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Himalayan High Treks — Our Policies & Procedures

 Himalayan High Treks doesn't like fine print and neither should you! Our administrative procedures have been streamlined during our (almost) 25 year history to make things as simple for you as possible — keeping your costs low with personalized service. Here are the details on our trip policies — what we generally include and do not include, as well as all limitations you need to know (remember that each trip has unique accommodations, staff, meals or other specifics — consult each trip itinerary for trip specifications).

If you are working with us on a Custom Trip or Tour, please complete and return a Development Request with a development fee after consulting with us about your trip specifics.

Scheduled Trip Application: To reserve space and apply to join a Scheduled Trek or Tour, please complete and return an HHT Application Form. Find the right application form for your trip at the bottom of any trip description page. A deposit is made upon the receipt of this application. You may pay your deposit and balance with a credit card (or via PayPal), bank draft or cashiers cheque (international, in U.S. dollars) or personal check (in the U.S.). The balance of the land cost is due and payable 60 days before departure for a trek or 90 days before departure for a tour. Let us know if you wish to arrange a scheduled credit card payment plan. We recommend that you reserve as early as possible to be accommodated (many trips are limited to eight participants) and to receive the best service. In most cases, trip registration stops two months before departure. We will accept you later on a trip if it's possible, but there is a $100 late booking fee to help offset the additional and expedited administration requirements.

To immediately hold a spot for a Scheduled Trek or Tour, visit our Trip Application page and complete an Online Hold Request with your deposit. The deposit amount is plainly indicated on each trip description page but is generally $250USD for treks and $500USD for tours. This option is designed to hold space for you on a nearly–full trip until we receive your completed application form. A completed HHT Application Form is required to complete the registration process for each participant. Find the right application form for your trip at the bottom of any trip description page on this site. The reverse side of the application form also shows the information presented below.

Once we receive your completed application, you receive a confirmation letter with medical preparations information, health forms (to complete and return) as well as suggestions on insurance. Emergency evacuation and emergency medical insurance coverage is required for any trip. After we receive your completed medical forms we speak with you (usually by telephone) to discuss the scope of your trip, your experience and abilities and to answer any questions you may have. Once confirmed on your trip, you will receive a complete pre–trip package containing: Trip Notes, Full Trip Itinerary, Packing List, Reading List, Language Guide and additional materials. We can help with any options you can imagine for your trip — airline reservations, insurance suggestions, hotels, sightseeing, guides, local safaris, tours, river trips... you name it! You are always welcome to arrive early or to stay late after any trip and we can book any additional services or accommodations upon request.

Costs and Inclusions:

The land cost for the trip includes the following:

  • All transportation costs per your itinerary, other than airfares.
  • All accommodations, which consist of a double occupancy hotel room, trekking lodge or tent. Single accommodations are optional (subject to availability).
  • All meals while trekking. During hotel stays, some meals are provided as described each day in your itinerary.
  • All costs for leader and guide, porters, cook, driver, pack animals and support for your trip itinerary.
  • Group equipment such as tents, a central first aid kit, dishes, shovels, etc.
  • The land cost of the trip does not include the following (unless otherwise specified in writing in your itinerary):

  • Airfares.
  • Insurance of any kind.
  • Medical immunizations.
  • Medical and emergency costs beyond first aid provided by trip leaders or trip medical personnel.
  • Laundry, phone calls, beverages, internet access and any other expenses of a personal nature.
  • Tips to staff and others; admission fees or donations to local institutions such as monasteries, parks and museums; imposed fees (such as photography or tourist fees) at museums or similar locations.
  • Additional expenses arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond our reasonable control.
  • Changes: The descriptions, dates, and prices on this website have been compiled with reasonable care and are accurate at the time of publication. Due to currency fluctuations, political conditions, and the rising cost of services, Himalayan High Treks reserves the right to change any of the above. In addition, HHT reserves the right to change the itinerary of a trip at any time; for example, if it is advisable for the safety of the group or in order to comply with changing governmental restrictions.

    Insurance: We require you to carry travel insurance coverage for emergency evacuation and emergency medical costs during your trip. We also recommend that you carry additional insurance coverage for trip cancellation or interruption as well as baggage or other personal item losses.

    Photographs: Photographs for the purpose of publicity may be taken while you are traveling with HHT and may be used for marketing purposes. You may be contacted after your trip by prospective clients for references.

    Travel Documents: A valid passport (must be valid for six months after the end of your visit) and visas for each country visited are required. Specifics about passport and visa applications are supplied, however in some instances, obtaining them is your responsibility. A valid passport copy and visa copies are submitted to us in order to secure trip bookings and satisfy government regulations.

    Cancellations: If you decide to cancel and notify us in writing before departure, we will refund your trip payment based upon the following HHT Cancellation Refund Schedule. You may also have the option to transfer payment and participation to another trip (see the Transfers section below):

    HHT Scheduled Trip Cancellation Refund Schedule:   HHT Custom Trip Cancellation Refund Schedule:
    Days Before Departure...Non-refundable Fee   Days Before Departure...Non-refundable Fee
    More Than 60 Days...$250 or $500 Paid Deposit   More Than 90 Days...$500 Paid Deposit
    Between 31 And 60 Days...35% Of The Land Cost   Between 61 And 90 Days...35% Of The Land Cost
    Between 15 And 30 Days...55% Of The Land Cost   Between 31 And 60 Days...55% Of The Land Cost
    Less Than 15 Days...No Refund   Less Than 30 Days...No Refund

    Transfers: For Scheduled Group Trips, if you transfer from one trip to another, up to 61 days before your original–trip departure date, there is no transfer fee. If you transfer 60 days or less before your original–trip departure date, the above HHT Cancellation Refund Schedule fees apply to trip transfers. We may be able to extend a transfer for a Custom Trip participant to one of our Scheduled Group trips if it's possible and requested more than 90 days before your original trip starting date. Please contact us to see if a transfer is possible for your booking. If we cancel your trip before departure because it is under booked or for any other reason, you are entitled to a complete refund of the land cost minus a small administrative fee ($50USD for treks and $100USD for tours). We are not responsible for additional expenses incurred in your preparation.

    Weather: Conditions in the mountains becomes more variable with increased altitude. Daytime temperatures can range between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit or more and nighttime temperatures between 20 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Treks are scheduled for the best times when the weather is expected to be mostly clear, however there is always a chance of unexpected rain and snow. When you join a trip, you receive detailed information on anticipated weather and environmental conditions. You are always welcome to contact us with questions.

    Personal Equipment: We provide a detailed suggested trip packing list for each trip. In general, typical outdoor items are all that you need, such as: a warm jacket, a rain jacket, daypack, sleeping bag with pad, hiking boots, clothing and toiletries. Some equipment can be rented in–country. Group equipment such as tents and shovels are provided. Contact us with any questions about what to bring.

    Health Precautions: Ensure you exercise and are as healthy as possible before you leave home. Have a dental and medical checkup and get all your immunizations at the right times. While trekking, the most common health problem is diarrhea. It requires diligence to avoid, but we minimize this risk by eating most of our meals in camp (except on the teahouse treks). Water used for group cooking and drinking is purified and we always suggest each participant purify their own drinking water. Most problems can be treated on the trek. Some trips are physically demanding and occur at high altitudes. Most people successfully adapt to high altitude travel with proper time to acclimatize. Our treks begin slowly and adhere to proven safety recommendations for the best acclimatization. Himalayan High Treks will attempt to secure, but does not include or guarantee, the services of emergency medical personnel. Medical facilities in most areas are severely limited or nonexistent. A well–supplied first aid kit will be carried and trip leaders are trained in First Aid.

    Food: On all treks (except teahouse treks) food is prepared by our own traveling camp cook. On teahouse treks, food is prepared by the teahouse staff where we sleep. Food at teahouses varies but is often better than expected — simple, but nutritious and delicious.

    Here's a typical daily menu on the trail (local specialty names are linked for a quick description. Close those new windows or tabs to return here):

  • Bed Tea: Darjeeling tea (available with milk or sugar), served in bed upon awakening
  • Breakfast: Fruit juice, porridge with milk, eggs, Chappatis with jam, Paranthas, coffee
  • Lunch: Along the trail, sandwiches (such as peanut butter and honey or tuna and cheese) on fresh baked bread, cookies
    Lunch: In camp, meals are generally prepared hot with specialties like Momos, "Sherpa Stew", and rice pudding
  • Snack: Biscuits and tea, home–made potato chips, popcorn, Papadams, Yak Cheese, fresh and local apricots, apples and almonds
  • Dinner: Hors d'Oeuvres, soup, rice with curry and vegetables (green beans, carrots, eggplant), Lady Fingers (Indian okra), optional meats as available
  • Dessert: Choice of tea, hot chocolate, fruit cocktail, Gulab Jamun, Barfi (mmmmmm), or Kheer
  • Personal Hygiene: A limited amount of warm water will be made available for washing. On rest days, trekkers often want to wash clothes, hair and bodies with water taken from nearby streams or rivers using their own biodegradable soap. In camp, a latrine (with privacy) will be dug a short distance away from sleeping tents. Teahouses often offer showers and will always have a simple outhouse.

    Difficulty: Our trips vary in difficulty — some treks can be very strenuous and most tours are very mild. On all treks you never carry a full backpack, only a day pack holding your water bottle, camera and your other personal items. We don't walk more then eight to twelve miles per day (for most hikers, three to six hours). There are occasional rest days scheduled at appropriate intervals. Most people in good health who exercise regularly are able to enjoy the treks. The most important requirement is a good, positive mental attitude. If you are on a trek, physical exertion should not be something you dislike! A tour, on the other hand, is usually mild and will generally include short day hikes and sometimes long driving days. If you have any questions regarding your ability on any trip, we invite you to contact us to discuss what is involved. We're here to make your trip an adventure and a success!

    Custom Trips: We can arrange a custom itinerary for your group of any size to any part of the Himalayan or Southeast Asian regions. A small non-refundable development fee will be charged to create your custom itinerary and can be rebated towards the land cost of your trip with us. See the Custom Trips page or contact us for more information.

    Potential Savings: Sign up and pay in full for your trip six months before departure and we will discount $100USD from your land cost. Doctors and some qualified medical personnel may receive a professional discount on land costs, depending on our need. Contact us for details.

    References: We encourage you to talk to our past travelers, so call and ask us for references. You can find it helpful to speak with those who have been with the staff and on the trip you are considering.

    An Important Final Note: We have a policy of inclusion. We invite everyone (regardless of race, religion or sexual preference) to participate on our trips. Respect for ourselves, our fellow travelers, the environment as well as the cultures and people we visit are the priorities. Let's celebrate our diversity.

    If you have any questions not answered here or for more information, please send us your inquiry!
    We always respond as soon as possible to satisfy any questions you have.
    It's what we do.

    We always work with you for the adventure of a lifetime!