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Thread: Himalayan Treking

  1. #1
    Widdler Mark Dixon's Avatar
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    I've had a long wish to do some treking abroad and have decided that for my 50th birthday I'm going to look at treking in Nepal - hopefully Everest Base Camp but who knows.

    Can anyone recommend from personal experience any good treking companies. I know the outdoor magazines are full of them but they can claim anything in an advert.

    Anyone got any useful tips to help me on my way. I'm a regular Lakes, Wales & Scotland walker but never done anything higher than Ben Nevis.

  2. #2
    Mini Goon wey_aye_man's Avatar
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    Mark

    I went to Nepal and did the Annapurna Circuit a few years ago with Himalayan Kingdoms and enjoyed every minute of it. If I was going again I would seriously consider going with Doug Scott's set up, CAT from Warwick Bridge.

    The porters that we had with HK were well treat and all carried a new pair of boots that they had been given to cross the high passes (they still preferred to wear flip flops though)

    If you are a regular Lakeland walker you should not find the going too tough and the companies are familiar with the problems of acclimatisation and ensure that height is not gained too quickly.

    I would recommend the use of tea houses rather than camping however.

    Go for it the memories will stay with you forever.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch
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    I haven't been, but I was very impressed with Russell Brice on the recent tv series, and even more so reading about him on his website. Like Doug Scott, he treats his guys well. Apart from Everest itself, he does treks to Everest base camp and advanced base camp - here.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch The Tallest of Paul's's Avatar
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    I've been 4 times to Nepal and always orginised it myself.The Everest trek twice with chola passand Gokyochucked in for good measure. Annapurna Circ and sanctuary and Langtang-Gosinkund-Hilambo(excuse the spelling my guide books on loan!). If your going with someone else its entirely feasible to go independent. This gives you the flexibility to stay longer in areas, break up days, make days longer and time to aclimatise. More on that later.

    On most of the popular treks your never more than half a day from the next lodge(cheap hotel) These have great food, and offer alot when you consider how far from everything you are. These cost around a 1-2 quid a night and a meal isnt normally more than 2 pounds either. You could live like a king for £10 a day!

    Its pretty much impossible to get lost, the paths are well blazed and theirs nearly always some around to ask should a junction throw confusion.

    You could still do this on your own, you'll meet people every night in the lodges so theirs still plenty of banter. The only thing to be wary of is the risk of altitude sickness so I wouldnt recommend It till you can gauge how well you acclimitise, even then you have to be really sure about your limits.

    As wey aye man says the trekking itself isnt that hard, 'what does you in' is the altitude. This can only be awnsered by seeing how you get on as we're all differant. The problem with group trekking is the schedules, if your suffering with the altitude it can be at best miserible and at worest deadly. If you go independentlyand you feel the effects you can rest up fora or twoday and let your body adjust.

    I'd reccomend the L.Plant trekking in Nepal which goes into much greater detail on all i've covered. It's a very well researched guide book with all the main routes in detail.

    Its a really fantastic place to go, dont let what i've said put you off.I couldnt recomend it enough. The people, the place its all that makes a trip perfect. Have a look through my pics, sorry their not in any order!

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Gneiss Boots's Avatar
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    I can recommend a local firm who will assist you in country if that helps, and I am sure others can too. They can provide guides / porters or just a single companion to assist with the lingo and any other administration etc. They are the sort of set up as used by many of the UK trekking firms. My only comment to build on May Contain Nuts' points is that a local firm / guide (whether working to a UK trekking firm or to you) is invaluable if you are ill / injured etc. I can speak fair Nepali and have travelled solo before but on my most recent trip saw a group in trouble without any local help who had a serious casualty and could not arrange their evacuation and it boiled down to administrative rather than language difficulties. Loads of interesting learning points from what I saw, but it did rather convince me that a local firm with an office or Kathmandu who could then hire various helicopters etc. and importantly receive and 'look after' the casualty (not medically - but can you imagine being ill and waking in a foreign hosital and your mates are still some days, at best,away from joining you?) when they are admitted to hospital in Kathmandu or wherever. The helicopter firms won't fly a mile without guaranteed cash and trying to get credit card details or faxes from Europe to Kathmandu at a weekend over a satphone was a revelation.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch The Tallest of Paul's's Avatar
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    As Bens says the issue of falling ill in a third world country isnt funny. I personally take the risk of indepent travel because of the freedom it offers. I consider it a small risk, and if travelling with other people I feel they could get you out of the shit just as quick as the locals can (they can flap around and do nothing, i've seen them in action). You'll have to weigh this up yourself.

    Double check any insurance you get as most of them only mention in the small print they dont cover high altitude. Most go up to 4000mtrs and if you do the everest circuit for instance you'll be over that for at least 10 days!

  7. #7
    Mini Goon
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    I've been 3 times, first with Himalayan Kingdoms using lodges, 2nd up Cho La with KE in tents, then with my by then friend, sherpa Pasang, on my own. Both companies seem to have fair ethical credentials as do a few these days I think, and we were well looked after, though on the base camp one ( HK) an extra day for acclimatisation would have done me good. Hints: buy Jamie McGuiness book Trekking in the Everest Region. He covers everything you need and may encounter whilst whetting your apetite. Drink plenty as you increase altitude, extra peeing is good! Be ultra careful with hygiene, its not worth the time gained by missing out on drywashing your hands before every food/drink, and wipe the cutlery before use. I've seen the cloths used to dry them in the lodges. As for food, I can heartily recommend the Dhal Baat.

    As earlier replies have said, it's a most wonderful place with the friendliest people I've ever come across. Being there changed my life. Have a great time.

  8. #8
    Goon Dorian's Avatar
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    Just come back from doing the Everest Trails by Exodus which goes as far as Pangboche (a day or two short of EBC).

    Had a fantastic time, the guides were excellentfurther moreI say to anyone considering a trek in Nepal, go for it you will not regret it.

    During our trip we stayed in Tea Houses, during March it was cold in the eveningand nice and sunny in the day, we were lucky to get some great views of Everest.

    Our highlight was climbing Twache Hill (sp?) which was approximately 5,000m asl. What is the definition of a hill again?

    My advice to keep well is become veggie during the trek, Probiotics, drink plenty of fluids to help acclimatisation, Diamox, good hand hygiene and lastly a good warm sleeping bag.

  9. #9
    Mini Goon
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    I seem to remember replying to a similar question several months ago on this site. Maybe you can find the thread.

    Anyway, as Dorian said, you cannot go wrong with Exodus. I have friends who have been with Exodus on at least 5 occasions to different parts of the world and that speaks volumes.

    10 years ago, the first time I went to Nepal i did the Everest B camp trek with Travel Bag. Again, superb service.

    Of course, they all use a local Katmandu trekking company. Mine was Ammadablam tours if you want to cut out the middle man.

    Also, if you want a bit of freedomand more flexibilty its not difficult to trek alone. And you still meet lots of people along the route or in the lodges. And Katmandu is a very safe place to fly into, so no worries there. the Lonely Planet would give more details.

    I have done 6 different treks in Nepal independantly andapart from the altitude and steps, I find trekking in the Lake district or Wales much moredifficult in terms of route finding. In Nepal, its very very hard to get lost.

    Anyway, what ever you choose...you will definately enjoy!

    Ps-Eat the local food (Dahl baht) stock up on glucose buscuits and drink as much liquid as you can and you won`t go far wrong.

  10. #10
    Mini Goon
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    I can highly recommend a local tour company in Kathmandhu, Snow Leopard Tours:

    http://www.visitnepal.com/snowlprd/

    They employ local guides (who are all highlytrained and knowledgable) and local porters. So your money goes direct to the people rather than big tour companies.

    The director Yankila Sherpa is also an ex Minister for Tourism ( one of the first women in Government) and highly regarded.

    We went to EBC with them, staying in tea houses. We flew from Kathmandhu to Paplhu and trekked up from there, amazing secenery and not many tourists, till you hit the trail from Lukla. We also went to Gokyo en route. 21 days in total & cost about £500 each plus flights.

    Also went to Annapurna sanctuary - totally amazing and my favourite trek.

    p.s. stayed inKathmandhu Guest House in Thamel a little oasis. Try the sherpa stew, yummy.

  11. #11
    Widdler
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    Hi.

    I'm planning a trek in nepal and want to go independently. Can anyone recommend any good guides/porters? Particularly as single woman. Planning to go to Ama Dablam north base camp.

    Which is the best time of year? I am currently thinking Oct/Nov but am wondering if it might be quieter (and better for wildlife) in mid-Feb/March.

    Anyone got any tips?

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Gneiss Boots's Avatar
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    Sue

    While I don't have any personal experience of them there has been a couple of small firms set up run by, and with, female guides and porters if you would prefer noting your 'single female' comment. One is in Kathmandu and one runs from Pokhara and can be found via the Chhetri Sisters Guest house in Pokhara - drop me a line if you need more and I shall search other details out. A quick google search should do it. I have seen them on the hill training and it was quite a cultural change for many of the male porters and guides to get used to.

    Have a look at www.tansentrek.com if you want a firm personally recommended and they will lay out anything from full Monty to single guide.

    There are dozens of recommended firms and single guides on www.trekinfo.com and related Nepalese trekking sites.

  13. #13
    Mini Goon
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    To start with I would recommend buying the Lonely planet trekking in Nepal. This will put you in the right direction. Also you could leave some posts on there website. I would say that 30% of trekkers in Nepal are travellers, so they will have lots of personal experience of female guides and agenciers etc.

    From a personal viewpoint. I have seen the very nice Chhetri Guesthousein Pokhara where the female guides are hired from. And I would have no worries what so ever going direct to this guesthouse and hiring a female guide or porter from them. And last year I saw one Western woman on the ABC trek with one female porter from there.

    However, I seem to remember the Amadablam base camp is in the Khumbu Region. So maybe you would go direct from Katmandu, rather than going via Pokhara?

    In terms of the time of year. For weather. Oct-november is statistically best. Due to the clearer skies after the monsoon. However, its the busiest. I did the Everest Base camp trek in December/ Jan and though it was cold, the weather was fine. Since then, I have trekked from Feb-May. Then there are more flowers. And also its a little quiter than Oct/nov.

    If cost was an issue. I think that going direct to Chhetri Guesthouse in Pokhara would be the cheapest option. Expect to pay about 5-8 pound per day for a female guide from there. And female porter maybe around 4-5 pound. However, you would have to pay for there flight to Lukla also. Though I think Nepalese pay less than foreigners for flights.

    Otherwise, you could check out the great treks in the Annapurna region close to Pokhara. Its cheaper,with no flights needed as well as having more choices of treks.

    ENJOY!

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