Travelling with Wild Heights
Kathmandu will be our base city as all our trips start from here (except for a few trips we run in India).Your accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara (as well as corresponding base cities of other countries) are on clean and simple mid-range hotels (or guesthouses, lodges, inns) on a twin-share basis. Our aim is to stay at small friendly places with local character and atmosphere, that are close to the things we want to see. Standards and levels of sophistication vary with local conditions.
All of our trekking holidays are either camping or lodge-based. Some trips, however, have been categorised as Non-trekking Adventures where the same standard of accommodation as mentioned above is used. Accommodation normally commences on the first night of Day One of the itinerary until check-out on the day of departure.
Traditional ‘Full-service’ Camping Treks
All our treks are accompanied by a Trek Leader, and a crew of Sherpa guides and porters or pack animals. We offer two styles of trek- camping treks and lodge-based treks (often referred to as ‘teahouse’ treks) or private homestays where lodging facilities are non-existent. The accommodation type used for each trek has been chosen as the most suitable for the particular region visited. On rare occasions, however, it may become necessary for us to use a combination of all three in a single trek. For us the route is the main focus and we use whatever accommodation is most suitable, or sometimes the only available.
We organise the porters or pack animals to carry all the baggage and equipment, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery, needing only a small day pack with whatever you require for that day’s walk. This basically means we do the work and you walk.
Camping with Wild Heights doesn’t necessarily mean ‘roughing it’ or being uncomfortable. On the contrary, we will be camping in style and comfort using high quality imported camping equipments that include roomy two-person tents with mattresses, kitchen tent, mess tent, toilet tent as well as tables, chairs and cooking gears. As we carry all our equipment and food and provide all the necessary staff, our self-contained crews can take you safely and comfortably just about anywhere in the Himalaya in line with our commitment to taking you away from the usual trekking routes.
A Sherpa cook prepares the meals while other Sherpas take care of all the camping arrangements from setting up camp to serving your meals. This is generally considered to be the more luxurious way to trek though you will have to do without some of your creature comforts.
There are now so many good lodges on the main trekking trails in places like Annapurna, Everest and Langtang that it makes sense to use these facilities, where they exist rather than camp in their yards. It’s cheaper for you as we don’t need to use a large, self-contained crew to carry all the food and equipment. As most lodges are family-run, they are often an extension of their home each possessing a unique character, giving you an opportunity to interact with local people while still enjoying the security and the services of our expert and caring staff who oversee everything from food preparation and hygiene, to bed tea in the morning.
The accommodation and facilities may be basic with dormitory bedrooms and some smaller 2-3 bedded rooms, but clean, the food plain but nourishing and hygienically prepared and the environment cosy and congenial. Most lodges have solar showers, and some form of washing facilities and toilets. Those at lower altitudes may have electricity. Please note that we only use those lodges which conform to the higher standards of comfort, hygiene and environmental concerns.
In Kathmandu and other cities or towns, we normally arrange accommodation on bed and breakfast basis only and exclude other meals, allowing you to decide what you wish to eat and where, and this gives you an opportunity to sample varied local food plus a whole assortment of Western cuisine at local restaurants. Camp and trek food are included.
On the trek
First-time trekkers on camping treks are surprised at the quality of the food. You will find it plentiful and appetising. The cook and his kitchen crew are masters at preparing food under less than ideal conditions. They serve a delicious mixture of local, Indian and Western food while at the same time ensuring high standards of hygiene. Ingredients and utensils are ‘safe’ and clean. As much as possible we try to use locally bought fresh vegetables, etc. but you must be aware that such variety is sometimes not available in remote areas, and we must rely on pre-packaged products brought from Kathmandu.
We also provide chocolate, cheese and biscuits, dried fruit and nuts etc for snacks on the trek. All water is boiled and is supplied at camp or teahouse as required. We also cater for vegetarians. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements upon booking. We travel as a self-contained expedition.
Breakfast will usually be local breads/pancakes, cereal/muesli/ porridge, eggs, tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
Lunch will generally be vegetables, salads, breads, cheese, pasta style dishes, tinned fish/ meats.
Afternoon tea is biscuits and tea/coffee or hot chocolate.
Dinner is three courses- soup, seasonal vegetables, meat and a desert.
On the teahouse trek, meals are provided by our teahouse hosts and the menus offered are as diverse as the lodges themselves. Meals are hearty, wholesome and nutritious if somewhat plain. Our staff are there to supervise and assist in hygienic food preparation and presentation.
A typical day of trekking
A typical trekking day is governed more by the sunrise and sunset than by the clock. Our daily schedule usually starts early with hot tea delivered to your tent, followed by a small bowl of warm water for washing. Before breakfast, you pack your gear, and your duffel bag will be taken and tied up with other gear into a porter’s load and will not be available until camp that evening.
We then set off on the trail, normally walking more than half the day’s trekking in the morning with time for photographs or a glass of tea at a local lodge. Lunch is usually a two-hour break to allow for the group meal followed by the staff meal. It’s a warm time of day, so people relax or read a book. The afternoon’s walk is normally shorter, but this of course depends on the trail conditions, weather and the availability of suitable camp-sites with a water supply. By the time we reach our night’s camp, the porters have usually arrived and the tents are up. An afternoon tea is served after which, there is time to rest, explore the surrounding areas and villages or sit and chat with the staff and local people, followed by a substantial hot evening meal. Remember to bring your water bottle to the dining tent so it can be filled by the kitchen staff during dinner.
Trekking evenings afford some of the best memories of your trek, whether it is sitting around talking, playing cards, chatting with the staff or joining in some singing and dancing with the local people, it is always a very special time. When we are close to a village there is usually a chance to sample local brews too!
Teahouse trekking, on the other hand, is very similar to camping except that you just won’t be sleeping in a tent and that the tea is brought to your room, not your tent in the morning! There will be a lunch en route and plenty of time to stop and view the remarkable scenery. The evenings are spent in beautifully located lodges.
The time it takes to walk from one camp/teahouse to another can vary enormously between each individual and it is therefore impossible to say how long it will take for you to complete each day. Most trek days are generally between 5-8 hours. If you feel you are walking slowly, don’t worry as your Trek Leader will always be at the back of the group to ensure that you can walk at your own pace without getting lost. The pace is your own, the worries are left to us!
Trekking with Wild Heights
Walking days are varied, depending on your chosen trek, but each of Quest’s trek and the itinerary has been carefully structured to give you ample time to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding areas, that we stay at good camp-sites or lodges, usually with a mountain view, and that the days are neither too long nor too short. We ascend slowly and surely allowing for safe acclimatisation.
Each night we will sleep a little higher than the previous night, as part of a stringent acclimatisation process. Elevation gains of 300 to 500 metres will be encountered on an average trek day. A close watch is kept on all trekkers by the Trek Leader who is able to recognise and treat the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
Depending on what trips you are booked on, the trekking crew generally consists of the Trek Leader in charge of the whole team, the Cook and the Kitchen staff, Sherpa guides, who distribute the loads, watching over the group and porters, and guide you along the trail and help explain the various sights, and the porters who carry the loads.
On teahouse treks, we don’t use cooks as the meals are generally prepared by our hosts themselves. On high altitude treks, especially in the Everest region and Tibet, some porters may be replaced by yaks. Yaks handlers will always accompany their charges and they control them.
We provide our clients free use of quality Trek Pack, according to their chosen adventures. This includes a kit/duffel bag, which you can take home as a memento, down/duvet jacket, sleeping bag, thermal liner, and rain jacket or poncho. These items not only add to your comfort, it also adds up a considerable saving for you.
The kit bag, which is fairly big with almost a metre in length and 45cm in diametre, will not just help protect your luggage from the inevitable wear and tear but may also come handy for taking your souvenirs and shopping items home at the end of your trip.
We carry good quality two-man tent, insulated sleeping mattress, sleeping pillow and hot water bag to ensure warmth during cold nights. In addition, we also carry toilet tent and mess tent with tables and backrest chairs, which provide a cozy comfortable atmosphere to eat and chat with fellow trekkers in the evening.
Things to bring
Your choice of gear will depend on the type of trek and season you plan to come. A flexible system of ‘layered’ clothing is recommended. Walking boots should be lightweight and well worn in before trekking.
A full kit list will be provided upon booking (please see our Trip Notes for details). It’s wise to keep weight and bulk to a minimum as the weight limit on most international airlines is 20 kilograms (44 pound) but make sure you bring all the essential items. Bring clothes that wash and dry easily (jeans take forever to dry). It is possible to purchase or hire most of the clothing or equipments in Kathmandu, but you must remember that often your size (especially if you are very large) may not be available. Following is a general idea on what to bring:
Included in the cost of your trip
Hotel accommodation, on a twin-share, bed and breakfast basis, (when not trekking or on other non-trekking adventures)
All meals while on trek/ river/ wildlife safaris or in other isolated areas
Welcome Dinner in Kathmandu & hotel transfers
All Sight-seeing tours with English-speaking guide as listed in your itinerary
All entrance fees to temples, monasteries and monuments wherever applicable
All National Park entrance fees
All applicable trekking/climbing permits and fees
All internal transport by private vehicle as may be required
Internal flight/s as listed in your itinerary; domestic airport departure taxes
All transfers to and from airports, arrival and departure assistance, and reconfirmation of tickets
Orientation documentation including Kathmandu city map
Use of Trek Pack
Porters or pack animals to carry heavy group equipment and personal gear
Full trek staff arrangements including Sherpa guides along with Cook and all ancillary kitchen and camp staff
All major equipment such as tents, utensils, stoves & fuel while on trek/river/jungle trips.
Group medical kit and other safety equipment as may be required
Informed and friendly pre-trip support from our Kathmandu office
Main meals in cities unless otherwise stated
International Airport departure taxes
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, postage, clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance etc
Mountain, road, river rescue or any other emergency evacuation charges
Expenses incurred through illness and/ or any other unforeseen situations or events
Loss incurred by rerouting, cancellation, weather, floods, famine, political disruptions strikes, riots and other disturbances
Excess baggage charges
Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, chocolates and similar items
Tips and Gratuities
Any other activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Please note that the cost shown for each trip is the Land Only price and does not include your international flight arrangements. Please see your travel agent in your relevant country for your flight arrangement.
Your holiday with Quest normally commences on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary until check-out on the day of departure. If you will be in Kathmandu before your trek, we will meet you at the airport, transfer you to your hotel and provide your orientation documentation; or if you would like to stay additional nights after the trip ends, we will be happy to book your accommodation for any extra nights outside the original programme.
If you somehow miss your outbound flight, are cancelled or delayed for some reasons and cannot arrive on the scheduled day please remember to fax or email us your revised arrival details. Our staff monitor flight changes and will usually be aware of any delay to a flight. Please be aware that no refund can be made for alternative nights substituted for unused accommodation.
Trip notes (Pre-departure information)
Wild Heights’s detailed Trip Notes will be sent to you with your booking confirmation, as it is the final definitive statement of inclusions and other details. They provide detailed itineraries and give specific information on many aspects of your adventure holiday, which will allow you to prepare fully prior to departure. If at any time you would like further advice, please contact us for specific details.
At the end of every trip, we provide our clients with a questionnaire that we urge you to fill in. Because we rely on our clients’ feedback to monitor the quality of our operations and adopt positive innovations, we would appreciate any comments made about your holiday.
We can carefully link trekking trips with rafting adventure, jungle safari, mountain biking, cultural visit or research and exploration in remote areas, etc. Please see Extensions
Bring your own groups
If you are looking to arrange an adventurous holiday for your group and interested in devising your own itinerary and departure date, we would be happy to advise you on your travel plans.
Treks can be tailored to any individual interest- for small groups of friends, family, school, club, groups organised by travel agents, or for people sharing a common, special interest. These treks can be arranged for one, two or any number of people.
We have a good collection of interesting itineraries most of which are not even featured in this site. With our extensive knowledge of the Himalayan region, we can hand-craft an itinerary to suit your specific needs. Please contact us with details of your interest, duration and other criteria and we will be happy to devise an itinerary for you and give you a quotation.
How to book
-Contact us and together we will discuss and plan your proposed itinerary;
-Depending on the destination and the duration of your holiday it is often possible for us to prepare a costing immediately;
-We will then contact you with a quote by email or through the post;
-Next, just complete our booking form and return with a deposit of US$100 per person with the remaining balance to be paid in Kathmandu upon arrival;
-Next, you will receive an invoice and Trip Notes;
-We will take note of your arrival details;
-Then all you have to do is turn up in Kathmandu and we will take over.