Friday, January 21, 2005

Seize the day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain

So what have you got planned for Summer 2006? A dead end job until you go off to University or start work and lazing about at home getting out of bed after 11am?

Or how about this:

Expedition: MOONLANDS 6


Leader: JOHN HEGARTY - who has led over fifty expeditions including ventures to Bolivia, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Iceland, India, Peru, Thailand and the United States. His previous ventures have received both the Karrimor and Sir Vivian Fuchs Awards. He is a Churchill Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, has served as member of the National Council of the Young Explorers Trust and is a Vice Principal of a Technology College. John is a Plato Award holder and helped establish the Dorset Expeditionary Society.

Approximate dates: 20th JULY- 21st AUGUST 2006

Aim: To develop Young Leaders

To raft the headwaters of the Indus River
To trek across the Moonlands of the Tibetan Plateau
To mountain bike several high altitude routes to the Chinese border
To complete a crossing of the Greater Himalaya

TRIP DESCRIPTION: In July our group will depart from London to fly into New Delhi and then onwards across the Himalayas to Leh, the highest airfield in the world and the capital of Ladakh. This is a unique land, long isolated as a kingdom by the high peaks, which still forbid access for eight months of every year. It is the coldest and highest inhabited place on earth with less rainfall than the Sahara. Populated by nomadic herdsmen who are Buddhist, the region is in reality an unspoilt area of Tibet just miles from the Chinese border.

Already at 12,000ft in a region known as 'Moonlands' we will start our high altitude training. Our first objective lies in a white water rafting descent of the Indus. The melt waters of high glaciers provide exciting rapids whilst our group paddles through desert and canyons.

From the waters of the Indus, we will return to Leh and then undertake several days of strenuous mountain biking in the Zanskar Mountains. This is an ideal way to see the most dramatic of landscapes and meet Tibetans in their villages. Following this our group trek across the spectacular passes of the Zanskar region. Trekking is of world class standard and will provide a strenuous challenge for our group.

On returning to Leh, our group will undertake one of the most arduous of road journeys across two chains of the Himalayas. This involves a three-day drive to Manali in Himachal Pradesh and on to New Delhi. Here we will have some days to rest, recover and explore the capital of the Raj.

Our team will have a unique advantage gained from the five previous ventures into Ladakh. Our experience on the ground, local contacts and guides provide us with the very best opportunity for a successful expedition.

COST: £2050

THIS INCLUDES: Flights, Administration, Selection, Training, Specialist Equipment, Visas, Insurance, Permits, Guides, Porters, Cooks, Ponies, Rafts, Hotels, Airport Taxes, Overland Transport, Food (except in transit), Laundry, Medical Supplies, Malarial Prophylaxis, Membership of The Dorset Expeditionary Society, Ball and B-B-Q Tickets.

STATUS: The Society does not run expeditions; it does however approve leaders and vet planning. This venture is not a Society, school or county trip and the problems and dangers inherent in such a venture are obvious. A realistic appreciation of the difficulties and dangers is essential before any application is made. Any programme can only be provisional and can so easily be subject to change.

APPLICATION: Applications always outnumber places and a selection procedure will decide the final team. Previous expedition experience is not necessary but applicants must be fit and healthy. Many potential applicants are deterred by the apparent difficulty of gaining experience or funding such a project. In reality, no candidate faces any difficulty, unless and until they have successfully completed selection.

1. Anyone between 15 and 20 may apply by returning the completed application form together with eight passport size photographs and a non-returnable deposit of £50. Cheques made payable to 'Moonlands Expedition'. (Do not wait to get a passport)

2. Applicants will be given an outline briefing and invited to attend a Selection Course. These are now booked for 7th–9th October and in early December 2005. Applicants must attend just one of these courses.

3. Those who pass selection will be offered a place on the expedition. Successful candidates automatically become members of the Society. This offers to them a number of training and social opportunities as well as several invitations to lead adventurous activity camps for other youngsters.

4. Selected members who live in the South of England are expected to attend two Training Days, one during the Christmas period and one at Easter and all are expected to attend a training weekend just before departure. Selection and Training will not interfere with examination work.

5. By Christmas, all those committed to the venture will be asked to confirm their place.

6. Any questions about this venture should be directed to the Leader.

Application form


John Hegarty
16 Weare Close
Dorset DT5 1JP


01305 820088 (home)
01305 783057 (college)
01305 830555 (fax)
07770 752008 (mobile)


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