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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

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)


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





Thursday, October 16, 2014

Real Face Time

Do you ever think about the quality of connection you have with your friends through facebook or technology?  It is something I think about often as it is such a presence in our life.  We spend hours a day on Technology and it is something I hope we are all critically assessing.  

I believe technology is an outstanding “TOOL”.  Here I am ticking away a blog entry that hundreds will be able to read in minutes, Beautiful!  I often wonder however if the tool is becoming a substitute for real interpersonal, intimate connection with the ones close to us.  My thoughts and questions on this topic were magnified a thousand fold when I witnessed two older Nepali Gentleman boarding the flight from Korea to Kathmandu Nepal.

The plane was on hold for a single passenger who was running late.  Ten minutes after we were supposed to take off an older Nepali gentleman enters the plane calmly, where most of us would have been rushing with embarrassment.  I watched as he calmly walked down my isle.  I see a hand reach out to his elbow from someone sitting in the isle seat 3 rows in front of me.  The late Nepali man stops with a startle and looks down.  A big smile creases every space on his 70 year old face.  A warm Namaste flows from his heart!  I can see they are now clasping hands, old friends who may have not seen each other in years.  They begin a conversation.

Now remember everyone in the plane is probably eager to take off, we are ten minutes behind schedule, 300 people waiting.

The old friends talk as if they were sitting in their home perched in a terraced rice field in the foothill of the Himalaya.  The flight attendant comes and waives him on but he does not budge, he smiles gently acknowledging the flight attendant,  the conversation continues.

I look around the plane.  People on there games, phones, computers.  One looks from screen to the engaged old friends with a scorn.  Like a drug being administered he forgets as he melts into his computer game.

The old friends laugh as if they were telling old fishing stories, or talking about the last crop of potatoes, often grown in the terraced hills of Nepal.  The steward prods the gentleman again.  They smile, still are shaking hands, laugh and connect.  They must have talked for 5 more minutes.  Another flight attendant comes down the isle.  She says something polite.  The friend standing smiles at her and turns back to his sitting friend.  They continue with, Hows family?  How is your brother?  Did you finish your roof?  Their friendship true, in no hurry, face to face.


At first I was upset.  Here we are 300 people waiting for 10 minutes and now another 5 while this conversation happens.  Then something hit me, a sudden transformation or realization.  As I looked back to the man buried in his game I realized I was witnessing something that may be fading in the human race.  These 2 Nepali’s were exhibiting that which is inherent in remaining a kind and awakened species.  Something that we as humans should never lose.  The ability to sit face to face, talk, connect, look eye to eye.  It is real face time and there is no substitute.  Like a drug being administered, technology may be dulling our abilities to sit face to face or even recognize that this beautiful gift may be fading.  Pay attention, the world is not in your computer.  

Suggested reading.  If you are a parent a book called "Last Child in the Woods".  Adults,  "The Shallows".  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thank You SteriPen

I have been guiding the Himalaya for 20 years.  I am now preparing for my 35th season at altitude in the mountains of Nepal.  With this many years at altitude you become specialized.  One of the keys to acclimatization is water intake, hydration.  I want my water processing for my clients and I to be efficient, light, and 100%.  For this combination I have been counting on Steripen.  No pumping, no squeezing, Light, compact, no cleaning.  Steripen has passed the rigors of expedition life, trail life, heavy use, and no water born illness since I started using the Steripen in 2006.  


Matt Fioretti    20 Expeditions, 34 seasons in Nepal, Bone Marrow Transplant survivor.    himalayahigh.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 4, 2014

perception

Where your mind is at is where you are at.  If you are thinking in your mind that your situation is horrible then the situation cannot be anything but horrible.   However you have a choice.  Someone else in the same situation understands the possible horrible nature of the situation but experiences it in an entirely different way, perhaps more positive, by exercising choice of perception.

Our situation is only as our mind makes it.  Reading accounts of Prisoners of War who survived you will find they spent their days in the mind to find peace. They could find the positive in the retched. They could not be broken because of the mind, spirit connection.  Survivors understood that the retched captor could not capture the mind/spirit. It is only our mind that can truly jail us.

This mind spirit connection can be summed up by something I believe in.  "Where ever your mind is, thats where you are".  Further explanation comes from a quote by Pema Chodron.

"Whether we regard our situation as heaven or as hell depends on our perception"




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The View from Renjo Pass

This photo was taken at 17,600 feet.  The central high peak is Mt Everest.  Notice the 3rd holy lake in the foreground.  If you look closely the village of Gokyo is upper left of the lake shore.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tibetan Yak Train

We crossed the Renjo La at 17,600 feet.  As we crested the pass heading West I could feel 600 years of Tibetan Yak trains.  Tibetans would load their yaks with bags of salt from Tibet, cross the Nangpa La into Nepal to pick up Rice.  This is no easy feat.  Imagine crossing, glacier with gaping crevasses and ice bridges with 800 pound animals.

Once on the Nepal side the tension subsides and Tibetan Folk songs ring through the valley.  Tibetans often whistle a tune that lulls Yak and herder into a meditation.  The occasional,  Ang Tashi, Ang Nima (yak names) echoing off the walls as the animals are persuaded to move faster.

On this trip I could hear the yak bells in the distance.  A kind of soft sound making one forget the miles under feet.