Seeking and Traveling Deeper

In the footsteps of Mathhiessen's Snow Leopard

A unique journey retracing the footsteps of the 1973 expedition of author Peter Matthiessen to the sacred Crystal Mountain of Upper Dolpo that resulted in the cult travel book 'The Snow Leopard'. The journey is being undertaken with biographer Lance Richardson as research for a major official biography of Matthiessen.

In the footsteps of Matthiessen

Journey essentials

  • 22 days/ 21 nights from Kathmandu
  • Internationally and locally led by experts in rural development and the cultures of NW Nepal.
  • Accompanied and supported by biographer Lance Richardson
  • 4 nights in a high quality, boutique hotel in Kathmandu
  • 1 night in a hotel on transit to Dolpo
  • 16 nights supported camp trekking in Dolpo (luggage porterage by mule provided)
  • Up to 16 days moderate trekking to 5300M altitude (on some days walking is optional) Price: from £3950

Journey Dates

2021: This journey has been delayed to September-October 2021

Possible future journeys: This journey could be repeated with adequate interest - contact us to register interest.

Journey Highlights

A unique one-off literary journey
  • Historical and cultural sites of the Kathmandu valley
  • Stunning Himalayan mountain flight to the start of our trekking journey.
  • Retracing Peter Matthiessen and George Schaller’s 1973 journey in Dolpo through mountain villages that are well off any trekking route.
  • Having biographer Lance Richardson explain Matthiessen’s life and the relevance of the journey he took in Dolpo that resulted in the award-winning book the Snow Leopard.
  • Exploring the references in ‘The Snow Leopard’ and understanding the changes that have taken place in local communities and the environment since 1973.
  • Moving among the majesty of the glaciated peaks, hills and valleys of the hidden high Himalaya.
  • Discovering Nepal’s highest waterfall and the stunning other-worldly aqua blue sacred Lake Phoksundo
  • Following the incredible ‘Devil’s Path’ route along the precipitous edge of the glacial waters of Lake Phoksundo
  • Ascending the mighty Kang La pass (5300M) to stunning Upper Dolpo.
  • Spending evenings by the firesides of family homes and village elders to discover the stories, culture, music and lives of the remote Himalaya.
  • Engaging with the lamas (monks) of remote Trasung Choeling Gompa and Shey Gompa to discover the teachings of ancient Bon religion.
  • Viewing the intimate and visually stunning ceremonies of mountain Bon religion that few travellers see.

Background of the journey

Approached by the official biographer of the late Peter Matthiessen’s, Lance Richardson, Nomadic Skies was asked to support the organisation of an expedition to retrace the footsteps of Matthiessen and naturalists George Schaller’s 1973 expedition to Dolpo Crystal Mountain. An expedition that will contribute to a major biography of Matthiessen that will be published by Penguin Random House. This builds on Nomadic Skies’ contacts and knowledge of Dolpo and our ambition to promote the people and culture of the area in the most positive way possible.

Maps of the journey

Hiking map
Flight map
Client Testimonials

It is as if we were part of a BBC documentary on the indigenous people of Dolpo. An amazing experience.

Jeanette Arnott

A shared experience with a community. Not just a hike through a wonderful landscape

Liz Bibby

A unique experience very much into the heart of the Dolpo-pa, unlie other treks which speed through the landscape and seldom touch the culture

Anne Ice

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Footsteps of Matthiessen