August Newsletter – Monsoon edition
We recently celebrated Janai Purnima which falls on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Shrawan. (This is the year 2079 BS in the Nepali Calendar). On this day, Holy thread is tied around the wrist to help purify the soul and protect the individual from evil. And we eat Kwati (nine-bean soup). Nine kinds of beans are left to sprout overnight and cooked the next day with or without meat. It is believed that the bean soup will help replenish the bodies of those who have worked on the rice fields with protein and the required vitamins. It also helps nourish the body to prepare for the upcoming colder months. The monsoon season in Nepal generally begins around 10-12 June and ends 100-105 days later around 20 – 25 September. Also, on Janai Purnima, the Shamans dance all night at the high altitude lakes of Gosaikunda and Dudhkunda to appease the spirits.
Female Guide Training 2022
On Saturday, Jwalant Gurung, CMT’s Chief Adventure Officer, was invited to speak about trekking in Nepal and guiding opportunities for women with the 2022 batch of trainees at the Mira Rai Initiative (MRI). The initiative started by Nepal’s star trail-runner, Mira Rai, provides young Nepali girls trail running training to enable them to compete domestically and internationally. The initiative also provides additional life-skills such as guiding to give the trainees an option should they not succeed in becoming international running stars. Thus giving them a tool to become self-sufficient should life as a trail runner not work out. As part of their learning, 3 Summits for Nepal takes some of the girls from MRI on a trek with a certified trainer to hone their skills as a trekking guide. The trainees will have already obtained a trekking guide license from the Nepali Government after a two-month training course. Our training gives them hands-on experience as they will actually be learning by doing on a trek. Here are some reasons why the additional training through 3 Summits after the Nepal Government training is important:
- Our’s is a smaller class size allows for more personalized learning. (6 vs 60)
- Classes are conducted in the real environment – where they will be actually guiding. Last year the classes were conducted while on the Everest 3 passes trek route. This year will be on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.
- Our classes are usually scheduled for early Winter when conditions aren’t always ideal. This gives the trainees a better perspective on challenging conditions and how to mitigate risks.
- While on the course, they will be interacting with trek staff, locals and lodge-owners giving them a first-hand experience on people management, local cultural values etc. This also helps trainees foster their network and relationships.
- Classes are conducted by instructors who are real-life guides with International certification in guiding outdoors and first-aid. They are getting trained by the best.
- The trainees get to analyze and learn from case studies from instructor’s past experiences.
- Basically, this training is for trainees who have already completed the Guide training conducted by the Government. Our training allows them to augment their skills acquired in the Government conducted training and apply it in the real world.
What are the girls who completed the Female guide training in 2021 up to?:
Of the five trainees from our first Female Guide Training Program, we are happy to announce that two of the girls have already started guiding. Anita Rai and Nikki Nembang have taken clients on short treks. I am sure with trekkers returning, they will have more opportunities to guide.
We are organizing a Winter Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Dates are 12 December – January 04. This will primarily be a lodge trek where we will use lodges enroute. We will also carry tents which will give us an option to sleep in tents enroute. Join us!!! Part of the proceeds will go towards the Female Guide Training Program.
The female guide trainees and their trainer will also be trekking this route with us. This trek will give the trainees an opportunity to learn about both the lodge and camping trek formats. And they can play-act guiding with actual Western trekkers. We are still seeking donations for the Female guide training program. Total Budget: US$ 12,500. We have raised around US$1,500 so far.
We will also be opening up the training to any female with a trekking guide license who wants to augment their guiding skills which should give them an advantage in being employed by trekking companies in the future. After the outdoor training, we will conduct in-class training/de-brief and a final exam. The donations will be handled by our US partner, Global Pearls. Please donate using this link.
Current Promotions at Crystal Mountain Treks:
Discounts on winter treks – We are announcing a huge sale of US$ 350 per person on Winter treks in Nepal. We deem some treks safe for trekking in the Winter months of December, January and February. Besides the cold, these treks do not pose any subjective danger. We are offering this discount mainly to keep our staff employed as much as possible. Join us now!!!
- Everest Base Camp Trek
- Everest Base Camp Trek – Fast Paced
- Everest – Tengboche Trek
- Annapurna Skyline Trek (Ghorepani Trek)
- Khopra Ridge Trek
- Tsum Valley Trek
- Langtang – Gosaikunda Trek (the pass crossing will depend on the amount of snow on and over the pass)
Also, book any trek for 2023 by Dec 31, 2022 and get a $200 per person discount on the listed prices.
Announcing new flexible booking and cancellation policies:
We are aware that in this changing world, nothing goes as planned. And that there are so many uncertainties. Hence, we have announced super flexible booking and cancellation policies. We will honor deposit payments, if cancellations are made within a month of the trek, for any trek anytime in the future. And if there is a lock-down, we will honor your payment for any trek anytime in the future. There is one caveat only: There is no refund if you have booked stay at the Dwarika’s and/or Yeti Mountain Home and other properties whose cancellation policy are stricter than most.
Read about our new policies here: https://crystalmountaintreks.com/our-policies/
You may have read that we had a group who had booked and paid for in full for a trip in 2020. But because of the pandemic they were unable to travel. We honored their payment and they were able to travel again in 2022.
“Crystal Mountain Treks went above and beyond our expectations and provided us with an unforgettable experience! First I should mention that our trip was initially scheduled to happen in March-April 2020. Unfortunately, because of Covid, we had to cancel our plans at the last minute. Two years came and went before we were ready to embark on our journey. All of our previous payments and deposits were honored and Jwalant at CMT handled the situation professionally and promptly.” Review by Sara G,. CA:
Lastly, we are not raising for funds for schools this year as we already have adequate funds to build a school – construction to begin after the monsoons. But we are raising funds for the Female Guide Training Program. Budget is $12,500. We have raised around $1,500. The donations will be handled by our US partner, Global Pearls. Please donate using this link.