Our 2011 treks and expeditions
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.
Early Everest expeditions pioneered this incredible trek through the lush, traditional hill villages of the Arun Salpa valley, crossing high ridges separated by glacial rivers to reach the alpine Solu Khumbu. From Lukla in Everest region we journey to the turquoise Gokyo Lakes, staying in cozy Sherpa lodges en route. Join us for Christmas & New Year!
A wonderful and diverse journey, as always, from Nepal's lowlands and middle hills right up to some of it's highest trekking regions, the Gokyo lakes valley of the Everest region. We had a great group, shared lots of laughs, did quite a lot of village exploration and generally enjoyed ourselves, taking advantage of lower altitudes in the first half of the trek to have a few beers in the evenings. It was really a perfect mix of our nice camping style followed by much-appreciated tea-houses luxuries. By the time we reached the 'Everest region' after almost two weeks of camping, it was mid-December and we were ready for some comforts of the great Sherpa lodges. And the warm stoves. We had Christmas AND New Years in the mountains, fortified by selections of Peter & Cee Cee's finest selections straight from Alaska. And of course smoked salmon!
The standard route "features" 2000m of scree - not for me! Instead we climb the superior Plaza Argentina route and as a double bonus we traverse the mountain, and as a triple bonus for Everest aspirants we talk over the big mountains, gear, strategies, everything Everest.
2011: 3-23 Dec, 21 days — all trekking and mountain services --
Team: +Dan Fredinburg, +Michele Battelli, +Wasfia Nazreen** (first person from Bangladesh!), +Markus Roth*, +Shane and +Amy
100% summit success! It was a chilly day though and tempered by Dan's frost nip partly due to close-fitting boots, and a few burnt noses-lips. It was a tough expedition in other ways too, believe it or not, from lots of fine weather. While we had rain on the way in, once on the mountain it was continuously fine with a good forecast for our earliest possible summit day, and so we hauled loads continuously, and even with a little portering from myself, still meant that we were carrying reserve supplies for an extended trip. So in the end the team paid for some extra porters rather than wear themselves out.
Our 100% success wasn't unique, among teams on a similar timeframe, well done Papa Smurf's Swiss team of three, but the bird people as Dan labelled them (most had beaks, or nose protectors) didn't fare well, with only eight of the 20+ climbers-guides summitting, and proving that the no Diamox regime that Argentinean guides seem to be so fond of definitely leads to lower success rates, even if Michele did get dehydrated with us (thanks, Dr Amy for the fast diagnosis).
Success comes with rewards too. Wasfia was the very first Bangladeshi to summit Aconcagua - heartfelt congratulations. With Michele's finicky knee, Dan's toes and Markus only in plastic boots, a BC to Horcones chopper ride was more than a joyride, medically useful too, and with everyone a little lighter, four squeezed in for a heart-stopping adrenaline ride down, starting lots more BC enquiries as it really was good value.
Photos? Wasfia's seven summits photos are on an open Facebook page. For a change Jamie didn't have a camera so you are spared there.
The 2011 Aconcagua team: Dan, Amy, Shane, Jamie, Markus, Wasfia and Michele at the park entrance - photo by Wasfia
Sadly Dan died at Everest Base Camp in the huge avalanche caused by the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
We feast on gorgeous Dolpo and Mustang with climbing and non-climbing treks to both regions.
The best, virtually all, of the Everest region; we cross the Cho La & Renjo La passes (with a Kongma La option), explore the spectacular Gokyo lakes region, climb Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar, visit Everest Base Camp, the Chukhung & Thame valleys, relaxing in cozy Sherpa lodges en route.
9 Nov-3 Dec, 25 days — teahouse trekking -- Kim Bannister — US$2780 — full
Island Peak and Mera Expedition - Nepal
A warm up double with a trek to Gokyo and Everest BC then the two most popular trekking peaks, with a challenging pass between. And double the style, teahouses where possible, and camping where not. Double the fun!
21 Oct-25 Nov, 36 days — teahouse and expedition-style --
Luke Smithwick — US$3600 — full
Team: Brett Classen, Kiersten Epps, Stephen Kahofer, Guido Ziljma**, Chris Chilton, Ruth Chilton, Romany Topsfield, Sarah Parker, Roger Price, Len Glassner*
Crew: Nima Tenzi, Ang Gyalzen, Tawa and Da'Pasang
An excellent trek with climbing success on Island Peak, and then a change of itinerary as the weather dictated.
Please send my warmest regards to both Nima and Tawa - they were excellent on the trek. I have great respect for them...
Upper Dolpo is a sacred land of forgotten Tibetan villages tucked away in remote Himalayan valleys. Join our third year of wild exploration to the most far-flung of Dolpo's destinations: Shey, Phoksumdo Lake, the Panzang Valley and high passes to Mustang.
2 Oct-1 Nov, 31 days — expedition-style —
Lhakpa — US$4780 — full
Team: Susi S*****, Dora G****, Marian****, Ann M***, Bob C***, Craig D***, Juri W**, Viv D**, Darrel S**, Jan-Erik, Els, John S & Nina C
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Kiran, Suresh, Yamo, Nima (yaks) & Tinley (local guide)
Juri has some photos, from his curious X-pan Hasselblad panorama camera.
As wild and exploratory as it gets; Upper Mustang and across Dolpo via a new route with a 6000m peak scramble thrown in!
25 Sept-5 Nov, 42 days — expedition style — Jamie McGuinness
-- US$5550 — full
Team: Celesta*****, Paul Murrill****, Kees Terhell****, Lori C*, Lindsay Petrie, Renee G (and Helen G)
Crew: Bali Lopchan, Nawang Geden, Da'Kusang, Pasang Gyelu (cook), Kaji, Pasang Meme and 15 superhuman, superstar porters
Delightfully heinous! What a great trip! A BIG thank you to everyone for making it so successful and fun. So how did we end up all sleeping outside on a small island in a river? And why that second word?
First, a little intro. Ambitiously we set out to walk a quarter of the Great Himalaya Trail, Nepal section, to see if a never commercially trekked route was viable and to check out the mountaineering potential was around there, to find a shortcut, plus complete the most challenging, remote trekking route across Dolpo to Mugu. Success with all was the result, thanks to a star crew and a great team of trekkers.
After leaving Lo Monthang we met only one more group for the rest of the trek - and that was Kim's Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trip above!
A trek is not about statistics but here are a few: 29 days continuously over 3800m/12,500ft including 4 nights sleeping over 5000m/16,400ft. We crossed three passes over 5500m/18,000ft with three more between 5000m and 5500m, and another handful around 4500m/15,000ft.
The tough GHT team less one porter and the horse team - Jamie
Stunning! The most gorgeous, sculpted rock panoramas and remarkable gompas in Nepal, and some classic "Jamie" exploring.
25 Sept-18 Oct, 24 days — expedition style and tea-house trekking —
Jamie McGuinness-Luke Smithwick
-- US$3480 — full
Team: Pik Chun*******, Ornella*****, Raewyn****, Carsten Nebel*****, Rhonda M, Heidi Laki, Deborah L, Katrina Mead (then Helen G)
Crew: Dawa, Nima Gyalgen, Da'Nuru, Ang Nuru, Kami (cook), Da'Lhakpa, Wangchu
What a trip! The Ghermi La is not a straightforward pass.
Here is Carsten's Nepal Mustang 2011 Flickr album of the trek.
2011 Summer Memories
After remembering Joel we do what he loved best, trekking Ladakh and Zanskar with our fab crews.
An unbeatable journey; the remote Kanji La, Sum Shade Valley and Marang La route is perhaps THE best trek from years of exploration. We venture through river canyons and over high passes to the most remote villages of Ladakh and Zanskar, ending in the purely Tibetan nomadic regions of Rupshu.
19 Aug-18 Sept, 31 days — Leh-Leh — expedition-style —
Lhakpa — US$3480
Team: Catherine P****, Mr Bob**, Matthias L**, Helen D, Laurie P, Chris R, Doug & Lyudmila
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Kiran, Yamo, Sherap (head horseman), Sampel & Haridel (horsemen)
Stok Kangri & Markha Valley
A wonderful introduction to the Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom of Ladakh and Himalayan trekking and climbing, with time to enjoy the rightly renowned beauty of the Markha valley en route to a non-technical ascent of Stok Kangri, 6137m.
14 Aug-3 Sept, 21 days — Leh to Leh — expedition style —
Luke Smithwick — US$2850
Team: Agnieszka Pilarczyk*, Navdeep Brah
Crew: Tenpa, Phuntsok, Yeshi, Ram Lal, Harish
We go exploring in the wilds surrounding Lake Tsomoriri; with not one, but two ascents of non-technical 6000 meter peaks. True adventure in the high plains of Ladakh!
16 July-9 Aug, 25 days — Leh to Leh/Manali — expedition-style
-- Luke Smithwick — US$2950
Team: Leo Lacy***, Piotr Zycki*, Trevor , Lars Anderson* and Anna
Crew: Tenpa, Vivek, Tashi, Yeshi, Phuntsok, Ram Lal, Harish and Mamoo (Sanjay)
Make that eight ascents!
Ladakh's jewel and beyond; a stunning trek under the soaring Zanskar range combining village and nomadic life. Traditional Markha villages, crumbling fortresses, ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and the green Markha river valley lead us over high passes to the high Tibetan & Ladakhi nomadic pasture lands; incredible scenery and wildlife throughout.
15 July-3 Aug, 20 days — Leh to Leh — expedition-style —
Lhakpa — US$2780
Team: Richard K*****, Alex G & Sandy T
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Kiran, Yamo, Sherap (head horseman), Sampel & Haridel (horsemen)
Following old caravan routes over high Himalayan passes, this is one of the most remote, unique and challenging treks in the Changthang, the high Tibetan plateau. We trek through the spectacular high lake region, ford sparkling rivers and set up camp with the nomads with the snow-capped Himalayas as a backdrop. Markha Valley start (see above).
15 July-13 Aug, 30 days — Leh to Leh — expedition-style —
Lhakpa — US$3480
Team: Kati K***, Mark L**, Menno H, Alice B, Roger E, Effi J
Team: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Kiran, Yamo, Sherap (head horseman), Sampel & Haridel (horsemen)
In keeping with Tibetan tradition, and in memory we hold a puja on the first year anniversary of Joel's death.
12-13-14 June — Ali Tucker
Richard Nacin**, John Soos***, Robin Boustead, Louise Dunlop******** (and everyone on the two following treks)
L-R: Louise Dunlop, Peter Sih, John Soos, Nakul, Lois, Steve, Catherine, Christine, Robin Boustead, Sam Palsmeier, Luke Smithwick (red, back), Richard Nacin
And on the right: Lobsang in white t-shirt, Yangzon, Nima Lhamu
The puja to remember Joel, and to send his spirit off, in Manali - Jamie
With Lobsang and team, we traverse the landscape Joel loved best - the stunning mountainscapes, broad panoramas and warm village welcomes of Zanskar - before finishing in Leh.
11 June-9 July, 29 days — Delhi to Delhi — expedition-style
-- Jamie McGuinness for Ali Tucker — US$2??0
Team: Steve P***** and Lois E*****, Peter Sih******, Sam Palsmeier**
Crew: Lobsang, Phuntsok, Kusang, Sonam, Ram Lal, Sanjay (Mamoo), Harish and the horse team
L-R: Lois, Jamie, Lobsang, Steve, Ram Lal, Peter Sih, Kunsang, Sonam, Sam Palsmeier, Punsok
Unfinished business and originally a Jamie special, now a Luke special, we will cross some passes for a wild GHT exploratory trek along the main Himalayan range.
Double passes: 12 June-5 July, 24 days — Manali-Manali — expedition-style —
Single pass: 11-29 June, 19 days — Manali-Leh — US$1980
Team: Fred M***, Marisa and Nakul, Katherine and Christine Sullivan
Crew: Tenpa, Tashi , Vivek, and Yeshi
This years Indian Himalaya exploratory was a resounding success, but not without its pitfalls. Literally! Just after daybreak climbing the Kang La, Luke plunged through up to his shoulders in an unseen crevasse, and luckily was rescued by Tashi's quick action. A trip of firsts for most of the group, with Kathryn now wanting Luke's job, and Nakul a born again Himalayan trekker; the trip was a true eye opener for all. There is a lot of potential in the Indian Himalaya!
2011 Spring treks
We trek the Limi Valley route in Humla to the Tibetan border before cleaning our sins on the Kailash trek. Next, sacred Tirthapuri, the ruins of ancient Kyunglung (Zhangzhung Kingdom) and the Guge Kingdom, finishing with a wonderful drive along the Himalayan range to reach exotic Lhasa.
29 May-28 June (for Saga Dawa), 31 days — expedition-style —
Lhakpa — US$4980 — full
Team: Pip****, Hester****, John***, Warwick****, Vicky**, Robert**, Graham****, Baz**, Trevor, Margot, Thomas G & Tony R
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Kiran, Suresh, Yamo, Tibetan guide
Explore this fantastic Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom of walled cities, ruined fortresses, Tibetan-style villages, sculpted canyons, Neolithic cave complexes, fossils, Tibetan nomads and Himalayan peaks soaring above the Kali Gandaki River gorge (with a special 16 day permit).
24 Apr-17 May, 24 days — expedition-style —
Kim Bannister — US$3980 — full
With Chitwan extension: 24 Apr-20 May, 27 days — US$4280
Team: Alfredo****, Doriana**, Alan J***, Paul K****, Bruce B**, Paul J**, Nan, Sylvie, Shivan, Shilpi, Margherita, Riccardo & Warwick G
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Kiran, Suresh, Yamo
THE best Manaslu itinerary. We trek along sub-tropical river valleys and through high, bustling Gurung villages to reach the Tibetan region of Manaslu, with spectacular Himalayan vistas crossing the adventurous Larkya La and Tilicho passes.
Tilicho: 20 Mar-19 Apr, 30 days --expedition style —
Lhakpa — US$3980 — full
Classic: 20 Mar-13 Apr, 25 days — US$3180 — full
Tilicho team: Allan B***, Ken P**, Helen M**, Erik B, Dick S & Patricie,
Classic team: Carla, Jorge, Bruce B, Liz B, Christine M & Steve M
Crew: Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Kiran, Suresh, Yamo
The Great Bhutan Bike Journey* exploratory
Join us for our epic bicycle trip across magical Bhutan, a wonderful west-east journey through this exotic Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom, exiting via the Indian border in the southwest of Bhutan.
24 Feb-11 Mar, 16 days — hotels & guest houses —
Kim Bannister — US$4480
Team: John W** & Kim
Crew: Karma (Bhutanese guide) & Tenzing (Bhutanese driver)
2011 Spring expeditions
We explore Lhasa's eight wonder Potala Palace and then touch Everest on the highest trek in the world!
24 Apr-14 May, 21 days — jeep safari & expedition-style — local guide & Luke Smithwick — US$4250
Team: Dave McA, Jamie Roberts and Renee O
Crew: as below
Travelling initially together with the North Col group, they also trekked up to Everest ABC with them. Everyone seemed to have a good time. It is worth pointing out though, that this trek STARTS where others finish, the altitude really is an issue.
In the shadow of Everest we climb high!
24 Apr-17 May, 24 days — expedition-style — local guide & Luke Smithwick — US$7500
Team: +Alissa G, +Juan A, Dave, Stu, Marty T, Bob and Carol (not climbing)
Crew: Nima Griman, Pasang Kaji, Chumbey, Lobsang and another Karsang
After some slightly challenging logistics, the travelling all worked out. Originally Luke planned to meet the team in Lhasa but permission wasn't forthcoming so he met them at Everest Base Camp, together with our Everest expedition crew. Sadly intestinal sickness took out Dave and Stu, perhaps dirty water from Interim Camp, despite our best efforts to use clean ice only. Initially Juan was the only success to the actual North Col but after staying a few days extra, Alissa also happily climbed with Dawa Gelje to the col.
As above, it is worth mentioning the trek starts where others finish and good fitness, a real toughness, is required on this itinerary.
Guide-assisted with full support, surprising flexibility, the best weather forecasts, spare oxygen, email and plenty of other services. Above all we are dedicated to your safety and success.
10 Apr-8 June, ~60 days — Jamie McGuinness
Team: +Kenneth Koh** Jim Morrow*, Esther Tan**, Grant Rawlinson and Ismail Askerov (and Luke Smithwick, above)
Climbing crew: Bal Bahadur (Bali), Pasang Gelu, Nawang Geden, +Tawa, Pasang Kaji, Nima Griman, +Jamling Bhote, +Phujung Bhote
ABC kitchen-climbing: Dawa Gelje; BC kitchen: Kami and Norbu
Tibetan general hands: Karsang, Dorje, Sanu Karsang, Pasang
Summit: 27 May 2011
“To be truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”
“Judge not a person by how well he wins, judge him by how well he loses”
- from Esther's expedition summary
Our expedition went so well, except for the most important day, summit day. Earlier weather forecasts indicated a fine period of some days, we picked what we thought was the best, and one day different from a large team. The forecast was updated by a professional forecaster while we didn't have internet access. However instead of the wind dropping at 3am, it increased and by 7am it was obvious that it wasn't going to stop so we had to abort the summit push and most people turned back. Unfortunately this was the right decision. Only Kenneth Koh continued with three sherpas, and summitted with a lenticular cloud (wind cloud) over the summit. Ken became the second Singaporean to summit on the north side. We were not alone is misjudging the weather, the Mountain Trip team on the south side spent two nights at South Col (the highest camp, where you sleep and rest on bottled oxygen), Russell Brice aborted his team's first summit push and quite a number of other teams summitted in rather different conditions from expected. In La Nina years it seems the computer models might be less accurate? See our dispatches, Grant Rawlinson's blog and Esther's Crazy2Tri lessons learned blog post, and below is Esther's video.
We talk over the big mountains, gear, strategies, everything Everest, on the superior Plaza Argentina route and as a double bonus we traverse the mountain!
7-27 Feb, 21 days — all trekking and mountain services —
-- US$3650+~$325/660 — full
Team: +Ben Wighton, +Kenneth Koh*, +David Wermuth, +Esther Tan*, Matt Wilson, Ian Tucker, Bassam Sfair* and Rafi Farajian*
Trek team: Miriam U*****, Demet G
Success and what a wonderful expedition experience. For the third year in a row Jamie picked the best day of our summit window, a great summit day, breezy as we set off but no wind on top, and Mendoza lived up to its lofty reputation.
Thanks to the trekker girls for joining and enlivening the trek in, it was sad to see them go, and we never quite managed to choose Malbecs as well afterwards. It was also a shame that Matt with supportive tent mate Ian returned early with a worsening pre-existing condition. So that left a team of seven of us for the climb, carrying our own loads and eating David's roadrunner dust.
Probably because of the La Nina system, it was a damp trek in, eating steak and salad in drizzle, rather than the t-shirt heat of the seasons before. It was also snowy on the mountain, with mountain boots needed above Camp 1. Luckily the single skin tents held up even if they were not as suitable for the conditions as in years previous, although they were still the lightest and strongest of tents, important when we are carrying our own loads and when the mountain is as windy as Aconcagua can be.
I am not a fan of the Argentinean way of simply camping higher until you summit or are turned back by the winds, I much prefer to pick a summit window and in contrast to the last two times, there was no waiting, rather we pushed up sticking close to the idea itinerary, summiting on the 20th of Feb. Due to a worsening cough picked up at home prior, Sam as personal guide to Rafi was not able to prepare logistically as well as needed for the summit and with them leaving later than the rest of the team, and unfortunately this stopped Rafi's summit attempt very close to the summit. With a snowy squall coming in and the real risk of lightning strikes, I was forced to turn Rafi around above 6900m only 20 heartbreaking minutes from the summit. Rafi, in addition to being camp jester (entertainer) proved to be tough too, waiting with myself and Esther an additional two days to claim a true summit (and double summits for myself and Esther). However it was not to be, with windy, snowy conditions that stopped all but the most hardcore summiting. Luckily we bailed when we did as it snowed heavily as we walked out. Another disappointment and surprise was David's lightly frost-nipped finger ends, probably from fixing crampons in the cold, luckily they will recover quickly. It was a tough season for other climbers though, with perhaps 6-7 deaths on the mountain and some nasty frostbite cases.
Afterwards Mendoza didn't disappoint with its glorious climate, fireworks, a beauty contest and the finding of two great restaurants. We even hit the wine festival for the third year in a row. And thanks from everyone to Rafi for hospitality above and beyond the call of duty, and several of us will most definitely be visiting his home base, another one of the world's major party cities, Beirut (Lebanon)!
Yep, it really was a fun an successful expedition!
2011 Aconcagua team: Sam, Ben, Jamie, Matt, Demet, Miriam,
Raffi, Ian, Esther and David in front
- Photo © Kenneth Koh/Adventure Nomad
2011 Winter and the Chadar
We trek the Zanskar River freezes and frost smoke wreathes the trees, in the company of Zanskaris still using this ancient trade route. This is THE must do trip for the seasoned trekker!
17 Jan-5 Feb, 20 days — expedition style — Leh-Leh — Luke Smithwick — US$3600 including equipment — full
Team: Eugenio G, Bob Witlox**, Arabella Slinger*, Irene vanW, Martin Cook and ~Siegfried B**