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Rupshu Wild Exploration


This is REAL exploration, back of an envelope stuff, you must be flexible and open-minded. We explore the peaks and passes of an area so remote that it is not even used for grazing; a land of wolves and kiang.


2001 Caravan 6666: in retrospect it was this 39 day trek that started my fascination with the region. We eyed many peaks (climbed on later trips) and, lacking nerve for 6666, climbed 6622. An all time classic trek.

2002 Caravan Explorer 6000: from Pang we pioneered our classic Caravan HIGH route - the lowest passes were around 5700m, the highest was 6000m and of course a couple of us peaked over 6000m. September was cold!

2003 Caravan 6666 exploration with Richard and Nicola: we climbed five (!) 6000m peaks, including the devilish 6666m, some Mentoks and spied this "unknown" peak again (below), and some of the mysterious "Rupshu ice field", as pilots call it.

2004 Caravan 6000 exploratory with Eric, Brian & Andriya: we climbed the sharks fin, my 2nd to last of the 6000m Mentok peaks and branched off an already minor route to cross the Rupshu ice field - we now know some of its secrets. We didn't find the "unknown" peak. Leaving, we 'made' passes, including the unused 5300m Takling La.

2005: Jamie explored the amazing Kharta Valley peaks and passes in Tibet instead.

2006 update: this turned into an attempt on Kang Yatze. Serious about it, we had everything set up and it rained records, we were about the only people that didn't abandon our trek, even if we didn't ahve a chance to peak.

2007 update: a summer season in Pakistan stopped me exploring in Ladakh.

2008: it isn't going to happen, bummer.

2009: Yes!


Lets find and climb that peak below, cross the passes I went to the top of in 2004 and hopefully bag another real peak, then find a way out. We are helped by the 2004 GPS readings and my 2005 flight to Leh when we flew exactly over the region and Google Earth (virtual exploring!). Now I am more ambitious and further inspired!

This is not a trek to make money - it won't. Instead we trek light if there are just 2-3 of us, if more then in full comfort.

Bring a pair of good binoculars, useful for working out the route together and for close-ups of the wildlife.

I rave about the area but words don't do it justice; check out the photo gallery, which includes the Caravan 6666 2003 series. 2004 to come sometime. All photos on this page from the 2003 and 2004 explorations.


25 June 2006 - Day 1 - arrive Delhi

26 June - day 2 - fly Leh 3500m

3-4 - Leh acclimatization 3500m

5 - drive Pang, trek Serai Camp 4420m

6 - Serai Camp acclimatization 4420m

7 - Zozogong

8 - Phuang? over a pass

Will we take the standard (stunning) route or cross straight into the "icefield" - if possible?

9 - yak grazing river bend / ?

10 - last water camp

11 - base camp

We might find that peak.

12 - summit - base camp

Lets get that peak!

13 - that lake

We cross two passes (probably) to the center of the Rupshu ice field.

14 - ? valley

We cross that pass with views of the next objective and drop down into that valley.

15-16 - base camp?

We try to find a way close to the peak, and perhaps have a rest day.

17 - summit - base camp

From the summit we might be able to work out how to get out of here.

18-24 out the adventurous way

We potentially have 4 ways out, one of which we partly know. We can end in Spiti, by Chandra Tal, on the Baralacha La or at Sarchu! Good thing we have a telepathic jeep driver.

25 - drive to Manali



2x 6000m almost virgin peaks

serious exploration!

2006 Dates

25 June-22 July, 28 days

hotel single supplement $100

Cost - US$2480

max 5 members

less members, more basic service


Jamie McGuinness

Arrival hotel

Metropolis Tourist Hotel
Main Bazaar, Paharganj
Tel: 2358 5766

Delhi Flights & Office Contact

Our service includes

airport transfers

guesthouses in Delhi, Leh and Manali

domestic flights as needed, local departure tax

group transportation by private vehicle

expedition-style trek:

all meals and hot drinks on trek

roomy single tent

Our service excludes

insurance, India visa, meals in Delhi, Leh & Manali

personal climbing equipment

international flights, equipment rental, alcohol and soft drinks, laundry, tipping and other items of a personal nature

26 - Manali

Washing, shopping, eating and relaxing.

27 - drive Delhi

We have most of the day in Manali then at 5pm take the 'luxury' night bus, arriving in Delhi the next day.

22 July 2006 - day 28 - Depart

We arrive in Delhi between 8am and 11am so you could fly out tonight.

We hope you had a great trek!

Photo from 2003; in 2004 we aimed to climb this peak but we didn't even find it! This time.

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