We fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, for three days of touring and learning the language, culture, health habits, and yoga. We then bus to Pokhara in the west, one of the main tourist destinations of Nepal and the launching point for trekking on the front side of the magnificent Annapurna range. We will trek for seven days in the lower Annapurnas, staying in lodges in the villages along the way and, of course, enjoying the local customs.
The apex of the trek will be volunteering at a local school in the very last village before the Annapurna Base Camp (we will not be going to the Annapurna Base Camp). We then fly back to Kathmandu for a day at Bodhnath, the center of the Tibetan Buddhist culture, to visit some of the monasteries and receive a blessing from one of the masters. Every day will also include structured exercises for reflecting on the insights of the day, the experience, and life in general as facilitated by the trek leaders.
The trek involves daily hikes of about 5-6 hours. The pace is slow and there are many breaks, but there are also a number of long, steep stairways along the trail, both up and down (there will be no technical rock climbing – it is just a trek). The highest altitude we reach is 10,000 feet at Poon Hill for just a few hours, while the remainder of the trek averages about 7,000 feet. Therefore, altitude sickness is not a factor but you should be prepared for a decent amount of physical activity. You do not need to be in excellent shape, but you do need to be prepared for some level of exertion each day on the trail. If you have questions about your fitness, please call the trek leader, Clint Sidle, at 607 255 4104.
C. Clinton Sidle
Sidle is director of Johnson’s Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program and a top consultant in strategic change, leadership, executive coaching, and developing human potential. His leadership programs at Cornell and elsewhere have earned national recognition. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, state and local educational systems, and some of the nation’s leading universities and non-profit organizations.
Sidle is also the author of two books: The Leadership Wheel: Five Steps to Achieving Personal and Organizational Greatness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), and This Hungry Spirit: Your Need for Basic Goodness (Larson Publications, 2009).
Tillemans served as executive director of Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) from 1984 to 1999. During this time, enrollment grew tenfold, facilities such as the Phillips Outdoor Program Center, Lindseth Wall, and Hoffman Challenge Course were built, and the COE program became recognized as one of the leading, university-based outdoor education programs in the nation.
Tillemans led numerous instructor-training programs while at COE, including 12 expeditions to the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming and an instructor climb of Chimborazo, the highest peak in Ecuador. A graduate of Prescott College and former NOLS instructor and administrator, Tillemans continues to teach at Cornell in the Cornell Team & Leadership Center.
$2,850 including meals and lodging, but excluding airfare (about $1,800)
Depart from the U.S. May 25, 2013, and return home by June 9, 2013 (16 days). Please arrive in Kathmandu no later than the evening of May 27, and plan your departure no earlier than the evening of June 8. There will be no exceptions to this time frame, as we will be on the trail with a full program each day and unable to accommodate different schedules.
You must register with $1,400 deposit by December 16, 2013.
To register, please contact Clint Sidle and provide your name, year of graduation, address, and contact information. Clint will reach out to let you know if you have been added to the guest list or wait list. Please note: the trek typically fills quickly. If you have made the guest list, Clint will contact you for payment. Your registration will be secured once we have your deposit. Balance of the full payment is due by February 3, 2014.
Note: The trip will be confirmed if there are eight participants registered by February 3, 2014; there is room for up to 14 participants, total. Full deposit will be refunded if the program is cancelled. If you need to cancel your reservation, please contact Clint Sidle by February 3, 2014, for a full refund. After that date, the deposit will be non-refundable.
If you choose, you may make flight arrangements with Peace Lands Travel at 1-888-461-4722. They will probably direct you to Cathay Pacific which, although more expensive, has the most options for getting in and out of Kathmandu. That being said, many of you may find it just as easy to arrange flights through the Internet.