Mingmar Tenzing Lama

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Mingmar Tenzing Lama is a Sherpa born into a family destined to guide in the mountainous regions of Nepal. His father PK Lama has spent nearly fifty years as a trekking and climbing guide throughout the regions of Nepal and Tibet. His vast experience has been taught and passed on to Mingmar, who now owns his own trekking organisation and in his own right is a very experienced guide and tour leader. Focus talks to the Sherpa from his home in Nepal.

What got you into guiding treks?

I was born in the countryside of Nepal and grew up there. I used go to go to the weekly market and I would see Western people, and it made me want to learn English after hearing them talking to each other.

When I completed high school, I came to Kathmandu and went to college to continue with my study. My dad was leading trekking in Nepal at that time, so I had the opportunity to go on treks.

Later on I was very much attracted to working with foreigners and taking them into the wilderness. Then I got a chance to complete guide training from the Nepal government and became a guide. This is how I got hooked on trekking.
What’s been your best trekking experience?

My best trekking experience was taking an Aussie group led by Geoff Martin from road end to the Tibetan border then following the border to the glaciers. We then trekked several kilometres along the first glacier and camped below the face of the second glacier.

After a rest day, we climbed the face of the glacier and camped under an ice face on Noisy Knob. The sounds of the changing ice temperatures and avalanches plus a snowfall made for an incredible night. We woke to a temperature of -15 degrees and climbed along a glacier ice landscape to our final campsite before the Tashe Lapshe La (pass) where we camped on the glacier. Next day we climbed the pass at 6,200 metres. It was an amazing achievement for the Aussies, who were not experienced for this type of trek and was the most memorable for me because I had my dad with me.

Are you a self-taught tour leader?

As I told you before, I learned most from my dad. I worked with a few big trekking companies and attended some leadership training as well while I was working with them. I have experienced many things during the period of leading trekking groups. I would like to say I am self-taught and learned from others as well.

Being a head guide is a serious responsibility; do your clients know what they’re signing up for?

Yes, being a head guide is a serious responsibility. It is not an easy job. If someone reads the responsibility and working area of guide or head guide, it looks very simple, but in practice it is not that easy. Some clients may know what they are signing up for, but not everyone.

I think it depends on how they receive the information and their expectations. My job is to work out the strengths and weaknesses of the trek party and work with people to get the best result.

What regions have you been to in Nepal?

I have been to north, northeast and far western areas of Nepal. I have done 99% of the trekking routes in Nepal and more than 50% of Tibet trekking routes.

Apart from trekking, what else would you like to achieve?

I have always had an interest in helping my people. It was so hard to get the education required. I have now joined with Geoff Martin, and we are together sponsoring schools outside Kathmandu. We will improve the standard of teaching and education and provide some scholarships to selected students.

Top 9 with Mingmar

Name Mingmar Tenzing Lama

Profession Tour and trekking operator and leader.

Age 39

Your scariest moment? Not happened yet.

What languages do you speak? Sherpa, Tibetan, Nepali, Hindi and English.

Food Nepali and Indian foods.

Music I like to play the guitar, but I am not very good. I love to hear soft, slow love and soulful kinds of music.

Movie: Generally I do not watch movies. I am not a movie person. I love to watch documentaries and comedy.

You’re suddenly rich; where would you live?

I would live in my country and work, spend money and time in the educational sector for poor people.

Thank you Mingmar.


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2 Responses to Mingmar Tenzing Lama

  1. There is no substitute for personalized attention. I traveled to Nepal to visit Everest Base Camp. I traveled alone and had certain trepidation about traveling on my own, but I also knew I wanted to escape the pressures of trekking in a large group. Altitude and safety are paramount on mountain treks and I did not want to end-up hyperventilating trying to keep-up with faster, fitter, trekkers.Even though, I have altitude experience, I relied heavily on my guide’s advice regarding what to eat, pace, and hydration. I have climbed and summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I was confident I could complete this trek, but nothing can prepare you for the terrain of the Hymalayas. it is truly a humbling experience.Mr. Adhikari came highly recommended by other trekkers, who were only too willing to write positive and detailed letters of recommendation. I found that all their recommendations were more than true. Mr. Adhikari has been to Everest Base Camp more than 50 plus times, as a woman traveling alone, I found his level of professionalism refreshing. I cannot count the times, Mr. Adhikari truly saved me from my inexperienced trekking self. Anything from ensuring I would.not be run over by a Yak, horse, or donkey to keeping me focused on the difficult terrain, and somehow ensuring I stopped long enough to enjoy the scenery (in spite of my exhaustion). I shudder to think what my trek would have been like if I’d been just another trekker in a large group. I have to comment that I have never been so healthy-stomach wise at altitude. Mr. Adhikari explains that when organizing for larger groups, he makes provisions for trekkers like me who tend to walk at a slower pace. I thought for sure that, this time, my ambition had superseded my ability, but thanks to Mr. Adhikari, my long time dream of seeing Everest Base Camp first hand came true. I was able to spend time in the rarified air and observe camp life, took plenty of pictures, and asked Mr. Adhikari numerous questions about his experiences around the area. I was very aware of the economic implications of traveling with a Nepali Operator vs. a foreign trekking company. I wanted my trip not to only be a self-serving adventure, but numerous travel books suggest that traveling with a Nepali Operator does ensure more of the money goes and stays into the Nepali economy. I was unsure how the whole experience would unfold, but I am staying here and going to Annapurna Base Camp with the same operator. Mr. adhikari seems to be grounded on the mountain community ad well as in Kathmandu. It was reassuring to see he has good and long standing relationships with other guides and the mountain community.Visited April 2012.email-:sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.comwww.hikehimalayas.comwww.nepalguideinfo.comMobile 9779841613822

  2. There is no substitute for personalized attention. I traveled to Nepal to visit Everest Base Camp. I traveled alone and had certain trepidation about traveling on my own, but I also knew I wanted to escape the pressures of trekking in a large group. Altitude and safety are paramount on mountain treks and I did not want to end-up hyperventilating trying to keep-up with faster, fitter, trekkers.Even though, I have altitude experience, I relied heavily on my guide’s advice regarding what to eat, pace, and hydration. I have climbed and summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I was confident I could complete this trek, but nothing can prepare you for the terrain of the Hymalayas. it is truly a humbling experience.Mr. Adhikari came highly recommended by other trekkers, who were only too willing to write positive and detailed letters of recommendation. I found that all their recommendations were more than true. Mr. Adhikari has been to Everest Base Camp more than 50 plus times, as a woman traveling alone, I found his level of professionalism refreshing. I cannot count the times, Mr. Adhikari truly saved me from my inexperienced trekking self. Anything from ensuring I would.not be run over by a Yak, horse, or donkey to keeping me focused on the difficult terrain, and somehow ensuring I stopped long enough to enjoy the scenery (in spite of my exhaustion). I shudder to think what my trek would have been like if I’d been just another trekker in a large group. I have to comment that I have never been so healthy-stomach wise at altitude. Mr. Adhikari explains that when organizing for larger groups, he makes provisions for trekkers like me who tend to walk at a slower pace. I thought for sure that, this time, my ambition had superseded my ability, but thanks to Mr. Adhikari, my long time dream of seeing Everest Base Camp first hand came true. I was able to spend time in the rarified air and observe camp life, took plenty of pictures, and asked Mr. Adhikari numerous questions about his experiences around the area. I was very aware of the economic implications of traveling with a Nepali Operator vs. a foreign trekking company. I wanted my trip not to only be a self-serving adventure, but numerous travel books suggest that traveling with a Nepali Operator does ensure more of the money goes and stays into the Nepali economy. I was unsure how the whole experience would unfold, but I am staying here and going to Annapurna Base Camp with the same operator. Mr. adhikari seems to be grounded on the mountain community ad well as in Kathmandu. It was reassuring to see he has good and long standing relationships with other guides and the mountain community.Visited April 2012.email-:sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.comwww.hikehimalayas.comwww.nepalguideinfo.comMobile 9779841613822

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