This wonderful expedition that we just took part in was organized by the trekking company called Himalayan Research Expedition (HRE) managed by Dr. Dhananjay Regmi; a friendly and organized man with a heart set on the mountains and their people. With extensive work in Himalayan research and a Ph.D. in geography, it’s no wonder the company’s slogan is “We trek for science!” However, trekking with HRE is not the traditional experience one would expect when going to high altitude for 18 days. It’s more like a five-star guided tour: always staying in nice lodges and being well cared for by the vast, well trained staff. The trekking manager on the expedition was a man named Deepak Rai and our guide was J.B. Rai, both of whom were essential to the success of our trek. The entire staff provided by HRE was extremely friendly, many spoke very good English, and they were always making sure that everyone on the trek was well fed and happy.
To give you an idea of the luxury you can expect when trekking with HRE, every morning we awoke (whether in a tent at Imja Lake or in a lodge along the way) to the soft voice of either Deepak or J.B. saying, “Good morning sir/ maam! Would you like some tea or coffee?” After going around to each of the 30-plus members of the expedition, providing their choice of coffee/ tea with milk and or sugar, they would then bring around a basin of washing water for each member. So, well rested, clean and with a hot cup of coffee, they would then provide a breakfast consisting (usually) of porridge, pancakes and eggs (or something similarly energy-loaded) before the day of trekking. Throughout the day Deepak and J.B. would make sure there were members of the support staff stationed at various places along the trail to serve tea, juice or coffee to the expedition members, and then lunch would be provided at noon (or shortly thereafter). Upon arriving at the next place we were scheduled to stay, more tea and juice would happily be given to us while we awaited our bags to be brought up by the porters. Dinner was always scheduled for 7 pm (unless requested earlier by the members of the expedition), and you could always expect a filling dinner followed by a dessert of canned fruit. The canned fruit may not sound like such a luxury dessert, but after 18 days of wandering in the Khumbu, it comes as a savory treat.
On top of the phenomenal service provided on the trail, the time spent in Kathmandu was professionally managed by HRE as well. The hotels arranged were extremely comfortable and clean, flights were booked and confirmed per person without hesitation, and even tours of the city were managed for the whole group.
All in all the experience with HRE is one that would be hard to come across from any other trekking agency, and the unique focus of Dhananjay’s service to cater to scientists and researchers is unprecedented here in the Himalayas. Because of this focus, you can be sure that the advancement of conscious eco-tourism, community development, porter welfare, and garbage management is well taken care of so that more people can experience this wonderful, gorgeous place time and time again.
The website for HRE is himalayanresearch.com. Cheers!