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Remembering our wonderful journeys
Here is a list of treks and expeditions we have previously advertised.
The links may lead to updated versions of the info pages.
It may appear that we spend our entire lives trekking. You would be almost right!
We care about each and every trek all the same.
* means these wonderful people have trekked multiple times with us.
+ means summitted the expedition peak.
Our spring Everest Base Camp trek was cancelled after the main mover had an accident. Currently, we are in the middle of a full Ladakh season with a real variety of treks.
Trails less trekked... Backpacking is trekking, carrying all your own gear and camping out in the most amazing Ladakh wilderness camps, but with the satisfaction of still helping the local economy. We share the tricks and neat itineraries that ease in the rigours, and luxe out at our resupply breaks, every detail perfectly planned for a satisfying trek with minimal preparation time. You bring your personal gear, we provide the tent, stove, fuel and supplies for you to carry!
After the hilltop gompas and forts of the Markha Valley, we get remote and wild in the domain of blue sheep and their predators, snow leopards and wolves, and cute pikas and marmots, and even the free roaming kiang. We cross high and wild passes, and scramble the hills beside for a real adventure.
From hot to cold, and from voles to kiang, everyone rose to the challenges for a real adventure. More to come...
Across Zanskar has always been the classic trek; we avoid the new roads with two adventurous variations that few dare for mesmerizing views, adventurous canyons, stunning wild camping and pretty villages. Rugged, colourful rock contrasts with the azure rivers and green village oases. Ancient monasteries cling to rock faces and Buddhist chortens dot the immense landscape. It is the updated classic and one of the very best adventure treks there is.
11 June-1 July, 21 days — Leh to Leh — expedition style — Jamie & Esther — US$2780 — full
Team: Fred M****, Kurt H***, James** & Michaela, Stacey Bowker and Mike Farris***
Crew: Lobsang, Raj, Sherap, Samphal, Ram Lal, Sunoj, Teej Singh and 15 horses
What an adventure, start to finish!
Thank you, everyone, for joining, and to our superstar crew. As Fred said, the level of adventure or perhaps difficulty is British-style understated above. Those river crossings, the passes, even the bridges, and just the whole experience!
The heavy later winter falls were evident driving out of Leh, and were a feature on most pass crossings too. I envisaged our first couple of days to be less than exciting given that we were simply following the Tsarap Chu (river) as we acclimatized, however each day in Shun had it's own character and was interesting trekking, sometimes above the river, sometimes close to the roar of a river almost in flood, exploring dicy bridges.
The first pass was a tough but rewarding slog, the elation of pass success dampened by a horse dying on the pass, apparently of altitude sickness. The horses had acclimatized similiar to us, including three days at 4400m before meeting us, so this was surprising to everyone, but Teej did admit it was this horse's first time to Ladakh. A distressing scene.
After the first pass, as the jagged mountains randomly stretch into the distance, the Ladakhi saying really is self--evident: "Only the best of friends or the worst of enemies come to Ladakh". A curiously long, scenic traverse brought us to a camp hacked out of the hillside (thanks, Kim!).
Dropping into familiar territory, we were soon at the remote village of Shade where it rained for our rest day, although that didn't dampen the Scrabble competition or reading. Thankfully our double pass day was less eventful than our first pass, although apparently, the locals had scared and driven on a bear in the direction we were heading three days prior.
We shared a stream with nomads who came and explored our camp - and we explored theirs, petting baby yaks and watching the mothers being milked, a delightfully natural experience.
The second major pass of the trip was the 5160m Pangdang La, and instead of the flowers of last year, much of the top was snow-covered, some great boot skiing for those who dared. Thankfully, the waters of this canyon afternoon cooperated, with fun crossings and we made it to Zangla Sumdo before the stream rose too high. Missing were the ibex of last year, indeed on this trek we saw little, other than blue sheep at our acclimatization camp as we left Leh, and one other spot, and a variety of birds. The crew did see and scare the bear by a side stream though.
Then those impossibly steep-sided canyons down to Zangla... The river had not really dropped and so we had to work our way around severeal normal crossing points and even pull out a rope for a couple. The crew were fantastic though, Lobsang the bear standing in the river helping trekkers across, and the others forming a chain to support on the most challenging crossings. It really was a particularly satisfying day.
A bear still featured on the Lingshed section, three shops had been broken into just days before we arrived, biscuits and uncooked rice seemed to be the favourite. Thank goodness it didn't learn to open the beer as we needed some "sports recovery beverage" by this stage. We had the most delightful lama-gompa experience at Lingshed then some harder trekking in real rain as we took an unplanned trek over the Singge La as the road was awash and boulder-strewn.
Among the many highlights I have to mention the meals, the delightful dinners with a real variety of non-greasy dishes, Raj was an awesome cook - thank you. And thanks, Mike, for the whiskey!
Esther, Stacey, Fred, Kurt, Mike, James & Micheala and Jamie
atop the 5160m Pandang La - the Zanskar Spring trek team
Sherap, Sunoj, Samphal, teej Singh, ram Lal, Raj and Lobsang - the superb Zanskar Spring trek crew
You can fly in and out - but it is a real adventure to overland both ways ... !
Apr, 23 days — teahouse style — Gombu
Team: Peter W
Crew: Pasang Gombu and Tishi
We summited Mera Peak on Wed 12 April, at approx 0730. Glorious weather, Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Kangchenjunga all on display.
I think only one westerner summited on each of 10 and 11 April. We had 2 large parties of Thais and Koreans climbing with us, we passed most of them and 3 Koreans were at the summit crux when we arrived.
We were lucky with the weather, there was plenty of afternoon mist on the trail before 10 April and it snowed at Khola Kharka 4200m a few days later down the trail. Walking out over the high pass and past the lakes was wonderful. First couple of days were easy, just as well as part of me getting fit on the job. Then the track got a bit steeper with plenty of ups and downs. Until we met the hikers from Lukla coming over the pass we were alone in the bamboo jungle apart from the odd local. Had a couple of "rest" days on the way up at 4300m and 4900m, went for day hikes and slept back at the same altitude. The acclimation process went well, just one headache at Mera La 5300m, was gone the next day.
Guide Sherpa Gombu is a hearty sociable fellow, he always found me a glass of the local millet or rice brew (Rakshi or Chang, helps one sleep...). I stopped this medicine above 3600m. He seemed to know everybody on the trail, perhaps on account of him having climbed Mera 67 or so times. 56yrs now, but still has the legs for it. And our porter Tishi, 17yrs, a strong boy who is still growing up. Very nice guy. Like all teenagers loves a chat on his mobile phone...
No aeroplane ride back to Kathmandu, we walked to the start of the "road" at Sotang and then the fun trusting your life to the skill of the jeep driver. ...