Kim has worked for years to develop some of THE best staff in the Himalaya, intelligent, professional, energetic, conscientious and positive, each going the extra mile and adding his own particular qualities to the trek experience. All of the team work above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the trekkers have the best possible Himalayan experience, and of course the safest one. Kim's staff actually enjoy each trek and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each region, passing on their enthusiasm to the trekkers and accumulating knowledge as they trek ...
Lhakpa Dorji has been working with Kim for seven our eight years and is an extremely qualified guide and logistical coordinator, full of enthusiasm, fun and a love for the Himalaya. Junar is truly a chef par excellence, with nearly ten years of experience cooking with Kim & Lhakpa, and he also puts up tents once the kitchen tent is put up, loads and unloads the horses and is a great river-crosser. Kiran is an incredibly caring guide and sherpa, always there with a smile and a bit of encouragement, always ready to help at camp and on the trail. Suresh is a jack-of-all-trades, taking care of everyone in our 'Kamzang Style' dining tent, carrying the packs of weary trekkers when most needed, full of laughter. Yam helps in the kitchen or acts as 'sherpa' with Suresh, also ready with a big smile, happy to practice his English while helping trekkers up a peak or pass. Kaila comes with us often as yak man extraordinaire, or to help in the kitchen or carry loads, always with a wide smile and a shy nod of the head. Our porters are fantastic, too numerous to mention individually. No trekker forgets their cheerfulness, hard work or companionship, and many continue to work with us in other capacities.
Our horsemen are truly amazing, invaluable to our treks in Ladakh and Zanskar. In addition to their work loading and unloading, grazing and shoeing the horses, Sherap, Sampal and Hari Dhel help put up the tents at camp, assist with river crossings and help out whenever there is a critical situation. Kim has been working with Sherap for ten years and the others for about half that time. Sherap and Sampal are Tibetans whos families migrated to India after 1959, and Hari Dhel is a mountain Himacheli, a great team.
In the Everest region, we have three Sherpa climbing guides that lead treks and Island Peak climbs for us. Ang Nuru, Gyurme and Phu Tashi are all from Pangboche, with Ama Dablam in their back yards. All are qualified climbing guides and each wonderful trek leaders.
Lhakpa's wife Doma takes care of many of our trek logistics back in Kathmandu, takes care of trekkers who have returned early and even leads some of our Everest Luxury treks with Phu Tashi. She comes from a big family in Pangboche, the Khumbu region. Their son Nuru will soon be on board as our computer tech!
Some other part-time additions to our 'Kamzang' team are Thinle & Nyima from Dolpo, Karma from Mustang and Tashi R Ghale from Manang. Uncle 'And Chuk' and Jigmet arrange all of our transportation in Ladakh, and have 'rescued' us on numerous occasions!
All are part of our big family ...
Kim's top-notch 'Kamzang' staff, pictured in Ladakh & Zanskar, the Indian Himalaya.
Since 2007, I have trekked with Kim on 5 separate occasions. The itineraries have been excellent with a blend of unique cultural experiences to amazing landscapes. Most impressively, is Kim's capacity to respond to the challenges posed by weather, transport delays, and the vagaries of the trekkers -- with skill, patience and understanding. As I have said to family and friends, Kim puts the health and safety of her trekkers first. This is crucial to the success of her treks and the experiences of her clients. Go anywhere with this girl!
Jeff Bellinger 2014
Wow! What an unforgettable experience you have given me … I was constantly amazed at your patience with the individual needs and concerns of the group and of the heartfelt care and connection you have with your staff and horses. You are a great leadership team and a joy to wake up to each morning! The landscape, the interactions with the villagers, nuns and monks along the way, the exhileration of the more risky bits of the trip and your smiling faces will not be forgotten. Thank you & Jullay!
Annie K, Wild Zanskar 2010
Kim & Lhakpa on top of Chhukhung Ri with Elena, an Everest High Passes trekker ...
Kim, Lhakpa and the crew will put on a great trip and will take good care of you! The food is exceptional and Kim's attention to detail especially in the dining tent, adds a great personal touch. Having done trips with other trekking companies before, it's the small details such this, combined with Kim's obvious passion/empathy for these places and their people/culture that has drawn me back again and again. However, what really sets them apart for me, is that they provide a fantastic off-the-beaten track experience and do truly exploratory trips in an amazing part of the world!
Celesta, Remote Villages & Wild Canyons of Ladakh 2009
Junar, our chef extraordinaire, perhaps the best in the Himalaya ...
It was a wonderful trek. Really, it was all that one could ask for; magnificent location, excellent weather and of course you and your crew were always friendly and efficient, always ready to give a helping hand. I am truly elated to have done this trek.
Rein G, Last Nomads of Mustang 2010
Thank you for the great trip! It was certainty an adventure for me and so much fun. I have many stories and experiences to tell anyone who asks me. You were great and a big help to this old man and I'll always remember your concern for me and our group. I already miss the spicy food - sure. And the smells of yak drivers and even Nima. But mostly I miss your infectious smile and spirit.
Tom B, Kharta Valley 2007
Thank you so much for all of the effort, help and patience that you put in to make the trek special for us. We had such an amazing experience, and we will always have such incredible memories that we will remember for the rest of lives. It was truly an experience of a lifetime ...
I was so impressed with your whole operation; I don't know how you juggle it all. You are not only an amazing operator, pulling all the levers, but you are a gifted guide which makes the trip truly special for everyone. Also, your attention to detail is impressive, you can tell you put a lot of thought into how to make the whole experience as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.
Rob B, Manaslu 2010
Always be nice to the chef!
What an amazing trek it was! You can not go wrong by trekking with Kim and Lhakpa. Their professionalism, friendliness, efficiency, expertise and unflagging good cheer and able assistance can not be overstated.
The meals were excellent, Junar is a very fine chef. 5-star, healthful dining for all three meals a day. Kim has such a thorough knowledge of their dress, customs and lifestyle. I loved that she would generously share these details with me as we walked. She is a wealth of knowledge and experience. She was also amazing at interacting with the people we would meet along the trail and get them to pose for her camera. What photos we have to remind ourselves of the fun we had! Lhakpa is the epitome of the ideal Sherpa host. Nothing we Westerners could conjure up would budge his smiling, courteous, and unflappable countenance. Exhausted and struggling on the trail? Lhakpa will carry your pack. (Not to be left out, Kim was quick to relieve us of our packs on steeper sections of the trail - two of them plus hers on one memorable day.) We did not see a single westerner/trekker until we reached the eastern border of the Khumbu. Culturally speaking, all of our interactions with the people were positive and enjoyable. Our porters and kitchen staff were a continual delight to get to know and try to communicate with. They are all really nice, helpful, extremely hardworking (and damn strong!!) happy guys. And Kim, words cannot describe her energy, always positive, unshakable, pleasant demeanor, and all-around world class guide capabilities. There was never a twinge of worry that we weren't in the most capable hands. You could go to the moon safely with her. I feel like they will be my friends for life. They really made the trek all the more memorable and extraordinary.
Lindsay H, Arun & Gokyo 2009
Kiran, happy to be on top of a Dolpo pass after a snowy day ...
I can gladly say that I've never done camping in such style. Had a two man tent each and a big dining tent with blankets and a constant supply of biscuits. We had something like 24 horses and mules to carry all the stuff and the food was gourmet - three course meals and always plenty of porridge, eggs and pancakes in the morning to get us going. The walking was very special, with many lovely villages along the way and the locals were always keen to come and check out our set up. Basically all above the tree line so the scenery was like nothing I'd ever seen before and every day was different.
Joe K, Wild Zanskar 2010
Thank you very much for a wonderful trek. At times it was a struggle, but since it was my first long and high altitude trek, that was to be expected, and I hope that I did not hold everyone up too much. I felt so very well looked after, from great food to river crossings to much needed breaks and always someone to see that we did not feel lost or alone. Your attention to detail, from the window seats flying to and from Leh, to the shopping expeditions both in Leh and along the way, from the variety and quality of food to making sure that everything we needed was provided and easy to access, is amazing. Also your energy and generosity of time and spirit in those extra expeditions to nomad tents, the fort etc. when many leaders would have signed off for the day.
Leslie S, Nomads, Lakes & High Passes of the Changthang 2010
Yam (far right) and Suresh, our super-star 'sherpas', enjoying the day with trekkers in the Everest region ...
Kim's support team are uniformly excellent, and all pitch in to ensure a smooth operation and to make sure that you are ok at all times. The equipment is all top-notch and the food is very, very good. In addition, the smaller, more 'informal' style really promotes interaction between members of the group and the guys helping out, which is a rare thing. They are all really friendly, down-to-earth people and have a great deal of knowledge about the trekking regions, local history and customs, and are very happy to answer any questions you have. A good measure of the success of these trips is the number of returning trekkers and climbers that choose them again and again for their holidays. I'd have to say that every trip I've made with them has been a really special experience. Suffice to say, not once have I been tempted to join any other trekking group.
Beau M, High Manaslu 2009
Kim treats her porters very well and considers them a vital part of our trip, caring for them with better wages, some outfitting, first aid, responsible loads, and an itinerary that also took their needs into account. The porters often joined us in the lodge, and we felt they were a part of our group as was appropriate.
Ann McC, Everest High Passes 2008
Our Nomads, Lakes & High Passes 2010 trekkers leaving the trek with new friends (Kiran on left, Suresh and Lhakpa on right) ...
Our amazing horsemen in Ladakh, the Indian Himalaya.
And unbeatable with the horses ...
Taking a well-deserved break in Padum, central Zanskar ...
Sampal, Sherap's half brother and our other first-class horseman ...
Hari Dhel, our industrious Himacheli horseman ...
Lhakpa with Tashi, a photographer from Manang who has worked with us on several treks ...
Gyurme Sherpa, our Island Peak (and other) climbing guide and trek leader in the Everest region. He also owns a lodge in Pangboche, and one below Ama Dablam.
Junar with Ang Nuru, one of the best guides in the Khumbu. He sometimes leads treks with Kim, and guides many clients privately in Nepal on both treks and climbs.
Phu Tashi, another of our Sherpa trek leaders from Pangboche, on top of the Renjo La with Yam and Lhakpa.
Thinle, nephew of 'Caravan Thinle', our fantastic local guide in Dolpo ...
Thinle with Nyima, our logistical coordinator and yak man in Dolpo ...
Kaila, from Solu, the best yak-driver in the Himalaya!
Lhakpa Dorji, Doma (middle) and Nuru at the Roadhouse in Kathmandu with a Dolpo group .
'Uncle' Ang Chuk, our transportation manager in Ladakh!
Jigmet, our tough Tibetan truck driver who works in coordination with Ang Chuk and has rescued us on occasions!
The boys enjoying a 'mothers dance' in Mustang ...
Even after a week here in the States, my heart and mind are still in the Himalayas!!! Thanks so much for all that you did to make our trek the incredible experience that it was. Although I got a bit tired at times, I did so enjoy the experience so much. How blessed I feel to have been able to go on this trip, especially with such a great group as our merry little band. Do greet the crew for me and thank them again and again. I hope all of you are safe and having a blast out there on the trail somewhere...
Terry R, Ladakh, The Land Beyond 2007
Thanks a million times, once again, for the absolutely amazing trek - what a fine, life changing, experience, thanks to you and your amazing crew.
Lindsay H, Arun Valley & Gokyo 2008