I've just booked my solo trip with Exodus. Couldn't decide between The Inca Trail and Base Camp. I think i made the right decision. Off on the 23rd September '11. It would be good to discuss plans with others, especially packing and clothing options. I've done hot weather treks before but this is the first trek where i have to combat the cold.
...that should've read LDWA http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ Lists long distance walks across the county - enjoy!
Just popped by and pleased to see that the group is getting bigger - so hello everyone!
Kerry - I used poles on Kili last year andwould highly recommend using them (especially on the downhill stages as they ease the pressure on your knees). I've got some Leki ones and they're great.
My training is going well (touch wood) and revolving around my triathlon preparation. If 2 mile swims, 80 mile bike rides and loads of running don't get me fit for this then nothing will!! Speaking of which I have to go for a run in the rain now.
Hope you're all well and catch up again soon
I would also highly recommend poles and a camelbak bladder, plus two 1 one litre bottles. I never used my down jacket, it is warm during the day when you are walking.
I would recommend a head torch for when you need the loo during the middle of the night, there is no electiricty in most lodges after bed time. Also take a pack or playing cards or something to amuse yourself with in the evenings.
You might want to consider a micro towel, some lodges offer hot showers for about 3 quid, well worth it.
Finally I strongly recommend a couple of buffs. It got very windy some days and is very dusty so covering your mouth, nose and ears is essential. You can buy them in Namche for two quid each, no need to buy the expensive ones.
Yes, 3 months to go, can't wait....
Thanks for all the tips Eric, this will definitely help with the packing - and I must admit hearing about the hot showers is the best news of the day!!!!
Went for a 10 hour trek yesterday, feeling a bit tight today... but great feeling all the same!
Happy training everyone,
This is probably more a question for Chris or Eric - what are you recommending re. money? how much do we need? is it best to bring cash and change it at the hotel or withdraw directly from pass machines in Kathmandu?
Also re. visa, did you buy yours on arrival at the airport or got it beforehand?
Thanks for help!
I took cash (300 GBP) and exchanged it at Kathamndu airport. I did not spend it all. Tips came to about 60 or 70 quid. Whilst trekking there is very little to spend your money on. Perhaps the odd drink or snack, shower, battery charge, and a couple of gifts, but you will not need much. Kathmandu is fun, but again cheap.
Top tip - change your money back after you check in at Kathmandu airport but BEFORE going through immigration and security. Once you are in the departure lounge there is nowhere to change money. They will also only give you US Dollars back, so you lose twice on the exchange rate.
The visa was painless, I got mine on arrival, 40USD and one passport photo. Took maybe 45 minutes in total to get through the airport.
Nobody has mentioned this yet - they do not provide it, so take what you need, along with some wet wipes! You can buy it in the lodges, but it is not good quality and about 2.50 a roll.
I also took some Tesco micro dusters to use as a flannel. They are very light weight and dry quickly, and cost about £1 for 3, so you can bin them when they get dirty. You will be given a bowl of warm water each morning for washing, but that's it, there is no running hot water.
Good call Eric! I used these on Kili and they did the job perfectly: www.boots.com/en/Andrex-Moist-Toilet-Tissue_6531 Also wet wipes are a must for cleaning and sanitiser gel if you don't want a dodgy tummy. Speaking of which- immodium anyone... ?
I have an Olympic distance triathlon this weekend, so will have a good idea where my fitness is after that. An ideal result would be sub 2 hrs 30 mins - but anything close to that will be good i think.
Nikki, can sympathise with your injury - it's something I contend with frequently.
Some good tips coming out now. Eric, i think we may need a little bit more money than £300. Our trip doesn't include the price of meals whilst on the trek.
I hope everyones training is going well. I'm starting to pick up the pace a little now. Need to build up some more strength in my legs and back. Went camping for 3 days in the Peaks at the weekend and walked 10 miles everyday. Needed to string a couple of long walks together to see how i held up. Went pretty good.....just 17,000 feet too low
Don't get too worried Nikki, you still have plenty of time to build up some stamina. I've only just started going to the gym and realised i really need to build my stamina too. Gym is a lot different from hiking and swimming which is all i've ever really done. I hope i'm fit enough by the end of September too. If the worst comes to the worst Nat, we'll have to take it in turns in pushing each other up the mountain.
Apologies, I did not realise you had no meals included in the price. I assume in this case Exodus will recommend a daily food allowance? My trip included all meals and drinks (Tea and water), all I had to pay for was the odd coke.
Hello all. Working out how much money to take is proving, at best, a 'length of string' question! Trying to average steak & beers every night (for the comfortable traveller) versus local Sherpa stew + dumplings & hot lemon tea (for the basic traveller) aside, I think we're looking at c. $25-30 per day (the most direct info is in dollars) once outside Kathm. prices rise, and after Namche everything seems to double in price (hey, they have a long uphill haul for their goods). Without stating the obvs., local really does cost less than imported, to extended degrees.
I average this to be £20 per day (averaging upwards), plus whatever you might need for gifts, then Kathm. will be cheaper, and any opportunity for bartering will reduce costs. Note: food prices written on menus at tea houses do not seem to be negotiable, as they are all agreed by local committees. PLEASE check out for yourselves, tho, as I'm rubbish with prices!
Also, I've read that there are no ATMs after Namche, and outside of Kathm. ensure you take a receipt from any money changes (who seem to be open to haggling).
TripAdvisor has a regular Brit traveller to the region who seems to offer sensible advice: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/members-forums/Alanyeti and I suspect he might be open to specific questions on food, money, and anything else. All that said, pls search for yourselves, as I'm no expert.
Oh, and steak is likely to be yak... Yum! Anyone reading this having recently returned: you're up to date comments are very very welcome!
All best, Pamela
Hello Stephen - hope the training is going well (not exclusively - hope it's going well for everyone!) My recent Thai box training resulted in large bruising to middle toe (not sure how that happened, as only mucking about at home!)... Consequently lots of sympathy from work colleagues (looks painful - doesn't hurt; explained hot coffee aids circulation - they're stupid and gullible at these things so my cup overflows!!). That sounds heroic, but I can't run for a bus LOL
I'm planning trip to Peak District this weekend and wondered if you had any suggestions for good walks? Looking at White Peaks Challenge type walk (26 miles, but can cut short), which is good for distance but not so much uphill. Tempted to just head off for somewhere and walk like f**k (sorry!) but know I will only get lost....
Any thoughts/suggestions/tips? If you have any ideas for serious, fast/hard uphill walks I'd be grateful. Also, if you have better suggestions for weekend(s) pls also let me know. I 'work from home' Thurs & Fridays so can do days out then prior to weekend en masse ventures on popular summer Sat/Suns.
Pamela, i'm still on the search for really tough Peak walking. I still like Edale, Barber Booth direction. Hills all around. Nothing too tough though but if you combine a couple of walks it can be fairly good. I walked from Edale to Hayfield over Kinder a couple of weeks ago, that was really nice. Last weekend i walked north from Hayfield up William Clough, also a good climb. Again, you really need to combine a few hills for a real challenge though. I'm heading to Wetton this weekend to have an explore down there (it's south of Buxton). Camping at a pub. I don't think it's very hilly but i'm sure i can put a nice long hike together. I've just started randomly picking places from the OL1 and OL24 OS maps. I'm looking for inspiration myself.
Pamela - On my trip we were all told to go veggie and keep off the meat. The problem being you don't know how old the meat is. We spoke to one lady who had pork on her way down and was very sick as a result. We ate mostly pasta, potatoes, rice and pizza. Egg and chips became a favourite. We also had no alcohol until Namche on the way back down, purely because it can affect your performance at altitude.
I seem to recall a typical main meal was only 2-3 pounds. Breakfast was either porridge, omlette or Tibetan bread with honey costing about a pound.
Have you asked Exodus how much to allow for meals? They should be able to tell you.
Eric - er, yes, after five hours researching food prices online, one click in FAQs here told me to budget £20-25 per day... I seem to do things the long way! And I'll be taking salami, beef jerky, n stuff as cannot go that long without meat in my diet.
Stephen - Am still half-considering White Peak circular, or maybe Bleaklow, which I've read is 2nd highest (2,076ft) after Kinder but hardly any visitors. Wetton looks good (if difficult to reach by public transport). Guessing you do long walks on both Sat & Sun if staying overnight? Wish I lived in Snowdonia/Cairngorms now with proper mountains...
Definitely recommend walking poles specially on way down rocky slopes although do find them a pain to carry sometimes but they often seem to speed my progress uphill and on flat as well. 1hr 45mins up Pyg Track is good going although think that may be too fast for Everest and could bring on AMS. I believe guides will slow you to correct pace on the trek and I am just working on walking uphill for consecutive days carrying my loaded rucksack. Got two 16milers in last week over Malverns but horrendous blisters after the first but managed to get through second one with just aching legs, great laugh with group of people I went with. Boot problems at moment, e.g. padded Superfit insoles or not? so seeing Podiatrist this week, probably go back to original insoles. Getting me Jabs up to date, see good websites such as MASTA and NHS as well as FCO for travel advice to Nepal. Looking forward to trip but need more consecutive hill walks me thinks to improve fitness. Reading on Kathmandu sounds dodgy regards water (Cholera alert at moment) and that most people get tummy bugs and worse so how and what do we eat, avoid salads, only hot foods, only eat at certain eateries, no dairy no unpeeled fruit or uncooked veg, etc - am I really looking forward to this trip - course I am there's still the Everest Beer. Read need to be on upside of path when Yak Trains pass as they can knock you off mountain. Does AMS cure madness for the mountains? Best of luck to everyone. Dougie
A quick post to get us back to the top of the list! :o)
Prep's going well here Dougie. I'm going loads of triathlon training and have 5 weeks to go to my main events of the season. I'm not doing any specific hill walking or trekking training in between, so hoping all the swim, bike and running stuff will get me through.
How's everyone else doing?
Training's going well here. In the gym every other day. Took your advice Guy and spoke to the instructor. Put me a good programme together. Lots of cardio, leg work and a few exercises to strengthen my core and lower back. Been hard at it for a few weeks now and really feeling the benefit.
I'm just packing for a long weekend. Booked today (friday) and Monday off work, off to camp at the base of Snowdon for 3 nights. A nice training weekend on the hills.
Have a good weekend everyone.
I can't believe we are only 2 months away...
Training is going well for me too. I seem to have a similar routing to yours Stephen - gym 3 times a week and hiking every weekends.
Guy, this sounds very impressive - when is your main event?
Good stuff Stephen, enjoy your weekend in Welsh Wales.
@Natacha, I've got 2 half iron distance triathlons planned. Ely on 21st August and then The Vitruvian at Rutland Water on 3rd September. I've been doing 11-12 training sessions a week and covered an awful lot of miles in the water, on the bike and running. Think that should be enough to get me in shape for our trip :o)
Wow, the pictures look amazing - gets the excitement of going on the trip even wrose!! I will look at them another few times no doubt.
How is everybody else doing? Prep seems to be doing well from all your comments. I cant wait now, just feel like i am not getting the training in out on the hills - still time hoppefully. Back to the gym work now doing circuits a couple of times a week, spinning a couple of times a week and a couple of short runs, even cycling to work a few days a few, although thats not too far only 20 mile round trip.
What is everybody doing about their Visas? Is anybody applying before we go or just going to get it in the airport when we land?
Nikki, I'm planning to get my visa on arrival - I think it is much easier, all you need is cash and a photo.
Guy, I am very impressed!!! It looks like you'll be able to run up to base camp...
Thanks Natacha. To be honest, i'll be rather tired of running, swimming and cycling by the time this trip comes around. Trekking will be just fine :o)
Ericthehalibut, your photos look awesome. Part of my reasoning to do this trip is for the photography (bit of a hobby) and now I'm super excited! How cold was it when you were there and how did your camera cope with that (my DSLR survived -15 on Kili last year so hope it'll be OK for base camp)?
Thanks Guy. We had frost inside the windows in the lodges, so it must have been -5 indoors, minus a lot more outside. As soon as the sun comes up though it warms up really quickly, and you soon start removing layers. My DSLR (Canon 400D) was fine, never missed a beat and the batteries lasted well. The smaller cameras running on AA battereis did not so so good. The advise is to sleep with your batteries and/or camera inside your sleeping bag to keep it warm. Having said that I left my DSLR outside of my sleeping bag and it was ok. If yours already survived -15 you will be fine.
I love my Tilley, well worth the money and I also practically lived in it. It was unscathed. I have an LT5B. Perfect for rain or sun, and you can wear a cyclists headband under it to keep your ears warm.
Talking of packing / unpacking. One girl on our trip had to do the first two days in the clothes she travelled in as the airline lost her luggage. She didn't have the sense to pack one or two days walking clothes in her backpack. In fact, she even packed her backpack in her main luggage. I personally travelled in my boots, and carried my backpack along with waterproofs and fleeces etc. so that I could have coped in that situation.
Hope everyone's had a good weekend. I've been a little lazy this weekend. Went to the gym on Friday then went for a gentle walk in the peaks on Saturday. Nothing too strenuous. Then i went to the pub, had a few beers then went home and got loads of chinese takeaway. Done absolutely bugger all today. Great weekend.
Had a good Snowdon trip last weekend though. Did 3 different routes in 3 days, fell so lucky with the weather. It was glorious. I did the South Ridge (Bwlch Main), the Watkins Path and the Miners Track. All really good routes. Especially loved the South Ridge route, particularly when the clouds came rolling in. I'm off there again in the next couple of weeks. It's great training and exercise.
If you haven't been to Snowdon i'd highly recommend it. I took a few pictures, have a nosey.
Well I've had an annoying month... had one virus after another, and hurt my knee and my back. So training has been non-existent, and can't do my Total Warrior race :-(
On the bright side, I have a new physio, who assures me he'll be able to get me fighting fit for the trip :-) My knee is better, and my back is just niggling. So no bootcamp for another couple of weeks, but will do a gentle hike this weekend, and then a couple of days in Snowdon the following weekend. I'm hoping that all the training I have done this year already will stand me in good stead... and hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be fighting fit again.
I also need to knuckle down to some serious shopping... going to get my poles this week, and looking at more walking trousers etc. Could do with clothing recommendations actually... being a girl I want something that looks good as well as being practical. I get cold quite easily, but then again don't want to get too warm whilst walking. Like I said, any recommendations gratefully received. I have got a down jacket... but am wondering now if it's necessary, and whether a windproof type would be better? And what to wear during our downtime... I need to make a list! Has anyone started making a packing list? Again, ideas welcome!
When do we get our daypacks etc? I did pay at the last minute (completely forgot what date it was - oops), so imagine mine will be at the back of the queue!
Hello Kerry, sorry to hear you're training's hit a bit of a rough patch. I'm sure you'll still be fit enough. Even to consider the Total Warrior means you'll probably be fitter than i could dream of getting in this short space of time.
As far as clothing goes. I have a lovely down jacket that i'm sure i'll be wearing in the evenings. I like to be warm, i've even been wearing it here in the evenings while out camping. I have plenty of long and short sleeve baselayers, some really nice ones. Mountain Equipment, Rab, North Face all do nice colours. I have a micro fleece and a thicker Windwall fleece. I've just bought a really nice Haglofs Boa windproof softshell jacket. Trousers wise i just wear Craghoppers. Have done for years. I need to look at buying another set of thermals though.
Nigel, did you ever need thermals on your legs during the day. My crags are really thin so i think i'll get a good pair of baselayer tights.
I've had my tetanus/diptheria/polio combined jab. I've had the Hep A/Hep B combined jab (need 2 more of those). I've also got typhoid booked. Typhoid is a highly recommended one.
On my weekend hikes i've been carrying far too much stuff. I have an Osprey Atmos 35 that i stuff to the top with extra clothes and plenty of water. I'm guessing it'll probably be about the same weight. 2-3 layers, waterproofs, minimum 2 litres of water at a time and then personal stuff (camera etc).
Hi Kerry.To put your mind at ease a little.You only carry your rucksack during the trek so basically your water and any snacks you may have for the day then your usual stuff (waterproofs and layers etc.)All your other stuff is carried up by yak.As for being petrified of heights,there are no real scary paths on the trek where you're on the edge of a mountain.There are a few rope type bridges earlier on in the trek as you cross and re-cross the river but everyone crossed these on our trek with no problem,even though some had the same fears as yourself.As for altitude sickness,you never know but if you take your time and keep taking in plenty of fluid (at least 3-4 litres a day) you should be ok.
What I would say is that when you first arrive at Kathmandu airport,don't let anyone carry your bag for you.Locals will take it for you and carry it to the Exodus rep and buds but then hassle you for a tip.Just find the Exodus rep at the airport yourself
Some good questions there. Weight of backpack, probably 5-6 kg max. 2-3 litres of water, waterproof jacket and trousers, camera, hat, gloves, snacks for the day, fleeces that you have removed after the first 10 miuntes, suncream, gaiters (optional).
I only walked in my thermal long johns once, and stopped after 30 minutes to remove them. I took two pairs of Craighoppers, one thin and the other were lined, and those two were all I needed. I slept in my thermals when we got higher up.
Comms are actually very good, and you will be able to get on the internet or use your mobile phone at most places, and even get mobile phone reception at Base camp. I called my wife from Base camp but was so emotional I could hardly speak!
Some good advice here. When I did Kili i wore plenty of layers which you can peel on and off depending on how hot and cold it gets. My jacket is a mountain climbing jacket which fits with fleece underneath and various base layers. Speaking of which, I would highly recommend Ice Breaker base layers if you're loking for base layers still. A touch pricey, but everso warm and they don't stink even after a month (apparently)!
My day bag is 35l which was enough to stuff in camelbak, waterproofs, cameras/lenses and all the other gubbins you need, so that'll get an outing again this time.
I'm getting so excited...!!!! Just over 7 weeks to go.
I've been looking at some icebreaker long johns. Might treat myself to a pair. They'll be good for evenings and also get plenty of use in the peaks during winter.
My daysack is 35 litres too but it has a back frame, i was a little unsure whether it was too big for hand luggage.
My only issue now...i think, is sunglasses. I'm a glasses wearer with several pairs of transition lens glasses. They're supposed to be 100% protective. Let's hope so.
Sorry to hear you've sustained injuries training, but at least there's time for you to recover prior to trip :)
Clothing: I've been buying running gear - sleeved tops and leggings. It's good for wicking and cut for women's shapes. I've got Berghaus Himal pants (trousers!) which are comfortable (and black) then fleeces (sod it, they're warm, but also fit nicely, esp full zip ones, which I prefer). Waterproofs will make everyone look like a sack of spuds, so hope for dry weather - or quick/braqve strip for photos :) It seems difficult to buy anything for ladies which isn't pink - what do they think we are?!?
GoOutdoors currently have a sale on - headtorches and suchlike as well as clothing, and Blacks are selling off lots of stuff. Seems like a good time of year to be picking up winter clothing, just a matter of what's on the shelves of your local supplier.
Down jacket - if you wish, I might be up for buying yours (as I don't go til November) if you're up for it? Depends on sizes, obvs (not sure how we can PM this) and prices, but am open to discussion on your return...
Best luck training,
Hi Stephen - your Snowdon treks look interesting. Would like another trip up there before I go. I'm off to Cumbria to muck about with their mountains this weekend (told boss if not in before usual half hour of lateness to call mountain rescue...)
Are you still up for weekend trek (Peaks, York Moors, et al) before you go? Am happy to fit in with your regime and will buy beer in exchange for navigation (reversed if you get lost!)
Am sooo jealous that you lot are going in Sept and I have to wait til bloody November - bad booking on my part :(
Thanks all.... had forgotten to mention that I had my Typhoid jab too! So think I'm all set from that perspective.
I have an old knackered rucksack, but think I need to get a better one. So about 30 litres should be sufficient.
Off to Go Outdoors tonight... tempted to go now as I'm working from home, but better resist, and probably best to take my boyfriend as he can reign me in... I'm like a kid in a sweet shop! On the shopping list are poles, trews, microfleece, waterproof trews & rucksack.
I do fancy those icebreaker base layers (I'm a sucker for a bit of luxury)... where's the best place to get them from? I get cold, and usually walk with some type of tights/leggings under my trousers, so imagine I'll have some for the day and a spare set for the night.
And Pamela, thanks for the girly clothing post :-) I know... trying to avoid pink but seems inevitable! As for the down jacket, let's see if it survives first, but if it does then we can discuss further :-)
Only seven weeks to go.... can't believe it's come around so quickly!!
Almost forgot... having dug my trusty old sleeping bag out of the loft I think I definitely need a new one!!! Any recommendations gratefully received... I do get cold so extra snuggly is a must. Also, if anyone has found any decent compact pillows again please shout. I have tried several and they are all rubbish!
I'm staying away from Go Outdoors. I'm sure i'm just buying stuff for fun now.
I've discovered a few good shops on my travels. I like Outside in Hathersage. They have a good website too. I've also bought a few things from theoutdoorshop.com. I got my sleeping bags from there. I can highly recommend Rab down sleeping bags, unfortunately they're not cheap. theoutdoorshop.com was the cheapest i found for the Rab bags. I think they're really competitive for a lot of things and the service was excellent. I camp all year round so i can justify spending the money as i'll get plenty of use out of them. I bought a Rab Andes 800 for the trip, it's a little extreme and has a comfort rating of -21 degrees C and an extreme of -43. I used it a few times camping around March time and it was toasty, too hot at times. Even when it was close to zero degrees. Loved it that much i bought another Rab bag for summer use. It's a bonus that it's a local company too.
Pillows.....! I've been looking for good travel pillows for a while now. I've been using a small inflatable one for a long time. It's really annoying but it's ok for camping. Have you tried Go Outdoors flannel pillows Kerry. They're practically weightless and pack up small. Haven't tried them myself but i'm going to give them a go i think.
Pamela, has no-one started a forum page for your trip dates yet? I'm sure there'll be some equally talkative and helpful people on your trip too. We'll have to go for a hike one weekend. It would be nice to have an occasional hiking partner. We could go up Kinder Scout and Kinder Downfall for a start. That's a nice local hike, starting and ending at the pub where the beers will be on you (especially as i know those paths pretty well, or is that cheating?). Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you use facebook, send me a facebook request (Stephen Carford) and we'll plan a hike.
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