Bhutan Himalayan Experience was formed when American guide and biologist Cathy Shill experienced her first custom tour in Bhutan. Her expert guide was Kinlay Gyaltshen, who’s extensive knowledge of Bhutan’s rich natural and spiritual worlds truly inspired her. Together they formed Bhutan Himalayan Experience to offer insightful, personal journeys with a focus on spirit in nature. Trips allow for time to walk, meditate, practice yoga, sit and journal as well as hike, visit dzongs and monasteries, and learn about the history, natural world and culture that make Bhutan a truly magical kingdom.
Cathy Shill is an acclaimed leader of the natural world. In 1989, she created The Hole Hiking Experience in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her company reaches thousands of people each year to inspire with nature through lively interpretation. The trips are fun and engaging and clients are given the opportunity to connect to natural processes, wildlife, and learn innate natural connections. She is a dynamic leader and has inspired children, executives, and shared “ah-ha” moments with anyone who has a desire to learn. She has toured with Walt Disney, Phizer Corporation, Jansport, Carlson Companies, Young Presidents Organization, Mars, IBM, MCI, Atlantic-Bruecke, University of Wyoming, Shell, and many more. Cathy has traveled to Kilimanjaro, the Galapagos Islands, Italy, New Zealand, Nepal, India and Bhutan to pursue natural exploration and cultural experiences. She enjoys the synergy of life found by balance. Her interests include meditation, yoga, qi gong, and a universal connection to all life.
Kinlay Gyaltshen is a descendent of the famous Wang Clan of Bhutan. He has 18 years years experience in travel industry, is a certified & licensed guide of the Bhutan Department of Tourism and has 12 years experience in management of Bhutan tours with premier US-based travel service firms. He has guided ambassadors, artists, the very wealthy and the not-so-wealthy on cultural tours, treks, and customized nature tours all over Bhutan. His deep connection with Bhutan’s rich Buddhist traditions, combined with a commitment to first-rate service, an outstanding sense of humor, and perfect English make Kinlay one of the finest guides in the country.
Tshering Tashi is a descendant of the Wang clan of Bhutan and a second generation guide. He is a certified and licensed guide from the Bhutan Department of Tourism and has over 7 years of experience. He works directly with his father, Kinlay, as a guide and leader in Bhutan tourism. Tashi was schooled in India at a Roman Catholic School and speaks English fluently. He worked at Amankora for three years which is an Aman resort in Thimphu. He has a love of music, enthusiasm for his country and enjoys leading cultural tours and treks. He is also a fan of western music and heads a local band in Thimphu.
Born and raised in Riverton, Wyoming, I was blessed to have outdoorsy, active and adventurous parents. I consider being a “Wyoming girl” to be one of my greatest assets. Camping, backpacking, horse pack trips, hunting, fishing and hiking were routine family activities. Not only did my parents instill in me a love of adventure, but also an affinity for open and wild spaces. I am eager and excited to share my passion for nature and my knowledge of ecology and botany with others whom have not had the benefit of so much time outdoors. With a love for biology and ecology and a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana, I discovered that while I enjoyed hiking and looking at plants, working in the field of data collection was not for me. After several short stints with various federal and state agencies, doing everything from counting plants to trapping grizzly bears, I was drawn back to my love of guiding. I have spent the better part of the past 23 years guiding horseback rides in Grand Teton National Park and working as a naturalist guide for The Hole Hiking Experience. Spending time outside is one of my greatest joys and I seek out any activity which allows me to do this, whether it be mountain biking, gardening, skiing or walking with my dog Guinness. International travel is an absolute blast for me and I have been fortunate to have been trekking in Nepal and Peru, traveling in Thailand and visiting Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I must admit, my heart belongs to Asia and I intend to spend as much time as possible trekking and experiencing the rich culture and heritage of the continent.
Benjamin (Benj) Sinclair is a born naturalist who caught the international travel bug at age 16. A Peace Corps veteran who served as a wildlife biologist in Niger, West Africa, he has traveled, studied volunteered and photographed extensively in Africa, Australia, Europe and most recently in Bhutan, where he lived for nine months and taught Conservation Sciences and Eco-tourism Strategies at the Royal University. He holds a BS degree in Wildlife Sciences and a Masters in Zoology. He has been a field instructor, wildlife guide and Development Director with Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming over the last 16 years. This will be Benj’s fourth visit to Bhutan, where his many connections in the NGO community and in the Department of Forest and Park Services will enrich the depth, range, and intimacy of this unusual exploration of Bhutan and northern India.