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.
While the popular trails are packed, we take you places where few trekkers dare.
The best of the Everest region! We cross the Cho La & Renjo La ( with Kongma La option), visit Everest Base Camp, explore the spectacular Gokyo lakes valley, climb Gokyo Ri, Kala Pattar & Chhukhung Ri and trek the Chhukhung & Thame valleys, relaxing in Sherpa lodges en route.
9 Nov-3 Dec, 25 days -- teahouse trekking -- Kim
& Lhakpa -- US$3480
Team: Lorraine***, Wayne, Vernon, Paul D, Tom B***, Andreas, Graham, Tyler, Will, Michelle
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Yam, Maila, Chittra & 2 yakmen
Along the GHT, a classic camping trek around Manaslu "in reverse" and under the Ganesh Himal.
Just why is the Ganesh Himal "magical and mysterious"? The few trekkers that have traversed it do rave; however I have yet to find one who didn't get lost... Paul and myself finish the GHT!
Manaslu-Ganesh: 29 Oct-30 Nov, 33 days -- expedition style -- Jamie McGuinness -- US$3580
Manaslu: 29 Oct-20 Nov, 23 days -- expedition style -- US$1980
Ganesh: 10-30 Nov, 21 days -- expedition style -- Jamie McGuinness -- US$1980
Upper Dolpo, a Tibetan border region of hidden villages and monasteries tucked away in remote Himalayan valleys, is Nepal's Shangri-La. Join our explorations to the most far-flung of Dolpo's destinations - Shey, Phoksundo Lake, Panzang valley & the high route to Mustang.
28 Sept-28 Oct, 31 days -- expedition style -- Kim &
Lhakpa -- US$5480
Team: Kathy, Mary & Ross McI, Karen & Mark, Sue W***, Baz***, Roger, Barrie, Tom B**, Michael, Leo, Susan L
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Yam, Maila, Chittra, Pasang, Pemba, Thinle & 4 Dolpo horsemen
Re Cyclone Hudhud and the deaths in the Annapurna region: Kim's team are all 110% fine and only got a little snow where they were. They changed their trek route slightly to avoid snowy passes and finish in Dunai-Juphal and will finish in Kathmandu at the normal time.
All change; with some cancellations, Alan had a great new idea and so we go exploring in Dolpo over a little-known 5700m pass that keeps us in Lower Dolpo despite the fact we finish in Jomsom...
25 Sept-25 Oct, 31 days -- expedition style -- Jamie McGuinness
Team: Alan Kerr****, Andy McD***
Crew: Pasang Gyelu, young Mingma, Nima Holmo, Lhakpa and seven porters
There is a first for everything; the first time in over 100 treks I have evacuated a trek team. Thank you, Alan's insurance company (Snow Card). That was Alan and Pasang out, then with some wizardry from the team in Kathmandu and Lhakpa in Chharka, and with the unknowing assistance of a trek team who had already had multiple evacs BEFORE the storm, we managed to pull out the crew too, even all the trek gear, offically "rescued". It was in reaction to Cyclone Hudhud, of course, and sad to say that the trek crew of a small group only a day or two ahead of us died.
Cutting again to the chase, our exploration found that the 5700m Mu La is a perfect pass for GHTer's who want to avoid the $500 Upper Dolpo fee. This is despite the fact we couldn't cross the pass due to Hudhud. The pass is not named on any maps yet is suitable for mules, local 5 year olds and grannies according to the locals. We will head back to explore-cross it for real, and climb a peak nearby, get in touch if interested.
Now the detail. It was a bit of a boyz trek, with Andy's perky "that what she said," something that I used to play on too, and Alan's Viz Magnafartlet for some evening chuckles. Not to mention copious quantities of the real thing, I am surprised the dining tent didn't take off sometimes.
Given that this was the second itinerary change, and starting during the biggest festival of the year, I kept logistics simple with a driving start and a middle trek in to the high country before heading off the beaten track. Yes, we dripped with sweat occasionally but the green rice paddies and the simple hospitality of remote villages were rewards, even if our views of the big peaks in the first section were mostly obscured.
This middle hills start was a good reminder about how treks are changing with rough vehicle tracks and mule trails pushing in. There are now few middle hills trek starts that start cleanly at a true roadhead. First the road to Darbang was broken so luckily we were able to trek on the other side of the river but later walked along road sections of in various states of driveability for a couple of days. This could have been arduous but wasn't in this case. Second, with trails upgraded (partly by USAID food security) there are now many routes, including most Dolpo treks, that are suitable for mules-ponies, and the age of the heavily burdened porter is fading, even though there is still massive unemployment in the hills.
The middle hills were a delight, almost always shelter nearby when the monsoon let us know it wasn't quite finished, but also brutal. The Darbang-Dolpo route is up and down and up and down and the route not particularly clear, with trails at variance with the maps and even the locals not always giving the best trail advice, surprisingly. We took some shortcuts, and didn't find a couple until too late; extra views!
Dropping in to Tarakot, Lower Dolpo, the hillsides grew to jawdropping scale and a rough dustiness typical of the region. It was only several more days up, once beyond Kakkot, that it seemed less hard work. Terang and Mukot (Mukkutgaon) villages were a delight. From remote Mukot we were leaving villages behind and with the porters loaded up with extra supplies we headed out. A sat phone message from Richard predicted snow and with ugly clouds coming from the wrong direction, I checked for exact info from Esther in Singapore. The forecast was over a metre of snow at Dhaulagiri BC and we were right behind the huge Dhaulagiri II. With that we packed up immediately and headed down. Lhakpa and Mingma, out exploring the valley for our next camp returned to two packed loads only and "down" scribbled on a rock, a bit of a surprise for them.
And it snowed, turning to rain and wind later. Andy's tent blew away as the pegs didn't hold in the mud, and his kitbag was lighter than any previously (very porter-friendly!) but luckily although a few terraces away, no harm done, indeed everything still dry. Although the snow cleared quickly on the sun-facing slopes above us, we were dubious about shaded slopes, and were not equipped with mountaineering boots. While we could handle patches of snow, breaking trail in deep snow and camping on snow for days were beyond us. So instead of heading down on the trail we had just come up, we continued to Chharka hoping-thinking that the sunny sides of the valleys the high trail is on would clear quickly, and expecting that the snow would be lighter up there in the Dolpo rain shadow, plus in the days it would take to trek up, somebody would surely punch a trail through and open the gates.
Ha. That didn't happen. The snow was deep and the first local attempt didn't get far, neither was there much optimism and with the knowledge that the trekking group a day ahead of us at Mukot had died we rethought options (it turned out the crew died, perhaps not the trekkers?). At least Kim and her team turned up in Chharka and there was a friendly Tibetan-style teahouse with cheap Lhasa beer.
We now faced perhaps a week backtracking, and with even pushing it, the timeframe wasn't realistic for Alan. Andy turned white and hopped in a kitbag of the multiple trekkers being heli-evac'ed out. I had, for the first time, a slightly swollen tendon from getting my foot caught in between rocks on the trail, and while could trek fine, knew the injury wasn't going to get better until rested. So I couldn't break trail for days through snow. The porters, even though they would get paid, didn't exactly relish the 10+ days it would take them.
Although everyone said just fake an injury, Alan talked with his insurance and simply told the truth (which is my way too), and came through with an OK to save him being late for work and missing international flights. Nobody seemed interested in arranging sharing helicopters or part way hops and once the go ahead was given, despite the fact it clearly wasn't a medical emergency, suddenly Alan and Pasang were gone with minimal notice. His verdict, the snow on the passes was worse than we thought, not a hope. I am not totally sure what happened next, but almost as suddenly there was action (strings pulled?) and we were out of there too, positive statistics luckily; thanks friends!
Newly opened peaks (June 2014) dot the area we had already planned to explore. Come join for wonderful trekking and some peak bagging on straightforward peaks.
We start with the striking colours, textures and panoramas of Upper Mustang; then the remarkable ancient gompas in the fabled walled city of Lo Manthang; then cross high passes through a remote, forgotten corner of kiang and wolves and those 6000m peaks, and avoid the peak season crowds. This is Nepal adventure trekking at its very best!
25 Sept-25 Oct, 31 days -- expedition style -- Jamie McGuinness -- US$3980
With several people pulling out, we change plans to the trek above...
What a season! Jamie had a series of stunning treks enjoyed by all; and all seriously adventurous too. Over the last three seasons we have covered virtually all of Ladakh and Zanskar (including the Changthang, the Rupshu, Karnak and Spiti) and have only partially repeated one trek. We explored half a dozen passes not on maps, or incorrectly marked, climbed many peaks and traversed some truly wild areas, that all proved to have very satisfying trekking, and many fine panoramas, and have done all of this in impressive comfort too.
We also saw kiang (many!), wolves, a fox, and many signs of them plus fresh snow leopard prints, saw the rare Tibetan Argali sheep again, blue sheep and marmots and pikas galore and more.
A glorious wilderness trek exploring from famed Tsomoriri across the lower Zanskar range and Himalayan range, over known and unknown passes, and we will find that elusive peak - and kiang, wolves, foxes and more.
24 Aug-19 Sept, 27 days -- Leh to Leh (Leh-Manali
option) -- expedition style -- +Jamie McGuinness -- US$2980
Short: 24 Aug-13 Sept, 21 days -- US$2680 -- full
Team: +Len Glassner***, +Demet** & +Luca*, +David K*****, +Tod B, +Jussi & +Helena, +Arabella S****
Crew: +Lobsang, Phuntsok, Ram Lal, Yamphel, Nawang, Sonam, Roshan, Bridge Lal and Beli Ram and 23 horses
Again, what a trek! Satisfying 100% peak success, and personal best altitudes for all the team (except Arabella) and some serious exploratory adventure. We did get to that elusive peak and explored the particularly wild end of the Zanskar range, utterly huge, high valleys; only a single night lower than 4500m on the whole trek!
It is definitely an area with secrets and little water - knowing the springs is critical (only one 6pm trek). Leaving that vast system behind, we successfully crossed the Pangpo La (another group failed this year, and that is probably the sum total that tried), and what an incredible route, with several spots looking less than likely but gloriously photogenic. My personal aim was to find another way over what is written as the Great Himalayan range, but in reality is an in between range, perhaps best call the transition Himalaya. In the event we found several routes, a forgotten pass (5252m) and another disused pass to the high plateau with a rough route to the Baralacha La (Paralatse La) region - and those peaks to the east - they were the real Himalaya. Jussi and Helena were so taken, they continued to Chandra Tal.
With the knowledge gained, we now know we have two more possible routes across that transition Himalaya, which we will explore next year, so probably "CROSSING the Great Divide" rather than "Exploring the Great Divide". At a guess I would think one of those will be the best trekking route across the region to link the Tso Moriri-Mentoks area with Spiti and the Great Himalayan Range. Let's see!
In part it was such a delightful trek because of the company - thank you everyone for joining - and also because of the star crew. Lobsang kept everything running smoothly (and those comfortable outdoor chairs) while Phuntsok and Yamphel turned out delicious meal after delicious, nutritious meal. Ram Lal and the other horsemen were utterly professional, never losing mules-ponies (if you have trekked in Ladakh you will realize how rare that is) and taking their (lightly loaded) animals on rather rough trails. All in all, a wonderful season.
Yay, there are now a few albums up:
David Koelle's Flickr pix, including his bike trip afterwards
Luca's Flickr album, including compelling wide shots
Tod's Flickr album snapshots
Luca also says:
"Back from holidays I was 2kg heavier but 2,2% leaner! great job of the chefs! and allowed me to have a great time in my first trail run..34km with 1400m of positive elevation gain during the track..easy after our trek in India!
Miss the mountains and the good time."
From northern Ladakh to Zanskar via the fantastic river canyons, high passes and remote villages of the Zangla gorges, we camp at remote Shade village, marvel at cliff-side Phuktal monastery and exit along the spectacular Phirtse La route. Real adventure, real trekking & spectacular scenery!
11 Aug-7 Sept, 28 days --Leh to Leh -- expedition-style -- Kim & Lhakpa--US$3880
Team: Elizabeth**, Lana***, Alexandra**, Anne** & Hop**, Rita**, Kathy & David, Tom B
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Yam, Sampel, Sherap, Haridhel & Karma
For the not so superstitious, climb Ladakh's highest easily accessible peak. We have the best Lungser Kangri itinerary, glorious trekking on a route that makes sense, a balance of sound acclimatization, plus a confidence-building warm up 6000m peak. Join us!
1-22 Aug, 22 days -- Leh to Leh -- expedition style -- ++++Jamie McGuinness -- US$3480
Team: +++Veronica R, +++Ranjan***, +Denio**** & Raquel****, +++Hanna and +++Hermann
Crew: +Lobsang, Phuntsok, Ram Lal, Yamphel, Nawang, Roshan, Bridge Lal and 17 horses
With the Indian army suggesting climbers go to alternative peaks, we adapted our itinerary and went exploring in the near vicinity, having an absolutely amazing trek. Our first camp had a vulture chick above us, young Tibetan Argali sheep, and the next day close encounters with a kiang and carefree river crossings. Each day was a delight, and the view from the peak by our first pass was glorious, a satisfying walking to the top, even if the descent was longer than expected. It was familiar territory for Ranjan, who came last year also, but amazingly we didn't actually cross or repeat our route, so it was still fresh country. Sadly an unusual (viral?) infection took out Raquel so they returned early, logistically smoothly.
Continuing, we can say categorically the Olizane Swiss map is wrong, the main "Lanyar La" pass is a valley over. The 6000m "hill" beside was also particularly satisfying as was watching real Changtang cowboys herding yak a day later, and we had some fine curd from the nomads (whose existence is slowly dying out). Re predators, Veronica with Lobsang saw a wolf, and we all saw plenty of wolf sign, and Jamie saw a fox. After a quick 6000m scout, our Mentok II route looked good but a morning snow dusting meant quieter adventures. The next day though we summitted after a surprisingly long climb (just where is that summit?!) and we descended to a new camp in the next valley, an area without real trails, which is rather game but worked. To move camps in an unknown valley in a new area, with a whole caravan, while we are climbing takes a good crew...
Moving cross country to save descending Jamie was intrigued by the highest regularly used pass in the region, at 5960m, which is not marked on any map, although is crossed by the local nomads with sheep, yaks and horses and would save us a couple of longer days trekking. Unsurprisingly it proved rough, as we were warned, however it was not the brief snow nor the rocky patches that upset the horses, but perhaps some poisonous plants the evening before or the altitude (athough that is difficult to believe after 2x 5850m passes already, and many very high camps) and very sadly one previously strong and healthy horse went into convulsions and died, Jamie stroking his neck (and a first on our treks).
In summary our concentrated peaks and passes exploring was productive and the scenery stunning; however it was the team that really made the trek so special. We were entertained by a hilariously unashamed bodily functions expert; the shock from another; a fount of stories balanced by the quieter one, both geeks; and our perfect gentleman and lady who didn't stay long enough. We run special treks, and this was really very special - thanks to all for an incredible experience. And is there a better trek crew in the land? I think not.
Following ancient salt trading routes we trek through a spectacular region of high lakes and rare wild life and birds, fording sparkling rivers and camping with Tibetan and Ladakhi nomads. From turquoise Tsomoriri Lake we journey to Tso Kar Lake, crossing remote passes to reach far-flung Himalayan villages. We end with two idyllic days at Pangong Lake.
The classic Markha trek and a neat 6000m climb with proper acclimatization, and a satisfying trek exit, especially suitable as a Ladakh trek and trekking peak introduction.
11-26 July, 16 days-- Leh to Leh -- expedition style --
+Jamie McGuinness -- US$1980
Team: +Esther Tan****, Clint W** and Ethan L
Crew: Punsok, Gyalson, Ram Lal and Roshan and 13 horses
A warm start turned into a wet and even snowy middle section and unable to test ourselves on an easy peak first, we went direct for Kang Yatze II on our last possible day. With Ethan and Clint sensibly stopping on the snowline, it was up to Esther and myself to salvage some team glory. Thank goodness we had the full gear as even in near perfect snow conditions we needed the rope and some ice screws for a 100+m section was steep enough that we witnessed the four Austrians with three guides on the same rope sliding alarmingly in slow motion, catching themselves with ice axe self-arrests; not a snow bar or ice screw among them.
This was my first success on Kang Yatze II but sadly in reality it is a sham "peak", a pimple on the ridge of Kang Yatze I; not a real peak at all (even if the view from the bump is satisfying), and with some surprisingly awkward angles too, so I can't recommend it as a "trekking" peak. Kang Yatze I is most definitely a worthy peak - worthy of true alpinists that is, not standard commercial groups.
Luckily our Zalung Karpo La to Dadgo exit was a real delight (those wildflowers!) and it is also certainly an area worthy of additional exploration; I spied a few peaks that we should follow up on too, peaks that should be more suitable as trekking peaks...
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. Its the updated classic and still one of the very best treks there is.
15 June-8 July, 24 days -- Leh to Leh (Manali-Leh option) -- expedition style -- Jamie McGuinness -- US$2680
Team: Len Glassner**
Crew: Punsok, Ram Lal and Roshan and 13 (!) horses
Luckily Len was fine with being on his own, as the several other people booking at the last minute couldn't find good value flights. He enjoyed it so much he will be back for another couple of treks this season...
This really is amazing trek, as everyone who has traversed on a special route agrees.
See Len's Smugmug photos of the trip, lots of landscapes and flowers...
Our wonderful alternative to a closed Kailash; contact for details.
A feast of Himalayan snow peaks and sublime Tibetan panoramas, peppered with Tibetans and their yaks, flowering high-altitude pastures, glaciers tumbling down from 8000+ meters and traditional Tibetan villages.
28 May-27 Jun, 31 days -- expedition style -- Kim
Team: Roz**** & Richard, Rosie** & Mark**, Lyanne, Paul K*****, Leslie*** & Sam R
Crew: Lhakpa, Junar, Suresh, Yam, Tashi (Tibet) & 4 yakmen/women
A wild trek to Mustang from the fortified village of Nar Phu. The Tibetan Buddhist kingdom of Mustang is home to the last Tibetan nomads of Nepal, a land of walled cities, fortresses, traditional villages, sculpted canyons, Neolithic caves, fossils, and Himalayan peaks soaring above the Kali Gandaki River gorge.
From Gorkha, through sub-tropical river valleys and bustling Gurung villages, we venture into the remote Tsum Valley on the border of Tibet, trek to the Tibetan regions of Manaslu and cross the wild Larkya La pass to the Annapurna region. One of Nepal's greatest and most adventurous treks!
An epic bike trip across Bhutan, the land of happiness. Join us for a wonderful west-east journey through this exotic Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom, exiting via the Indian border in the southeast of Bhutan.
11-26 Feb, 15 days -- mountain biking & hotels -- Paro (Bhutan) to Guwhati (India) --
Kim -- US$4580
Team: Kati***, Dave D****, Murray*** & Ida
Crew: Lhakpa, Karma (Bhutan) & Hari
Success on all five previous expeditions! 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.
2014: 4-24 Feb, 21 days -- all trekking and mountain services --
Team: David Gordon**, +Amanda B and Lynda
This was a fun expedition but with plenty of challenges. Although we picked a great weather window, the afternoon "white wind" was still harsh and it is amazing that all the teams slower than us managed to get down without real incident (only JJ's team was ahead). We now stand at 6/6 Aconcagua summits but David had to retire due to severe diarrhoea, source untraceable (and a persistent problem among local crew especially), and Lynda reached 6750m but getting the summit safely would have been an issue, leaving Amanda and myself on top.
Even if we didn't go clubbing we had plenty of crazy evenings dining out with friends from the mountain; Mendoza living up to it's reputation, midnight ice creams!
We trek the semi-frozen Zanskar River while 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!
1-19 Feb, 19 days -- expedition style -- Leh-Leh -- Ade
Summers -- US$2980 including gear
Team: Debra L, Nils B, Belinda SC, Jock and Annie
Crew: Lobsang ...
We trek the semi-frozen Zanskar River while 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!
expedition style -- Leh-Leh -- Lobsang
Spend Christmas in Lhasa with us! We explore the Buddhist monasteries of central Tibet (Samye, Shigatse, Ganden & Lhasa), walk koras with Tibetan pilgrims and finish with a spectacular journey crossing the Himalayan range. Back in Nepal, we spend a night at the semi-tropical Last Resort followed by a New Year's celebration back in Kathmandu!