How it all started
My very first visit to Spiti Valley was during the summer of 2017. I was there for couple of weeks and had the opportunity to interact with the villagers residing there for decades. They would often tell me anecdotes about their everyday life, the breathtakingly cruel winters - how the whole landscape would transforms into a sea of white and its impact on their way of living. All of these tales ignited a sense of curiosity to visit and experience this wonder someday. The icing to the cake was when the villagers of Kibber mentioned about the sightings of the Snow Leopard during the cold days, I was left awestruck. I always had fascination towards this majestic ghost of the mountains and upon hearing about the actual possibility to see it in person completely overwhelmed me. I knew then, for sure, that I would come back to this wonderland at its very best.
Reaching Spiti in winter
I planned my visit on the 2nd and 3rd week of February as the route to Kaza, Spiti Valley seemed relatively clear of landslides & avalanches during that time. I am a budget traveller so, I decided to do this whole trip by public transport. The only way to reach Spiti Valley during winters is via Shimla and Reckong Peo, with a night halt in Reckong Peo followed by getting on the 7:30 am bus to Kaza the next morning. Depending on the current weather, the bus could go all the way till Kaza or it could drop you midway in Sumdo, as it happened in my case. From Sumdo, I hitchhiked in a smaller vehicle of the locals travelling to Kaza.
Trip cost and itinerary related details are shared at the end of this post.