Mandip Singh Soin FRGS

Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, born 09 March 1957, began his pursuit of adventure at age 14. At The Air Force School, Delhi, he gained his Gold Award of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. In 1977 he was in the University Merit List after completing his graduation at St. Stephen's College. He finished with a Master's in History from Delhi University.

1974 -1977 - Undertook several expeditions - St Stephens Trans Himalaya Trek and to Black Peak, 6387m; American Dunagiri 7066m, British Kalanka 6931m in Garhwal and M5 in the Mulkila and KR1 in the Kao Rong mountains c.6500m in Himachal Pradesh.

1978 - Expedition to the Andaman Islands to trek, study local tribes and deep-sea fishing.

1979 - Mountaineering, Skiing and Rock climbing in the French & Swiss Alps and the Italian Dolomites. Instructed in National Outdoor schools in Britain - `Plas y Brenin' in North Wales and the `Outward Bound Loch Eil' in Scotland.

1980 - First ascent of Z 1, 6400m with the Japanese Hokkaido University expedition team.

1981 - Cycled 1500 km over 3 weeks from Delhi to Kathmandu. Rafted down the Rogue River in Oregon, USA, and the River Zanskar in Jammu & Kashmir.

1982 - Ascent of Mt Kun 7077m in the Zanskar region of the Indian Himalaya.

1984 - Led first All India rock-climbing expedition with several first ascents near Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore and Pachmarhi.

1985 - Downhill and Lang Lauff skiing in Val D' Aosta, Italy and Chamonix, France.

1986 - Led India's first camel expedition of 450 kms, crossing the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Made the first Indian ascent of Mt. Meru North 6450m in Garhwal as an Indo - Swedish Garhwal expedition.

1988 - Recipient of the Inlaks Grant to train in Mountain Rescue at the Glenmore Lodge, Scotland and with the Royal Air Force in North Wales. Led an International expedition to the virgin Swargarohini 6252m in the Garhwal Himalaya.

1989 - Instructor with Robert Swan's ICEWALK International Students Environment Expedition in the Canadian Arctic near the North Pole, under the auspices of the (UNEP) United Nations Environment Programme studying the ozone hole and global warming.

1990 - Led the first Indian Elephant Expedition of 101 kms in the forests of Kerala. Was the Chief Field Leader of an International Youth Educational Expedition in Sikkim.

1991 - Manager, Indian Team for the Sport Climbing World Cup at Tokyo.

1992 - Nominated `Person Of The Year 1992' by the Limca Book of Records for being India's Most Versatile Adventure Sports person. First Indian to be conferred the 'Ness Award' by the Royal Geographical Society, UK for Mountaineering, Polar Expeditions & Encouragement of Youth Exploration.

1993 - Invited by the Malaysian Government to impart outdoor training in the Rain Forests of Malaysia to Youth Leaders under the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.

1994 - Led 'Ice Trek', a pioneering Indo-British winter expedition in Ladakh and Zanskar with Lord John Hunt as Patron. The expedition walked the frozen River Zanskar; ski toured and made the first winter attempt on Stok Kangri 6153m.

1995-

Trekking in Sri Lanka. Tandem Sky Diving and Bunjy Jumping in New Zealand.

1996-1999 - Visited Rain Forests of Borneo, remote tribes in Northern Thailand, jeep safaris in the Himalaya and wild life safaris in India and Nepal.

1999 - Lord Duncan Sandy's scholarship to study conservation and heritage in the UK in association with the Conservation Foundation, National Trust & English Heritage. Completed course on Conservation &Tourism at the University of York.

2000 - Trekking in the Tuolumne Meadows in the Yosemite National Park and Hot Air Ballooning over the Napa & Hidden Valleys in California, USA. Received Best Outstanding Green Leader Award from the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association at London.

2001 - Attended the multi country workshop on Green Productivity & Eco Tourism in Yogyakarta in Indonesia organised by the Asian Productivity Organisation. Visited South Africa and participated in a Lion capture & radio collaring programme at the Pilansberg National Park.

2002 - Participated in an Indo Pakistan Friendship Expedition in the Swiss Alps, climbing Monch, under the aegis of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Climbing & Mountaineering Federation (UIAA). Proposed the disputed Siachen Glacier between India and Pakistan as a Trans Boundary Environmental Peace Park.

2003 - In Spring, led an International Eco tourism & Volcano Expedition to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands with an ascent of the Barren Island volcano. Undertook Rainforest treks, studied Tribes & Tribal issues, Tourism Impacts and the nesting of Swiftlets. In summer, led a Jeep Safari of over 1500 kms from Delhi to Ladakh over high Passes and Lakes. Received Award by Sir Edmund Hillary at the Golden Jubilee of Everest for contributions to Himalayan Environment.

2004 - Rock Climbed in the Flat Irons at Boulder, Colorado. Helped develop the Khonoma Green Village Tourism programme with Community involvement for Pheasant conservation and employment generation in Nagaland.

Principal Lectures & Presentations

'Himalayan Challenge' in Singapore to the National Youth Council & Singapore Adventure Club.

'Responsible Tourism' in Balikpapan, Indonesia at the PATA Adventure & Eco tourism Conference.

'Future Trends of Eco Tourism and Adventure Travel' in Nassau, Bahamas, at the World Congress on Adventure Travel & Eco-tourism.

`A High Altitude Perspective' in Cochin relating risk-taking and team work to success at the McKinsey India Annual Conference.

`Outward Bound Management Development' in Hyderabad at the National Human Resource Development Network conference.

`Winter trekking in the Himalaya' in North Wales at the Annual symposium of the Alpine Club, UK.

`Eco tourism Vs Adventure Travel' in Kuala Lumpur at the Malaysian International Adventure Festival.

`Ice Walk' in Delhi for the Himalayan Club at the India International Centre, on an environmental expedition to the Arctic North Pole region.

'Environmental and Sustainable Tourism' in Nagoya, Japan at the PATA Annual Conference.

'Good environmental practices of an award winning tourism company - Ibex Expeditions' in London at the World Travel Market.

'A Retrospective of 25 years on Adventures, Explorations and Travels in India and Overseas' at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Panel Chair for `Sustainable & Eco Tourism ~ Good practices' at the Annual Conventions of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, Jodhpur 2001 and Agra 2004.

Promotion of Adventure & Eco tourism through slide presentations at The Country Club and The Indian High Commission in Johannesburg, South Africa and the Sheraton Hotel in Dubai.

'Adventure and Character building for the Youth' to the Mayo Heritage Society, New Delhi.

Edited PATA'S 'Environment & Eco tourism handbook - a Ready Reckoner for the Tourism Industry' in 1999, 2002 & 2004 published by the Ministry of Tourism-India.

A seven city slide presentation on travel and adventure possibilities in India in the US in March 2004 - from New York to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Colorado.

Presented a paper on Responsible Tourism at the Sustainable Resources conference at Boulder, Colorado in September 2004.

Did a slide presentation on Indian adventures and safaris at the Middlebury College at Vermont, USA and at Boston in October 2004.

Memberships & Appointments

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK.

Honorary Local Secretary - Delhi, The Himalayan Club.
Chairman, Environment & Eco tourism committee, PATA India Chapter 1997-2004 and Member, PATA Committee on Sustainable Tourism.
Honorary Eco tourism Director of the Himalayan Environment Trust.
Vice President of the Adventure Tour operators Association of India 2004.
Represent India at the Union Internationale des Associations D'Alpinisme (UIAA) in the Access and Conservation committee.
Member, The Explorers Club & The American Alpine Club, USA; The Alpine Club & The Scientific Exploring Society, UK.
Member of National Tourism Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Member of Adventure & Eco tourism Committees for the State Government of Uttaranchal.
Global Judge for the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from 1998 to 2003.
Member of the Himalayan Tourism & Advisory Board (HIMTAB).
Convenor of the Action Plan of the Eco tourism Policy of India.
Member, Bombay Natural History Society, Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Delhi & Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling.
Chairman - The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, North Zone 1982 -1996 and past Chairman, Raleigh International India.
Former Member, Executive Committee, Indian Association of Tour Operators and Chairman, Adventure Committee.
Member, Executive Committee, Indian Mountaineering Foundation for 1990-1991.

Professionally, Mandip is Founder & Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions Private Limited. Established in 1979, Ibex organises Adventure Journeys, Eco Tours, Cultural Holidays and Safari Travel in the Indian sub-continent. A Division of Ibex conducts `Outward Bound Management Development' programmes for team building and leadership development for the Corporate world.

His organisation is India's only Tourism Company to receive four International and one National award.

Mandip's interests extend to Outdoor Photography, for which he won the British Airways first prize in 1986. He enjoys Rifle Shooting and was Captain at Delhi University and shot in the Nationals. He enjoys Angling, Bird watching, Golf, Western Classical Music, Cooking omelettes and the occasional Bunjy.