Hi, just found out about this forum. So, if you are on the trip & want to share information, please let me know.
- Steve H Dublin, Ireland
I'm on what must be the same trip, departing Heathrow on Friday 19th March. You give your departure date as Saturday 20th - are you maybe joining it on the Saturday in Kathmandu?
I think there might only be the two of us booked on this so far - I was told there was only one other when I booked about a month ago - though maybe your message will flush out any others who have signed-up since.
Looks a fantastic trip, doesn't it?! You done this kind of trip before?
There's absolutely no guarantee that any training will help us avoid AMS, but I am doing some basic jogging, gym-work and hill-walking when I can, to keep the weight down, and build core-strength and stamina, and just to be a little more confident about my fitnes for this trip. That said, I'm certainly not doing too much, having previously damaged myself with over-training, to the extent of almost not being able to go on a trek I did about three years ago!
Take it easy!
Hi guys. Saw your post about AMS (slow day at work!) Follow this thread for some info;
We've never used Diamox, but just moved slowly on the way up, and taken aspirin and Gingko. Works every time!
Hi, I have just booked to go on this trip....very excited. I am trying to get fit by walking up and down the north downs where I live but who knows what the altitude will do? In my experience before it's like the worst hangover but after drinking masses of water it went. What gear are you taking...have you got to buy anything?
Hi Sparkle and everyone,
Given that there is no guaranteed fix for AMS, and that no two people are affected exactly the same, and what works for one case doesn't necessarily work for another, shall we all just stop talking about AMS, and go with the excitement bit instead?! That said, I'd suggest everyone going on this kind of trip should read as much as they can about it and then make their own informed decision. For what its worth, I'd recommend the health section at pages 285-303 of Jamie McGuinness's "Trailblazer" guide Trekking in the Everest Region (new edition recently out), which I think is a well-informed, sensible and clear account of the issues.
Any other views on guide-books? I think the "Trailblazer" is more useful (in general, not just regarding health matters) for this trip, and certainly more entertaining than the equivalent guide-book by Kev Reynolds in the Cicerone list (though that one ain't bad either).
I'm right there with you on this, Sparkle - very excited indeed, especially now that we've hit the minimum number to guarantee the trip. I really, really need to try to stay focused on some other things until much nearer March! Oh yes, and I need to stay fit, keep the weight off, do lots of walking . . . And there ain't many big hills where I am in East Yorkshire - will be hitting the Wolds real hard!
Major purchase to make is a really good sleeping bag and liner - have been stupid enough to skimp on this in the past and will, within reason, spend whatever it takes to get some decent sleep this time!
Take care y'all, and don't get toooooo excited!
Just getting back to this after the trip confirmed - I was beginning to doubt it - good to see it is an active thread. Mike, I did get my departure date wrong. I'm coming from Dublin, and will meet the group in London. I think I share the sentiments expressed so far.
Obviously really looking forward to it. Trailblazer guide seems good and pretty grounded.
First time travelling with exodus and my first time to Nepal, so it's all new & a big adventure for me.
does anybody have info / links on a training plan? - I've kind of got it together, but I could use some other pointers to help me get creative - not too many hills within easy reach for me!
Hi All. I hear what you are saying about AMS Mike...but I think it's good to air our concerns as well as our excitements regarding the trip. If we work as a team we have a better chance of completing the trip successfully. My main concern is that I enjoy it rather than endure it, although I'm sure the later will be a big part. It is my first time to Nepal and have always wanted to meet Everest. In my experience Exodus have been excellent before.
Steve I think we have to try and build up lots of stamina and perhaps doing things to keep your heart rate increased for a long period of time, don't over do it though, as Mike said too much training can result in injury. I am blessed with hills around me and try to get out for an hour a day, will increase it at weekends.
I went to covent garden at weekend and looked at all the wonderful treking gear. I have to get warmer gloves but still bawk at paying £40 but I think I will bite the bullet and do it.
I am going to Brecon Beacons for new year and will test my five year old sleeping bag..hopefully it will be warm enough with a liner...but will get a new one if not.
Have managed to sneak a day's walking in - not sure the Yorkshire Wolds is much like Khumbu, but its all time in my boots, which can only help. That said, some colder weather and maybe even snow is forecast for later this week, so will try to get out again. Am away to the Lake District (a part of it not yet submerged) for a fortnight just after New Year, and hoping to get some serious consecutive days in then - it is getting back into the routine of day-after-day walking that I need. The ageing process seems to have hit my ability to bounce-back after exercise more than anything else.
I'm sure you're agenda, Sparkle, of "enjoying rather than enduring" is the right objective for us all. I wonder if we might have to learn the mental trick of embracing enduring in order to enjoy the trip!
As for training programme, Steve, I think it all depends on what our individual base level of fitness/experience is. As I said, my preoccupation is doing just enough to have confidence in my physical fitness, without risking over-training injuries this time, and I'm working on simply increasing physical endurance and mental toughness, which implies but doesn't really focus on pushing the cardio-vascular side. Completing training sesssions even on days when I don't really feel like it seems to help me with this! I'm trying to fit in four or five exercise sessions per week, mixing jogging ("plodding" would be more accurate!) with exercise machines, and, when I can, walking with full day pack etc. None of the individual days walking on this trip are very long in terms of mileage (the Kala Pattar day looks the longest), so I think its going to be getting used to walking slowly, keeping warm, dry and well-fed, and simply staying on our feet for the time required that are going to be the main keys to enjoying this trip. The first part, walking slowly enough, has proved a real challenge for some of the fitter walkers I've been with on previous trips.
To be honest, I'm thinking that the biggest challenge for me (risk of AMS and/or acute injury aside), is likely to be the grinding-down effect of camping at high altitude in cold weather for 18 nights. Time for a confession - I really don't enjoy camping! However, I realy don't fancy the noise of tea-houses/lodges, and there's no other way of getting to some places, is there? And this will be very much the longest trip I'll have done, and the longest time I'll have spent at this kind of altitude. That said, this will be my fifth trip with Exodus, and my experience suggests that we can be totally confident in their management and leadership of the trek.
One query for you both - apart from other vaccinations that I have to check whether are still current, I'm thinking of having the rabies jabs this time - lots of dogs around the villages, and high prevalence of rabies in Nepal, I'm told. Either of you intending to have these shots?
Will be interesting to see whether other group members sign up for this forum in due course - I was told that, despite the formal minimum being 6, this would likely run with 5, but I'd be surprised if they'd have confirmed it with only three of us. Anyway, we'll see.
In case we all get too busy to be in touch over Christmas, my best wishes for the season.
Hi Mike/ Steve
I love your thought process Mike embracing endurance! I know that one and will hold onto it!
I hadnt thought of getting a rabbies jab and not too concerned...will take my walking poles to fend off dogs! Any thoughts on crampons? I've discovered my boots are not crampon rated and do not want to get new ones....
I'll be using 3-4 season boots, so, like yours, not stiff enough for crampons. But have bought "Yaktrax" which I've actually had a chance to use last week and they seem excellent - in as far as Yorkshire Wolds have recently replicated Himalayan glacier conditions!
Hmmm . . . Rabies jabs or fending dogs off with poles - its a tough choice! Still thinking about it, but will likely go for both!
Take care y'all, and look forward to meeting you next year.
I am on the trip on 10 March to Base Camp and the Goyoko Lakes so similar to yours. I saw that you walk on the North Downs as part of your preparation. I live in Edenbridge and am trying to motivate myself to some local walking in preparation. If you have any further plans for walking on the downs and could do with an additional companion, it would be good to hear from you.
Hi All....well my plans of going to the Brecon Beacons have been cancelled due to the heavy snowfall, I don't mind the snow once I get there but the roads are impassable at my destination. So it's a bit lower down in the Wye Valley. Still camping and so preparing for enduring the cold.
Rick...that sounds a good idea and anyone living in the area (north downs, Kent). Perhaps we could meet one weekend in January?
Hi everyone and Happy New Year!
Didn't have a chance to look at this part of Exodus website for the last few month and seeing entry for the High Passes made my day today :)Booked this trip last year but was unable to go as the trip was cancelled :/ don't think they had enough people wanting to go. So really pleased that we are going this time :)Main worry now is the same as Mike's - stay fit and keep the weight off :) I'm definitely taking it easy this time though… had injury as well while training for this trip last year and feel effects of it even now. From my past experiences at high altitude it's usually more what's in your head than how very very fit you are. Of course being fit helps :)Not long now :) look forward to meeting you allBest wishesAusra
Good to hear you Ausra. I have had plenty of kentish snow to help me train, not to mention my camping experience in wales at new year. It gave me a taste of what may be to come. Woke up with frost on my head and had to smash the ice in my water bottle to make tea in the morning. My sleeping bag with a fleece liner was just about warm enough but it may be colder out in nepal! I am very into one of the books recomended. A womans account of Everest...it makes a very interesting read and gives all the details of suffering but the exhilarations as well.
He he :) good for you!! At least you know what to expect now :) I tried to count how many really cold nights we will have and so far I'd say about 10 of them. It gets really cold once you are above 4000m. I went back to Lithuania to visit my parents at Christmas and we had -13 during the day… and believe me that was COLD. I didn't dare to camp outside though :) So my real worry is how to cope with it at night. During the day it will be fine as we will be moving around. 12kg limit is also not helping as it is just enough to pack your basics.
I also just ordered a Jamie McGuinness's book that Mike mentioned. Hope it will give me some more useful tips. Although I do understand that you can not prepare for everything. So apart from sorting out my Visa, getting Typhoid re-immunisation and some US$ - I'm ready :) I feel excited and scarred at the same time… bit weird as it's not the first time I'm trekking, but this one will be the toughest so far. Can't wait for those brilliant views of the mountains and lakes. Clears your head like nothing else :) -- Ausra
I hadn't registered the small amount of weight we are allowed....in my mind I was packing all sorts of things...I will have a rethink! Not sure about getting a visa here or in Nepal! It's cheeper over there?
I don't have a problem with weight to lose..if anything I want to put some on because I am going to lose what I have got out there..hopefully not through the Kathmandu quick step! I do have a persistant problem with my back though and sciatica...it's a right pain in the backside!
I have just started the book Left for Dead, Beck Weathers speaks of the same Everest disaster in 1996 as Lene Gammelgaard in Climbing high...really interesting!
Working hard on the fitness, bit difficult though, especially with the weather.
Accumulating gear too! (too much of course!) I too am quite concerned about the nighttime temp. Do we know what it is likely to be during the day ? I read up to -20 to -30 at night ? is that right ?
Also, the visa thing - I read we didn't need one ? If that's not the case, has anybody else obtained one ...
Blimey! Lovely to see that you've all been busy on this forum! I see we're now number one hot topic! And happy to see that now we are a happy band of four . . .
Anyway, apologies for having been quiet - was away walking in Cumbria for a bit (lovely snowy conditions, indeed everything was lovely until mains water supply to the cottage froze-up, so we came home!). Since return, have been a bit busy.
Catching-up with what you've all been saying:
Visa - my passport is presently with the Nepalese embassy - hope to see it back, with visa, sometime soon. I'd rather get it done here than queue at Kathmandu. And I can't quite see what added value Travcour offer so just downloaded the form and sent it off myself.
Levels of cold etc - trying to triangulate the various things I've read, I'm thinking that -15 to -20 is a fair guess for lower end of night time temps at the higher camps. I'm taking a 4 season bag (yet to be bought . . .) plus a silk liner, plus warm base-layers for night-time. I also have pre-booked a tent for my sole use - no specific issues with me (other than, at altitude, urinating aproximately every 15 mins!) but simply there is nobody, and I mean NOBODY, who I would happily share a tent with in sub zero temps at altitude for 2 or 3 weeks!
Weight issues -
(a) mine hasn't gone down any since I put several pounds on in the run-up to, and over, Christmas! Would like to be about 5 pounds lighter before we start out! Still, my more than usually toned and muscular figure is beginning to return, as I hit the exercise machines and plod over the tarmac - and if you believe that, you'll believe anything!
(b) Personally, I wouldn't try to get away with too much over the 12kg baggage limit on the trek. Quite aside from issues over what total loads porters/yaks might be expected to carry, I've heard they are very strict (for very good safety reasons) regarding baggage weight on the flight into Lukla. So I'll be sticking to the 12kg in the main bag - though assuming that our daysacks, which I'm assuming we carry on as hand-luggage, don't count towards that 12kg. If nobody has an authoritative answer to this, I might talk with somebody at Exodus.
And I think that's all in terms of catching-up. Are we all getting ever-so-slightly excited with 8 weeks to go?! Oh, yes, and just a tiny bit nervous . . .
Let's keep in touch, and we'll see if anybody else joins in.
This is what I got from Exodus back in October when I tried to clarify the allowance differences in their Trip Notes: "The luggage allowance for the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is 12kg, but you can take hand luggage in addition to this. The weight that the porters will carry from Lukla onwards should not be more than the 15kg that you bring over."
But of course at that time they had 15kg mentioned in their Trip Notes. Maybe it's worth doublechecking with them again. 3kg is a big difference. If anything I can try to email them again.
Excited! Oh yes :) Nervous? Definitely :) I am a bit worried that I might be the slowest in the team, but then again it's not a marathon so hopefully I'll be fine :)
Thanks, Ausra - glad to hear that you've already checked this out. I think that the bottom line is probably 12kg plus day-sac as hand-luggage, which at least makes sense. I'm inclined to disregard the ref to 15kg, unless somebody can tell me otherwise.
And as for speed on the walks, this is defintiely not a race (for me at least!). Remember what Wainwright says about walking in the hills - "time is for spending not saving". So the walks are to be savoured not rushed.
I'm loving this forum, part of the trip is the excitement before for me...has anyone thought about camera's....in my experience before digital has not worked as it's too cold...has anyone come up with anything on this...I am taking both an old 35mm and digital?
I will be taking it slowly too....don't want to peak too early!
I booked on this trip a couple of weeks ago so I thought I'd say hi, especially as the forum as has been so active. Sounds like everyone has been keeping very busy preparing for the trip. I've got the fitness side of things in hand but I can't say I've done a great deal of any other prep, which makes me think I should do something, particularly in terms of deciding which 12kgs of kit I'm going to take!
I was interested to read the comments on the visa, I was planning to get mine in Kathmandu but I might reconsider this. Is anyone else planning to get their visa in Nepal or is everyone obtaining one beforehand?
As regards the latests comments on cameras I've previsously slept with my digital camera in my sleeping bag in similar types of conditions and it was fine. I also met someone a couple of years ago who had done this trip and she did the same without any problems. Not ideal admittedly but worth the potential minor discomfort in my opinion.
Anyway, good to hear from everyone.
Hi Simon - welcome aboard! Quite agree re need for keeping batteries warm, and I'll be taking a stock of lithium batteries which do seem to last considerably longer than alkaline, and so seem worth the extra cost. Had looked at greener alternative of NiMh rechargeable but am not convinced that I can be confident enough of any of the solar kit on offer. That said, if anyone is on rechargeables, it seems that quite a few teahouses etc do offer some kind of recharging service if we're ever hanging round in the right place when batteries need charging.
Sparkle: I'm taking a digital camera halfway between a compact and SLR - what they call a "bridge" or "superzoom" model - it offers an equivalent of 28mm to 400mm lenses in SLR terms in the one lens. Have coped OK on previous trips with a compact digital, but it simply didn't offer the same range of focal lengths. However, just in case the camera dies or disappears, I will also take a very low-tech disposable 35mm camera, so at least I'll have some grainy snapshots!
Thanks for your tips re camera's...I think I will go and get some spare batteries and take both camera's. I remember being at 5,000 metres before and thinking that the kit I could improve on would be warmer gloves..I had two fleece one on, insulated hydration tube and a warmer balaclava, my face froze..so I am going to get some mitts as well as gloves and a fleece balaclava to protect my face...I've got to get some spikeys or yaktrax as well.
Just remebered spare batteries for head torch...home early from work, it's raining but duty calls...cycle or clambering over the north downs???
Hi Y'all, and happy Monday!
If you are Radio 4 listeners, you might have heard coverage this morning of the Chinese-funded road being built through the mountains from Tibet to Nepal - you should be able to find the clip on BBC website, and also a video version. I think it suggests that the road will replace the Nangpa La crossing which the trip we are on used to go to the top of.
Also see the BBC clip on a Nepalese cabinet meeting at Kala Pattar - hopefully the link will work: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8394563.stm. And hopefully we'll all be there, though without benefit/need of oxygen and/or helicopters in a couple of months time!
What are your thoughts on water purifcation? I see the trip notes say take some, on previous trips exodus has used boiled water or iodine. Is anyone taking some?
Simon, welcome to the team!
Mike, as you’ve already applied for the visa would you mind helping me out with something. The application form is a bit confusing. What did you put in the field where it says “Address in Nepal”? Thanks
Sorry guys, the message was supposed to look like this:
I put "Hotel Royal Singhi in Kathmandu, and camping on trek" - I think that must have been OK, as the Nepalese embassy say my passport is on its way back to me, together with visa! Maybe you might want to hold fire until I've actually got the visa, to see if that formula has worked?! Will let you know when it arrives. I've been in touch with them, because, having re-read the application notes after sending the form, passport, cheque etc off, I realised that it said that they say they don't accept personal cheques, only postal orders and bank drafts . . . Ddohh! However, seems like they did cash my cheque though, so I guess it must be OK.
Sparkle - I'll be using iodine (with neutralisers or vitamin c tablets to get rid of the taste). I'm sure there will be a supply of boiled water whenever we stop, but in case we need to fill up in between, I'd rather have something with me. Did think about buying a Steripen, but I think my single-handed attempt to kick start the economy has probably gone far enough now, so I'll risk my thyroid rather than spend the extra money!
Having the first of my three rabies jabs tomorrow . . . Send me happy thoughts . . .
Hope the rabbies vacs go well....be brave...I'm having my vacs next week (not rabbies)..hate them! I already have a thyroid problem, so I'll chat with the gp about iodine, which I know does affect it. I am also going to request some Diamox, for altitude sickness. It helped me last time I was affected!
I have put on my visa the same as you Mike, the hotel..it's sent yet though.
Thanks Mike. Will wait for your post then :)
Karen, I'm taking chlorine tablets this time. I don't think iodin gets rid of the Gardia bacteria which is a nasty one. I am sure we will have boiled water on the trek but even then I was planning to use tablets anyway. Just to be on the safe side. In the books I read they warn about using a tap water and especially in Kathmandu. Even to brush your teeth.
Where can I get the chlorine tabs from?
any outdoor store will have them. I bought mine from www.outdoorkit.co.uk as I was ordering something else at the same time, but www.blacks.co.uk/browse/keywords/chlorine.html also have them and many others. They are not very expensive.
Hi Ausra - passport safely received back, with visa! So the wording for accommodation in Nepal must be OK. I guess they're not really that bothered . . .
Great! Thanks Mike! Will send mine tomorrow :)
Hope you are feeling ok after your jabs.
if it's not too late and you've decided to buy chlorine tablets, make sure you are buying chlorine dioxide ones. Don't think normal chlorine tablest will kill all of the bacteria. Ausra
You re keen! I did Kili a few years ago...chilly! Good to have you onboard...yes imodium will be on my list, hope we don't have to use it too much! I am remembering Kili and it reminds me to take plenty of warm clothes.
I'm just off to clamber over the north downs before work..it's still dark! The things we do eh?
Love it though and just a bit excited!!
hello everyone going to the high everest trek in nepal in march.i just recieved confirmation from exodus and just wanted to say hello.reading the trip notes and your comments from previous experiences has made me really excited about the trip and the preparation required even before departure.i look forward to meeting you all and look ahead to what for me will be an adventure experience of a lifetime.have a safe build up to march take care, karl.
Seems our numbers are growing. Mike, how long did the passport take ? I'm away on business and need mine, so can't sent it until I'm back. Bit of a pain, that. Did you send it registered ?
Welcome new arrivals! Looking forward to seeing this growing band get together in less than 7 weeks. Sounds like, if nothing else, a fair few of us will have Kili experience in common - I "did it" four years ago, via Shira route. I've done some daft physical things, but that was right up there as one of the most demanding . . . No, actually I think it was the most demanding . . . Well done Simone!
Steve - re visa, it only took just over a week from me posting-off my passport to getting it back - indeed, I sent it recorded delivery and you're required to provide them with a pre-paid "Special Delivery" envelope for its return. That said, don't know whether it will be any different if you're doing it from Ireland. Unlike me, do check carefully the accepted means of payment shown on the notes - they clearly don't really like personal cheques (though did accept mine). Bottom line though is that all the guidebooks and advice seem to suggest its no real problem to get the visa on arrival if its going to be a problem for you to do it before.
Keep on keeping on with the preparation everyone! Have fun.
I was wondering what currency are you taking with you - US$ or Sterling?I think US dollars would work better in Nepal as they have 1$ notes… but was wondering what others are planning to do. Not long now :)
Hello everyone! Just found out about this thread and its useful to read through all the comments.
Concerning fitness for this trip, I have heard that long distance running is the best way to prepare - what are your views?
Regarding the last post, I would think that the US dollar is the safest currency off the beaten track.
Hákon Zimsen - Iceland
Do you think "plodding" helps with fitness, Hakon? I hope so, as I'm just back from a 6 mile plod - years ago I used to run, then I jogged, now I plod - it must be one of those irregular verbs . . .
Re currency, I think you're all right - the greenback still seems to be readily accepted most places on this planet.
Weekend well, y'all.
Hope you all are having a good weekend :) Just had a go at packing everything for the trip... I know I know... it’s a bit too early. But I’m glad I did it. The time it took me to reduce the weight to 12 kg! Had to give up quite few things and changed some others to the lighter alternatives. Ended up with the main pack of 12 kg and a backpack of 4-5 kg for the first day trek. Hope that everyone else will do better.
All that's left now is to buy some US dollars :)
Have a good week everyone!! Ausra
Well done Ausra for packing...I'm bearing it in mind. Did you pack your walking poles in the main pack or are you carrying them on the twin otter? I went shopping at weekend and got the chlorine tabs, high strength that kill gardia. By the way the book everyone was reading, Jamie Mcguiness, very informative about sickness...nearly finished me off before I get there! I've now skipped that bit and getting excited about the treking.
Managed to get thermal sleeping bag liner, hopefully will increase warmth by 8degrees. Visa came back withing days but I did use special delivery. I'm eating bio yoghurt to line the gut with healthy bacteria and now thinking about what snacks to pack. Probably but them all and then find I have no room in my pack!
Hope all's well Karen
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