Why venture with Sherpa Mountain Adventures?

Sherpa Mountain Adventures (SMA) specializes in leading treks into areas of the Himalaya where you are less likely to encounter large groups of tourists. You will meet local villagers and observe their traditional way of life and their customs. SMA is dedicated to protecting and preserving the natural ambience and heritage of the Himalayas. We operate our trips with the utmost respect for the environment while ensuring all of our trekkers have a safe and enjoyable trip. Sherpa Mountain Adventure guides and staff are native experienced Sherpas, so they are a great connection for both eastern and western cultures. Our Sherpa staff and guides understand American palates and ensure that all meals are prepared to be easily enjoyed by all on the trek.

What is a Sherpa?

The word "Sherpa" means "People from the East" in Tibetan. It is an ethnic group originally from Tibet, who settled high in the Himalayan mountains a few centuries ago. They have a beautiful culture and are accustomed to living at very high altitudes. Sherpas are famous for their stamina, strength, work ethic, and generosity. The first time that Mt. Everest was summited was by Sir Edmond Hillary in 1953, with the assistance of the Tenzing Sherpa. Since then, Sherpas have been hired by tourists to assist them in successful summits of many peaks as well as leading treks throughout the Himalayan Mountains. Sherpas have their own language, Sherpa, and they speak Nepal's national language, Nepalese. Sherpas are known for their expertise in adventure guiding as well as for their hard work. All of our Sherpa guides and staff work hard to ensure you have a safe and wonderful Himalayan adventure.

How long have you been in business?

We have been serving in this field for over a decade and are a trustable government registered trekking agency.

Is previous hiking experience required to go on a Trek?

No, as long as you are in good physical shape we do not require any hiking experience for short treks. However, if you are planning a trek longer than a week, some physical fitness programs such as running, swimming and hiking are recommended before you embark on a trek.

What is a Camping Trek and how is it organized?

A camping trek is a fully organized and supported hiking and camping adventure complete with a team of guides, cooks, and porters who accompany you on your trip. Our porters carry all of your trekking gear, food, fuel and personal belongings. Our cooks prepare hot and delicious meals that will satisfy your palate as well as your stomach. Trekkers only need to carry a small bag of personal items (such as a camera or bottles of water) as required for the day. At night our staff will set up tents for dining and sleeping. We provide tables, dining seating, tents and mattresses.

In a typical camping trek, we start the day around 6 a.m. with a cup of hot tea. You are then given a bowl of warm water for light washing. Then, trekkers enjoy a delicious breakfast before leaving camp. The trek begins around 7:30 or 8:00am depending on the day.

Trekkers can set their own pace for pausing and sightseeing. The trek to the lunch spot will normally take around 3 hours. A hot meal is ready for you to enjoy when you arrive. The afternoon trek usually takes 3 or 4 hours until you arrive at your evening camp around 4:00-5:00pm. Tea and snacks are served while our staff prepares the camp. Dinner is served around 6:00-7:00p.m. in the dining tent, which is lit with lanterns and comfortably furnished. The food is healthy, wholesome and hygienically prepared so you can eat a delicious meal without any worries.

What kind of food is prepared on the camping trek?

Our chef and kitchen crew prepare delicious meals every day for your dining pleasure. We serve traditional Nepalese and Sherpa meals and also a few continental (European and American) dishes throughout the trek. You will have a variety of foods each day. Our chef (who has extensive knowledge about food handling and preparation) selects only high quality foods that keep trekkers healthy during the entire trip. All staff members are fully trained on how to hygienically prepare food to ensure trekkers are strong and healthy during the trek. We buy fresh organic vegetables every day along the trail. We also ensure that the water trekkers consume is healthy and reliable.

What happens if I get sick?

We always do our best to keep all trek members healthy for the duration of the trip. In case someone gets a minor sickness (such as cold or minor cough) we encourage him/her to take a good rest and our staff will pay extra attention to that trekker's health. If necessary, our staff can provide basic cough or pain relief medication. Our staff will assist you in obtaining medical care if the illness is too serious and can evacuate you to a reputable hospital. We recommend that every trekker purchases trip health insurance that covers such events as these.

What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is caused by traveling from a low elevation to a high elevation without adequate time for the body to acclimate to the different oxygen levels. The sickness can be as minor as a slight headache and dizziness to as extreme as affecting your cognitive abilities. Typically a headache is not dangerous, but if someone has breathing or lung problems this can be a serious danger in the mountains. Our guides are trained to watch for this condition and will constantly keep checking on all trekkers. If necessary, they will stop or slow the trek as necessary. Altitude sickness is mostly avoidable if you follow a few simple rules:

Trek high and sleep low, walk at a steady and gradual pace, drink at least 2 liters of water per day (not including beer or soft drinks!) and BE SENSIBLE (don't overdo it).

If you feel shortness of breath and/or a slight headache or dizziness, tell your guide or staff immediately. They can help you heal before get seriously ill. Often your guide will tell you to lie down, rest or drink water. If you are still feeling unwell, your guide or staff member may take you down to a lower elevation. Do not ignore your symptoms. A descent of a few hundred meters or an overnight rest may be enough to make you fully able to start trekking again.

What equipment should I bring?

Recommended Trekking Gear List

The items listed here are essential to have for the trip but there are a few "nice to have" optional items that are also listed. Please feel free to reach out for additional information or recommendations.

First Layer Clothing
Base layer top (2) - 1 synthetic for day, 1 for night (can be cotton for comfort)
Base layer bottom (1 or 2 synthetic)
T-shirts (2 or up to you)
Mid-layer long sleeved shirt (1 or 2 synthetic material like polyester or polypropylene)
Hiking shorts (2 pairs - synthetic or cotton)
Underwear (breathable, how many is up to you)
Travel clothes to wear around Katmandu before and after the trek (these can be left at the hotel in secured storage)

Outer Layer Clothing
Fleece jacket, soft-shell jacket or wool top
Soft-shell long pants or trekking pants
Gore-Tex or other breathable waterproof jacket
Gore-Tex or equivalent breathable waterproof rain pants
Down Jacket - synthetic is ok, must be very warm and puffy for night, camping, and rests (if you tend to get cold easily, get a warmer, heavier jacket (temps could range from 0-30 degrees)
Wool or fleece hat
Waterproof gloves (softshell)
Warm mittens (for colder nights)
Optional lightweight gloves (glove liners)
Sun hat (baseball cap, safari hat, something to keep the sun off)

Small daypack (30-40 liter) - an internal frame backpack is best and bookbag types are not recommended (there are many quality brands to choose from including Osprey, Deuter, North Face, Gregory, Red Fox, to name a few)
Sleeping bag - down or synthetic 0-20 degrees (Fahrenheit)
Sunglasses 100% UV (glacier type that wrap around and give more protection to the eyes)
Headlamp (small LED models with spare batteries)
SUNSCREEN: waterproof, SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum (2-3oz tube)
Sunscreen lip balm, SPF 15 or higher
2 water bottles (1 quart Nalgene bottles are best)
Pocket knife (e.g., a Swiss Army Knife - very handy!)
Trash bags (3 - for separating out your dirty laundry and organizing)
A large expedition bag will be provided by SMA upon arrival in Nepal. You can use your own expedition bag or luggage to carry your items over there, then borrow the SMA expedition bag.

Personal Items
Toiletry kit to include:
Small soap (1- 2 oz. plastic bottle of something like Dr. Bronner's soap)
Shower towel
Glasses or contacts, as needed
Any necessary medications
3 zip-loc bags (1 large for a notebook, 2 any size for miscellaneous use)
Optional Trekking poles
Optional Compass, star-chart, or binoculars
Optional Camera (batteries and a charger)
Optional External power brick (for charging phone/iPod)
Optional Journal/notebook and pen
Optional Any munchies you can't get along without (e.g., chocolate, energy bars)
Optional Personal first aid kit (for blister care, etc.) *SMA Guides will have a well-equipped group supply of basic first aid and medications that will always be with us.

One of the most important items you will have for trekking is….Your BOOTS! The best boots for this trip are quality, light to medium-weight hiking boots that are waterproof. Go to a reputable gear shop and help get fitted for the ideal boot. You will be in them most of the day so get the right ones that fit you! (Scarpa, Lowa, LaSportiva, Salewa, Merrell, Asolo, Vasque are the best brands)
New boots MUST be broken in prior to coming to the trip. Breaking in a new pair of boots can involve several weeks so make sure you do it early and well before you arrive in Nepal!

Light to medium weight hiking boots that are waterproof!
Sport sandals (such as Tevas or Chacos, Crocs) or lightweight running shoes for at camp (using bathroom at night, chilling in teahouse) Sport sandals, such as Tevas, Crocks, or Chacos, work very well for this and can be used for stream crossings in the backcountry. Running shoes also work well but do not dry as quickly. Thick wool socks (3 pairs)
Optional Liner socks (2 pairs of thin wool, polypro, Thermax, or similar - not cotton!)
Optional Down booties- totally luxurious but nice for walking around at the Teahouses

What kind of money should I bring on the trek?

When you arrive in Kathmandu, you can convert your currency to Nepalese rupees at the hotel or your guide can assist you with this before the trek begins.

Is communication possible while on a trek?

There are phone and internet services available in many villages along the popular trekking routes from which you can make international calls and check your email. There are also computers available at some internet cafes.

Are Sherpa Mountain Adventures crew members insured?

All of our staff members, including porters, are insured through a reliable insurance company.

What are the drinking water arrangements on the trek?

You should bring two (2) one-liter water bottles (plastic or metal) with you on the trek. We prefer that you purify water yourself using iodine in order to save scarce fuel. We can provide a limited amount of boiled water that you can use to fill your water bottle in the evening. Please see the recommended list of equipment for name brands or visit your local outdoor gear store for more information. We ensure that you have clean water to drink, but need you to bring iodine along.

Who carries our equipment on the trek?

Sherpa Mountain Adventures hires local porters or yaks to carry all of the camping gear and equipment for the entire trek.

What is the best season for trekking In Nepal? Can I go trekking in the months of June and July?

The best time for trekking in Nepal is October to early December and March or April. It is not very good trekking weather during the monsoon season from June to August except for treks in the Himalayan rain shadow like Upper Mustang, Dolpo and Kailash.

What is the weather and temperature like?

Weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict. Of course, at night it is generally cold and in winter the days can be quite beautiful if the sun is out. There can be snow or rain storms any time of the year. Trekking in spring (March - April) is particularly lovely as the rhododendrons are in full bloom and the mountains still have plenty of high snow to enhance your photos. You need to be aware that it can get pretty hot and sun stroke can be a risk. Make sure to bring good polarizing sunglasses or glacier glasses (not trendy fashionable ones) for high altitudes/winter treks and a large brimmed hat. It is also important to make sure that you stay warm and dry in just about any condition. Expect the unexpected!

At elevations between 1,000m (3,281 feet) and 3,500m (11,483 feet), the temperature could be as low as 5°C (41° F) to as high as 20°C (68° F). At higher altitudes, the temperature ranges from -10°C (14° F) to 20 deg C (68° F). During winter it is around 10 degrees colder than these estimates.

Will someone come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?

Yes, our airport representative will come to the airport to pick you up. Outside of terminal hall, he/she will be displaying a Sherpa Mountain Adventures sign with your name on it. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu.

What are the payment terms?

To know about payment terms and condition please click here.

What's Included with the trip cost?

A fluent English speaking, experienced, local guide
Nice hotel accommodations in Kathmandu
Camping accommodations and all trek arrangements including meals on trekking days, porters and cook staff, gear and equipment (comfortable and roomy two-person tents, full length comfortable foam sleeping pads, kitchen and dining tents, etc)
Three healthy tasty meals per day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Airport transfers
Sightseeing in Kathmandu (as noted in the itinerary)
Ground transportation
National parks entrance fees and permits

What's Not Included in the cost?
International airfare
Hotel accommodations en route to Kathmandu, Nepal
Meals not noted on the itinerary (meals while in Kathmandu and snacks during the trek are the trekkers responsibility as well as any alcohol purchased during trip)
We strongly recommend that you purchase the supplementary trip insurance offered by Sherpa Mountain Adventures which also includes trip cancellation insurance. Or you can check with your insurance company for overseas travelers insurance.

Tips are not included in trip price.

Tips to the lead trekking guide and Sherpa staff, visas, excess baggage charges, airport taxes, entrance fees at historical sites in Kathamandu, the cost of obtaining a passport or medical immunizations, items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.) are not included in the trip price.

*Depending on your choice of air carrier, you may need an overnight in Bangkok or Delhi en route to Kathmandu. We will be happy to make hotel reservations for you.