Leader of scientific expeditions & botanical tours in the Himalaya

In 1985 I came in as a last-minute replacement for Oleg Polunin to led a tour party of flower lovers up a valley in the borderlands of Western Tibet for 'West Himalayan Holidays' (sadly Oleg passed away whilst I was leading the trek); I led the same trek the following year.  In Spring 1987 I led a flower tour in Northern Pakistan and then a summer pony-trek looking for flowers in Kashmir, in both cases for Raul Moxley Travel.  After marrying in the Autumn of 1987, I could not spare the time to undertake any more tours.

Chris Chadwell in a blue Balaclava during the 1987 Kashmir pony-trek; unfortunately, deep snow lying unseasonably late meant, for safety reasons, I had to take the decision to turn back at the second pass (too risky to attempt), to the understandable disappointment of my tour party - such is the lot of a tour leader, especially a young one, still in his twenties, with his clients a generation older!  I made the correct decision, even if it did make me unpopular - so often, those with much less experience, think they know better. The only male participant, a headmaster who had taken early retirement, pronounced that it was up to him if he injured himself - I had to strongly disagree. Many deaths occur during treks in the Himalaya due to an unwillingness to "turn back" or inexperienced people attempting routes either beyond their capabilities or through them being ill-equipped; most of the time they get away with it. But as I say, IF you individually wish to kill yourself in the mountains, that is your decision but you have a responsibility towards any travelling companions and any locals you may have hired. See:



 

Comments