If you’ve done one of our other expeditions, or are simply curious about the Ladakh Tri-Adventure, you might be wondering what the expedition is like to undertake. The combination of trekking, cycling and rafting makes for an incredible experience. If you’re up for the challenge, we have an old Ladakh Tri-Adventure trip report from our MD James McManus. James led this trip way back in 2011, and the expedition doctor was a very special one… his dad, George! His best mate Cormac was also along for the ride.
“It turned out to be one of the best trips of my life,” says James. “The beauty of our Tri-Adventure expeditions is there is never a dull moment. You are challenged in three different ways on the same expedition. The great thing about Ladakh is that typically none of your clients know what to expect. And it just amazes people on a daily basis! It simply is one of the top destinations for adventure sport in the world. As soon as we touched down in Leh, capital of Ladakh people were awestruck by the scenery”
Take it away, James…
Ladakh Tri-Adventure Trip Report
part one: The Cycle
“The banter started from the off on our 4 day, 70km cycle. On the first day we started with a 10km downhill spin out of Leh and a tough 15km climb to reach a small pass at 3,700m. After an epic descent from the pass there was a short 8km ‘relatively flat’ to reach our campsite in Basgo. The issue was a relatively flat section in the Himalayas is still very hilly by any standards. So I received lots of abuse from tired cyclists at the end of that day! I think the scenery made up for it and that evening we visited a 16th century monastery with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The scenery over the next two days was simply unreal. We followed the mighty Indus as it cut through the dramatic moonlike landscape of Ladakh. Our final day of the cycle was very tough, as we ascended 700m over 22km in seven hours in extreme heat.”
part two: The Trek
“The trekking section was absolutely stunning. We crossed four high passes, the highest being just over 5,000m. While I love camping and sleeping in tents, if it’s warm enough I always try and sleep outside. On this trip it was just warm enough to sleep outside every night except for a couple of nights on the trek when I slept in the mess tent. But on one particular night I had an uninvited visitor with me on the mess tent… a small pashmina goat.
Famed for their wool which is used to produce stunning shawls, it turns out they still feel the cold like the rest of us. So he decided to spend the night in the mess tent too. Obviously being the charitable person that I am, I had no issue with this. Until around 5am in the morning, when I woke up to the sound of him taking a piss on the bottom of my sleeping bag! When the team found out they obviously found this hilarious. They changed my name on the trip from Jam to Jaaaammmm in honour of my woolly friend!
On the fourth day of the trek we arrived at the Grand Canyon of Asia and descended the four hours to the floor of the canyon to see the mighty Zanskar river. I first kayaked the Zanskar in 2004 and was excited to get back on this river which is widely considered one of the worlds greatest rafting runs.”
part three: The River
“By the time we reached the river people were tired after eight tough days on the go (four biking and four trekking). Most of the team were looking forward to two easier days but that illusion was crushed at first sight of the river. The Zanskar is a high-volume class IV river with some huge rapids all in a box canyon. This means once you start, you are committed to reach the end of the canyon.
Between the thrilling white-water and the huge canyon walls it made for a special experience and great way to finish our expedition. When we finally got back to the Indus River and finished the expedition, people were so tried and exhausted. But the sense of satisfaction amongst the group was an amazing feeling. People were blown away by how tough the trip was and I was so impressed with how well every did.”
If you want to read more about the Ladakh Tri-Adventure, click here!