Everest base camp trek

Just wondering if anyone is on the Everest Base Camp trek this February.

I am joining from Manchester flight and am really looking forward to this trip of a lifetime.

Phill

Hi another Phil here I am booked on to the base camp trek that leaves on the 17th of February cant wait to go flying from Heathrow.

I'll be travelling on the 17th of Feb also from Heathrow. My buddy Hannah is joining us in Kathmandu. How is the preparation going?

This could get confusing with all the Phills.
Hi Rory looking forward to meeting everyone.

My prep has just been walking up Snowdon a few times and a few runs. will be good to get out amongst the trails.
Can't wait - am going mountaineering in Morocco as main training though.

We have a Phil and a Phill - that should make things easier. Morocco sounds like a great place to to training! All I can manage is the gym and weekend walking!

11 weeks tomorrow - getting very excited.

Hi Phil and Phill,

Rory's buddy Hannah here. I'm going a day or so earlier than the group, so I'll meet you all in Kathmandu. I am unbelievably excited, as it's been a dream to do this since the year 2000. And if Rory hadn't pushed it, I might have never done it.

Looking forward to meeting you both.

Hi Rory, Hannah and Phil
Yes am really looking forward to this one myself, although have been spoilt by getting a great trek in up Mt Toubkal, and another nice snowy yomp up Snowdon.

I'm guessing everyone is a sporting the same daft grin I get everything I think about this trip too! Just need to make sure Christmas doesn't undo all my efforts.

Looking forward to meeting you all
Phill

Just thought I'd say Hello to you all , I'm also on the Heathrow flight on the 17th . Trainings going ok with long walks over the South Downs . I just wondered what you are all doing regard visas? I'm considering getting mine on entry to Nepal .
Looking forward to meeting you all in a few weeks.

Hi All,

I will also be on the trek leaving London on the 17th Feb. With full transparency I did the same trek (inc dates) in 2015. We did get to base camp and I can confirm that all you read and see about the EBC trek is experienced.

Why am I going back… we’ll a couple of reasons… 1) even though I got to EBC the weather closed in and we didn’t get the views at the end of the Khumbu valley and we didn’t even attempt Kala Patthar and 2) seven weeks after we left Nepal the earthquake happened and I am keen to put something back in to the local economy.

Paul – re the visa – last time and this I am getting it before I go, its one less potential issue at the airport.

I am happy to share more details and photos, but I don’t want to take away anything from what I’m sure will be a truly great experience for you all.

Regards,
Jerry

Hi all its certainly starting to feel a lot more real now as the weeks tick by.

Interesting regarding the visa's when i asked Exodus about this they say said the majority get them in on Entry to Nepal. I have been rather undecided on what to do regarding mine as Jerry said one last thing to worry about if its done.

Looks like I am your token northerner then

Unlucky Jerry you just became our local guide, but totally agree about putting something into the local economy. Think will be taking a few bits from The Works store with me if can locate a drop off for Pack For Purpose.

Am doing my visa at airport when I get there.

This is the kind of trip where if you aren't blown away by the scenery you are technically dead inside. It will be an epic and can't wait to share it with you all.
Have a great Christmas and see you on the trek to the big hill
Phill

Just less that 8 weeks to go! I was planning on sorting out the visa prior to going as Jerry has said it is one less issue to deal with at the airport. I'll be joining you all down in London (making my way from York so there will be at least 2 Northerners!)

Jerry - do you have any top tips? From reading other peoples' trip experiences there are a few things on there that is left out of the official material.

Hey guys
I am doing EBC in Feb too..I am travelling from Ireland and a, arriving on the 17th In Kathmandu..Don't do jet lag very well so need the extra day lol..Soooo looking forward to this once in a lifetime trip.

Hi Rory/All - For me the best tips/things I picked up were: 1) pack a pillow case to stuff closes into to give you another pillow, 2) the only thing I took last time I didn’t use was a Therm-a-Lite mattress, 3) take a wide brimmed hat 4) take a nail brush and 5) take the opportunities when they arise to have a solar or bucket shower.
Happy New Year to you all and look forward to meeting in a few weeks.
Jerry

Hi Jackie welcome to the group.
Happy New Year all.

Thanks for the top tips Jerry. A down jacket makes a great pillow.

Best bit of kit I own is a shemagh, warm, keeps dust out and improvised towel.
You can also nick the little airline pouches if you are flying Etihad, Qatar or the like. They have a nice eye mask, ear plugs and the like inside. If you see them left behind it is always worth grabbing a couple.

Probably preaching to folks with similar experience, but
I've done a fair few treks and yomps and it is amazing what you can live without.
Then again I'm as guilty as anyone for chucking in an extra down jacket and chocolate bar. Sometimes that one square of chocolate or a mint tea with sweetener can set the world to rights.
Then again I've seen folk with bergens like houses for a 6 day snow trek and wondering why they are struggling. Just because it can take 120l doesn't mean fill it.

I'm planning on taking some extra kit in the case and then when I see the mountain forecast will leave a few bits in KTM.

Biggest thing I learned from travel - extra dry socks are the best feeling. So an extra pair in a drybag can make any situation a little better.
Also a pair of cabin slippers - sounds crazy but getting out of boots is great but if your feet get cold they take ages to warm again. Hands can go under armpits for warmth, but my feet aren't that bendy.

See you all in KTM in a few weeks.

Cheers Jerry and Phil for the advice - I'll certainly be bringing some trail snacks from home as I understand it can be a bit hit and miss on the way up.

Hey Hannah
I am arriving in Kathmandu on the Friday...Are you staying in the trek hotel?

Jerry
One thing that might be useful to folks is the rating / make / model of sleeping bag you took last time.

Only reason I ask is I've seen a few people freezing in cheap bags on mountain trips before. Or turning up with an £800 expedition bag and having to sleep with the zip open.

You've actually done it so can give people a meaningful reference point.

Hi Phill - I have a Rab Neutrino 600 Down Sleeping Bag. Chose it for the weight and comfort level. Was always warm in it but at the higher altitudes slept in multiple clothing layers as well.

Jerry

Hi Jackie,

I'm hopefully going to be staying at my granny's in Patan and then I'll transfer to the trek hotel place when everyone else arrives. If you fancy meeting up when you arrive, let me know!

I'm taking a Rab Andes 800 Down Sleeping bag - I'm hoping it does the job otherwise I will be sleeping in all my clothes.

What is everyone doing about currency? I know we can get it changed at the hotel but is it worth still bringing some rupees over?

Hi Rory
I think both you and Jerry will be nice and toastie in those, have an Exped 1000 and Neutrino at home, but as this isn't a weight dependent slog up a mountain, where 20g means the world, I'll bring my Snugpak softie 12 arctic bag. 17 years old but can keep me sweet in snow on Brecon.
Only reason for that is it isn't a down bag so can get a few more battlescars and works even if gets a little damp.

Any bag with a comfort rating of -5 should be fine. I will have a bivi bag if anyone is cold they can nick it and put their bag inside it and will add warmth.
Rabs are bombproof quality.

Currency I will get in Nepal and bring some dollars and sterling too.

Not long now folks and we are getting UK weather acclimatisation training too

Nice work Phill - great to have a veteran sleeping bag on trip I'm sure it's got some stories to tell!

Thanks for the heads up on the currency - if anyone is getting their visa before hand it took the Embassy less than a week to get it back to me a very smooth process.

Hi Jerry

Can you give me a bit of advise about clothing..I know it is going to be very cold and I am not sure about the trousers to take..I have a couple of pairs of trekking trousers and the kind you wear for Skiing..I am worries in case I wont be warm enough in just the trekking trousers. Are ski trousers suitable for this trek
Thansk

Hi Jackie/All,

I kept a list of what I took, so here you go...

RAB Summit Down Coat
2 x Woollen Hats
1 x Cap (then brought a brimmed hat on the trail due the intensity of the sun)
Waterproof Gloves
Fleece Gloves and Merino wool liner Gloves
Icebreaker Merino Base layer x 2
Icebreaker Merino Socks x 2
Montane Walking Trousers x 2
Montane Gaiters
Berghaus Zipped Fleece
North Face Fleece
Track Suit Trousers
Crocs Casual Shoes
Berghaus Water Proof Trousers
Berghaus Water Proof Jacket

I found the Merino base layers worked really well from an insulation point of view and its wicking properties it really meant you could get away with multiple days wear. There really isn’t any real opportunities to get things dry on the trail and the stoves in the lodges aren’t on for long in the evening when they are your mostly trying to get boots and gloves dry.

Personally I would suspect Ski trousers would be too warm and you’d be better off being able layer up or down as conditions dictate. While most mornings we started off in warm gear, when the sun got up you were taking layers off.

Re a few points from other posts...
- Yes the hotel can change money and it didn't matter whether its from US or £
- I took the equivalent of £600 into the mountains, didn't use it all but had the contingency
- The Royal Singi hotel has safety deposit boxes you can rent for the duration at a nominal cost
- The flight to Lukla weight restriction of 15kg is checked and you are charged if over. Last time they just added it up for the group and charged us all the same but it wasn’t much.

I hope the above helps.

Jerry

Thanks for posting up the list Jerry really useful info. Been wondering just how many layers to pack.

Thanks Jerry.. Very helpful.. So you reckon a base layer and walking Trousers will be warm enough..
Thanks

Nice one Jerry all info from someone who's been is appreciated.

Jackie if you have goretex trousers with long leg zips you can wear them over your trek trousers in the morning. As it warms up open the zips and then slide them off at a rest stop. What happens on most treks I've been on. Start of day dressed for ice station zebra and by mid day dressed for the Atacama desert.

I'm sure everyone will be popping layers on and off the first couple of days until find a happy medium. Just think layering.

As long as kit isn't ringing wet you can always dry it in a sleep system - socks and gloves under your armpits or outside the bag on top. Can even dry socks in a jacket or midlayer pocket as you walk. Just don't drench your bag or you'll be miserable.

Jerry how was the dust?
Is it worth bringing a Sigg bottle as well as camelbak (it's insulated for snowboarding)?

Lastly as I'm flying out of Manchester what time does your group flight from London roll up?

Looking forward to putting faces to names and yomping across some scenery with you all.

thanks Phill....Every bit of info is helpful..Its hard to know what to expect...£600 Jerry? I wouldn't have thought there would be much chance to spend money in the mountain lol lastly I am flying from Belfast and I arrive about 9am on Sat morning via Muscat...Looking forward to meeting you all

Phill/Jackie,

Dust wasn’t a problem on trek at all. The ground is mixed all the way up but never worse than what you encounter in the Lakes or Wales. For me it was all about the altitude.

Re water – personally I carry Sigg/Naglene bottles and took 2 on the trek. At the tea houses they sell bottled water or you can go for boiled. I did try to drink the recommended 5L per day.

£600 for contingency. Beyond the daily c£35 for food/drink there are a few opportunities to spend - battery charging, snacks, showers, WiFi (very patchy), donations and local goods/souvenirs.

Jerry

Hi Jerry
What were the temps that you had the last time

Hi Jackie,

It was variable based on the altitude to be honest. For the first few days we had clear and warm weather so it was base layers after the sun got up and before the afternoon clouds came in. Then as we got higher we layered up as the weather changed through the day.

In the Lodges there is no heating outside the common area and the stoves are only on a for a couple hours, so depending on the outside temp we’d be in fleeces and sometimes down jackets (especially above Dingboche). The bedrooms were always chilly or cold. I think when we were at Gorak Shep and the heavy snow came it would have be >-10c. However, I really don’t recall ever not being able to get warm.

I hope none of the above detracts from the trip. I am average walker, mainly in the UK, and found the whole end to end experience totally unique and rewarding.

Jerry

Thanks for the info Jerry, doesn't detract in the slightest as that is what adventures are for.

Can I ask one quick question about boots you used.
I have been handed a set of replacement B1s after my 9 month old pair fell apart on Glyder hike.
I was intending taking a trusty pair of trail boots (B0 but done 3 peaks, some munros and parts of Atlas in them) with yaktrax for ice.

I also have B2 alpine boots but they weigh a ton.

Did you find any parts that demanded mountain boots like a B1? What boots did you take?

Sounds daft but the boots I was going to take are now going to be way too new and hiking to base camp in B2s is my idea of torture.
Want to know if its worth bringing them for odd days as you mentioned -10 and heavy snow

Hi Phill,

Your trail boots should be fine with the trax. I have a set of Meindl Burma's and didn't have spikes. I used walking poles as did the others. No one walked in a crampon boot or with spikes. I never felt that the ground was to tricky. Lower down you can get away with approach shoes.

Happy to share a link to my flick pictures which shows the differing ground conditions if that would help.

Jerry

Thanks Jerry but that won't be necessary - just the mention of heavy snow in your post before sets off the ice climber in me. My boots are lightweight hillwalking and trail gtx boots, reasonable grip andall but about as insulated as a tea bag. Lovely and comfy Lowas though.
Fine on approach in the Atlas but below 0 they were chilly.

Will be fine mate I'm sure and was just wondering if it was worth chucking the B2s in. I'll leave them as they weigh a ton and i don't like doing multi-day hikes in them anyway.

Right so I will see you all at 4pm in KTM.

Hi all, some super useful tips here! Thanks for sharing. My partner Matthew & I will be joining in Heathrow, we are from jersey, think we've left it too late now to get our visas before so we'll be getting them at the airport too.

Looking forward to it!

Did you manage to get any kit in Kathmandu? Was hoping on getting a few bits there like poles ?!? Thanks

A relative who's working for a charity in Nepal told me that the area the trek hotel is located is full of outdoor equipment shops , genuine , knock offs and own brand kit , just be prepared to haggle . I'm planning on hiring /buying a sleeping bag . I'm sure Jerry will confirm this information otherwise I'm going to get really cold at night .

Yeah, I figure it's pretty easy... we'll probably get a few bits there too.

You should be able to get pretty much everything out there just know what you want.

If you are worried about the bag then could always go to a company like expeditionkithire and rent a really good one for £50. It will meet you in Kathmandu.

At worst I will bring a liner and bivi so you could borrow and sleep in some layers. I very much doubt you'll need it though as you will be kitted out before we head off.

Rebecca and Matthew welcome and see you at KTM.

All,

The hotel is c15mins walk from the Thamel District where you can get everything – I think haggling is compulsory! There should be time on Sat if the flights are on time to venture there - I’m happy to come along. There won’t be time on the Sunday as we’ll be up at c5am to get to the airport.

However, I think Exodus can arrange to hire stuff in advance if needed.

In Lukla and Namche there are plenty of shops selling kit and at random places lower down on the trail.

Jerry

Thanks Jerry , Haggling and jet lag don't mix well so I think that I'll go down the hire route , I'll contact exodus to arrange it .

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