The SIBU Journey – Behind the Scenes

The best skin care deserves the best ingredients…

You might have heard us say before, not all sea buckthorn is created equal. That’s why our Founder, Bruce McMullin went to the ends of the earth to find the world’s best sea buckthorn for SIBU.

Each year, we have our annual sea berry (sea buckthorn) harvest when we make the long, and sometimes, dangerous journey to the beautiful Himalayan regions of the Leh and Nubra Valley.

Our Journey Begins in Salt Lake City, UT

…. From Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, from Hong Kong to Singapore, from Singapore to New Dehli, and from New Dehli to Leh.

And that’s just the beginning…

Landing at 12,000 ft. after a long flight, we each receive a ceremonial “katak” by locals, a white cloth that is placed around ones neck covered with mantras and prayers written in their ancient language.

Jeeps meet us in the parking lot and they drive us up to our wonderfully simple htel. After checking in they offer us a cup of tea to warm us up and acclimate to the high altitude.

We are instructed to go right to bed and rest the entire day to allow our bodies to get used to the high altitude, but adventure calls. We immediately take off and climb up to a near by “gompa” and see the Buddha that overlooks the Leh Valley.

The following day we rise early to go over the Khardungla Pass, the highest motarable road in the world, and into the Nubra Valley. The drivers are Buddhist and always say a prayer prior to departure. It’s a dangerous road and many cars and trucks have gone off the edge and plunged thousands of feet to the passengers demise. 

We pack a lunch and drive until we hit the Khardungla summit where prayer flags blow in the wind on the rocky summit with signs telling you you’re now at an altitude of 18,380 feet!

Here, we break out a bottle of SIBU and have a “Tashi Toast” with the drivers and all the passengers traveling with us. “Tashi” is a Tibetan word meaning good health and good fortune.

We then arrive to our location where we find a place to sleep. Paying about $12-15 per night, this humble hotel where a bucket of hot water will run you $2, provides rest & comfort from a long and arduous journey. 

Life is simple here and we find peaceful solitude spending our leisure time visiting temples and Buddhist monasteries. The monks living in this region are wonderful to visit with and kind to us.

In the morning we drive out to the wild growing sea buckthorn forests to see the harvesting operations of the women who assist us in this yearly event. Through a fair trade agreement, we’re able to pay the women in these local villages daily, in cash, and enough to support their family throughout the winter season.

Watch the video at the top of this page and join us on our SIBU journey.