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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

Friday, November 23, 2012

September 27th second day of Kora


On day one September 26th, we had hiked 5 hours along the east face of Kailash.  It was astonishing how the trail was situated right at the base. The mountain rising from rubble to sky.  We worked our way around to the North face all the while kailash demanding respect.  I mentioned in a earlier blog that some pilgrims will prostrate around the whole mountain.  I was curious to see such a person.  This second day we were above 16,000 feet.  When we had arrived at camp the day before no one had the energy to walk across the river to the Diraphug Monastery,  the effects of altitude.  There was a wind that moved through every layer of clothing and through the body.   Respiration was heavy with the thin air and rigors of setting up 7 tents.  Our team worked well and soon we were tucked in for the evening, water boiling, snacks in hand, a darkening blue sky.  When we woke it was cold with a blanket of ice covering our tents.  If you have ever spent time in an icy tent you know the mornings are the toughest. Going from warm lofty down sleeping bag to the 33 degree weather outside is a battle of will.  Sometimes I will sleep in all my clothes just so they stay warm.  Putting on a cold pair of pants that you have been wearing for the past 7 days (with out a wash) can be daunting.  Someone had asked me on this day what was the longest I had gone without a shower and wearing the same clothes.  I answered with a smile "you don't want to know"  followed by quietly spoken "45 days".  Those of you climbing Shishapangma  (14th highest mountain in the world) with Four Winds in 2014 know what your in for.



We were on the trail early.  An hour into the hike I noticed 2 pilgrims rising and crouching then laying on the ground.  They were prostrating around Kailash.  As I approached I took the photos below.  I could feel there devotion.  I heard through the grape vine that it had taken this couple 5 days to do what we did in 5 hours.  It would take roughly 21 days to prostrate around Kailash.  Climbing Everest is like Disney Land compared to prostrating around Kailash.  As I approached the couple I was expecting tired haggard faces.  Eyes heavy and heart dusty.  I smiled at the woman as she turned my way.  She gave back a big smile with sparkling eyes and a hearty Tashidelek ( the Tibetan greeting).  She turned back to the trail in front and began her next prostration.





                            Tibetan Men starting the Kora

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Dream. Sept 26th

Beginning of the dream.  We were approaching Kailash and pilgrims began to appear.  Groups of Tibetans walking and laughing, some with a serious tone, others had young children on their back sleeping, young teenagers, elderly with canes,  women hand in hand, all gathered to walk the 36.5 mile kora on the slopes of Kailash.   We wanted to get out of the car.  I could see the trail and pilgrims but we were driving to meet our gear truck and the yaks that would be carrying our gear.  A group of Tibetans in traditional long coats,  one sleeve worn off the shoulder,  and felt hats caught my eye.   "Stop" I pointed with a rushed manner.  Our driver pulled over with a questioning look.  I said nothing and exited the vehicle before it came to a stop.  We were all excited.  Packs were pulled from the rear of the land cruiser, jackets put on,  laces adjusted, hats donned, cameras at the ready, smiles, big smiles.  We were psyched!  Months and Months of planning, flights, hotel arrangements, permits, VISA, embassy visits and here we stood.  Just 8 days before the journey there were rumors that the Chinese Government was going to close the border.  At this point there were 12 of us who had investments emotionally and financially so I ignored the rumors.  At 5 days before departure the rumor was becoming more of a reality and I decided to change the whole itinerary drastically.  With the help of Hira my agent in Kathmandu we completely revamped the itinerary so we could exit Tibet by October 1st, the rumored date of the border closure.  Regardless of all the obstacles we had arrived and now were walking.  At 15600 feet it took us a few minutes to get our trail legs back.  Kailash loomed above its shape emanating grace.  About 20 minutes into our pilgrimage we came to the yak loading area.  Commotion and dust surrounded our gear truck.  As I approached Govinda one of our cooks approached and started asking me which bags go.  "This one....... This one?......... This one?"  Our yak drivers,  2 Tibetan woman in beautiful bright pink traditional dress, looked on confused.  There were 12 duffle bags and tons of kitchen gear and tents.  We only had 6 yaks.  Each yak could take 2 duffles.  We could not take it all.  I started rifling through the kitchen gear.  I looked at Govinda and DB who was in the back of the truck unloading more gear.  "Leave it,  we leave all kitchen gear,  kitchen tent, utensils, stoves, karosene, leave it"  The cooks looked at me like I was crazy.  I continued.  "Govinda,  DB, you go as pilgrims this trip, no cooking."   They looked at me surprised.  Never have they done the Kora without having to work.  They had beaming smiles.  I had planned to go light for the kora.  We all would cook in our own tents and everyone packed dry food.  The cooks had not been told and now they were on the kora for the first time as pilgrims.  They excitedly threw all the kitchen gear into the back of the truck.  Yaks were loaded and last minute arrangements made for the truck to meet us on the other side of the mountain.   We posed for a group photo turned and began the Kora.  My assistant guide, Yubach, yelling from the back of the pack, "Every body readyyyyyyyyyy?".

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rush Hour Tibet





On the way to Kailash there were several "rush hour" periods where traffic was backed up.  Below is a photo of a typical rush hour.





Pictured below..... the Tibetan Porsche.  



September 25th - Rest Day?

This was our beautiful camp next to holy lake Manasarovar.  In the distance you can see Mt Kaiash.  On this day we would have a rest day.  The words "Rest Day" take on a new meaning at altitude.  Your body automatically adjust your respiration so you have more oxygen in your blood stream.  For example if at sea level you have a resting heart rate of 65 your heart rate at altitude will raise anywhere between 15 and 30 beats a minute at rest.  It is like you are on a slow jog 24 hours a day.  On most trips I lose anywhere from 5 to 12 pounds in 19 days.  This trip I lost 9 pounds.


Not only is your heart rate elevated but on rest days we have to adhere to an acclimatization regimen which consist of climbing high and sleeping low.  The photo below is on one of our "Rest Days".  We hiked 1000 feet above camp and then came back to camp to sleep low.  In this process our bodies start to acclimatize to the rarefied air.  Rest days at altitude?  Imagine a slow jog 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 15 days.





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

September 24th





Tibetan pilgrims would amaze me daily on this journey.  The photo above shows what they carry.  I had a chance to speak with the 3 pilgrims in the photo above.

 Looking toward the Chugu Monastery I saw in the distance pilgrims huddled around a small fire.  I believe they had carried small pieces of kindling as there is no wood to be found.   Though they probably needed every bit of food and drink they carried for their journey they were quick to offer tea. They had no shelter and their travel kit consisted of a small burlap sack (pictured left) and a white woven plastic sack( pictured middle), thats it.  As I approached, their smiles warmed me.   It was a stark contrast to our camp here next to the holy lake.  We had state of the art 4 season tents,  down sleeping bags rated to 15 degrees or warmer, and a truck to carry our gear and food.  Still we suffered and believe it is just a testament to how soft our spirits are becoming with all the material we have.  Really,  I probably would not last 3 days with what the Tibetans in this photo carried, yet there they were big smiles and laughter booming as they as they walked past our cozy lake camp.  I found out that they had already walked 5 days.  At this point I would guess they had another 5 days to make it around Kailash, then 5 days home.  All done with a burlap sack and a white woven plastic sack.   What were the contents?   I believe....... mostly strong, wild spirits.





This is a photo of the North side of Shishapangma, the 14th highest peak in the world.  In 2014 I will be leading a expedition on the South side of the mountain.  Email me if you would like to join this trip.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The pilgrims of Kailash that made the arduous journey.  We unofficially named ourselves the "Zum Zums"  a Sherpa phrase that means "lets go".  Holy lake Manasarovar in the back round.  
Kids in the Limi Valley of remote Western Nepal.  Most of the population are of Tibetan heritage.  We were able to get a permit to walk through the valley for 8 days to continue and finish our pilgrimage in Nepal.  Blogs about the Limi Valley will follow Tibet blogs.
I met a 72 year old Tibetan Pilgrim Named "Karma Sonam"  I will write about him in upcoming blogs. 
Tibetan Pilgrim on day one of the Kora.  He spins a prayer wheel.  On the inside of the wheel is a long scroll of prayer text.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sponsors and supporters

I want to take a moment to tell you about companies who gave graciously to help make this journey possible.

Zing Bar.  Thank you again John.  If you have not tried Zing bars you may want to.  They are designed by nutritionist, gluten free, and they were a great treat on our journey.

Flying Apron.  Oh my god!  The flying apron supplied what is called the "Peanut butter Joy".   These were outstanding when our taste buds were missing home.  Visit "Flying Apron" in Seattle for totally gluten free treats.  Than you!

Figure Four.  Hands down the best packs on the market for serious alpinist.  It was awesome to use the pack on the Kailash kora for its weight and durability.  Thank you Steve.

Black Diamond Tents.  We used the black diamond stormtrac 4 season tents.  Once you learn how to set them up they are roomy and light and provided a secure get away from all conditions.  Definitely a must have tent.

Thank you to all.   Matt

Tibet September 23

Day 4 would be a long driving day.  The day made easier by the fact that we would see one of the holiest sights on earth, Mt Kailash and Lake Manasorovar.  The landscape changed several times already and now we are passing through high desert.  The colors here are a palette of sunset red, brick, lemon yellows, wheat grass, with splashes of green, outcrops of grey.  Again as in the past days I did not let sleep come while on the drive.  The anticipation of the first view of Kailash kept us looking off in the distance, over ridges, through valleys for just a glimpse of her slopes.  We asked are driver often "is that Kailash"  or " how much longer".

 Mt Kailash holds the designation of being one of the holiest sights on earth that is the least visited.  The latter being true because of the raw nature of the location.  The Tibetan plateau sits above 14,000 feet.   The base of Kailash is at 15,600 feet.  The actual pilgrimage takes place in this high altitude arena to altitudes above 18,000 feet.  It is a true adventure and the pilgrim has to acclimatize properly before attempting the Kora (pilgrimage).  This is not a place for ignorance.  The combination of altitude, cold, sleeping in tents at these elevations,  and of course permit issues make it the least visited but probably the most coveted holy sights on earth.  It is like Mecca or Jerusalem but unlike these sees only 2000 visitors a year.

Situated in far Western Tibet it is also hard to get to and Chinese regulation make it impossible to do on your own, literally impossible.  One of the newest regulation being that you must have at least 5 in your group with 4 of those being of the same nationality.  This is just one hurdle of a myriad of regulation.   (If you want to do this trip hire "Four Winds" we will get you there and out).

Now just hours away, breathing the rarefied air,  and running the gauntlet of bureaucracy,  I and I am sure all in the group felt privileged just to glimpse her slopes.  It is a lifetime goal of every Tibetan Buddhist, and Hindu, to walk the Kora.  Tibetans will walk the plateau for days with only a blanket, and water container to do the pilgrimage of suffering.  The devotion of the Tibetans is made up of surrender, sacrifice, suffering, and runs high.  It is not uncommon to see pilgrims prostrating the whole distance of the Kora.   A pilgrim would bend to his/her knees, lay on his stomach, stretch his leathery hands as far in front of him as possible, rise to his feet, take one step, and repeat.  I questioned weather there was any devotion greater than this and wondered if I would see such raw devotion on the Kora.

In the distance the road emptied into a valley.  To the left sparkling brilliant light reflected off of a large body of water.  Yes lake Manasarovar the holy lake.  I knew Kailash would be west of here and my eyes scanned excitedly.  There standing alone amongst the rolling brown hills stood a sentenel.  Bright white snows with a soft pallor, a summit touching heavens doors, Mt Kailash!  The occupants of the land cruiser grew excited then silent.  We were viewing something extraordinary.  As if entering a church we spoke very few words, the benevolent was present.

We turned south onto a dirt road.  We would be camping next to the Chugu monastery, a place where very few others get to camp, on the shores of Manasarovar.  Here we would spend 2 more days acclimatizing in the church of Kailash.











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