Ian is from the UK but has worked in Nepal for 10 years where he has lived for seven years. He has over 40 years of experience of working in the mountains including leading people in Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, Ladakh, Tibet and Nepal. This experience backed up with the experiences of working in the National Mountaineering Centre in North Wales and other outdoor establishments gives him a good insight into what friends and clients expect and how to look after them in the mountains and foreign countries to enable them to get the best out of their visits.
Sarita Lama is from the Tamang community and has a background in community health and trekking issues. She worked for 6 years as a nurse and has lived in many remote communities in the middle hill districts of Nepal delivering community health care programmes, empowering the work of the Mothers’ Groups and offering support with many different aspects of community life. This has given her a good insight into the many different ethnic cultures of the mountain people of Nepal.
She now use her experience to ensure their friends and clients have good medical back up on trek and at the same time she involves her many contacts with friends in the remote communities to provide that little bit of extra special value for their trekkers.
Both Ian and Sarita have worked in a professional capacity in many remote hill communities and understand the villagers’ thinking and outlook on life, as well as their aspirations for their communities. They understand the consequences of trekking for the local people. To this end they are actively involved in supporting and developing the Porter Welfare issues in the trekking regions These program provide practical support for Nepalese staff working in the very harsh conditions and remote environments of the Himalayan regions.
Ian also works with many local organisations in an effort to promote Nepal and provide more opportunities for the Nepalese staff to earn a sustainable living and develop a more inclusive life. He is a representative and Nepal based partner for the Himalayan Stove Project, CEO for Kathmandu Environmental Education Project, Porter/Guide training course advisory / coordinator, member of the Advisory Committee for the Great Himalayan Trail and a member of the Organising Committee
for the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival. He has lectured at both Masters’ and Bachelor degree level, he has contribute articles to several travel related magazines hand has been the Nepal based correspondent for the Alpine Club Journal, he is a member of the Alpine Club (UK) and an Honorary Member of the Climbers Club (UK) He is also an Advisor to the Nepal Mountaineering Association’s Training Committee.
Sarita has many other socially centered projects that she is involved with. She is the Vice President of the Tamang Rimhim Tourism Forum, the Tourism Sector Coordinator for FNCCI and a member of the Women Leadership Forum.
Sarita has travelled extensively in the mountains of Nepal and is familiar with many local situations that might be encountered by clients, helping Off the Wall Trekking to cover most eventualities. Her extensive knowledge of Nepali history and the rural way of life allows Off the Wall trekking to provide a detailed insight into the lives of the regions through which their treks pass.
She has supported many treks using her nursing skills and experience and her work in providing helicopter rescue support means that Off the Wall trekkers will receive the very best attention if they are in the unfortunate situation of requiring outside help.
Sarita has not only got a good working knowledge of the requirements and administration involved in setting up and delivering treks, but, she also has the contacts to enable all the ‘behind the scenes’ paper work to be effectively delivered. Many of Sarita’s friends and contacts in the remote areas contribute to the smooth operation of Off the Wall Trekking.
During the season and when not on trek Sarita provides trekker support in Kathmandu organizing extension trips and dealing with general customer care issues.
Ian’s experience as a teacher and lecturer has provided him with the skills to develop training opportunities for their Nepali staff and others working in the trekking industry. This is complemented by Sarita’s nursing training and deep understanding of Nepali culture. This empowers staff to realize their own potential and helps them to understand exactly what their clients expect from their visit to the mountains and ensures the very best service, care and attention is offered. We believe that our staff are setting the standards that many try to emulate. We actively support our staff in raising their own educational standards and also to help develop their communities when they return home after the season.
Ian received the International Civil Service Award from Jagriti Samaj Nepal for the establishment of Social, Educational, Environmental and Cultural Development in 2011.
As a small family run organisation we work mainly with two lead guides. As the guides have to work and have a good relationship with the staff under their care the engaging of the porter workforce is left to their professional judgement. Both of our guides have grown up through the ranks of the trekking industry so they have a full understanding of all the situations they are likely to encounter.