We returned recently from a trip to Nepal. We had Sarki Sherpa as a porter guide on our trek from Jiri-Gokyo-Lukla. We hired him and a porter through an agency. I have no idea if he works alone also, or only through agencies. This was our first time trekking in Nepal, although we have had guides on Kilimanjaro and on the Inca Trail. Even though he was hired as a porter guide, in my opinion he acted as a guide, answering questions, giving lots of information, asking us if we had any questions for him, taking care of any business issues (signing us in at check points while we went ahead, he always caught up to us very quickly). He seemed to have lots of knowledge and does have a trekking guide permit (which he showed us). He had his friend as our porter and the friend also works as a guide. We hired a porter guide and a porter because my husband wanted to take his heavy camera equipment along with him and so we had too much stuff for 1 porter. We were a nice team doing everything together. I'm not sure if porters usually go along on "rest day" walks, but ours did.
Anyways Sarki is strong, fit, knowledgeable, always in a good mood, super helpful, not just with us, but I saw him helping out lots of local people on the way, very friendly to everyone and generous. When my husband and then I were weakened by intestinal issues, he easily carried our day pack in additional to his, claiming that he can carry 45 kg. easily. When a yak got stuck on the main bridge on the way back from NB, he helped out the yak and carried a heavy bag across the bridge for the yak driver (this is just two examples of his helpfulness, he often helped with the stoves in the dining rooms, and helped out the lodge owners with various tasks, helped people loading up yaks, etc.) When the agency didn't have a plane ticket from Lukla for our porter, he bought the porter a ticket, even though he wasn't sure he would be paid back (apparently he was paid back, according to him, and the agency). The day after our trek we went to his aunt's place in Kathmandu where he lives when he's there and had a nice afternoon and amazing momos!
His English vocabulary is very good as well as his grammar, but he needs to work a bit on his pronunciation, which I told him, and I think the agency we hired him through is planning to help him pay for English lessons. Sometimes it took awhile, but we always ended up understanding what he was saying in the end, and as the trek went on, it got easier. Based on texts and a couple emails, his written English is not very good, but knowing the context it's understandable, and way better than my Nepali, Sherpa, Tibetan and other dialects that he speaks.
Anyone interested can contact me via this forum, or email Sarki directly a soul himalaya treks (he told me it was ok if I left his email address on this site).