Ethics and Codes of Practice

In the Community

  • Respect cultures and traditions; you should be a considerate 'guest', you should understand protocol, offer appropriate gifts when necessary, ask before taking a photo, do not show affection in public, and making donations to temples or shrines will be appreciated.
  • Benefit local communities, commercially and socially; you should offer to share skills and experience, teach when you can, offer a fair pay for services, participate in activities. Do not encourage begging, publicly argue, drink excessively or fight.
  • Adopt new customs; do not wear tight or revealing clothing, do not enter someone’s home unless invited, avoid touching people of the opposite sex, do not use your left hand to eat or pass objects and try to learn as much of the local languages as possible.
  • You should be aware that if you offer any form of medication you do not necessarily know the patients tolerance to western medicines, you might be creating a dependency that the 'patient' can't afford to maintain and you might be introducing western medicines into a community that might not be available in Nepal.
  • Don't give pens, sweets or money to local children and don't offer to pay for photographs as all these create bad practice and will encourage people to pester other visitors for similar things. If you want to make a donation do so to a school or to the community Mothers' Group, in this way your contribution will be appreciated by many and not just one individual.

In the Environment

  • Tread softly; stick to trails and recognised camping areas. Avoid creating new tracks, or damaging the environment in any way. Follow the adage: take only photos and leave only footprints.
  • Pack it in, pack it out; avoid taking tins, glass, or plastic containers and bags unless you plan to carry them out. Wash away from water sources, and always use local toilet facilities when available. Bury all organic waste at least 30cm below the ground and 50m away from water sources.
  • Conserve natural resources; what few resources there are belong by right to the locals. Always ask permission before using anything along the trail. It is illegal to disturb wildlife, to remove animals or plants, or to buy wildlife products.
  • Do not encourage excessive use of fuel by demanding hot water for washing and showers (unless it is available from solar sources)
  • Save fuel by using other means of purifying drinking water other than by boiling, us various accepted methods of sterilizing water.
  • Avoid purchasing drinking water in plastic bottles unless you have a plan to take all the empty bottles out with you.

Personal Safety

  • You must remember that trekking in the mountains will always involve accepting a certain level of risk. Although we try to minimize all risks these can't be totally irradiated. You should be prepared to accept personal responsibility for your-self as well as listening to the advice of the guide, field staff and other more experienced people, if you do not take the advice of the field staff and guide you might find that you have invalidated your insurance.
  • Beware of altitude sickness; use the buddy system to watch for symptoms of altitude sickness. Make sure everyone remains fully hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, every day. Stay together along the trail, and communicate frequently with everyone.
  • Be Safe; carry an extensive first-aid kit and know how to use it. Have multiple plans for emergency evacuation and designate decision makers. Leave your itinerary details with someone responsible at home. Beware of yaks and other animals on narrow trails!
  • Be self-reliant; don’t assume you will receive help or assistance. Ensure your group has extensive field-craft and navigation skills. Research thoroughly, is your route appropriate for your party? Do you have the necessary skills, experience, resources and equipment?

And what we believe in

  • Field staff will be employed with clear terms and conditions for insurance, wages, load limits, accident/disability treatment provisions and other facilities.
  • Before hiring porters and other staff, fitness for duty will be determined.
  • Safety, shelter and general equipment will be provided to field staff and it will be similar to that used by clients.
  • Field staff will be provided with full medical and evacuation insurance and will not be paid off because of illness or injury until they are fully recovered.
  • Carried load weights will be limited to 30kg per loads below 5000m and 25kg above 5000m, including personal allowance.
  • Food and fuel expenses will be paid in addition to daily wage and this will be negotiated at a regional or district level depending on the duration of the trek.
  • All senior staff will be trained, licensed where appropriate and hold a first aid qualification.
  • Membership of any organisation that encourages and supports porters to voice their own needs and concerns is to be permitted.
  • Female empowerment to be encouraged at all times
  • Child labour is not acceptable.