Who are we?
We are the British-Nepali co-founders of a small friendly trekking company and offer our personal rich and extensive experience and understanding of the Himalayan way of life and the environment to our friends and clients.
What we offer is unique, as we have a foot in both Western and Nepali cultures and with an immense wealth of mountain based skills, connections and experience. We use this strong foundation to create imaginative Himalayan experiences for people who appreciate doing things a little differently, secure in the knowledge that there is a well structured and caring family based support team behind them. We offer the discerning trekker and mountain traveller something a little different.
We believe in working in partnership with the people who help deliver our unique treks and Himalayan travel experiences to our friends and clients.
We believe in complete transparency in the way we work and provide a 'fair deal' for all who work with us. As a result of working extensively in the social, educational, environmental and cultural sector we believe that the business model is the most sustainable form of aiding rural development.
Despite over 40 years of working in the mountains Ian is still inspired, finds peace and tranquility, motivation and inspiration from working in this environment with mountain people. He and Sarita now wish to share their enthusiasm with like-minded people and wish to open the Nepali culture to people curious about the Himalayan way of life whilst leaving a positive impact on the remote communities with which Off the Wall Trekking comes into contact.
Ian and Sarita believe that mountain people are connected by a similar approach to, and philosophy of life. They feel part of that mountain society and want to introduce others to this positive and motivating experience. Ian has lived and worked in the Himalayan communities for many years and of course Sarita comes from a Himalayan hill district and they believe the best possible way to offer support is by helping local people to help themselves. Creating work opportunities with a fair wage, Off the Wall Trekking is able to offer wider support to the extended family.
Overview of trekking in Nepal in 2018
Over the last few years the numbers of tourists visiting Nepal has risen steadily and add to that, the rapidly increasing number of domestic tourists and this has placed unimaginable pressure on some treks and the facilities along the way. Under the circumstances it is not always possible to experience the true wonders of Nepal, tourists no longer feel special and the service they receive in some areas is not what we feel trekking in Nepal is all about.
Today Nepal has created several 'honeypot' areas, Everest and Annapurna being the primary trekking areas along with the spin off treks in those regions. As with any tourist related destinations in the world, the honeypots get richer while the lesser known areas receive little or no attention and fail to develop. While these are excellent treks we believe the real essence of trekking in Nepal is to camp in lesser visited areas!
There are an increasing number of both trekkers and Agents that are trying to squeeze trekking itineraries into an ever decreasing number of days for whatever reason. This often results in the trekkers becoming ill and a complete dashing of their hopes and expectations. Under these circumstances our treks are formulated to fit with the prescribed rate of ascent, building in appropriate acclimatization days and daily rates of ascent. These elements are mandatory although on descents time could be made up if desired. Our costs are based on our minimum quality levels of service, however these service provisions can always be increased to meet individual requirements.
Off the Wall Mission
The main focus of Off the Wall trekking has always been to try to empower local people, equal opportunities for all, and to provide some sort of financial sustainability through trek generated income for the porters and guides and at the same time to provide a quality experience for our friends and clients that visit Nepal.
The money that our staff get paid goes a long way in not only supporting their closest family but also their family members in the wider community. With no such thing as 'unemployment benefit' in Nepal if people don't work then they have no income. Not only their wages but the tips provided by friends and clients go a long way to providing their young family members with an education and a chance of developing their full potential.
We aim to provide quality experiences that will stay with friends and clients forever, but we can't guarantee this with lodge based treks where the level of service is out of our hands.
Our Social Responsibility
You can find a lot of comment on social media about 'carrying your own trekking gear' and not demeaning the hill people by expecting them to carry your equipment for you. However, it should be remembered that with little in the way a vehicular connectivity in the rural parts of Nepal the only method of transport is by porter, either a trekking porter or a commercial porter. This is the occupation for these hill people and their livelihood and to not employ them is indeed doing them a dis-service.
The only way to take advantage or belittle the 'load carriers' is to underpay and overload them otherwise they feel proud and grateful to be employed along with increased self-respect gained from earning money and providing for their family.
Off the Wall trekking originally started by providing camping treks in remote areas and while we still provide and service lodge based treks we would like to refocus on other and so far underdeveloped areas of Nepal. These areas are not serviced by a chain of lodges and therefore receive far fewer visitors. On these routes there is an extremely high chance that you will be the only foreigners on the trails.
To truly explore and to get immersed in the real Nepali cultural, camping is the only option. Here we announce a series of new trekking destinations that can only be visited via a camping trek.
As part of our service the following issues will be included in the trek costs as standard:-
- Complimentary international airport / hotel transfers
- Complimentary domestic flight transfers
- Complimentary half day sightseeing in Kathmandu
- Complimentary Welcome and Farewell dinners with cultural entertainment
- Complimentary Hand-Gel on trek
- Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu 2 nights pre and then post trek. All accommodation will be based on twin sharing in Kathmandu and will be on a B & B basis
- Domestic flight costs (return)
- Full board for the trek days camping on a twin sharing basis.
- The appropriate number of English speaking guides, assistant guides and porters (inc wages, travel, insurance and accommodation costs)
- A walkie-talkie radio system for the trekking staff
- All permits and related trekking charges
- First Aid kit
- A trekking e-hand book
- A waterproof trek bag, a sports shirt and a trekking map of the trek area
- A down jacket and sleeping bag
- Fully supported expedition equipment – kitchen tent, dinning tent, solar lighting, tables and arm/back rest chairs, thick bed foams, modern new dome tents, toilet/shower tents and all group catering equipment
- An emergency satellite phone
- A Muesli bar as a daily snack
Off the Wall trekking Style
Hard-Core (camping) treks
We use the best equipment available to meet our client's expectations, with specific attention being paid to durability, space and comfort. All clients will be accommodated on twin sharing basis unless otherwise specified. The bed mats are of high quality 2 inch thick foams covered in clean sheet covers. The dinning tents are of the 'boy scout ridge pole' design, either with sufficient space for 6 or 10 people. The tables are of light weight alloy and the chairs are folding camp chairs with back and arm rests. The dining tent will be fitted with solar lighting. The toilet tent, along with a toilet seat, doubles up as a shower tent on rest days.
Classic (lodge based) treks
All clients will be accommodated on twin sharing basis unless otherwise specified. We aim to provide accommodation in the best lodges available within the budget that our clients specify. Food will be based on three meals a day including hot drinks at those times.