It always gives us a sense of fulfillment when clients write back to us with encouraging messages. Here’s one from Meg Peterson – 92. She was 90 when she completed her Khopra ridge trek. She will be back again next year for another trek. What makes a trekking company special? Is it the slick brochures, the tailored uniforms, the promise of first-class accommodations and staged festivals aimed at tourists? Not for me! When I trek, I want a wilderness experience on trails that take me through all kinds of villages and terrain…some pastoral and some tough as nails. I want to meet the locals and stay in tents or simple guest houses where I have a chance to learn about their food and their customs. And this I can get at Crystal Mountain treks. I started trekking in 1987 in Nepal and met Jwalant Guring of Crystal Mountain Treks in 2004, when he led a group circumambulating Mt. Kailash. Tibet was not an easy country to gain access to in those years and everything had to be transported in from Nepal. We slept under the stars and wandered through villages and unspoiled territory where few Westerners had been. We participated in the Saga Dawa festival before starting our climb and enjoyed several Buddhist celebrations during our journey. I was a mere 76 years old and now, pushing 92, I am still putting my trust in a company that tailors its adventures to the individual and has helped me plan treks large and small every year. One year I journeyed to Bhutan while my daughter, Cary, explored the Buddhist caves of the Yolmo area of Nepal. The choices are legion! There are many kinds of trips, and Jwalant is never at a loss to suggest interesting combinations, taking into consideration the age and the experience of each participant. He knows his territory, for he has done it all himself! But the best part for me is the guides, cooks, and porters who make up the staff of Crystal Mountain. My daughter and I return to Nepal every November and have become very fond of each one. They watch out for us as if we were family. Even ‘though I take twice as long as I used to in completing a trek, I get nothing but encouragement to continue. One last thing needs to be mentioned, and that is the important contribution that Crystal Mountain makes to the community and country at large. This was especially apparent immediately after the devastating earthquake of 2015. Jwalant raised money to rebuild homes and schools in the affected areas and encouraged groups to join him and contribute to this work to the best of their ability. He carried building materials, clothing, and food to the families…on his back. And he saw that injured children got treatment, even if it meant carrying them back to Kathmandu. This is someone who has a stake in his country, community, and environment and this caring runs through everything that he does. Crystal Mountain is not just a company. It is a community treasure.