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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


HISTORY

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.


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 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.




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Trekking and Climbing Shedule

Please call for possible openings for 2017. Now taking deposits for April, 2017, and 2017 trips

2017 March Expedition- Mt Everest, Tibet side $28,000

April 2017 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 2017 - 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. 2017 - Ama Dablam Expedition. Four Winds has led 3 expeditions to Ama Dablam and we will return in 2017. 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 2017 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.

Phone: 206-282-0472

Email: fourwindsexpedtions@gmail.com


Website: fourwindsexpeditions.com


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

Monday, October 22, 2012

Greetings from 15600 feet.  We are at the village of Drag Nag perched just below the Cho La pass.  One of my beliefs is that the mountains will dictate your journey.  Not only has it been true on this trip but it was ever so true on the Tibet trip.  I think the itinerary changed daily on our Tibet trip.  One has to be flexible and have a total respect for the mountain.  Two days ago a young American woman that had befriended our group had this idea that she had to go to Everest Base Camp no matter what.  She was cocky and was going to do anything to get there.  She asked my opinion on her high altitude symptoms.  She was exhibiting a strong headache that had not gone away for 3 days.  Not the normal come and go high altitude headache.  I gave her my opinion "go down today, rest, and come back another day".  She was going to have none of that.  I told her my motto "the mountain will dictate your journey" as she walked off indignant.   The next morning we heard a rescue helicopter......   the young woman was on it.  I hope she is well and will return again to do her dream on the mountains schedule.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hello Everyone,
I am in the Khumbu on expedition and have a brief rest in Namche Bazaar.  I will have to continue blogs on the Tibet trip upon my return to Kathmandu but leave you with this:

Day 3 of our journey heading West across Tibet I saw the ultimate nomad.  We were 2 to 3 hours by car from any village.  The hills of Tibet stretched beyond the eye, endless.  The ultimate nomad caught my eye between horizon and road side, just a black speck in a sand sea.  Trotting with an air of confidence, a regal traveler with head held high, tail curled tight, and business to tend to.  This nomad is the formidable Tibetan Mastiff.  I would guess that the one I view now from the comfort of my car was 150 miles from the nearest Tibetan hovel.  The breed is known to travel 3 to 5 days without food and water.  They will fend off wolf to protect the nomadic family and fight to the death to keep the yak heard safe from snow leopard.

They also have a very lazy side.  I have watched the breed for 10 years or more and often you will see them lounging in the hot sun on a high rock.  I brought one from Nepal in 2004 and most of the day she lays and acts like we need to tend to her.  When it is time to protect the house from the odd raccoon she becomes fierce.  

Viewing this lone dog crossing the Tibetan plateau made me think about freedom, strength, and living without fear.  If you have a chance look up the breed do so. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tibet September 22nd

After crossing the boarder we met our Tibetan Liaison officer.  Pemba was very quiet at first but as the journey unfolded he unfolded.  We also met our drivers.  We would be driven by Land Cruisers across Tibet traveling from East to West, until we reached the foothills of Mt Kailash and the beginning of our pilgrimage by foot.  I had done this drive in 1998 and was excited to feel the vastness of Tibet.  This vastness permeates every cell.  It is hard to describe the feeling of freedom while crossing the 14200 foot Tibetan plateau.  I can only imagine that when we leave this world we pass into a place or feeling similar to the feeling and place that Tibet exudes.  It is a preview of the after life.   As we loaded up our truck that would carry our gear I was excited to float through this vastness.  I say float because space is so infinite that the physical is reduced.  I feel like a half grain of sand on a windy day at the beach, the winds and the undulating terrain pushing me at their whim, a floating light soul.

Though the landscape spreads into an infinite painting and the days of driving long, you want to keep your eyes open and fight sleep.  The colors, mountains, streams, high passes, huge puffy clouds, deep blue sky, and the characters on the road are wild and free.  Every driving day was at least 5 hours and sometime 9 but I and the others rarely shut our eyes for chance we would miss something in this special land.  I rarely blinked.  Most of the hours were passed in pure silence.  Three land cruisers,  4 people each car, rarely a word exchanged in the truck I traveled in.  The driver of my truck was a larger man light on his feet.  At one point he loaded a music CD and haunting Tibetan music came through the speakers.  He began to sing and his voice melted our hearts, I could feel the land and his experience in his voice.  His name was Pinejew (spelled phonetically) and he grew on all. 

The characters on the road I will write about in the next blog.  Imagine mad max meets Tibetan nomad.  Also photos coming soon.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

September 21st

Flexibility is key.  On September 15th I found out that China would be closing the Tibet borders on October 1st.  This gave us a brief 4 day window to change the itinerary drastically.  We (my agent and I) had worked on perfecting the original itinerary for a pilgrimage around Tibets Mt Kailash over the past 6 months.  Now to get in and out of Tibet before closure we would have to design an itinerary in 4 days.  What we came up with was a wild dash and outrageous adventure.  Everything would have to align perfectly without a hitch or we would miss our deadline out of Tibet.   I emailed clients just 3 days prior to departure from the states.  The memo was brief " Don't miss your flights".  Four of the clients would be arriving Kathmandu on September 20th around 2pm and we would be departing for Tibet early on September 21st.  The connection was crucial and providence stepped in again.  All 12 of us were on a bus heading toward the Tibet border on September 21st. 

I have had bus drivers in Nepal smoking hash while listening to Santana, drinking Chang ( local rice wine) and slurring their words, visiting with their good friend in the jump seat next to them with their eyes on the road only 50% of the time.  The great Himalayan gorges beckoning, tires just inches away from the great plunge. I was apprehensive as our bus pulled out in the early Kathmandu dust toward the North, and the cool mountain air.  I cannot remember our drivers name but he was the first driver I ever tipped.  He was awesome!  Careful around blind corners where others would Carine a speeding bus into possible mayhem.  One bus ride I actually jumped out the window as the driver tried to slip the bus past a landslide only wide enough to fit a small car.  Every passenger followed, spilling out the door ways, the emergency exit in the rear,  half opened windows, and the bus skidded to a dusty stop just inches before the plunge.  Today our driver was smooth, safe, and kind.  He probably listened to Santana in the safety of his home.  I tipped him good and everyone was thankful.   We arrived at the Tibet border in one piece and began the immigration process.  

We had arrived at Kodari the last village before crossing the friendship bridge into Tibet and the town of Zangmu.  The bridge brings back old memories.  It was here after finishing an expedition on Cho Oyu the 6th highest peak in the world that I had trouble exiting the country.  They would not let me leave an I could not figure out why.  I had planned to escape at night by rappelling down into the deep gorge that separates the borders and then crossing the river into Nepal.  Providence steps in again.  I ran into a Nepali friend who was doing business on the Tibet side and told him of my plan.  In his broken Nepali accent he said "  No no no maaat,  Chinese machine guns in valley".  I decide to pass on the idea of escaping via valley.

I called the American embassy in Chengdu and Nepal.  They contacted the Chinese officer in charge,  I was out 2 days later.

Now crossing back into Tibet I was nervous that they would refuse me entry.  As they checked our paper work mid bridge span I looked toward the Chinese guard with his crisp green uniform and white gloves holding a semi automatic weapon.  First thought, not good, as I walked toward the guard.  Everything actually went well after I passed.  We went into an immigration room and a kind Chinese officer greeted us and apologised for the wait. Relieved,  we entered Tibet on September 21st and were on our way to holy Mt Kailash. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tibet

I have just returned from guiding a trip to holy Mt Kailash in Tibet.  It is the practice of every Tibetan Bhuddist to walk around the holy mountain on pilgrimage.  Sounds easy but it is 35 miles all of which are above 15,400 feet,  the high point being 17,600 feet.  Over the next few days I will write about our journey and add photos.  There were 12 of us and 11 made the entire journey.  Because the Chinese government was going to close the border on October 1st our itinerary changed drastically.  We all were walking into the unknown for the most part.  It was interesting to be guiding a trip where the only thing I really had knowledge of was how to acclimatize the group,  keep them moving efficiently through the mountains, and keep them safe while remaining at altitude.  Everything else was out of my control and theirs and for the most part the group was good with that.  We all suffered bouts of anguish, frustration, cold, and exhaustion.  During the journey I was reminded that these along with the myriad of other emotional and physical suffering are an integral part of life.  In our culture we are constantly trying to deny suffering turning away or hiding from what is a natural occurance on this journey of life.  What I have found is that in the midst of suffering it hurts.  What is also very true of suffering is that you can count on plentiful gifts once on the other side.  The key is to understand that suffering too shall pass. I believe it is also key to understand the reality that we are all walking into the unknown.  No one is exempt or knows the future. If we believe we know what will happen tomorrow we are lost for sure.   We are all walking into the unknown.   Hope you enjoy the following stories of our Joy, suffering, and laughter and our journey into the unknown.  Matt



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