Thursday, January 29, 2009

Almanac 2009

Snow Leopard presents a bouquet of adventure options...

The Bicycle Diaries, Alaknanda Expedition, Call Of The Wild, Dhauladhar Trek
A Walk In The Clouds, Hello! Blue Skies, Spiti Jeep Safari, Trek To Valley Of Flowers, Ultimate Garhwal Adventure, Thar Desert Camel Safari, Soul Curry, Kali Sarda Expedition....


Friday, January 2, 2009

Teesta River Expedition

"Kanchendzonga! Perched on a hillock the four of us sat in dumbstruck silence gazing at the majestic mountain, the third highest in the world. A clear cloudless morning with no haze afforded a panoramic view of the entire range. A plume on the summit indicated clear weather.

A gentle breeze swept the stark, treeless expanse as the silence of the morning was broken by the clashing of cymbals at Enchey monastery, 1000 feet below us in Gangtok. Somewhere between the Kanchendzonga range and our present location lay the turbulent and as yet uncharted upper sections of the Teesta river ………

Soon we rounded a bend on the river to hear the roar of the first rapid. With furrowed brows, pounding hearts and adrenalin induced dry mouths, we gazed at a big stopper ( recycling wave ) in the middle of the rapid….Paddling hard we hit the first section of the rapid. The raft buckled and bent as it reluctantly went over the crest of the wave splashing all inside with a generous doze of icy-spray. Delirious with delight, we pulled up immediately to survey the next tricky rapid…."

(Expedition log - Ajeet Bajaj, Indo-Canadian Teesta River Exploratory Expedition, December 1986)

Adventurous Ajeet

· First Indian to ski to the North Pole.
· First Indian to ski to both the North Pole and the South Pole.
· One of the very few people on Earth to have skied to both the Poles, that too, within a span of one year.
· First Asian to have rafted and kayaked the most challenging rivers on Earth spanning six continents.

Ajeet Bajaj is an explorer, adventurer and a professional in the field of adventure tourism. Ajeet proudly unfurled the Indian flag at the Geographical South Pole on the Indian Republic Day, 2007 making him the first Indian to ski to both the North Pole and the South Pole. He reached the North Pole on April, 26, 2006. He is also one of the few people on Earth to have skied to both ends of the planet. Enduring temperatures that went below minus 70 degrees Celsius, crossing 50-feet high ridges of ice, handling open icy water leads and problems arising out of shifting Polar ice, crossing crevasses, tackling blizzards and wind speeds exceeding 60 km per hour, Ajeet had to face some of the most extreme conditions our planet has to offer. Ajeet was officially given our national flag at a ceremony in South Block prior to his departure for both the expeditions.

With over 20 years of experience in adventure sports, Ajeet is the first Asian to have rafted and kayaked some of the most challenging rivers in six continents of the world. Ajeet has won a bronze medal in the national games for kayaking and one silver and two bronze medals in international rafting competitions in Switzerland and Siberia, Russia. He has captained an international team for world white water championships in Turkey. Ajeet is a qualified climbing instructor from the French National School of Alpinism and Skiing and has experienced a host of adventure sports including skiing, sky diving, rock climbing, sea kayaking, scuba diving, bungee jumping and canyoning.

Ajeet is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK and is the President of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India. He is on the consultative committee on Tourism, Planning Commission of India and a member of National Tourism Advisory Board. Ajeet is Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures P. Ltd and Director, Himalayan Environment Trust.