Although this is ostensibly a review of the Naar to Upper Mustang trek that the Mountain Company ran in Autumn 2015, I think a preamble is appropriate:
I've been trekking in the Himalayan region since 2001 and since 2008 have been on 9 treks run by The Mountain Company (TMC). The company, led by Roland Hunter, is outstanding. The treks are thoroughly researched and recce'd and the pre trek support and service on all TMC trips is exceptional. The trekking leaders are highly qualified, and experienced. The guides and crew are knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. And Roland looks after them - in the aftermath of the terrible 2015 earthquake in Langtang and during COVID the company has continued to support and care for its Nepali crew with a hardship fund (https://uk.gofundme.com/f/help-support-our-trekking-guides-in-nepal).
The combination of Roland's dilligence, talent with logistics and deep understanding of the Himalayan region make all the treks his company runs a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This is augmented by the personal touch that Roland brings to all the treks - Mountain Company is a small enterprise, but in the many years that Roland has spent in the Himalayan area he has got to know all the best people.
The staff on this trek (ably led by Tom Lawson and Gopal Tamang) were no exception.
The Naar to Upper Mustang trek starts and ends on the Annapurna trail but spends most of it's time in the Mustang area. As such, the overall experience has a more Tibetan/Ladakh flavour to it than purely Nepalese. So, while it may lack the snow capped majesty and "big name" mountains of some other Nepalese Himalayan trips, it offers a more authentically cultural experience. This is a part of Nepal unaffected by the tourism that the "big name" mountains inevitably attract.
I won't cover the itinery here (you can get that from the brochure). Besides, it changed:
On route to the High Camp below the Teri La pass we encountered a lot of loose, powdery snow on scree slopes, making it too risky to continue.
However, rather than just abandoning the trek (as some other companies would do if the advertised itinery was no longer feasible) Tom and Gopal put their heads together and came up with a new route: Across the Kang La pass to Manang and thence on to Tilicho Lake, Mesokantha La and finally to Jomsom. The Mesokantha La descent was steep and required fixed ropes which added to the sense of adventure. I should point out that Tom and Gopal weren't endangering us with an "of the cuff" route - all the options were explained and discussed. We were all very grateful to them for putting in the extra effort to save our holiday with this impromptu itinery. As with all the other TMC trips I've done, this one is highly recommended.
All of the pre-expediton information and support was first rate, with plenty of chances to ask questions and gain reassurance as two nervous first time trekkers. The logistics and warmth of support on the ground was also very good with a good balance to the sight seeing trips pre-trek.
Once on the trek we were both encouraged and reassured by the warm and professional approach of our guide (Hebi) and porter (Min). The pace was managed to ensure we remained comfortable and the altitude gain was ideal to ensure we were able to cope without any adverse effects.
Our guide had planned stops in relatively quiet villages and camps which was pleasant and whilst accommodation is basic it is of good clean standard and everyone we met was very friendly. This is a great trek for both a beginner introduction to Nepal and trekkers with concerns about managing altitude issues.
Then having almost completed our trek we became aware of the gravity of the developing Covid worldwide situation. We can not praise the Roland and the team enough for the energy they put in to ensuring we could achieve an early return to the UK (even furnishing domestic flight tickets without our payment, we were just told "pay the local team once your back and safe in Katmandu!”). At a time when we were deeply worried about how we would get back the the UK, TMC showed great qualities for which we will always be very grateful.
In summary this trek was exceptionally well run and when we hit difficulties TMC stepped up and delivered big time!! Thank you!
WE WILL CERTAINLY USE AGAIN!!
I did my fourth trek, Everest Base Camp, in 2019 with The Mountain Company (TMC). Like all the other treks, the itinerary was expertly planned for acclimatisation, trek at a leisurely pace and time built in to visit local cultural sights. The guides and crew, as always, were very professional, friendly and ready to help. This also applies to Roland, Managing Director. Roland is very responsive and helpful. Safety and well-being of the local community, crew and trekkers are high on his priority list. This is evident on how he implemented plans to help clean up garbage on trails; setting up hardship funds to help out the crew during the pandemic; satellite phones for daily check-in and emergency communication, and the ratio of crew to trekkers to ensure slow trekkers like myself are not left behind or felt the need to rush and catch up with those ahead. This was a standard lodge trek. All the lodges were very comfortable and clean. The food was very good as well. Based on my experience, I have no hesitation in recommending The Mountain Company. I am looking forward to trekking with them as soon as travel is possible.
As soon as we arrived, we knew we were in safe hands, with a personal interest in our welfare and enjoyment. I am at the extreme age for trekking, but the guides were superb. They offered silent support at all times, with a helping hand or taking a heavy day pack. The helped up to enjoy their beautiful country with them, and it was sad to leave them. They worked tirelessly on our behalf .I recommend this trip to anyone with a sense of adventure and wonder. It was the trip of a life time. Thank you.
Well organised and hugely enjoyable trek. Great trekking crew. Good food and accommodation in lodges. Well paced and well managed acclimatisation. Good support via satellite phone. Highly recommend The Mountain Company.
First trip to Asia. Hiking was beautiful and not crowded. Went in November. Always felt safe. Pace was appropriate. The meal menu was the same at all the different lodges, so easy to try everything on the menu eventually or just stick with your favorite. Our guides recommended starting the final summit at dawn as opposed to the many who left hours prior to dawn to catch the peak at sunrise. Our trek was much more pleasant as we got to see the beautiful sunrise but were nearly as cold as the crew that left in the dark. The porters were amazing in their ability to carry our gear and their own often arriving long before we did. And picking excellent rest stops to enjoy the view.
During Covid we have all had plenty of time to reminisce about trips gone by and the people we met and friendships forged.
Its only now that we realise what a great time we actually had out there, while sat back home during lockdown not quite sure when we will be able to plan and book another trip during these uncertain times.
I have being fortunate enough to travel to many spectacular remote places around the world, and it has to be said that the Karakoram is right up there with the very best, if not the best place to visit for truly spectacular mountain scenery and friendly people.
Breath taking simply does not come close to describing it.
No professional photographs or High def tv documentary can come close to the sensory overload that you will be subjected too.
We were out there when Nims Purja was also there, completing the Pakistan section of his 14 x 8000mtr peaks in 7 months, so there was naturally a buzz in all the camps we travelled through of will he or wont he.
If you are worried about it being Pakistan! then put those worries behind you, as the locals are some of the friendliest people you will meet anywhere in the world despite what you may read or see in the media, and all they want to do is show off their country to you and rightly so.
You will witness some truly memorable sights that you simply cannot describe to others who have not being there.
The place is just beyond description and has to be seen to appreciate just how vast remote and magnificent it is.
I was naturally slightly concerned about the security aspect before going, but having read numerous articles on how things have changed recently and speaking at length to Roland at TMC I was convinced it was safe to visit.
HOW GOOD IS TMC.
Up there with the very best that I have travelled with and I have travelled extensively.
Safety was super high on the agenda ie altitude safety, the medical equipment that the team carried was second to none including Gammow Bag/ Sat Phones/ Full medical kit bag that a paramedic would have being pleased to have.
A highly experienced international mountain leader who checked everyone every day for any signs of illness and documented everything so as to spot any trends in anyone feeling rough.
The local Guides were absolute top top draw and spoke fluent English and so friendly and funny.
All the porters and cooks etc were super friendly and always joking and only too eager to help you if they thought that you were struggling.
Roland seemed to be on call 24/7 for weather reports, hints tips and advice while we were out there, food/tents/kit was top draw and well looked after.
The whole procedure of booking with TMC and communicating with Roland was effortless, he even responded to enquiries on a sunday.
Getting the Pakistan visa upon first reading the process seemed a bit of a pain, but Roland and his team could not of held my hand and guided me through the process any better if they had tried any harder, it turned out to be a smooth simple process.
Would I recommend TMC??? Of course without hesitation.
Yes you can do it yourself and pick up local guides porters out there or u you can book direct with the local Pakistan Guiding companies.
But if you want your family want to have peace of mind that you will be looked after, and they can pick a phone and speak to someone in the UK who is highly experienced and has lots of important contacts in the unlikely event that something should go wrong,
Then this is what you pay that little bit extra for.
After all, it’s not just about you, it’s also about your family who worry about you as well.
The Mountain Company run top end treks - this ethos goes through their ownership, the group equipment, the treatment and quality of local staff, the willingness and ability to sort problems and the attention to detail (an example of which is there is no final walk out to Jomson instead a vehicle is taken as the road is somewhat uninspiring, windswept and busy), and this leads to great trekking experience, and good companionship. The Naar to Upper Mustang trek starts off on the Annapurna trail before branching off into more arid landscapes away from the crowds heading into the atmospheric walled city of Mustang before rejoining the Annapurna at the end of the trek. It doesn't have the snow capped majesty of other Nepalese Himalayan trips but instead offers a more cultural and possibly contemplative experience - however it is not an easy trek, it is remote, the days can be long and whilst the temperatures are not icy lows the winds can be blowing. We loved it because of its contrasts to other treks in the region.
I wouldn't suggest it as a first trek to Nepal (after all who doesn't want to see the big mountains) but it definitely offers something different for a second or third trip.
I highly recommend The Mountain Company. Excellent pre-trek info. Quick replies to emails from the owner. Great service in Nepal. Excellent English trek-guide and a happy, well managed team of Nepalese. Strong emphasis on wellbeing and safety. Fantastic food. Ongoing support of the Nepalese by The Mountain Company is rewarded in its ability to get great people.
I had a fantastic experience of Himalayan trekking with The Mountain Company. Our guide and porters were lovely, very attentive and safety orientated. Our guide was the only guide with a satellite phone on the circuit at the time. Another party made use of it to call for help for a sick trekker as their guide had no means of doing this. The trip was planned brilliantly allowing time for acclimatisation. The food was great and my guide made sure my special diet was catered for, taking great care to make sure I wasn't given any gluten, dairy or egg, even making me soup from scratch when the soup at the tea house was unsuitable for me. The scenery was amazing and we did some fantastic day walks on our acclimatisation days. I couldn't fault the trip. I'd highly recommend The Mountain Company.
The K2 trek is an experience of a lifetime. Concordia camp has to be one of the most spectacular spots in the world to experience more 8000 meter peaks and awesome views. The support, food, care, and experience of the guides and support crew make the day to day experience even better. The opportunity to visit Pakistan and the surrounding countryside was unforgettable. Place this trek on your bucket list and it will live up to every expectation.
This was a fantastic trek. Well planned from the start, as especially good on acclimitisation. The leader, Nat, was great. There was ample care and medical attention if needed. Ample food too - but inevitably it was basic. If this company is a little more expensive it is worth it. Roland advised well on level of difficultly, neither pushing for numbers on a trek that may be too hard, nor discouraging from a challenge.
Going to Pakistan from France, difficult or impossible and cost extremly high.
Speaking a little english I was looking on internet for foreign agency, and i found The Mountain Compagny.
You can reach Roland directly, giving all the best advise. K2 base camp was among the best experience, i had in high mountain treks, even i was many time in Nepal.
From Ade Summers, to the local crew, equipment, assistance, place of camp everything was perfect.
I discover certainly the most impressive mountain (K2) in the world , far away from the mount Everest and friendly people , respect only basic rules.
The landscape for approching Base Camp in Concordia is absolutely amazing
You can trust Roland Hunter for having the best experience, in this unforgetable trip, and this fantastic organization.
Last information , i was also in Dhaulagiri and Dolpo with the The Mountain Compagny and everything also was excellent.
Philippe Beck (France)
Roland and guide Jo were in touch from well before arrival in Nepal to answer questions and help planning. The trek and climb were outstanding and we had the opportunity to be in a remote part of the Nepal Himalaya with solitude. Staff and porters went beyond the call of duty on difficult days. Would not hesitate to choose a future trek/climb with The Mountain Company.
I undertook the 2 week Manaslu Circuit trek in April 2019. I once again opted for The Mountain Company, as I had thoroughly enjoyed my previous treks with them. I was not disappointed, and the Manaslu trek proved to be another wonderful Himalayan experience.
My enjoyment of the trek was in no small part due to the professionalism and expertise of The Mountain Company staff. This applied to the expert pre-trip information and advice I received when I first enquired about the trek, the support staff in Kathmandu, and of course the selfless Nepalese trekking crew. Nothing was too much trouble, and the emphasis on the safety and well-being of both clients and crew was, as always very impressive. We stayed in tea houses along the way, but the porters also carried 2 tents for emergency usage in case of unexpected mishaps or extreme weather.
Whilst the Manaslu Circuit trek is challenging, it is certainly within the capabilities of physically fit first-time trekkers. There are plenty of up and downs, but the walking trails are well graded, and in no way precipitous. Right from the outset the mountain scenery was breathtaking, and there were lots of small, interesting villages and friendly residents. It was a thrill to sight the elusive blue sheep and marmots along the way.
This was the first time I had stayed in tea houses, and I enjoyed the experience. They were warm, clean and comfortable, and the meals were varied and the portions plentiful.
I have participated in quite a few treks in the Himalayas, but the Manaslu Circuit trek is my favourite. Thank you to Roland and his staff for ensuring I had such a fulfilling adventure. When circumstances allow, I shall certainly be booking another exciting trip through The Mountain Company.
One of the better treks in Nepal. Starting at 700m(2300ft) and rising to the Larke La at 5106m (16,750ft), it allows you to see a wide variety of life styles and vegetataion, besides enjoying the warmth of lower altitudes.
Each day, other than going over the pass, is relatively short allowing you to take in the fantastic scenery and have recovery time at the end of the day. The Mountain Company has an extra “acclimatisation day” in the programme compared with some other operators. Besides giving time for another day of exploration, it meant I was in better condition for the day over the pass and not struggling, making the whole trek more enjoyable.
The accommodation is simple, but clean and the food satisfying. The higher the trek goes, the simpler the accommodation, as you might expect.
The Mountain Company’s organisation was good and accommodation pre-booked, important at busy times.
I joined our trek group in Arughat as I was visiting friends there. I had previously done this trek in 199, when we started in Ghorka, finishing in Jomsom a long camping only trek. The provision of lodges/ tea houses makes an easier trek for all.
Our guides had a genuine interest in looking after the well being of their clients, us, the trekkers as well as being able to point out things of interest. The porters were excellent and our baggage always at the next lodge in time for our arrival.
I thoroughly recommend this trek in Nepal with The Mountain Company.
To trek in the Karakorum range is an unforgettable experience and would highly recommend it and would include the GondogoroLa Glacier crossing adding to the experience. Nothing like seeing majestic K2 from Concordia and then arriving at the top of the glacier at sunrise and seeing all four 8000's peaks!
The Mountain Company did a great job from beginning to end and works with a very capable local organization.
Fabulous trek, and awesome guides, everything was smooth and trouble free, from the organization to the personnel everything was top notch, not to mention we had an amazing group and fabulous weather, would book again in a heartbeat.
Myself and a couple of mates - all of a certain age- trekked to EBC with The Mountain Company late in 2018. Outstanding organisation, very professional, friendly, great guides. Couldn't recommend them highly enough.
This was a challenging trek to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. The Mountain Company made it truly enjoyable.
The approach to K2 base camp involves a long trek up the Baltoro glacier, passing by and camping in the shadows of the Trango Towers, Cathedral Peak and the Gasherbrum group. After a week, you finally arrive at Concordia - the confluence of the Baltoro and K2 glaciers - and it is here that you first have views of the massive peak of K2 eight miles in the distance, it's peak 4000m higher. The immensity of the place is breathtaking. There are four 8000m peaks within sight.
We moved higher on the K2 Glacier and camped at Broad Peak base camp to make the roundtrip day hike to K2 base camp a pleasureable outing, and returned to Concordia to prepare for the trek over the Gondogoro La.
The descent from the pass down the beautiful Hushe valley - a real contrast to the hike up the stark Baltoro glacier - was a great way to round out the trip.
I can't say enough good things about The Mountain Company. Pre-booking information was plentiful and spot on. Any questions I had were immediately addressed. The pre-departure information was extremely useful - everything from gear selection to a fitness program, assistance in arranging visas, suggested airline routings... wow. I had several back and forth interactions about what gear to take so I would be properly equipped without exceeding the weight allowance of my kit. My inquiries were always answered promptly.
Then there was the trip. Everything on the ground went smoothly from the time I was met after picking up my bags at the airport in Islamabad until I was dropped off again on departure. Our leader, Robert, was exceptional, extremely experienced, good natured with a positive outlook that helped in the difficult days. He was keyed into the needs of each individual in the group and made the logistics trivial for us. The local operator was of high quality and the local guides friendly, funny, helpful and accommodating to us. If there were any problems with porters/muleteers or logistics, they were unseen by the group. The food was plentiful, well-prepared and delicious. We had fresh food for longer than I thought was possible on a trip of this length.
I am an experienced traveler and have used a dozen outfitters over the years. This trip with TMC was the best of them, and I will be booking other trips with TMC in the future.
Would recommend. Food was good, logistics very good, scenery magnificent. Unfortunately, one client fell ill and had to be medevacced by helicopter to Kathmandu just before the pass. I believed I had been promised a "single tent where possible" but it turned out to be "possible" only 10% of the nights. But that was my only major complaint. Glad I did it.
Some friends and I did the Manaslu Circuit Trek with The Mountain Company in 2018. The owner, Roland Hunter, was directly involved in the process from beginning to end and created one of the best experiences I have enjoyed in many years of traveling the world. Every aspect of the trek was perfectly planned. The trip staff – from Khadka, our head guide, to the porters - were wonderful human beings, extremely knowledgeable and skilled. It was an absolute pleasure to spend three weeks in close quarters with all of them and I have maintained friendships with many of them. I highly recommend the Mountain Company and will be trekking with them again.
Top Trip !!! A stunning adventure through changing Himalyan landscapes, from friendly villages to snow covered high passes into the amazing Hidden Valley. The Mountain Company took care of everything and everybody, clients and crew, and shows respect for the environment through which it travels. Well Done !! Some tough days but so rewarding and humbling.
The Saribung Trek is a great combination of initially walking up the Naar Khola Valley up to the beautiful village of Phu, there is plenty of time to explore. From here the trek ascends into the stunning and remote mountains. Plenty of snow, ice and mountain scenery.
With TMC we had the benefit of exceptional guides, well trained, attentive and experienced. On a trek like this you want confidence that the guides are trained to help you through the mountains and all conditions. You certainly get with these people. Wonderful to be in the mountains
The trek of Upper Dolpo is exceptional, it includes all that I look for in an expedition in Nepal. It is remote, includes stunning scenery but also benefits from the wonderful Tibet culture, people and villages. Lovely chortens, monasteries, marni walls and prayer wheels are alongside the route.
The Mountain Company and their guides know the area well and make sure that you are able to maximise the enjoyment from the experience. They look after you well, keep you safe and ensure you have great food.
This is an exceptional trek
I had trekked in Nepal on 3 previous occasions prior to going on the Upper Dolpo to Mustang GHT trek with the Mountain Company in 2018. I have trekked with them again since and cannot speak highly enough of them. They clearly have a detailed knowledge of the Himalayan region and the different treks.The pre-trip information was spot on and the level of client care throughout was both high and reassuring.
Upper Dolpo was my first camping style trek, necessarily so given the remoteness of the area visited. The attention to detail in the organisation and management of the trek itself was excellent. The catering was of a high standard, extending even to cooked lunches in some pretty out of the way spots.
The trek itself, while challenging at times, was certainly ‘doable’ and well planned. The main central part of the trek is mountainous involving the crossing of a number of passes with superb views but there are also remote villages affording a brief insight to a very different way of life. We didn’t see a snow leopard on our trip but were ‘entertained’ one night by howling wolves!
There are many memorable features of the trek but as well as the absolutely stunning mountain scenery perhaps it would be camping beside the incredibly blue Phoksundo lake or later the wonder of camping on a grassy area beside Shey Gompa facing Crystal Mountain.
I would therefore recommend this to anyone looking for a high altitude mountainous trek with wonderful scenery in a very remote part of the world with an interesting history given its once close trading connections with Tibet.
Stunning, utterly breathtaking trek because of its challenge, remoteness, wide open mountain scenery, village-friendliness and magic of Shey Gompa, and Saldang. The Mountain company provided an unmatched first-class service with a truly excellent logistician as a trek leader and trusted, highly trained trekking crew. Unforgettable privilege to visit this part of Nepal. I would do it again. Big thank you to Roland and TMC.
The luxury Everest base camp trek we completed with The Mountain Company was fantastic. Managing director Roland answered all our questions before booking and was there to brief us in Kathmandu and get our feedback on our return there.
Our guide was professional and knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend time with, as was our porter, and all the TMC staff we encountered were friendly and welcoming.
The trek itself really was the trip of a lifetime and allowed us to acclimatise gradually, walk at a comfortable pace, and really take in our amazing surroundings.
The luxury lodges were comfortable, friendly, and we enjoyed good food, including wonderful fresh vegetables.
We plan to return to the Himalayas, and will definitely book with The Mountain Company.
An amazing trek to a really remote part of Nepal. This trip ticks all the boxes for me. Culture, wildlife, scenery in bucket loads. Phoksundo Lake and the path around it, monasteries, rural communities who see very little tourism all forge unforgettable memories. A challenging but very rewarding holiday. The crew that guided and portered our trip were first class, as was the organisation and leadership provided by the Mountain Company.
The scenery is beautiful all the way to Base Camp and this is my abiding recollection of the the trek.
Due to the remoteness of the location there is a limited choice of food on offer.
We were advised not to eat meat in several locations because it must be hand carried without refrigeration to get there.
The tour was well organised, the guides were very professional, even though we were a small group, there were enough personnel from the company to chaperone us in different sub groups to go at our own pace. We felt safe at all time with regular check to ensure we are coping well with the altitude.
Roland, the company director, is very hands on with each group, and responds very fast with any queries. The hotels we stayed on were among the best available at each stop.
I think the nicest part of The Mountain Company is the fact that they care for the local community in Nepal, they tried very hard to help out during the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, again during the pandemic when the guides/porters were out of work.
Our 2nd trip with the Mountain Company and as per usual, it met our expectations. Well organised with a variety of stunning scenery from woodlands and forest to the vast open spaces of base camp. Although you only get to 4300m it is a very strenuous trek due to the number of steps climbed, but slow and steady wins the race! As you get higher the lodges become sparser, which is only to be expected due to the remoteness of the region. Each day brought new challenges but the easy pace ensured that we arrived safely at our destination thanks to our guide and porters. But nothing prepares you for the spectacular base camp itself and the 360 enclosure - absolutely stunning.
The expedition through Dolpo was superbly organised by TMC with nothing left to chance. First class leader, excellent sherpas, fine cooking crew and porters. An exhilarating experience with a very capable operator with faultless logistics.
Hiking Kopra Ridge with the Mountain Company was a trip of a lifetime for me (to give context, I travel worldwide a few times a decade, and I'm in my mid-50s). The planning that went into the trip was evident as we took no wrong turns literally or figuartively. I would travel with the Mountain Company again in a heartbeat given how fulfilling was our Kopra trek.
I joined the Luxury EBC trek in Oct 2018 as a solo female traveller. From start to finish, TMC were friendly, helpful and professional. The trek itself was well run and I was well looked after by our top notch guides. I felt in safe hands for acclimatisation, safety and general well-being throughout the trek. I really enjoyed the day hikes we did off the main trail, especially to Ama Dablam base camp. The food and accommodation at the Luxury Lodges earlier on in the trek were excellent and a treat if your budget can stretch to that. The only issue I had was with my room at the standard accommodation at Gorak Shep. I also got a tummy bug at the same venue which meant I missed the early morning hike to Kala Patthar. Nonetheless, I still had a fantastic adventure. I would definitely use TMC again in the future - I just hope I m fortunate enough to be able to go back to the region!
If like me you have been trekking in Nepal for many years, then you will know that once you have ticked off all the usual treks it becomes more difficult to find challenges. Not with The Mountain Company. Roland is always striving to find new adventures for his clients and Saribung La is just that. There are few treks now where you wont see anybody else but your own crew and trekking companion for a whole week once you leave the last village, this was one was nearer 10 days. awesome scenery, Jo Clark is a first class guide. the crew support and food top notch. For the best and most challenging Boutique trekking company around contact Roland@themountaincompany.co.uk
One of my first decisions was whether to book the trip through an international agency or to go direct to a Nepalese registered company. For me, I would prefer to use a UK based outfit, even though we would pay a premium for the privilege. The main reason was peace of mind. If anything were to go wrong, then at least we would have the argument at home.
Selecting a UK company is a challenge because there are so many to choose from. When I looked at this, I liked The Mountain Company because they had a reasonable itinerary: not too fast, time to acclimatise, and the option of a luxury trek. They seemed to have good reviews. Acclimatisation was an important consideration here. I knew this from experience on Kilimanjaro, and from everything that I had read about trekking at altitude. I felt that a few extra days on the trek was worth it, both to enjoy the experience, and to be safe. Our final itinerary was made up of 10 days going in and just 4 coming out. The extra 6 days going in included 3 days pure acclimatisation, where we “climbed high, slept low”. Perfect.
Now, standard or luxury, that was the next question. I just knew that standard was going to be very basic. On the other hand, I also knew that luxury was relative, unlikely to be much different from standard at the higher altitudes. Fortunately, my fellow trekkers thought the same way, and we were all agreed that luxury was the answer. By way of comparison, the per person cost for standard was £1,795 and for luxury was £2,675 (May 2017), which is quite a big difference, but then standard is very, very basic. Well, I managed to convince myself.
The Mountain Company is a professional outfit. It is headed by Roland Hunter who takes a personal interest in each and every trekker. Our guides were knowledgeable, competent and safe. Thoroughly recommended.
This was my first guided Himalayan trek and in every aspect exceeded my expectations. All aspects of the trip were exceptional; the quality and experience of TMC staff and local trek leaders, the porter and cooking crews support of the trekkers, the handling of the logistics, the food, and the persistent attention to safety and hygiene. The leaders' commitment to the health, safety and comfort of the porters and cook crew was apparent throughout. The route and pace was perfectly designed to capture the extraordinary beauty of the region and allow for gradual acclimatization. As an example of attention to detail; I had a medication allergy that was missed by my doctor (pre-trip) but was identified by the trek leader. It could have resulted in a premature evacuation but resolved through satellite phone consultation with TMC's on call doctor and I was able to complete the trip. Highly recommended.
Fantastic organisation & great guides. Everything went perfectly with plenty of contingency plans in case of any issues. Pre expedition info was spot on as was kit list & advice on insurance. I have used The Mountain Company twice now & plan to use them again.
This was the first of my 3 treks to Nepal with The Mountain Company. From the moment I contacted Roland I was massively impressed with his knowledge and professionalism. He helped my wife and I choose the right trek based on our age, fitness and experience and was always quick to respond to our many questions. We felt in very safe hands at all times. The actual trek exceeded all expectations and pushed us close to our limits at times. Our guide, Purna , was excellent in providing for all our needs and by the end of the trek felt like we had made a life long friend.
This trek is an excellent introduction to trekking in Nepal and would be suitable for all ages so long as you had a reasonable fitness level. We have since returned twice more to Nepal, always with The Mountain Company.
I can not recommend Roland and his company highly enough.
I cannot praise Roland and his team highly enough. They were supportive and professional from the booking process through to the Kathmandu prep and onto the trek. Our Sherpa and porters were wonderful and help foster a team spirit.
I am in my 50s and had never done such a trek before and can honestly say it was a life changing experience. Furthermore their expertise, attention to safety and general levels of support were perfect.
Great trip with the usual professionalism of The Mountain Company. They include extra days for acclimatisation and a free day in the Hidden Valley. On this schedule the altitude gain is steady and no day is particularly tough. The French Pass and Hidden Valley are amazing locations and there are few other trekkers around.