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Gary Scott

  • Company Website
  • 435-729-9107

Guide at a Glance

  • Company

    Right Path Adventures

  • Locations

    Dolomites, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy

  • Activities

    Adventure, Hiking Trekking

  • Guiding Experience

    33 years

  • Languages

    English, Italian, Nepalese

  • Favorite Trip

    Dolomites Walking Tour

Guide Bio

Get to Know Travel Guide Gary Scott: Nepal, Cappuccinos & Heroes

Gary Scott is living the dream. Sure, the idea of the perfect gig is open to debate, but getting paid to explore sun-soaked destinations with like-minded travelers has gotta be up there. Gary’s foray into tour guiding started back in the ’80s when he caught the travel bug – and he’s still traveling the globe some 30 years later. With a bit of forward thinking and plenty of passion, Gary turned his insatiable appetite for travel into a thriving business venture called Right Path Adventures. He’s honed his skills over the years, clocking up 200 adventure travel trips including 50 one-week trips to the Dolomites and 40 treks to Nepal, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. We caught up with Gary in between trips to find out how he made it happen, and what it’s like to live the dream.
Hi Gary, thanks for taking some time out for a chat. First of all, to say that you’re well traveled is putting it lightly. How did you first discover your passion for exploring and traveling?

My father was a diplomat and in the military, so we traveled all the time when I was a kid – I was born in Australia, lived in the U.S at a young age and saw my first mountains in Canada at the age of 6. My life direction went that way from an early age; I got into bush walking at 9 years old, did multi-day trips and taught myself to rock climb at age 12. I then began to teach climbing and left Australia when I was 24 with a one-way ticket to Kathmandu, $10,000 and a day pack. I’m essentially still on that same trip 30 years later.

Wow, it sounds like you’re doing what you love! How did you find yourself in the business of travel, as opposed to a being a traveler yourself?

After trekking in Nepal to Everest Base Camp, I fell in love with the place. I then traveled to India and Europe and figured I may as well get paid to travel and do what I love. I got a job as a trekking guide in Nepal in 1984 and then started my own trekking company a year later. I specialized in trekking peaks and high summer passes and then brought that business to the US. I ended up guiding for a mountain school in the summers, going back to Nepal in the fall, teaching ice climbing in the winter and promoting my trips in the spring.

Sounds like you had a lot on your plate! How did your current travel company Right Path Adventures come into the picture?

It was really simple actually. I just decided I wanted to be in business, typed up some brochures on a typewriter, and placed them around Kathmandu. That was way before the internet, so I was also doing free slideshows to promote myself. It was really exciting and I gradually rustled up business. When I came to the US, I did more slideshows and asked a few people if they wanted to join me on a trip to Nepal – and that was successful. I’ve always been on the road, but I just built my business into my lifestyle. If you keep planting the seeds and put yourself out there, you’ll do good things.

Was it really as easy as just opening up shop, or did you hit a few snags along the way?

I’ve always had a business mentality. I studied business and started personal development mentoring, but I also believed in myself and trusted that if I followed my passion and ran great trips, people would come. It’s turned out really well – last year I worked four months of the year in fantastic destinations with great people, and I took home a handsome profit. That being said, I did have many years of being broke and not making any money, pulling my hair out and getting frustrated. But I paid my dues and spent many years traveling & exploring, and learning my craft.

Was there ever a point where you sat back and thought “Wow, life is pretty good”?

Not everything I have set out to do works, but a lot of the time it does. Years ago I had a vision of sailing around the Mediterranean, and then a few years later I realized, “Holey moley I should just put a trip together.” I’m not a sailor and have never sailed in Croatia, but I just put together an email and sent it out to the mailing list I’ve compiled over the years. Initially 6 people signed up, so I traveled to Croatia and put a trip together. I ended up doing four back-to-back trips, and I broke even. I had a great experience, had my expenses paid, and most importantly I got to live the dream.

I have done the research to make sure that my clients can see the best of what is on offer in just a couple of days. I make guys look like heroes to their wives because they have such a great time and get their money’s worth.

How did you come to settle on Croatia, the Dolomites, Slovenia and Nepal as tour destinations?

I started with Nepal because I was a climber and I wanted to climb the Himalayas. This year will be my 42nd trek in Nepal. But Nepal is hard work – you’ve got altitude and stomach problems and it can be a little stressful. About 10 years ago I started guiding in Europe, which was a nice change of pace. The destinations were amazing and it was great to have a warm shower and a hot meal at the end of the day. A couple of years later I read about the Dolomites in an article and decided I wanted to go there, and then I fell in love with the place. A couple who came on that trip suggested I do a trip to Slovenia, and said they would join me if I go. I did and they loved it, and I’m now in my 4th year guiding trips in Slovenia.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It’s pretty much the same on every trip I go. I have breakfast with the group and then we talk about the day and head off at 8.30am. In Europe, our itineraries generally start with a couple hours of hiking. Then we stop for a cappuccino, hike for a couple hours, have a nice lunch, hike again, have a beer or glass of wine and a strudel, and then hike back to the village or lodge. Then people can relax and we meet for drinks and dinner and head to bed. It’s unbelievable really. You get to hike all day, eat great food, and you can relax. I feel very blessed to do what I’m doing right now.

The Dolomites: Just one of Gary's offices
The Dolomites: Just one of Gary's offices
How do you connect with your clients? Have you developed a specific style of guiding over the years?

I try to look at every trip as the client’s trip. I’m just there to help them have a great time. When I’m guiding in the mountains I’m very safety conscious, but otherwise I’m pretty laid back. After trekking in Nepal and doing rescues on McKinley, the Dolomites is a piece of cake. I can relax and I try to be a friend to people and introduce them to the locals I’ve met along the way.

What is the best part of your job?

I would have to say the best thing is that I can do whatever I want. If I don’t want to run Croatia trips next year, I’ll take them off my schedule. And if someone calls me and I don’t like their attitude, I don’t have to let them on a trip. I’m selective of who I spend my time with. I’m following my passion and doing what I want, in the places I want to do them.

Are there any aspects of your job that you would happily to do without?

I don’t really consider what I do a job – it’s just what I do. I don’t have work hours and I can see myself doing what I’m doing for another 50 years. If I had a million dollars I’d be staying in the Dolomites, inviting people to come over and go hiking. However, bookkeeping can be very frustrating, along with the marketing side of things. And I suppose it gets tiring and lonely always being on the road. I’m looking for a place that I can spend the winters and have a long-term relationship and develop a sense of community.

The Early Days: Trekking in Nepal is where Gary's travel obsession began. (He's the one crouching.)
The Early Days: Trekking in Nepal is where Gary's travel obsession began. (He's the one crouching.)
As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?

I’m a professional traveler. I’ve read all the guidebooks and I have done many hikes, stayed in a bunch of hotels and eaten in a lot of restaurants to find the really great ones.  I have done all the research to make sure that my clients can see the best of what is on offer in just a couple of days without making all the mistakes I have. I make guys look like heroes to their wives because they have such a great time and get their money’s worth. They get the inside scoop and get to meet people and see things that they never would on their own.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

There’s no doubt that you need to be a certain type of person to be a successful guide. You need to deal with a wide variety of people of all ages and social backgrounds, and deal with their fears and doubts. It’s a skill to sit down with people for breakfast, lunch and dinner for weeks and still maintain a conversation. You need people skills and you really need to care for people, and less about yourself. Guides also need to get rid of their ego and consider how they can show people a great trip without thinking about themselves.

And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a tour guide, but aren’t too sure what to look for?

With the internet nowadays you can do a lot of research very quickly, but my best advice would be to just pick up the phone and call your guide. If you’re going to spend your valuable money and time with them, you want to see if the person is someone you can jive with. You can’t always do that, but you can talk to them and get a better sense of what they are all about. Also, be honest and open about what you want to achieve from the trip. Let your guide know your vision for the trip from the get go.

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I’ve taken thousands of people on over 200 international adventure travel trips over the last 30 years, but before I started guiding in 1983 I spent many years traveling, climbing and walking around the world since that is what I love to do. Right now, I know that if I were a zillionaire I’d still spend my summers taking friends and guests walking through the spectacular and super cool Dolomites of northern Italy.  I’ve now led over 50 one-week tours in the Dolomites so know the place pretty darn well – I love to show it off to people.  I also lead walking and exploring trips to nearby Croatia and Slovenia which are a lot of fun, and a “life-changing” 17-day trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal each fall.

To learn more about Gary Scott, read our interview with him called, “Living the Dream.”

Gary Scott's Reviews

  • Karen
    Reply

    Had a fantastic week in the Dolomites with Gary Scott. He’s a really great guide and so conscientious, went out of his way to make it a special time for everyone in the group. It’s such an amazing region and Gary has gone to great efforts to find the best walks, hotels and restaurants.

  • dv0506
    Reply

    I trekked with Gary in The Dolomites & had such a fantastic experience, that I went back a few years later to see some different areas on another one of his trips. His knowledge of the region is extensive. Gary was able to cater to a wide variety of interests, experience and fitness levels. I highly recommend Gary’s trips – you’ll have a great time!

  • janhan
    Reply

    I worked with Gary to put together a 2-week Nepal trekking trip in April 2012 for 12 friends, where Gary served as our very skilled, fun, and trusted guide. In addition, he assembled a great Sherpa team, including some long time friends. We spent 9 wonderful days trekking in the beautiful Himalayan region that Gary knows so well. Gary is truly a mountain man and consummate hiker, so we knew we were in totally capable hands. Plus, he’s just plain fun to be with and full of wonderful stories. Thanks to Gary, we all had a trip of a lifetime!

  • Wtc96
    Reply

    I’ve been fortunate enough to experience two of Gary Scott’s incredible trips. One in Nepal, and the other in the amazingly beautiful Dolomites.
    There is no question once you meet Gary that he is passionate about his work, and has an incredible gift of putting great people together to create the most amazing, life-changing experiences. Safety is always his #1 priority. With his expertise, as well as his passion for adventure, you can be very confident that Gary Scott is the ultimate guide!

  • Bill schroth
    Reply

    Gary Scott has been a great guide for us on the two hiking trips that we took in the Dolomites and Slovenia. Besides his hiking expertise, he is totally focused on the capabilities and interests of his group. Gary adjusts the hiking agenda each day to match the weather conditions, and he always has something unexpected and special up his sleeve. He is an expert with his lodging and restaurant choices, and his knowledge of the local people and history allowed us to have great conversations and understanding of the local cultures. Only wish Gary branched out even further geographically so we could see other parts of the world with him.

  • jrwile
    Reply

    My wife and I along with two groups of friends have hiked with Gary in the Dolomites in 2011, as well as the Julian Alps in Slovinia this past summer. Gary’s knowledge of the area, his extensive local contacts, enthusiasm, flexibility and sense of humor made both of these trips fun, interesting and memorable. When at Passo de Giau in the Dolomites on the third day of our trip, we awoke to a foot of snow, it was in the middle of September, Gary managed to get our group down difficult, snow covered mountain roads without incident and seamlessly changed our itinerary, leading us on some beautiful snow covered mountain walks. Gary always exhibited good judgement and a strong commitment to safety, turning back when it made sense in bad weather or roping up when crossing exposed, potentially dangerous sections and being sensitive to the more exposure-anxiety prone members of our group. Gary’s guiding skills are strong, he is a good trip leader and he is truly invested is his clients having fun and a good time.

  • GuideAdvisor Staff
    Reply

    The GuideAdvisor staff had a chance to meet Gary at the recent Outdoor Adventure Show in Vancouver and we were really impressed by his outgoing nature and his resumé, which includes over 30 years of guiding experience. He gave an excellent presentation about trekking in the Himalaya but then told us about his other guided adventures hiking in Croatia and Slovenia – two areas we didn’t know a lot about but are now totally keen to explore thanks to our conversations with Gary. No doubt Gary’s infectious enthusiasm ensures any experience with him will be a good one.

  • hikingdog
    Reply

    I hiked the beautiful Dolomites with Gary in August 2011, a trip that I gave myself for my 52nd birthday. I told Gary that for my birthday I wanted to stand on top of the world, and boy did he deliver! After staying at a Refugio the night before, by 9:30 a.m. (I requested the early start), Gary had me standing in a high gap in the mountains gazing at the vastness of the Dolomites in the clear morning air. That was just after we stopped to watch a pair of ibex working their way across a high scree field. This was without question the very best hiking excursion of my life, thanks to Gary’s expert guiding, knowledge of the local area and terrain, vast experience in the high places, and just easy and relaxed approach and good friendship on the trail and at the dinner table. Gary has a keen intuition about when to engage you and check in, and when to leave you alone to contemplate the grandeur and quietude of mountains and whatever that experience brings up for you. I heartily recommend a trip with Gary as one that you will remember and cherish forever. I will definitely trek with Gary again!

  • Kay
    Reply

    Gary is a wonderful guide. I have taken several of his trips; he is passionate, loves nature and his exuberance is infectious to the group. He has a keen wit and charming personality; it is always a pleasure to discover new places with him!

Right Path Adventures

Since 1983, Gary Scott, owner of Right Path Adventures, has led thousands of happy guests on hundreds of adventure travel trips all over the world with a perfect safety record. He currently leads incredible walking tours to the Dolomites of Northern Italy, Croatia & Slovenia. Gary Scott has led over 500 day-tours in the Dolomites and nearby areas, and led over 40 treks and expeditions in Nepal, including two successful expeditions to Mt. Everest. Gary loves taking people to spectacular off-the-beaten-path places that they would never find on their own.

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