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Saturday, May 28, 2011

I had the opportunity to fulfill a long-standing dream of mine to Mt. Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal on a wilderness medicine education trip

This spring I had the opportunity to fulfill a long-standing dream of mine to trek in Nepal on a wilderness medicine education trip that included some time in Kathmandu and a trek to Everest Base Camp at 17,590 ft., and Kala Patthar, a trekking peak at 18,500 ft. By the end of the trip I had experienced the chaotic and exotic city of Kathmandu, seen stunning peaks such as Mount Everest and Ama Dablam, pushed myself to the second highest point I had ever been at, and made new friends on the trail. It was an amazing journey through some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. I left the US on April 23 and after approximately 31 hours on planes and in airports (Phoenix-LA-Seoul-Kathmandu), I arrived at Kathmandu in the early afternoon, met by Jiban Ghimire, owner/manager of Sherpa Shangri-La Treks & Expeditions a Nepalese guiding company. Jiban is fluent in English and was immediately friendly and effusive as he explained about Kathmandu while we (the several who had just arrived) were driven to our hotel, The Yak & Yeti. I can highly recommend the Yak & Yeti as a clean, quiet oasis amid the constant din of Kathmandu. The hotel is located just south of the Royal Palace, and near enough to the old town and Thamel regions to be a quick walk. We stayed in the superior rooms, a step below the suites and deluxe rooms. The room wasn’t too cramped, was clean and comfortable. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, the facilities very nice and clean, and the breakfast buffet excellent and filling, with everything from fruits to cereal to regional fare and omelets made to order. All our other meals were taken out and I’ll comment on some of the restaurants later. Also, a quick plug for Sherpa Shangri-La and Jiban Ghimire now and a more in-depth evaluation as I post more. Jiban and everyone associated with Sherpa Shangri-La were fantastic throughout the whole trip, providing for our comfort and safety during the trip with expertise and a friendliness that goes beyond a traditional guiding service. Should, or rather when, I return to Nepal I will be using Sherpa Shangri-La again.
By David Boswell

Thursday, May 26, 2011

100% seccessful expedition to Mt. Everest & Lhotse of Alpine Ascents International Team- Spring 2011

Another successful Mt. Everest expedition- spring 2011

On May 14th at 4:45 pm the following two Sherpa of the Alpine Ascents International 2011 Expedition reached the Summit of Lhotse

1. Tshering Dorjee Sherpa 39 Juving 1 Karikhola
2. Passang Tsheri Sherpa 36 Namche 5 Thamo

And, On May 15th at 5:50 am the following Member of the Alpine Ascents
International 2011 Expedition reached the Summit Lhotse
1. James Michael Horst 33 Guide Bainbridge Island, WA,USA

At 4:22 am on May 20th 2011, Garrett Madison,Tom Halliday and Kami Rita Sherpa made the summit of Lhotse!! Tom and Garrett were both on the summit of Everest at 8am May 19th. This makes Tom Halliday the first person to be successfully guided to the summits of both Everest and Lhotse (the worlds highest and 4th highest peak) in under 24 hours and is one of only three individuals that have now down so; himself and Alpine Ascents guides Garrett Madison and Michael Horst.

Ben Jones is team leader for Michael Horst's Nuptse expedition- S2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future

Namaste Jiban,

Now that Kate and I are both back in the States, I wanted to send you a quick note thanking you for all of your help in making our Nepal trip such a great experience. You’re help and guidance were very much appreciated, as was you picking us up from the airport that first day we arrived. Both Kate and I really appreciate it and it was fantastic getting to meet you. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do in the future to return the favor. Thank you again. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future.


Charles Westrin
Director of Enterprise Risk Management
Apollo Group, Inc.
Office: 602.557.7201
Mobile: 602.284.0310

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I can't tell you much I appreciate everything you did for me - the list is too long

Jiban!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Man, I sure do wish I could take you out for a beer right now. Or five.
So sorry I haven't emailed earlier - I've been slowly working my way through a massive email pile, and unfortunately my right hand still makes typing slow. One of these days it's going to realize that it doesn't need to be asleep anymore...I'm back in San Francisco, healing up, slowly working my way back to health. In the big picture, I'm great - feeling better every day - but it's going to be a few weeks (at least) until I'm back up to full speed. Hopefully I'll be back to work before long, depending on how the head feels. Holly Shit, I have no idea how I'm alive.

I can't tell you much I appreciate everything you did for me - the list is too long, so I plan to repay you over the next few decades, one trip to Nepal at a time :) I'll start by buying you a few beers in Kathmandu, with Galena, when we're next in town. More soon - hope all is well on your end - pass on an update when you have a chance. Any word from David Morton? Can't wait to see you again soon, without a bandage on my head!


You seemed to really ‘have my back’ as we say here in the US

Namaste Jiban!

Well, we’re all back in the US and a little rested up. I wanted to say a big ‘Thank You’ to you for all you did to make this first trip special. The banners, hats, tshirts, great staff, etc. Overall the guys were very impressed and even commented that you seemed to really ‘have my back’ as we say here in the US. It’s a compliment which means someone is loyal to you and whiling to help you in any way they can.

I really hope you have a great rest of the season. I’ll be working on updates to my Nepal trips, so please pass along those cost estimates you showed me briefly and I will look over where I think pricing needs to be. Let me know when you’ll be heading to Kilimanjaro. I hope you have an amazing time if you go. I love Africa!

Be well, be safe. It was great to see you again!

Darrell Atwater

Mother's Day (Mata Tirtha Puja)

The Nepalese people have always been family oriented. They take great pride in their ancient tradition of closely-knit family unit. This sort of kinship is not only the result of religious teachings, but also due to various festivals and ceremonies, which brings the family together and strengthens the family ties in the Nepalese society.

Such is the festival of "Mata Tritha Puja" which in English is "Mother's day" . This festival falls on the last day of the dark fortnight of April or early May. It is a day when one shows appreciation and gratitude to his/her mother for her unconditional love and undying support.

On this day, each house bustles with activities and everyone, regardless of age, participates. There aren't much religious ceremonies but the fact that it is a day for mothers, calls for celebrations for she is the one who keeps the family together through ups and downs in life. Even the small children dig into their savings to buy gifts for their mothers. Sons and daughters living separately, come with presents and delicacies to spend time with their mother. It is a day of reunion for married daughters with their mothers. The entire day is filled with festivities and merry making.

Those who don't have a mother pay obeisance to Mata Tirtha, which is a sacred site of pilgrimage and holy bathing. It lies six miles south - west of central Katmandu, consisting of two pools-the larger for bathing and the smaller is famous as the place where one "looks upon one's mother's face".

Legends reveal that in the ancient times the region was ruled by a cowherd king. One of his cowherds was so depressed by his mother's death that he went to pray and make offerings at a water storage pond in the forest on this day. Miraculously his mother's face appeared and her hand accepted the offerings. Thus its called Mata Tirtha, where many hope to see their mother's face. Alot of folklores are attached to this site, some of which are tragic. But whatever it maybe, people still believe that paying homage to this site will bring peace to their mother's departed soul. So for this reason people come from distant places, on this day, to show their reverance.

Thus, Mata Tirtha holds a very profound meaning in each person's life. For a mother, is a figure present in everyone's life. This day gives each child a chance to show the depth of his/her feelings for her.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Salewa Mountain Equipment Store in Thamel, Kathmandu.Please contact us for special discount ......!!!!!!!!!

227 mountaineers have been permitted to climb the tallest peak on earth this season.

The government has permitted 22 expeditions to climb Mt Everest this season.

According to the Mountaineering Section at the Tourism Industry Division under the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, a total of 227 mountaineers have been permitted to climb the tallest peak on earth this season.

The government has permitted a total of 71 expeditions to attempt different peaks across the country this season. But people involved in adventure tourism say the number of expeditions is lower than that of last year.

“Perhaps mountaineers have keep their plan on hold as they are skeptic about the political situation in the country after 28 May – the deadline for new constitution,” an official at the Tourism Ministry said. Most of the expeditions have already left for respective climbing regions

Press meet - Exploration work of Upper Mustang

Chilean Shishapangma Expedition S2011

Dear Jiban,

I have now arrived to Santiago an everything is going very well, thanks to you my dear friend. i will never forget your excellent service and I feel that not only you are an excellent professional but also a very good and trusty friend. thanks you very much.

With my best personal regards,

Juan Obach

Jeff & Tracy Witt ready to GO mountain.

Alpine Ascents's Spring 2011

Wilderness Medicine CME 1st Everest Base Camp group farewell dinner at Rum Doodle, at 40000 1/2 feet, Thamel

Explore Caves in Upper Mustang – July-August 2010

What I really wanted to say however, was THANK YOU!!!

I just feel like I havent said that enough or emphatically enough. Thank you thank you thank you. You were so wonderful and are such a great friend. My feelings for you go so far beyond our business dealings…you truly are a brother and I appreciate you and all that you have done for me. I dont really have the words to say thanks….they dont really exist. But for what it’s worth, I’m awed by your kindness, generosity, and genuine warmth and compassion. Thanks so much for all. Anyway…I cant say much more….but there it is.

Cory Richards
C.Richards Photography

Congratulation to Alpine Ascents team!!

First Ascent 2010 Everest Expedition

First Ascent 2010 Everest Expedition
reached the summit of Mt. Everest
at 10:15am on the morning of May 23, 2010:

1. David Morton, 38, Expedition Leader, Seattle, WA, USA
2. Melissa Arnot, 27, Climber , Ketchum, ID, USA

1. Tshering Dorje Sherpa, 38, Expedition Sirdar, Karikhola, Nepal
2. Tshering Angchu Sherpa, 29, Thamo, Nepal
This expedition is organised by Sherpa Shangri-La Treks & Expeditions.

Govt waives visa fee for Everest summiteers

Keeping in view the upcoming Nepal Tourism Year 2011 campaign, the government on May 7 decided to exempt visa fee for foreign mountaineers, who have climbed Mount Everest and Mt Dhaulagiri, for 2010 and 2011.

It also decided to waive 50 percent royalty fee for mountaineers climbing Mt Dhaulagiri in 2010 and 2011 to celebrate the golden jubilee of the first ascent of Mt Dhaulagiri.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled Mt Everest since it was first climbed by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. Some 700 of these foreigners are said to be still alive.

“We have decided to waive the visa fees for these mountaineers in 2010 and 2011 as a part of promoting Nepal Tourism Year campaign,” Ranjan Aryal, acting secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) said.

Nepal is celebrating that year 2011 as Nepal Tourism Year campaign and it aims to welcome one million foreign tourists during the year.

Alpine Ascents International Trekking & Climbing Group

Wilderness Medicine -CME GROUP - SPRING 2010

Thanks so much for doing a fantastic, professional job with our groups. We really appreciate it! Kyle loves working with you. He had a lot of fun playing tennis with you. I hope you can visit us in Ashland, Oregon again soon. We’d love to play some more tennis!

All the best!

Warmest regards, Gene

Dr. Gene Allred

First Ascent Family Returns to Everest with new “Firsts” in Sight

For more to read…

A promising entrepreneur pleads for tourism-friendly policies

Jiban Ghimire is a familiar name in the Nepalese travel trade circle. Ghimire, who is one of few successful tourism entrepreneurs, is the Managing Director of Sherpa Shangri-La Treks & Expeditions (P) Ltd. The reputed company concentrates its attention on quality tourists rather than numbers.

Born at Samalisthan village of Salu Village Development Committee (VDC – ward # 05) of Ramechhap district in January 1967, Ghimire has been with the adventure travel tourism trade for more than two decades.
After completing his primary education from a primary school of Samalisthan, he joined Setidevi Lower Secondary School at Salupati. Then, his family had sent him to the adjoining village of Shangutar for his secondary-level education. He studied at Himganga Secondary School.

“I had hired a room at Shangutar and stayed there with my maternal cousins. We used to take food items and other essential things from home,” he says. Born in a rural middle-class family, he had to carry out daily household chores such as fetching fodder and fuel-wood from jungles. He also would graze cattle on farmlands, forests and pastures on holidays.

During his childhood, he would run very fast. “I used to run so fast that I would reach my school within 20 minutes, while others had to walk for 45 minutes,” he recalls. Despite being obedient and careful during his childhood, he had once fallen off from a tree. “I had led a well-disciplined life. We could not speak anything in front of our father. But we had no problem with our mother,” he says. His family had been one of the respected ones in the village. His grandfather had worked as a Dittha, a government employee. Having been served the Nepal Army for about 10 years, his father also returned to the village following the demise of his grandfather. Although his family has already been migrated to Sarlahi, his father still commands social respect in the ancestral village of Salu. When he passed his School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination in 1985, he started working as a primary teacher in his village school. After experiencing the teaching profession for a couple of months, he came to Kathmandu and joined the Nepal Law Campus.
“I was keenly interested to come to the capital city for higher studies in law, but my father wanted me to continue to work in the village. To be honest, I fled from home and started pursuing my Intermediate of Law,” he says. Since he had seen more opportunities in Kathmandu, he had taken the bold and appropriate decision. “If I had not taken that decision, I would have been working as a primary teacher in the village,” he adds.

His relatives would also suggest him that he should not have quit his job as a teacher. With the help of his relatives, he got a job when he was studying I. L. second year. “In the beginning, I began working with an auditor’s firm in Kathmandu,” he says. Then, he was offered a part-time job with a trekking company. As he gained hands-on experience from the companies in less than six months, started becoming more confident, he decided to establish his own company. In 1990, he opened Sherpa Shangri-La Treks & Expeditions (P) Ltd. “But I did not divert any group of the companies where I had worked,” he says.

The promising entrepreneur started working with a US-based Alpine Ascent International when he met with Todd Burleson, renowned international climber and president of the American adventure tour company in 1988. “Since the beginning, our company and Alpine Ascent have been working smoothly. Alpine Ascent has trusted us fully,” he says.

He says that satisfying clients is key to success in any business. “Since we offer personalized services to clients, we have not received any complaint from them. He says that his company’s business has been promoted by words of mouth of the clients. His company handles just around 100 plus clients annually. According to him, about 175 climbers have, so far, made it to the summit of Mount Everest. His company handles expeditions to several mountains, including Everest, Lhotse, Manaslu, Ama Dablam, Burutse, among others. Another noteworthy aspect is that not a single climber or trekker or staff member of the company has lost his/her life until now. “We do not compromise with services. We pay much attention to safety and security of clients,” He says that his company focuses on quality of tourists rather than numbers. The company has yet to face any problem related to workers. “I feel proud that porters wait for our groups at the trek start points.”

He says that the company has developed a mechanism to provide incentives to guides, assistant guides, porters and cooks. He suggests that the government should come up with policies that are more tourism-friendly considering its unlimited prospects in Nepal. Regarding the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY-2011), he says that the government should have come forward with concrete plans to make the event a success. “It is a matter of concern that the government has not thought of building up necessary infrastructures even in major tourist areas,” Despite the growing flow of trekkers and nature lovers to the Annapurna region, the government does not have any policy to encourage entrepreneurs to establish eco-friendly lodges even in the buffer zone of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), and other areas such as Lobuche and Thame.

Jiban is a lucky as well as hardworking person. He had tied his nuptial knot with Durga K.C. in the early 1990s. The happy couple has one son and one daughter. Their son Sapan Ghimire has been studying B.B.S. in the United States, while daughter Sapana is studying Hotel Management at the 11th grade at Trinity International College. His parents have been living in Sarlahi. But it is sad that he has lost two of his brothers.

The widely traveled entrepreneur has visited many countries, including America, Canada, India, South Korea, South Africa & China. He loves Korean & Thai food, plays tennis. Apart from this, he is equally interested in social activities and has contributed to the social sector. He has been carrying out his responsibility as a local coordinator of the Sherpa Education Fund instituted by Alpine Ascent. The project has been giving quality education to 20 needy Sherpa children from the Khumbu region.

He is also contributing to producing skilled hands for mountaineering. With the support of American climbers [Khumbu Climbing School - USA] the Khumbu Climbing Centre has been established at Phortse of Solukhumbu district. “Since internationally recognized instructors are teaching at the institute, Nepal will have more skilled hands for the mountaineering sector,
The institute conducts classes on basic climbing course.

He says that there will be no tourism without peace and political stability in the country. Showing his concern over the pathetic condition of the national flag carrier—Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), he asks the government and other concerned parties to be serious about improving its condition.

Like most of the Nepalese people, he is also concerned about the deteriorating political situation of the country. “Let’s hope that the political parties will keep their promises by not calling for any strike and bandhs in 2011,” he says.