Kevin Swains
Travel Website
This is Kev's Travel Blog


Welcome to Kevin Swains travel website.
Travels 2011
Running the Everest marathon, the worlds highest marathon with a start line of 5350m.
Travelling on a Royal Enfield motorbike through northern india.
Summiting my first ever 6000m mountain (in old running shoes).
Here are my 2011 Everest Marathon videos on YouTube.
 At the start of the Everest Marathon, 29th May 2011, 5350M.                               On top of the Chang La in Ladakh-India the worlds 3rd highest                       Sumtiting the 6123M Stok Kangri peak just outside Leh. 
  I finished 32nd overall and 4th foreigner in a time of 6.30hrs.                              motorable road with Maggi and Chris who I met on the Everest.                    A rather simple task for a peak of this height. A 1am start is
                                                                                                                     Marathon. My bike had more breakdowns than Lady Diana and                   required to make the most of the snow conditions before the 
                                                                                                                      I had to run along side it pushing it up the pass, no easy task                                       sun makes the going too hard.
                                                                                                                               above 5000m+.
Goto Travels 2011
Trekking 2840Km on foot solo across the Himalaya. 1938Km of that pulling a trolley behind me through the Indian Himalaya avereging 48.6Km per day.

While trekking to Everest base camp on the Nepalese side in 2007 I decided there and then I needed way more from my travels. My adventure genes had been stoked and suddenly my mind became fixated on a crazy world full of possibilities. For the next 5 months my mind rarely wandered from devising  an adventure of such proportions to cure what was becoming an obsession.  Initially I‘d decided to visit all 14 base camps at the base of the worlds 8000m+ mountains. I quickly got bored with this Idea as it's a pretty simple task to accomplish in a single summer season. I then decided to up the stakes and walk to each one from start to finish with minimal vehicle travel (getting across borders etc). 5 minutes on Google Earth confirmed it could in theory be done and that was all I needed. Due to work commitments I left too late in the year to realistically complete my task but I would give it my best shot. I set off with zero trekking miles in my legs and with my moto of "give me seven days and I'll do anything". Seven days later I was barely able to walk from crippling blisters.  6 months later I'd walked 2840Km on foot across the Himalaya starting in Pakistan visiting Nanga Parbat,  K2 and Broad peak base camps and then crossing into India. From Kashmir I hooked up my trolley to my backside and began to walk a stunning 1938Km on foot pulling my trolley across 5000m+ passes and averaging 48.5Km per day with a maximum distance of 61Km, often walking into the night by torch light and sleeping by the side of the road....a truly remarkable feat!  Then into Nepal.  It quickly became apparent that Nepal was going to be impossible to walk across with the remaining time but I started with a few days trekking in Darchula province on the west of Nepal where literally no one treks. I was the 3rd tourist in that year. I was blown away by the locals who were as friendly as can be and truly generous. Maybe it was the highlight of my trip. The bus took me to Pokhara from where I trekked to Annapurna base camp in 2.5 days then onto Manaslu, Dhaulagiri circuit in 5 days, Tilicho Lake, Cho Oyu, Everest and Lhotse base camps and all but the K2 trek solo (the only way to do it). By this time winter was setting in and the intensity of my trip had taken its toll both mentally and physically. Drained I retuned to Pokhara to gorge and contemplate readjusting to a life back in the so called normal world. I started the trip writing a detailed diary but soon I was on the road for 12 hours a day excluding breaks and the diary fell by the wayside to help cure the constant exhaustion and need for sleep. My aim is one day to write that diary from my notes mainly so that I can remember what it was like and to give anyone else who is interested an insight into a remarkable trip.

                        A much needed rum with the locals of Ladakh                        Side trip from Annurpurna Base Camp at 4760m, Nepal.                        Tough going above 5000m heading up the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Taglang La- India

Trekking in Kasmir. Backpacking through China. Trekking through Nepal Himalaya to Everest base camp.

Some years earlier I was glancing through my Lonely Planet for India and I was blown away by a small photo in the front of me. In it was this amazing lake with a stunning mountain back drop. The only information given was "Lake west of Sonamarg. Look but don't touch." That was it....I was hooked. I Googled Sonamarg treks and found one trek, printed out the itinerary and set off with no maps and my only means of navigation were around 6 village names on a scrap of paper. As far as the "look but don't touch" caption simply doesn't fit in with any of my experiences in Kashmir and I believe in fact....not fiction. Then onwards to my favorite country....PAKISTAN! Headed up north to the Karakoram Highway, the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life, both for the natural beauty and the beauty of the locals. Then to the ever changing China, not having been there for 7 years I was simply blown away by the change. Next to Tibet and a drive to Everest base camp. 6 days after setting foot on the base camp on the Chinese side I was standing at Everest Base Camp on the Nepalese side. I’d somehow found a new me that had always been there and I needed to find out more….

                                    Vishan Sar Lake in Kashmir.                                               Enjoying the cold but seriously stunning views on                                                        No Comment... 
                                The LP photo that led to my trip.                                                                  Gokyo Ri-Nepal                      
Cycling solo some thousands of Kms through the Indian himalaya and Pakistans Karakoram mountain ranges. Crazy gun bazzars and crossing a mountain pass into Afghanistan. 
After previously travelling for 18 months around Asia I'd seen many places and picked up many ideas for more fun times. I'd whizzed around the mountains of India and Pakistan but only having done it the easy way by bus and truck. I'm getting on, still single and my mind is wondering about what to do? I decided to hit the tracks on my mountain Cash Converters mountain bike and cross the road from Manali to Leh in northern India. Having crossed this route by 4wd I knew what lay ahead but had little idea if I had it in me to complete it as ahead lay three passes over 5000m! My mind was set for 80% pain for a reward of 20% pleasure, a fair trade off I thought!? It turned out not to be true as I loved the pain and soon reached my target of the 5602m Khardung La. While I was there a traveler congratulated me then said your on the highest road in the world so where to now. His question stumped me. It was way too easy to get here so I really need to look elsewhere for fulfillment so I peddled off through Kashmir and onwards to Pakistan. There I peddled up the Karakoram Highway to the Chinese border and made the first ever bike trip to tha base camp of Rakaposhi mountain.  Pakistan never fails to feed ones desire for adventure even if the rancid roadside food fails to feed ones need for basic nourishment…. I reached the border of Pakistan and China and literally used up the last drop of energy in me. I done what I thought was impossible. I’d lived. I’d learned....I needed more.
         Easily reaching my goal of the riding up the highest road                    Firing off a few rounds from an AK47 at the amazing gun                     Tired and anxious on the border of Afghanistan and
                        in the world....but where to now????                                 making town of Dara Adem Khel in Pakistans North Western                       Pakistan on the Irshad Pass as heavy snow 
                                                                                                                  Frontier Provence. I'm lucky enough to have been here twice.                                              begins to fall.