An exploratory trip is simply a route I haven’t done before, or have only done part of. Some of the hikes are extensions of other treks I’ve done, and some of the routes are just ideas I have for a good trip from studying maps, aerial flights, and photos, talking with other folks who’ve done routes, or whatever.
They are not, typically, a trek that no one has done before. Most often someone has done the route before, in one form or another. But sometimes we end up taking a particular valley or pass or specific section that may well have not had backpackers trek it before.