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Matt Fioretti- Guide/Owner- has led 20 expeditions and has 35 seasons of experience at altitude.

Matt Fioretti- Guide/Owner- has led 20 expeditions and has 35 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

Please call for possible openings for 2016. Now taking deposits for April, 2016, and 2016 trips

2016 March Expedition- We want to return to Pachermo in the Rowaling Valley. Join this amazing expedition to gain high altitude experience. No crowds, great climbing, remote. We will allow only 3 on this trip. 27 days door to door.

April 2016 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 2016 - 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. 4 spaces left.

Sept. -October 2016 and 2017 - Ama Dablam Expedition. Four Winds has led 3 expeditions to Ama Dablam and we will return in 2016. A classic climb to test your climbing ability. 5.8 rock, AI 2 Ice, all mixed with altitude make this a challenging climb. spaces available


October 2016 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)


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Four Winds Nepal Relief Part 4

Four Winds Nepal Relief Part 4


Namche Bazaar sits at 11,286 feet.  Hiking to it is not the easiest day one spends in the mountains.  The trail gains 2600 feet from the valley floor.  It can be the most difficult day on a 14 day adventure walking amongst the giant Himalaya.  Going from 8500 feet to the elevation of Namche the blood loses 6 to 10% of its oxygen carrying capabilities as the air begins to thin.

Grueling yes!  Worth it yes!  Now as we begin to hike into the high country we are treated with a world of waterfalls.  Because it is the rainy season we are seeing waterfalls that do not run during the regular trekking season.  White ribbons of water dot vertical gorges every few hundred yards, the water tumbling to the valley floor on an extreme whitewater journey to the ocean.  Seeing these in the off season absent of hundreds of other foreigners is quite a treat, however I have other things on my mind.  

As we move higher and higher I am thinking about logistics for the following day.  We had originally thought that bringing rice to the village of Khumjung was the best course of action.  Plans were about to change again.  After speaking with my close friends Urkin Sherpa and Tsedam Sherpa they advised otherwise.  They both felt that everyone had enough food and that giving them money would provide a better footing in their tenuous situation.  At the end of the conversation I had mixed feeling about this as I felt a huge responsibility to all of you who donated to this project to make sure that the donations were allocated in the best possible way.  

On the trail my wife and I are experiencing the locals sans tourists.  We have seen only 2 other foreigners.  We notice the spark that usually accompanies a jovial “Namaste” is subdued, there is a preoccupation in their voice.  The usual spring in their step is dulled.  The earth quake is weighing heavy on the population.  We see, hear, and feel pain in their spirits as we pass them on the trail.  Because it is the rainy season and there are no tourist the available work is scarce adding to the hardship.  

We take slow steps higher into thinning air.  My thoughts are simple “Rice or Money?”  “What is the best way to help?”

We pass a porter taking a break from carrying his load of 6 sheets of ply wood.  He carries it on his back up the 2600 feet of gain.  He has a control line tied to the top to keep his load from blowing him over if a wind rises.  Imagine carrying 6 (4’x 6’) sheets of ply wood on your next day hike, roughly about 140 pounds.    We see many porters carrying rebuilding supplies with loads up to 180 pounds. This day that I thought so difficult is Disney Land compared to what these porters are is doing.  I hope that we can help their situation.  I meet with Tsedam today in Namche and will talk to Urkin who is in Khumjung to work out logistics and the best way to help.

Thats where we were at on July 11th.

Monday, July 20, 2015

navigating leaches Part 3




We are in the thick of Nepal’s monsoon season.  It really hit home when I was petting one of my favorite dogs in the village of Ghat.  I scratched his head, rubbed his back, and pulled on his ears.  He reacted with a shake of his thick black Tibetan mastiff mane.  A shake that shuddered through from his head to his back paws, throwing a spray of dust and something big and black that whizzed past my head in a gentle arc. 


I saw the object in flight out of the corner of my eye.  At first I thought a bird had dropped a good luck present from the sky. In Nepal it is a common belief that if you get hit by bird droppings it’s good luck.  I took a curious look toward the black blob only to realize that a leach had gorged itself to the size of a 3 inch slug, and as the dog shook, the leach heavy with blood, was to weighty to hang on. Welcome to the monsoon.

We flew in to the Mt Everest trail head and had started our walk toward Namche Bazaar.  Since it was going to take 4 days for the resilient structures to arrive in the porter’s village of Bung, 3 days by trail below us, we wanted to use the time to head North by foot. Our goal was to allocate a small percentage of the donations to a hard hit village called Khumjung and to Home Away from Home boarding school.  I had been coordinating with Urkin Sherpa who was creating a list of the people who needed aid the most. After completion of our round of aid in the area we would hop on a chartered helicopter to fly us to Bung because it would be impossible to cover the distance from Namche to Bung with the amount of time we had.  

I had never been to Nepal during the monsoon.  So far we have seen a total of three tourists.  I can understand why tourists do not come during this season.  I myself have heard a legion of leach stories and sheets of rain that continue for weeks and weeks.  The legendary horror stories of people waking up with a leach wiggling off their forehead like a small antenna, or the story of the guy waking up with a leach attached to his private part (true story told by my wife) screaming “oh my god, oh my god,”  play on my psyche.  We walk all day in the clouds.  

We are happy to be heading north toward Tibet and into the high country.  Here leaches do not dwell.  There is light rain and the gentle giant Himalaya dwell hidden above the cloud.  It is as if the great mountains have taken a vacation from putting on their show for the thousands of tourists who walk these trails in the spring and autumn season.  Maybe after some rejuevination they will lift their vail to share their grandeur and reopen their show.    


 Thats where we were at on July 10th.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Four Winds Nepal Relief Part 2

We started our relief effort with a meeting in Kathmandu.  My head porter, head Sherpa, and 2 representatives from “Resilient Homes” met my wife and I in our hotel lobby at the popular Tibet Guest House.  

Jacob, the gentlemen who helped create “Resilient Homes” is from Holland, speaks Dutch, Nepali, and English.  Timothy is from Nepal and is Sherpa who converted to Christianity, spoke Nepali, Sherpa, and English, and was a rep for Resilient Homes.   My head Sherpa Gombu who speaks English, Nepali, and Sherpa was in attendance to translate and help with logistics and would be receiving aid.  Finally Asmit and Prakash who are of the Rai tribe, who spoke Nepali and Rai and were there to represent my team of porters, help with logistics, and actually carry the structures  (over 850 pounds) we were gathering to discuss, to their village 2 days from the roads end.  A group representing 4 different religions, 4 different languages, and 3 different countries, all gathered to give, help, and receive.

When I had planned the relief effort I had a vivid, beautiful picture of how the relief would be distributed, complete with a common sense progression, ending with happy smiling villagers, thankful for the help from compassionate Americans.  I was set on 10 structures which would provide shelter for 10 families, purchasing almost 2 tons of rice for the village of Khumjung, and supplying a years worth of school supplies to the “Home Away from Home” boarding school.  Seemed simple enough.  One of the beautiful aspects of life is its unpredictability.  Although I knew at the end of this project I would have photos of happy villagers full of gratitude I did not expect things to change with the first question posed by Jacob.

“Are you getting the most bang for your buck with the structures?”
Although I understood the American slang in the soft Dutch accent I was immediately confused.  I had just flown 24 hours to the other side of the earth to purchase the said structures that I had ordered 6 weeks ago.  I sat with $15000 in my pocket to pay for the structures.  I replied to Jacob “I don’t understand?????”  Gombu was translating to the porters and the porters scooted to the front of their chairs in anticipation of Jacob’s explanation.  I to scooted closer as if the answer to the great mystery was going to be divulged.

He then went on to explain the cost of the structures versus the cost of the actual damage and a huge discussion ensued.   We went back and forth with the porters and Gombu, Timothy and I, Jacob and Timothy, the porters and I, Dee and Jacob, exhausting every aspect of cost of structure, transport of structures, and damage of homes.  Basically Jacob was wondering if some of the homes would be cheaper to repair than to buy a structure to replace the home.  The depth of the damage I always assumed was total, homes flattened to the ground, villagers digging through rubble to find remains of the past.  

  Now we were a group of buzzing confused but focused bees.

As the discussion continued it became clear that yes, homes were damaged but some of them may be cheaper to repair versus buying the resilient structure.  My beautiful plan complete with a common sense progression was in shreds.  We hammered out different solutions for over 3 hours.  Magnifying and adding pressure to the situation was the tight flight schedule.  We had landed on the evening of the 8th, planned the meeting on the 9th, and would be flying to Lukla on the morning of the 10th.  It was now 3pm on the 9th and we had no clear plan.  

We finally narrowed in on one question for the porters and Gombu, “What would be best for you, a structure or the money to repair your current home?”  Throughout the meeting Asmit was calling the other porters in their remote village trying to figure out cost of damage and if they wanted a structure.  He was back and forth throughout the meeting with the porters. The answers were surprising.  Only 2 of the porters and Gombu felt that the structure would be best while 5 of the porters felt they could repair their current home with the money that would have gone toward a structure.  

We finally ended up purchasing 4 structures and agreed to meet all the porters in their village of Bung to see the situation and allocate funds.

That’s where we were at on July 9th...  






Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Four Winds Nepal Relief 1

I have been feeling a bit trepidatious about journeying back into the earthquake zone of Nepal.  I can remember the first moments of the early tremors and the split second decision to have everyone evacuate the dining room.  We were having a relaxed afternoon, playing cards, snacking on cheese and Salami we had carried from the states. Gentle laughter and jovial conversation drifted from the different trekking teams and tea house staff.  The first indication that something ominous was about to happen was a gentle vibration that gave pause for a few seconds and then began again.  At the pause I remember hearing several nervous laughs.  It was as if some silent invisible hand was playing a joke, we were responding with a nervous laugh not really knowing what we were responding to.  As the next vibration began I yelled “outside.”  First there was pause and curiousness on the face of my trekking team but as the vibrations turned to violent movement we all were on the move.  Our world was changing rapidly.

As we moved to the door, 20 feet away, the tremors turned into mass earth convulsions, the ground shaking violently accompanied by the feeling of ocean waves or sloshing of great expanses of earth.  Violence so fierce that I remember thinking this is it, the earth is going to split in half.  It surely felt as the end of the place we call earth.  Along with the movement was a deep wild audible that vibrated through ear drum and every bone.  

Within 10 seconds every building around us began to crumble, corners sloughing, rooflines plunging, a concrete wall easily powdered.  If we were 6 or 10 seconds later some of us would have been crushed.  The wall we were sitting next to had collapsed. 
My head Sherpa who usually naps at this time of day had chose to join us for cards.  If he had chosen to nap on this day he would be dead as his room was reduced to a pile of granite rubble. 

I and 5 clients huddled out side holding each other tight as the quake continued on.  Locals soon joined our huddle, shrieks, tears, and panic.  As a guide I tried to keep everyone huddled and calm but inside I realized any control we had was gone in the early tremors.  

Machermo sits below the East Face of a peak called Kanjo Ri.  I could hear huge avalanches ripping down the face and emptying into the valley.  The mountain is a good 2 miles up valley, at the time I thought no way could those avalanches reach the village.  How wrong I was.  Huge avalanches in the Lang Tang region and at Everest Base Camp had buried over three hundred people.  Lang Tang and Base Camp were situated very similar to Machermo with snowy faces of mountains miles away.  The avalanches easily covering the distances in seconds.  I shudder thinking back to those loud slides coming off of Kyajo Ri and how very possible it was that we could have been buried.

The relief effort was born out of need.  I and my trekking team had created this idea to help a group of porters, their village, and a school called “Home away from Home” in the village of Namche.  We created a website while in the mountains with the help of Paul Roy and Michael Petralia and the rest of the team pitching in ideas.  

Now as I head back on an aid and relief project thinking back to these moments forces caution.  The earthquake is still very real in my bones and the audible very loud to memory.

I am happy my wife chose to come along to assist. She has a love for these mountain people as her early travels had brought her through the area.

We checked in to Emirate Airlines on July 6th, I still with feelings of trepidation.  We asked at the counter if there could be any discount for the seven 100 liter expedition duffles were carrying explaining they were aid relief for Nepal.  RAB the climbing equipment company had donated 100 water proof jackets and we added a duffle bag worth of plastic tarps.  The woman at the counter explained that it was very difficult to give discounts at the counter.  She then whispered something in the ear of the  gentleman who was checking us in.  We moved on to the gate.

We went through the usual check in process, stood in line to board, passports checked and boarding pass checked.  As we neared the final check point the woman who could not grant us a discount on the overweight baggage was standing next to the person gathering boarding passes. We approached and she gathered our boarding passes and took them to a desk as we waited at the front of the line, not fully understanding what was going on.  She returned quickly with 2 new boarding passes and non chalantly said she had moved us to a better seat.  We thanked her and began to move down the ramp to the door of the plane.  As I glanced at the new boarding pass my breath was taken.  The woman had upgraded us to business class.  Both my wife and I ran back up the ramp and thanked the woman profusely.

Now as I sit it the Dubai airport I still have some trepidation. We are going back into the earthquake zone, back to unstable ground being pelted with monsoon rains.  However thinking back through the kindness that has brought me here is magnified and helps pale the trepidation.  

Thank You to all who have donated we have raised $27,200 with donations still flowing. Thank You to the YOBE community (my wife,s yoga studio) who had donated roughly $1300.  There are countless individuals who have donated of all ages.  A 5 year old girl had donated her birthday money given to her by her grandmother.  An amazing couple that had trekked with me a few years back and were slated for a Tibet trip that was canceled donated $5000 of their trip money.  People who had very little money would come into the store and donate $5, a huge amount when you have little.

As I head into the arena of providing help these acts of kindness carry me.  Also the comfiness, full horizontal seat capabilities, with down comforters on Emirate air was icing on the cake.

Thank You for your donations and all you have done.  Stay tuned for updates.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hello Friends,
Thank You for your care and compassion in your hundreds of emails.  We are all safe and doing well and we are in a good safe position. I am currently trying to work out how we will get back to Kathmandu possibly with a heli from Namche.   Many of you have been on a trip with me to Nepal and know of the wonderful staff of porters, tea house owners, and friends that have been part of the Four Winds family.  Everyone is well and healthy.  

My porter staff, 6 in total have lost their homes.  They have been the back bone of our trips, without them treks in the Himalaya would not happen.  

I and the current clients have created a website which is live now.  The site is to raise funds for the rebuilding of their homes.  This is a great way to create an impact with 100% of the proceeds going to the porters, and the Home Away from Home boarding school for children.

With limited capabilities here in the mountains we are not sure if the Paypal option is working.  Follow other directions on the site for donation options

To Make donations go to www.fourwindsnepalrelief.com

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Matt Fioretti and Ama Dablam



A few years back my clients took an acclimatization hike toward a village called Dingboche.  I captured this photo on their return  and could not help but feel the immenseness of the mountains of the Himalayan range.  The mountain in the background is the Northern aspect of Ama Dablam.  To give you an idea of the size of these mammoth spirits………..   It would take about 4 hours to reach the base of the mountain from where they stand.  The summit is roughly another 3800 feet above the top of the photo or over a vertical mile from where the clients stand.  It takes an average of 22 days to climb to the summit from its base on the South West Ridge route the body working with 25% less oxygen.

  I have spent 105 days climbing this mountain over 3 different expeditions.  Thats 105 days in a tent, 105 days above 16,000 feet,  105 days without a shower?  HMMMMMM………………..

North Face of Ama Dablam.  Clients are standing at 16,000 feet.  click on photo to enlarge



Alive or Living

The definition of "alive".   We woke at 3am in the still, quiet, air of 15,600 feet. The thermometer sank to 21 degrees during the night, and a sliver moon back lit the night shyly.  You would think one would be inclined to burrow deep into the down sleeping bag and slumber back to a deep warm sleep.  Nope.  I was excited and very excited for my clients.  We were getting ready to hike to 17,800 feet to the summit of Gokyo Ri.  Yes a hike to 17,600 feet.  Clients stepped out into the night, none had been this high, none had attempted a hike of this magnitude, none had been out in the 3am dark donning high altitude down coats.  Our head lamps cut through the thin Himalayan air.  It was as if we were the only being on the planet as we walked between 20,000 foot peaks.  At the head of the valley stood Cho Oyu the 6th highest peak in the world.  The stream we crossed held the melt water of Cho Oyu. I could not help but think of the water flowing under me, how far has it traveled.  How far will it go.  A mystery for sure.

I thought about my life.  Am i alive?  As I walk to the base to start the 2400 foot vertical ascent with clients in tow, I felt 100% alive.  I could feel my breath, I could feel my heart beat.  I noticed the stars and the light reflecting off of snow,  thousands of winking crystals.  I was cognizant of every step, making sure to use my energy wisely.  The awareness of my thighs flexing every step up, made me mindful of the interlocking muscle groups, working together a kind of dance.  The moisture on my exhale visible, my body exuding water and mixing with the universe.  I could feel in these moments in this journey of thousands of mindful steps, that I was alive.

At home I live.  I go to work, pay bills, drive through the city numb.  I live but am not always fully alive. I rush.  I have appointments, the clock ruling me.  There are definitely times when I am alive but one has to pay attention or they pass.  

Alive or Living.  When alive we are fully experiencing our bodies, our breath, our movement.  When we are alive we feel the connection between our movements and our home, mother nature.  We are aware that we are apart of nature and that within this we, the grass, the snow crystal, the water flowing under foot all make up one.  The dried flower and dew drop, we are not separate.  


Bavarian Meats Seattle

I wanted to Thank "Bavarian Meats" in Seattle.  When your body is at altitude your heart rate is ramped up to accommodate the lack of oxygen.  For example your resting heart rate at sea level may be 60.  Above 15,000 feet your resting heart rate may be 75 or higher.  It is like you are on a long walk or jog 24 hours a day everyday you are at altitude.  For example this trek we jogged for 15 days straight 24 hours a day.  It is not uncommon to loose 5 to 12 pounds.  This trip I lost 6 pounds in 14 days.  Last trip eight.

 It is often not easy to keep up the calories because of this quickened metabolism.  I found that the Landjaeger Sticks that Seattle Bavarian meats supplied me made it easy to keep up my strength and calorie intake.  The meat is tasty.  I will use them on long runs, hikes, and alpine climbs.  They pack easy,  last, and are super yummy.  Definitely try the Landjaeger on your next outing.  I look forward to trying other meat specialties I spied when at the store in Pike Place Market.  Thank You Bavarian Meats.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seeing

“You’ve seen one mountain you’ve seen them all.”   This was iterated to me a few years back while viewing the sun set on a peak called Cholatse in the Himalaya of Nepal. It stands at 21,130 feet.  The North Ridge rises 5000 feet straight out of the ground, a kind of knife reaching to the heavens, splitting the jet stream like butter. 

The Alpenglow on the summit became a brilliant red as the sun dipped to sleep.  High winds were blowing spindrift creating a fire in the sky, an effect no cinema could produce.  The energy that surrounded these moments in this mountain drama were as if on a roller coaster ride with mother nature.  

I remember replying to the gentleman, as the reds turned to violet then lavender, “You’ve seen one flower, bird, or symphony, you have seen them all.”  I did not mean to start an argument but realize it was an edgy comment.  He began with “Yeah but.........”  

The sun dipping to sleep, I thought, was a miracle in itself an occurrence which I often take for granted.  It reminded me that seeing has very little to do with the eyes.

                 
Alpenglow, Mt Everest and Nuptse, with the jet stream hammering the heavens