This month, we’ve been getting a trickle of new enquiries about future school trips, which is just wonderful. They are ever so small green shoots, but we hope it represents the beginning of an eventual return to school adventures and expeditions.
In the meantime, we’re continuing with our Armchair Adventures series and, in this episode, we're heading back quite a few years to the heyday of Himalayan mountaineering.
And there's a very good reason why Chris Bonington's 1970 film about the attempt on the South Face of Annapurna is episode 11's video of choice. That reason is that one of our most popular and skilled expedition leaders Skalzang Rigzin is, at this very moment, one of 12 climbers selected by the Indian Mountaineering Federation undertaking an attempt on Everest and Lhotse. The connection is that Rigzin has previously climbed with Sir Chris Bonington and with students from STC Expeditions too!
If you happen to still doubt the skills of local expedition leaders, preferring to have the 'reassurance' of a UK based ML qualified leader, then Rigzin is a good example of why you should modify your thinking: humble, superbly qualified and experienced and a consummate professional. Using local leaders for your expedition brings an extra cultural dimension and additional safety to your school expedition experience.
STC Expeditions has been quietly promoting the use of local leaders since 2006, and has used them exclusively since 2013. It remains one the cornerstones of our responsible tourism policy and one we are immensely proud of. Our clients regularly tell us our leaders are the reason they come back again and again!
Watching these folks in the movie and the easy, understated way, which they face the challenges of high altitude mountaineering, certainly harks back to a different time and an open attitude to risk and its benefits! As for the metaphor, there's nothing like a mountain to encapsulate life's challenges – and we’ve all had a few of those over the last year!