The Mount Kailash trek
Siân Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons met in 1983, on a trek from Kashmir to Ladakh. By then Bob had already driven an ancient Land Rover from England to Kathmandu (in 1974), and overland trucks across Asia, Africa and South America. He had also lived in Kathmandu for two years, employed as a trekking company manager. Before they met, Siân worked in computer programming and systems analysis, but was drawn to the Himalaya en route from working in New Zealand.
Since they met they have been leading and organising treks in the Alps, Nepal and the Sahara, as well as driving a bus overland to Nepal. Journeys by a less ancient Land Rover from England to South Africa provided the basis for several editions of the Bradt guide Africa Overland. For the sixth edition published in April 2014, they visited the fantastic boiling lava lake of Erta Ale in the Danakil desert of Ethiopia, and Somaliland. They were lucky finally to get visas to visit Eritrea, Angola and Congo for their most recent African research trips in 2016.
In Kathmandu they previously worked with Pilgrims Publishing, producing cultural guides – Kathmandu: Valley of the Green-Eyed Yellow Idol and Ladakh: Land of Magical Monasteries – and a historical look at the Guge Kingdom, Kailash: Land of the Tantric Mountain.
In 2007 they wrote the Cicerone guide to Mount Kailash and Western Tibet, as well updating the Grand Canyon guide. During 2011 they returned to Tibet, this time driving the same old Land Rover back from Kathmandu to the UK overland via Lhasa, through China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Western Europe. Their Annapurna trekking guide was published by Cicerone in January 2013; the second edition is due later in 2017.
For Himalayan Map House they are writing a new series of trekking guidebooks: Himalayan Travel Guides. Titles so far published include Manaslu & Tsum Valley (2nd edition); Upper & Lower Dolpo; Ganesh Himal & Tamang Heritage Trail; Everest; Langtang, Gosainkund & Helambu; Rolwaling & Gauri Shankar; Trekking around the Nepal Himalaya and Mustang.
They have also recently published their autobiography, In Search of the Green-Eyed Yellow Idol, in colour, black & white and Kindle formats, and a Pictorial Guide to the Horn of Africa.