21/22 October Everest base camp group

Thought I'd start a separate thread for those doing the departure on 21st (ex London or wherever) or 22nd from Kathmandu.
Just started my jabs today and am about 50% kitted up.
Would be great to find out more about others in the group.

Hi Mel. My wife Jaclyn and I are both on the 21/22 departure. Unfortunately, we live in the North West; so nowhere near London. We have very nearly assembled most of the kit we need. And, even though we are both pretty keen hill walkers, and already have lots of outdoor stuff, it was still a fair outlay - but a great excuse to buy lots of lovely new gear nonetheless !! We have been training most weekends in the Lake District or Peaks and feel fairly well prepared; but you can't really pre-acclimatise for the altitude. If you want to compare notes on anything at all, please feel free to get in touch. Dave.

Hi Dave & Jaclyn,
You sound more prepared than I am - I'm getting nervous now as most prep is in the gym, and probably need to find the time to up that. The gym does have hypoxi suite replicating about 2500m, so am training in there when I can and also swimming a lot to improve my breathing.
Are you on the group flight? I'm doing a trip before hand, so arrive in Kathmandu a few days earlier after a short Annapurna and Chitwan few days and India before that.

Hi guys, I'm also on the same trip as you and am on the group flights!

I live in south London, so my prep is a mixture of gym-work, running and swimming. I'm basically preparing in the same way I did for Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago, and hoping that will suffice!

Regarding altitude, it isn't something you can prepare for, but the key is to walk slowly, drink lots of water and consider trying to get some Diamox from your GP (they're not always keen to prescribe it; I paid for a private prescription before Kili)

I keep hearing stories about a lot of people getting stomach bugs on the EBC trek, which I guess is my main concern. Again, there's only so much you can do to prevent it, though! (Those things being 1 - go vegetarian for the trip; 2 - use antibacterial hand gel a lot, and 3 - go armed with plenty of water purification tablets!)

Hi Mel / Jo,

We are not traveling on the group flights from London via Delhi. Although, we have previously been on that route to India with the flight operator; (Jet Airways), several times before - they're 100% fine. We're instead, traveling from Manchester to Kathmandu, via Abu Dhabi, as the flight times are easier for us, and, we don't have to factor in an extra flight down to LHR. Our flight arrives in Kathmandu at 17:00 on Sat the 22nd.

Training wise we have been doing some fairly demanding weekend walks in The Lake District. On Saturday we did the Coledale Horseshoe; 10 Miles + 1200 Meters of climbing - it was hard !!! We are also going to the gym 3 - 4 times PW so, any injuries aside, (touch wood!), we should be OK. Although, this is our first high altitude trek !! Next month we are planning a trip to The Cairngorms for a couple of days for more training.

Illness wise, Jo is 100% correct. When we have previously been in India or Africa we usually try, as much as is possible, to go veggie and also have a selection of water purification paraphernalia with us; the 'Sawyer Mini' is a really clever little device for treating mountain stream water, and, it doesn't taste of iodine. Religious hand-washing and gel use are also a must.

We have just bought our sleeping bags; ££££ !!!!!!. But have much of the rest of the gear we need already. Is anyone using poles ? We usually don't, although we may both have a think about this. Also, whats the view on the 10KG weight allowance ?? I personally think it is too low for a trip like this. Especially in light of sleeping gear, footwear, jackets, camera gear and differing climates - valley's can be warm, high altitude v'cold etc. Keep in touch reg' your prep'.

Hi again!

10kg requires some careful planning but I think it's just about doable, given that we're also allowed 5kg of hand luggage. I think it was the same allowance for Kilimanjaro (albeit that trip didn't involve an internal flight).

I'm hiring a sleeping bag and duvet jacket as a) they're very expensive to buy, and b) it's just more stuff to carry when travelling to and from Nepal. As for walking poles, I always use them these days! They've saved me from falling on various trips, and also relieve pressure on the knees (I overdid the training before Kilimanjaro and injured my knee, meaning that I did no training at all for three weeks beforehand!)

Yes, let's all keep in touch with any more tips or concerns!

Hi all, I'm not on the group flight either as I'm doing the Delhi to Kathmandu trip first, so flying to Delhi with Emirates, then overland with Exodus to Kathmandu via Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Chitwan, Pokhara then Annapurna extension. After we finish, on the 6th I am flying Jet back to Delhi, then Emirates back to Gatwick via Dubai.
Trying to train at moment, but am having a minor setback with a leg injury, but hopefully all will be okay. Have nearly got all the kit including sleeping bag and down jacket, but bit worried about the weight of everything with the camera and stuff for the Lukla flight. I'll leave some of the stuff from the earlier trip in Kathmandu.

Hi Mel,

I would love to see Varanasi, it's one of the places near the top of my 'to-do' list - lucky you! We have been to Agra a couple of times, and also to Jaipur. Both are incredibly beautiful, the Taj and also the Amber Fort at Jaipur are especially breathtaking !! I hope that you enjoy them, India is such a stunning country. We would also love to do the Annapurna circuit, but we couldn't get away with that much time off work to combine it with EBC. So, maybe next year - if we enjoy EBC. We have been on a wildlife tour of central India, that was amazing, so I am certain that Chitwan will be similarly unforgettable - I'm quite envious. How long are you away for in total ?

Both Jaclyn and I also sometimes suffer with knee problems; especially when walking down hill. Hopefully this should be OK, and manageable with a knee brace and some pain medication. I hope that your leg problem sorts itself out before October. Have you got any physio arranged ?

Weight wise, we are also going to leave all of our non-essential gear at the hotel in Kathmandu. Likely in a 3rd duffel-bag that we can just fill, lock and dump somewhere. I am certain that we will both each still be a couple of Kg over the 10 + 5 limit for the Lukla flight. I have heard that the standard excess charge is 150 NRP / £1 per Kg over, so a few kilos won't break the bank. For the trek itself the standard porter load is rated at 15Kg, with a Yak load at 45 - 50Kg.
Off to North Yorkshire tomorrow for some walking - it never ends !!

Hi All,

Just introducing myself to the group. I will be joining the group in Kathmandu as I'm travelling there from Glasgow.

Been training since January first for the Great Glencoe Challenge, 26.2 mile trek I did in July in just over 11 hours, and now training for EBC. Munro Bagging at the weekends which typically involved 6 to 10 miles and around 1,000m ascent.

No experience with altitude. Did the Poon Hill Treck below Annapurna last November but the max altitude was 3,250m.

See some folks have been to India. I worked there a few years ago for about 18 months based between Delhi and Bangalore. Saw the Taj and Jaipur but the jewel for me was Goa.

Great to meet you all and mega looking forward to this. Think my gear's about 20Kg just now so I do have a bit of organizing to do.

Looks like I'm the beginner trekker of the group! No idea how packing wise I'm going - I know the 'gadgets' seem to have added up with the camera and charger. I've got my down jacket and down sleeping bag. Guess I will see how it weighs once the kit bag Exodus supplies turns up.

Hi All,

What size of cameras are people thinking of taking? I'm torn between taking my bulky, heavy DSLR + a couple of lenses, or a good compact. Just curious.

Also, is anybody considering taking bino's ??

Hi dpm399,

I'm not part of your group, but I did do the EBC trek in November 2014 and beforehand was asking myself the same DSLR or compact question. Ultimately I took my compact camera on the trek and didn't regret doing so. In the circumstances and environment, it was just the best for me.

Weight allowance is a big issue and with a DSLR and a couple lenses pushing at least two maybe three kg, can you spare that much weight and do you want it hanging and swinging around your neck as you pick your way through some sometimes quite rough and uneven ground. The lower levels of the trek inparticular can be surprisingly dusty. It's easier to slip a compact away in a pouch or packet to protect it. Our trek was bone dry but there is always the chance of rain or snow too. Since you are always on the move I knew it was more convenient for me using the compact rather than the DSLR and it was easily accessable tucked away in my rucksacks hip belt pocket ready to be used at any time without getting in the way.

It depends what you want to look at with binoculars and the same weight and convenience of use considerations as for the camera . We saw very little wildlife on the trek, a few wild mountain goats and a bird that looked like a parrot was pretty much it. There was however an immense amount of majestic mountain scenery.

Incidentally I'll be heading back to Nepal on the 11th October for the Mera Peak climb. I'll only be taking the compact camera again.

Hi Garry,

Many thanks for the feedback and advice, it is kind of you to pass on your invaluable experiences reg' cameras while on the EBC trek in 2014. I was, I have to admit, leaning towards my compact. Now I will definitely be going in that direction. What did you use? if you don't mind me asking. Or, more importantly, what sort of optical zoom / lens type did you find to be adequate??

I used a Canon S120 on my EBC trek, it has a 24-120mm equivalent lens. Most of my photographs were at the wide end of that range. I also took a Sony AS30V action cam with a very wide slightly fish eye lens and got some surprisingly good stills from that too.
I've since upgraded to a Canon G7X (24-100mm) and that's what I'll be taking to Nepal in October

Hi Garry,

Thanks for the info. Great minds must think alike, as my compact is also a Canon G7X. I'm hoping that the 4.2x / 24-100 optical zoom will be sufficient - it should be. Thanks again !!

I'm taking my GoPro HeroSilver, and my Sony RX10M3 bridge camera. I am worried about my total weight, especially with the power pack, but I am doing freelance media pieces, so photography is a key part, and I'm also doing a 3 week trip immediately before with a safari, and I won't be leaving the equipment anywhere in a hotel.

Hi Mel,

It's the weight, (and partly the bulk), that bothers me also; camera + 2 or 3 lenses + batteries + chargers. My Canon G7X-2 is a really great little 'do all' compact, and it weighs in at very little - in relative terms. But I am worried that if I don't take my Nikon D7200 I will get to Nepal and end up really regretting it. If I was doing a wildlife tour, as per yourself, I wouldn't hesitate; in fact its an absolute 100% prerequisite. But I think I can probably get away with the Canon on this trip for landscapes, scenery and people. I'm still unsure, I may yet end up 'biting the bullet' and taking the D7200 ?!?!?!?!?

How's the leg BTW ?

Leg seems to be okay, I now have the insole from the podiatrist for the hiking boot and he seems confident that I should be okay.
Will see! I will be taking my other hiking boots too for the first part of the holiday, and if I find that the new ones weren't up to it, I'll take the best pair on the EBC trek.

Just saying hello to fellow travellers, my name is Jules and this is my first high altitude trek. I have been training for eighteen months since I booked this trip. Terrified but totally excited too, can wait to meet you all and share the adventure . I'm leaving the kids, husband and dog at home yeah !!! I live in Dorset, work from home and I'm always up for a new adventure much to my family's despair. I just hope I make it to EBC

Hi Jules,

I'm off to get all my photos for permits and visas on Monday, and then the India and Nepal visas pick-up on Tuesday. 4 weeks today and I'm on a plane to Delhi - getting nervous now!

Hi Jules, are you on the group flights, by any chance? If so, maybe see you at the airport!

I've got my visa sorted, and am now at the 'Oh jeez, how am I gonna get this lot down to 10kg?' phase! It was doable for Kilimanjaro, but I think EBC is gonna be a LOT colder, meaning the clothing requirements are slightly different. I may have to resort to dressing like the Michelin Man for the flight to Lukla!

As for training, I'm being careful to not overdo it this time. Learnt my lesson overpreparing for Kili and injuring my knee in the process!!

Hi - my name is Paul - I am travelling out to Katmandu with you all . This is my 11th Exodus trip - really looking forward to this one. I live in North Kent, and have done quite a bit of training for this trip - getting older and it's proving harder. Preparation eh . I am 50 years old. But reasonably fit.

My kit bag and joining instructions arrived yesterday (as I depart in two weeks), so going to start packing hopefully today.

Hi All - This is Paul (Nickname Ranger) Just a quick catch up - I have checked with my local travel clinic - they say Jabs are not required for NEPAL - Is this what everyone else has been told - Your experiences? Also getting a visa - appears to be done at the Katmandu Airport. not prior to departure. I gues that is only for those lucky travellers that are going else where first.
I have now received my KIT Bag. - I bet you are all wondering about the 10kg - AH - Not a lot of allowance!

Looking forward to meeting you all. Hopefully some of you at Heathrow - Getting excited now. Its Real!

Hi Paul,

The website below is worth checking out reg' immunisation requirements for Nepal. There don't seem to be any pressing health issues that require specific precautions; like Yellow Fever or Cholera for example. As long as you have Hep A, Typhoid and Tetanus up-to-date you should be OK. Likewise, Malaria is not an issue either.

http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/159/nepal#Vaccine_recommendations

For the entry visa at Kathmandu it seems that 'paying on the door' is cheaper, less hassle and is also recommended by Exodus themselves. I've also been told by a couple of people that the typical wait for a visa is usually only around 10 Min's.

Hi Paul, I'm doing India and Chitwan first so I've had all the jabs - rabies, hep a and b etc.
I'm not sure about the 10kg and how it's going to work, but I'll let you know tomorrow as I do my final pack then for departure on Saturday morning

Hi Paul, I'm doing India and Chitwan first so I've had all the jabs - rabies, hep a and b etc.
I'm not sure about the 10kg and how it's going to work, but I'll let you know tomorrow as I do my final pack then for departure on Saturday morning

I've packed now (depart tomorrow), and no there is very little room/give on the 10kg in kitbag. As I'm doing another trip before, I've got a suitcase with me to leave in Kathmandu, so I think I will be packing/re-packing in the few days before Lukla flight. I did a test weigh of the kitbag and got about 11kg, but there was probably stuff that I can leave, but stuff also that needed to go in, so who knows!
Have a great flight everyone, and see you in Kathmandu in a few weeks when you get there.

I think I am going to need a holiday after this trek. All the preparation, training and all the kit in and out of the bag is wearing me out . I will be travelling on the group flight from Heathrow on the 21st - I hope to get to heathrow early , so maybe we can all meet up before the flight. The exodus bags will give us away - so no need for banners or intro signs.
I have been talking to Jules already - Jules runs a virtual walking website - were your weekly mileage adds up - It has been brillant for training - Massive help. It is all becoming real now, and I am getting excited. This has been on my bucket list for a very long while.
I will be taking walking poles if they fit in the bag. And also what about all our modern day gadgets - They almost weigh 10kg on their own - Some serious down sizing I think. Don't forget the hand gel and the sun cream - always a must.
How is the training going for everyone - I have been walking and running between 40-50 miles each week. I also managed to get up to cumbria a couple of times and also to Snowdonia for a bit of hill training - great parts of the world.
Looking forward to meeting up - The final count down has began!

Hi DPM339 - Sorry - I was so rude not to acknolwedge your reply. Re:- Jabs and Visa's - Thanks for that - I have had most of the normal Jabs and even had a flu jab last week. So all prepared.

Hiya.

Saying hi. Looking forwards to trekking in Nepal. Got the trekking and mountaineering bug a few years ago and hope the altitude will not be too bad.

I recently did ten days mountaineering in the Alps. I summitted Grand Parismo and another peak but not Mt Blanc sadly so I'll love to see how the higher altitudes treat us all.

I am preparing for all those lentils!

Gary

Hi all,
I'm in Kathmandu now. Just finished the mini Annapurna trek. Struggled a bit as i got a chest infection on the India to Nepal tour from a mix of the constant air conditioning (after being outside in humidity then getting on aircon bus) and from the diesel smog everywhere (Kathmandu particularly bad). But i got penicillin easily and nearly better now.
Few tips - yes, its cold at night here. On the Annapurna mini we only went to 2000m but that night were sitting in down jackets outside. Days are still humid and hot though. Monsoon was late so skies havent been as clear as normal plus still some rain about.
The sun is strong - i used factor 50 but am still bright red all over from just one day of sun trekking (rest of days were cloudy). Reapply it regularly! And despite having hair, top.of my head burned so i wish id worn a hat that day.
Tea house food was good, and I mostly lived on apple pancakes and fried potatoes for carbs.
Currency wise, Nepal isnt keen on pounds at moment - they refused pounds at nepal border crossing as they stopped taking them 2 weeks ago as pound is too volatile at moment.
Cash machines let you take 20,000 max out at a time per card, which is about £220. So depends how much you need during trek as you may need to do a withdrawal the day you arrive and then first thing the nexf day before our lukla flight.
Things increase in price rapidly as you go higher. Soft drinks in Pokhara were 50% less than the final high tea house and EBC is worse.
10kg will be a struggle - i had 12kg on just 5 days of mini trek! You will wear the same stuff repeatedly!! And you will be grubby because of it (think muddy trousers).
See you all Saturday

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