Where to trek in 2019

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Looking to plan a big trip in 2019? We spoke to seven of the leading trekking/expedition companies to get their recommendations for which treks and peaks to consider visiting in the coming year…

SPANTIK
Spantik (or Golden Peak) is set in the Nagar Valley in Pakistan’s Karakoram, and stands at a mighty 7027m. The Golden Pillar on its northwest face was famously climbed by British alpinists Mick Fowler and Victor Saunders in 1987, but this expedition run by Jagged Globe takes a rather easier route, technically (though still physically challenging). The southeast ridge was first attempted in 1906 by the American couple Fanny and William Bullock-Workman, who reached a very creditable high point of 6,700m, but Karl Kramer’s German expedition made the first successful ascent of the mountain by this route in 1955. On this expedition you will follow in Kramer’s footsteps up the southeast ridge, a long snow ridge with few sections of technical difficulty and little objective danger. From the summit of the mountain clear conditions give tremendous views in all directions. The Nagar and Hunza peaks can be seen close by to the west, while Nanga Parbat lies to the south and the Baltoro peaks including K2 can be seen on the eastern horizon. If you want to climb a 7,000m peak in a fabulous range of mountains, far from the regular trekking routes, add Spantik to your list!

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 30 days
Price: From €6,595 with flights
Dates: Sat 27 Jul – Sun 25 Aug 2019
More info: www.jagged-globe.co.uk

K2 BASE CAMP
This challenging trek is considered by many to be one of the best high mountain treks in the world. Some of the wildest and most dramatic landscapes on earth are found in the vast, rugged Karakoram range, situated in Northern Pakistan. Remote and spectacular, the 62km long Baltoro Glacier is Pakistan’s number one trekking destination. Seven of the world’s 25 highest peaks rise above this glacier, while the lower reaches are surrounded by some of the world’s highest granite walls and spires. The huge pyramid of K2 dominates. No wonder this remains one of the most spectucular trekking destinations to be found anywhere in the world. This itinerary from Jagged Globe includes one night at K2 Base Camp itself, to savour the majesty of this unique place with its infamous reputation and rich mountaineering history. The highest point on the trek is the 5,585m summit of the Ghondokoro La; the pass links the high glacial basin of the upper Baltoro with the green Hushe Valley to the south. The view from the summit is one of the most overwhelming mountain panoramas in the world, with four of the Karakoram 8,000m peaks close at hand. The K2 Base Camp trek is a tough trek, suitable for those who are used to walking in winter conditions, who also have previous experience of trekking at altitudes above 4,000m.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 23 days
Dates: Sat 27 Jul – Sun 18 Aug, 2019
Price: From €4,120 with flights
More info: www.jagged-globe.co.uk

MANASLU CIRCUIT
The Manaslu Circuit trek is a stunning trek around the world’s eighth highest mountain in a region that sees far less trekkers than other parts of Nepal. The itinerary offered by Adventure Alternative is a 17-day journey (21 days including travel and days in Kathmandu) beginning in the busy market town of Arughat, going up and back along a different path, and ending in Besi Sahar. This is a trek for someone who wants something different in Nepal but still offers the most striking and jaw-dropping scenery. Many people liken the Manaslu Circuit trek to the Annapurna before it got busy! It is in a region which was closed to outsiders until the early ’90s and tourism is still restricted. While it is not quite as high as the Annapurna Circuitm it really is a stunning and less trodden path. The drive from Kathmandu to the start of the trek at Arughat takes around seven hours and the drive from Besi Sahar to Kathmandu takes around six hours. The trek ascent is for 13 days, which includes two full rest days and acclimatisation, to the last settlement of Larkya Phedi. After one day climbing to the high point of Larkya La (for panoramic views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru and Annapurna II), the descent takes four days.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 21 days
Dates: 20/04/19 – 10/05/19, 12/10/19 – 01/11/19
Price: £1,695 excl flights
More info: www.adventurealternative.com

MOUNT KENYA
This trek, also offered by Adventure Alternative, climbs Mount Kenya by the route made famous by Felice Benuzzi’s classic mountaineering book ‘No Picnic on Mount Kenya’, recounting the 1943 attempt of three escaped Italian prisoners of war to reach the summit of Mount Kenya. The route in question is the Burguret route, which ascends a wilder and less travelled side of the mountain to Point Lenana and, on this trek, descends via the Chogoria Route. This is a more challenging ascent than other routes on Mount Kenya and is a camping route. The Burguret route begins on the west side of the mountain near the Mountain Rock Lodge and the whole route takes six days over about 76 kilometres. After the summit there is a big drop down to Hall Tarn and then Nithi Camp, which is quite hard on the knees (poles are highly recommended!). Parts of the trail near the top are scrambly with loose rock and with snow or ice underfoot. It will be important to be clear headed to be aware of the path ahead. The descent on the Chogoria is spectacular but it is also longer than the other routes. It’s a steady descent and the path becomes much easier as you get lower. Nithi Camp – and Shiptons Camp – are both lovely places to stay and they have facilities like toilets and a hut. Back at Meru Bandas at Chogoria Gate, the facilities are also excellent.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 6 days
Dates: Bespoke
Price: £1,395 excluding flights
More info: www.adventurealternative.com

MOUNT MADELINE
New Zealand has a great tradition of mountaineering, and it’s easy to understand why when you visit the superb mountainous areas found in the Southern Hemisphere country.Mount Madeline (2,536m) is the second highest peak in the Darran Mountains, located within Fiordland National Park in the South Western corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Accessed from the remote rock outcrop of Turner’s Bivouac at 1500m, high above Leader Creek far below, Madeline is a stunning climb in a great position with astounding views of Mount Tutoko’s South Face, Lake Turner and the surrounding Fiordland wilderness. Spectacular views across the Darren Mountains, to Lake Turner and the lush rainforest below. Mount Madeline is accessed from Turner’s Bivouac, a stunning rock overhang that sits at 1,500m elevation, high above Leader Creek far below. This trek is run by Adventur Consultants, and the team will access the biv by helicopter from Milford Sound. The views from Turner’s Biv are a breathtaking sight to behold. Mount Madeline’s West Face is visible in the early dawn and there are a couple of route options depending on snow and ice conditions.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 19 days
Dates: April 9 – 27, 2019
Price: £5,615.35
More info: www.adventureconsultants.com

PEAK LENIN
Situated on the Tajikistan ‑ Kyrgyzstan border, Peak Lenin stands at an altitude of 7134m and is the second highest mountain in the Pamir mountain range. Trek  & Mountain’s 2019 reader expedition to climb Peak Lenin is being organised by World Expeditions, and led by world-renowned exploratory mountaineer Simon Yates, veteran of many expeditions – both leading commercial groups and his own objectives. Although Peak Lenin is a popular and non‑technical ascent suitable for those who wish to climb for the first time over 7000m, this expedition is not to be underestimated due to the extreme altitude involved. Our expedition is from the Kyrgyzstan side of the peak, beginning from the village of Osh. We will acclimatise on the mountain, establishing and stocking our high camps for the first half of our expedition. Once all camps are in place, we will rest before making our summit push under Simon’s expert guidance. Top-quality logistics and support will be provided by World Expeditions who have huge experience of putting together such expeditions. If you would like to join our team, email us at peaklenin@trekandmountain.com  for the full info pack.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 25 days
Dates: 29 June – 23 July 2019
Price: £3,790 (not including international flights)
More info: www.worldexpeditions.com/

CHOMOLHARI BASE CAMP
If you are seeking a relatively short but rugged high altitude trek with ample time for unique cultural insights, this ititinerary to trek to Chomolhari Base Camp in Bhutan with World Expeditions is a great choice. Chomolhari (or Jomolhari) touches a mighty 7326m at its summit, yet it has seem very little climbing activity over the years because of its religious significance to the locals – the peak is sacred to Tibetan Buddhists. This trek begins beyond Drugkyel Dzong at Shana, in the picturesque Paro Valley, entering the stunning rhododendron forests and weaving up the valley crossing and recrossing glistening glacial streams. Eventually the landscape opens up to grassy meadows and leads to Jangothang where camp is made below the sacred peak of Chomolhari (7314m). Continuing toward the Nye La (4700m) trekkers are treated to views of the startling Jichu Drake (6794m) and Tshrim Khang, before making the gradual crossing of the pass with views of the Lingshi Dzong perched high on a hill top. The most difficult day of the trek includes crossing the 4950m Yale Pass before descending to the Thimphu River and
the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. This is a relatively short but challenging trek
that offers mountain views generally reserved for much longer treks.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 12 days
Dates: 6–17 Apr 2019, 13–24 Oct 2019
Price: from €2990
More info: www.worldexpeditions.co.uk/cot

LAUGAVEGUR TREK
They say that the memories of a visit to Iceland will stay with your forever; bubbling mud pools, lakes full of icebergs, plunging waterfalls and powerful and wild landscapes. Most of these stunning landscapes are on the edges of the permanent icecaps, such as the Vatnajökull. This trek organised by Icicle Mountaineering is designed to show you some of the best landscapes, as well as great trekking. The route varies from the thick birch woods of Thorsmörk, to the multi-coloured hills and valleys that surrounds the rhyolitic Landmannalaugar geothermal region, where you can dip in hot pools. Other highlights of this trip include the vibrant green landscape in Þórsmörk valley, the vivid yellow rhyolite mountains, and black sand deserts. Iceland truely is a land of contrasts. The total walking distance of the Laugavegur Trail is 56km (35 miles), and the maximum daily ascent is 600m. Each day there is typically between four and seven hours walking, but note that the Icelandic terrain and weather are often tough, and it can snow even in mid summer! In many ways that’s part of the attraction to this beautiful route, in that the elements and landscapes are harsh yet stunning.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 7 days
Dates: Various departures from June-Sep 2019
Price: £1899
More info: www.icicle-mountaineering.ltd.uk

GRAN PARADISO
This is a classic route with a great mix of challenging trekking and easy alpine climbing to reach the highest point completely in Italy. This itinerary from Icicle Mountaineering is over seven days, with five days trekking and climbing. The vast majority of the trek is in the Gran Paradiso National Park, and so the area you will trekking in is unblighted by cable cars or other development. Most nights on the trek you stay in Italian mountain refuges, and can indulge in great mountain food. You stay in huts on a half board basis (included) for three nights during the week. The trekking in the region is remote and unforgiving, so you need to have a good level of trekking fitness. For the ascent of Gran Paradiso no previous climbing experience is required, as you can be taught any skills on the mountain. Icicle even provide the safety equipment – crampons, helmet, axe and harness – for free. You can look on this week as tough trekking or easy climbing, and it will appeal to those who enjoy remote areas, but love staying in mountain huts, and there is a real sense of challenge with the prospect of what is probably your first alpine 4000m peak at the end of the week. For those who do not want a ‘climbing’ course, yet want to experience remote and easy alpine mountaineering with a summit to top it off (hopefully!), this is the holiday for you.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 7 days
Dates: Various in Aug 2019
Price: £849 excluding travel to/from Chamonix
More info: www.icicle-mountaineering.ltd.uk

CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS
As the legendary home of Count Dracula, the Carpathian Mountains have a dark mysterious image but the reality couldn’t be more different. The region has superlative alpine scenery, charming mountain villages and wonderfully hospitable people. In these rural areas little has changed for centuries; you will see small summer lodges built for the hay harvest, sheep trods through forest and meadows, and shepherds riding on donkey carts.Romania is home to one of the largest remaining areas of pristine forest on the continent, with deep forest covering more than a quarter of the country. Bears, wolves and lynx thrive here, the highest concentration of large carnivores anywhere in Europe. This trek organised by Mountain Kingdoms takes you through two regions of the Carpathians – the Bucegi Natural Park and the Fagaras Mountains where you will see bucolic scenery; emerald green valleys nestled between foothills ascend through swathes of ancient forest to wild crags, dramatic peaks and precipitous gorges. The trekking on this trip is stunning, challenging and rewarding, with ascents of around 1,000m most days, often with a summit as your goal. The walking around Sinaia, Bran and Margura is delightful, with superb views at every turn. In the Fagaras Mountains it becomes craggier and more dramatic, with extensive rocky ridges. There is plenty of cultural and historic interest on trek, and your expert guide will bring it all to life for you.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 8 days
Dates: 13 – 20 Jul 2019, 7 – 14 Sep 2019
Price: £1450 including flights, £1265 land only
More info: www.mountainkingdoms.com

NEVADO PISCO
The Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) range in Peru is a wonderful area for trekking and mountaineering, and is the most extensive tropical ice-covered mountain range in the world. This itinerary from Mountain Kingdoms begins with a 10-day acclimatisation trek in the remote, eastern part of the Cordillera Blanca — one of the most scenically splendid treks in all Peru. The trekking group will explore isolated valleys and camp near brilliant blue lakes. Following the trek, and by now fit and well adapted to the altitude, the group will arrive at the Refugio where the team will make an attempt on Mount Pisco. It is a challenging but technically straightforward climb to the summit of Pisco at 5,752m and the views from the top are simply sublime. Even at this height climbers will be dwarfed by the surrounding snow-capped peaks of Chacraraju, Huandoy’s four peaks, Chopicalqui and Peru’s highest mountain, Huascaran — all of which soar above 6,000m. This truly is an unforgettable adventure in a breathtakingly beautiful area as well as an immensely rewarding achievement. Groups will be accompanied throughout the trek by a local English-speaking guide. These leaders are very knowledgeable, extremely charming and friendly and in their company you will enjoy an insider’s view of Peru. For your summit of Pisco, you will also be accompanied by a UIAGM guide.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 17 days
Dates: 4 – 20 Jul 2019
Price: £4,330 including flights, £3135 land only
More info: www.mountainkingdoms.com

EVEREST IN HILLARY’S FOOTSTEPS
There are numerous trekking companies offering Everest Base Camp itineraries, but this trip from The Mountain Company certainly stands out from the crowd. Why? Well, joining the group on April 12th in Pangboche for the last week together, will be the late great Sir Edmund Hillary’s son, Peter Hillary, to lead the group down the trail and back to Kathmandu. Peter will co-lead the trek with American mountaineer Robert Anderson, a veteran of two cutting-edge expeditions to Everest – the West Ridge Direct in 1985 and the Kangshung Face in 1988 (during which teammember Stephen Venables became the first Brit to summit Everest without oxygen). Both Peter and Robert have summited Everest twice, and trekkers who join this trip will walk along the exact same trail they took on their expeditions. Peter’s sons, George and Alexander Hillary will be joining the group to share their personal insights and history of the iconic first ascent of Mount Everest, as the group follows in Sir Edmund’s footsteps to Base Camp. They, along with Robert and his daughter Phoebe, will meet the group on arrival in Kathmandu, before flying to Lukla and trekking to the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar. After several acclimatisation days, the group will had towards Base Camp itself, passing through Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche and Gorak Shep. The itinerary has been customised to reflect the Hillary legacy, meeting Sherpas and visiting unique places full of climbing and Nepalese history. Image: courtesy the Hillary Family Collection.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 20 days
Dates: March 30th to April
18th, 2019
Price: £3,395 (not including international flights)
More info: www.themountaincompany.co.uk

SARIBUNG
This trek to Saribung is an adventurous trip from Phu village through a very remote region to the semi-independent Kingdom of Upper Mustang near the Tibet border. After leaving the Annapurna Circuit at Chame/ Koto a route to the isolated village of Phu is taken, then onwards up the remote Phu valley. At the head of this valley the group crosses the rarely trekked Saribung La pass (6,042m) to enter Upper Mustang. There is the option to climb Saribung peak from the pass which is another 300m higher (6,328m). Upper Mustang is arid and dry with colourful rock formations containing many cave dwellings high up in the cliffs. The first trekking parties were allowed into Upper Mustang in 1992 and it is one of the few places left where one can see undisturbed Tibetan culture. This itinerary from The Mountain Company has been designed for gradual acclimatisation in order to maximise the chances of safely crossing Saribung La pass and making an ascent of Saribung peak. Acclimatisation works much better by starting from Phu side and before the approach to Saribung you will trek up to Pokharkang Base Camp (5,030m). This trail is rarely visited by other trekkers and is a beautiful valley is rarely visited with blue sheep often seen grazing near Base Camp.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 26 days
Dates: April 24th to May 19th 2019; October 9th to November 3rd, 2019
Price: £3,695 (not including international flights); £595 supplement if climbing Saribung
More info: www.themountaincompany.co.uk

DHAULAGIRI BASE CAMP TREK
Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest peak in the world at 8167, and interestingly holds the distinction of being the highest mountain in the world that sits wholly within the borders of one country – Nepal. The Dhaulagiri massif extends over 120km and the river that flows between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I 34km away is reckoned to be the deepest in the world. The challenging Around Dhaulagiri Trek & Climb expedition, organised by New Zealand-based company Adventure Consultants, explores some of Nepal’s most remote rural landscapes, journeying far from the beaten track and usual tourist trekking trails. From the lush green fields and subsistence farms of rural Nepal through to the arid, barren alpine landscapes of the high Himalaya, this trek has it all, including a two night stay with the Adventure Consultants expedition team at Dhaulagiri Base Camp. The group will then climb the 6,012m Dhampus Peak, which offers spectacular views across the valley to the Annapurnas and the peaks of the Dhaulagiri Range. It is a challenging, camping-based trek, suitable for experienced trekkers and those seeking an easy but remote Himalayan climb. If you’ve trekked in some of the more popular areas of Nepal, then a visit to this region of the country is sure to delight and surprise you.

TRIP DETAILS
Duration: 19 days
Dates: April 9 – 27, 2019
Price: £5,615.35
More info: www.adventureconsultants.com

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