Valerie won Best Tour Leader in the prestigious annual Wanderlust World Guide Awards in 2021.
Valerie was born by the seaside in Blackpool and spent much of her younger days walking with her parents in the Lake District. After finishing her studies, Valerie worked in Germany and Switzerland, until 1984 when she took a break that would change her life forever. She travelled to India for a three-week trek through Kashmir and Ladakh and found her spiritual home in the high Himalaya and developed her passion for this part of the world. Valerie has spent the rest of her life leading treks (and bike trips) in the Himalayan Region and her knowledge of the culture, religion, art and wildlife of the area is second to none. Her enthusiasm for trekking developed into climbing and in 2008 Valerie became the first British woman to summit Mount Manaslu at 8,163m, without the use of supplementary oxygen, and in 2009 she attempted Everest. Over the years Valerie has been instrumental in setting up and running Himalayan Community Projects which now operate through the Exodus Travels Foundation. She will share some of her mountaineering stories as well as cultural insights into Nepal and its people along the way.