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Top 10 purposeful mountain expeditions of 2019
“Great things are done when men and mountains meet!” – The quote by William Blake sums up the purposes and motivation for people to keep exploring the mountains. One might be going to mountains to find solitude and other might be going to get connected to new people and communities. There is always a purpose to it. The stronger the purpose, the more the exploration and learning one can bring back from mountains. Seeing the different lifestyles, natural wonders, and achieving new height every day are nothing less than life-changing experiences. Mountains challenge and motivate to conquer much more than one’s believes.
Here are some trekking expeditions of 2019 that have a unique purpose to them. These expeditions are not just designed in the beautiful mountain ranges but they take you close to the mountain ecosystem. Seeing and experiencing the destinations with such a unique approach gives an opportunity to know the mountains in the real sense. This develops the stronger connection with and passion for mountains.
1. The Alps – Igloo Expedition, UK
Source – https://undiscoveredmountains.com/igloo-expedition-alps Undiscovered Mountains, UK
Where - This thrilling igloo expedition takes place in the Southern French Alps, one of the most undiscovered areas of the Alps.
What – On this unique igloo building trek with Undiscovered Mountains participants will be making their own accommodation. Not setting up the tents – but something more authentic and raw. Participants will be trekking to remote locations of Alps to build their very own igloos where they will sleep overnight.
Purpose - This expedition wouldn’t just be a new learning about the wilderness but each successfully completed mission will also see 50 euros donated towards charity
2. Andes – Manu Biodiversity Expedition, Peru
Where - Participants will conduct surveys in the heart of the most bio-diverse region - Gallito de las Rocas conservation area in Peru.
What - For all those wildlife enthusiasts, there cannot be any other perfect opportunity to learn about mammals, birds, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), and Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians). Participants will get hands-on experience in biodiversity sampling design and set up, collect and manage biological field data.
Purpose - Sustainable Amazon would explore this region to find out new species, study existing ones and study impacts of climate change on their existence. Through this expedition, one can experience the life of a conservationist while exploring amazon basin.
3. Great Divide Range – Scenic Rim Trail, Australia
Source - https://spicersretreats.com/scenic-rim-trail/5-day-walk/ , Scenic Rim Trail, Australia
Where - Scenic Rim trail close to the city of Brisbane in Australia is something different one can experience in Australia other than beautiful beaches of Queensland.
What - The guided walking experience through the World Heritage Listed National Park, Gondwana Rainforest designed to protect the ecosystem. The luxury trail is perfect trekking option for adventurers who would love to indulge themselves into exclusive accommodation, great food & wine.
Purpose - This luxury experience designed by Spicers Retreat is focused on achieving zero net emission and zero waste by 2030. Hence, one who joins the expedition also contributes to the organisation’s purpose of creating zero waste destination.
4. Caucasus Mountains – Trekking the Caucasus, Russia
Source – Trekking the Caucasus, Russia
Where - The trekking expedition to the mountain range stretched between Black and Caspian Sea bordering Europe and Asia.
What – This unique experience has a combination of UNESCO Heritage sites, immense glaciers and touching cultures of so many ethnic groups inhabiting the Caucasus. Divided in multiple stages, this is a real expedition that will last for over two months.
Purpose - The purpose of this exploratory expedition is to test a multi-day route which the team intends to make as popular and recognisable as Annapurna Circuit or Inca Trail. Also, to involve highlander communities in future eco-tourism development.
5. Atlas – Berber Village Trek, Morocco
Source – https://www.adventurealternative.com/berber-villages-trek/ , Adventure Alternative, Morocco
Where - The expedition organised by award-winning Adventure Alternative is where participants get to trek through the valleys, passes and villages of Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
What - This is the kind of experience that will appeal to people who would like to see the spectacular scenery of the high altitudes while staying at low altitudes. Berber Village Trek makes one experience the authenticity while creating positive impacts at the destination.
Purpose - The purpose of this trekking expedition to empower the people that are staying up in the high altitudes. By participating in this trekking experience, participants will support the community development in this region.
6. Ethiopian Mountains - Wolf Conservation Expedition, Ethiopia
Where – Sanetti Plateau is the rooftop of Africa where rare Ethiopian wolves are found. The expedition in the Bale Mountains will be an opportunity to see these rare species under the guidance of an expert.
What – Participants would be visiting the den sites that are rarely visited by anyone to understand social behaviour of the Ethiopian wolf.
Purpose - Fewer than 400 wolves remain in a handful of mountain enclaves, and more than half are found in the Bale Mountains. This fund raising expedition will support the sustainable conservation of Ethiopian wolves.
7. Himalayas – Future Leader Expedition, India
Source – https://www.ghe.co.in/ , Global Himalayan Expedition, India
Where – Future Leader Expedition is an impact travel expedition to the remote village of Ladakh region of Indian Himalayas.
What - These participants are the change makers that treks through the scenic Himalayan Valleys to set up solar panels in the remote villages. The expedition includes crossing Drang-Drung glacier, visiting 2500-year-old cave monastery of Phugtal, and experiencing authentic Ladakhi lifestyle.
Purpose - Participants installs solar micro grids to provide electricity to the communities that have been living in dark since many years. The impact travel model of Future Leader Expedition organised by Global Himalayan Expedition gives an opportunity to set up clean source of energy.
8. Tien Shan – Heights of Alay Valley, Kyrgyzstan
Source – https://visitalay.com/tour/heights-of-alay-valley/ , Visit Alay, Kyrgyzstan
Where - The community Based Tourism (CBT) network in Kyrgyzstan offers an expedition to explore the best of the Alay Mountains.
What - The expedition organised by Visit Alay offers stunning views of snow- and glacier-covered Lenin Peak, an opportunity to meet Kyrgyz shepherds, and home-cooked meals during the trek.
Purpose - CBT model of Kyrgyzstan is designed to use the benefits of tourism activities for community development. This expedition gives a purpose to participants to contribute to the community development of the destination while exploring the high desert moonscapes.
9. Girls on Ice Alaska, USA
Where - Girls on Ice Alaska has operated on Gulkana Glacier every summer since 2012 by Inspiring Girls Expeditions.
What - Started in 2012 by the graduates of University of Alaska Fairbanks, Girls on Ice is the expedition organised for the young girls. This is an opportunity for 16-17 year old girls to connect science with all aspects of daily life.
Purpose - The purpose of this expedition to provide learning about glaciers and the alpine landscape in which the expedition is based. The expedition empowers young women to lead and succeed through science, art, and wilderness exploration.
10. Kamchatka – Volcano Discovery, Russia
Where - Kamchatka – Land of Colors is an expedition to climb remote volcanoes such as Karymsky, Gorely and Mutnowsky volcanoes.
What - The small group adventure is a specially designed photograph of active volcanoes and experience the adventure in a small group. The expedition would become more insightful in the company of local volcanologists.
Purpose - Camping and trekking around mountains where at least one is in eruption state. It is a unique experience to observe active volcanoes and explore unspoiled nature.
Seeing the varied options to visit and explore mountains, we can say that one can not only visit the mountains to find solace but also for new learning and tangible contributions. This year, let’s take a step ahead and have a stronger purpose to visit mountains.