In Land Rovers and on foot, climb Central Asia’s mountains in pursuit of snow leopards. Volunteers search for the elusive green-eyed cats by tracking their footprints, scat, and prey: the argali (mountain sheep) and the Altai ibex. The expeditions provide data that can be used to help protect the endangered cats. At night, retreat to a base camp at 7,500 feet. Snowy peaks tower overhead, and the immense, open steppe stretches out below. —Kellie Schmitt
Mountain Ghosts: About $2,700 for two weeks, including food and lodging. (800) 407-5761, biosphere-expeditions.org.Other Trips to Help Animals Whales in Costa Rica Orangutans in Indonesia Meerkats in South Africa Elephants in Thailand Horses in CaliforniaPhoto from Biosphere Expeditions. This story appeared in the November/December 2011 issue.