Mountain Travel Nepal was the first tour and trekking company in Nepal. We have an epic legacy of conducting the best treks and technical expeditions in the country. Now linked with the Tiger Tops Group, Mountain Travel Nepal will create a tailor made trek to some of the most remote and highest points in the world. Tiger Tops gives you the opportunity to traverse in the shadows of the majestic Himalayas and beyond.
It is nearly sixty years since Colonel Jimmy Roberts founded Mountain Travel Nepal, now amalgamated with the Tiger Tops group. As the first trekking and mountaineering company in Nepal, Mountain Travel Nepal developed the concept and standards of ‘adventure tourism’, an industry that has since evolved worldwide.
COL. JIMMY ROBERTS – THE FATHER OF COMMERCIAL TREKKING
Commercial trekking was unheard of until Jimmy Roberts arrived in Nepal and took the first batch of three lady hikers for a trek in the Himalaya. In 1965, he registered Mountain Travel, the first trekking agency in Nepal and perhaps the world. Since then the trekking industry has grown into a major foreign exchange earner. Over the year the Mountain Travel has taken celebrities and royalty for treks up in the mountains of Himalayan kingdom. The likes of Prince Charles, Mick Jagger, Robert Redford and Jimmy Carter have all enjoyed the services of this pioneering trekking company.
Ltd. Col. James Owen Merion Roberts MBE, MVO, MC was born in 1916 to Helen and Henry Roberts. As only son, he was brought up in India where his father served as the headmaster of a school in Gujarat. In the glory days of the Raj, young Jimmy joined the British Indian army in 1936. But he had his own reasons for enlisting; the Himalaya lay in the Indian subcontinent. He completed training at the prestigious Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Gurkha Rifles. He had already begun climbing and had spent much of his spare time climbing in the Lake District or up in the Alps, Norway and Australia.
In 1953, Jimmy joined the Masherbrum Expedition with Jimmy Waller. He was only 21 years old. His next call came in 1939 when he was asked to join the Evert Expedition of 1940 with Capt. John Hunt and Spencer Chapman. Unfortunately, World War II put a halt all climbing expeditions. He then found himself behind Japanese lines reconnoitring the Forth Herz area. For one of his successful missions during the war, Jimmy was awarded the Military Cross. He was later also awarded an MBE.
In 1953, he was actively involved in the triumphant Everest Expedition led by John Hunt that put Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary on the Summit. He supervised the transportation of oxygen cylinders to base camp. Later in 1958, Robert arrived in the Nepal as the first Military Attache at the British Embassy in Kathmandu. He thus began his prolonged stay in Nepal, which eventually became his adopted home. In 1960 King Mahendra conferred on him the Gorkha Dakshin Bahu Class III.
Mountain Travel grew rapidly an in 1967 Jim Edwards brought the company. Roberts became the Director in charge of Tanning and Quality Control. Over the decades the company expended further and is now known as Tiger Mountain, wich includes the safari camps (Tiger Tops), Himalayan River Expeditions, Pokhara Lodge, Adventures Travel Nepal and of course, Mountain Travel.
Col. Roberts, as he was fondly known, eventually settled in Pokhara, the valley he fell in love with. He had a keen, interest in conservation and started “The Pipar Project” in association with the World Pheasant Association (WPA). In August 1991 Jimmy was awarded the Sagarmatha Award for his contribution to the development of Tourism in Nepal. He passed away at his home in Pokhara on Nov. 1st 1997. In memory of Roberts, the Mountain Travel Pokhara Lodge has established Jimmy’s Libarary that contains a unique collection of Himalaya mountaineering literature and photographs belonging to the late colonel. Col. Jimmy Roberts will be remembered as the Father of commercial trekking.