip?

During the summer, all mountain towns in Nepal, Pakistan, Mongolia, China and Bhutan are chock a block with trekking stores and pretty much everything is available for a price. However, we cannot guarantee the quality or quantities you will find, and always advise that for anything really important, you take them from home. 

Do you have any advice about malaria and rabies?

Unfortunately we are not qualified to answer all your questions in regards to travel health, so we strongly recommend you contact your GP or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

Am I fit enough?

Assessing your personal fitness is quite subjective, but we've made it as easy as possible to choose your level by giving each trip a ‘trek grade'. Grades range from Easy to Moderate to Strenuous and Tough. We've assessed each trek on the number of hours walking each day and the amount of ascent and descent, also taking into account factors like the terrain, altitude and likely weather conditions. What if I'm too slow for the group?

It really isn't a problem. On lots of trips (like Pakistan, Nepal or Mongolia) you can walk at your own pace nearly all the time, as we have enough guides to escort walkers of all speeds. On other treks where there aren't extra local guides our leaders are trained to manage the pace of the group carefully, to suit all walking speeds. Occasionally for safety reasons the leader might pull the group together (eg. in bad weather or on a tricky section of the trail) but in general the group can string out and everyone finds their own comfortable walking pace.

What’s the best way to get fit for a trek?

The best way to train for a trek is to spend plenty of time beforehand simply walking. Ideally try to walk similar distances and ascents to those you'll experience on the trek itself. Aerobic training at the gym helps too, but there's no substitute for simply walking for several hours at a stretch. It's also a good opportunity to check out all your trekking equipment, clothing and footwear – to make sure it's all comfortable and works OK.

How can I prepare for trekking at altitude?

There's no other way to prepare for altitude than to acclimatise slowly. Our trek itineraries have been carefully planned to allow for gradual acclimatisation once we climb above 3,000 metres. Altitude sickness can affect the fittest trekkers just as easily as the less fit. Once on trek the main recommendation is to keep your fluid intake up and stay hydrated. 

What equipment do I need?

You'll need to check the trip notes for each trip individually to see what specific equipment we recommend. The equipment list will vary according to the likely weather conditions, the trekking terrain and whether you're camping or not.

What about sleeping bags, mattresses and pillows?

On some treks they are provided and on others they're not: please see individual trip notes for details. If using your own sleeping bag we suggest you play safe and bring a warmer bag than you think you need: better to be too warm than too cold. A sleeping bag liner adds warmth too. The most effective mattresses are self-inflating air mattresses (Thermarest or similar) and a lightweight self-inflating pillow can also help you sleep more comfortably.

On camping based treks will I need to put up my own tent?

On most camping based treks we have a camp crew who set up the tents for us and also take care of the cooking and clearing up. However on some trips this isn't practical and you should be prepared to put up and take down your own tent. We'll let you know in the relevant trip notes if there's any participation required.

Where and how can I wash on a camping base trek?

It really depends which trek you're doing. On some there are campsites with showers but more often you will be in the wild and water may be limited. Sometimes you'll have a bowl of water for washing each morning and evening, other times not even that – see individual trip notes for details. A lightweight travel towel is useful, also a good supply of wet wipes and hand sanitiser.

Mountaineering/Climbing- FAQs

What is Additional Sherpa/High Altitude Porter Support? How does this work?

We wanted to offer our team members every possible advantage to summit any Mountain of their choice. The Additional Sherpa/High Altitude Porter (HAP) option ensures that you will have more time for climbing as the HAPs will assist fixing rope, carrying equipment.

The Additional Sherpa/High Altitude Porter (HAP) option is now included on our standard programme and means that at no point on the mountain will you ever have to carry more than what you need for that day. All your camping and incidental equipment is transported between camps by our Sherpa/(HAP)  team. 

Do you provide private trip option, if yes then how does that work and what are the costs?

Summiting mountains in Himalaya and Karakoram is a once in a lifetime experience, we wanted to make sure you have every possible advantage. Some clients enjoy the added privacy and schedule flexibility that a private expedition allows. A private means you will have your own guides, your share of the Sherpa carry staff, a private dining tent, and optional private communication facilities. This allows you to climb at your own pace, and enjoy the mountain on your own terms. The costs vary depending on how many clients there in your private group. Please contact the office for details.

Can my friends and family come along to base camp for the expedition?

Sure! This is one of the best parts of the start of the expedition, having family and friends trek to basecamp to see you off on your journey. Basecamp for non-climbers is not a very hospitable place, but we strive to make your guests comfortable and welcome. Guests for the duration of the expedition are allowed on a case by case basis. The reason for this is simple. On the trip, our job is to be climbing, spending time just at basecamp can be quite boring sometimes, so we usually encourage guests to trek in at the beginning or end of the expedition, to join you during the most exciting parts of the trip! Contact us for details.

Because the Climbing trips are so long, can I bring food and other gear not on the list?

Absolutely! Most people on the Climbing expeditions, members end up bringing “the kitchen sink”! We encourage you to bring some of your favorite goodies and tech toys, as basecamp will become our home for 2 months or so. The more comfortable you are, the more energy you have for the climb, so every little thing helps!

What is the skills/prior experiences required for the climbs?

 It depends on the climbs; you don’t need any experience to climb trekking peaks. However, prior experience of climbing is required to scale 7000m and higher peaks. In order to climb 8000m plus peaks a comprehensive climbing resume is required to join our team. Usually we look for a few minimum requirements; such as Denali/Muztagh Ata, for the cold and glacier travel experience, and Aconcagua, for the altitude experience. Beyond that, we look for well rounded climbers with a wealth of experience. Please read our “Trip Grades” page and contact the office for further details and to discuss your individual background. 

How many climbers will be on your climbing expeditions?

We have a maximum of 12 members with 3 guides/HAPs on our most climbing expedition, but we have most often had a group size of 8 or less members with 2 guides/HAPs in the past few years. This is to ensure we can maintain safety and our attention to detail. There may be more in base camp and in the camps on the mountain if there are private expeditions, but they will generally travel separately from the main team.

Can I contact other climbers or guides for the climbing expeditions?

Yes, we encourage that. Perhaps there is someone in your area that can become a training partner, perhaps they can help you source some hard to find gear. The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to have some contact with folks that you will share this experience with. We respect the privacy of each team member and check with each person before releasing any contact details.

Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers? Is there a single room option on your Climbing trips?

You will have your own tent in base camp, but on the mountain, you will be sharing a tent with others. We generally book you in to a single room in the hotel in Kathmandu, Islamabad, Kasghar, and Bishkek whilst it is twin share in the lodges/guest houses on the trek into basecamp. A single supplement is available. Consult the relevant expedition dossiers or contact our office for further details.

How heavy will my pack be?

The weight of your pack will usually not exceed 10-15lbs, 5-7kg. What used to happen was on a “carry” day, where you moved your personal gear between camps, your pack would be 20-40lbs.9-18kg , sometimes higher if you chose to carry more of your equipment and on “move” days, the weight went down to 10-15lbs., 5-7kg. Now, since we include carrying your personal overnight gear as part of the expedition, your pack weight is always in the 10-15lbs, 5-7kg range.

What kind of food do you have on the mountains? At base camps?

This will depend on what camp we are in. In base camps, we use mix of local and imported of food. On the mountain we usually have a wide variety of meals; these are significantly tastier than freeze dried, as they are real food vacuum sealed and ready to heat and eat! At Camp 2, our advanced base camps, we have Sherpa cook staff, who prepare more ‘base camp like’ food. Pizza, pasta, eggs and bacon! We work really hard to make sure our food is second to none

How long is a typical day on the mountains?

It depends on the day and your level of acclimatisation. At the beginning of the trip, everything seems slower and longer, but as you get more adjusted to the mountain, the days go quicker. Average days can be 5-10 hours long. Summit day can be up to 20 hours long.

What type of communication is available on the climbing expeditions?

We have one of the most sophisticated communication systems around. Email, phone calls, and even skype video calls are available at basecamp for a fee and we power our whole set up with solar, using generators only as backup. On the mountain, we discourage phone calls as they distract from the climb and we often are limited by our power availability. If you need a private communications setup, this is also possible for a fee. Contact our office for details.

What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?

Communication is sometimes difficult in the mountains. However our guides and local staff will make the necessary efforts to obtain the necessary transportation and reservations to get you home as quickly as possible if for any reason you need to depart early.

What are super gaiters? And where can I buy them?

Supergaiters have a rubber rand which fits snugly over your plastic boot, for protection from crampon damage. The uppers are lined insulation and most have convenient front zips. These are available, in Europe, Australia, the USA and the UK. We suggest doing an internet search for “supergaiters” and finding your nearest supplier. Our equipment coordinator can provide advice on where to obtain.

What altitude medication will be available on the trek? Do we need to take tablets before/ during the trek and climb?

All our guides carry extensive medical kits and some of our bigger expeditions even have their own doctor. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them) plus extra. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild headache medication for the normal altitude headaches.

Do you prefer using original or refilled Piosk bottles and what sort of O2 masks do you use?

We use Top out masks and regulators and now have all our Sherpas, Guides and climbers using Top out 's new mask design.

What is the oxygen bottle size?

We use 3 and 4 litre bottles.

How many guides/ Sherpas will be assigned to our group?

Ratios of Climbers to Guides/Sherpas are stated on each trip’s web page and ‘trip notes’. Sherpa guides are assigned depending on the size of the group and type of expedition.

How much weight can we carry on during the trek to base camp?

You will carry your day pack with warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally it will be light, 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20 pounds).

Who goes on your trips?

Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development, to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure, we provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?

Snowland is happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8000m peaks and 7000m Peaks in Karakorams and remote destinations such as Mount Khuiton in Mongolia. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.

Can I use skis on any climb that you offer?

On most of the mountains in Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush, we actually don’t need them! We typically do not wear skis on our expeditions, as skiing with a heavy pack and a sled behind you is a skill most do not have. However, if someone got good skills then can use Skis on our Muztagh Ata expedition.

Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?

Yes, most of our expedition guides take satellite phones and you are welcome to use these at US$3 to$4 per minute depending on the region. Sending and receiving e-mails is also possible on some of our expeditions.

I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?

Many of our climbs send daily internet dispatches, and we receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.

Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc available throughout the climbing expedition? What voltage requirements?

We take solar panels and sometimes battery power packs on our climbing expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our computers, satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. There is usually enough power to then charge your personal electrical equipment. If your equipment has a cigarette lighter type car charger, bring that and you can plug it in to charge. We do NOT recommend bringing rechargeable digital cameras, they tend to run out when power is not available. Use cameras with replaceable batteries and we recommend lithium batteries. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost - please enquire with our office. 

What weather report service do you use? How often do you receive a weather report in the summit bid phase?

We use Bracknell and Swiss forecasts and many online weather forecasting tools. 

What insurance do we need to get?

You need general travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance, as well as rescue insurance. Read your policy's fine print to make sure it covers you for trekking or climbing, depending on what trip you have booked, and that it covers you for helicopter evacuation.

Do I need evacuation insurance?

Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.

Who do you recommend for insurance?

Please read our travel insurance info page here

CYCLING FAQs

How fit do I need to be for Cycling?

You don't need to be Bradley Wiggins level to come on our trips but a reasonable level of bike fitness will be required for you to enjoy the experience and get the most out of it.

For most of our trips you can expect to be riding a 4-6 hour a day and much of that time will be spent going uphill! It's not a race and you will have the opportunity to ride at a pace that suits you. If you have any doubts or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss this further and give you confidence in your decision to book. Each of our trips will tend to appeal to different rider levels, read the trip descriptions carefully before contacting us.

What bike do I need?

You'll need a road bike in good working order with gearing to suit the mountainous terrain that you'll be tackling. Having low gears at your disposal will assist you to keep pedaling smoothly up the long climbs that you'll encounter. Compact or triple chainsets are the way to go to make life easier for you. Gearing can often be quickly and relatively cheaply altered by replacing the cassette on the rear wheel. Give us a call if you need to know more.

What will the weather be like and what clothes should I bring?

Although blessed by a warm summer climate riders should be ready for anything. Our rides involve major altitude differences and even in midsummer riders should be prepared for chilly descents from the big cols. Riders on all trips are advised to bring arm and leg warmers, shoe covers, gloves and a wind/rain jacket.

Typical July temperatures are in the mid to high twenties in the valleys. June and September are likely to see temperatures closer to twenty degrees in the valley. Things can change quickly though and it can snow at the top of the cols at any time of year!

What cycling gear do I need?

Synthetic, cotton or merino wool tops will be perfect for cycling , especially when it's hot . Shorts (could be padded) will also be great as it will almost certainly be too hot for cycling in trousers. Stiff sole shoes are in general better for cycling but you could also go for sandals. A lightweight windbreaker (or water-resistant/proof top) may come handy in the unlikely event of a spell of bad weather ; however, in case of rain you may well go for being wet because of the rain rather than because of your own sweat under a jacket.

How big are the groups?

Our maximum group size is 12. We operate a high staff/customer ratio to ensure your safety and enjoyment, therefore a full group of 12 would enjoy the support of 3 staff members and a support vehicle.

What support is offered?

Vehicle support offers you first aid facilities, essential spares and tools, spare clothing, snacks and drinks and the peace of mind that if you run out of steam you've always got the option of jumping in the van!

You will also receive the support of at least one of us riding with the group, spending some time with each rider to help motivate, advise and observe how you are doing to help you get the most out of your ride.

Are transfers included?

Yes, unless otherwise stated, our programmes all include return transport in our minibuses from Destination airports to our cycling starting points. 

Can I bring a non cycling partner/friend?

Certainly, our cycling destinations are remote Asian mountain ranges and its surrounds are a beautiful and relaxing place in spring and summer with a large selection of walking trails. Non cyclists can, space permitting, join us in the support vehicles to enjoy the scenery and still be part of the team. Contact us to discuss a discount for non cyclists.

Do people bring their own bikes?

Yes, the vast majority of riders on our trips bring their own bikes. Bike bags and boxes are becoming more affordable and can often be hired for bike shops too.

Can I hire a Bike?

Yes, bikes are available to hire from shops in most of our destinations countries. Contact us in advance and we can arrange this for you. 

 

SKIING FAQs

My skiing is so-so. Will I fit in?

People often ask if their skiing ability is compatible to that of others in the group. You will find more guidance in the Trip Details but please email us if you would like further help over this. 

What about groups, clubs and tailor made trips?

With a minimum of 6 in a group, we will be very happy to offer a discount on our rates and we can also arrange a trip, ski tour to suit your specific needs or ideas. You will also benefit from further reductions for travel and accommodation, e.g. 1 FREE place for 6 paying customers in some of our ski destinations. Please email us for more information. 

How well do single people fit into your Skiing holidays?

Singles regularly come on our ski holidays and the overall mix of singles, couples, families and small groups generally ensures an excellent social focus to our weeks. Everybody comes for free-heel skiing – there is a lot to talk about and many experiences to share! We can often arrange singles to share accommodation and avoid the dreaded 'single supplement' or arrange a single room, and supplement, if preferred.

Can you help with advice and equipment queries?

We are always happy to discuss any queries you might have about ski equipment, clothing, waxes, ski locations, etc. If you are thinking of buying or hiring before one of our trips, a quick chat about gear will help with the right skis, boots, etc. for that trip and ensure a more rewarding ski experience as a result.

What is Alpine skiing (commonly known as ‘Downhill’ skiing)?

This is the most well-known way of skiing. A shin-high, stiff, plastic boot fixes the position of the foot and ankle. The boot sole is always rigid and flat. This equipment developed from the original way of skiing, on free-heel ski gear, as it helps to keep the skier more within the limits of balance. The rigidity of the ski-boot-leg connection means great support and movement transfer to the ski. The boot attaches at front and back via a binding, to the ski. The skis are shaped skis, as used also for Telemark skiing. Alpine ski poles are needed, with powder baskets for off-piste.

Alpine skiing equipment can be used for on or off-piste. However as it is hard walking and not possible to skin up with fixed ankles, alpine skiing gear is usually only used on lift-served skiing.

How cross country skiing is different from downhill skiing?

Cross-country skiing or Nordic skiing is becoming one of the most popular winter sports. Using longer, thinner and lighter skis than downhill, with bindings that let you lift your heel, we explore the winter landscapes away from the confines of the alpine pistes. Cross-country skiing can be undertaken on prepared tracks (loipe) or off-track, allowing the group to explore the winter landscape.

What type of clothing is generally best for cross country skiing?

For skiing, generally warm and comfy should be the rules! The important thing is to wear layers: when you wear several layers you stay warmer because the air can circulate between them (so always better than one t-shirt and one big jumper for instance); the other advantage of layers is that you can adjust what you wear to the temperature. So it might be cold in the shade, but when in the sun and moving around, you may want to wear just a long-sleeved t-shirt (you need to have your arms covered to as it is easy to get ‘snow burn’ if you fall on uncovered arms).

Traditional downhill ski clothing is usually too warm for this type of skiing, particularly in the Alps where temperatures can be warmer. We recommend a long-sleeved thermal base layer and a windstopper fleece, or an ordinary fleece and a light weight waterproof. We also recommend that you wear thermals or tops made from wicking fabric: they keep you warm and dry a lot quicker than synthetic materials. If you’re sweating and it is really cold outside, you need clothes that’ll dry quickly; otherwise, once your body cools down, you’ll be really cold from having a wet t-shirt.

Trousers need to be windproof, but jeans and lightweight cotton ones are not suitable. For colder days and a buff or scarf is useful and it is good to have a hat that covers your ears, and both thin and thicker gloves (downhill skiing gloves are usually too bulky). Walking socks are generally best for warmth and comfort in cross-country ski boots. Finally, don’t forget your sunglasses and sun cream!

What is your terrain like?

We have a collection of terrain that is as varied as it is spectacular. From short, steep, cliff riddled tree runs to 3,500 foot descents that start at a peak and dive down through open faces and into perfectly spaced glades, then towering alpine trees  to summit of  Himalayan and Karakoram Mountains and  glacier traverses.

I am a mountaineer and I want to ski tour. Is it best to get myself downhill skiing or should I be thinking about cross country or Telemark? In short, what holiday would you recommend to get started?

For a climber, we recommend cross country skiing. Much more freedom of movement and great for touring. The skills in each type of freeheel skiing do cross over, like in touring cycle and mountain biking.

I am very interested in your ski holidays. Apart from a couple of Alpine lessons, I do not have any experience of skiing, so I would be looking for a holiday for a beginner?

It is best to start with instruction as that will give a great foundation for further progress, cut the time taken and you'll develop no horrendous 'survival skiing' habits! These will stop you progressing to ski touring for sure. Being averagely fit helps but skill is more important. Age is not a problem as long as you are open to learning and the challenges that can bring for anyone new to a skill.

What is the best way of starting skiing for eventually touring in wilderness areas?

If you like the activity, you will need more skills input both in cross country and downhill. To get good enough to ski mountaineer in alpine terrain, you would need to put in time on ski areas to get to the standard. The piste is made consistent so it is easier. Any alpine off-piste or alpine mountain touring will have all sorts of snow and steep slopes. You need to be able to keep moving once on tour so while you can pick up tips, this is not the place for basic learning. The pistes are the place to learn and develop skills. Next would be off-piste using ski lifts. This gives the mileage you need to improve. Finally, you can move on to ski touring!             

Why do you need my weight rather than my height for hiring ski equipment?

 The appropriate ski length for you will depend on how your weight depresses the camber or flex of the ski and this will influence how the ski performs for you, whether you are turning (when you are on-piste skiing) or touring (when striding and gliding Nordic style). The ski can tell how heavy you are but not how tall you are! Your height is, therefore, irrelevant. Other factors like your ski experience, your technical ability etc. are also significant when buying but using your weight is the simplest and most accurate way to ensure the correct ski length for hiring.

Can I get sun burnt in winter?

Easily! Always take precautions against the strength of the sun on a skiing holiday. At altitude with the reflection off the snow, the sun's rays can cause damage very quickly. Always wear sunglasses, even when the sun is not shining. Apply sunscreen and keep applying it (you can burn though cloud cover). Putting on factor 40 once in the morning will not protect you from burning. Reapply every hour.

How can I reduce the risks of injury?

Injury rates for skiing are much lower than most people imagine, at between 0.2 and 0.4%. The French Society of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests the following eight points to reduce your risk: improve your physical fitness before your holiday; ensure bindings are correctly set for your ability, weight and height; chose the correct equipment for your level; wear a helmet (especially in a snow park); warm up before setting out; make sure you take enough food and liquids; and take a rest or cut short your day when you start to feel tired.

Follow the safety code and hire equipment from the specialists rather than borrowing from friends; stay within your personal limits and don't try to keep up with more experienced skiers. Bring non-slip boots for walking in resort as pavements can be icy.

What are the commonest injuries?

Skiers: knee ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament in particular) Make sure your ski-bindings are adjusted correctly for your weight and level of skiing. Over 80 % of accidents to skiers which result in sprained knee ligaments resulted from skis not coming off during a fall.

Snow boarders: injuries to wrists and head (wear a helmet and wrist protectors) and broken collarbones. Be careful not to crash into anyone when you are wearing a helmet as this can seriously injure them.

Cardiovascular exercises will be helpful as these increase endurance and reduce fatigue (the biggest cause of falls). Pre-ski fitness work should also include exercises for strength, flexibility and balance, to increase the strength of your bones as well as helping to support your joints. Being ski fit will not only make you more resistant to injury, but will increase your enjoyment and enhance your performance.

What is the risk of injury?

Our leaders will do their utmost to ensure the personal safety and security of our clients,but all winter activities do bring a risk of physical injury. Beginners to certain activities such as cross-country skiing or ski-touring will inevitably fall over many times; usually the falls are minor and are regarded as part of the fun, but occasionally more serious injuries (such as broken bones) occur. On all mountain winter holidays we have to take extra care for our clients’ safety. Where there is a risk of avalanche, falling on slopes or dangers due to the cold, our guides are extra cautious. If the guide considers situations to be above a reasonable level of risk, activities may have to be cancelled. However, please note that we can never completely eliminate all risks.

 

Will I suffer from altitude sickness?

You might suffer some mild effects depending on the height and location. Being more out of breath than usual on exercising, and slight tiredness are not uncommon. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and be careful of the strength of the sun - these are far more likely to make you unwell if you are not sensible than the altitude.

White Water Rafting- FAQs

Who can go white water rafting?

Generally, just about anyone in reasonable health and fitness can go rafting. The minimum age for a child on a Class III river (under normal water flows) is 8 years old (and a minimum weight of 55 pounds) and 14 years old on a Class IV river. There is no maximum age although anyone over 60 should be in good health and perhaps consult with your physician if you have any concerns. If you are pregnant, extremely overweight, or have back or heart problems, we do not suggest a raft trip. It is also recommended that you not have a fear of the water.

When is the best time to go white water rafting?

It depends on where the rafting river is located, water levels, and weather. Generally in Asia excellent rafting is available from March to May and September to November. Higher and lower water levels can increase the thrill factor on most rivers, so spring and late summer/fall are optimum for maximum adventure. Summer months of June, July and August are the most popular times to raft into streams. (When you take into consideration the temperature of some of the rivers - many are glacier fed - you want it to be hot!)

How are rivers classified for difficulty?

The difficulty of a river is classified on a scale of Class I to Class VI with I being very easy and VI unrunnable. Rivers are generally classified based on normal moderate water flows but during times of hightened or lowered water levels, the grade can be increased. Most commercial rafting trips take place on a grade III or IV River. Please visit our “Trip Grades” pages for more details.

What type of white water raft do I ride in?

There are three types of commonly used rafts, each with its own pros and cons.

The Self-Bailing Paddle Rafts can hold between 4-10 passengers. Each passenger is given a paddle and must work as a team under the direction of the guide to help power and maneuver the raft, generating a greater feeling of accomplishment. The ride is generally smoother than with the motorized raft.

The Oar Raft is solely maneuvered by the guide using two long oars.

The Motor Raft is propelled by a motor, not you, so you are free to hang on for dear life as you are tossed through the rapids. Ability to swim is not always an asset in these types of rafts.

What do I provide?

It depends on the raft destination. Some trips include camping, and you may be required to bring some equipment (such as a sleeping bag) or even need to bring your own rafts. In some countries we provide absolutely everything, (wetsuit, fleece, neoprene booties, etc.) including a meal, so all you need is your swimsuit, towel, and a change of clothes. It's also suggested to bring a waterproof camera, sunscreen and sunglasses (just make sure to get one of those things that hold them on your head!)

Is it safe?

Rafting is thrilling, exciting, wet, wild and unbelievably fun. However, as in all adventure sports, there is an inherent risk involved. That risk contributes to the excitement, and is one of the reasons people enjoy it so much. Our guides are trained to minimize risks, and, statistically, you're safer on a raft than in your car. But still, there is a risk, and you must accept that risk when you go on the river. The most common injury is sunburn, and most other injuries occur on land, especially getting into and out of the boats.

Which rafting trips are best for me?

When choosing your whitewater rafting trip, consider the location, length of trip, time of year, and activity level and age range of your group.  We offers trips ranging in length from ½ day to 8+ days; scenery ranging from the Nepal rivers to the Indus in Pakistan or from the alpine rivers of Mongolia to the central Asia; and activity levels ranging from leisurely adventure, to off-the-chart adrenaline-pumping rafting trips. The choice is yours...

What happens on a typical rafting trip?

Our goal, since inception, has been to help people enjoy "the best outdoor experience of their lives." Every day on the river brings a new experience, whether it’s spending a ½ day experiencing your first rapids, spotting wildlife, hiking to ancient petroglyphs or staying up late to watch shooting stars.  However, there are certain things you can count on. 

 Multi-Day Trips: You may expect to spend part of your day traveling down river and another part hiking, exploring or relaxing on dry land. We stop mid-day for a wonderful lunch spread, and you typically arrive at camp early enough to explore, read, nap, play horseshoes or share a cocktail.

Half-Day & One-Day Trips: Though most of our one-day rafting trips include a hearty lunch, plan to spend most of your day on the river. Side excursions on day trips are limited as we want to maximize your river time for the day!

Are the trips all whitewater?

No most rivers are “pool and drop” meaning there are exciting rapids interspersed with stretches of calm, relaxing floating, allowing you time to soak up the natural serenity. From the casual Class I float to maximum intensity Class IV &V whitewater; the ride itself is a lot of fun. However, we only spend a short amount of the long, lingering days in the rafts. The stops along the way selected to provide excellent opportunities for walking, hiking, birding, wildlife viewing and simply immersing yourself in the magic and the majesty of the region.   

Do I have to know how to swim?

All participants must wear Personal Flotation Devices (aka PFDs or life jackets). Should you fall out of your boat, the PFD is designed to float you face up in the water. Before you get into your boat, however, our guides will give a detailed safety talk and show you how to properly “swim” a rapid. 

What are my chances of falling out, and what do I do if that happens?

Believe it or not, many people love falling out of the boat. It's exciting. But it can be disorienting and a little overwhelming at first. Many people have taken multiple trips and never fallen in. Some people swim on their first trip. It's a part of rafting. Before you go on any trip, you'll be given extensive instructions on what to do if you fall in, and how to stay safe. Follow you're guide's instructions, and your "swim" could be the most exciting part of your trip!

What do listed prices include?

You need to check trip dossiers for full details. However, some trips include all of the top-quality equipment you'll need for your trip: raft, paddle, personal flotation device, splash jacket and on some rivers during cooler weather, splash pants and a wetsuit and some trips not. Prices do not included applicable taxes and fees, which differ by river, country and regulating agency. 

 

Can I bring my camera / video camera?

A general rule of thumb is don't bring anything you would be devastated to lose. Video cameras and still cameras will get wet and most likely ruined. A good idea is a disposable waterproof camera. Photo quality is pretty good, and if you lose it, it's not the end of the world. They are well suited to rafting. 

What should I wear on the river?

Spring/Fall

We suggest wool or synthetic layers on cool days. Wool socks, gloves and hats can also increase your comfort level on cool days. It's a general rule that in cooler weather, you should avoid cotton, as it is slow to dry and it keeps your skin cold when it gets wet.

Summer

For summertime trips or warm days, shorts and a T-shirt with a bathing suit will be sufficient. Once again, swim shorts or non-cotton are best

Tips for Any Season

Shoes that fasten securely to your feet are required at all times. At any time of year, avoid heavy cotton fabrics. Jeans and sweatshirts are highly absorbent (think of a cotton towel) and will do nothing to enhance warmth or comfort level.

What about the toilets?

While the idea of a river trip is appealing to most people, many are inhibited or reluctant because of modesty or uncertainty. To minimize our impacts, we carry out all solid human waste and use a portable toilet system that is set up each day at camp in a secluded location where privacy is assured. It is essentially a toilet without plumbing and is available from the time you pull into camp each afternoon until you leave camp the next day.

Do I need travel Insurance?

Although every effort is made to provide a safe trip for all, we strongly recommend that you protect yourself, your belongings, and your vacation through the purchase of a short-term traveler’s policy.  A trip cancellation policy covers your non-refundable payments in most cases, should you have to cancel your trip due to illness or injury even at the last minute.  Trip participants should realize that in the event of illness or injury on a river trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult and expensive.  Personal belongings and cameras are carried entirely at the owner’s risk, and Snowland accepts no responsibility for lost, damaged, delayed or stolen property.Please email  us at   info@snowland.com.pk  for more information.

Do we paddle ourselves down the river without a guide?

You will be paddling but there will also be a qualified guide with you at all times who is in control of the raft. If you are looking for something a little more independent, we suggest you might take an independent ride, where the guide will usually be alongside in a kayak and you will be in control of the boat.

I have never done anything like this before, does this matter?

Not at all! The only pre-requisites are that you are physically fit. You will attend a full safety briefing before going on the water where the guide will make sure everyone is happy with the commands. 

 

How strenuous is Whitewater rafting?

You will be active, but if you are in moderately good physical condition, the challenge will not strain you. There is little danger if you follow the safety rules in Whitewater rafting, do what your guide tells you and don't try to swim or paddle beyond your skills.

What about children?

It depends on the child and the challenge of your specific rafting trip. It is a fascinating, rewarding experience for a child who is prepared for an outdoor challenge, and who can easily adjust to the company of adults and the discipline that water and river safety requires. Keep in mind there may be others in your group who prefer a trip away from children. You know your child best. Most destinations will have a minimum age for each Whitewater raft trip. Most children are mature enough around age 12.

Am I going to get wet, and how should I dress?

Yes, Water does splash on you. Wear a swim suit, and shoes that can get wet but won't come off your feet. Foot injury is the most common injury, from walking around on uneven terrain and broken glass. Shoes should be worn at all times. Wet suit booties or wool sox keep your feet warm. Bring a nylon wind shell, a glasses strap, sunscreen, chapstick, and some extra warm clothes. Have a towel and a dry set of clothes and shoes to get into after your trip and the ride home. We will provide you with a list of what to bring for your Whitewater raft trip.

 

Is there any fishing on Whitewater rafting trips?

Yes, fishing licenses should be obtained before the trip. You should bring a small folding type rod that can be stored easily when not in use. We also have specific trips just for fishing and the time it requires. Many areas are catch and release, contact us about fishing specific trips.

What is a good trip for a first timer?

If you have never Whitewater rafted before we can suggest you an appropriate trip. Our guides are experienced and take first timers down the river every day. You can't get into too much trouble, if you go with a professional guide. Before every trip there is a safety talk that will educate you on river running safety.

How do I get back to my car?

We run vehicle supported rafting trips so run a shuttle.  You can meet your group and staff member at the designated location. We will give you information in advance. In some cases we provide you with a map to the meeting place. Allow plenty of time to arrive early for your Whitewater rafting trip.

Will we go Whitewater Rafting even if it rains?

The answer in most cases is; Yes! As long as cold and high winds do not become a major factor. Thunderstorms are short lived and offer a wonderful perspective on nature. Sun streaming through clouds is a part of the outdoor experience. You are going to get splashed anyway so enjoy the added ambience and beauty weather can bring. Save extra film for that rainbow. It just may be the most memorable Whitewater raft trip of your life.

How many people in a raft?

The rafts are large enough to carry six or seven people plus your rafting guide. If you’re travelling with friends or in a group, we can generally organise it so that you go down the river in the same raft.

Is there a guide in the raft with us?

Yes, every boat has a qualified and certified rafting guide that will not only keep you safe as you go down the river but entertain you with stories and information about the area you are travelling through

Can I raft if I am pregnant?

No. Company policy is that we don’t allow anyone who is pregnant on grade 3 or above rivers. There is a risk that a pregnant person could sustain a blow to the abdomen either through falling out the raft, from a paddle from another client or someone falling against them.

Can I raft if I have a disability?

This will need to be assessed on a case by case basis and we recommend you call our staff and have a chat with them about your specific needs. Generally we are able to accommodate most people if we are given prior notice. Ultimately though your involvement will be at the discretion of the trip leader and guides who will be able to assess the conditions on the day and inform you of any potential safety concerns.

Are there seatbelts in the raft?

No but you will be instructed by your guide how to brace yourself in the raft to minimize the chance of falling out.

I see you raft in the winter as well, will I be cold?

The temperature of the water varies depending on the time of year, the water level and destination however you will be provided with waterproof booties, a full length 5mm wetsuit as well as a 5mm jacket, spray-jacket and life jacket. These should keep you adequately warm and the ‘paddling action’ will certainly keep the blood flowing. 

Paragliding-FAQs

What is a paraglider?

A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, airfoil canopy, designed to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements than the wind, gravity and the pilot's muscle power. We descend at about 3 minutes per 1000' of altitude. However, if the air is rising faster than we are descending (as often happens), flights of 1-3 hours are not uncommon. Paragliders are designed for soaring flight. Parachutes are designed to descend. As of 1994, paragliders have stayed aloft over 11 hours and are close to achieving 200 mile distance records.

 

What are the main component parts of a paraglider?

A canopy (the actual "wing" or "glider"), risers (the cords by which the pilot is suspended below the canopy) and a harness. In addition, the brake cords provide speed and directional control and carabiners are used to connect the risers and the harness together.

Is a paraglider the same thing as a parachute?

No. A Paraglider is similar to a modern, steerable skydiving canopy, but different in several important ways. The Paraglider is a foot-launched device, so there is no "drouge" 'chute or "slider", and the construction is generally much lighter, as it doesn't have to withstand the sudden shock of opening at high velocities. The Paraglider usually has more cells and thinner risers than a parachute.

What is the difference between a Hang Glider and a paraglider?

A Hang Glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting or supine position. The Hang Glider has a "cleaner" aerodynamic profile and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than a Paraglider

Is paragliding safe?

The short answer is no, paragliding is a high risk sport and does not tolerate complacency. At times Mother Nature can show no mercy and you could get seriously hurt or die. Basically it is as safe as you make it. It depends on many personal attributes, your attitude, knowledge and experience, ability to make decisions, personal judgement, and to maintain a conservative approach, think with your head and not your ego. Such is a saying. "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots". The bottom line is that most deaths occur from pilot error, equipment failure is rare and most fatalities are due to pilots flying in extreme weather conditions, manoeuvres to close to the ground or unable to recover correctly from various turbulences.

How fit and healthy do I need to be to paraglide?

You should be fit and active, have good co-ordination and an alert, reasoning mind. As well as a fair amount of running around, you will be walking up 500ft hills carrying a 15-20kg rucksack full of paragliding equipment. Although no medical examinations are officially required you should be in generally good health. If you suffer from any medical condition such as epilepsy, fainting, giddiness, high blood pressure, heart condition, osteoporosis or diabetes you should ask your Doctor's advice before taking part in paragliding.

How much paragliding experience I need?

We are open to all autonomous paragliding pilots.   Pilots must be CP-rated (or equivalent) ideally with at least 10 hours post qualification experience.  An autonomous pilot can:

  • Assess and understand the dangers of take-off and landing areas.
  • Perform an unassisted forward launch in light conditions.
  • Perform an unassisted reverse launch in strong and thermic conditions.
  • Take full responsibility for their pre-flight preparations.
  • Take full responsibility for deciding whether or not conditions are suitable for them.
  • Understand fully the rules of right-of-way for paragliders (air law!)
  • Take full responsibility for all take-off, landing and in-flight decisions.

Do you jump off a cliff?

To begin with, we don't jump off anything. Paragliders are usually launched by running off of moderate slopes with the glider inflated until you are lifted off your feet.

What Weather Can It Handle?

This is a light-wind sport. Generally a maximum wind of 12 mph is acceptable although, under certain conditions, experienced pilots can fly in stronger winds. We generally fly in the mornings and evenings so as to avoid the bumpy mid-day air. A few pilots seek out those mid-day conditions at the expense of some added risk.

How long does a Paraglider last?

Generally four years of average use. This obviously depends on how and where it is used. Ultraviolet rays from the sun and physical abrasion on harsh terrain are the greatest source of canopy deterioration. 300-500 hours of exposure to UV is considered the normal life, depending on the quality of materials being used. Canopies are routinely tested for strength. Long before they become unsafe their flying performance will typically mark the need for replacement.

How high and far can a paraglider fly?

The current world's distance record is over 200 miles. Paragliders are restricted from flying above 18,000 feet. (Oxygen is normally used above 10,000.) Paragliders have been launched from the highest mountains of the world including Everest.

Do I need a license to fly?

Legally no. No license is required to paraglide or hang glide. Paragliding and hang gliding is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority and is a self-regulated sport. However to own a paraglider and go fly it, you should have the knowledge and skills that you acquire with these ratings.

I want the ultimate Paragliding experience what can you offer?

We offer multiple paragliding adventures in remote mountain ranges of Himalaya, Karamoram and Pamir in Asia. On our Paragliding adventures you will have also opportunity to climb to a peak over 4000m-6000m followed by an amazing flight over the tumbling icefalls and seracs of several glaciers. Please read through the pages of paragliding trip on our website and for more detailed trip dossier contact us

We offer multiple paragliding adventures in remote mountain ranges of Himalaya, Karamoram and Pamir in Asia. On our Paragliding adventures you will have also opportunity to climb to a peak over 4000m-6000m followed by an amazing flight over the tumbling icefalls and seracs of several glaciers. Please read through the pages of paragliding trip on our website and for more detailed trip dossier contact us. 

 

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