I'm booked on the 2nd November departure 2012.
Over 30 years ago I saw Exodus adverts for Himalayan treks, and I hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to fulfil that long ambition. Well that time is now around 6 months away and I can say I'm really looking forward to it. I've restarted hillwalking after about a 20 year break so hopefully will be fairly fit by November.
Thanks for your comments Emma. You mentioned the Cho La pass - would it be worthwhile taking crampons for this, as I have a pair?
Crampons are definitely OTT, it is a fairly short flat section. I expect the conditions vary but when we did it, the first section on to the ice was very slippy but then the snow was fine. If you are worried about it, I would say that yaktrax or a half-crampon you can wear on rock are more use - I took microspikes which were great on the snow but no use on the rocky ice where you most needed them - having said that, most people didn't have anything and were fine. Hope that helps. Emma
For some time I was leaning towards the Annapurna Circuit. I think that if I do a second trek that will be the one I'd go for. From what I've read the scenery is quite different from the Everest region, perhaps more like the Alps?
However it was three high passes plus several small summits that persuaded me this was the the one for a first trip.
As you've done a couple of treks do you have any tips/advice to pass on?
Just looked at the availability and there are now 4 spaces left, so looks like a fairly well populated trip. Currently it looks like the monsoon has now passed and the cloud has cleared to sunny skies.
Temperatures in Katmandu for the next few days are the upper 20s days, and nights high teens.
For Namche, clear skies high teens low twenties days, and 4-5 degrees at night.
For Dingboche, clear skies mid teens days, and just below freezing at night.
If this November is similar to last expect night temps down to below -10c at Dingboche.
To put this into some perspective, South Pole temperatures, coming out of winter into 'summer' are -56C night, rising to a balmy -45C day. These and lower temperature will be what Ranulph Fiennes experiences for a large part of his winter crossing of Antarctica.
Wonder id Exodus will offer this trip in the future!!
Hi Fiona and Sid. I'm also booked on this trip. I'm flying from Ireland but not through London. Really looking forward to the trip and meeting everyone. Hope the preparation is going well.
Hi Jen and Fiona. Just over a week to go and going through a long list of things to do before departure as it's a long trip away. Packing list is pretty long, mostly small but important stuff. I've tried to itemise everything in some detail so that nothing important is forgotten.
Fiona, are you travelling from London? I notice that we fly Qatar Air, for some reason I thought it might be Jet and changing at Delhi. It seems a bit of an upgrade!
See you all soon.
Hi Sid & Jen
Looking forward to the trip, but I have loads of things to do before next Friday (scary to think that this time next week I'll be at Heathrow. By this time I'll have got fed up with looking at the shops and will be hunkered down in Costa! Which is probably why I never seem to be able to sleep on these overnight flights.)
Rather than a long list, I have gone with the approach of multiple lists, none of which are quite the same; and relying on memory of what I took last time and what came back unused. I'm a bit worried about the 12kg limit on the kit bag on the Lukla flight - trip to the shops tomorrow to buy one of those digital scales things.
Sid, according to my final instructions I am flying Jet Airways via Delhi (20:50 from Heathrow). Are you on a different flight?
Jen, where do you change flights?
Hi Fiona and Sid,
I'm leaving from Dub on Fri morning, straight to Abu Dhabi, from there to Delhi and then onto Kathmandu. I get in around 9am Sat morning, I think the group flight gets into Kathmandu near 3pm.
My camera died last week so that's top of my list to replace tomorrow! Fiona - any additionals you brought before that weren't on the packing list but found really useful?
My wife (Sarah) and I are on this one as well. We were supposed to be doing this in Oct 2011 but had to pull out a couple of months before that trip. So it has been an extra long wait for this one.
We head down from Scotland on Friday. Just snowed here today and about 6 degrees cooler than yesterday, so acclimatisation has begun. I guess we could have spent the night in the garden shed testing out our sleeping bags, but as they have already been packed....
Look forward to meeting everybody and cant wait to get to Nepal.
In terms of kit, I've always taken way too much previously; clothes and all the other stuff that you stick in the bag 'just in case' and which collectively weigh more than the clothes. I don't think there is anything vital that isn't on the list; it's just how you interpret what's on the list and how much of it you think you'll need.
I bought a PowerMonkey for a trip in Morocco in June, which was very useful for keeping camera/ipod/kindle charged up. Make sure you get enough memory card for your camera, and a spare battery. On Annapurna Circuit last December I slept most nights with anything electrical in the sleeping bag with me to make sure that the batteries kept warm. I thought that the camera battery had died on me on the climb up to Thorong La (the 'summit day' for AC) but in my slightly befuddled state (very early, very cold, 5400m) I was switching the camera off instead of hitting the shutter button. Doh!
I bought a new camera on Saturday - Sony Cybershot W690(?) - so I shan't have a clue what I'm doing with it. But, it does panoramic sweeps, which I think will be useful; and has more MPixels and Optical Zoom than my old one. Now deliberating as to whether to take the old one as a back up.
I have packed - after a fashion - this afternoon. Can't close the bag, though; so it needs another iteration. Also forgot to line the bag with a big poly bag - just a bit of insurance to keep everything dry, even though I use drysacs to organise stuff anyway. We'll be able to leave a bag at the hotel in Kathmandu with anything that get sacrificed at the last minute to keep the weight down - remember to put in a soft holdall or stuffsac to leave in the hotel. It's nice to know that you've got some clean clothes waiting for you when you've been wearing the same stuff for 2 1/2 weeks!
Ahndi - are you and Sarah on the Jet Airways flight on Friday evening? Do you know how many are on the trip?
Lots to do before Friday (visa photos, cash, holiday haircut, load the kindle, load the ipod, clear the sky+ box, work) - it'll be a relief when Friday finally gets here.
Hi Jen, Fiona and Ahndi. Fiona, I'm definitely on the Qatar flight leaving at 16.25 and arriving at 11.45, whereas it looks like you're on the group flight with Jet, arriving at mid afternoon, so I may wait for arrival of the group flight or get a taxi to the hotel. Just a few thing to sort out this week. I also am bring a solar panel to strap to the rucksac, the sunlight in the Himalaya should be more than sufficient for a full charge every day, which I will use to recharge a camera battery if required. I'm looking forward to a release from mobile phone slavery as there will rarely be a signal so that will be turned off, only using it as a gps logger to geotag photos on return. A note of caution that roaming data service in Nepal is very expensive, around £8/mb with T mobile, probably similar with other providers.
I may get some diamox before I go. My daughter-in-law did the Base Camp trek a couple of years ago and took some which she said worked well having no altitude symptons. Does anyone have thoughts about this or used it before?
Will soon be time to put my multiple packing lists to the test, and see whether everything will fit in the bag or not.
Hi Fiona, we are also on the Jet Airways flight out on Friday. There are (as of tonight) still 4 places available on our trek, so I would expect there to be 12 people booked up.
Here is a list of some of our last minute things.
Take 'photo' of official paperwork like Passport, Insurance Document, vaccinations etc. Also useful to take photo of any medication instructions (rather than bringing it with you). All batteries fully charged up. Charger/charging cable(s). Empty high capacity memory card (check you have put it back in your camera). Antibiotics. 3 passport size photos (2 if you already have visa). Cuppa soup! Reading material (go easy on the hard backs!). Head torch. Compede (2nd skin). Dubbin on Walking boots. Ibuprofen, (better than paracetamol). Padlock. Gorillapod. Freezer bags/sandwich bags. Balaclava. Phrase book (so at least the English, Scots and Irish can communicate). Spare empty carrier bags. Get rid of all packaging. 12kg is NOT a lot.
Thats it for now. Good luck with your final packing, and see you soon.
Ahndi & Sarah
Also, Immodium and Strepsils, and plenty of water treatment tablets or liquid (I'm using Chlorine Diox tablets - no after taste, and easier than the drops). Take plenty - you'll be drinking 4-litres a day.
If you're using a hydration bladder it's useful to have one water bottle - it's easier in the evening to take one or two bottles into the dining room than carting round the bladder. I'd also recommend having one Sigg-type metal bottle as it can be filled with hot water to double as a hot water bottle (on the AC trip we used to heat the water up by standing the bottle on the top of the stove).
I'm taking my Kindle again rather than books.
Had a quick look at the weather forecast for KAthmandu, Lukla and Namche - KTM is around 20 -22 daytime; Lukla and Namche around 0 C daytime but fine (10km visibility) and stable which bodes well for the flight next Monday, I hope. Pretty chilly, though!
Re baggage allowance on Lukla flight, the trip notes actually state 15kg. Does anyone know if this includes the day sac? If so perhaps I'll get one of the cavernous jacket and trouser combinations I saw on some geologists at Geneva airport after an Alpine field trip where it looked like thet might have removed a minor hill.
Yes it seems pretty chilly out there at the moment, full daytime sun but around -10c. at night. Don't forget your sleeping bag!
Baggage allowance varies depending on which Exodus information you read. Some references indicate that hold luggage is 12kg and they dont weigh the hand luggage. Some says 15kg is total of both. I had been trying to find out from Exodus since Friday and got a call back today.
The person I spoke to said not to worry about it. He had been out before and said that they simply weighed everthing together. He reckonned he had 5kg in his carry on luggage.
I was wondering if they might have been more strict at the moment, after the crash? Not that I've had any indication that flight was overloaded. It's just that when something goes wrong, there's a tendency to tighten up on everything regardless of whether it's relevant or not.
About to start the third attempt at packing.
Well, now it's getting close. Couple of things to get tomorrow, fingerless mitts (I seem to be missing one), hut slippers and a few odds and sods. Charge up all the batteries, pack the bag, weigh and pray. There is a group transfer for the Jet flight from the airport, so I plan to read a good book at the airport and get a free trip to the hotel.
Looking forward to meeting you all, and guess what - when we return it'll be 4 weeks 'til Christmas!!!
All the best
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