Jamie McGuinness, Project Himalaya owner-guide
Leader Jamie McGuinness



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David and the startlingly coloured Phoksundo Lake. The Schaller Trail crosses the left grassy hillside for stunning lake views - Jamie

Whetting your appetite with some of my planning pins - Google Earth

Saving data; use your phone in landscape to see the detailed itinerary and more photos.


Here are a few inspiring photos.

Nice smile from a Dolpo woman collecting fire wood - Jamie

A forest tunnel of autumn colours - Jamie

A yak shepherds a nak (female yak) amid the autumn colours - Jamie

A high country village - Jamie

Traditional chuba-clad girls of Dho-Tarap - Jamie

Don't believe "It never rains in Dolpo" - it might be rain shadow but it can still rain! - Jamie

A middle Dolpo camp - Jamie

Cutting some rather tall buckwheat - Jamie

Crossing the Phoksundo Khola - Jamie

Where there is no trail - just walk across the rock face!
A blue sheep proves it is a better climber than us - Jamie

Approaching Dho - Jamie

Real exploration

We love exploring, truly exploring and have many real trekking firsts to our credit, the result of our fun exploratory treks. From 1998-2006 we explored the greater Kanchenjunga region with 7x 42 days treks (!!) then 2008-2018 opened routes for the Nepal Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) and assisted with the GHT map series and various guidebooks. From 2019 we are exploring other pockets of the country with an element of "before it's gone", which is happening at an increasingly rapid rate now.

Most trek pages below have links to photo galleries or see our Nepal Photos Inspiration and for more thoughts on each trek, see our Previous treks. We are also exploring in Ladakh, India...

2019 Upper Mustang & Dolpo - we further explored the area around Arniko Chuli and Jamie raced to a pass to Tibet, working out we don't need to do that again, they are all more or less the same up there. "Before it's gone", we saw Chharka without the road and realized that smaller trails are more pleasant than bulldozed but otherwise barely used motorbike and tractor roads.

2019 Upper Mustang-Dolpo Wild team

2019 Upper Mustang-Dolpo Wild
L-R: Sanjay, Dorje, Tashi, Bali, Dawa, Jim, Bruce, David, Mary, Brad & Holly, Paul and Jamie
(missing: Ang Kami and Pasang and the horsemen)


2018 Ganesh Himal GHT - we worked out the most direct GHT route across, sticking closest to the mountains, with two new routes and Jamie finished his personal Nepal GHT, finally!

2018 Ganesh Himal GHT trek crew and Gaye

2018 Ganesh Himal GHT: The crew with Gaye (Phil, Esther and others not shown)


2018 Upper Mustang & Dolpo - we discovered the Ghami La is not one but three passes, one now damaged the the earthquake, one for animals and one for people.

2018 Upper Mustang-Dolpo team

The team and crew for the 35 day trek
L-R: Esther, Jamie, Lakpa, Clive C, Catherine, Wilma, Lisa, Jen, Nigel, Virginia, Kees, Dendi, Dawa, Bhim and angry
Squatting: young Pasang, Kaji, Bhim, Aiteram, Mingmar, Clive P, Gombu, Bire, Sona and Bali


2017 'Kanchen Gola' - As well as returning to the the remote Ghari/Kang La, we discovered two passes near there unmarked on maps, and Jamie and Esther also solved cairn riddles to the top of the other Khang La, an alternative GHT start on the border with Sikkim.

2017 Kanch satisfaction; myself and Bali atop the 5746m Kang La pass to Tibet above Yangma - Jamie


2016 Upper Dolpo & Mu La - getting to Bhijer wasn't as hard as we expected, and we finished our Mu La exploration from 2014, crossing this last somewhat enigmatic pass in front the Dhaulagiris.

2015 GHT Wild West - we straightened the last section from Darchula to Simikot, and successfully explored the Simikot-Mugu high route, a first, and a route that is unlikely to ever be repeated. See Roger Nix's blog with a route guide to the trek.

2015: Alan Kerr, Marco Camozzi, Jamie McGuinness, Jim Robinson, Greg Danforth, Roger Nix and Celesta Fong


2014 GHT Mu La exploration - we investigated Lower Dolpo's Mu La as a GHT alternative but were snowed out by Cyclone Hudhud resulting in another adventure.

2013 GHT Tilman's and Tashi Labtsa Wild - we found the hard way the map+guide book are wrong on Tilman's; and had great conditions for the Tashi Labtsa.

2013 GHT Tilmans Pass team

2013 GHT Tilman's
Second row: Dawa (porter cook), Esther Tan, Tom, John, Ole, Paul
Third row: Emma, Henning, Celesta, Aiteram, Samden, Pasang
Sitting: Dawa Gelje, a porter, Jamie, Mingma Lhakpa
Missing, minding the camp: Kami (cook), Dhirendra


2012 GHT Wild West exploration - we broke trail to be the first trekkers ever to trek Darchula to Simikot between Api and Saipal, staying completely in Nepal ... !

2012 GHT Wild West team partial

Peter, Jamie, Jeff, Arabella, LeeAnn, Bengt, Kaji, Aiteram, Tawa and Paul - Jamie


2011 GHT Dolpo Wild exploration - we were the first commercial trek team across the Lakyap/Kekyap passes (thank you, Paulo Grobel), rerouted the GHT near Bhijer saving a 5368m pass crossing and crossed the tough high route between Dolpo and Mugu without incident.

2011 GHT team

The tough 2011 GHT team less one porter and the horse team


2010 GHT Mustang & Saribung Wild - we traversed from Upper Mustang to Nar-Phu and climbed Saribung 6328m with 100% team success, then traversed around Manaslu as well.

2009 GHT Makalu Wild - we were the first trekkers to cross Chyangtang to Makalu Base Camp the direct way.

2008 Limi-Saipal - Jamie discovered the crucial pass near Saipal for the 2012 trek after guiding James Vlahos writing for Nat Geo; thanks Nepal Trust.

Sleeping out at Saipal Base Camp

Jamie sleeping out at Saipal Base Camp - photo by Jamie


2007 Manaslu Wild - we explored the Tsum Valley to the Tibet border, and also explored the peaks and passes above Samdo.

2006 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the top the Umbak La to Tibet.

Our 2006 Kanchen Gola Exploratory trek team at the end


2005 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to cross the Lumba Samba, ie Kanchenjunga to the Makalu region, crucial for the GHT.

Standing L-R: Bal Bahadur (porter naike), Pasang (sherpa-cook), Bir Bagh (sherpa), Dawa Gelje (sirdar), John SS, Da'Yula (sherpa-sirdar), Natasha, Niels, Alphonse, Dallas C, Jerry C.
Lower row: Pasang (kitchen), Namgyal (sirdar-leader), Zangbu (sherpa), Pik C, Gerardo, Rachel, Megan, John, Mike, Ornella, Jamie, Andrew


2004 Nangpa La exploratory - trekking to the Tibet border in the Everest region for the guide book Trekking in the Everest Region.

2003 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the top of Olangchung Gola's Tipta La after Joseph Hooker in 1848, and in 2017, we found out no other trekkers ever went there after us; now there is a road across it.

2002 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to Yangma's 5746m Ghari La

2001 Kanchenjunga Wild - first trekkers to the Chabuk La, virgin peak ascent, a climb of Tengkoma peak and saw snow leopards, see Wanda's diary.

2000 Manaslu High - we explored Manaslu's Tsum valley prior to Tsum being opened (!) and climbed Chulu Far East.

1999 Kanchenjunga-Makalu - 42/75 day trek (!) and when we couldn't cross Sherpani-West Col, we returned to Tumlingtar in plastic boots.

1998 Wild Kanchenjunga - the trek that started the Kanchenjunga exploration series; we didn't meet any other trekkers.

1998 Churen Surprise - a trek to Churen Himal base camp above Gurjagoan, a trek/area that still few people have ever heard of.

Tashi Delek!