Crystal Mountain Treks

Crystal Mountain Treks Family

Jwalant Gurung | Team Leader 

Summit shot

Summit shot


An MBA from the University of Washington, Seattle, Jwalant is responsible for Marketing and Operations at Crystal Mountain Treks. He has led numerous trips to remote regions in Nepal, Sikkim and Tibet and has over 20 years experience crafting and managing once-in-a-lifetime experiences for hundreds of satisfied travelers. A certified climbing guide, an avid mountain biker and Wilderness First Responder, Jwalant prefers camping treks to remote regions in Nepal and Tibet. He tries to scout all trips offered by Crystal Mountain Treks so he can speak through first hand experiences. His favorites include the Upper Dolpo and Kanchenjunga treks.

Jwalant is the founder of "3 summits for Nepal", a climbing charity raising money for Nepali children's education. URL: 


Binaya Rana | Senior cultural and spiritual guide


Binaya at Nam Tsho Lake in Tibet


Binaya Rana is CMT’s leading guide for city tours and special interest groups in Nepal and Tibet. As a certified Kathmandu Tour Guide, Binaya provides you with an insightful look into the past history and current issues of Kathmandu Valley. As a Buddhist scholar, practitioner, and teacher (Binaya taught Buddhism at the University of Connecticut), Binaya is also an excellent resource for spiritual and special interest groups to Nepal and Tibet. 


Ram Hari Adhikari | Trek Officer

Ram Hari  

Ram Hari is CMT’s trek officer and airport representative. He makes sure your trek permits have been obtained and that your Tibet permits are in order. Ram Hari has been working at CMT since 1995. He will also ensure that all your hotels and transportation are in order.


Ram “non stop” Rai | Senior Guide

Ram Rai on the Annapurna Circuit Trek


Ram, is the premier trekking guide for Crystal Mountain Treks. Ram started out as a porter about 40 years ago, and slowly worked his way up the ladder to become a Sirdar (trekking guide and in-charge). He is, perhaps, one of the most experienced trekking guides in Nepal, having traversed well over the country, as well as in Tibet, Pakistan, and India. His experiences are a storehouse of many stories that you can discover while on a trek with him. Ram has also been guiding trips for the Sierra Club for the past 20 years. Most of our guides have directly worked and/or trained under Ram Rai.

Ram currently does not lead high-altitude treks that go beyond 4,000 meters (13,120 ft.) but will continue to lead other treks and mentor junior guides.


Buddhi Rai | Senior Guide


Buddhi Rai at Gosaikunda


His cheerful and happy attitude makes him a popular guide among our trekking friends. Buddhi has traveled extensively in Nepal from east to west, as well as in Tibet and Pakistan. He probably has the record of accomplishing the most trips to Everest among CMT guides. Buddhi has been guiding for over 30 years. Prior to guiding, he was also an accomplished trekking cook, and his latent culinary skills may show while on a camping trek.

Buddhi has attended the 5 day organized by Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) and will be required to attend refresher courses every year.

 Amy D who trekked to the Everest region had this to say about Buddhi: "As you are well aware Buddhi is outstanding. He strikes the fine balance of “being in charge” with care, good humor, and attentiveness to each individual in the group."

Manju Rai | Senior Guide

Manju at Gokyo Ri


Manju trained under the tutelage of Peter Owens and has worked for Peter Owen’s Asian Treks since 1991. Starting out as a porter, Manju slowly worked up to become a cook and then a Sirdar. Manju has guided all major treks in Nepal and has also trekked in India (Ladakh and Sikkim), and Tibet.

Manju attended the 5 day organized by Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) and will be required to attend refresher courses every year.

A note about Manju by David Austin who did the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek in March 2014.

"You have a highly skilled guide in Manju. He has a remarkable ability to assess everyone in the group – he’s acutely aware of how people are doing physically and emotionally. He inquires gently of those who look tired or sick, so as to assess their status. He keeps the group together, focused on common goals and destinations. He is easy to like, and performs the leadership tasks of a guide effortlessly. It seems as though he was respected by the rest of the crew on our trek. His manner on the trail works to defuse tension, and to build a sense of community. This is all very impressive, and makes Manju highly valuable as a guide. "


Lila Subba | Senior Guide

Lila near Thorung Phedi


Lila joined Crystal Mountain Treks in 2008. His first trek was the challenging Annapurna Circuit camping trek with a side-trip to climb Chulu West (21,059 ft.). Coordinating a team of 5 climbers and over 15 crew is indeed a mighty task. He received kudos for his role as Sirdar. Lila will now be leading more trips for Crystal Mountain in the future.

Lila comes to Crystal Mountain Treks with over 15 years of guiding experience. He hails from the Kanchenjunga region and has guided in most regions of Nepal including Everest, Annapurna, Langtang and Kanchenjunga.

Lila attended the 5 day organized by Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) and will be required to attend refresher courses every year.


Kandu Sherpa | Guide

Kandu on the Everest Trek

Kandu on the Everest Trek


Kandu Sherpa is Crystal Mountain Trek's first female guide. She started out two years ago as an assistant guide working under the tutelage of our senior guides. And after undergoing many first aid and English classes, Kandu has blossomed into a very competent Junior Guide. From the fall of 2016, Kandu has lead several all women's and family groups.

One client had this to say about Kandu: "Ms. Kandu Sherpa is a real asset as a new addition for you. She was always observant of the group's safety.  She has a wonderful personality for work as a guide.  She consistently anticipated our needs and met daily questions and requests with grace and enthusiasm."  



Kami Tamang | Senior guiide   



Soft-spoken but efficient, Kami is probably the most patient among CMT’s guides. Kami has worked with CMT for more than 20 years and has been to numerous trekking destinations in Nepal and Tibet. He is a superb guide, cook and friend and is well liked by trekking clients.




Pema Sherpa | Guide and Cook

 Pema Sherpa  

Pema Sherpa is one of our most popular guides who is well liked for his patience. Pema worked as a high altitude cook on Everest expeditions for an American company in the Spring season and narrowly escaped the wrath of the big earthquake on the mountain in 2015. After a mishap on Everest in 2016, Pema only works on low altitude treks now-a-days.


Devraj Rai | Senior Guide 

Dev Raj Rai at Phoksumdo lake

Devraj, Phoksumdo Lake, Dolpo


Devraj started out as a porter some 15 years ago slowly working his way up to Kitchen Boy and Assistant Guide. Devraj is now a permanent Junior Guide with CMT and is showing promise to becoming a senior guide. To improve his guiding skills, he has been going out on a lot of trips as assistant guide, and has been taking several English and first-aid courses.


Rajbir Rai | Senior Guide 

Rajbir Rai

Rajbir on Gokyo Ri


Rajbir is now a senior Guide at CMT. Reviews from clients from previous treks had been very encouraging and he has now graduated to become a full-fledged guide. He is one of the strongest guides around and can carry very heavy loads if required. Rajbir started out as a porter and has slowly worked his way up as a guide.


Sune Gurung| Senior Guide

Sune in Dolpo

Sune in Dolpo


Sune Gurung has matured a lot over the years and has immensely improved both his guiding skills as well as his command of the English language. Sune's pleasant demeanor is an asset on any trip.

Sune started out as a porter and has worked his way up to first a junior guide and now a senior guide.

Here is what Sarah Sentz who was on the Manaslu Trek when the 7.8 M earthquake struck in April 2015 had to say about Sune: "Wow. We loved Sune. Sune was so laid-back. He cared about safety, but he didn’t “freak out” about anything. Ryan and I made the decision not to go to Ghalegaun after the quake. We wanted the staff to get back to their families immediately. We wanted Sune to leave us to go home (his village in Gorkha was at the epi-center of the earthquake). Sune refused to leave us. Sune was also with us during the earthquake. I know we laughed about it later, but we were glad to actually survive the quake with Sune…while on the side of a steep trail with huge boulders coming over our head. I will never forget this guy and hope we can stay in touch."



Rinji Sherpa | Senior Climbing Guide 

Rinji on the Summit of Dhampus Peak


Rinji has worked as a climbing guide for more than 2 decades and is one of the most mature climbing guides around. This means "safety first" and hence no rash decisions. Rinji has summitted many of Nepal's highest mountains including Cho Oyu, Amadablam, South Col of Everest etc. Rinji also joins our team leader on most of his scouting escapades every year.


Dendi Sherpa | Climbing Guide 

Dendi with Al prior to their climb


Dendi is one of the STRONGEST climbing Sherpa's around and has several Everest summits besides other 8K'ers under his belt. Despite this, he is very humble and is always looking to enrich client's experience. Ask any of our previous clients, and they only have praises for Dendi.


*A note about our guides:
Friendly and mature, our guides will go out of their way to make your trek a safe and memorable experience. We vouch for our guides and can guarantee on their honesty and their experience. They will always do what is right.