In February 1991 two young British women, Joanne Chittenden and Tracey Taylor-Young, set out to climb Imja Tse (Island Peak). Their trip aimed to highlight the issue of litter on the trails in the Khumbu region besides to enjoy themselves and spend some time amidst the majestic peaks of the Nepal Himalaya. Their journey ended in tragedy, however, when Tracey slipped while crossing an icefall and was killed. It was the love that Jo and Tracey’s fiancé, Johnnie
Woods had for her that inspired the establishment of KEEP.Quote from Tracey

“Mountains are the only place I can be truly happy. It is just nature, beauty, looking at them and feeling them. They can make me cry with emotion. – Tracey Taylor Young (1959 -1991)”

In her memory, it was decided that a new project on ecotourism should be established to provide education on safe and ecologically sustainable trekking methods to preserve Nepal’s unique and fragile eco-system.

Joanne Chittenden and friend Johnnie Woods returned to Nepal and worked together with colleagues based here including Steve Powers, Wendy Brewer Lama and the late Dr. Chandra Gurung to study the impact of trekking on Nepal in order to develop a way to increase access to environmental and safety information.

This brought about the establishment of the Tracey Taylor Young Mountain Trust in the UK and KEEP in Nepal. KEEP then obtained support from the late Lord John Hunt and by the autumn of 1992, KEEP’s Visitor Information Centre in Kathmandu opened its doors to the public.

Since the idea first germinated in 1991, KEEP has continued to expand its sphere of influence and develop new projects. Today, we are established as one of the leading eco-tourism NGOs in Nepal and have links to international organisations in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Recent history

KEEP has been in operation for 25 years and over that period has continued to develop its core activities of education, environmental awareness, community support and the Porter Clothing Bank.

Since 2012 KEEP has delivered the following outputs:-

Porter Awareness Workshops run in:

2012       Shabrubesi – 75 participants

2013       Jiri – 75 participants

2014       Besseshar – 70 participants

2016       Pokhara – 68 participants

2017       Dunai – 73 participants

2018       Taplegunj – 65 participants

Community Projects run in:-

Cheppang, Dhadding


UNESCO and other Heritage Sites Clean-up Projects 2018 supported by the NTB run in:-


Pashupatinath Temple

Swayambhunath Stupa

Baudhanath Stupa

Budhanilkantha Temple

Changunarayan Temple

Bhagbhairav Temple

Patan Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square


Courses completed in Kathmandu:-

English Language – Course Monsoon and Winter 2017/2018

First Aid Course – 2 in September and 1 in February 2017/2018

Map Navigation – Course 2018

Eco-Leadership – Course 2018

First Aid Course – July 2018


Porter Clothing Bank supported by the following organisations:-

  • Globo Trek, Lowa, Transa, Switzerland
  • Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST), Switzerland
  • International Porters Protection Group (IPPG), Nepal
  • International Mountain Explorer Connection (IMEC), USA
  • Mountain People, Norway
  • Porters Progress, UK
  • Porteurs d’Avendir, France
  • The Intrepid Foundation, Australia
  • Association pour le Respect et la Dignité des Porteurs del’Himalaya (ARDPH), Switzerland
  • Community Action Nepal (CAN), UK
  • The Mountain Fund, USA
  • Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal
  • World Expedition, UK
  • Mountain Kingdom, UK
  • Kathmandu, NZ



Dr. Jim Duff, Dr. Louise Cook, Dr. Nick Mason, Elsie James, Ian Wall, Jan Neuspiel, Karen Valenti, Scott M., Daniel Jacot


Database of PCB

Since its establishment in 2009, KEEP has been lending clothing items such as warm jackets, trousers, fleece jackets, boots, sunglasses, socks, gloves and sleeping bags to a large number of porters.Our records show that as many as 3622porters fromdifferent trekking companies as well as many freelance porters and guides have benefited from KEEP’s PCB.

The following tables illustrate the development in the stock of the PCB from 2009 until 2017:

Item Count 2009-17

Items 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Jackets 240 537 443 330 170 170 368
Pants 116 279 403 302 107 150 150 318
Shoes 234 206 206 227 205 103 464 114
Sunglasses 159 81 267 301 65 205
Gloves 122 83 62 181 220 205 65
Sleeping bags 56 30 35 38 38 5
Socks 92 17 17 17 15 32
Caps 40 40
One Piece 1


Since 2017 KEEP has been restructuring since the sudden resignation of its founding Director due to ill health.

KEEP confirms its commitment to its core principles and has instigated a 5-Year Development Plan as a means of clarifying its future vision and focus of its activities.  This Plan is financially split into two sections, Committed Activity/Expenditure and Program Activity/Expenditure. It goes without saying the committed expenditure is critical to the running of the office while the program expenditure is critical for the implementation of the community, course and PCB activities, the latter section can only be justified when the funds are in place.  This Plan can be found elsewhere on this website.

As a NGO, KEEP by law is unable to create its own funding stream and consequently it survives purely on the donations provided by its national and international partners. The continuation of these relationships is instrumental to the survival of KEEP.