Mind Over Mountain - FAQs

What are the dates of Mind over Mountains?

The dates of Mind over Mountains are Monday 8th to Sunday 14th April 2019.

Where exactly does Mind over Mountains take place?

Mind over Mountains takes place in the Himachal Pradesh region of Northern India, host to some of the most beautiful views the Himalayas has to offer. The challenge takes place through and around local villages (the most notable villages are Bir and Billing) reaching an altitude of 2,800m.

What exactly is the Challenge?

Mind over Mountains is a four day trek through the Himalayas in Northern India. The Challenge brings together Barclays employees from around Asia on a mission to remove the stigma surrounding mental health illness. The Challenge will be led by inspiring ambassadors who will help bridge the gap between the knowledge we have and how we can actually use that knowledge in the everyday world to transform the lives of people affected by mental illness.

How much does the challenge cost?

The cost of the challenge is 1,625 GBP. After registering, a non-refundable deposit is due on registration (payable within 7 days) of 625 GBP. The final payment is due of 1,000 GBP in January 2019. All costs associated with participating in the event will be borne by the individual participant.

Who can participate?

Mind over Mountains is open to any Barclays employee based in Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai (Ceejay House), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing or Sydney offices.

Is it open to friends and family?

No, it is only open to Barclays employees based in our Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai (Ceejay House), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing or Sydney offices.

What if the challenge is oversubscribed? What will be the criteria to choose who participates?

Registrations will be accepted on a first come first serve base.

What if too many people in my team apply for the challenge?

You should speak to your line manager and obtain approval on your leave plan in advance of registering for the challenge.

What is included?

  • Domestic flights from Delhi to Dharamshala and back to Delhi

  • Ground transportation in Dharamshala

  • One night in five star hotel accommodation on arrival in Delhi (twin sharing)

  • Five nights in tented camp

  • All food and drinking water from dinner in Delhi on day 1 to breakfast on Day 7

  • Entrance into National Parks and other sites on trails

  • Five international qualified expedition leaders

  • Two doctors

  • Professional videographer and photographer

  • Local guides, assistant guides, porters, drivers, cooks, camp manager and logistics team

What is not included?

  • Flights from your point of origin to and from Delhi

  • Vaccinations

  • Visas if required

  • Extensions at end of trip

  • Single room/tent supplements

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)

Do I need to take annual leave? 

Given the nature of the event and the fundraising component, Barclays has decided to offer all participants an annual leave exception. To participate in the program participants will need only register 3 days in the annual leave system, rather than 5.

Registering for annual leave 

Please ensure that you have sought annual leave approval in the Barclays MYHR system from your line manager before committing and registering for Mind over Mountains.

How has Barclays supported Mind Over Mountains?

Barclays has made a financial contribution to the event, not to subsidise but rather to upweight the experience. The Barclays contribution will extend to the participation of several Mental Health Ambassadors and to upweight the experience for participants.

Do I need to fundraise for charity?

All Barclays colleagues who take part in the ‘Mind over Mountains’ challenge will be required to raise a minimum amount of 500 USD for the following Barclays supported mental wellness-focused charities:

What’s the minimum fundraising amount?

Each individual is required to raise USD500.

How can I check the charities recommended for fundraising?

Please click on the links above to view the websites of each of the charities.

What if I want to donate to a different charity associated to Mental Health? Would it be considered?

The charities recommend are already known by Barclays and must be fund raised for as part of this campaign - these are the only ones to be considered for possible matched funding. In order to leverage the contributions and promote a more significant impact, you must choose from the list.

Which charity will my donation go to?

Of the four selected charities, your donation will be directed to the charity that is located in the country in which you are based. For those in Sydney, Shanghai and Beijing, we will work with you determine which charity to direct your donation to.

Barclays Matched Funding

To apply to get further information about Barclays Matched Fundraising, please click here.

What are the visa requirements?

It is your responsibility to check whether you require a visa to travel to India.

What are the flights?

You will need to book your own flights to and from Delhi International Airport. Please ensure you arrive into Delhi by 6pm on Monday 8 April 2019. Your departure flight can leave Delhi anytime from 6pm on Sunday 14 April 2019.

Do I need insurance?

It is a condition of travelling with Just Challenge that you have a suitable travel insurance policy which covers you for your entire challenge. Please note below key points:

  • You need a personal insurance policy fit for purpose to participate in this trip – that is mandatory.

  • Just Challenge provides a recommended insurance policy.

  • If you do not take out that policy, you need to provide your policy to Just Challenge to check that it is sufficient. If deemed not sufficient, you will be asked to take out additional insurance.

  • Those taking out personal policies, other than that recommended by Just Challenge, will be required to complete a disclaimer.

  • The Company Insurance (health and life) policies provided by Barclays are not sufficient and should not be relied on for the nature of this trip.

  • Any questions on Insurance, please contact at info@just-challenge.com.

What is the cancellation policy?

The basic approach to cancellation is that deposits are non-refundable unless your place can be replaced. The final balance will be payable 12 weeks before the challenge date and subsequently, if participants need to be refunded, we will refund the amount less irreversible costs.

What’s the climate like at that time of year?

In the Himalayas, the temperatures in the day can vary; minimum is around 5c and maximum 28c, with an average of 22c. However, it is likely to drop below 0c in the evenings so you should come fully prepared for cold nights. You will have campfires and eat inside the dining tent. As a general rule it is t-shirt weather in the day and fleece & jacket weather at night. In Delhi it will be humid and around 28-30c, but remember to bring appropriate attire if visiting religious sites.

What does a typical day look like?

You will wake early (around sunrise) in time for breakfast. Walking days will last 6–8 hours. Trekking on your challenge will take place on mountain paths. Packed lunch will be provided and usually served around noon. You will arrive at camp before sunset in order to wash before it gets dark. Supper will be prepared and you can relax as the stars come out.

Who leads the group?

You will be led and supported by a team of professional and experienced first aid trained expedition leaders and doctors. The challenge leaders are responsible for the logistics and co-ordination of your challenge. There will also be numerous local support guides and staff to assist them. The challenge leader will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Tell me more about safety on the challenge?

Our safety considerations formalise our ethos when it comes to safety and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles and accommodation, to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

What clothes and equipment do we need?

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. You don’t need a clean pair every day, but enough to make sure you have dry socks each morning. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality Gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, and technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. Walking poles are also recommended, as a preventative as well as for anyone with any pre-existing leg injuries or niggles. A full kit list for this challenge can be found on the homepage.

What will the terrain be like?

The terrain is mountainous throughout and you will be trekking on mountain paths. Expect cold weather and basic conditions.

How difficult is the challenge?

The max altitude for this trek is 2,800m (8,858 ft). For March conditions, snow is possible but it will definitely be cold overnight. The days trekking are tough, challenging but achievable and will be 6-8 hours in duration. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, and would like to part in a strenuous challenge and are aiming to push themselves out of their comfort zone. 

How far will we trek each day?

We will trek for between 6 - 8 hours and no further than 20km per day.

How much training do I need to do?

Training and fitness are definitely required. Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be OK as long as they train regularly over a period of at least three months leading up to the expedition. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary focus. Walking up hills and climbing stairs are both ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. Take a long hike (6-8 hours) several times with a weighted pack, up and down hills or on small mountains (weigh your pack with water containers and pour out the water before your descent to minimise knee stress).

What does the accommodation look like?

While trekking you will be staying in tents. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with please let Just Challenge know in advance. At every campsite, a number of toilets will be located at some distance from the campsite. Please bring anti-bacterial hand gel and spare tissues. During the trekking days, toilet facilities will be limited to the great outdoors!

What food and drink will we have?

You will be served a variety of international and local foods. All meals are healthy, nourishing and plentiful. Please let us know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Will our phones work?

Apart from in Delhi, the internet and phone reception will be limited throughout the challenge.

Will we have access to WiFi?

You will not have WiFi in the campsites during the trekking days and phone reception on the mountain will be sporadic at best. You should look consider this challenge an opportunity to get away from the stresses of daily life!

What medication do I need?

  • Carry medicines (including those bought over the counter) in their correctly labelled container, as issued by the pharmacist, in hand luggage.

  • Consider packing a spare supply of medication in the hold luggage in case of loss of hand luggage.

  • A letter from the prescriber detailing the medicines with the generic names for the medications can be helpful for border control checks, and in case medicines have to be replaced or medical help is required.

  • Carry a note from the prescribing physician on letterhead stationery for controlled substances and injection medications.

  • Take out an appropriate level of travel health insurance including repatriation and specific cover for any pre-existing illnesses.

  • Some medications are banned abroad so please check prior to taking anything with you.

What vaccinations do I need?

Recommended: Tetanus
Considerations: Hepatitis A & B, Rabies
Please also check with your Doctor and take their advice on recommended vaccinations - it may be useful to take a copy of your itinerary with you with regards to vaccinations.

What is our luggage allowance?

Try to keep luggage to an absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your kit list. Your rucksack/holdall (suitcases are not appropriate) must not exceed the maximum weight limit of the internal airline you are flying with (usually 15kg). Each trekking day, your personal kit will be transported to the next stop by a support vehicle. You will carry a day pack for your daily needs such as sun cream, lunch, water, camera and lightweight waterproofs. We will do everything to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions. The general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches.

Will our valuables be safe?

Just Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority and as such, we follow and have in place suitable safety protocols and thorough safety management systems.

What currency do we use?

The currency is the Rupee, abbreviated as Rs,

Can we use our credit cards?

A growing number of hotels, restaurants and shops in the major cities are beginning to accept credit cards, the well-known and more accepted ones being American Express, Access/MasterCard, Diners Club and Visa. However, credit cards are not the most convenient form of payment or cash withdrawal.

How much cash should we bring?

You will not need large amounts of money during this trip and other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in rural areas away from any foreign exchanges or banks. You will only need money for tips, additional food and drink, gifts and souvenirs.

Do we need to tip?

Tipping is at your sole discretion however, tourism is a tipping culture and local guides and staff usually will receive a tip at the end of a job well done. We recommend approximately US$10 per person per challenge-day, and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge who will distribute it among the support team including guides, assistant guides, cooks and any other staff.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

If you have any further questions about Mind Over Mountains 2019, please do not hesitate to contact the Just Challenge team at info@just-challenge.com.

Is there a Barclays point of contact who I can reach out to with questions?

Mind over Mountains is wholly planned and organised by Just Challenge. If you have any questions, please reach out to info@just-challenge.com. For more general questions about Barclays support for Mind over Mountains, you can contact Jonathan Kerrell (jonathan.kerrell@barclays.com) in the Events, Roadshows & Hospitality team. For HR related queries, please reach out to the HR Business Partner team at Barclays.


In participating in this event, you acknowledge and agree that this challenge is solely organized and executed by Challenges Unlimited. Barclays Bank PLC or any of its affiliates (“Barclays”) is neither responsible nor liable for any aspect of this challenge, or for any risks that you may be exposed to by participating in the challenge, and the consequences of those risks. Your participation in the challenge is wholly voluntary and at your own risk and responsibility, and does not fall within the scope of your employment with Barclays, and you acknowledge that any injury, illness, death, loss, damage or expense, cost or other claim of any description suffered by you in connection with this challenge does not arise out of and/or in the course of your employment with Barclays. Barclays shall have the right and benefit to enforce this provision.