My wife and I did the Island Peak climb with Ian Taylor in September/October this year. It was the adventure and experience of a lifetime.
At the time we started to consider doing something like this we spent a lot of time doing research into our options of trekking/climbing guides and businesses. The answers to all of our questions seemed to be coming from the same source - Ian Taylor Trekking. We wanted a business we could trust, a business operated in a professional manner, and a business that could offer high standards of safety, infrastructure and service. After careful deliberation, the final decision ended up being an easy one to make.
From the very first moment we made contact with Ian well over a year before we departed for Nepal, we knew we were with the right people. Ian and Laura were always on hand to speak with us personally on Skype or communicate with us via email. Despite the consummate and detailed information we were provided with in a 45-page dossier, it seemed I still had an endless and ongoing list of questions. My never-ending barrage of questions were always dealt with by Ian and Laura quickly and patiently.
For the whole duration of our stay in Nepal, from arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and being met by Ian's team to the final moments of saying our goodbyes and airport drop-off, we received first class service. Ian Taylor Trekking have the best ground support staff in Kathmandu and the best sherpas and guides in the Himalaya. Every single employee - sherpas, guides, porters, drivers, cooks, yak drivers, and assistants - all tell you the same thing. They love working for Ian Taylor. They are treated well. They are paid well. They are all insured in case of accident or emergency. It was humbling to be served so well by these beautiful people and always with smiles on their faces.
Now climbing Island Peak is no walk in the park. Well, actually it is in the Sagarmatha National Park and there is a whole lot of walking and trekking to be done before you get to the actual climb. But climbing this mountain requires respect and a whole lot of preparation. It was the most difficult physical challenge my wife and I have ever attempted. There were times at base camp, high camp, and on summit day when we questioned our ability to make it to the top. But we did make it to the top. All of us. 100% success. That's what Ian Taylor does.
We were with an amazing group of people. A group of 15 clients and almost the same number of support crew who made it to Everest Base Camp and then the 7 of us clients who went on to successfully summit Island Peak. Were we lucky to be with such a great group of people? I'm not so sure it was luck. I think it probably had more to do with how everyone acclimatized and was feeling so good physically as well as the warm atmosphere which surrounded Ian's team every single day.
The bottom line. (lines?)
Best itinerary and acclimatization process.
Best adventure ever.