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Thursday, 23 August 2018

Nepal Guides training in Kathmandu- August 2018

Photo: training on PAC bags on The Mountain Company course August 2018 (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
August is quiet in Nepal and not a lot of trekking is happening this time of year. As most of our local guides weren’t leading treks and I was passing through Kathmandu after my recent K2 Base Camp & Gondogoro La trek in Pakistan, we decided it was the perfect time to run a training session for them.

The session lasted 2 days and took place at the Outdoor Training Centre in Kathmandu. This community initiative is a relatively new training facility dedicated to bringing information, education and recreation together. Their belief is that through sharing knowledge and business ideas, adventure sports and their social benefits can be encouraged within the community. It is the ideal location for this kind of training as there is a classroom, a large open training area for more active sessions - and they provide a fantastic lunch.

Photo: group presentations on scenario planning (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
It was great to see such a wide range of attendees with guides, assistant guides, cooks and office staff - 28 in total. The range of English language abilities meant that everyone was helping each other out and each individual was an expert at something. 

The first day of the session used a variety of collaborative teaching methods to teach and reinforce The Mountain Company’s policies on communication, health and hygiene and medical issues. Everyone had the opportunity to send their GPS location using a SAT phone, communicate with the radios and practice using the Personal Altitude Chambers bags.

Photo: familiarisation with medical kits (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
Day 2 started with an online refresher quiz and then moved on to look in more detail at the comprehensive medical kits we carry on all trips. We have recently reorganised these bags with labelled compartments, making it faster and easier for both local and western guides to find the medication they need quickly and efficiently.

Photo: attendees on The Mountain Company course in August 2018 with #myTMCBuff (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
Photo: Tulsi and Chandra receiving completion certificates from Jo (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)
The two days finished with a special puja service for our new TMC Buffs. These have colourful prayer flags all over them and as a result we wanted to ensure cultural sensitivity. The Lama who performed the puja was happy with the buffs but cautioned that they should not be placed in anyone's back pocket.

Photo: puja ceremony to bless #myTMCBuff (Credit: Robert Mads Anderson)

Photo: #myTMCBuff (Credit: The Mountain Company)
Everyone took away a newly blessed buff from the course (including the Lama) and these will be available for purchase as part of our social fund. We will give proceeds of the sales to our social fund for use as a hardship fund for guides and charitable contributions. TMC will pay for the Buffs, so 100% of the proceeds will be paid into our social fund. The cost of a social buff will be GBP20 or US$25 and the social media hashtag is #myTMCBuff. We want to see how many locations #myTMCBuff can get to whilst walking in the mountains!

Jo Clark
Nepal Operations Manager

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