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Mike's Zanskar Dream Trek

Mike's Zanskar Dream Trek

Last summer trek leader Mike Ford led our Zanskar Dream Trek(renamed in 2018 to Wild Zanskar Trek) in Ladakh, India. He described it as an "absolutely amazing high-altitude trekking experience".

"The Zanskar Dream Trek, run by Mountain Kingdoms was an absolutely amazing high-altitude trekking experience. It started with a carefully-thought out acclimatisation programme including days in Leh and some amazing Tibetan Buddhist monasteries on the way to the trek starting point beyond Lamayuru.



The trek itself was 23 days (and tent-nights) of sheer unadulterated Himalayan beauty with magnificent views, five 5,000m passes, extraordinary scenery and the very occasional small settlement. It was a wilderness experience par excellence with amazing geological features, crisp clean air, photogenic views at every turn and just the sound of the wind and rivers to meditate upon. The geologists on trek could not believe some of the folds and gorge scenery (including imbricated thrusts) and the photographers clicked perpetually (or was it just their shutters)? There was an incredible sense of achievement both during and at the end - 250km of trekking through wild, mostly uninhabited terrain which was, quite honestly a once in a lifetime treat (and challenge).

The beautifully-crafted trek route was in stark contrast to the many busy trekking highways of Nepal. The end of the trek was particularly emotional – watching the mighty snow-capped massif of Kang Yatse disappear from view as we began the 1,700m descent to the road-head in the small settlement of Shang. Even the lure of a hot shower and cold beer after 23 days in the mountains did little to ease the feeling of loss as we parted company with the stunning Zanskar mountains.



The ground crew and horsemen handled the complex logistics with great professionalism and the kitchen crew provided excellent food throughout. The weather was amazing – lots of sunshine, clear starry night skies and only the one blizzard at 5,000m. We survived the 100 + river crossings, herds of Himalayan wildlife, prowling snow-leopards (we saw paw-prints twice) and a couple of seriously challenging scree-slopes. Not for the faint hearted but what an experience! Thoroughly recommended."

Mike Ford

Related News

2021 Photo Competition Winner

2021 Photo Competition Winner

We had a superb shortlist of monthly winners from which to select our travel photo of the year, but after much deliberation and debate our winner was this stunning festival image taken in Ladakh by Chris Martin. We all just loved the colour, movement and energy of the dancers, as well as the technical achievement in capturing that moment. Chris has told us how he did it...

'I was travelling with my American photo friend and we had hired a 4x4 in Leh to drive us to spend a couple of nights in Lamayuru. We were up at first light to walk up to the Monastery. We were lucky to be the only foreigners on site amongst a small group of local villagers. Suddenly out of a doorway in the courtyard came monks dressed in amazing finery. They then started to dance in total silence. The only sound was the swooshing of their garments ! It was quite eerie ! The dance went on for around ten minutes in which time I managed to acquire some interesting pictures.'

Many congratulations to Chris, his prize is £250 towards a Mountain Kingdoms holiday. We look forward to seeing what brilliant images he captures on his future travels.

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Costa Rica and the Green Planet

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Winner of the Earthshot prize, Costa Rica plays a starring role in David Attenborough’s new, ground-breaking natural history series due to its extraordinary bio-diversity and conservation credentials. Watch Green Planet on BBC1 on Sunday evenings to see some of the country’s amazing plants and creatures including millions of fungus-feeding, leafcutter ants that form an essential role in the ecosystem of Costa Rica’s pristine rainforest.

If you’d like to discover Costa Rica for yourself there is availability on both of this year’s departures of our Gentle Walking & Wildlife Costa Rica small group holiday.

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December competition winner

December competition winner

Our final winner for 2022 is Chris Holland with this superb photo of Ama Dablam in the Everest region of Nepal. Not only has Chris captured the beauty of this magnificent mountain but the stupa in the foreground (with its slightly cheeky expression) adds real interest and character as well as a sense of symmetry and scale between the man made and natural worlds. Many congratulations to Chris who wins our last Water-to-Go bottle of the year.

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