For any trekking fan or anyone who enjoys landscapes of natural splendour this is a must on the ticklist of holidays. The scenery is fantastic, the culture is interesting and amazing and the people are just brilliant.To trek in this wilderness with a group of like minded people is not just a holiday but a lifetime experience that should be done at some point.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Without doubt reaching the highest point of the trek (Kala Pattar) bang on time for sunrise beginning to peak like ethereal light over Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse after a hard and extremely cold walk up to it. Words nor photos will do that moment any justice so I wont add any more to that.
Another close moment was a long day going down when all of the views were at their best due to light and sun and were able to get some truly magical photos of sunlit peaks and landscapes out of this world.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Sukman was simply brilliant, a nicer friendlier man you could not meet. Always smiling and always checking if everyone in the group was ok and when needed man managed individuals in the group to the end goal half hour by half hour. Also socialised well within the group and treated himself as part of the group and good fun to play Pool against (though watch the table rolling off in Namche).
A special mention also for the fact that in a group of 8 people at different abilities he timed our ascent of Kala Pattar to perfection for sunrise, and we always felt in capable hands of someone who has been to basecamp 40 times plus.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
If you have any doubts on ability to do this trip don't, anybody that can trek 3 or 4 days in the Lakes or Wales for 5 or 6 hours a day can manage this. There are some hard longer days but take your time and listen to the guide and you will succeed.
Above 4000m dont try and ascend like you would in this country it wont happen and you will lose breath and struggle, relearn yourself you are not summiting in a day and back - it is a long drawn out ascent. Do not hire the down jackets if you have not got one simply take layers instead - they will be easier, more effective and less stressful to repack them in the morning in your bags which is nearly impossible with a 4-5 season down jacket.
At night once high (4000m or higher) sleep with a neck gaiter and hat on, the rooms are cold and you will get headaches moreso if you dont keep warm at night. Take some Tiger Balm, Olbas Oil for sinuses.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
This is not easy but it should not be expected reaching the foot of the highest mountain in the world to be easy - at the same time it's not hard, as long as you have ability to mentally push when you need to you will succeed. Expect headaches a bit but dont jump for the Diamox there is no need take a nurofen instead.
Dont go mad on prep training - we walked in the Peak District monthly for 6 months, one trip to Lakes with 40 miles covered in 4 days and biking for 15 miles and walking for 10 miles on flat regularly leading up to trek was more than enough to be ready.
Exodus are an excellent company to travel with, and everything from their website and trip notes, through bookings and leading up to and the holiday itself is done professionally and with you the customer in mind whilst still looking after the communities they are trekking amongst which was clear to see. I would recommend them to a friend or anyone based on this experience.