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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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kathmandu- the 4th world

It is 2:30 a.m..  I am in the Tibet Guest house in Kathmandu, jet lag.  I am down in the reception area.  It is a modest reception space but has beautiful Thanka paintings an art form dating back to the 6th century.  I sit on a Tibetan carpet covering a sofa with gaudy patterns. The ceilings have beautiful alcoves with recessed lighting casting a calm mood, a dim single light bulb lights the reception desk.  The workers sleep on the sofas at night.  They are in deep sleep and the bbc news flickers on a TV with poor reception.   When I was writing the last blog entry I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  A big dog, black with a curled tail, trots in through the entry doors to the hotel.  He acts as if this is everyday affair for him.  He roams around sniffing corners comes looks at me then turns with a confidence.  Imagine a ferrel dog just trotting into the front doors of a nice hotel in downtown New York and just trotting around...........

The dog trots to the stair case just behind me with a confidence of ownership.  He squats and relieves himself at the base of the stairs, stands, looks over at me as he trots out the doors as if to say "what are you doing in my hotel at this time of morning?"  and disappears into the Kathmandu night.

Why we climb

At 17,300 after returning from a summit attempt on Kangchung.  All the elements did not come together for us to reach the summit.

It is often thought we climb mountains because of an adrenaline rush.  I have had someone that knew very little about me say "your an adrenaline junky."  I cannot speak for all climbers, climbing is a very personal experience.  Yes I am sure there are those that love the rush but I  believe there is a more universal reason as to why we put ourselves in a dangerous situation every time we step into the Alpine Arena.  Yes there is the physical movement of pushing the body to its limits, the journey, the intense beauty that stirs the soul, the purity of adventure which gives flight to the spirit. These are given in such an untamed environment.  There is something else I believe most climbers experience.  There is the elusive "living in the moment" that often escapes us in our daily lives but is an integral all important part of every climb.  The environment in the climbing arena demands that we be "in the moment".

Last year before leading a trip around Mt Kailash I was driving home from a training session on Mt Rainier.  The road from Paradise lodge to the valley floor is winding with sharp hair pin turns.  I remember straitening my vehicle and seeing a little squirrel in the center of my lane.  I thought he was going to move but as I approached he froze 10 feet in front of my bumper.  I continued thinking that if he stays put he will be fine.  I centered him between my wheels and thought I was driving over him.  When I looked in my rearview mirror he was smashed.  At some point he had darted under my tire.  I slowed the car, pulled to the side, and ran back to the dead animal.  I cried and cried and gave him a burial at the side of the road.  It reiterated how life is so tenuous.  I knew life was tenuous because I almost died at the age of 40 with a rare disease (read surviving a bone marrow transplant in this blog).  Running over the squirrel had me thinking about the seconds that  possibly separate us from death.  While I was in the parking lot at Paradise a thousand elements had to happen in just the right order for that little squirrel to be under my tire.   The time it took to Load the car, the seconds it took to roll down the window before starting the car, talking with friends in the back seat, the few extra second I took sipping on my water at Camp Muir, saying hello to someone in the parking lot, dropping my keys before opening the car door, and thousands more.  If one of these actions was 2 seconds later or earlier would the squirrel be alive?  It is a question I ponder and have no answers but I believe if I was 2 seconds earlier or later the squirrel would be alive.  

Climbing for me is being aware of the thousands of elements that culminate for us as climbers to reach a summit and the intense focus needed to move through these elements.   Snow conditions, humidity, cloud patterns, where you pitch your tent, condition of the mind, wind, what you ate before summit day, how you adjusted your pack, where you placed your anchor, and even when you left your car or home, and thousands more.  Also understanding that these elements are the same ones that can culminate in our being at the right or wrong place at the right time.  When your in an arena where you understand that if you had left 2 minutes earlier on a day where a huge avalance sliced across your climbing route, and that you would have been dead if you left 2 minutes earlier, makes me very alive in the moments on climbs.  Depending on the grade of the climb there is also the extreme focus it takes to hang on to a ripple in the rock the thickness of a dime with room for 2 fingers while trying to move to another dime size ripple.  I am definitely not thinking about my bills at home or dinner tonight and those moments from hold to hold are all that exist.  Climbing forces you to be in the moments and it seems in these wonderfully fun, scary, physically demanding, mentally draining, really really scary, exciting moments, a lifetime takes place.  Yes a life in just a moment forced upon us by the alpine arena.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

surviving a bone marrow transplant

There is no guarantee that you will be alive tomorrow or even in the next 10 minutes.  I have a bit of experience with this.  If you have not read my profile I am a bone marrow transplant survivor.  You can read my profile in the right column of this blog.

In April of 2004 I had just returned from an expedition where  Greg Valentine and I had climbed a peak that had never been climbed.  Going were none had gone before.  When I returned from that expedition I was in my dream, climbing the high mountains in the Himalaya, exploring new ground both physically and spiritually.  The peaks name was Nireka and it stood at over 20,300 feet.  It was my  16th expedition.  I was healthy, strong, and planning my future expeditions.  I had a resting heart rate of 38 beats per minute, similar to Lance Armstrong.

By August, just 2 months later I was struggling to survive.  I was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disorder.  I had Aplastic Anemia.  My body quit producing blood.  Daily I was working with 40 percent of normal oxygen levels.  A walk to my mail box just 30 yards away was my new expedition, at the end of which I was left totaled.  My chances of survival were slim.  I had severe Aplastic Anemia.  Not only was I not producing oxygen rich red blood cells but platelets that keep us from bleeding to death were at a dangerously low output.  A low normal platelet count is 150,000.  My count was 14,000 and at one point would dip to 1000 platelets.  I also had no immune system.  My white blood cell production was so low that catching the common cold could have killed me.  At one point I ended up in emergency because of a sliver in my thumb.  My body could not stave off the minute amount of bacteria.  My only chance of survival was to have a bone marrow transplant.

On October 5th 2005 I received the cells of a non related donor from Italy.  Today October 5 2013 I am 8 years from transplant.  I live with the understanding that there is no guarantee that you will be alive tomorrow or even within the next 10 minutes.  Some may think this is a morbid view on life.  It is neither morbid nor a view.  It is truth.  Once I accepted this truth the energy I used running and fearing death, scratching for security, and putting my dreams on hold, gets put to use in a more positive way.  Think about this.  There is a possibility that you may not be alive tomorrow.  How are you going to live in this moment and the next minutes?  Pursue your dreams now as if there is no tomorrow.  The length of life means nothing if it is empty.  I would rather live a short life being in my dream, following my path, doing what I love, then live 200 years as an empty vessel.

There is no guarantee that you will be alive tomorrow or even in the next 10 minutes.  Security is an illusion and is a marketed idea with a high price, usually driven by fear.  Get out there and follow what you love,  mold your life into what you want it to be.  Follow your path.

There is no guarantee that you will be alive tomorrow or even in the next ten minutes.  Be alive now.

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