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Matt Fioretti- Guide/Owner- has led 20 expeditions and has 33 seasons of experience at altitude.

Matt Fioretti- Guide/Owner- has led 20 expeditions and has 33 seasons of experience at altitude.




About Four Winds


HISTORY

Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service has been guiding trips in the Himalaya since 1994. We have more than 19 years and 34 seasons of experience at altitude, including 19 successful climbing expeditions. With an emphasis on uncrowded treks and remote climbs, clients leave Nepal/Tibet having experienced the rich culture, ancient trails, and the intense climbing available in the Himalaya. Founder Matt Fioretti has been Alpine climbing since 1984 and brings 26 years of experience to the high altitude arena. Chapa Sherpa and Singa Lama joined Matt early on and bring with them more than 30 years combined experience on the trails and steep faces of the high peaks. The accumulation of years and passion for the mountains between the 3 individuals insures a safe, rare adventure.


GROUP SIZE

Our trips are intimate. We allow only 6 to 9 trekkers and 2 to 6 climbers on a journey. You can call the owner Matt Fioretti at home or office anytime prior to the trek or climb. Weather your on a climb or trek, individual attention is one of our top priorities. You can expect prompt, courteous responses to your questions. Pre-trip orientations allow for everyone to receive a comfortable knowledge about the journey. While on the trek our adherence to small group size helps members become brother and sister, a camaraderie that often lasts for years afterwards. The intimacy is extended to our Sherpa and Nepali friends. We have created lasting relationships with the locals. Our group is greeted with a warmth that suggests we are part of the family. You feel at home and get a “backstage” view into the culture.


ABILITY

Almost anyone can do a trek in the Himalaya. You can be a beginner and feel comfortable with our experienced staff. Our age group has spanned 11 to 79 years old. The pace is slow and comfortable, each day hiking village to village and traversing the highest mountain range in the world. Everyone has acclimatized on our treks because of the calm pace and expertise of the guides. For the more advanced we offer guided and commercial climbs. Climbers with experience but daunted by the idea of high altitude, are taught expedition skills and the logistics of climbing a big mountain in a safe environment. For those who don’t need a guide we offer commercial trips. This means we handle all the logistics and red tape that are inherent in the Nepal Permit system, but you go as a climbing team member proficient at climbing.


SAFETY

Safety is our number one priority. Each group is registered with the American Embassy in Kathmandu and is equipped with a satalite phone. In 18 years of leading trips on the trails and mountains of Nepal our safety record is flawless.


Join us. We are personable, professional, fun, and have years of experience at altitude.

We specialize in the Himalaya of Nepal so you will have a transformational, adventure. One cannot walk through the Himalaya with out being changed or experiencing some shift in the soul.





Trekking and Climbing Shedule

We are full for our 2014 season. Please call for possible openings. Now taking deposits for April, 2015, and 2015 trips

2015 March Expedition- We want to return to Kangchung peaks. Join this amazing expedition to a peak that has not been climbed since 1973. No crowds, great climbing, remote. We will allow only 3 on this trip. 29 days door to door.

April 2015 Trek- Trek the 5 holy lakes in the Gokyo area. Hike to the summit of a 17700 foot peak. Cross a 17660 foot pass, visit 2 monasteries while trekking village to village. 20 days door to door. All abilities. 3 spaces left

September 2015 - Pilgrimage Mt. Kailash - Tibet's holy mountain. A true extreme hike and adventure. Hiking over the crest of the Himalaya in Nepal to Tibet. Then circumambulating Tibet's holy mountain on pilgrimage with Tibetans. Must be in excellent physical condition. 7 to 9 hour hiking days at altitude. 8 spaces left.

Sept. -October 2015 - Ama Dablam Expedition. Four Winds has led 3 expeditions to Ama Dablam and we will return in 2015. A classic climb to test your climbing ability. 5.8 rock, AI 2 Ice, all mixed with altitude make this a challenging climb. 5 spaces available


October 2015 Trek- Trek the 5 holy lakes in the Gokyo area. Hike to the summit of a 17700 foot peak. Cross a 17660 foot pass and visit 2 monasteries while trekking village to village. All abilities. 6 Spaces Left

For more information and pricing please email or call.
206-282-0472 email: fourwindsexpeditions@gmail.com

email:

fourwindsexpeditions@gmail.com

tel: 206-282-0472

Greg Valentine and Matt Fioretti did the first ascent of Nireka in a 2 day alpine style push.

Greg Valentine and Matt Fioretti did the first ascent of Nireka in a 2 day alpine style push.
Nearing the summit on the first ascent of Nireka. Four Winds strives to do peaks that are uncrowded, remote, and rarely done. On many of our expeditions we are the only team on the mountain.

Matt Fioretti eyeing the South Ridge of Cholatse

Matt Fioretti eyeing the South Ridge of Cholatse



What clients have to say....


True to his word, Matt was committed to safety on our trek to Nepal.He is knowledgeable, organized and has a positive attitude which is infectious. Matt is well loved in the communities we visited. The respect and admiration he has developed with the Nepali people created a unique, enhanced and truly exceptional experience for our group. Thanks, Matt! October 2013 Trek.

K. Baker


Going to Nepal was like stepping into the pages of National Geographic with the color, chaos and crowds of Kathmandu to the breathtakingly beautiful snow capped Himalayas. Matt had said we would stay with friends (I read business associates; I was wrong). These people were Matt's second family and they treated us as family. I didn't have as much vacation time as the rest of my group, so I returned early. It snowed one night and the inn keeper, Urken wouldn't let me leave until the trail was broken. A little while later I looked out the window and Urken was up on the mountain checking the trail for me. He came back in and said it was safe to go now. Later as I was crossing one of many suspension bridges, my porter, Prem, ran ahead of me to stop the yak train from starting across the bridge until I had finished crossing. With Matt's group you're not a tourist, you're part of Nepal, you're family.


Namaste,

Kathy


“It has been years since I went with Matt and his crew to Ama Dablam and crazy as it sounds, it still feels like yesterday. The experience was one that is hard to put into words, when you are there amongst the people and grandeur of the Himalayas you feel all at once small and insignificant, yet more real and present than ever. I carry the essence and spirit of that journey with me everyday. Just go… more than that, go with Matt.”


I was just shy of 60 when I did the Everest Trail Trek with Matt. It was one of the most memorable events in my life! I loved it! And I learned some trekking lessons that apply to the rest of life, as well---like "Pace yourself." Those of us who did pace ourselves made it to the magnificent Everest Base Camp area at 17,000'. Throughout the entire trek we always felt secure with wonderfully kind Sherpas always there to lend a hand and encourage us onward. It was a grand initial experience into trekking that held so very many gifts from beginning to end.

Port Townsend



"My trips to Nepal with Four Winds were life-changing experiences, in the best possible way. Being halfway around the world, in an unfamiliar place, thousands of miles away from everything you know, can be a scary situation, but when you're with Matt, there's a comfort level. It feels like all of Nepal is your family."

M. Mahoney



Yes, the trek stands out as one of my life's most amazing experiences, certainly because of the Himalayas magnificence, but also due to our group's lighthearted, playful camaraderie, the welcoming arms of the locals at the teahouses where you had been before, evening card games, and the way you kept us always under your protective eye ... checking every day for our oxygen saturation levels, making sure we drank enough water, stopping for rest when needed, and also encouraging us along, like on Gokyo Ri, for those last panting steps, so that I might not miss the view of one of the world's most spectacular, breath-taking sights ... and yet, I never felt pampered or stifled, as you simultaneously offered ample space for us to move in our own rhythms, moods and pace.

If I never properly said thanks to you before for all that Matt ... Thanks!!! ... the experience will continue to resonate within me for my lifetime!


Some things that are extraordinary about Nepal and going with Four Winds. Kids smiling faces, fluffy clouds, the aroma of incense, village life, and the journey in the mountains. I especially liked the pace of the trek. I could go at my own pace and felt comfortable. Tim S.


With Matt I have successfully climbed a 6000 meter peak and a 8000 meter peak in the Himalaya even though I suffer from a liver disease. The first was Naya Kanga, 6000M, post -monsoon , in the Langtang region near Ganga La. The friends I made have become lifelong best friends, not only the fellow trekkers but the sherpas as well, like Singi and Sangi who brought me milk tea (Dudh Chai)and cheese on the descent. The Four Winds staff, assistants and Sherpas, make the journey possible. When climbing Cho Oyu from Tibet we spent 7 weeks in the Dingri Region and 4 weeks above 20K feet, climbing to 27,500 feet without oxygen. Matt, being the consummate guide escorted a sick teammate back to BC. Two of the five members made the summit. When I go back it will be with Four Winds and fortunately with Matt who also had a serious illness sidetrack him, but who has already made his recovery and found his way back to the Himalayas. This is the true meaning of meeting life's challenges, and this is what you can achieve with Four Winds. Hope to see you on the high mountains. Namaste!

Glen Anders


Matt and Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service kindled in me a deep love of alpine climbing on my first trip to Nepal in 1999. This first trip taught me a lot and I have returned to Nepal with Matt four times since. Matt has a deep love and respect for the indigenous culture of the Sherpa people of the Khumbu, and in his 20 year dealings with the people in that region, he has established many deep friendships; it is especially remarkable to share in these connections with him. I have always felt safe when climbing with Matt. He has developed good mountain sense over the years, and his motto "may the four winds blow you safely home" is a propos of his climbing philosophy which holds safety in high regard. Matt is also a fountainhead of ideas, and has always provided a source of inspiration for those seekers who take to the mountains. I have learned a lot from Matt's personal struggles with aplastic anemia, and his return to active climbing continues to inspire many people to see mountains as metaphors for the challenges we all face in life. I have Matt to thank for what has developed into a life-long passion for me. It all started with one trip to the Himalaya.




My journey to Nepal with Matt and Four Winds was inspirational and life-transforming. Matt's expertise in guiding allowed us to safely explore the exquisite beauty of the Himalayas and experience Nepal's fascinating culture. We always felt welcome wherever we went, as Matt has formed incredible connections with the people of Kathmandu, the sherpas who gently encouraged us, and the families who brought us into their homes and fed us delicious meals. Nepal is a hiker and climber's paradise and an adventurer's dream. It's beauty is truly divine. The journey has made a permanent impact on the way I live my life, appreciate nature and take risks. I highly recommend traveling with Four Winds! Aileen P.



The smell was of burning lantern oils and incense. The colors were the bluest of blues for the sky and the whitest of whites for the clouds. The sounds were of another language, and the ringing of yak bells were soothing to my ears late into the night. The touch of the air was bitter cold in a soothing way. The taste of the food was bland, yet sweet and interesting to my taste buds. When I close my eyes and think back on this journey , it was the most romantic thing I have aver experienced on my own. I have returned with Four Winds 3 times. David Frisk



“Thank you Matt for my wonderful trip to Nepal. It really changed my life forever” Jeanne


Matt, I wanted to officially thank you for a seamless trip to Nepal which you made fun and easy. The trip and all its details were extremely well thought out. With all your planning, I never had to worry about any of the details one would normally have to deal with when traveling half way around the world. I also felt priviledged and protected to be under the many watchful eyes of all the friends you have made over the years (Gombu, Qayoom, Dawafuti & family, Tsedem, etc). Even when I branched off on my own your friends were there to make sure I was safe and happy (Hira, Ramesh, etc). If it wasnt for you and your flexible, can-do attitude, I would never have made this trip to the wonderful and amazing Nepal. D. Oxford


My trip to Nepal was life alterning and I owe so much of that to Matt and his team. He has such a passion for the country and the people that my trip was anything but ordinary. While we were taken to many of the main tourist attraction sites, we were also shown sites of Nepal that few tourists rarely see. My trek back to the 5th holy lake at Goyko will forever be in my heart as one of the greatest experiences of my life. Matt was in constant communication about changes to the intinerary (a common fact when traveling in the third world) and always worked diligently to ensure that things went as smoothly as possible, and that we were getting the best experiences everyday. His easy going personality allows for lots of laughs with quick and lasting bonds being formed. I am grateful to have found Matt and his team. I didn't have one bad expereince on this trip and I look forward to when I will be able to go again!


Everest at sunset from 20,000 ft.Everest Sunset from Pumori.

Everest at sunset from 20,000 ft.Everest Sunset from Pumori.

Nuptse

Nuptse
Taken from Camp I -Pumori

Pumori

Pumori
S. W. Ridge. Pumori

We are insignificant

We are insignificant
Trekkers at 16,000 feet dwarfed by some of the smaller peaks in Nepal. Have trouble acclimatizing? Our treks are designed so everyone acclimatizes.

Nirekha- 5th pitch

Nirekha- 5th pitch
Join us in October 2015 on this beautiful climb



Blog Posts

(see all posts in blog archive)


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sherpa in Los Angeles


A Sherpa friend of mine was visiting Los Angeles.  His adventure was relayed to me by a friend who lives in Aspen.  I thought of my Sherpa friend and his life.  Waking at 5 a.m. every morning to the silence of the Himalayan dawn.  Only the wind and mountains brush the high atmosphere, stirring the soul.  A true nature bath. 

My friend would start his prayer meditation, as most Sherpas from the Khumbu region do, each morning.  His home is nestled in a hanging valley at 14,600 feet, higher than any peak in the lower 48.  After prayer he would start a fire in the stove, bundle himself and go for a walk in the shadow of holy Mt. Khumbila.  There are no trails where he walks.  He has shown me places in the Gokyo Valley where no foreigner has been.  Snow leopard dance here.

When my friend in Aspen relayed the story of my Sherpa friends travels in Los Angeles she laughed and paraphrased a statement that he had said.  He was riding in a car down Interstate 5 looking around, maybe a slight hint of discuss on his face.  He says to the person driving the car ( imagine a strong Sherpa accent). “Here we are driving down highway, coffee in one hand, steering wheel in other hand, texting on phone, and no one knows where they are going.”  I know this friend well and believe this statement had a physical as well as a spiritual meaning to it.  I believe he was speaking in metaphor.

I am a bone marrow transplant survivor.  Death seemed near on many occasion in the 3 year journey. There were times during the ordeal when I felt I was walking through an endless dark night with no light in sight, deep endless dark.  The beauty of such a severe journey is the awareness that comes.  I remember my life before transplant and know my life after.

My Sherpa friends statement “no one knows where they are going” reminds me to be awake and aware of how I spend my minutes. Every moment is sacred and being mindful of these sacred moments makes us truly alive.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stairway to moon

Several years back I was sitting around a small fire in the remote Himalaya.  We had a diverse trekking group.  It was dark but the stars in North Nepal on the border of Tibet cast a wonderful sprinkle of light.

The conversation turned to the moon.  How Beautiful, How blue, How mysterious, A spiritual teacher, How men had been there, and walked in the unknown.  On that comment a Sherpa from a small village of 8 stone huts interrupted.  "No man has been there!"  He said it with complete conviction.  We all smiled, humbled by the purity of the Sherpas statement.  I said "Well yes, man has flown there".  I grabbed a stick and mimicked a rocket flight.

The Sherpas are mountain people, they walk everywhere.  They will walk 3 days to make a 3 minute phone call.  2 days to visit a friend for an hour.  The trails are stony and steep.

The Sherpa interrupted again "No! No! No!  You show me the trail that goes there."  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nepal Expeditions 2015

Hello Everyone,
I am excited to announce our 2015 schedule of climbing expeditions in Nepal.  In March we will be returning to Kangchung Peaks.  Rarely climbed, remote Base camp, and no crowds.  In October I want to announce our return to Ama Dablam, a peak that challenges every skill of the Alpinist.  Feel free to call or email with questions.  Matt Fioretti has led 3 previous expeditions on Ama Dablam.  Join us for a fast and light expedition.  We limit our group size to 4 climbers.  Matt Fioretti brings you to the summit and more importantly, back home.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chad Kellogg




                                        

Chad, you were a brother.  You were a force.  You were a true mountain breathing dragon, mountains oozed from your cells and you taught me so much about this. Thank You for all you gave to me and to human kind, the gift of kindness and humility. You followed your dream, no obstacles, just flight.  Your brother-ship was true.    Now I know you are an even greater force traveling well. 

Love you, love you all.  Matt

Monday, December 23, 2013

If an Avalanche does't Kill you......

We were at Camp I on Ama Dablam.  A 22,500 foot peak, Camp I is at 18,700 feet.  The summit seems so close from this perspective but 2 solid long days on vertical rock and steep ice quickly reminds you that the 3800 feet between is no easy matter.  Imagine, at home in the Cascades a climber can do 3800 feet on technical terrain in 7 to 8 hours, the same footage on Ama takes about 2 days.  Every day on the route one cannot help but think about the hanging glacier above camp 3.  There are many dangers on this climb, rock fall, avalanches, steep ground, but the big hanging glacier above camp 3 keeps a climber awake at night especially if you are at camp 3 with the thousands of tons of ice hanging precariously above.

But on this day Fabrizio Zangrilli, his client, and I, were at Camp One.  I had my own tent and Fabrizio shared his with his clients. Not much to worry about here right?

It is evening time and alpine-glow illuminates the South Face.  I am tucked into my cozy -20 degree sleeping bag.  Fabrizio had just arrived from a hard day of fixing rope up to camp 2.  He is tired and I hear his client ask "Can I cook you up some water".   I hear Fabrizio rustle into the tent and client clanking stove, fuel, and cook pot to get water going.  At altitude we use a Butane Propane premixed pressurized canister.  My tent is set up so my head is near the entry of their vestibule and I can hear the drama unfolding.

Fabrizio:  " You got that Ok Chris"    Chris:  "Im good".  I hear chris fumbling with canister and stove.  In order for the gas to flow you have to screw the stove onto the threads at the top of the canister.  When it is threaded correct a ball valve is depressed and the gas only flows when you turn on the valve on the stove.  Fabrizio:  "You sure you got that OK Chris?"   Chris:  Yes I almost have i now".   I could hear a hissing from the stove and I could hear the stress in Fabrizio's voice has he questioned Chris.  What happened next was scary at the time but holds a high comical value now.

I hear bob striking the lighter,  one, two, three times.  On the fourth strike my tent lights up like there was an explosion.  I hear excited screams and Chaos from the tent next door.  I clamber out of my tent in a hurry to find in fact there was an explosion.  I hear Fabrizio scream to Chris "Fucking hell I thought you had it Chris?"  By the time I got out of my tent the tent next door had burned to the ground.  I am now looking at Chris who is in the fetal position and still holding the lighter.  His hair is smoking and is singed around the bangs and ears.  I see Fabrizio sitting up in his bag, a nylon inferno burns around him.  Little hanging piece of flame drip from the now bare tent poles, he has smoke coming from his hat like a cartoon character who has just exploded.  He frantically pats out the flames on his bag.  Chris continues to sit in the fetal position, I think he is in shock.

Before we had a chance to put the flames out a climber from another expedition rushes over.  He has a bottle of water and tosses it to put out flames.  He must have been blind or altitude sick because almost every drop of that water went right into one of Fabrizio's climbing boots. It is 19 degrees out and the water instantly freezes.

We finally put the flames out.  In Fabrizio's words "I just saw a huge fire ball coming at me and thought this is it".






Saturday, December 7, 2013

Manasulu Expedition 2014

There are only 14 peaks in the world that are over 8000 meters.  The 8th highest is a peak called Manasulu.  Its name means mountain of the spirit or Manas which means "intellect".  The approach alone is an outstanding endeavor as it follows an ancient salt trade route for 8 days to a remote Base Camp.  It stands at 26,780 feet or 8156 meters and takes 32 days to climb from base camp.  The duration of the expedition will be 46 days.  This will be an adventure with many unknowns.  Only flexible, adaptable, proficient climbers should apply.  Join our expedition in September of 2014 to this remote peak.  We have 3 spaces left and will allow only 6 climbers.  Feel free to email with questions.

Matt Fioretti has led 20 expeditions in the Himalaya of Nepal

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Diamox in the Himalaya

I was baffled when I heard that a large popular travel company and outdoor retailer had all their clients on Diamox from day one on a trek into the Khumbu, Nepal.  I was over run with disbelief when I heard their support for using a drug that does not need to be used.  "Well we have a doctor on our trip and he said it is needed."

I have been guiding the Himalaya for going on 20 years now.  In 20 years we have prescribed Diamox twice and we have had only 1 person not acclimatize mainly because she had food poisoning from chicken and could not keep her strength up.

If you are going to altitude the key to acclimatization is in the rate of ascent.  If you join a company for a trek or expedition in the Himalaya and they prescribe Diamox for the duration of the trip you need to question there rate of ascent, itinerary of that company, and experience at altitude.  I want to be clear here. I am speaking about trips in Nepal where you can control your rate of ascent and starting points are below 9000 feet.  In this environment you do not need Diamox.

A few things to keep in mind.

1.  Everyone will acclimatize if all the rules of altitude are followed.  If you would like information on these rules feel free to email me.

2.  Your rate of ascent per day should be less than 1,400 vertical feet.  On days where you move higher than this follow it with a rest day.  On rest days do not lay around, do a day hike gaining 1000 feet or more and at your high point try to hang out for an hour or more.

3.  Sleeping propped up helps with circulation of fluids and oxygen exchange.

4.  When you arrive at your new altitude the first inclination is to lay down.  This is fine for 10 to 20 minutes to get settled but then you want to walk around, move, and be upright for most of the day.

5.  Drink at least 2 quarts of water per day.  This is the most important rule.  Tea, coffee, and soda drinks do not count in your water intake.

6.  Keep your caloric intake up even if you are not hungry.  We take a brake on the trail every hour to nibble on an energy bar or what have you, and sip water.



These are just a few rules but these are the main ones that will get you acclimatized.  Diamox should only be used if someone is not acclimatizing which is rarely if the rules are followed.  I keep Diamox in our high altitude kit for back up.  Think about it this way.  If you are on Diamox and you still are not acclimatizing you have nothing to fall back on, trip over.  If for some rare reason you are not acclimatizing you can take a rest day, get on Diamox and possibly proceed within the next day or so.   It is a good drug to have for back up but it is not needed if you follow the rules.

I nor any of my colleagues, friends who guide Everest, K2, and are high altitude pros never prescribe Diamox from day one on any trip in the Nepal Himalaya.  If a doctor or company suggest such a regimen you may want to question their itinerary, rate of ascent, and years of experience at altitude.  Often in the Doctors case they have read books and studies but have not actually been to altitude many times.  Prescribing Diamox from day one is like prescribing a bandage for a cut that has not happened.  If the cut does happen then you have no bandage to use because it has already been worn.

Keep the Diamox in your altitude kit as back up.  Remember you will acclimatize without it if all the rules are followed.