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Lobsang and team
Our India crew
"... the crew was unbelievable and Brody and I are now ruined
for life when it comes to trekking elsewhere!"
Glorious 2001 memories; Lobsang, Tenpa (Temba), Sherap (Tsarap) and Punchok still work
Born in the Hanle area of the Changthang, where his mother and family still live, he served 7 years in a parachute regiment of the Indian Army. On leaving he worked as a drivers’ mate before getting into the trekking business, portering and acting as kitchen assistant. He and Joel met on a trek to Tsomoriri in 1998. He is incredibly strong, sensitive to the needs of trekkers, and when the chips are down and things go awry, is always there, whether dealing with bears, rivers in flood, ‘impossible’ routes, or lost trekkers.
As well as an accomplished sirdar, he is an excellent cook and so we can run small groups without taking excessive staff.
Lobsang serves a delicious meal of assorted flavourful but non-spicy curries - Jamie
There is no one like Lobsang in the mountains. I would trust him with my life. NOTHING passes him by at any level - from people's strength on the trail, what they like to eat/drink, and whether there's any tent-hopping going on!! He is without peer in the mountains - the strongest and safest pair of hands.
Alison Tucker, 2010
Lobsang may look like a chubby ruffian but this is a mistake. He is kind, considerate and attentive, and the best judge of trekkers among any of us. The first day I met him I crossed a river straight after him. There was an unstable rock in the middle and hearing me wobble in a fraction of a second Lobsang had spun around and had a foot in the river to save me. In fact I was merely stabilizing the rock for Joel, who was following. Since I didn't fall in Lobsang never watched me cross another river, yet he helped Joel and John all the time. He would even carry people across sometimes.
Lobsang is the first to spot if someone is getting tired, offering to take their pack, he notices when people are sick, everything. He remembers everyone's favourites from breakfast orders to which drinks at what time of the day.
He is also quite simply the strongest trekker I have ever met. He eats only two meals a day and usually no snacks yet carries a huge, heavy pack and will toss more on his load at the slightest excuse. He has utterly incredible endurance and will return back to help people even after the longest day.
Lobsang assists Kim up
[Peter's camera ] fell on the path, slipped on the icy snow and started to bounce down the mountainside. There was nothing we could do. We could only watch it as it bounced about 10 times or more down the 150m or so to the bottom where we could not see it any more. This bouncing camera case kept replaying in my mind for the rest of the day as we climbed to the pass (2.5 hrs of puffing and resting and puffing again)...
When we arrived [at camp] Lobsang, the Ladakhi/Tibetan guide came up to us and opened his rucksack and pulled out....Peter’s camera case with camera and lens intact and all still in working order. We have never been so flabbergasted in our lives. It took us a full minute before we came to our senses and thanked him and then we sat for the next half an hour just looking at it and trying it out and looking at it again and asking Lobsang how he found it. Joel had told him below the pass (on the other side to the camera) about the incident and Lobsang had returned up over the pass, down the other side on his own route through the snow, following the line of the gulley into which the camera fell and found it. In effect he had climbed the pass twice that day and still arrived at the camp before us! We really had an amazing team.
Susan, Zanskar spring 2000
What others have said
With over 30 years in the hospitality and hotel business, I know having the right team is all important; you have that team, and their work is a reflection of your [Joel's] leadership.
Richard Chapman, GM, Sheraton Bangkok
I have done a lot of expeditions throughout the world, and this is hands down the best trekking food I've ever had.
Arabella Slinger, 2011 Chadar Expedition
Tempa [as sirdar] - usually the head cook - was also great at leading, very organised and quietly in control of all the staff.
Thanks again for a great trip. You are the "best in class operator" for the Indian Himalaya and your trips have a high "value quotient". ... Your trips are worth it.
Fred M, 2007 Caravan; a Mountain Passage
Joel, Kim and myself often trek for months in a row in Ladakh and we enjoy each and every meal of Tenpa's. Lobsang and Sherap help chop the vegetables but it is Tenpa who is the real chef. Out will come 3 different dishes, each delicately flavoured and each quite different. The rice is always fluffy and not sticky - Tenpa buys all the ingredients himself and with no budget to stick to, he buys the best. His pizza and pasta are pretty good too. Lobsang is also a good cook and rises very early to bake fresh bread most mornings.
A real genius.
Susan, Zanskar Spring 2000
We can’t say enough in praise of those mules and horses and the horsemen that trained and led them...
Another replay from that day was another horse falling incident in the snow. As we were coming up to the pass one of the horses slipped and actually tumbled over and over down a steep snow slope. One of the horsemen, Sherap, ever vigilant, dived straight after it, somersaulting over to the horse and getting hold of the ropes for the load, as the horse was tumbling, chose the right moment and pulled the slip knot. The load freed and the horse stopped tumbling and righted itself and they brought the horse and load back up the slope to join the others and carried on. They were so fantastic and just so cool about it afterwards.
Susan, Zanskar Spring 2000
We walked an average of 6-7 hours a day and when we arrived at the campsite the horses and mules had usually already arrived, the kitchen tent was set up and the cook (Tenpa, a real genius) would have tea, or any other hot drink you liked, ready and snacks.
Susan, Zanskar Spring 2000
We hope you can come trekking with us!