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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.
Matt Fioretti - Guide/Owner has led 22 expeditions and has 36 seasons of experience at altitude.

About Four Winds


Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service has been guiding trips in the Himalaya since 1994. We have 23 years and 40 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 34 years of experience to the high altitude arena. Gombu 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

Please call for possible openings for 2018. Now taking deposits for September, 2018, and March 2019 trips

2018 September Expedition- We depart from Kathmandu to attempt an unclimbed peak. Climbers must show a climbing resume to be considered. 2 spaces available for a team of 6. The peak is in the far west, the journey remote.

March 2019- Hike around the Manasulu, the 8th highest peak in the world. 23 days.

April 2019- 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 2019 - 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.

For more information and pricing please email or call.

Phone: 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.



“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.


Taken from Camp I -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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Guiding Mt Everest? Client on Mt Everest?

Several of you have asked me to write my view point on "Guiding"  Mt Everest.  The topic has been scrutinized, shredded, and sensationalized and I understand its allure.  I have been asked to lead expeditions to Everest several times throughout my guiding career.  The answer always a quick "No, but I will take you to a peak where the climbing is beautiful, technically harder,  and we will be the only team on the mountain".   Two old school climbing values held within this answer:  1.  The aesthetic nature of the line.  2.  Having a wilderness experience.  Two out of several values that are the foundation of climbing ethics and why we climb.  These values and many others seem to be missing in the choice to climb Everest.

In 2008 I was leading a trip on the technical South West Ridge of Pumori.   Our team of 4 were sharing a Base Camp with Tim Rippel, a guide I highly respect, of "Peak Freaks" and Fabrizio Zangrilli an outstanding guide from Boulder Colorado and his client.  I believe there were a total of 14 people on the mountain.  In our group tent the discussion of "Guiding" Everest was a topic that sliced the thin air at our 17,300 foot Base Camp.   There were 14 of us on Pumori,  more beautiful than Everest ( it resembles a mini K2) and the route a climbers dream.  Steep ice,  a line that follows the south shoulder, distinct and sharp. That same season, just 1 hour and 45 minutes to the North, Everest Base Camp was hosting 800 people (according to the Sagamartha Pollution Control Committee), several generators, computers, boom boxes, and a russian spa.  We would walk from our star lit Base Camp to the edge of a moraine that formed a high shoulder.  Looking North to Everest BC we were shocked to see it lit up with electricity, we could here music, generators,  basically a small town formed on the glacier.  

I do not want to step on anyones toes!  I have friends that guide Everest,  a high respect for some of the guide services leading trips on Everest.  I am happy that the many Sherpa's have steady work.  The guides service and Sherpas hold years of experience and outstanding knowledge of the mountain.  Other toes that I may want to tweak are those of clients or people considering going on a guided climb of Mount Everest.  You have a responsibility! Just because you pay big money does not mean you are exempt from responsibility.  Also the guide service has a responsibility to educate you on your responsibility,  maybe this does not happen in a clear concise way.  It seems that there may be a break down in communication because guide services, rightly so, want to make money and clients want to climb Everest and have paid thousands to get there.  Because big money is involved on both sides I believe that important issues the guide services need to address often get left in a grey area and important issues that the client need to address get dumped into the same grey area, never discussed.  In short our goals and desires can often outweigh what is inherently important in choosing to Guide Everest or choosing to be guided on everest.  In 2003 I went to Everest BC for an acclimatization hike.  I witnessed a client learning to put on crampons.  It became obvious to me that the guide service was not responsible and the client was not responsible.  Climbing is like learning to fly a plane,  you just don't go from a flight simulator (the climbing gym) to sitting in the cockpit of a 747 ( Mt Everest).   You have years of steps and studies in between.  Learning the skills should not be taking place on Mt Everest.

Responsibility is just one of the hundreds of issues that surround the "Guiding Everest" debate and I only have these observation to offer to both guide service and client on responsibility.  I  have a set of guidelines that I have been using in the Himalaya.  In 31 seasons and 19 expeditions they have worked for my guide service "Four Winds Himalayan Guide Service" and client alike.  

Clients if you are choosing to climb Everest or anything above 21,000 ft.  you should take responsibility for the following:

There is no such thing as an easy mountain.  Climbing any mountain is dangerous and you could die.  No guide service can stop an avalanche, a snow storm, the 500 pound boulder bouncing down slope.  Any guide service that says "Thats an easy mountain"  you may want to be cautious of.  If you are in the climbing arena remember you could die.  You alone are making the choice of being in the climbing arena.  With this choice you must accept that you might die and that just because you are being guided you still could die to no fault of the guide service.  If you don't know the high risk involved in the climbing arena you probably have not spent enough time in the mountains to be on Mt Everest.

If you are choosing to climb in the high altitude arena it is your responsibility to be truthful about your experience.  If you are learning to put on a harness at BC then you should not be there.  If you have less than 5 years of alpine climbing and mountaineering experience you probably should not be there.

You should be proficient at using your mountain axe.  Self arrest, boot axe belay, pick positions, adze usage, all should be automatic.  If you don't know what these are you should not be on Everest. 

You should be 100% confident about rappelling and belaying.

You should be 100% confident/proficient with your crampon skills,  be comfortable climbing AI 3.  If you don't know this rating you should not be there.

You should be proficient with crevasse rescue.

You should be comfortable with setting up a tent in heavy storm conditions.

You should be familiar with stoves and be able to cook and boil water in near hurricane condition.

You should be proficient at rope travel and management.  You should at least know how to tie a figure Eight.  If you don't know what this is then you should not be there.

You should be comfortable and accept 100% that just because you are paying $7000 to $75,000 for an expedition in the Himalaya does not guarantee a summit. There are too many unpredictable variables. You are paying for a chance to summit.  If a guide turns you back or shuts down the expedition he is probably saving your life.  It is your responsibility before an expeditions to understand that you are just paying for a chance at reaching the summit.  A chance has been attained when you reach base camp,  anything after that is out of anyones control, a fringe bentefit,  you might not make it to Advanced Base Camp.

These are just some of the basics that are your responsibility as a client.  If you do not have these basic skills or experience then start with a smaller mountain like Island peak.

Guide Services:  If your clients for Everest fall outside of any of these guidelines then you have the responsibility of turning them down.  

You have the responsibility of letting them know what their responsibilities are.  Asking what there skills are and submitting a "climbing resume".  If your clients are learning to put on crampons at Base Camp of Everest many would say you are being irresponsible.

Leave all the crap at home.  Get rid of the comforts like generators and loud boom boxes (obvious reasons and a whole other topic).

Limit your group size.  I don't have a number but a client list of 18 or more seems extravagant.  I have heard of Guide services with 25 or more climbers.  Dollar wise it is awesome for you, totally understandable, but responsibility, safety, and the mountain experience suffers.  Think about others on the mountain.  A group of 7 to 12 is plenty.

Have clients carry their own gear.  Hardly anyone climbs everest any more except the Sherpas.  They carry gear, set up tents, fix rope, carry clients oxygen, make tea for clients etc.  Let clients do all this while keeping the Sherpas on board for back up.  Let the client climb the mountain, carry their gear, set up their own tents, cook their own tea and meals.  

If client and guide services can follow these simple guidelines I believe guiding Mt Everest would be a much safer, quieter, undertaking for client and guide service alike.  Clients who do not have the skill will not go to the mountain ( at this time) and Guide Services will attract climbers that have put in their time on smaller mountains and have the skill to climb the mountain without reducing Everest to her knees.   

In the end remember the 2 "old school" climbing ethics and choose your mountain accordingly.  The aesthetics of the line and the wilderness experience will define your climb not how high the mountain.

Other articles regarding this topic:


  1. Thanks Matt. Well put. I believe the Viester's and Hillary's of the world would say, "Amen brother."

  2. Excellent ARticle, matt. I can't wait to trek and climb with you!

    Mark Poffenbarger


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