Jerry Lapp

 If traveling to Nepal or high mountain trekking is on your bucket list, check out Skychasers!  Based right here in Lancaster, PA, but with tons of expertise in the Nepali region, this is the best place to go for your next travel adventure!

Jerry has been in the adventure travel business for four years.  He’s taken outdoor ed courses, but most of his training was experiential in Nepal prior to starting the Skychasers business.  His first visit to Nepal was in 1999 to trek the Himalaya. He and his then girlfriend, now wife, both loved it there and decided to stay.  They got permanent visas, jobs, and eventually got married and their oldest daughter, Anabelle, was born in Nepal. The family lived and worked in Kathmandu managing a Nepalese silver jewelry exporting company, Yak & Yeti Enterprises, that was founded as a fundraising arm of a large Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Kathmandu Valley.

Jerry had five weeks of vacation time and he used almost all of it on treks in the Himalaya, sometimes heading out alone or with his wife . . . they even took Anabelle trekking to the Everest Region when she was only seven-months-old, setting her up in a Pack ‘n Play for naps and bedtime in lodges along the trail.  Trekking the Himalaya became second nature through this time and more enjoyable every time he got into the mountains.

During this time, Jerry became fluent in the Nepali language, supplementing plentiful practice with off and on tutoring sessions.  In 2003, he completed his college degree with a year of study abroad in Kathmandu. He also learned to read and write Nepali for the first time, although he jokes that these skills never caught up to his conversational abilities and remain at a pre-kindergarten level to this day.  Here’s “Jerry” in the Nepali script, known as Devanagari . . . जेरी

जेरी says he loves the freedom of designing treks that stretch his and his trekkers’ abilities.  In turn, it’s rewarding to watch trekkers gain confidence by the day, sometimes by the hour, when they conquer fears, or summit an 18,000 ft pass, a 20,000 ft mountain, or make it to Everest Base Camp.  Jerry is a firm believer in the power that stretching mind or body has to reshape our lives for the better.

Jerry shares the credit for what makes an expedition with Skychasers great with his Sherpas.  He works with a marvelous group of Sherpas and there’s no doubt that they’re improbably gifted with the ability to instill confidence in trekkers.  Their preposterous physical skills (for example, people-carrying 🙂 provides a great backup should anything go wrong and they’re almost always blissfully optimistic.

In addition to the outstanding team of sherpas, Jerry tries to give trekkers something to write home about every day.  He is able wow guests by going to the hidden treasures, strange places, weird sites, and exotic places that only the locals know about.  Because of the years Jerry has spent in Nepal he has a lot of friends on the trekking routes, especially in the Everest area, so people get to drink tea in a friend’s home, or join in on a local festival.  That’s also a testament to the extremely social nature of Nepal’s people!

In his own words, Jerry describes why a trip with Skychasers is truly a unique experience unlike other:

“Traveling to Nepal and trekking the Himalaya is pretty intimidating for many people, even experienced hikers.  To ease these worries, I arrange group travel on beautiful airlines from major East Coast airports, so no one has to travel alone.  Paraphrasing a quote from Haley on Modern Family, “it’s the Himalaya; if it were easy, everybody would do it”. Yes, this is true, the Himalayas are a nice challenge for anyone, but the rewards are tough to beat.  And, I design 90% of my treks to be accessible to anyone who can commit to a bit of conditioning work beforehand. There’s usually no camping . . . our daily destination is typically a family-run lodge in a small village; evenings go by quickly swapping trekking war stories with other hikers from all over the world while eating around a yak dung fueled potbelly stove.”

Jerry would love to see more younger travelers take advantage of his trip and is negotiable on discounts.  To discuss your next adventure you can contact Jerry by email or phone at jerry@skychasersworld.com or 717.682.5265.  Their website also provides a good overview of what is available.  Skychasers is active on social media as well and can be found on instagram @skychasersworld or facebook Skychasers on Facebook.