Latest news from the Himalaya and Karakoram

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

#myTMCbuff now available to purchase!


Photo: #myTMCBuff (credit: The Mountain Company)
Who doesn’t need a brightly colored Buff - to keep your head warm, shelter you from the sun or just to look cool?  We worked directly with Buff to create a Prayer Flag inspired design, fine tuned in Spain and had them blessed at a Buddhist religious ceremony called a Puja while in Nepal. 

Photo: Puja ceremony to bless #myTMCBuff (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
Now these are available for sale (£20 or US$30) with all proceeds to benefit the The Mountain Company's social fund for use as a hardship fund for our guides and local Nepal charity organisations that are most in need. 

If you are coming out to Nepal on one of our treks this Autumn/ Fall season then you can purchase #myTMCBuff from one of our team at your briefing and debriefing meetings in Kathmandu. 

If you are not coming to Nepal this year and would like to purchase #myTMCBuff you can order one now by sending a message through our website. Please note that these will be dispatched by post in late November and if you ordering from overseas there is an additional US$5 charge for postage (total is US$30 + US$5= US$35).

Our first shipment of Buffs went out to the 28 attendees at our inaugural TMC training session in Kathmandu - including the guides, chefs and cook boys who were all in attendance.

If you check out hashtag #myTMCbuff on Instagram or Facebook you will be seeing them in action already. Once you get yours then please feel free to post a photo of you wearing the Buff under #myTMCbuff.

Roland Hunter


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Trip report for Ladakh Sky Trail GHT led by Almas Khan in August/ September 2018

Photo: Tsomoriri lake from our view point on last day (credit: Almas Khan)
In August/ September 2018 we operated our 5th Ladakh Sky Trail GHT in northern India. Almas Khan is the leader and organiser for this trek and this year we had an international mix of 11 trekkers coming from New Zealand, Australia, USA and UK.

As mentioned in previous trip reports our Ladakh Sky Trail GHT is a unique itinerary designed by Almas and travels through the best of the three areas of this region: Ladakh, Zanskar and Changthang/ Rupshu. For most of Ladakh Sky Trail GHT we follow rarely trekked trails and this is only possible due to the local knowledge of Almas and our local Ladakhi guides. If you like to really get off the beaten track and explore a very remote region of the Himalaya away from other trekking groups then this would be a great trek for you to consider.

Photo: the monastery at Lamaruyu at start of trek (credit: Almas Khan)
Our Ladakh Sky Trail GHT group arrived to Leh on August 14th and on 17th drove to Lamayuru (3,500m) and 18th they started the trek. Overall the trek went well, they kept to the itinerary arriving to Tso Moriri as planned and drove back to Leh on September 8th.

As with all of TMC western led treks we track their progress while in the field through SPOT gps check ins, you can view the Google Maps for our 2018 Ladakh Sky Trail GHT

Photo: Google Maps for Ladakh Sky Trail GHT in August 2018
Almas sums up his experience leading this group as follows:

“It was good to have a larger group this year. The temperatures on our trek this year were about 5 degrees Celsius warmer when compared to last 3 years. The water level for river crossings was about six inches higher but not very cold - it made the river crossings more enjoyable. All group members acclimatised very well and we did not have any problems with altitude sickness, having three nights in Leh before the trek starts is definitely working. It was also good to hear from the clients that the trek was very beautiful and the food was great.”

As for all or our treks in the Himalayas we received bespoke weather forecast from Michael Fagin at everestweather.com. The weather for our 2018 Ladakh Sky Trail GHT trek was fine with mainly sunny weather and there was only light precipitation after Tshokar lake till they reached Tsomoriri  Lake but most of it happened at night and made the walks less dusty.

Almas explains in his trip report to us that "the high altitude camps towards the end of trek were warmer compared to previous years and the temperatures barely got to freezing. The condition of the trail was good as it did not snow much in Ladakh and Zanskar last winters."

Photo: Skui Pata village (credit: Almas Khan)
The Mountain Company has a pledge through AITO Project Protect for our groups to collect at least 200kg of rubbish/ trash in the Himalaya and Karakoram during 2018. Our 2018 Ladakh Sky Trail GHT collected 7kg of rubbish from the trails and around campsites and this is less than our target of 1kg per trekker however this is mainly because there is a lack of rubbish on this rarely visited region of Ladakh.

Almas explains in his trip report to us that "most campsites at are clean as it’s a less used trek. Towards the end of the trek in Rupshu valley you see a bit of rubbish and most of it from the nomadic shepherds."
Photo: Hanimal village (credit: Almas Khan)

We have received excellent feedback from the group on the quality of Ladakh Sky Trail GHT itinerary and our organisation, I have copied one AITO review received below:

"22 day trek. Fantastic landscapes and culture. Very rewarding. Excellent food and organisation. Highly recommended. The Mountain Company and trekking guide Almas Khan are top operators and can be trusted. They know the region and were very responsive both before and during the trek. Without question we'd use TMC again as our preferred trekking company for the Himalayas." By Stu, Ladakh Sky Trail GHT 2018

I would like to thank Almas and all of the Ladakhi team including guides, cooks, kitchen helpers and horsemen for doing a fantastic job helping on another successful Ladakh Sky Trail GHT. Almas will be back in Ladakh again next summer leading our 2019 Ladakh Sky Trail and please get in touch if you are interested in joining him.

Roland Hunter

Thursday, 30 August 2018

What does your next adventure look like?

The first time I was trekking in the Everest Region in the Himalayas, I asked how far to the next village. Two hours was the answer. When I asked specifically for me, it became two and half hours. When trekking at altitude, time has traditionally been the way to explain how far there is to go.

With GPS watches now very common, data and digital mapping has increasingly become something all of us are more interested in to help us select a new adventure and record our recent outings. At The Mountain Company have been focused on two areas to improve our provision of data.

Firstly, Roland has been creating maps of the routes that our treks follow, adding in as much detail as he can, such as the detailed route, lodges and places of interest. We decided to use google maps as the satellite view shows contour lines and topography best. As the maps are created, they are posted directly onto the trip page for each trek and you can access by clicking on the "View Map" . Here is the map for our Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek in Nepal which is next running in October.

Photo: Google Earth for Upper Dolpo
Secondly, we have also begun working with Suunto Ambit3 Vertical watches to record more in depth data on our treks. These provide detailed mapping as well as ascent and descent profiles, altitude and distance. We have begun collating this and will add to our trip dossiers as available.

Photo: Sunnto Ambit3 Vertical
Whilst leading our K2 Base Camp and Gondogoro La Trek in Pakistan this summer, I used my watch every day to collect the relevant data and am currently inputting that data into an updated trip dossier. The data from the pass crossing from Ali Camp to Khuspang shows our 10 km of travel over 10 hours as we went up 860m and down 1090m, reaching a maximum altitude at the top of the pass of 5606 metres.

Photo: Suunto data for day crossing Gondogoro La

Photo: Suunto data for day crossing Gondogoro La

A video of the Gondogoro La pass crossing can be seen here.

Jo Clark
Nepal Operations Manager

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Nepal Guides training in Kathmandu- August 2018


Photo: training on PAC bags on The Mountain Company course August 2018 (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
August is quiet in Nepal and not a lot of trekking is happening this time of year. As most of our local guides weren’t leading treks and I was passing through Kathmandu after my recent K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La trek in Pakistan, we decided it was the perfect time to run a training session for them.

The session lasted 2 days and took place at the Outdoor Training Centre in Kathmandu. This community initiative is a relatively new training facility dedicated to bringing information, education and recreation together. Their belief is that through sharing knowledge and business ideas, adventure sports and their social benefits can be encouraged within the community. It is the ideal location for this kind of training as there is a classroom, a large open training area for more active sessions - and they provide a fantastic lunch.

Photo: group presentations on scenario planning (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
It was great to see such a wide range of attendees with guides, assistant guides, cooks and office staff - 28 in total. The range of English language abilities meant that everyone was helping each other out and each individual was an expert at something. 

The first day of the session used a variety of collaborative teaching methods to teach and reinforce The Mountain Company’s policies on communication, health and hygiene and medical issues. Everyone had the opportunity to send their GPS location using a SAT phone, communicate with the radios and practice using the Personal Altitude Chambers bags.

Photo: familiarisation with medical kits (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
Day 2 started with an online refresher quiz and then moved on to look in more detail at the comprehensive medical kits we carry on all trips. We have recently reorganised these bags with labelled compartments, making it faster and easier for both local and western guides to find the medication they need quickly and efficiently.

Photo: attendees on The Mountain Company course in August 2018 with #myTMCBuff (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
Photo: Tulsi and Chandra receiving completion certificates from Jo (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
The two days finished with a special puja service for our new TMC Buffs. These have colourful prayer flags all over them and as a result we wanted to ensure cultural sensitivity. The Lama who performed the puja was happy with the buffs but cautioned that they should not be placed in anyone's back pocket.

Photo: puja ceremony to bless #myTMCBuff (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)

Photo: #myTMCBuff (Credit: The Mountain Company)
Everyone took away a newly blessed buff from the course (including the Lama) and these will be available for purchase as part of our social fund. We will give proceeds of the sales to our social fund for use as a hardship fund for guides and charitable contributions. TMC will pay for the Buffs, so 100% of the proceeds will be paid into our social fund. The cost of a social buff will be GBP20 or US$25 and the social media hashtag is #myTMCBuff. We want to see how many locations #myTMCBuff can get to whilst walking in the mountains!

Jo Clark
Nepal Operations Manager
www.themountaincompany.co.uk


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Trip report for K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro in Pakistan during July/ August 2018

Photo: Mount K2 (credit Jo Clark)
In July we organised our 10th trek to K2 Base Camp in Pakistan and out of these departures six groups have successfully crossed the Gondogoro La high pass over to Hushe. For this Summer's trek we ran two treks to K2 Base Camp in Pakistan at the same time: our K2 Base Camp & Concordia and our K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La.

Our leaders for our July 2018 K2 Base Camp treks were Jo Clark (UK), Zahid (Pakistan), Amine (Pakistan), Khalil (Pakistan) and Nasim (Pakistan). This was Jo’s first time trekking in Pakistan and as many of you know she is now working full time for us as our Nepal Operations Manager. We had eight people in our Gondogoro La group and seven people in our K2 Base Camp group. Like in previous years this group was an international mix with people coming from UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.

The group arrived to Islamabad on July 21st and in the afternoon Jo gave her group briefing at Hotel Hillview. The next day they flew up to Skardu on the Pakistan International Airlines (“PIA”) flight. As discussed in our Trip report for our 2016 K2 Base Camp the flights to Skardu have become more reliable over last few years due to operational changes at PIA. If the Skardu flight is cancelled then the group would have to drive for two days up the Karakoram Highway (“KKH”).

Photo: Lunch on the way to Ali Camp (credit Jo Clark)
As the group flew to Skardu they had two nights in this small town on the banks of the Indus river. It is an interesting place for the group to explore, like visiting the Skardu fort and the local bazaar. Our K2 Base Camp groups have flown both ways Islamabad – Skardu – Islamabad in 2016, 2017 and 2018 therefore these days the chance of driving KKH is much lower. However this is always a possibility, so people have to be prepared for this drive if the flight is cancelled.

On July 24th they drove from Skardu to Askole village, they made good time and on arrival to Askole met the rest of the trek crew and camped in fields of the village for the first night of the trek. I have copied below Jo’s summary of how the trek went in her own words:

“For the first week of the trek, the mountains were often hidden by clouds. As we made our way up the glacier we had glimpses of Trango Towers, Cathedral and Masherbrum but never saw the entire mountains. At Urdukas the weather was pleasant with some clouds in the sky and the acclimatisation walk was enjoyed - sitting in the grass, taking pictures, videos and enjoying the best views we had been offered so far.

As the team arrived in Concordia, the skies cleared and there wasn’t another cloud for the next 5 days. This provided the most beautiful clear views of K2, Broad Peak and all of the surrounding mountains and glaciers, making the tough trek up the Baltoro glacier well worth it. Everyone in the team was excited to trek on to Broad Peak Base Camp where the views improved along with the weather.

At Concordia, half the group returned down the Baltoro glacier and the other half headed towards Ali Camp to prepare for the Gondogoro La pass. The trek to the bottom of the pass started at midnight and as the slope steepened, the crampons went on and fixed ropes became necessary. Dawn was breaking in beautiful colours as everyone arrived at the top of the pass at 5am. Then we started down the precarious and challenging descent on ropes to the other side. The weather held for a few more days for a relaxing trip down the beautiful Hushe valley took us back to the jeeps and civilization.”



Photo: Camp at Concordia (credit Jo Clark)
This group experienced excellent weather and conditions for the days crossing the Gondogoro La pass on August 5th. Selecting the best time of year to trek is important in Pakistan and last year we changed our dates to 10 days earlier. This worked well for both our 2018 and 2017 groups, crossing Gondogoro La on clear, sunny days with perfect views of the Karakoram mountain range.

Photo: On Gondogoro La (credit Jo Clark)
Many groups trekking into K2 Base Camp earlier in the Summer find there is too much snow and three weeks before our trek there were several other groups that were unable to proceed beyond Urdukas due to too much snow on the trail. Later in the season into late August the weather tends to be cloudier and there is a higher chance of precipitation. Of course the weather changes year to year however from our cumulative experience of trekking and climbing in Pakistan since 2004 we have found these are the optimal dates for K2 Base Camp trek.

Photo: Walking on Baltoro Glacier (credit Jo Clark)
Well done to both groups for achieving their objectives with the Gondogoro La group successfully crossing this technical high pass 5,500m+ and for K2 Base Camp group for walking up to Gilkey memorial and to the Base Camp for second highest mountain in the world. Both of our K2 Base Camp groups arrived safely back to Skardu on August 9th and then flew back together to Islamabad on August 10th.

Photo: Khuspang Camp after crossing Gondogoro La (credit Jo Clark)
We track all of our groups in the field with SPOT gps units and this year we have started using Google Maps to track their progress in real time so friends and families can follow their progress --> you can see the Google Maps for K2 Base Camp.

We have received three AITO reviews from members of this group, you can view the full reviews for K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La and K2 Base Camp & Concordia. I have copied sections of these reviews below:

“The Mountain Company provide great logistics and excellent food making for a very comfortable trip. They employ good guides and provide a sensible itinerary. This is all backed up by excellent support from their base in the UK before, during and after the trip. Highly recommended, particularly for treks in trickier places!”

“The Mountain Company have a very detailed and methodical approach that ensures everything is well planned. The logistics on arrival in Pakistan, flights to Skardu, jeeps to Askole and the return journey went without problem. Their relationship with the local operator was excellent. Their approach to safety was the best I’ve seen with satellite phones, GPS plotter and an extremely comprehensive medical kit + Gammow Bag ( for emergency AMS ). I’d highly recommend The Mountain Company for future treks.”

“Both the Western Leader (Jo) and the local leader (Zahid) were exceptional with a strong focus on quality and safety ..... and having great time! They were well supported by amazing local men. The Mountain Company is the most organised trekking company I have been with. Pre-trek communication is excellent, all questions are answered promptly, service and facilities during the trek are exemplary and safety is a high priority including satellite phones, comprehensive medical kits, a Gamow bag, clear leadership and good support from the UK when out on the trek. The ability of the family at home to track our trek was also really positive.”


Thanks very much to Jo, Zahid, Amine, Khalil and Nasim plus the rest of the hard working team in Pakistan for their help and making it possible for our trekkers to experience this beautiful trek to K2.

The Mountain Company is promoting both our K2 Base Camp & Concordia and K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La for July 2019.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions on K2 Base Camp trek and if you would like to discuss your suitability or additional training required to join this trek in the future.

Roland Hunter

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Trip report for Kanchenjunga Circuit (Nepal) led by Almas Khan (Aus) and Raj Tamang (Nepal) in April 2018

Photo: view from Lhonak on Kanchenjunga Circuit 
In April 2018, The Mountain Company (UK) organised our eighth trek around Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in eastern Nepal, you can read our Trip Reports from previous Kanchenjunga Circuit treks.

Our April trek was led by Almas Khan and this was his fourth time leading this classic trek around the world’s third highest mountain however his first time in Spring season. The Nepali sirdar for this group was Raj Tamang who knows Kanchenjunga region very well as he grew up near Taplejung and his family still live in this region.

For our April 2018 Kanchenjunga Circuit group we had seven trekkers coming from UK, New Zealand and Australia. The first day of the trip was April 10th and next morning Almas gave his trek briefing on the roof top restaurant at Hotel Tibet and I also attended as I was in Kathmandu supporting our Spring groups. As planned on April 12th they flew to Bhadrapur in east of Nepal and in the afternoon drove up to Ilam for the night.

During the trek they followed the scheduled itinerary walking up as planned to Pangpema at Kanchenjunga northside Base Camp on April 23rd and then returned to Ghunsa on the next day. The group head up to High Camp before Mirgin La on April 25th then successfully crossed over Mirgin La on the next day to arrive in Tseram village in late afternoon.

Almas sums up his experience of leading our Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in April in his own words:

“The weather was good for walking. It did rain at nights but we were lucky to get good weather in day time. Mirgin La and Selela had enough snow on it and we walked all day in snow. The micro spikes came into good use. We also got a heavy snowfall in Tseram at night ... not enough to stop us from going to Ramche and onto Oktang the next day. Cloudy skies in the morning towards the end of the trek made the days which can be hot a lot easier. 

All enjoyed the trek and the group got along very well. The rhododendron and flowers in full bloom made the trek even more special and beautiful. It was the first time I did this trek in spring. The condition of the roads on our drives were very good and made the drives comfortable and took less time when compared to the last time I did this trek in November.”

Photo: on the trail to Lhonak
One of the trekkers in this group wrote a review on the AITO website and I have copied extracts below:

“The Mountain Company is extremely professional, both in their very informative website, and also in the very detailed and relevant information which they provide to participants on any of their treks. The trek leader Almas is a person of great leading experience. He has been guiding treks for 24 years, the past 14 years with The Mountain Company. I found him to be very approachable and helpful over the 3 week trek duration. This also applied to the Sirdar, trekking guides, kitchen staff and the porters. The staff were ever aware of our safety and welfare, and did everything to ensure that we had an enjoyable holiday experience in their country. All in all The Mountain Company is an extremely professional and well run organisation. I had a wonderful trekking holiday, and would have no hesitation in joining them for another trek if the opportunity arose.” You can read his full AITO review here

Throughout the course of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek we received bespoke weather forecasts from Michael Fagin at www.everestweather.com and this information was sent through to Almas on his satellite phone for days before approaching Kanchenjunga northside Base Camp and before crossing the Mirgin La. Having professional weather forecasts is essential for safety in crossing high passes and for decision making in the field.

As with all of TMC western led treks we track their progress while in the field through SPOT gps check ins, you can see the map of this trek and follow their route on SPOT Adventure website

This group picked up 11kg of rubbish found at the campsites left by other groups and this a good contribution towards our AITO Project Protect pledge to for all of groups to pick up 200kg of rubbish during 2018.

Thanks very much to Almas and Raj and the rest of the team for their hard work leading and organising this trek.

Our next departure for Kanchenjunga Circuit is in late October 2018, this trek is now guaranteed to run and the leader will be Natalie Wilson. There is currently availability if you are interested in joining this group, please get in touch with us soon.

Roland Hunter

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Trip report for Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT (Nepal) in May 2018 led by Almas Khan (Aus) and Chandra Rai (Nepal)

Photo: Phoksumdo Lake
Our Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT Trek in May 2018 was led by Almas Khan and our Nepali Sirdar was Chandra Rai. Our cook was Sangram.

We have run this trip at the end of the spring season (May) since 2010. This is the optimal time of year to complete the traverse as the window between the end of the winter snows melting on the passes and the onset of monsoon is quite short. Now five of our groups have successfully completed the traverse since 2010. To see how our previous Upper Dolpo treks did please take a look at Trip Reports for Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT.

This group had ten trekkers: from New Zealand, UK and Canada. The first day was May 6th and they met in the morning for the trip briefing from Almas. In the afternoon they took the flight to Nepalgunj and stayed the night at the Soaltee Westend Hotel. The following morning they flew on a twin otter plane to Juphal. This was a change in itinerary from last year when we chartered a plane from Phokhara to Juphal. The runway at Juphal was blacktopped in June 2017 making scheduled flights from Nepalgunj more reliable as a result. Upon arrival in Juphal and after sorting their bags and porters the team trekked to Dunai for their first night of camping.

The trip went well and all clients completed the itinerary with spare days for resting and that also allowed for bad weather. After reaching Dunai on the first night of the trek the group heard on the grapevine there was considerable snow on the passes and it was still snowing. The following day it snowed down to 2700m. For the first five days of the trek it rained or snowed at night, though luckily the weather was good while walking during the day. This weather pattern took them to Phoksumdo Lake and after a rest day there, they were ready to make their way towards the first high pass of the trek - The Kang La.

Photo: Lar Tsa Camp before Kang La
As they went up to the higher camps, the group discovered the left hand side of the valleys had significantly less snow on it due to the sun melting what snow had fallen on that side. Moving up the valley, after the Lar Tsa Camp they went up to the high camp (Snowfields) from the left side of the valley instead of the right hand side and encountered no snow. This high camp was the coldest the group experienced during the trip, with temperatures down to about -5°C.

As this is the fifth time we have run the Upper Dolpo to Jomson trip, we are developing very good knowledge and understanding of the various routes across the passes and their alternatives. Crossing the Kang La to Shey Gompa is the crux of the trek and last year when the team reached Snowfields Camp there was too much snow to cross this Pass. As a result we descended back into the valley and camped, before heading towards another route over Pass B.

In the knowledge that there was a lot of snow this year as well, the team still headed up towards Snowfields knowing that they might have to retreat to Pass B. This decision was made because camping at Snowfields allows for better acclimatization than going directly for Pass B. This time there was snow on the Kang La but the guides found if they stuck to the left of the pass, there was an alternative route with only a small amount of shallow snow on each side of the trail. This gives us three options for crossing this pass, which has in the past been problematic under snowy conditions.

After successfully crossing the Kang La pass the weather improved and they had little precipitation but strong winds. The group arrived at Shey Gompa where they spent two nights. They had the opportunity to explore the area, visit the Gompa and enjoy views of the sacred Crystal Mountain.

This far into the Upper Dolpo trek, it is very remote and arid and there is no fresh food to resupply along the way. On the early treks to this region our groups found a deficiency in fruit and vegetables in their diet, which can have health consequences due to a lack of vitamins and moral consequences due to uninspiring food. For this reason we bought a dehydrator last year and have started dehydrating fresh fruit and vegetables in Kathmandu to take on trek. This provides a wide variety of lightweight food which are rehydrated by the chef. It has become an important element of food provision on treks like this one in Upper Dolpo and we have received good feedback from both the group and crew on the taste and quality.

The windy, arid climate in this area can cause some problems along the way. We use Mountain Hardware tents as they are very sturdy and can withstand most things they could encounter. On this trip however, dust was a particular problem, causing issues with some of the zips. We send a ‘leader kit’ of repair items on all our trips which include items such as duct tape, tent repair kit and zip lube. We are currently looking at new options for better types of zip lube as despite constant reapplying, the dust still crept into the zips and caused problems. We hope to have a better solution for next year.

Photo: Upper Dolpo on trail to Shimen
With a day in hand the group were planning to rest at Chharka Village. However, with a weather forecast from Michael Fagin (everest weather.com) which was sent by text to Almas’ satellite phone they decided that they should keep moving to avoid some incoming bad weather on the Sangda La. Having professional weather forecasts like this is essential for safety on this remote trek with numerous high passes. The second coldest camp was the camp between the two Sangda passes - mainly because of the wind chill. The temperatures went down to about -3 at night.

Having crossed the two passes the group were on their final few days towards Jomson. They decided to spend their extra day in Kagbeni relaxing before arriving in Jomson on May 31st as planned. They enjoyed having the opportunity to spend an extra day exploring Kagbeni near the end of the trek. They were lucky enough to have this time as the group experienced no delays earlier in the trip either on flights or passes. However it is important to have these buffer days in the itinerary in case of delays such as flying in to Juphar or weather and allowing for porter time.

We currently send a SPOT on all of our remote treks and as you can see from this SPOT Adventure track which was recorded whilst were in the mountains, Upper Dolpo to Jomson is one of the most remote regions in Nepal. It is logistically challenging to support and we use the SPOT along with satellite phones to monitor the progress and safety of the team.

Photo: Bonpo monastery near Phoksumdo
It is these logistical challenges that we are continually working to overcome to improve our service. Next year we are considering a plan to change our logistics to resupply in Tinje (Day 17 of the trek) so that the food does not need to be carried over all of the passes before that. This would also give us the opportunity to send out our collected rubbish from this point.

This year we have continued with the collection of rubbish as part of our AITO project. In addition to carrying out our own rubbish, 3kg of additional rubbish was collected on this trek. The guides reported that there was not too much rubbish on the trail and around campgrounds and most of this was from local herders.

Photo: Ringmo village near Phoksumdo Lake
The Mountain Company would like to thank Almas, Chandra and the other guides for their leadership of this group and Sangram and the rest of the Nepalese crew, who as ever worked exceptionally hard throughout this expedition.

Below is a review we received from a member of this trek. For more AITO reviews on our Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT trek, check out the AITO website.

“Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trek in a seldom visited part of Nepal close to the China/Tibet border. A 25 day trek camping near remote villages in astonishing scenery and seeing a very different way of life.

Their pre-trip information was excellent-both accurate and detailed. All my advance enquiries were answered fully and promptly. The trek itself was very well organised and every effort was made to ensure our group (10 in number) got the maximum enjoyment from the trip (in sometimes very difficult conditions both in terms of remoteness and climate).”

Our next treks to Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT will be in October 2018 and then May 2019 and both of these departures are nearly guaranteed to run. Please get in touch soon if you would like to join one of these groups.

Jo Clark
Nepal Operations Manager

The Mountain Company