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About Mandip

Mandip Singh Soin

‘Mandy’ as he is known by all, is a modest badass mountaineer, explorer, environmentalist & adventure travel specialist who has climbed, trekked and explored the 7 Continents over 50 years. His explorations include the Himalayas, Alps, Andes, Arctic, Antarctic and beyond.

As a young 22 year old, Mandip chose the path of his heart - adventure over a career in the Indian Civil Services. So began a leading adventure travel company in India in 1979 with the promise of ‘making molehills out of mountains.’ Over time and experience with journeys of exploration, of mountains and treks, of moving into untrodden areas, of life changing moments, Ibex Expeditions moved with the tenacity of the mountain goat to reach areas that others did not.

With Mandip at the helm of this world, his wife, partner, companion, Anita joined him to create those experiences that were crafted deeper for women, photographers, anthropologists, foodies and cultural aficionados, and together their journey continued with the ecological promise of delivering journeys ‘for those who choose to tread lightly’...

Mandip & Anita Singh Soin

This aspect of being responsible became their life at the workplace and personal life especially from 1989, when Mandip was asked by British explorer, Robert Swan to join as an Instructor in the North Pole region with young students from across the world to study the changing climate pattern and the expanding ozone hole of the world, supported by the UNEP. The Earth pledge made then, became the life and soul for Ibex Expeditions.

Today Mandip is the Founder President of the Responsible Tourism Society of India and is on several National & International committees including the CII National Tourism committee as well as on the Board of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund. He is also a jury member of the WWF-PATA Bagh Mitra awards.

National Geographic Award

Over the years Ibex has won several environmental best practice & ecotourism awards that include the PATA Gold award, the Green Globe award as well as a National Award. Ibex has been rated by National Geographic amongst its “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” selection.

Tenzing Norgay National Award

In 2011, Mandip was conferred the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for Lifetime Achievement by the President of India “in recognition of his unmatched spirit of adventure and pioneering contribution to the field of adventure in land, water and air through expeditions spanning six continents.”

Royal Geographic Society

In 2015, he became the only Indian to receive the Citation of Merit by the Explorers Club, USA and is the only Indian to receive the Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society, UK in 1992.

Few notable expeditions by Mandip:

  • Solo attempt & Himalayan expeditions:As a liaison officer with the British Kalanka expedition of Allen Fyfe & Bob Barton, attempted Bamchu peak as a solo climbing effort and reached 19,000 feet. Also went as a Liaison Officer with the American Dunagiri expedition (Garhwal Himalaya), British Merseyside expedition to Sattu Da Par, Polish KR4 expedition and the Mulkila M5 expedition in Lahul (Himachal Pradesh) from 1975 – 1979.
  • Light weight & semi alpine style expedition 1986:Member first Indian ascent of Mt. Meru North 6450 m in September 1986 without porters, guides or tents. As part of an Indo Swedish effort, used lightweight tactics and made the ascent in 4 days & descent in 2 days. There has been no Indian ascent since.
  • Arctic environmental expedition 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 for a month in May 1989 based at Eureka in Ellesmere Island at 80 degrees North. As an Instructor, he escorted India’s youngest student, Shailendra Sinha at the age of 16.
  • Frozen River & Winter Expedition 1994:Leader ‘Ice Trek’, a pioneering Indo-British winter expedition in Ladakh and Zanskar with Lord John Hunt as Patron. A journey of 150 kms from Padum to Nimu on the frozen River Zanskar through the gorge in February 1994 consisting 5 British and 2 Indian members. Studied Zanskari lifestyle in winter and awarded the Explorers Club flag for the expedition. Attempted Stok Kangri 6153 m in winter with skis, reaching approximately 18,000 feet. This opened doors to the start of Winter Tourism in Ladakh, the project having been supported by the Ministry of Tourism & Govt of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Wildlife Ecotourism expeditions 1996- 2001:Visited over 25 National Parks and Sanctuaries all over India, Sri Lanka and South Africa to assess the ecotourism potential and lay out strategies for the tourism industry. In Periyar (Kerala) and in Konhoma (Nagaland) worked with poachers/hunters turned Naturalist guides and in South Africa participated in a Lion capture.
  • Trans Siberia & Southern Gobi 2016:Led a trip experiencing the Trans Siberian express from Moscow to Ulan Bator and to Southern Gobi in Mongolia, looking for Dinosaur eggs and climbing the highest dune in the Gobi desert.
  • Antarctica 2017:Trip led a bunch of 30 explorer travellers to the Antarctica Peninsular over two weeks in Feb-March, hiking, Zodiac boats, viewing wildlife and chasing Humpback & Minke whales. Launched #AntarcticaMatters as an initiative to help create awareness to protect Antarctica after the Antarctic Treaty comes to an end in 2048.
Awards, Appointments, Publications, Memberships & Recognition

Appointments & Memberships

  • Founding President, The Responsible Tourism Society of India.
  • Honorary Member, The Scientific Exploring Society, UK.
  • Fellow International, The Explorer’s Club, USA.
  • Board Member, the Adventure Travel Conservation Foundation. (ATCF)
  • Advisory Board for 2022 Travel & Leisure magazine, India-South Asia.
  • Trustee, Himalayan Environment Trust, India.
  • Former Member, Mountain Protection Commission & Access Commission of the Union Internationale des Associations D’Alpinisme (UIAA), Switzerland.
  • Former Jury member of the Tourism for Tomorrow awards of the WTTC. ( World Travel & Tourism Council)
  • Member of the American Alpine Club, USA and The Alpine Club, UK.
  • Member, Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF).

Publications & Articles

Few Featured Publications

  • Editor–in–Chief of the 4th edition of “ Ecotourism and Environment Handbook – a ready reckoner for the Tourism Industry”: Published in 2014 by The Ecotourism Society of India in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. Of India.
  • Foreword for “Hammer Menschen”- a book on India by Richard Kienberger of Germany.
  • Article “India’s Top 30 EcoHotels” and ‘India’s Top Ten Eco Resorts’, in the Conde Nast Traveller magazine, India.
  • Chapter in ‘Incredible Himalayas’ book by Capt MS Kohli.
  • Article ‘Towards the Centre of the Universe’ in The Outdoor Journal.
  • Articles for the Himalayan Journal, Indian Mountaineer, The Outdoor Journal, The Stephanian, Go Now, Times of India and Hindustan Times.

Ibex Expeditions

Ibex Expeditions

Explore Adventure Holidays India - In 1979, Mandip & Anita transformed their love of maps into the aspirations of Adventure & Luxury holidays in India. Ibex Expeditions is among the best discerning travel outfitters in India, creating handcrafted, award-winning journeys in the sphere of adventure expeditions, wildlife safaris, experiential holidays and luxury travel.

Excellence, innovation and attention to detail has been in the forefront of life at Ibex for them and their team at office and in the field and this earned the company the “Most Innovative Tour Operator” award by the President of India along with a second National Award of Excellence.

National Geographic chose Ibex amongst their selection of the ‘Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth’ Indeed, an acknowledgement of a lifetime of dedication.

Ibex Expeditions

The best commendation for Ibex has been guests who return to travel to other regions; for adventure, safaris, luxury holidays and more. Ibex offers holidays across the Indian subcontinent and has added over a dozen countries to their repertoire of the unique- Namibia, Peru, Chile, Borneo, Tibet, Antarctic, Arctic and more.

50 years later, the dedication to unique journeys, to story telling, to explore new pastures, to push ones limits and to be sensitive to the environment, to cultures, to the communities visited and society, continues...

Visit: Ibex Expeditions for more details