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Our 2005 treks and expeditions
Here is a list of treks and expeditions we have previously advertised.
* means these wonderful people have trekked multiple times with us.
2005 Classic Nepal Autumn
Join us for Christmas in the Everest region under crisp, blue December skies without the October hordes. We explore the stunning Gokyo lakes, climb Kala Pattar, visit old Sherpa villages and Buddhist gompas and relax with friends in cozy lodges.
4-29 Dec, 26 days -- teahouse trekking -- leader: Kim &
Lhakpa -- US$2290
Perfectly blue December skies, with just a touch of cloudy weather under over the Nupste wall; December treks don't get much better than this one! Jim, Irv, Sarah, James, Lowell, Maddy & Ben made it up most of the peaks for exceptional mountain panoramas and then luxuriated by the Sherpa stoves. Tashi Ghale, our 'guest' photographer from Manang, awed us with sunset shots of the moon over 8000 meter peaks, Lhakpa took us on a tour of the Khumbu as seen through the windows of his extended family's guest houses and Lowell managed 'Namche Base Camp'. Kim celebrated her birthday under Mount Everest at Kala Pattar, and Xmas Eve in Kyangjuma & Xmas in Monjo were cozy and filled with good food and drink. Special 'thanks' to Dave R for his inspiration throughout the trek. Thanks to all for a wonderful Christmas trek!
Top: Ben, Maddy, Jim; bottom: Lhakpa, James, Sarah; missing: Kim and Lowell
The very best of the Everest region at the very best time, slightly later to avoid the October high season; Gokyo lakes, the Cho La, and of course Everest Base camp and Kala Pattar, with plenty of time to enjoy this once in a life time trip.
3-28 Nov, 26 days -- teahouse trekking --
Joel Schone -- US$2250
Huge rewards for those intrepid enough; unsullied culture and scenery to rival the Everest region. A classic trek, classic expedition style from the middle hills to the base camps where avalanches rumble and glaciers groan on the world's #3.
23 Oct-18 Nov, 27 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Wanda
Vivequin (& Jamie) -- US$2250
Can you all come again!
John and Meagan write:
This will be our 5th 42 day exploratory trek in the region (!!) and the last area we have yet to explore. We visit both base camps, the show-stealing Jannu BC and attempt a complex of 6000m peaks that we can call Bokta North. Lastly the locals reckon there is a way over from Kanchenjunga to Makalu - we have adventures finding out.
23 Oct-3 Dec, 42 days -- expedition style -- leader: Jamie McGuinness -- US$2850
What a fantastic trip. So how did we end up with only three trekkers for the exploratory section? First on arrival in Kathmandu, Ken found out that his son had just contracted suspected meningitis, and flew back immediately. Very sad to lose him so quickly. Then after Kanchenjunga North side BC and camping at Pangpema most of the herd bolted, saying that they had not expected to be quite as cold as it was. My entreaties of but "it is just a cold snap" did not wash with them, and as soon as they left it warmed again! To be fair Niels was going to stay but twisted his knee, and Dallas also.
We still didn't quite get to the top of Bokta North; another time, but we were very close.
I had my first helicopter evacuation while running my own trips, Dallas stretched his Achilles tendon tripping on the trail and the swelling just would not go down, even with 5 days rest, so he got a very scenic flight out.
Standing L-R: Bal Bahadur (porter naike), Pasang (sherpa-cook), Bir Bagh
(sherpa), Dawa Gelje (sirdar), John SS, Da'Yula (sherpa-sirdar), Natasha, Niels,
Alphonse, Dallas C, Jerry C.
A true Himalayan journey through the lost worlds of the Nepal Himalaya and a glimpse into old Tibet, both wonderfully cultural and spectacular.
17 Oct-20 Nov, 35 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Kim
Bannister -- US$3480
With lots of rain and snow under our belts after the Manaslu trek, we continued on from the start of the Annapurna Circuit, had some chilly nights en route to Phu, and only made it as far as a day trip to Phu after Lhakpa cut two hours worth of steps in icy, cliff-top trails. Nar was wonderfully sunny, the Kang La pass challenged us with snow up to our knees, and the finish of the trek was crossing the Thorung La in gale-force winds down to lower Mustang, where balmy breezes encouraged an over-indulgence in chilled beers. A true journey, challenging most of the time, and worth every day (32 of them) of it! Thanks to Peter & Alan for making this an amazing trek, and we'll see you back in the Himalayas soon!
Himalayan veterans often vote the Manaslu Circuit as the best trek in Nepal. Spectacular mountain scenery, ethnically Tibetan culture, isolated villages and a high pass to the Annapurna region, Manaslu has it all!
17 Oct-6 Nov, 21 days -- expedition-style -- leader:
Kim Bannister -- US$2380
A rainy start in the middle hills forced us to shelter in smoky, Nepali tea-houses and an un-crossable Larkya La (pass) was disappointing. [Jamie says: it was a huge dump in the region, many trekkers were rescued in the region]. Leaving snow-covered villages high up in the mountains it made for some of the best trekking days ever, and we ended the trek with the spectacular high route back down to the palace at Gorkha. Helen & Evan, back for more trekking, set the pace for the rest of us, Sally kept us healthy, Nick entertained us by jumping in icy rivers, Peter awed us with tales of the high seas, and Alan equally with his journeys in the far-reaches of the Himalaya. Kim and Lhakpa kept the staff together and happy (despite detours and changed routes), and the dining tent, food, gear and trekkers dry and warm. Through it all, the Maoists kept careful watch over us, but only vaguely hinted at donations such as cameras and binoculars ... team Canada, eh? Or was it New Zealand?
Trekking deep into the previously restricted valleys of Nar and Phu, this trek is a glimpse into the 'lost world' of old Tibet. Spectacular snow-peaks, glaciers, isolated villages, gompas, yak pastures, open forests, canyons. Trekked Nepal? Think again!
29 Oct-20 Nov, 23 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Kim Bannister
2005 Fall expeditions
Normal North-east ridge route. Jamie has been there twice before to the Central summit and really wants to get to true summit. We can do it, given good conditions! As an option Cho Oyu afterwards is possible.
4 Sep-18 Oct, 45 days -- Guide manager: ++Jamie McGuinness --
US$9600 + $600 safety deposit
Most people summitted, very successful and safe - see the Shishapangma expedition dispatches.
Standing L-R: Tshering Dorje, Tawa, Jamie, Dorje, Scott Streett, Dawa Gelje,
Greg, Ed K, Pasang, Dr Warwick
Cho Oyu is HIGH and often called 'easy' but there are plenty of significant challenges. Our guided expedition has strong support and good backup; if you pay this much money you want the best shot you can get and we provide it!
30 Aug-13 Oct, 45 days -- guide-assisted -- Guide-manager:
+ Andrew Lock -- US$10,000
L-R: Dawa Chhiri, Mike Norris, Seba Illingworth, Andrew Lock, Inigo and Billi Bierling
+ Cho Oyu expedition 8201m - Tibet Fall
Great base camp support. Sure, you can find cheaper but we offer more safety and more flexibility, and once the differences are counted, we are almost comparable in price.
30 Aug-13 Oct, 45 days -- BC-ABC support -- US$5500
They climbed independently but shared base camp with Andrew's team.
2005 Tibet and Indian Summer
We touch Everest on the highest trek in the world!
11 Sept-2 Oct, 22 days -- expedition-style -- leader: our Nepal staff and Tibetan guide -- US$2580
Druk Path Trek & Bumthang Festival - Bhutan
Experience the magic and mysticism of Bhutan, land of the Thunder Dragon; the colorful tsechu (Buddhist cham dance festival) of Thangbi Mani in Bumthang, the 5 day Druk Path trek, the 'dzongs' of Punaka, Thimphu and idyllic Paro.
13-24 Sept, 12 days -- expedition-style -- organizer: Kim, leader: Gelay or Anan -- US$2660
The classic overland adventure from Lhasa to Kathmandu including Everest North side base camp.
1-15 Sept, 15 days -- jeep tour -- leader: Jamie to Tingri -- US$1480
Ladakh, the 'Crossroads of High Asia', is criss-crossed with both modern and ancient trade routes. The Jumlam or 'middle way' is an incredibly scenic trek which traverses from the Indus valley to the ancient kingdom of Zangla via a network of stunning, precipitous gorges, canyons and remote passes.
12 Sept-3 Oct, 22 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Joel
We hardly noticed the Autumn chill in the air (ok, maybe Kim did, but she won't admit it) as we trekked through a magical world of river gorges, over high passes, crossed crystal-clear rivers more than 100 times, passed by herds of blue sheep, and camped under a full moon and starry skies. The enthusiasm of our small group was infectious, and our trek was completed by a wild three-day jeep journey via Rangdum and Kargil back to Leh. Thanks, guys, and we'll expect you back for another trek soon!
An exotic journey through ochre canyons and luminescent valleys of roses where bears still roam, past remote gompas and white-washed villages. We explore hidden valleys of Zanskar, bring an adventurous spirit!
14 Aug-12 Sept, 30 days -- expedition-style -- leaders: Joel & Kim
-- US$2580 -- trek full
A difficult trek with more challenges that we would like to admit. The Guberajon, or 'Gompa Rangjung', the 'self-emanating gompa' which towers over the Zanskar valley, provided our inspiration for a trek dedicated to Jason, Joel's brother.
Probably the best real trek in Tibet. We start in the idyllic Kharta Valley, trek to the incomparable grandeur of the Kangshung face with time for some serious exploration ala Mallory. A Jamie special.
31 Jul-25 Aug, 26 days -- light expedition-style -- leader: Jamie -- US$2450
Did we say we run only in the best seasons? Wet, wet, wet! We won't trek here again in the monsoon. But between the clouds what panoramas! Although we didn't get up anything high it was a surprisingly successful trek in that we did get to stay two night at the base camp area and explore; very few groups manage this. It is an area we must return to.
L-R: yak driver, Samantha, Tashi. Toby, Dawa Norbu (another yak drivers' son),
The ancient kingdoms of Ladakh and Zanskar are some of the more exotic on earth, and we continue our love affair with this magical place - its diverse people, landscape, religion, villages - by crossing the high, remote lands via a route rarely trekked.
15 July-9 August, 26 days -- expedition-style -- leaders: Kim & Joel -- US$2280
Trekking groups don't get much better than this one, and fields of wild-flowers (all documented by June) blanketed the way through the spectacular and magical valleys of Zanskar & Ladakh. June, Marv & Rein proved that 70 is THE age for a three week trek, Bengt dreamed of becoming a dad, John taught us, Stephen paid our gompa entrance fees by Visa, Harry Louw spoke in strange Afrikaners tongues, June kept us laughing, Marv taught us the ways of the American Indians (but we refused to learn the rain dance) and Rein presided over the tent in a god-fatherly manner. Thank you all so much for a wonderful, wonderful trek!
Picture taken by Lhakpa: back row: Rein (Estonia), Bengt
(Norway), Stephen & John (UK), Marv (USA), Harry (SA).
Private trek joining the Land Beyond.
Team: Mattias*** and Helen***.
Back to Ladakh for their third year in a row. Again we managed to link two of our favorite trekkers into a trek already happening. We got back from our nomads trek to find them in Leh with thoughts on the bad weather...but it cleared up the day they started! As I write they are about to pick up some fresh supplies and we join them with 'The Land beyond' group later this week.
A trek through a valley of ancient hilltop gompas and villages in motion, joining the 'Nomads of Changthang' group at the start of their journey. A perfect holiday for those with less time.
11-23 June, 13 days -- expedition-style -- leaders: Kim & Joel -- US$1450
Combined with the trek below.
Following ancient caravan trails, this is a 'best of Ladakh' trek - open grasslands, jagged peaks, turquoise lakes, picturesque villages, Buddhist gompas, incredible passes and of course the Tibetan nomads that roam the high plateau.
11 June-10 July, 30 days -- expedition-style -- leaders: Joel & Kim
Joel says: 'Comings and goings' and the 'summer is not here yet' as the Ladakhis keep saying. Nomads Steve (UK), Dagmar (UK) amd Seth (USA) were joined for the first section by surf instructor Eric (it is true, NOLS have surfing courses!), and a friend of Kim's living in Kathmandu, Willi. Through sun and sleet to Nimaling, with Dagmar entertaining village kids with her guitar.
Climbing the Chokspa la we found that the horses could not get through the deep snow so we rewrote the itinerary; over the Kongmaru La so Willi and Eric could get back to Leh, then on to Kharnak via our classic route, picking up Max Sadler, one of Joel's fellow teachers in the Khumbu in 2000, and a veteran of the first Caravan in 2000, en route to the "Valley of the Kiangs" and Tso Moriri.
We had rain, snow, heat, and difficult conditions, from Dagmar's blisters to Seth's awesome singing to beach parties a la British seaside resorts (rain, drizzle and fog). We had rivers in flood that Lobsang got us over and Lhakpa swam in (accidentally), but thanks to our great crew and our logistical expertise, we had an awesome adventure!
[Almost the entire Indian state of Gujarat was flooded at this time].
L-R: Joel, Kim, Max, Steve, Seth and Dagmar.
2005 Tibetan Spring
The breath-taking kora of Mount Kailash is the ultimate pilgrimage for Tibetans and Hindus alike. Add a wild trek into Tibet from Humla in far west Nepal, the Saga Dawa festival, Tibetan nomads, Buddhist lamas and a jeep safari to Lhasa for the journey of a lifetime!
9 May-4 June, 27 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Kim
Bannister -- US$3880
L-R: Tibetan guide Phubu, Samuel G, Jim Daniels, Peter Santos (Kim below), sirdar Wangchuu, Harshad Patel, Ivan Bunner
We touch Everest on the highest trek in the world! We visit Jamie's Everest Expedition around the time they might be summitting.
8-29 May, 22 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Kim in
Kathmandu, Tibetan guide in Tibet -- US$2580
Belinda writes: The trek was totally fantastic – everything I had hoped for and more. It was tough, mainly because I had a nasty bout of gastro early on, then was affected by the altitude somewhat. However, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the trek, it was really well organized and run and the guys did a fabulous job of everything.
It was just so exciting to see Tibet – what an amazing country, the people were great fun and everything ran so smoothly. Seeing Everest and coming up to ABC was a dream come true...
10 Apr-6 May, 22 days -- expedition-style
We are offering comprehensive and reliable BC-ABC services with rescue planned for, spare oxygen, email and plenty of other services too. See the dispatches for this expedition.
3/4 Apr-7 June, 65 days -- BC-ABC support-- Manager: Jamie McGuinness --
Success! And more importantly, we lost no members to sickness, we had no frostbite, and were the only expedition to finish with one more member than we started with! Special thanks to Doctor Julian, who did such a great and much appreciated job both with our and for other teams.
Julian elated on the summit.
The classic overland adventure by Landcruiser from Lhasa to the lush Kathmandu Valley, visiting Shigatse, Gyantse and Everest Base Camp for stunning views of the north side of Everest (Chomolungma) en route. Ties in with Everest High Passes.
27 Mar-10 April, 15 days -- jeep tour -- leader: Jamie in
Kathmandu, Tibetan guide in Tibet -- US$1480
2005 Everest Spring
Classic Everest treks in Nepal and Tibet, all in safe regions!
Experience the Sherpa high country and the incredible mountains. This trek has it all: Gokyo lakes, the Cho la pass, and of course Everest Base camp and Kala Pattar, with plenty of time to enjoy this once in a life time trip.
23 Apr-16 May, 24 days -- teahouse trekking -- leader: Joel
Schone -- US$2250
So a Scotsman and his Greek wife, an Irishman, an Argentinean and an American. Thank you for your company and for getting through all that bad weather without 'Buns of steel'.
The best - indeed virtually all - of the Everest region; we cross the Cho La and the Renjo La, explore the stunning Gokyo lakes region, climb Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar, visit Everest Base Camp and more, relaxing in cozy Sherpa lodges along the way.
12 Apr-5 May, 24 days -- teahouse trekking -- leader: Kim
Bannister -- US$2250
Kim writes: So, a slightly belated THANK YOU to you all for making the High Passes trip such a wonderful one for me, for being so enthusiastic about every day, for helping me and each other and for being such great company throughout the trek and our extended time in Kathmandu. I miss you all!
Mountains so big, you fall over backwards looking at them! Although the route is heavily crevassed there are no other major obstacles, most people fail on this peak only because of acclimatization. We do it smart with a couple of extra days.
4-26 Apr, 23 days -- expedition-style -- leader: Billi Bierling
Rosanna writes: our trek was wonderful, all of us summitted, with Pasang, Zangbu and Nahua, and I'm extremely happy about the whole adventure. Billi is fantastic, and she has been a perfect leader, not only from the "mountain" point of view, but also as team-mate, tent-mate and friend!!
On top of Mera Peak! Marwan, Billi and Sam; Rosanna lower - Rosanna
2005 Zanskar ice
The summer way into Zanskar crosses many passes, in winter the locals simply walk the frozen Zanskar River, and we will follow into the Kingdom of Zangla, perhaps with some exploring.
Dates: 30 Jan-26 Feb 2005, 28 days. Services: light
expedition-style. Leader: Joel Schone. Cost: US$2220.
Snowstorms, avalanches, and very bad ice conditions means that few of the trekking groups that set out to walk the Chadar in early February made it to the kingdom of Zangla, and if they did, they flew out by rescue helicopter, one experience of the frozen Zanskar being enough. We made Zangla in time for Tibetan New Year, and a good chang party, before returning the way we came; even Lobsang, Eskimo extraordinaire on ice, said we were lucky to do it in such conditions. [The news was filled with the 175 people in Kashmir who died in avalanches and under 4 metres of snow at this very time].
Thanks to Tad, Ben, Diana, and Peter (the Dane) for being such good company as we had cocktail parties in caves, sat out long afternoons in Pidmo and Neraks, breaking trails, and above all, sharing the adventure!
The summer way into Zanskar crosses many passes, in winter the locals simply walk the frozen Zanskar River... We build on Joel's Feb 2002 trek, which he is still raving about.
Dates: 6-26 Jan, 21 days. Services: light
expedition-style. Leader: Joel Schone. Cost: US$1980.