Frequently asked questions
Project Himalaya is owned and managed by Jamie McGuinness, and in addition to running treks and expeditions, he has written guide books to the region and is in involved with development projects for the Great Himalaya Trail and conservation.
"I liked the fact that we trekkers were treated as competent adults who did not require hand holding rather than numbers moving through the operation."
- David Koelle 2014
Why trek with us?
+ we are some of the most knowledgeable, caring trekking guides in Nepal & India
+ we try harder than almost anyone to make sure you have the best experience
+ we have our own dedicated trek crews, and most staff work exclusively for us
+ our equipment and trek meals are second to none
+ our exploratory trips really are unique, these are real pioneering efforts
+ we run amazing, adventurous Ladakh and Zanskar treks
+ our Nepal treks are also the carefully selected best
+ all itineraries are planned with acclimatization in mind
+ we will be totally honest with you
+ we enjoy what we are doing!
We have been trekking the region for a while - here is a glorious 2001
Lobsang still works with us, Kim worked as a partner from 2002 to 2015 and Luke (Lucas) worked with us for 2010-12 - photo by Joel Schone, who lived Project Himalaya from 1999 until he died in 2010.
Who/what is Project Himalaya?
Basically Project Himalaya is Jamie McGuinness and other leaders and has a long, successful history. We organize and/or run things ourselves where appropriate and work with good local companies for more logistically challenging trips. Project Himalaya is a lean internet-based business.
The trip leader is responsible for the trip as a whole, including the web pages, email, organizing and leading. This means virtually all of your money goes directly on our ground operation and the staff. Jamie handles the marketing, web design, additional info and maintenance. We are not interested in expanding, in fact actively keep the operation small.
Leading trips really is our passion. We don't have to satisfy investors or company directors and don't cut corners on the operation to make more money. Rather, we find the right balance on spending for the trip so that we (you and us!) have a fantastic trip.
Are we a company?
No. Rather than running our own trekking company in Nepal and India, we use locally owned companies for selected services instead.
How are clients protected legally then? Basically you are relying on our honesty - and you can. Many of our clients are generated by word of mouth and repeat business.
PH treks are distinguished from others as the leaders are passionate about the people and what they do. The staff are amazing and Jamie and Kim care for their crew.
Jamie's treks are truly wild and exploratory with a unpredictable element that lends itself for true adventure. The small group sizes mean there is always an option to be adaptable and flexible and to cater to people's interests along the way. As well as fantastic, remote trekking there is sometimes the opportunity to bag 6000m along the way, Or as we did last year we slept out on some amazing high passes to photograph the stars.
Celesta Fong 2014
Esther (Jamie's partner) and Jamie selfie on top of a 6000m bump in Ladakh
back in Sydney safe n sound, a few kilos lighter and well and happy
thanks for the excellent trekking experience
while the smooth running was evident on the trek, looking back on my holiday snaps I really appreciate the spaces and places that we visited.
hope to join you again ...
Mike Parle, The Great Divide Exploratory 2017
Love seeing pics from your treks, but it means I keep adding to my bucket list of treks! I look back at photos from Ladakh and still can't get over how beautiful it was; friends say they can't believe a place like that exists in India!
Jen Clydsdale, Ladakh Wildlife Adventure 2017
2017: Jen, Jay, Ryley, Esther, Gay and Jamie
2017 star crew: Lobsang, Sunoj, Tenzin, Jamie, Kunga, Tej and Raj - missing Ram Lal
We had a marvelous time. Everything went well and there were no problems. No difficulty in getting lodging as our timing seemed to be perfect for avoiding bigger groups. We actually didn't see that many trekkers, and not big groups. The food was generally fine for us too, actually seemed better in the higher elevations. We lost some weight, which is not a bad thing for us! Our general perception was we were glad to be doing the tea house approach. (We brought too much stuff though). I think we missed you by a day in Ghunsa as we headed to Selele La. Also, the weather was near perfect; some folks we met that were a few days ahead of our schedule were not so lucky as they had poor views at north and south base camps.
Tawa, Arjun and Tchering were fabulous - hard working, friendly, humble etc. We truly enjoyed their company and would recommend them to anyone. Tawa was flexible and I think we took 2 or 3 days less than the itinerary. We hope we gave them generous tips. Nabin was most helpful too - really appreciate him "holding our hand" while working thru delayed luggage problem the first couple days in Kathmandu. And he was great in setting us up to go to Pokhara for a few days after the trek.
Witt Anderson, Kanchenjunga private trek 2017
Btw, I always keep checking your website from time to time and hoping to squeeze in a nice adventure "exploratory" trek with you in Nepal or Ladakh;) The memories of the Kanchenjunga trek I did with you in 2002 are still fresh in my mind, even though it was so long ago... One day, it'll happen, I'm sure of it;)
Richard Nacin, Kanchen Gola Wild (and Caravan 6666), 2002
This is just to say a very belated thank you – we had a great trip, so thank you for arranging and all your input. Our team were brilliant, cheerful, fun and so hard working. The food was excellent – far better than my expectations. The scenery was spectacular and every bit as good as we were expecting. ... [I am] Sure I will do another one at some point.
Nick B, Simon Q and James H, Kanchenjunga private trek 2016
Our trek went brilliantly, crew were great, food excellent, and we were unbelievably lucky with the weather!
Clive Carlyle, Upper Dolpo to Jomsom private group
... A month doesn't go by (literally) where I don't think of it and Megan and I often go back to great stories from the trek. It was a privilege to be in Nepal and to be led by a top notch group of guides, sherpas etc!
John Carmellini, written 2016 about our 2005 Kanchenjunga Double Magic
I'm writing to you with a little sadness, as it looks like I'm going to have to let go of my Everest dreams for a little while at least ...
Anyway, I really am sorry to be writing this sort of message, as your trip to Argentina stands out as the second greatest thing I have ever done (next to pairing up with my gorgeous girl Holly). I do still want to head into the wilderness again some time in the future, I just don't know when. You'll definitely hear from me when I do though!
Until then, all the best for you and your team Jamie!
Ben Wighton, Aconcagua 2011
It was an outstanding success, one of the best I have ever done. There was a tremendous variety of scenery, and a great deal of cultural interest. For much of the route there were relatively few other trekkers and our journey was quite peaceful. The team looking after us were of exceptionally high quality. Kaji was thoughtful, intelligent, a very nice man, and worked tremendously hard to look after the clients and the rest of the team. Karma and "Saribung" Kaji were also very hardworking, skilled and lovely people to be with. The cook team were the best I have ever had and, under Dagelje's cheerful lead, produced an amazing variety of delicious and healthy food, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Hygiene standards were very high. It was also very welcome when Dagelje produced flasks of hot juice on the trail on our tougher days. The porters were very strong, friendly and helpful. We have been on treks where we had to wait a long time at cold campsites waiting for tents and kitbags to turn up, but that never happened on this trip. All in all, the service of Expedition Himalaya was excellent, and I would happily recommend you to any other group.
Martin Plackett, private Saribung expedition
I wanted to write and thank you both for an amazing trip. From the beginning you’ve both been super helpful and informative, and to then see the trip run in a highly professional manner [Luke as leader], we can’t thank you both enough. I’m certain that none of us on the trip truly understand the effort and organization that goes into a trip we’ve just experienced. Given the weather earlier in the trip, you both did an incredible job to keep the original itinerary in place, efforts we really appreciate.
Jamie – thanks again for all the ‘behind the scenes’ work.
Andy Calder, Aussie Island Peak Private
Me and Matt would just like to thank you for writing and posting all the information in the first place as this was a good catalyst for our research and it is great that someone is being so helpful and responsible and telling it how it is as we dont want to be with porters who dont have proper clothes and get abandoned en route etc. Also great to have the advice about the acclimitisation etc as it is apparent how short the itineraries are of companies all over the world when they are trying to jam in the numbers of people to maximise the time of work, so shorten ascent times. Unfortunately I am guilty of this I suppose as I am coming over for a month then going back to work but hopefully we've sussed out something that will work out well for everyone - about twelve days independently on the annapurna circuit including the thorong la pass over to marpha , then meet our staff there to do the dhaulagiri circuit and they are already on it before us so hopefully will be happy and acclimitised but we are going to check out the kit situation in kathmandu before we go on trek.
And after their trek:
I just wanted to say thanks so much for all the information at the time. We ended up having a really great trip to the Dhaulagiri circuit ... We definitely definitely agreed that we wouldn't have been happy to do the itinerary in reverse with a crew so were really grateful for all your guidance and tips. Thanks again.
Beth and Matt
Thank you for a very special trek. There were so many good things about it. The food was excellent, the organization smooth, the staff friendly and reliable, the tents comfortable and secure.....but the best was Dolpo itself. I had never seen such powerful beauty before. It struck me that in spite of your extensive experience trekking and climbing in the Himalayas, you had retained an enthusiasm and a passion for remote places. For me that made going to Dolpo with you and your group extra special.
Hester SS, Upper Dolpo Magic
Great to hear you're still at it! Am delighted you're still trying to get it "right". You have a sense about that, I now realize, others don't.
... but more importantly for a fantastic trek. You deliver an amazing product, the best staff, truly memorable food and great accommodation.
Dallas Clark, Kanchen Gola Wild
There were a few people on the staff that were truly great, memorable people, and it was a privilege to embark on such an adventure with them. You will never meet nicer, more accommodating people than the people of Nepal.
Megan Spindler, Kanchenjunga Double Magic