Ace the Himalaya believes in sustainability and responsible tourism practices to create a positive impact on environment, team members, clients and community. We understand that if we take care of our trekking leaders and porters, they will take care of our clients. Above all, being a responsible tour operator, we want to create the best working conditions for our trekking staff so that they will look after our clients helping them to get the most out of the trip.
Oftentimes, we’ve heard the stories of porters left on the mountainside or freezing outside tents while travelers revel inside. At Ace the Himalaya, we treat and implement the following Guide and Porter Policy to ensure the working conditions of our trekking guides and porters are of a humane and fair standard. Here’s a quick run-through of our company’s policy in this regard:
Insurance: Ace the Himalaya provides risk as well as liability insurance to trekking leaders and porters for the entire duration of the trek. The insurance covers accidents, medical expenses, high altitude helicopter rescue and evacuation cost.
Weight limits: We enforce the weight limits of maximum 30 kg/66 lbs per porter. One porter will assist two clients during the trek. At the pre trek briefing, we conduct a meeting with clients where we suggest to pack only the necessary trekking equipment and should not be more than 15 kg/33 lbs for a single client. Also, the total luggage allotment allows at domestic flight in Nepal is 15 kg/33 lbs, combining both luggage and backpack. So we make sure that our porters are carrying the weights as per the standard before commencing on the trek.
Health and Safety: Health and safety of trekking crews is our utmost priority. We ensure our trekking leaders to look after porters and informed us if they need extra care in terms of health and well-being. Likewise, our company takes reasonable precautions to ensure that the workplace is safe. The company complies with all requirements for creating a healthy and safe workplace.
Lodging and food: Our Company provides appropriate lodging and food to all trekking staff during the trek. In general, we provide three standard meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner to our trekking crews. Similarly, the accommodation conveniences offered during the trek will be tea house/guesthouse in mountain region. During the trek, there is no discrimination to any trekking staff on the basis of race, caste, culture, etc. and the facilities offered will remain same to all trekking staffs.
Appropriate clothing and equipment: We equip our trekking staff with a down jacket, good hiking shoes, sunglasses, sun hat, down, sleeping bag, first aid kit and camping equipment during camping trips. The first aid kit includes the basic medicine like paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, Diamox Imodium etc. Similarly, we provide an oximeter in order to track the oxygen level during the trek. ( This device is mandatory for all our trekking leaders ).
Awareness: We regularly conduct awareness program to our trekking leaders and guides to improve their working conditions and empower them. We educate them about sustainability policy and the importance of responsible tourism practices. We encourage our trek leaders to educate the porters about possible medical problems in mountain region like high altitude sickness, frostbite and hypothermia; and teach them the basic first aid training to handle the various health issues that may arise. Furthermore, our trek guide teach porters about the importance of environmental conservation, waste management, and awareness on personal hygiene.
Preference: Ace the Himalaya has a policy of recruiting trekking guides and porters from local regions and disadvantaged communities. This is in keeping the mind to support them economically and uplift their living standard as many porters in the mountainous region of Nepal are illiterate, poor and unskilled. Likewise, they are more familiar with destinations and are happier to lead the clients in their hometown.
Contract: Ace the Himalaya creates an employment contract when hiring the employees, trekking guides and porters. Further, we ensure that the employees understand the terms and conditions of contract, their roles and responsibilities including basic facilities provided and remuneration.
Wages: Ace the Himalaya pays all trekking leaders, guides and porters a fair wage as per the legal standard. The remuneration of our trekking staff varies with their experience (beginner to senior level) and their expertise in the field. Once we booked the trip with our guides and porters, we pay them the standard wages even if the client does not complete the trip for whatsoever reason.
Awards: Our Company has been providing perks and awards in order to acknowledge the efforts of team members for all the hard work they put in. Every year, we organize a retreat program for our employees where we distribute awards in various categories. For example “Guide of the Year”, “Best Customer Service Award”, “Best Teamwork Award”, etc. The awarded employee will receive a certificate and a cash prize.
Solidarity: We are a life member of the Porters’ Progress Nepal, an organization that oversees the welfare of porters and guides.