On paper (and indeed on Google maps), plans for this expedition had seemed challenging, but no more so than many of our previous expeditions. Setting out to explore, and traverse, the remote knot of mountains that divide the mythical valleys of Pangi, Dharlang and Zanskar, I knew that we would have to cross two high, and seldom used, passes - but I had not anticipated just how much of an impact the region's receding glaciers would have on our provisional route.
In short, the reality on the ground is alarming. The glaciers are melting fast, and in their wake they are leaving huge boulder fields, and precipitous rock faces, that from the limited perspective of an expedition leader, present a serious challenge to all but the most experienced trekker. Of far more importance of course, is the harsh reality that if the global community fails to act now, then in all likelihood there will be no more glaciers left in 30 years time, and disappearing with them of course, will be the water supply upon which a great many people depend. It's time to act!