FOUR WINDS          EXPEDITIONS

Himalayan Guide Service Since 1995

ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

"Surviver Story" - Evening Magazine, June 23, 2009

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

"We are aware that this journey would not have been possible without Matt.  His faith that we could make it, his enthusiasm and his 'up, up, up,' mantra, his impeccable planning and his obvious love for Nepal and its people made him the perfect guide.  We also couldn't have made it without our wonderful Sherpas and porters."

 

       - Michael and Rosemary Mayo

"We could not have had a better trek leader than Matt Fioretti. Experience, knowledge of local ways and the Himalayan country, great relations with people all along the route, from guest house owners to shop owners to men selling candy bars and beverages out of a stone kiosk between villages at 13,000’. He embraces them all and they reciprocate. It’s a gift of Matt’s and we were blessed to be riding along in his wake. He was direct and insistent when he needed to be, when he may have perceived elements of risk or danger. He sang on the trails with us. He kept us abreast of ever-changing conditions and what to expect as needed on a regular basis. He was our leader, but one of us, having as much fun and meeting the same challenges as we faced. Mostly Matt is about respect for people, for relationships, traditions, and finally for the forces of nature in the great Himalayan country. He is one of the most human people I have ever met in my life."

 

        - Steve H.

I could not imagine the trip with anyone else at the helm. Every detail was covered. Thank you for creating the space, outrageous adventure, and deep personal growth”

 

       - Arlene L.

"My trips to Nepal with Four Winds were life-changing experiences, in the best possible way. Being halfway around the world, in an unfamiliar place, thousands of miles away from everything you know, can be a scary situation, but when you're with Matt, there's a comfort level. It feels like all of Nepal is your family."

 

      -  M. Mahoney

"The trek was an incredible experience, one that will stay with me for a long time. It was certainly one of the most physically challenging things I have ever done, and I would do it again. I know now that I can breathe fine at 15,700ft.  Thank you for your experienced leadership, I felt like I was in good hands and you prepared us well for the trek. I loved hearing all your stories, and your sense of humor kept me in stitches, especially the story of Jabba the Hut. I had so much fun playing cards, thanks for teaching us how to play Elevator."

 

     -  Merrianne Young

"Matt and Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service kindled in me a deep love of alpine climbing on my first trip to Nepal in 1999. This first trip taught me a lot and I have returned to Nepal with Matt four times since. Matt has a deep love and respect for the indigenous culture of the Sherpa people of the Khumbu, and in his 20 year dealings with the people in that region, he has established many deep friendships; it is especially remarkable to share in these connections with him. I have always felt safe when climbing with Matt. He has developed good mountain sense over the years, and his motto "may the four winds blow you safely home" is a propos of his climbing philosophy which holds safety in high regard. Matt is also a fountainhead of ideas, and has always provided a source of inspiration for those seekers who take to the mountains. I have learned a lot from Matt's personal struggles with aplastic anemia, and his return to active climbing continues to inspire many people to see mountains as metaphors for the challenges we all face in life. I have Matt to thank for what has developed into a life-long passion for me. It all started with one trip to the Himalaya."

"My family and I met Matt soon after we moved to Seattle nearly 12 years ago. His emails and posters of his amazing adventures began haunting me several years ago. As I finally admitted I was not getting any younger or more agile, it came time to succumb to his temptations. One of my bucket list items for years has been to see Mount Everest and he convinced me that there were few better ways to do that than to join him on his trek to Gokyo Ri. Though our group of nine was comprised of everything from retirees to an 11- year-old with all skill levels represented, thanks to Matt, his Sherpa, and team of porters, we were all made to feel equally capable. Unexpected challenges were always met with patience, creative problem-solving and a can-do attitude. Matt possesses an infectious and almost childlike joie de vivre in everything he does and the byproduct of that was a three week voyage of adventure, reflection and exploration which will live in my memory forever. Oh yes, and we witnessed sunrise behind Mt. Everest on a beautiful crystal clear morning. Thank you Matt."

 

         - Ken B. Seattle

“It has been years since I went with Matt and his crew to Ama Dablam and crazy as it sounds, it still feels like yesterday. The experience was one that is hard to put into words, when you are there amongst the people and grandeur of the Himalayas you feel all at once small and insignificant, yet more real and present than ever. I carry the essence and spirit of that journey with me everyday. Just go... more than that, go with Matt.”

"True to his word, Matt was committed to safety on our trek to Nepal.He is knowledgeable, organized and has a positive attitude which is infectious. Matt is well loved in the communities we visited. The respect and admiration he has developed with the Nepali people created a unique, enhanced and truly exceptional experience for our group. Thanks, Matt! October 2013 Trek."

 

        - K. Baker

"Going to Nepal was like stepping into the pages of National Geographic with the color, chaos and crowds of Kathmandu to the breathtakingly beautiful snow capped Himalayas. Matt had said we would stay with friends (I read business associates; I was wrong). These people were Matt's second family and they treated us as family. I didn't have as much vacation time as the rest of my group, so I returned early. It snowed one night and the inn keeper, Urken wouldn't let me leave until the trail was broken. A little while later I looked out the window and Urken was up on the mountain checking the trail for me. He came back in and said it was safe to go now. Later as I was crossing one of many suspension bridges, my porter, Prem, ran ahead of me to stop the yak train from starting across the bridge until I had finished crossing. With Matt's group you're not a tourist, you're part of Nepal, you're family."

 

        - Kathy

"I was on Matt’s trip to Mt. Kailash, Tibet and the Limi Valley, Nepal the fall of 2012. The trip was in remote areas with altitudes of up to 18,000 feet. The group consisted of 12 people- some with little backpacking experience, others with a great deal. From the very first email and questionnaire I knew I was in safe hands. The first information-orientation meeting he outlined the trip, talk about what would be requirement as far as gear and as well as training. He checked in regularly to see how I was doing training wise as well with procuring gear required for the trip. Once in Nepal, Matt’s experience of working in the area became apparent. The group was welcomed as a part of his “family” by some amazing people.

 

Matt had my total confidence in his attention to safety. Watching him and how he monitored the health of the group at attitude was extraordinary. I never once questioned his judgment on how to handle terrain and altitude. He said from the very beginning he was the altitude expert and he was! I would go on another expedition with Matt in a heartbeat!"

 

        - Jean Lyle

"The trek stands out as one of my life's most amazing experiences, certainly because of the Himalayas magnificence, but also due to our group's lighthearted, playful camaraderie, the welcoming arms of the locals at the teahouses where you had been before, evening card games, and the way you kept us always under your protective eye ... checking every day for our oxygen saturation levels, making sure we drank enough water, stopping for rest when needed, and also encouraging us along, like on Gokyo Ri, for those last panting steps, so that I might not miss the view of one of the world's most spectacular, breath-taking sights ... and yet, I never felt pampered or stifled, as you simultaneously offered ample space for us to move in our own rhythms, moods and pace. If I never properly said thanks to you before for all that Matt...Thanks!!! ... the experience will continue to resonate within me for my lifetime!

 

 

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