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Prayer Flags

Join us at Sherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal to experience authentic Nepali cuisine and culture. Receive free prayer flags with any $35 purchase of Sherpa Adventure Gear.

Seen everywhere in the mountains, valleys, and sacred sites of Nepal, prayer flags are a symbol of peace, goodwill, and compassion. Originating in Tibet, early versions of prayer flags were used in battle. As time passed, the flags came to take on more spiritual meaning.

Nepalese Prayer Flags

Each flag color represents one of the five elements.

Each of the five colors are always arranged from left to right in a specific order: blue, white, red, green, and yellow and represent the five elements: sky, air, fire, water, and earth, respectively.

Prayer Flags Sherpa Adventure Gear

Lung Ta (horizontal) prayer flags, pictured above, are square or rectangular shaped and are commonly hung on a diagonal line between two objects in high places such as the tops of temples, monasteries, stupas, or mountain passes. Darchor (vertical) prayer flags, pictured below, are usually large single rectangles attached to poles along their vertical edge.

Darchor Prayer Flags

Darchor prayer flags frame a statue of Tenzing Norgay near the village of Namche Bazaar in Nepal.

Over time, as the flags weather the elements, the bright colors of the flags fade to white. New prayer flags are hung alongside the old, acknowledging life’s continuous cycle. It is disrespectful to place flags on the ground or to use them as clothing. To dispose of old prayer flags, burn them, so that smoke may carry their blessings to the all.

Faded Prayer Flags

As prayer flags are exposed to the elements, their colors fade. This process symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes and an acknowledgment of a greater ongoing cycle.

Join us for Sherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal on Tuesday, October 17, at our store in South Asheville’s Parkway Center on 1378 Hendersonville Road.

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$20 for Every $100 When You Shop Women’s Clothing

We’re excited about the women’s clothing collection we’ve curated for fall. It’s time to see see these vests, pants, tops, dresses, and more adventure clothing on the trail and on the town. This includes hundreds of items from Prana, Marmot, Columbia, Patagonia, and other top brands. For every $100 in women’s clothing you purchase by October 17, you’ll receive a $20 cash card that can be redeemed October 22-October 29. It’s a great way to get what you need now and start shopping for holiday gifts in a few weeks.

You can start by heading to one of our stores (find locations and hours here) or browsing online. You can even hold items online for free and pick them up at the store with Free Store Pickup. Our expert team is ready to show off our new arrivals and get you outdoors because Adventure Is Local!

It’s never been better to be a female adventurer. Top players in the outdoor apparel market and niche companies new to the scene have taken notice that women like to get outdoors. They’ve spent time into specifically designing clothing, gear, packs, PFDs, and hiking boots to better fit women’s bodies. Gone are the days of just shrinking the size of something and pretending it addresses the needs of females in the outdoors.

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Cataloochee Campground

Intro

Imagine living on the untouched, beautiful lands of a national park. For centuries this was a reality for a wily community of Appalachia’s finest who called Cataloochee Valley home. At the time of the park’s inception, a community of 1,200 flourished in the lush valleys and hillsides of Cataloochee. On official orders, these settlers were forced from their homes upon the park’s coronation. Their history and heritage was frozen in time. They left behind a pristine valley surrounded by mighty mountains, rich with crystal clear streams and fertile meadows that stretch for miles. The community also left behind the rustic structures which they called home. Today, visitors flock to Cataloochee Valley to admire these historical buildings and the lush flora and fauna which still make a home in the Valley.

What Makes It Great

Cataloochee Campground is centered amidst the history and beauty of the high country valley. The campground sits on the banks of Cataloochee Creek underneath a towering canopy of Appalachian hardwoods. Camping season runs from early-April through late-October. They offer a total of 27 primitive sites, each equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. Community restrooms are available with flush toilets and access to running water. The campground is ideally located for visitors to enjoy the hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and auto touring the Valley has to offer.

Who is Going to Love It

Hikers love the nearby access to hiking trails including: Caldwell Fork, The Boogerman Trail, Pretty Hollow Gap, Rough Fork Trail, and Little Cataloochee Trail. Kids and exercise enthusiasts love touring the flat and scenic road by bike that runs through the middle of the Valley.

Cataloochee’s remote location inside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park gives anglers the opportunity to fish some of the most pristine waters available in the area. Spring months see large hatches of aquatic insects; the cool waters of Cataloochee Creek and its tributaries will be teeming with brook and rainbow trout. Make sure and acquire a North Carolina Fishing License before reeling in your catch.

Wildlife aficionados adore Cataloochee for its large population of elk reintroduced in 2001. The large fertile fields that carpet the Valley bottom come alive at dusk and dawn with herds of grazing elk.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Getting to the Valley is an adventure of its own. From Asheville, take Interstate 40 to exit 20, then travel .2 mile on Route 276 before turning right onto Cove Creek Road. Follow the signs for Cataloochee up a long and narrow winding road taht turns into gravel on its way into the Valley. Use caution and be courteous to oncoming traffic to ensure safe travels.

Reservations are required and should be made in advance before visiting this popular area. A one night stay at the campground will cost $20.

Featured image provided by Steven Reinhold

Hiking Mt. Sterling

Intro

Mt. Sterling towers above the Pigeon River Gorge on the northern end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sterling is a mountain steeped in history and covered in an elegant mix of hardwood and evergreen forestry.

The mountain was mistakenly named after a 2 foot streak of lead that crosses the Pigeon River on the Northern foot of the mighty mountain. Prospectors flocked in search of silver that was never found. Nowadays, visitors still come in search of metal, in the form of the east coast’s highest remaining fire tower.

On Sterling’s 5,842 foot summit stands a rickety and rusted, 60 foot tower which peaks above the surrounding forestry to give brave onlookers a sprawling view of the surrounding beauties of Southern Appalachia. It’s actually the tallest existing true fire tower in the South. (Want to explore WNC fire towers?)

What Makes It Great

In terms of a view, the one achieved from braving the harrowing and narrowing steps of the Mt. Sterling fire tower is unparalleled. Once you’ve adjusted to the swaying old fire tower, you can enjoy panoramic vistas in all directions.

The most popular approach to Sterling’s summit starts out at Mt. Sterling Gap and involves a 5 mile round-trip through the woods. The Gap is in the middle of a remote and rugged stretch of road that is historically known as “The Old Cataloochee Turnpike.”

From the Mt. Sterling Gap Trailhead, hikers begin their journey on the aptly named Mt. Sterling Trail. For 2.3 miles, the trail winds upwards 2,000 feet along Sterling’s flanks through old-growth fir forests lined with fascinating flora. Once you’ve completed this section of trail, the path turns to the right and gently follows the ridge line of Mt. Sterling for another .4 mile to its summit. The summit is home to a fragrant evergreen forest and backcountry campsite #38.

Water can be found roughly .2 mile past the summit down the well-signed Baxter Creek Trail. Although beautiful, the summit itself does not offer any long range views. View seekers must make their way up the tower to obtain a scenic perspective.

Who is Going to Love It

Adventurous hikers who desire a memorable view are really going to find what they are looking for on this mountain. The tower provides some incredible photo ops and an almost unimaginably expansive view of the Smokies, as well as Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests. If you enjoy the pungent aroma of evergreens, then the forests of Mt. Sterling are the perfect place to come to stimulate your sense of smell.

Hikers looking for a more strenuous day can take the Baxter Creek trail for a strenuous 6.2 mile approach to Sterling’s summit from the Big Creek Campground area.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Asheville, take Interstate 40 west to the North Carolina/Tennessee state line and take exit 451 for Waterville. Turn left and cross the bridge onto Waterville Road. After 2 miles, you will come to a four-way intersection. Take a left onto Mt. Sterling Road and continue for 6.7 miles on the gravel road until reaching the sign for Mt. Sterling Gap.

If you are up for a scenic drive after your hike, continue in the same direction on The Old Cataloochee Turnpike into Cataloochee Valley to view historic sites and famous wildlife. Well marked signs will help you return from Cataloochee Valley to Interstate 40.

No fees or permits are required for a day hike to Mt. Sterling but you must register ahead of time for a spot at backcountry campsite #38.

Featured image provided by Miguel Vieira

Hiking Max Patch

Intro

The Appalachian Trail follows the crest of the Appalachians along the North Carolina and Tennessee state line. In between the soaring mountains of the Great Smokies and the rolling hills of Hot Springs, the AT passes over the grassy bald known as Max Patch. The man-made meadow on top of the mountain was once home to large herds of grazing cattle. Today, the luscious green summit is home to one of the most acclaimed view-points in the Southeast and the herds have switched from bovine beasts to outdoor enthusiasts. A variety of trails can be used to access Max Patch. The most popular and pedestrian of the choices leads hikers to the grassy summit on a short, half -mile climb to the top.

What Makes It Great

At 4,600 feet, Max Patch is not a particularly high mountain, yet the views from the top are highly acclaimed. The view’s infamy comes from its grass covered summit stage, which offers long range views in every direction. The view is framed to the southwest by the northern giants of the National Park: Mt. Guyot, Mt. Sterling and Big Cataloochee. The Plott and Great Balsam Ranges paint the southeastern skyline while the towering crest of the Black Mountains stands guard to the east and the Roans to the north. The Patch is surrounded by picturesque rolling hills and mountains leading up to these mighty ridge lines in three directions. To the west, however, an uninterrupted view over the lush expanse of Tennessee allows for a famously stunning sunset view.

Several trail options line the sides and summit of Max Path. From the parking lot, visitors can take the direct route to the summit for a 1-mile round trip or the 2.4 miles loop which circumnavigates The PatchThose looking for a prolonged jaunt through the woods can follow the AT north or south as far as their hearts desire.

Who is Going to Love It

Photographers will find life-list photo opportunities atop Max Patch thanks to its ideal location on the western edge of the Appalachians. Bring your tripod along and set up for spectacular stellar and sunset shots. (Looking for more photogenic landscapes?) Romantics can take full advantage of Max Patch’s beauty by packing a blanket and picnic lunch to the easy access summit. Cap off your romantic evening as you return towards Asheville by taking a dip in the dreamy waters of nearby Hot Springs Resort. Anglers, bring your gear and cast a line in the Forest Service pond just past the parking area. The brave even venture to The Patch in winter for skiing and sledding amongst the sublime scenery.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

A trio of route options leads to Max Patch from Asheville. If you choose to tackle these routes in winter, come prepared with an emergency kit and snow-worthy vehicle. There is no access fee for the trailhead. Camping is allowed in nearby areas, but is prohibited on the summit itself. Venture just past the summit for the prime locations. Bring your fury friend along for this outing: the area is dog friendly and they will thoroughly enjoy the grassy summit!

Featured image provided by Jake Wheeler

Want Our Fall Mailing?

Our customers are our guiding star. Based on your suggestions, we added free in-store pickup and are bringing several new brands into stores this season. Next on the list: DBO in your mailbox.

We haven't sent an outdoor guide direct mailer in awhile, but that's about to change. Our fall mailer will include awesome photos and highlight the gear, shoes, and clothing we're most excited about. Tell us where to send your copy! (Just to let you know, we'll never share, sell, or rent your information.)

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Hiking Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain

The Appalachian Mountains, the oldest mountain range in the world, is a crown jewel of the American wilderness. Grandfather Mountain, which lies just outside of Boone, North Carolina and boasts four separate summits of rippled rock and stunted spruce, provides one of the most dazzling views on the East Coast. An ocean of ridged and rolling mountains spread out in all directions, their emerald hues deepening to blue in the summer, bursting with scarlet and crimson in autumn, and frozen silver-white in winter.

One of the most popular routes to the top is the Profile Trail, so named because it offers its visitors a view of Grandfather Mountain’s iconic vertical profile, which resembles the face of a massive old man in deep repose. The trail climbs nearly 2,000 feet before linking up with the Grandfather Trail, on which hikers can access Calloway Peak, the tallest of the four summits.

Maeve Gould

The Profile Trail begins as a well-maintained and deceptively gentle pathway, rolling through wildflowers and crisscrossing the Watauga River. On a scorching summer day, hikers will enjoy filling their lungs with fresh, chilled air beneath the dense deciduous canopy and rhododendron thickets that leave the majority of the trail shaded and cool. Don’t allow yourself to get too comfortable though; the route soon turns sharply upwards as it begins its ascent up the backside of Grandfather Mountain. Thankfully, the climb is punctuated by breathtaking vistas, such as the Foscoe View at mile 1.7, which will whisk your thoughts away from your burning quads.

Before reaching the trail’s namesake lookout, you will come across a formidable walkway, created by hundreds of boulders artfully arranged on either side. The “Peregrine’s Flight,” created by two men using only hand held tools, is truly a triumph of trail engineering. Another notable feature is Shanty Spring, where crystal clear water bubbles out of rocks into shallow pools, creating an inviting spot to rest and fill your water bottle before tackling the final climb. The spring marks the beginning of the most strenuous portion of the trail, and also one of ecological significance as the hardwood forest transitions into Canadian fir zone.

Greg Walters

Three miles from the parking lot trailhead, Profile Trail joins up with Grandfather Trail. At this point, take a left on Grandfather to continue your way to where the route opens up onto an exposed ridgeline that will lead you on a magnificent finale to your summit reward. Calloway Peak, engulfed in sky at 5,946 feet, earns its title as “The Grandaddy of High Country Hikes.”

The trailhead is located 12 miles from Boone on Highway 105, ¾ of a mile North of the intersection of Highways 105 and 184. Trail access is free since Grandfather Mountain came into state ownership, but you must fill out a permit at the kiosk and bring the bottom section of the ticket with you on your hike. The Profile-Grandfather Trail to Calloway Peak is 7 miles round-trip and includes sections that are strenuous, rocky, and require very deliberate footwork, but the views at the top…priceless.

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Originally written by RootsRated.

Featured image provided by Kolin Toney

Hiking John Rock Loop

Intro

The 5-mile John Rock Loop is a hike that, on a clear day, affords some of the most stunning views of Pisgah’s wilderness and mountains. The hike takes you to the top of John Rock, which is a large open face that you stare at as you climb.

After a brief start on Forest Service Road 475, the trail links up with the Cat Gap Loop Trail. It immediately travels up through a mixed forest of hardwoods and lush rhododendron. There are a few stream crossings (some with a footbridge, some with some fairly easy rock-hopping), and just before an intersection with the Butter Gap Trail, you’ll see (and hear) the Cedar Rock Falls.

The trail continues to climb steadily and surely, and eventually, it will come to a four-way intersection just south of John Rock. From here, take the John Rock Trail to continue to the top. It will be a fairly steep and substantial climb without switchbacks.

The trail will eventually pop out onto John Rock itself. Soak up the incredible view for as long as you’d like and then it’s time to head back down and complete the loop.

What Makes It Great

Once you get the top of John Rock, you’ll be given views of the outstretching valley below, the Pisgah Ridge, and across to Looking Glass Rock. The hike will also take you past a nice waterfall and, during spring, there are beautiful wildflower meadows in the Picklesimer Fields.

Who is Going to Love It

This is a fairly difficult hike, as the climbing is pretty steep (about 1,000 feet of elevation gain), so experienced hikers will enjoy this hike more than first-timers will. You’ll want to hike counter clockwise so you’re going up the really steep part, so the walk down is more gradual. It’s tough to hurt yourself on steep uphill, but steep downhill is a different story.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The trailhead is located at the Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery, just off of Forest Service Road 475. It will be a left off of this road, and then just over a bridge about a mile and a half in, there will be a parking lot.

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Featured image provided by Jake Wheeler

Playing in the Pisgah: How to Spend a Weekend in Western Carolina

It’s no secret that the mountains of Western North Carolina have a wide array of wonderful places to live and play. With vibrant mountain towns like Boone, Brevard, and Asheville, as well as well-preserved national forests and serpentine scenic highways, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to visit this area. If you’re going on vacation this holiday season, make sure the Pisgah is on the top of your list. And while you’re there, use this weekend guide for a night of camping and a day of hiking and trail running.

Friday Night (4:30pm – 7:00am): Davidson Campground

Car camping at Davidson Campground
Car camping at Davidson Campground.
Jake Wheeler

Open year-around with over 160 campsites for tents and cars, the Davidson River Campground is a great place to make a home base for your weekend in the Pisgah. Nestled just inside the Pisgah National Forest, and only three miles from Brevard, the campground is at the foot of the Art Loeb Trail and just minutes from other well-known destinations like John Rock and Looking Glass Rock.

And with Brevard being so nearby, you have the ability to grab any last minute supplies you may need before entering the park for the weekend. Even better, the Pisgah Ranger Station is conveniently located across the street to help with any last minute adventure questions before you start your day. We suggest finding a campsite that sits along the Davidson River, offering you quick access to a trail that runs along the river—great for a moonlight hike.

Saturday Morning Hike (7:30am – 11:30am): John Rock Loop

John Rock Loop
John Rock Loop
Jake Wheeler

Only a few miles from the Davidson Campground, start your day off by experiencing the stunning views of Pisgah’s gorgeous wilderness and mountains. Primitive tent camping is allowed here as well, so if you want to set up camp at the foot of John Rock, you may.

With over 1,000-feet of elevation gain, this 5.5 mile hike will get your blood pumping and your heart thumping. You will find yourself quickly shedding layers, as you walk through tunnels of rhododendron forests with the rising sun guiding you playfully along the trail. Once you get the top of John Rock, you are greeted with a huge rock slab that offers breathtaking views of the outstretching valley below, the Pisgah Ridge, and across the way to Looking Glass Rock.

Enjoy a light snack at the top, a quick drink of water, and prepare for a brisk walk down to the trailhead for your next stop…lunch!

Lunch (12:00pm – 1:00pm): Looking Glass Falls

Only a short three minute drive from the John Rock Loop Trailhead, enjoy a mountain meal with the accompanying sounds of the roaring 60-foot Looking Glass Falls. Pack your picnic basket and head just a few hundred yards from the parking lot and witness one of North Carolina’s most pristine and powerful waterfalls. Steps lead down to the base of the falls, making it easy to carry any lunchtime supplies and offering you a perspective that will truly humble you. Scramble around the rocks, watch out for ice in the winter seasons, and find a scenic spot to fuel up for your next adventure: Looking Glass Rock!

Saturday Afternoon Hike (1:30pm – 4:30pm): Looking Glass Rock

Looking Glass Rock
Looking Glass Rock
Jake Wheeler

Fill up your hydration pack and throw some nutrition in your pocket—you’ll need it. The trail to Looking Glass Rock is steep—climbing 1,700-feet in just over three miles and taking hikers and runners along a cascading mountain stream and through granite rock outcroppings and root gardens, which only add to the challenge. But after you weave through these hairpin switchback turns, and along trails coated with blankets of fall leaves, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most majestic views on the East Coast. The views are simply stunning! Definitely worth the physical expenditure.

The Pisgah National Forest offers great outdoor recreation possibilities for all ages and abilities. This is a great weekend trip for anyone looking to escape to the mountains. We recommend grabbing all your food needs in the town of Brevard before you escape. Whether it is your first time pitching a tent, or you’re a seasoned trail running vet, the Pisgah is a true slice of weekend adventure heaven.

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Originally written by RootsRated.

Featured image provided by Jake Wheeler

Climbing Rumbling Bald

Intro

Rumbling Bald, about 25 miles from downtown Asheville, is really the must see climbing area of western North Carolina. It’s one of the biggest and best bouldering destinations in the southeast, if not the country, offering literally hundreds of documented bouldering problems and plenty more unofficial routes just begging for first ascents. Rumbling Bald is suitable for all ability levels with a huge variety of difficulty. You could spend days and days here. There’s also a great deal of route climbing–mostly traditional on the cliff above the bouldering line. There used to be access issues, but it was bought by the Carolina Climbers Coalition, so now parking and access for climbers is guaranteed.

What Makes It Great

Boasting at least 882 documented boulder lines, you are sure to run out of chalk and skin before running out of problems at the Rumbling Bald. The boulder field is divided into the West Side, Central, and East Side.  The approach to the first area from the lot is about 10 minutes. The West Side is a great warm up as well as project area with a wide range of grades and height variety. Plenty of V0’s and V1’s are available for the beginner as well, mostly described as “Unknown” in the guide book due to being un-named problems in the Obscure and Trailside areas within the Westside area. The Trailside area also offers great three-star problems like the classic arête, Moby Dick (V4) and the crimpy Rotator Cuff sds. (V6) that can also be climbed as a V5 stand start. Moving on to the Cluster boulders, The French Maid (V7) is a must-do for the experienced climber and should not go untried.  Though there’s much more to be climbed on the West Side, you must move on to the Central boulder field for the best V2 at the Rumbling Bald. The Brevard Fault (V2) and other classics like Bruce’s Problem (V5) and Slash and Burn (V8) are high star problems here (amongst many more) located on a mere 8 boulders and generally less crowded Central area.  If the West Side and Central was not enough of a challenge for you, the East Side certainly will be. Although you may want to save it for another day when your arms are less pumped out. The reason being that the east boulder field is spread out in steep terrain with big elevation changes and can be difficult to navigate. However, the climbing is still excellent here and there are many projects and untouched boulders looking for a first ascent for those who feel so inclined.  We can’t reiterate enough how much bouldering can be had at Rumbling Bald. You really just have to check it out yourself. We recommend purchasing the Rumbling Bald Bouldering Guidebook, written by Chris Dorrity. You can find it in any outdoor retailer, and it’s really worth a look.

Who is Going to Love It

Cyclists…. Just kidding. Climbers, obviously. Of all ability levels — beginners, intermediates, and experts alike.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Rumbling Bald is located above the town of Bat Cave/Chimney Rock. From Bat Cave, follow the signs for Chimney Rock Park and pass the park entrance as you go through the town of Chimney Rock. Not quite a half mile past the park, turn left on Boys Camp Road (SR 1305). Follow this for about a mile and a half to a dirt access road on the left; take the dirt road to one of two parking areas for Rumbling Bald.Plan on a 9 or 10am arrival, as the parking lot at the Bald fills up fast with both hikers and climbers, and you may even have to wait for a spot if you get there too late. The parking is also locked at dusk so make sure you leave in time or the Ranger will be waiting.Unfortunately, there is no camping allowed at Rumbling Bald, so be sure to make a plan for lodging. Located just a few miles from the boulders, in Lake Lure, is the Hitching Post Campground. They offer tent and RV camping as well as bunk houses and apartments. The camping is open year round, but you’ll only need it for three seasons because summer here is downright miserable, with overgrown vegetation and hot temperatures. Rumbling Bald is best in the fall, winter and spring, with winter being the prime season.

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Featured image provided by bobistraveling

Events

Hiking with a Map + Compass

A map and compass isn’t always top of mind when we’re used to navigating with an app, but it’s a skill every outdoor enthusiast should know. Gary Eblen will teach the fundamentals in this class that’s great for all skill levels.

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We’ll have some giveaways + discounts for all who attend. This event is free and open to the public. Kids and well-behaved pets with owner on leash are welcome.

Women’s Backpacking Basics

From pack fit to shoes and hiking clothes made specifically for women, it’s never been a better time to hit the trail with a group of girlfriends. Learn what to bring and (more importantly) what not to bring when setting out on a day, weekend, or thru hike. This clinic will include ideas on how to lighten your pack, maintaining gear on the trail, and information on favorite area trails. Feel free to bring your pack for a “shakedown” by backpacking experts.

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This event is free and open to the public. Kids and well-behaved pets with owner on leash are welcome.

Sherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal

Sherpa Adventure Gear weaves together the latest designs and technology with the rich heritage and time-honored beliefs of Nepal. The company was founded by Tashi Sherpa as a living memorial to the unsung heroes of Mt. Everest. For decades, climbers have always been grateful for having a Sherpa companion on the treacherous slopes of the Himalayas. It is the Sherpa who makes the route, carries the load, and sets the ropes to the top and back.

Join us to experience Nepalese culture through sight and taste. We’ll show a short documentary focusing on Nepalese culture and enjoy authentic food samples and traditional tea. Mark Johnson of Hobnail Trekking Company will present information about expeditions from the USA to Nepal. You might be inspired to experience it firsthand!

We’ll have some giveaways for all and a special gift with any Sherpa Adventure Gear purchase that evening. For every piece of Sherpa Adventure Gear’s purchased, a donation is made to provide scholarships to children who grow up in remote Himalayan villages, bringing the spirit of the Sherpa full circle.

RSVP on Facebook

This free event is open to the public. Kids and well-behaved pets with owner on leash are welcome.