I went on this trip with very little expectation or knowledge of the region - massively underprepared, however with a great bunch of people, a fantastic leader and guides I found this one of the best trips of my life. I would highly recommend it.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The trip had it's hard days, but it also had its easy days. A couple of us (with a guide) set of earlier than the main group on the morning of the Gokyo Ri summit, and although we missed sunrise by about 10 minutes it was such a spectacular view.
I also really enjoyed the scramble to the top of the Cho La Pass, the day was long and hard but very rewarding - this was more of what I was expecting of the trip.
Reaching Base Camp was amazing, there was alot of activity on the trail up, which was a bit of a shock because the route we had taken to get there past the Gokyo lakes and over the Cho La was quite quiet.
- What did you think of your group leader?
- Our group leader Prem was amazing. He was undoubtedly key to making the trip as enjoyable as it was. He was so easy to get on with and extremely knowledgable. We also had 2 guides, Indra and Norbu, both did a great job. Prem was always making sure we were prepared every evening for the following day, making sure we were drinking enough whilst walking, always on the lookout for signs of mountain sickness and always trying to accomodate the different demands of the group.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
This trip doesn't necessarily demand you be at your physical peak, I certainly am not and still managed the trip, although you do need to be prepared, half of our group were on Diamox for the higher parts of the trip. The actual walking wasn't that difficult, there were a couple of long days towards the end, and a couple in the middle, but all in all it was a nice steady pace so very managable.
Things I wish I had taken: more wet wipes - very handy when you haven't seen a shower for a couple of days; a thin buff or dust mask - the trails get very dusty, expecially when following a herd of yaks and finally a pack of playing cards (althogh thankflly someone else had thought of this) they help pass the time in the evenings when its snowing outside and there's nothing much else to do.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I booked this trip without much research into it, and how difficult it could be - I just want to say, don't be put off by the talk of how difficult it wan be. I'm not saying it can be done be a complete novice with no experience of trekking, but I hadn't been above 2000m before this trip, and I had only been on one walking holiday prior to this and that was only for 5 days, not quite the 16 days this was. If you have the mental stamina and reasonable fitness, book up - its more than worth it.
Oh, and when you're packing, if you find you've forgotten something, or after talking to people on the first couple of days of walking realise you want something you didn't even think about packing you'll be fine, you can pick up almost anything an Namche Bazaar (even a decent coffee, and a game of pool in an irish bar)