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Many people dream of trekking in the magnificent Himalaya. When it comes to turning that dream into a reality you want to be sure that you are in the hands of experts.

Exodus is very fortunate to have many experienced leaders in the Himalaya, including Valerie Parkinsonwho often trains newer leaders joining the ranks. 

Introducing Valerie Parkinson

valerie ParkinsonValerie Parkinson

Valerie: I started working for Exodus in 1986 leading treks in Kashmir, Ladakh and Nepal. Since then I have spent my summers in Ladakh and autumn and spring in Nepal. I love how much time people have for you in the Himalaya. They accept you for who you are, not what you are. 

I love exploring new areas especially remote, off the beaten track routes and in my role as Asia base manager I get to recce and develop new routes and treks in the Nepalese and Indian Himalaya.

My favourite areas are the Everest region of Nepal and Ladakh – I have led the ascent of Stok Kangri more than 20 times and I have spent at least 14 Christmas days trekking to Everest Base Camp.

Valerie in the Mountains

Leader in the Limelight: Valerie ParkinsonValerie climbing mountains

My love of mountains took me even higher in 2008, when I became the first British woman to climb Manaslu, at 8163m, the eighth highest mountain in the world.

In 2009 (for my 50th birthday present to myself!) I attempted to summit Everest and despite running out of oxygen and getting frostbite I got to the South Summit at 8,761m.  

I love leading treks in the Himalaya and can be found every summer in Ladakh and most of the rest of the year in Nepal.

As well as leading I have been instrumental in setting up the Exodus Responsible Tourism projects in both Nepal and Ladakh. This allows me to give something back to the places that I have enjoyed being in for so much of my life.

Leader in the Limelight: Valerie ParkinsonValerie in The Himalaya

Your words, not ours:

We could not have wished for a better leader! I am sure that this was why I never heard any cross words between members of the group. Of course, we experienced some problems partly because of the altitude and also the change of diet but we had complete confidence in our leader, Valerie Parkinson who responded to our needs with sympathy and due concern.

The fact that 10 out of 12 reached the summit I am sure reflected Valerie’s experienced leadership and encouragement. There was also a very good working relationship with the local guides and the cook crew and pony men.Alan Colgate, Ladakh: Stok Kangri Climb  

Browse our trips to The Himalaya below and experience them for yourself.