You come first. Imperial Expedition = safe and accommodating travel. In October 2011, I returned to Nepal for my second trip with Imperial Expedition and Pem Dorjee, having traveled to EBC in April 2005 with Heather. This trip, Pem and my personal guide, his uncle, Pemba Norbu, literally saved my life. I was to travel with Uncle Pemba on my part of the trek, taking the more common southern route while the rest of our group took the northern route with Pem. We were planning to then meet up at Base Camp and all take the southern route back. That was the plan. It didn't work out that way. The flight into Lukla was an experience. Of the average of 50-60 flights per day, were number 5 and there were only 2 more the day we flew in. The weather had turned rainy and it grounded all flights for another week. No one got in. No one got out. For a week! Luckily, we were one of the "lucky" ones that made it that day. While the trekking was wet, it was glorious. Warm and quiet with a lot of time to reflect on why I was there, which I desperately needed at the time. Fast forward two days to Namche. I started feeling ill and Pemba took me to the local doctor. (He was Nepali, but American trained.) He said I had cryptosporidium and gave me meds. He said to rest for an extra day and I would be fine. I followed his instructions to the letter and went to see him again two days later, not feeling better. This time he said I had "re-infected" myself and gave me more meds. Again, rest for a couple of days and I could go on. This time I felt better and my strength started coming back. So, Uncle Pemba and I went on. We stayed in Tyangboche for the night then went on, our sights set on Dingboche. The second day, lunch was a bad idea and we ended up coming back down to a village so I could rest again. The next day I was even worse and we ended up hiring a horse to take me back to Namche because I was so weak. Back in Namche, after seeing the doctor again, Pem Dorjee, via phone, requested a medical emergency and I was flown back to Kathmandu on a helicopter, directly to the clinic there. They diagnosed a different issue, pumped me full of antibiotics and fluids. Enough so I could get back home. My doctor at home did the usual tests to see what was wrong with me and she found that I had a bacterial infection. It was bad. After two-weeks of antibiotics here, I finally started feeling better and was able to enjoy Thanksgiving, something I feared was in serious doubt. The points of this testimonial are a couple of things. First, there are risks to doing these trips. While I did everything that I should have to prevent my illness, it can still happen. Second, the infection I had was serious enough that had it gone longer, untreated as it was, it could have been fatal (I ended up losing 17 pounds in just 14 days). It was that serious. To this day, I thank Uncle Pemba and Pem for saving my life. Uncle Pemba was right there with me the whole time getting me anything and everything I needed. He literally held my hand and patiently waited for me while I rested on the trail (and yes, I'm a guy). He made the whole trip worthwhile and I will always consider him an adopted uncle. Pem made the decision to get me home. Without him, I would have languished for several more days in Namche and got even worse. Is this the testimonial you usually read? Admittedly, it is not. But it is what it is. And as I said, I thank both of them still for saving my life. It shows the professionalism and dedication they will draw on for your safety. While there are always risks, they are experienced and know how to get things done, when they need to be!