In November 2016, my wife Kara and I took our second trekking trip with Climb High Himalaya. The trip was 25 days trekking and climbing Lobuche East, Pokhalde, and Island Peak with some extra days to see Gokyo Lakes, Everest Base Camp, etc. It was another great adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Sangey, our guide, was excellent. He is an extremely strong and knowledgeable mountaineer who always ensured our safety from climbing on steep snow to crossing a tricky stream or even avoiding a minor hazard when trekking on an otherwise easy trail. At times, he literally ran back and forth between Kara and me to make sure we were safely connected to our fixed line when passing knots. Sangey was also a great ambassador for Nepal who obviously enjoyed sharing his wisdom on climbing (often with less experienced guides from other companies), taking us to beautiful places, showing us wildlife, helping us understand the culture, etc.
Sangey and his team went well out of their way to make sure we successfully reached our goals. Sangey pre-climbed most of Lobuche and all of Pokhalde the day before Kara and I attempted them to make sure he understood the current conditions and picked the best route. We had high camps on Lobuche East and Island Peak, a huge benefit that many other groups did not enjoy. On Island, high camp was very difficult for the porters as there was no water available and extra trips to bring up water were required. We were one of two teams on Island that had high camps on our summit day. Many people turned back before reaching the summits of Lobuche East and particularly Island Peak when we were climbing. A large part of our success has to be attributed to Sangey’s careful planning, good route finding, his attention to how Kara and I were doing, and the use of high camps even when such camps were difficult.
Here’s another example of just how nice the team was and how lucky we were to have them. When Sangey, Kara, and I left the snow on both Lobuche East and Island Peak, several people from our group, including Pasang the cook, met us to offer hot tea and cookies and to carry our bags the last mile or two into camp. It was unexpected but a really nice and welcome gesture given how tired we were.
Things went so well for us that we had several buffer days scheduled (for flight delays and lost luggage, bad weather, sickness, etc) that we didn’t use. As we were heading to India next and had cut that portion of the trip short, we wanted to try to rearrange our somewhat complicated travel plans both getting to India sooner and changing our schedule once there. Satyawan, at the Climb High office, rearranged most of our plans as we were trekking back to Lukla and once in Kathmandu even waited in line with us at the Jet Airways office to help us change plane tickets.
Between Satyawan and Amber, also at the office, planning our trip and then executing on those plans, even given the changes, couldn’t have been easier.
I would recommend Climb High Himalaya to anyone without reservations. They went well beyond our expectations to make sure we had the best possible experience. Thank you Climb High for another awesome trip!