6 tel: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only) international tel: +44 1453 844 400 www.himalayankingdoms.com Choosing your cultural tour Tour name Duration London–London Country Page Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan 15/16 Bhutan 17 First Class Tour of Nepal 13 Nepal 29 Land of the Windhorse – Travels in Tibet 17 Tibet 38 Train to Lhasa – Travels in Tibet 22 Tibet 39 Cultural Highlights of Bhutan and Tibet 16 Bhutan/Tibet 39 Definitive Cultural Tour of Central Asia 19 Central Asia 52 Indo-China Experience 18 Laos 56 Undiscovered Cambodia 19 Cambodia 58 Choosing your trek or trekking peak by grade To help you narrow your choice further, here is how we have graded the treks. The order takes some account of number of trek days, heights of passes, size and frequency of ascents/descents, and how much continuous trekking is involved. Our trek grading system Himalayan Kingdoms treks have something to offer everyone from casual walkers to keen long distance explorers. In mountainous regions, with their ups and downs and zig-zag paths, it is more appropriate to think in terms of hours spent walking, rather than miles covered. Times are given in our detailed day-by-day itineraries – available on request, tel: 0845 330 8579, or downloadable from our website. All treks are based on a one-hour stop for lunch and a relaxed pace of walking. The grades are our own definitions and should not be interpreted in a literal sense. Please call us for friendly wellinformed advice. Gentle: Typically anything from 3 to 7 days trekking. A walking holiday with plenty of cultural interest and interaction with local people. Usually 4 to 6 hours walking per day. Lowaltitude trails, however paths are not all flat and walks may involve a reasonable amount of ascent and descent. Most utilise hotels and comfortable lodges; some involve elements of camping (see specific Trek Info boxes). Only light daypacks are carried. Suitable for anyone who enjoys long weekend walks in the British hills. Varied and fun. Moderate: Typically 5 to 10 days trekking. More remote country and the occasional 6- or 7-hour day. Easy mountain tops, not excessive altitude. Relatively low-altitude treks, crossing passes of no more than 4,300m/14,000ft. Suitable for keen hill-walkers. Vigorous: Typically 8 to 14 days trekking. Up to 7 days consecutive walking through wild country, including high passes (sometimes snow-covered) between 3,660m/12,000ft and 4,900m/16,000ft and may possibly also involve some or all of the following: glacier travel and easy peaks. Sometimes a 7- or 8-hour day. Considerable ascents and descents. Might be camping or mountain huts/pensions. Usually 2 to 3 weeks London to London. Suitable for the fit enthusiast. Strenuous: Typically anything from 10–30 days trekking. Challenging long-distance treks for the fit enthusiast. Occasionally more than 7 days consecutive walking, but all treks have rest days interspersed. Some treks cross at least one pass of over 4,900m/16,000ft. Often very rarely visited areas. No harder than our Vigorous grade, but more of it! Usually 3–4 weeks London to London. Expedition Grade: These all involve long, hard days and may include some camping above the snow line. Ice axe, crampons and safety ropes may be used. Not technically difficult but all are a considerable challenge. Previous strenuous trekking experience essential. Some high altitudes. (Reconnaissance): If this appears in brackets after the main grade it denotes a new trek which has not been recce’d before. These trips should appeal to the really adventurous and the trekking itineraries may be less predictable than most. nO of trek days (incl. rests) Country Page STRENUOUS (EXPEDITION GRADE) New Island Peak (Imja Tse) 6,189m/20,305ft 19 Nepal 35 Mera Peak 6,476m/21,246ft 17 Nepal 35 Stok Kangri 6,121m/20,082ft & Markha Valley Expedition 14 Ladakh 45 K2 and the Gondogoro La 16 Pakistan 50 Snow Lake – Last Blank on the Map 16 Pakistan 50 Land of the Lamas – The Phuktal Gorges Trek, Zanskar 11 Ladakh 47 STRENUOUS The Complete Lunana Snowman Trek 28 Bhutan 18 The Kingdom of Zanskar Trek 22 Ladakh 47 The Sir Edmund Hillary Everest Trek 23 Nepal 33 Upper Dolpo Trek & Shey Gompa 22 Nepal 25 Dhaulagiri Circuit 19 Nepal 28 New Three High Passes of the Khumbu 18 Nepal 33 The Hidden Kingdom Trek 17 Bhutan 19 Everest Base Camp, Mani Rimdu & Gokyo 17 Nepal 32 Annapurna Circuit 19 Nepal 27 Kangchenjunga North & South Base Camps 23 Nepal 25 Nepalese & Tibetan Base Camps of Everest 16 Nepal/Tibet 38 The K2 Base Camp Trek 16 Pakistan 49 The Kawa Karpo Pilgrimage 15 Yunnan 40 Mount Kailash & Lake Manasarovar, via Simikot 18 Tibet 36 The Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit 16 N Peru 63 Cordillera Real Traverse 15 Bolivia 65 Alpacas & Condors Wild Bolivia – The Cordillera Apolobamba 15 Bolivia 65 Everest’s Kangshung Face & Sherpa Tenzing’s Birthplace 10 Tibet 37 The Everest Base Camp Trek 14 Nepal 32 Green Lake and the Zemu Glacier 12 Sikkim 22 Around Nevado Alpamayo 13 N Peru 63 VIGOROUS/STRENUOUS Kangchenjunga, the Goecha La & Singalila Ridge Combination 14 Sikkim 22 Langtang & the Laurebina La 15 Nepal 24 Mount Chomolhari Approach 10 Bhutan 18 The ‘Mini’ Annapurna Circuit 12 Nepal 27 The Markha Valley Trek 10 Ladakh 46 Nubra Valley – The Moorcroft Route 11 Ladakh 46 Spiti Exploration 13 Ladakh 47 The White Rock Trek 11 Peru 62 VIGOROUS Shipton/Tilman & Nanda Devi Inner Sanctuary Approach 15 Garhwal 42 Trail to Tibet 11 Tibet 37 Tour du Mont Blanc 11 The Alps 69 Annapurna Sanctuary 12 Nepal 27 Red Rice Trade Route – Eastern Bhutan 12 Bhutan 19 The Lost Pass Trek 10 A Pradesh 13 The Chamba Valley & Dharamsala 11 N India 44 Kashgar to K2 Camel Trek 14 Pakistan/China 50 Minya Konka, Old Eastern Tibet 10 China 41 Source of the Ganges 10 Garhwal 42 The Best Trek to Cerro Torre & Fitz Roy 9 Patagonia (Arg) 67 Torres del Paine Circuit 8 Patagonia (Chile) 66 Cotopaxi and Chimborazo – Trekking in the Avenue of the Volcanoes 8 Ecuador 64 The Royal Inca Trail 8 Peru 62 Luxury Mountain Lodges to Machu Picchu 6 Peru 60 Festival of the Snows 4 Peru 62 The Mount Fansipan Adventure, 3,143m/10,308ft 5 Vietnam 57 nO of trek days (incl. rests) Country Page MODERATE/VIGOROUS The Kingdom of Mustang 15 Nepal 25 Kali Gandaki Gorge to Jomsom Trek 13 Nepal 28 Gold, Silver & Coca – from the Andes towards the Amazon 11 Bolivia 65 The Old Smugglers’ Route – Ha Valley 8 Bhutan 20 Everest Sherpa Villages Family Trek 11 Nepal 34 The Luxury Lodges of Everest 9 Nepal 34 Valley of the Goddess & Dharamsala 10 N India 44 Sacred Mountains, Secret Valleys 8 Bhutan 20 The Chorten Path 9 Bhutan 16 The Celestial Mountains Trek 11 Kazakhstan 52 Mountains of Central Japan 6 Japan 59 The Classic Inca Trail 4 Peru 61 Mount Olympus 2,917m/9,750ft 6 Greece 69 MODERATE Towards the Tsang Po Gorges 7 A Pradesh 12 The Eastern Himalaya, Tawang 7 A Pradesh 12 The Imperial Pilgrimage Route 7 Japan 59 Christmas in Bhutan & the Black-Necked Cranes 7 Bhutan 21 New Bedouin Paths to Petra and Wadi Rum 7 Jordan 70 New Mountains and Deserts of Arabia 5 Oman 70 The Treasure Discoverer’s Trek 6 Bhutan 21 Christmas in Darjeeling 8 Sikkim 23 Singalila Ridge Top Walk 6 Sikkim 23 The Mekong & Minorities Eco Trek 8 Laos 56 The Nomads and Ibex Trek – with Total Solar Eclipse 7 Mongolia 51 Highlights of the Torres del Paine 6 Patagonia (Chile) 66 Hill Tribes of Thailand and Laos 5 Thailand & Laos 55 Northern Hill Jungles 5 Thailand 55 The Hiram Bingham Trail 4 Peru 61 GENTLE/MODERATE New Grand Canyon Trek & the Best Wild West Trails 10 USA 68 Gentle Trekking in the Andean Highlands 10 Ecuador 64 Gentle Trekking & Luxury Lodges, Annapurna Foothills 6 Nepal 29 Hill Country Heights Trek 6 Sri Lanka 53 Hill Tribe Trekking in Vietnam 6 Vietnam 57 GENTLE New California Coastal Paths with Yosemite & Desert Hikes 12 USA 68 Gentle Trekking, Luxury Lodges & Estancias, Patagonia 7 Patagonia (Arg) 67 The Genghis Khan Trek 7 Mongolia 51 Gentle Trekking in Cambodia 7 Cambodia 58 The Plant Hunters, Yunnan 10 Yunnan 40 Gentle Trekking in Sikkim & Darjeeling 7 Sikkim 23 Gentle Trekking, Lodges & Hotels in Bhutan 8/9 Bhutan 16 Gentle Trekking & Comfortable Lodges – NW Thailand 5 Thailand 55 Gentle Trekking, Kandyan Kingdoms 7 Sri Lanka 53 Quest to Ladakh 4 Ladakh 46 Gentle Trekking, Palaces & Hill Stations, Himachal Pradesh 7 N India 43 Christmas in Nepal 6 Nepal 28 Family Trek in Nepal 4 Nepal 28 Gentle Trekking in Laos 5 Laos 56 Gentle Trek: Guilin & the Tribes of SW China 4 China 41 Echoes of the Raj – Gentle Trekking in Kumaon 6 N India 43 Family Trek in Bhutan – Easter Holidays 5 Bhutan 17 Nagaland – The Forbidden Frontier 4 A Pradesh 13
The Himalayan specialist. We are justifiably proud of our unrivalled record of taking groups into all parts of the Himalaya; very often this involves securing permits to new areas, retracing routes used by famous explorers, and being the first to enter hitherto unknown regions. During our 20 years we have become the leading operator of Bhutan treks, having pioneered most of the trekking routes in the kingdom. In 1993 our mountaineering department, now a separate company called Jagged Globe, based in Sheffield, was the first in the UK to guide clients to the summit of Everest. We eat, breathe and live trekking, and as such have accumulated a huge fund of experience in most other mountain ranges around the world. These are exciting times at HK as we develop our treks worldwide. Over the next few years we will be researching many more innovative ideas. Emphasis on quality We use some of the best airlines, and 3- or 4-star hotels in the main cities, chosen for character. We use large, well-established, reputable in-country operators who have excellent equipment and well-trained staff. We use private transport to reach roadheads. Small group travel For the majority of our treks we have a maximum group size of 12, plus leader. Financial security We are a fully bonded company and the holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 2973. ‘Land only’ holidays are covered by a bond secured with the AITO Trust. We are also members of AITO and bound by their quality charter. (See back cover.) International Porter Protection Group Our Sherpas and porters are central to the success of our trekking adventures. We support the IPPG and adhere to its principles of porter protection. The environment We care about the mountains and adhere to the Himalayan Tourist Code as produced by Tourism Concern. In 1999 we came top in a VSO survey of 50 UK tour operators and have been awarded AITO’s 3-star rating for Responsible Tourism. Niki Morgan is our Responsible Tourism Manager. Surcharges We do not charge extra for ‘meal packages’ or for ‘local charges’. We do, however, reserve the right to surcharge in the case of dramatic currency rate movements or for large increases in air fares. We would only do this in extreme cases. Competitive, value for money prices We are not in the business of cutting the itinerary and services to the bone. Our well-thought-out treks do, however, offer fantastic value for money. When you ring Himalayan Kingdoms you speak to a human being not a machine. You can also speak personally to someone who has direct knowledge of the region you are interested in. Steven Berry Managing Director Born in Shillong, just south of the Bhutanese border, Steve has returned to the Himalaya many times as leader of numerous treks and expeditions. These include the first British ascent of Nun Kun in Kashmir and attempts on Cho Oyu in Nepal and Gangkar Punsum in Bhutan. His book, The Thunder Dragon Kingdom is an account of Britain’s first climbing expedition to Bhutan. Jane Wilding PA to Steven Berry Jane is kept very busy in the office, but enjoys walking and cycling National Trails and Paths whenever she has a chance. Clive Hughes Flights Department Assistant (not in photo) Climber, musician and volunteer assistant to Shiva Charity, Clive joins us as a part-time Flights Assistant. He once worked for the Rolling Stones! Seraphina Berry Reservations Assistant Steve’s wife handles all of our incoming bookings and insurance matters. She has also travelled extensively throughout Asia, and has led treks in Bhutan, Tibet, Northern India, Ladakh and Nepal where she instigated our now popular Family Trek. Steve Harbert General Manager Steve spent many years working for several of our main competitors before moving down to live in Bristol. He probably holds the record in the office for the number of countries visited. Niki Morgan Operations Manager Niki’s passions are rock-climbing, running and travel. A few years ago she took part in the Everest Marathon and most weekends she is to be found half way up some cliff or other. She has now led treks for HK to Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Zanskar and Kazakhstan and has done reconnaissance trips in Northern India, Turkey, Norway, China, Patagonia, Mera Peak and Island Peak. Ann Sainsbury Operations Manager Ann first travelled overland to Nepal in 1977 to escape a proper job in London. Since then she has trekked in the Himalaya almost every year, as well as leading treks to places as far apart as the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru, and Pindos Mountains, Greece, with 12 ascents of Kilimanjaro thrown in for good measure. Linda Denniff Operations Assistant (not in photo) Linda gives invaluable assistance to the Operations Managers, as well as looking after our kit hire department. absolute convert to trekking, she has even taken her family trekking in Nepal. Carol Dawson Operations Assistant Carol has worked at HK for 7 years and working part-time gives her flexibility to pursue her love of travel. She become the company ‘Jill of all trades’, helping out in areas from crashed computers to updating itineraries. Victoria Tudor Operations Assistant (not in photo) Vikki comes to us from Rednock School, Dursley, for whom have organised trips. At the age of 19 she has already travelled and worked in India. Jude Limburn Turner Marketing Manager Jude is now using her 8 years experience as a Commercial Manager with British Airways to manage HK’s marketing department. She is also busy with our HK Discovery Expeditions (see page 72). Jude has travelled the world over and trekked extensively in the Himalaya, but her first true love remains the mountains and people of Nepal. Kirsty Parsons Marketing & Reservations Assistant Kirsty so enjoyed her trek to Everest Base Camp as a client Himalayan Kingdoms that she applied to work for company full time. Christine Andrews Book-keeper Our scuba-diving book-keeper and financial wizard! Malcolm Rutter Flights Manager Malcolm has worked for thirty five years in the travel business including senior positions at British Airways, Qantas Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Air Lanka, Brymon Airways and was even Station Controller at Bristol Airport for some time. He travelled the world including virtually all the countries which we operate. Back row: Seraphina Berry, Niki Morgan, Chris Andrews, Jane Wilding, Malcolm Rutter, Ann Sainsbury Front row: Carol Dawson, Jude Limburn Turner, Steve Berry, Kirsty Parsons, Steve Harbert Experienced office staff tel: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only) international tel: +44 1453 844 400 www.himalayankingdoms.com Why choose Himalayan Kingdoms?