Setting New Standards of Mountain Leadership in Nepal
At Lost Earth Adventures we pride ourselves on having highly skilled, experienced and qualified guides; we are continually investing in training programmes to boost their professional and personal development.
Legally, as a minimum, Nepali trekking guides are required to hold a certification awarded by the Nepalese government in order to lead people on treks. This certification, which is the standard for most leaders, is particularly basic in contrast to equivalent qualifications in the UK and does not adequately address or train guides in navigation, avalanche awareness, rope work or map/compass skills.
We have therefore actively decide to invest further in the professional development of our guides, enabling them to advance their careers and earn above-average wages. This involves delivering annual training programmes to our team of local guides, some of which we have now worked with for over 10 years. We are continually striving to be the safest and most responsible travel company we can be, and this means investing in the skills, development and happiness of our staff.
To support this project, we have come into partnership with Steve Long and are lucky enough to have him serve as our technical and training advisor. Steve is an IFMGA certified Mountain Guide. This is the highest possible certification a guiding professional can hold worldwide and requires exceptional levels of skill and years of training to achieve. Steve also sits on the UIAA’s Training Standards Panel, has written the official UK Mountain Leader handbook and has developed the Nepali Mountain Leader Scheme.
The technical expertise and knowledge we have with Steve Long and Dawa Tashi Sherpa, along with our drive to make things better for our guides, means we are able to provide annual training programmes to our staff.
Our guides are only employed after they have been vetted and interviewed by us and spent some time working as an assistant. As an assistant they will start to show their leadership and people skills and our client favourites are then selected to undergo the training course. It is a very practical course, which differs from the heavy theory-based scheme issued by the government. The programme focuses on first aid; leadership skills; mountaineering skills required for snow, avalanches and glaciers and simple rock and ice climbing which is recommended for trek leaders in high-altitude regions. Once they have proven their ability in these areas they will be qualified to lead our treks and perhaps even have the chance to work internationally at some point.
Why is this important for our clients?
It goes without saying that when heading to a remote, high-altitude destination such as the Himalaya, safety is of highest priority. Over the years this region has seen numerous avoidable tragic accidents, and not just on off-the-beaten-track routes. This is because guides have made basic errors in judgement. We pride ourselves at Lost Earth Adventures as being a mountain and Himalayan specialist, not just a travel agent.
We are experts in Himalayan safety; this is our priority. We want you to enjoy every step of your journey with us and have a fantastic time, but we also want you to be confident in the knowledge that you could not be in safer hands.
Our method is not to make money by sending clients to a company with whom we have no contact. We have a duty of care to both our clients and our staff and spend a lot of time each year selecting our guides and meeting them in person. We are a company full of honest, hard-working people and we share a genuine passion for the work we do. You’re safety is also backed up by a 24/7 operations centre staffed with experienced expedition planners and leaders.
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