A group walking holiday in the Indian Himalayas provides a rare chance to enjoy true solitude high above the clouds
At the top of the Miyar Valley in the high Himalayas, a chain of seven tiny turquoise pools nestle below the snout of a formidable glacier. Each one looks deceptively inviting. We plunge in and our shouts, as we brave the icy water, echo off walls of rock into empty air; there is no one but our group around to hear. For miles in every direction there are only mountains; their white peaks, sheer slopes and pockets of high hidden valleys are filled with wild flowers for just a few months of the year, mainly June and July, when their cape of snow melts away.