About Four Winds
Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service has been guiding trips in the Himalaya since 1994. We have more than 22 years and 38 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. Gambia 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.
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.
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 is our number one priority. Each group is registered with the American Embassy in Kathmandu and is equipped with a satalite phone. In 22 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
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.
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.
“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.
"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."
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!
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
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
"Can I get my coffee" the voice urgent and whiny draws me to the table next to me. An American woman is fuming. "I just cant wait any longer, it has been 10 minutes, please bring me my coffee now" Her voice is irritating and her lack of patience grating. She seemed way out of her comfort zone as if someone were stabbing her in the leg.
I glance back to the window. Outside the man with crippled legs sits in the dirt. He travels by crawling on his knees. The calluses on his knees thick like a elephants feet. He is smiling and asking passers by for money. He crawls on. Cars, exhaust, mud, trampling feet, and crippled legs, yet he smiles.
I look back to the woman. I have been where she is at, complaining, whining. I also have been where the man crawls by going through a bone marrow transplant and pushing my uncomfortable zone to wider margins in the high mountains.
When I start to complain or whine about my car not starting, the guy cutting me off in traffic, the rude woman at the phone company, I realize I am just spoiled and have too much comfort. I forget to use the perspective given me by going through pain and suffering in the high mountains and through transplant.
Expand your uncomfortable zone. Get uncomfortable for 5 minutes and realize that our comfort zone does not need to expand to the point where we are just locked in our homes all cozy, fat, and lazy. Our comfort zones do not need to permeate every aspect of our lives to the point that we dont feel life. Being uncomfortable is a good and necessary part of life. It allows us to be compassionate and appreciate what we have. Being able to widen your "uncomfortable" zone allows ease of happiness. Things that seem huge obstacles become simple as you widen your zone
Think about how you can get some discomfort in your life to keep in perspective what is truly out of your comfort zone. If not getting your coffee within 10 minutes of ordering upsets you, try walking on your knees to the nearest Starbucks.
I took a quick look at the rock step and realized it was all loose rock, unprotectable, dangerous.
After the message from the meandering boulder, we decide to turn back. The route was just not in good shape. If there was more snow we would make the summit in 5 hours from this point.
We are all down and safe and the mountain will be there next year with a route safe to travel. Love to all. Matt
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Camp one at 17,200 feet. Quite a place. We are all doing well the summit only 2600 feet above. Our plan was to go for the summit in the morning of the 17th. We have decided to carry all our hardware to the avalanche cone and the beginning of the steep climbing, come back and rest for the day. Wesley arrived late and has acclimatized well in a short period of time but we decided to give him one more days rest and acclimatization.
From our "camp I" we have beautiful views East to Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse South, and hundreds of more obscure peaks. Like being on the moon, the landscape is desolate, quiet, empty yet full of wonder and intense beauty.
Going for the summit on the 18th if all goes well.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Do you believe in the Yeti? I ask because Fabrizio and his client Heather were deep asleep when a growl, described by both as sounding like an extremely large Bear, shattered the night. The echos reverberated in the remote valley. They both tucked into their sleeping bag and acted as they did not hear a thing. Just extremely unexplainable.
Oddly enough in 2002 I was attempting the first ascent of Kyajo Ri and had a Base Camp almost where Fabrizio and Heather had theirs. I had 2 clients from Switzerland join us on the climb. Because the peak was unclimbed we were all over the mountain trying to find the path of least resistance on a peak that was near vertical. The couple from Switzerland left in the morning excited to be in a valley where none had gone, infinite space and not a print. When they returned they had photos of foot prints. Not boot, not human, but definitely prints.
We are excited to be heading to camp one. Maybe the Yeti will pay us a visit. Matt Fioretti
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Dont believe in past lives? Well I was a yak herder with 2 Tibetan Mastiffs in my past life. It is often that I make a yak herder on the trail bust up with laughter as I yell out the Tibetan commands "Cha, whoaaa. The herder looks with bewilderment. Often a herder will reply "good, good". His yaks responding, their ears twitching from the new unfamiliar voice.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Base camp was pitched at 16200 feet, a perch overlooking a broad tundra valley.
In 3 days we will move to camp one, more remote, deeply other worldly, vast. Camp one, we hope, will be at 17400. This will leave us with a final push of 2600 feet.
Thinking of all of you. Matt
Friday, October 7, 2011
In the morning it is hard to get out of the warmth of your sleeping bag. A cacoon stuper. The prayer services called and soon all 6 of us were walking the rocky trail in front of the Monastery. At the entry the Lama was waiting and waved us in.
We entered the old monastary and sat in front of the Buddha and Tara on old Tibetan carpets. He began instantly no pause, a sing song mantra. After 40 minutes he waved us over. He stayed in the lotus position and tied a red blessed string around our neck and touch us forehead to forehead. We bowed before him humbly. We are now ready to continue our journey and climb. Hope you are all well.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
In my 5th floor hotel room I pulled my self from the window and wondered what it would be like if I still had to pump water from a well in my back yard by hand. The man had pumped 2.5 hours and filled several containers so he and his wife could cook, shower, wash clothes, and have drinking water for his 2 kids. I walked into the bathroom, turned a knob, and hot water gushed.
We are in Kathmandu Nepal. Everyone has arrived. We fly to Lukla tomorrow the trail head for our trek and climbing expedition. Welcome to Nepal. Hope you follow us as we climb the South and North side of Pharilapche (aka Machermo).