Griffon: ABOUT US
Custom Adventure Travel tours to Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan


We're a specialist adventure travel company focusing on providing high quality tailor-made trips and expeditions for small groups. We're not interested in mass tourism, bus tours or similar monstrosities! We specialize in providing personalized service, creating tailor-made trips to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal and wilderness destinations around the globe. We thrive on the challenge of crafting new and exciting itineraries, facilitating interesting projects and exploratory expeditions.

WHO WE ARE: Griffon Expeditions is a network of committed guides and local in-country partners facilitated by adventurers, Chris and Sharyn Jones. We live in Lhasa, Tibet for much of the year and share the rest of our year between Nepal, Australia and Canada. Our guiding staff are carefully selected for their specialist skills and their deep destination knowledge. Most of our guides are nomadic like us.......constantly on the road leading expeditions to exciting destinations.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OUR HISTORY: Griffon evolved out of 15 years in the adventure tourism industry, we worked for a number of large travel operators (learned many good lessons) but also watched the leaders in the adventure travel industry lower their standards and compromise their values for more profit. Lack of attention to detail, over crowding on trips and dissatisfied customers made us think that there had to be a better way to facilitate truly adventurous trips and maintain our lifestyle that we are so passionate about. We decided to leave the corporate adventure travel world.........bring together the amazing and talented network of local and international guides we had worked with (and trusted) over the years. We wanted to create a company that emodied our shared vision, that was a fun and rewarding place to work and an operation that has a truly positive impact on the places we travel to.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

WHY TRAVEL WITH GRIFFON?: We don't have a big central office or a glossy big brochure.....these overheads just consume valuable resources and add to the trip price you pay! We're small, flexible and personable.....lifestyle is our bottomline.....not shareholders or some faceless parent company like many other travel providers out there. We're not interested in MacDonalds style "cookie-cutter" travel. We're committed to ethical and responsible travel to places we are personally passionate about. We also expect our clients to learn about the places we travel and expect you to have a genuine interest in the culture and geography of the places we visit. When you contact Griffon you'll communicate directly with staff that have a deep understanding of the destinations we travel to. We know our destinations intimately. We take our role as providers of once in a life-time experiences very seriously.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CAN I CONTACT PREVIOUS CLIENTS?: YES......Just email us and we'll provide you with email contacts of past customers who are happey to correspond and share their experiences.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET OUR DIRECTOR: CHRIS JONES

Chris has international travel in his blood! By the time he was 15 his nomadic parents had introduced him to 15 different countries. He first travelled to the Himalaya's in 1996 and has returned each year since to work, live and play. Chris is an accomplished expedition kayaker and climber but backs up his practical skills with a strong academic back ground. Chris has diplomas in recreation management and hospitality management and a degree in Tourism Management from Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia.
Chris has guided extensively throughout Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan and in 2003 Chris began teaching the first Tibetan kayakers and rafting guides and established the first whitewater outfitter in Tibet. Whitewater is now just a small part of the range of trips Chris facilitates. Chris is passionate about sustainable development and hopes that Griffon Expeditions can contribute to creating a better future for local guides and their families.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET OUR PROJECT MANAGER: SHARYN JONES

Sharyn grew up a prairie gal in Northern Alberta, Canada, but an unexplainable longing for mountains drew her to British Columbia and then the Himalaya. (Or was it a tall Australian man!?) Sharyn has an impressive array of talents. She's worked as a professional jockey, commercial pilot, graphic designer and film editor. She's equally at home a-top a Tibetan pony in the wilds of the Tibetan Plateau as she is in the editing suite of a Hollywood movie production.

Sharyn developed our horse trekking operation in Tibet and oversees special projects, especially when they involve filmwork or photography.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET OUR NEPAL MANAGER

Dawa Sherpa is a consumate professional and deftly manages our Nepal operation from his office in Kathmandu. Dawa has been in the trekking & mountaineering business for over 20 years since he skipped school to work on as kitchen boy on an Everest Expedition. Dawa has guided on throughout the Himalaya and has worked internationally in North and South America. His total committment to client safety was demonstrated just 48m below the summit of Everest when he stoically turned around to help a sick climber back down the mountain. Along with English, Dawa speaks six different local languages and is currently learning Spanish. He is happiest when he's guiding guests in his home valley: The Khumbu Valley in the foothills of Everest.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET OUR TIBET MANAGER: RINCHIN

Rinchin grew up Tibet, studied in San Francisco and has now followed his roots back to his traditional family home: Lhasa. Rinchin brings the best of both worlds to his role managing our local opertations in Tibet. His deep Tibetan cultural and geographic knowledge is complimented by his understanding of western ways and the needs and demands of western travellers. Our Tibetan operation is now the first tourism company co-op established in Tibet and services some of the leading adventure travel companies in the world.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET OUR BHUTAN MANAGER: UGYEN

Ugyen is our man on the ground in Bhutan, one of the first Bhutanese to learn the art of whitewater kayaking, Ugyen facilitated the first research expeditions on Bhutanese rivers and managed the training of Bhutan's first whitewater rafting guides. Ugyen is very well connected and excels at sourcing permits to restricted areas. In 2006 Ugyen facilitated the production of Discovery Channel's "Expedition Bhutan" and received permits for the first ever river expedition to cross the border into India from Bhutan.

Ugyen is related to the royal family of Bhutan and is proud of his heritage. He is an outstanding mentor to young guides in Bhutan and is passionate about showcasing Bhutanese culture to our guests.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET OUR CHINA MANAGER: MR FU

Mr Fu is based in Chengdu and oversees all our Tibet trips travelling through Chengdu. He also facilitates our mainland China trips. Fu is a man of many talents and often works as the in-country "fixer" (facilitator) for BBC and National Geographic. During the first minutes of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, Fu survived by jumping from his office fire escape with his laptop under his arm and was calmly emailing news from the garden as buildings crumbled and cracked around him! He then spent the next month spectacularly navigating his way through the local government bureaucracy to get his media crews the stories we all saw on international news. Fu is an organisational wizard and we're lucky having him on the ground in China.

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET SOME OF OUR GUIDES: You'll find bio's from a selection of our international guides under the relevent activities in the Customized Trips Pages. Go check 'em out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MEET THE DOG: BRUNO!

This is Bruno! He is a Tibetan mastiff who turned up outside our Lhasa office in the summer of 2007 and decided we would make great dog owners! As the second participant in Sharyn's Tibetan Dog Rescue Program, Bruno began training as a mascott for the Braille Without Borders blind school in Lhasa. Unfortunately, Bruno's rambunctious personality was not ideally suited to being a resident at a blind school so he became chief trekking dog and company facilitator of general chaos! Bruno demands long walks and a large plate of yak bones everyday. He excels at breaking down cultural barriers and creating general havoc where ever he goes!

Back to top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .