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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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209 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Stephen Sinnhuber

    Just amazing, and tough!

    My wife and I had long wanted to do this trek and when the 45th anniversary deal came up we booked last Feb. We then had months of worrying if we would make it, training, more training, buying gear, more gear etc etc! We needn't have worried. Our whole group made it thanks to Bikash and his team who were incredible throughout. Bikash ensured we ate enough (lots!), drank enough water (lots!), kept our hats on (haha) and made sure we did everything possible to avoid altitude sickness and make it. Whatever he did worked! We saw people in other groups dropping like flies and being helivac'd out. But we (11of us) were all fine! I have been on many Exodus trips but on this one the group dynamic was exceptional. The teamwork and camaraderie were second to none. I guess because the trek is very challenging. Don't underestimate this trek, it is very tough!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to base camp itself after all the self-doubt we had about making it. Sitting quietly on my own looking at the vastness of the mountains around me. It's spectacular. But everywhere you trek is spectacular. Base camp is simply a highlight among many.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional. Bikash was a fantastic leader along with his team of Kami, Lakpar and Yak man (haha). We would not have made it without these guys!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not underestimate this hike. it is tough. Make sure you are fit! It's not a race. Go as slow as you can. The guides set the pace. Follow it. Its cold so bring some good layers and rent the sleeping bag at least. The bag was very good quality. A Steripen was very useful. A thick fleece and or lightweight down/thermoball gilet (or better still jacket) is very useful inside the tea houses. Only the main room is heated and then usually only for the evening. Only eat veggie food and dont drink alcohol while on the trek. We avoided any illness as a result. Try and sit on the left of the plane going to Lukla. Luggage is advised at 5kg carry on and 10kg check in. As a result I ditched some stuff at the start hotel but it turned out we could definitely take more. One of our guys had over 14kg check-in and its very cheap to pay the extra. Handwarmers were useful but only on EBC day really. We didnt need the many we brought! The recommended money to take on the trek was spot on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of the very best Exodus trips we have ever done. Amazing views, great trekking and fab company of the other clients and guides.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Pagan Dave

    Fantastic Trip

    My first trip to Nepal and what a great experience. Beautiful countryside and views, had a fantastic time and now want to go back to do some of the trekking mountains. Watch out its addictive!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being surrounded by famous mountains, crossing the tall suspension bridges with yak trains carrying supplies up the passes, amazing!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Experienced nice guy, took good care of us, firm when he needed to be but shared our enthusiasm for the experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yep, silk sleeping bag liner very useful, fingerless gloves for the cold evenings in the tea houses, tracksters worked great during the day and for the evenings too, merino wool thermals were absolutely brilliant, wool jumper better than synthetic fabrics for keeping smell free, cards for the evening, good (compact) camera for the scenery not my digital SLR! I used Diamox and was glad I did, no altitude sickness problems. In November it took clothes a few days to dry so pack enough. keep your bags within the weight limits, our porters had to carry our bags so please be considerate. Trek wasn't as physically demanding as I expected, get fit before you go and you will enjoy it more.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Watch out, if you go once you'll want to go back again! I was the only person on the trek for whom this was a first visit.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    David Southall

    The most amazing trip I have ever taken with memories never forgotten.

    If you wish to challenge yourself and witness some of the most amazing views on the face of this planet then this is the trek for you. Yes, you need to train, Yes you need to have a positive mind set, Yes, you will get cold, Yes you will NOT be staying in 5star hotels along your trek. YES, you will find things out about yourself, YES you will do things that you never though possible. YES YES YES you will have the greatest time. Go ahead. Book it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Everest Base Camp as a compete team and seeing the Nepalese culture of how little they have and yet they smile every day are grateful for everything.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ha Ha Tenzing Sherpa was the most positive and inspirational leader anyone could ask for. His knowledge and character and laughter was simply infectious. I would request him again to guide any trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont overpack Take enough underwear and socks Limit to a 2/3. base layers/ Mid layers and let the down jacket do the rest. Drink enough water even if you feel you are not thirsty. Avoid meat on the trek.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    David Thorniley

    Tougher than Island Peak

    This was my second trip with Exodus to the Himalayas, having had a successful trip to Island Peak in 2010. There are some stunning views on the way in and the way back, and it was a lot less crowded than the route to EBC. Although a bit higher, I thought Mera was generally considered less technical, and therefore easier than Island Peak. Now I know better. Mera is a much tougher proposition than Island Peak on the summit days, and shouldn't be underestimated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was disappointed not to get beyond High Camp at 5,800m, and the weather was not great, but although the tops were in the clouds, the views across to Everest and Makalu were still awesome. As were the views at the top of the Zatrwa La.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was superb. Very dedicated, always concerned for our individual welfare, and knowledgeable and engaging not just about the mountains and the trip itself, but some of the wider cultural, religious and economic issues facing Nepal. Kaji, our fantastic mountain guide, and Ngima, were also wonderful. So helpful and encouraging. All really contributed enormously to a very enjoyable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more cash than you think you'll need. There is WIFI connectivity in about 2 out of 3 teahouses, but you have to pay 1,000 rupees for an access code at each teahouse with WIFI, so if you need to be connected it becomes quite costly. It gets really, really cold in the afternoons and evenings, even quite low down, so upgrade your warm gear, eg light down jackets, gloves, handwarmers, otherwise you'll end up buying additional gear in Kathmandu/Khare. I found a couple of battery chargers lasted me throughout the trip, but phones/cameras/batteries really do need to go in your sleeping bag overnight. A sleeping mat would have been unnecessary, but personally I found an inflatable pillow really valuable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip, well run, wonderful mountains.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Edward Cooper

    Trip of a lifetime!

    What a truly amazing trip! The trip of a lifetime in fact. Stunning views, amazing camaraderie, almost to too many fantastic memories to process. Everything from the spectacular flight into Lukla, to crossing the stunning bridges felt like such an adventure, straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Special mention to our amazing tour leader Bikash Tamang and his amazing team (Kami Sherpa and Lakpa Cerpa) - these guys absolutely made the trip. So hard working, great sense of humour, super encouraging, super caring for the whole group, total professionals. When we return we want exactly the same team, we miss you guys!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to count - seeing Everest for the first time, visiting the Tengboche monastery, making it to basecamp and experiencing the amazing camaraderie of the whole group including Bikash Tamang and his amazing Exodus Nepal team (Kami Sherpa and Lakpa Cerpa)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash Tamang was the reason we all had one of the greatest trips of our lives. A true professional who was constantly encouraging the group and looking out for us all at every step of the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you train before the trip. Don't rush. Listen to everything your tour leader says and do it. They are extremely experienced.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Can't wait to go back to Nepal and have another adventure with Bikash Tamang and his team
  • Reviewed November 2019

    EBC is a sensational but tough trek

    In common with other reviewers' comments, it should be noted that the landscape between Lukla and Dingboche is like an alpine paradise, unexpectedly beautiful valleys and rivers, criss-crossed with suspension bridges and dotted with Buddha stupas. While mostly undulating, the trail is especially difficult on days where the ascent can be two hours straight up. But the leaders are cogniscent of this and allow many water stops in between scheduled breaks. Our leader, Bikash Tamang (TNT191102), was an especially experienced and supportive leader and provided confidence to those who needed it as well as providing cultural and geographical narrative from start to finish. The only reason I am giving 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the sanitary condition of many of the lodges high up in the Khumbu region and the abysmally cold bedrooms which are not insulated or well built. Do not underestimate how cold it gets at night.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A visit to a hospital in Phakding

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See comments above; Bikash Tamang (TNT191102), was an especially experienced and supportive leader and provided confidence to those who needed it as well as providing cultural and geographical narrative from start to finish.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider grouping together and buying a helicopter flight from Ramechaap to Kathmandu on the return leg, to avoid a 6 hour horror bus journey and instead enjoy an incredible 25 minute flight over the hilltops. Amazing. Do not pay more than USD 1600 (5 people)
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Paul Walter

    Great Trip

    Amazing trip with a new adventure everyday so much happened it will take time to reflect on how amazing it was. The mountains and scenery was so impressive. Very glad we did the Gokyo Lakes trip rather then the straight Everest base camp trek as it gave us more time to appreciate the mountains and also it was a bit quieter and off the beaten track.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the mountains and taking in their magnificence. Also finally achieved a long held dream of doing such a trek and testing myself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leader DB was very good at sharing details keeping us on track and making sure we stayed safe and healthy. I think he did more than other guides to check on our wellbeing and we appreciated that.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you get fit as many of the days are long and doing 15 days trekking back to back is pretty hard especially at altitude above 5,000m. Take a metal water bottle and fill it at night with hot water and use it as a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag as the tea houses above 4,500m get very cold at night in the bedrooms (we were at -10 deg most nights). Pack warm and take snack snd toilet rolls, tissues etc as these start to add a lot to costs as you move up the trek. We didn't bother showering for six days as the showers were so cold so be prepared! Watch out for altitude effects - our group was mainly ok but we saw a lot of pope with troubles so litter to your guides advice.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Look after the guides and porters as they are the real hero's taking your packs over the same hard terrain that you will hike with your small day pack and arriving many hours before you!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Nick Ball

    Tough but rewarding Mera Peak climb

    Tough but rewarding holiday resulting in successful ascent of Mera Peak - many thanks to Bikash, Kaji and Ngima! The first week of the holiday trekking around the Hinku valley is good acclimatisation preparation although if you are not used to steep uneven ground (think lots of large rocks and boulders) it is hard work with long days - climbs and descents are of the region 700m a day. Some extra sessions were also added to further help acclimatisation and practice climbing using the jumar and abseiling, plus walking on the glacier in crampons. These were useful as I hadn't used crampons for nearly 4 years. I thought the itinerary was well planned and felt well prepared once ascending from Khare to Mera La, the High Camp and the summit. The teahouses on the route are basic but good - many have internet, coffee and bakeries (especially on the main route up from Kote to Tangnag to Khare) but be prepared for many meals of Dhal Baat, veg fried rice, macaroni, tuna pizza or similar. Suggest bringing a water filter unit or you can spend a lot on boiled water every day. At Khare I hired the climbing equipment and full down jacket and trousers for the summit and was glad I'd hired all the warmest gear available as there were very strong winds on Mera Peak on the day of the summit ascent so some of the group had to turn back. The middle section of the ascent in particular is very testing and seems to endlessly go up a steep slope up for several hours with what seems like slipping back 1 step for every 2 steps taken. However once the sun comes up and you start to see the outlines of the mountains you get a massive boost and it starts to feel a bit easier. The views of the mountains get more and more spectacular the higher you go, but there are also amazing views and scenery in the forests in Hinku Valley and on the last few days going back to Lukla via the Zatrwa La on a huge stone staircase. It was warm and sunny on the return (Oct-19) so crampons or Yaktrax weren't needed here. Returned to Kathmandu for a free day to try and relax and recover during Diwali celebrations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mera Peak for the first time, and during the summit ascent when the sun comes up and you start to see the outlines of the mountains was a massive boost. The scenery is amazing throughout.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was excellent - very knowledgeable and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The teahouses on the route are basic but good - many have internet, coffee and bakeries (especially on the main route up from Kote to Tangnag to Khare) but be prepared for many meals of Dhal Baat, veg fried rice, macaroni, tuna pizza or similar. Suggest bringing a water filter unit or you can spend a lot on boiled water every day. If you use walking poles these can be bought cheaply in the many hiking shops around Thamel in Kathmandu. They also managed to re-sole my hiking boots after they started falling apart before the trip! Bring lots of spare money as you can spend a lot of equipment even before getting to Lukla and there is a limit to how much you can take out of ATMs per day.
  • Reviewed October 2019

    Amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventure - but be prepared!

    We have just returned from EBC, and it really was quite the adventure. Great scenery (when the clouds lifted!), fabulous trekking, lovely company and lots of laughs. We had a wonderful team - Leader Ajay ('Ozzy'), Sherpa Kaji, Norbu and Newang, our Yak man. We made it to EBC in the snow! Be as prepared as you can, expect long days trekking with lots of both up and down, embrace the culture and you'll be rewarded with incredible views and a great sense of accomplishment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to EBC obvs, but also chatting to Sherpa Kaji (who has summited Everest 9 times), visiting the memorials, sitting in the Monastery listening to the monks chanting, seeing the expedition tents at BC, seeing the Khumbu icefall, hanging out with our trek mates..…….

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay ('Ozzy') was fantastic - he looked after us so well, was a delight to be with, was open and honest about everything. Couldn't have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are unable to cope with squat loos, smells, very cold bedrooms, and basic living conditions, then perhaps this isn't the trip for you. If you can cope with those things, then you'll be fine, enjoy the experience and it is all so worth it. Loo roll, wet wipes, Imodium, water treatment equipment, and sense of humour are your friends. Discuss the use of Diamox with your leader. We also valued our Powerbanks, Merino underwear, hand sanitisation gel, well broken-in walking boots, and snacks (although you can buy them along the way). Oh and playing cards! Food is basic but plentiful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were pleasantly surprised by the number of places we could actually get a hot shower. Many tea houses have invested in Gas showers, and they were very welcome (you do have to pay.) Remember prices for everything go up the further from Lukla you get. Take more ££ than you think you'll need, and make sure you change any spare back (into dollars only, not pounds) before you pass through passport control at the airport on your way out. Dengue fever is currently a significant problem in Kathmandu - take precautions to prevent mosquito bites (see trip notes).
  • Reviewed June 2019
    paul bester

    breath-taking, in both senses

    having done a few mountains before, I was just hoping to get a view of Everest, but was amazed at just how unexpectedly-beautiful the route was. the initial lush green valleys were replaced with breath-taking views of majestic mountains. every turn produced another stunning vista. i found it really difficult to relay just how big those mountains are to anyone who hasn't been there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the sheer size of the Himalayas gives a humbling sense of ones place on earth. I simply could not go through life without seeing the "big one" up close- (relatively speaking).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was a true gem. he is an experienced and confident leader, beyond his years. besides his general information, I learned so much about Nepalese culture from the one to one chats, while ambling at the back of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    it's a challenging trip, but certainly not limited to the super-fit.