I apologize for the delay in my response. I will email you about the trip itself but I wanted to first send you my feedback on Karma (our trekking guide). We have traveled to many places with personal guides (Italy, France, Spain, Egypt, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Africa, etc) and I have never had anyone close to as great as Karma and his team. He is one of the greatest people I have ever met and having the opportunity to spend time with him certainly has made me a better person. I wish he lived in NY and we could hangout regularly.
In terms of safety, I always felt like I was in extraordinarily good hands. He was always watching us and watching the people/animals around us to make sure we were always safe both on and off the trail. Every time a yak/zo passed us, he stepped between us and the animals. One time Karma and I were on a suspension bridge with many other trekkers. A bunch of zos started to cross the bridge and one of them was leaning to it's side. The zo was pushing the trekker (two people in front of me) into the side of the suspension bridge. It was pretty dangerous but Karma stepped in and pushed the zo off the trekker and protected me as the zo passed by me. This is just one of many examples but he was always lending a handle to us, porters, or other trekkers who needed assistance in any way. He has such a good heart and desire to help people. Many of the other trekkers we met along the way noticed and commented how great Karma seemed and wished they were with him! Also, he knew some many people on the trail that were always willing to help him. That made me feel very comfortable in case something happened and we needed someone outside of our group to help us. I knew that I could trust him with my life and he would and could take care of us in any situation.
In terms of knowledge, he knew everything and everyone. He was very easy to communicate with. His English was fantastic and he knew answers to almost all of our questions whether about the mountains, Mt Everest, Buddhism, etc. He taught us a lot about the Sherpas and what his life experiences were like. He introduced us to people along the trail. I was shocked when I found out that he has never spent any time in America because he felt pretty "Americanized", which is really hard to come by if you have never been to America. By that I mean, he was very easy to relate to. He always followed our jokes and sarcasm (stuff they don't teach you in English classes). We all laughed a lot and Karma was a blast to spent time with. I felt like I learned so much about Nepal, hiking, and life from him.
Karma was always so attentive to us. He always made sure that he had what we needed and if there was anything we did need, he found a way to make it happen for us. He went way beyond what I would have expected. He regularly would have his friends/porters run ahead to save us hotel rooms or have tea/treats waiting for us when we arrived to a particular place. It was such a great experience and he and his team is what made it the best trip I have ever been on. And all of the other trekkers were jealous they didn't have Karma. We had at least 5 people comment to us that they wished they were hiking with him over their guides.
I have had many people ask me about my trip. I always tell everyone that Karma was the best part of our trip. I would recommend him over any travel company. For my friends that are thinking about trekking in Nepal, I tell them that they must use Karma (and it doesn't matter what travel group). I hope to keep in contact with him and I hope I get the opportunity to come back to hike more routes with him in Nepal.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if anyone would like a recommendation for him. I could go on and on.
David Moffett (Everest Trek)
- United Kingdom