With Langtang completed and behind me, I want to take some time to give a shoutout to the people who helped make it the experience that it was. This is gonna be a short post, but the Langtang series wouldn’t be complete without it.
Gangre Adventures is the tour company owned and operated by a husband and wife duo (and two friends of mine) — Pemba and Tiffany. Now, I’m normally very anti-guide. When I was still in the US, I was an outdoor guide and tried to avoid hiring guides as much as possible. Of the three treks I’ve done in Nepal, this is the only one I hired a guide for. And lemme tell you — it was a good idea.
So here’s the rundown on Gangre. First off, gangre is Tibetan for “mountain.” Second, the Gangre team has a ridiculous amount of experience between the two of them.
Tiffany manages the business side of things.
We taught together for the almost-year I’ve been in Kathmandu. She’s very attentive to detail and is very concerned with making sure the experience is best for everyone, whether that’s her students in the classroom or clients on a trip with Gangre. Not only that, but she’s always willing to lend a hand (I have been the beneficiary of such willingness to help many times).
But it doesn’t stop there! Before coming to Nepal, Tiffany was a mountain and river guide in the Rocky Mountains of North America and the Andes of South America. Even to say that she has extensive experience would be an understatement. I was a trail guide in the US alongside a hundred-something others who spent a lot of time on trail. Every one of us aspired to get to the level of experience Tiffany has.
Pemba is the head guide.
There’s two major things that I appreciate about Pemba as a guide.
The first thing is specific to the trek that I did — he’s from Langtang. It’s one thing to hire a guide who knows the route, but it’s another thing to be with a guide who truly knows a place. There wasn’t a single spot we stopped where he didn’t know someone personally. I met a lot of interesting people along the way and I wouldn’t have met a single one of them if I was with anyone but Pemba. That kind of intimate knowledge of a place isn’t common.
When you’re a lone foreigner in a place like the Himalayas, it’s hard to appreciate a place beyond the surface. When I did my first trek in October, it was all wow pretty mountains. This time, after being with someone who understood the place far better than I ever could, I was much more focused on the culture and community we were experiencing. It was a two-week learning experience.
The second thing is that he’s the most mellow trekking partner ever. He’s got a very deep appreciation and respect for the mountains that rubs off. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Langtang, Annapurna, Manaslu, whatever. He knows how important it is to just sit and appreciate a place, to feel the air and hear the sounds. Trekking is hard work and it’s easy to get caught up in just trying to get to the next stop so you can rest (guilty). But Pemba really knows how to just be in the moment and appreciate it. It’s one of the best qualities to have in a trekking partner.
So here’s the thing — anyone can go trekking. It’s not hard to figure out. There’s paths, mountains, and endless blogs sharing itineraries, packing lists, whatever. But that’s not really the reason people come to Nepal to trek.
The Himalayas are just the backdrop. Experiencing the cultures that have been shaped by such harsh environments is the real reason. Mountains are everywhere, but the culture and the people are what make the Himalayas so unique.
So you have Tiffany, a badass mountain guide with experience on three continents, and Pemba, a certified guide born and raised in Himalayan culture. That’s the combination that organizes some seriously cool experiences.
And big thanks to Pemba on trail!