The Scientific Exploration Society is looking for 14 team members who can ride, with a knowledge or interest in healthcare, anthropology, community aid and wildlife to travel on its first expedition to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh.

The Scientific Exploration Society (SES) is a registered charity who organises short expeditions for scientific research, exploration and endeavour. Its chairman is explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell.

Ladakh is framed between two of the most imposing mountain ranges in the world – the Karakormas in the North and the Himalayas in the South.

It is famous for its rocky desert, bewitching silence, and for having one of the lowest population densities in the world at just two inhabitants per kilometre.

The SES’s community work will involve healthcare and educational surveys for the local population, including nomadic tribes. Wildlife studies focusing on Ladakh’s flora and fauna will also be carried out.

This trip will also be of interest to those with an enthusiasm for Tibetan Buddhism practised in its original form. Ladakh’s rich cultural heritage includes ancient monasteries most of which are built on sheer cliffs and are still actively functioning today.

Successful applicants will attend a briefing weekend in the UK before departure, and on arrival in Ladakh be briefed on camping in the wild.

The expedition will involve several days riding and trekking and you will need to be extremely fit. You will be ‘living rough’, sleeping under canvas and cooking for yourself.

Sarah Rundell, Expedition Manager, SES said: “This trip will combine walking and riding through awe-inspiringscenery way off the beaten trail, with the cultural richness of meeting and working with the local people and conducting wildlife counts and surveys.

“I think everyone will come away with a very real insight in this incredibly remote but beautiful region of India. It will be a breath of fresh air for everyone involved and perhaps even life changing for some.”

Their expedition teams include a leader, a doctor and specialists to lead the project work but they also invite applications from self-funded men and women from all walks of life.

The trip will run for three weeks from 7 – 26 July 2003 and will cost around £3,500. This includes international and internal flights, all equipment, support, transport, food andaccommodation where necessary and comprehensive insurance.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Sarah Rundell (tel: 01747 854898) or visit: www.ses-explore.org