Founder & Managing Director
John has been trekking in Nepal since 1988 and has guided over 2000 people on Youth to Everest and Everest Base Camp treks. He managed climbing expeditions to Mt Everest in 1988, 1989 and 1990 before concentrating on trekking and conservation work. John lives in St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes National Park. In the 2013 New Year's Honours John was awarded the Queens Service Medal for services to New Zealand Nepal relations.
Vicki Reid ONZM
Vicki runs the administration of our treks from our Nelson office and experienced Nepal first hand with a Youth to Everest trip in 2011. A netball official with international experience, her appointments include the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India and three World Championships. In 2011 Vicki became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community.
Chhepal Dorje Sherpa
Nepal Operations Manager
Chhepal is from Khunde Village in the Everest Valley of Nepal. He attended Khumjung High School before completing a diploma in Engineering in Kathmandu. Chhepal first worked with us as a Porter, before gaining promotion to Sherpa Guide, Sirdar (head Sherpa) and now Nepal Operations Manager. In 2012 he was a climbing Sherpa for American Expedition and reached the South Col (Camp 4). In his role as Nepal Operations Manager Chhepal coordinates all volunteer work programmes.
Gary and his partner live on the family farm at Whenuakite, a rural community on the Coromandel Peninsula where Gary has farmed all his life. Between them, they have 5 children and Gary has always actively involved himself in their academic, cultural and sporting interests. Gary is also very passionate about surf lifeguarding winning NZ Lifeguard of the Year 2012. In his role as a Senior Lifeguard at Hot Water Beach, along with saving lives he spends a great deal of time training and mentoring young people. Gary’s first trip to Nepal was with Youth to Everest in 2011 and he has since led six treks since then.
Sarah graduated from Otago University with a Master’s degree in teaching and learning and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and education. Currently residing in London, Sarah danced competitively from a young age and throughout school before traveling in 2011. She was a member of the Youth to Everest trip in 2008 and returned as Group Leader in 2017. Sarah has a keen interest in the outdoors, dance, yoga, health, and wellbeing.
Ben is a Nelson-based builder and representative cricketer who has led two trips to Nepal. In 2019 he climbed Imja Tse, a 6,000m mountain close to Everest. Ben is a passionate outdoorsman, enjoying tramping, climbing, diving and all water sports.
Cyn is based at the Tihoi Venture School on the western side of Lake Taupo where she and her husband Chris run the satellite outdoor campus for St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton. She is a full-time secondary school teacher with varied interests in all things outdoors including tramping, skiing, running, and kayaking. Cyn’s first trip to Nepal was with Youth to Everest in 2011. She is the mother of three children.