My wife Kara and I recently returned from a Mera Peak trek with Climb High Himalaya in November 2013. The trip was incredible. The scenery was everything you’d expect hiking in the mountains in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Nepalese people we met were extremely friendly and helpful. And while often physically challenging, it was a great pleasure to be outside walking day after day in the Himalayas. But it was the service provided by Climb High, in particular owner Amber Thapa, and guides Phai Lama and Chhongba Sherpa, that made our trip so outstanding.
For example, Climb High helped us with delayed bags and a cancelled flight. They were extremely flexible with changed plans (due to sickness, a pass that was closed due to an early heavy snowfall, and flight delays). Our guides did everything possible to ensure our safety and make sure we were happy with the trek.
Overall, from the time we arrived in Nepal, we felt that Climb High Himalaya had our best interests and safety always in mind. Amber, Phai, and Chhongba seemed to truly care that we had a good trip, that we were never overly inconvenienced (even due to events that were outside Climb High’s control), and that we were safe. We had a ton of help and reassurance with every logistical problem that came up.
Chhongba and Phai literally watched our every step to make sure we were safe and were willing to change plans to make sure we were happy. We strongly recommend Climb High Himalaya to anyone considering a trek in Nepal. If you would like to contact me directly, Amber has my permission to forward my email address (and pictures from our trip). When we return to Nepal, hopefully in a couple of years, we will definitely hire Climb High Himalaya again.
1. Early in our trip, Kara was sick with a cold and was having a lot of trouble on our first moderately high pass (4600 m). At one point where the only good option was to keep going, Phai took Kara’s pack and began cutting steps in the snow to help her with footing. Chhongba grabbed Kara’s elbow to keep her steady while walking next to her on much more difficult and slippery ground. In this way, they safely got her to the next teahouse. The following day, we left at noon (so Kara could sleep in) and went down just to the next teahouse. This day changed our itinerary and our guides were completely flexible with the new plan.
2. Our porters were well equipped with good boots and warm clothes. Chhongba and Phai looked after them, redistributing loads when one porter hurt his shin and cutting a long day slightly short when the porters were tired.
1. When we first arrived in Kathmandu, our bags didn’t arrive. Amber met us at the airport, immediately did what he could to help us with our bags, reassured us that our trip was in no danger in that Climb High would be flexible working with us whenever our bags arrived, and got us to our hotel to rest. All of this was a huge relief. The next morning, Amber had an update that our bags would arrive that afternoon, and Climb High escorted us back to the airport to pick them up.
2. The following day, we were to fly to Lukla, but the flight turned back to due to bad weather. Amber, who had gone with us to the airport (and helped us avoid the worst of the lines), waited at the airport all day to see if the flight would try again later. Again we were very reassured that whatever happened, Climb High would be flexible and would do whatever they could to make our trip successful.
3. The next day, Amber got us on an earlier flight than our tickets were for, and we made it to Lukla before the airport closed again. Unfortunately my bag did not make it (as flights to and from Lukla can be tricky). But Amber got my bag on a helicopter later that day, and Phai carried it a couple of hours up in the dark to where we were spending staying the night.
4. Until we got to the mountains, we didn’t know that our original itinerary included a pass that was closed for the season due to a large amount of early snow. Our guides were again extremely flexible and offered us several good alternatives including some that would have extended our trip if that’s what we wanted to do. We settled on a longer more forested return loop that included camping on the way out. As an aside, once the camping section started our food and the variety of food as cooked by Phai was excellent – we even had a special delicious cake “Happy Summit Day” after climbing Mera.
5. Even on our return from Lukla to Kathmandu, our bags were delayed. Kara and I were sent immediately back to our hotel while Climb High staff waited at the airport for our bags and brought them to us when they arrived.
Please feel free to ask Amber for my email address if you have any specific questions or would like additional information.
Sincerely Seth Allen and Kara Larsen, USA