Himalayan Guide Service Since 1995
It is very easy to join one of our trips. Just click on the registration form below, fill it out and send or email it back to us. Along with your registration we require a $900 non refundable deposit to reserve your space on a Trek and $1800 non refundable deposit for climbing expeditions. You may pay by phone and credit card but we charge a 3% fee for cards. Deposits can be mailed to:
1521 Queen Anne Ave. N
Seattle WA 98109
Our trips book as far as a year in advance. We only allow 8 people on a trip. With this in mind we suggest you call or email us for availability. When you make your deposit your space is reserved. Deposits are $900 for the treks and $1800 for the climbing expeditions. THERE IS NO REFUND FOR ANY REASON ON DEPOSITS. Final balances are due 60 days prior to departure and there is no refund of any kind within 60 days of departure.
Because of the nature of third world travel it is impossible to grant refunds. If you get sick, injured, or for any reason your trip is cut short, including a guides decision to turn you back due to his/her professional decision, there is NO REFUND. There is no refund on deposits, There is no refund within 50 days of departure.
Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service Inc. is NOT RESPONSIBLE for any cost incurred during and after a rescue operation. This includes all aspects of a rescue. Because of this it is required that each individual have Travel Insurance with helicopter rescue, jet ambulance, hospitalization, and injury coverage. Rescue cost and choice of insurance coverage and amounts are your responsibility.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where do we sleep?
We hike from village to village. In the village we sleep in what is called a “Tea House”. It is a stone hut. For Tibet we stay in tents most of the days.
How far do we hike?
We hike almost everyday. The average day is about 4 miles or about 5 hours per day for the Nepal treks and 6.5 hours for the Tibet Mt kailash pilgrimage.
What is a trek day like?
We wake around 6 to 8 am depending on the terrain that day. Pack up duffle bags so the yaks or porters can get started and then head to breakfast in the dining room or breakfast in group tent for Tibet. You order from a menu, eat, and then off for the hike that day to the next village. You can hike at your own pace. Some days we will stay together some days you can be on your own depending on the terrain. Average days hike is 4. 5 hours Nepal or 6.5 hours Tibet. We arrive at the next village and eat lunch. You can explore the area, talk with other hikers from around the world, journal, photography, or just sip tea. The day is free after lunch.
Are visas required?
Visas are required and you obtain them on arrival at the airport in Kathmandu. The cost is about $45.
How much do we carry in our packs?
We carry only about 15 pounds. Most of the gear is put on yaks or porters.
What do we eat?
We eat breakfast lunch and dinner at the tea houses. The food is mostly potatoes, eggs, lentils, local flat bread, rice, vegetables, soups, and noodles.
What kind of shape do I need to be in?
One should be in excellent cardiovascular shape. This means you should be able to walk 7 miles comfortably, uphill, at a pace faster than your normal walking pace. You should be able to do this with a light 10 pound pack. Remember your fitness level is your responsibility. The better the shape you are in the more you will enjoy the trip.
How should I train?
Go on long hikes carrying a light pack. Bike ride, run, swimming. Walk long distances. Hiking is the best training as it is what we will be doing for 14 to 21 days. Remember your training is your responsibility.
Is Nepal or Tibet Dangerous?
These countries are probably safer than most American large cities. Nepali’s believe that “The guest is God”.
How do we treat water?
We use an ultraviolet light (steripen) which kills all possible harmful bacteria and protozoa. We ask that you bring iodine tabs just incase the steripen fails at altitude.
What if I get sick?
You are bound to get sick in Nepal or Tibet. We have a complete medical kit which covers high altitude illnesses, colds, to bacterial born illnesses. Remember it will pass.
How do we communicate with friends and family?
You will have access to email at 2 of the 8 villages. Otherwise no contact until returning to Kathmandu. We do have a sat phone for emergencies only. Email usage is not a cost covered on the trip.
How much money should I bring?
Clients bring amounts from $200 to $500.
What kind of camera should I bring?
If you have a “slr” with multiple lenses bring it. A 28mm to 200mm lens is great if you want to just carry one lens. A small point and shoot is fine if you don’t want to carry heavy. A point and shoot with a zoom lens is best.
What if I cant make it or get altitude sickness?
We have had days where someone just cant hike that day. One of our Sherpas will stay behind while you rest. Usually after a days rest or 2 it is easy to catch up and reunite with the group. We have had only a few instances where someone was not able to continue. No one has had full blown altitude sickness on any of our trips and everyone has acclimatized. We design each trip a little slower than other companies to make room for acclimatization.
Do we have to carry our own utensils?
No, the tea houses have bowls, spoons, and forks. For the Kailash section in Tibet we will need a tupperware bowl and spoon.
Do I need to bring my own first aid kit?
You should just bring a basic kit. We have an “extreme” first aid kit which will cover most emergencies.
How cold does it get?
In the early stages of the trek we are hiking in shorts and a long sleeve light base layer. The temperature at lower elevations can range from 40 in the morning to 80 in the afternoons. As we gain elevation the mornings can be 30 and then warming to between 50 and 65 in the day. Remember we are in the mountains so it can get cold during the day and especially at night and mornings. Snow is possible at higher elevations.
What is the best Season to Trek?
Nepal has 2 seasons for trekking. Both seasons have pros and cons. In the spring season (April, May) The weather is warmer. The wild flowers and Rhodies are blooming. The skies are clear. There are more people on the trail in this season, guest houses can be more crouded. In the fall season (september, October, November) The weather is cooler, there is less people on the trail, and more wild life has moved down from the cold of higher elevations. In October we have seen Himalayan Tar, Ibex, Musk deer. For the Tibet pilgrimage September is the best month for weather and travel.
Should I bring snacks?
Remember that breakfast, lunch, and dinner are covered on the trek. However snacks between meals are not covered. We recommend bringing snacks for between meals, bars nuts, dried fruit etc. See “what to bring” list.
What is the age limit for treks?
There is no particular age limit. Our oldest Client was 79 years old our youngest was 10 years old. Anyone with a love for the outdoors, good attitude, a passion for hiking , can do a trek in the Himalaya.
Do the tea houses have electricity?
Most of the tea houses we stay in have solar power. You are able to charge camera batteries for a small fee. Charging batteries is not covered by Four Winds.
Do I need insurance for such a trip?
Yes we require insurance before you can join a trek.
Further useful information