TNG - High Passes to Everest Base Camp

Hi. Leaving Oct 14. Anyone else ??

I'm currently booked on that trip. Travelling alone. I was going to do it last year but the foreign office advice didn't allow it in time so I did a trek in India instead.

I'm travelling alone too. Training hard already. Brecon Beacons most weeks. I've always been active, so don't envisage any problems ? Altitude being the unknown quantity as ever mind ?? I'm 45.

I expect I'll be taking Diamox for the first week at least. I got food poisoning last time I was in Namche and I'm keen to avoid that this time! Last time I went to Nepal to do a trek was about 6 years ago. I'm still a walker but I need to shed some pounds before October to be fit enough. I'm 51.

One concern I have about this trek is the 10Kg limit on the hold luggage with Tara Airways. That's quite a struggle with enough kit for the extremes up there. I'm taking a smaller rucksack as hand luggage and I'll be loading that up as much as I can. I believe some treks have paid an excess luggage charge but I don't think we can depend on that.

Hi DJ,
What's your take on the water situation ? Tabs/boiled/pen etc ?
Will you get Diamox there or from Docs ?
Will you get any jabs from Docs before hand ?
Any other nuggets of info, bits of invaluable kit etc ?? I'm covered for all the basics.

I use a bottle with an internal filter to drink as I go, and top it up at the village water taps. I've posted links to Amazon in the travel tips section, I think. They're about £35 and work well.

I have the Diamox already. I think it's only available by its generic name now - acetazolamide. My doctor was clued up so it was no effort to get a private prescription for it. Diamox is not necessary but it may help if people are comfortable with it. It sometimes makes your fingertips tingle, and some people are allergic to it so it's worth trying at home for a day or two.

I may buy some Ciproxin in Kathmandu for my medicine kit; there used to be a pharmacy just around the corner from the Royal Singi that sells it. I'm not that comfortable getting medicines in country in case they're fakes but doctors won't supply Ciproxin in advance.

All my NHS jabs are up to date after India. I may refresh my Rabies and get Jap Encephalitis at Boots but they're quite expensive and the risk is very low in Nepal. I've never bothered with those for Nepal before.

I'm not sure what to do about crampons as they're too heavy to take on the Lukla flight, and we may not need them if the weather forecast is good. Namche will probably sell them but they'll be expensive. One for the trek leader when we get there I guess.

Decent polarised sunglasses, sun hat, and 50 factor sun cream are necessary at that altitude. The sun cream can be bought in Namche if necessary, or shared between room mates. I have a travel wallet which my belt goes through for security. We'll be carrying a lot of money - a year's wages for many Nepali).

Can't think of anything else at the moment.

That's great. Cheers.
I don't believe we need full crampons, but their is definitely permanent snow n ice on the high passes. I've got these from Cotswold - which I think are suitable and very light.
That bottle sounds great, but does it hold enough water until the next fill up ??


Someone else has mentioned those yak trax, possibly in one of the reviews. I hadn't realised they were so light. 150g is nothing really. I shall get some now. Cheers!

The water bottle only holds 3/4 of a litre or so. I have flexible water bags for carrying extra to top up if necessary. They work for me. I can't stomach drinking iodine in water.

Hi guys, I wondered if anyone is taking there own bags or hiring from Exodus (£35). The bags they recommend to take that time of year are very expensive and to be honest I probably won't use it in the uk again. I will take my own liner, but am not sure if I should just bite the bullet and buy one. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Hi Barney.
Sorry, just noticed your post.
I have a -12 bag and will use a silk liner with it. You can hire 4/5 season bags in Kathmandu, but £35 sounds cheap to me ?
Are you flying out on Oct 14th ??

Hi Dj
You still on for the trip ?
I've opted for the Steripen (water option)

Well, I'm still booked on at this point! I've reserved a flight a couple of days before the group departure as I have some stuff to do in Kathmandu beforehand. The Steripen looks quite interesting.

10 people on the trip so far, 3 women and 7 men. I don't know how many are couples. Good size for a group; not too big and not too small.

Finally signed on! Will buy my boots this weekend and start wearing them in. I'll be coming in from Vancouver via Hong Long (most likely), so I guess I'll meet everyone in Kathmandu.

I thought I'd posted this before, but I guess I managed to mis-press "submit". Anyway, after aborting late in the day on this very trip last year, I'm back to shopping for Nepal-proof boots. I'll be flying across the Pacific and will see everyone in Kathmandu.

That'll teach me not to wait for the moderator. Apologies for the re-post.

When are you arriving in Kathmandu, G-Man? I'm arriving at the hotel late afternoon on Thurs 13th. The main group arrives late afternoon on Sat 15th I think.

Hi DJ,

Yeah, I was hoping to get there on the 13th or 14th to give myself some recuperation and acclimatisation time after the flight in. I'm awaiting confirmation of my booking, and then I'll try and get some flights that won't drain the life out of me.

If you fancy a beer or something before the group arrives then there used to be an Exodus noticeboard in the foyer of the hotel by the gift shop. I'll try to leave a TNG message on it if it's still there. /David


So, flights booked (business class on China Southern - very reasonable - so I should be in better fettle than if I travelled coach) and I'll be arriving late on the 14th. So, my first beer in Kathmandu may have to wait until the 15th. However, my clock is going to be 11 hours out, so I may not be ready to sleep.

- Graeme

I'd been wondering whether I would need crampons, so was pleased to read the tip re the Yaktrax. Will definitely invest in these. I also note the comments in regard to the 10kg weight limit for the Lukla flight. Is this 10kg in total, or is your day pack not included in this weight? Does anyone know for sure? If only 10kg in total, I guess you can wear most of your clothes for the flight?
Really looking forward to getting back to Nepal....did the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri trek in 1987, so it's been a while. Just hoping for good weather and spectacular views!

Hi. Everywhere I have looked at says 10Kg hold + 5Kg hand luggage max. It's almost certainly Tara Airlines to Lukla so you can check too.

Didn't know about this forum until today... very excited about this trip, two of us coming... i think we have everything, but haven't worked out the water situation yet! I did Killi in 2012 and didnt find it too hard (apart from the last day!) so I think we will be fine but some of the reviews on fitness levels are worrying lol!

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

In case people don't know, once you have your PNR number you can reserve seats on all four flights. The long haul ones are 3-3-3 configuration, with some 2s at the very back but I wouldn't do the last 2 or 3 rows because of the toilets.

Just remembered today to add a stick of lip sun protection to my list of stuff. I've forgotten to take that in the past and ended up with some dodgy strawberry flavoured lip balm from a lodge shop.

Anyone know how much they're taking in cash yet? I'm thinking about £600, keeping some back in sterling in case I need extra at the end. I probably ought to take some for a yak taxi too as I'm also scared by the fitness reviews!

3-4-3 configuration.

I'm also struggling working out how much to take?
Daily - for food ??
Total ??
Anyone had joining instructions / kit bag yet ??

I'm wondering how much to take too, total and daily for food??
Anyone had joining instructions / kit bag yet??

I forgot about tips which might add another £100?

I've found a fairly recent menu:

Older drinks menu:

Food still looks fairly cheap, imported drinks not so much.

I haven't received a bag yet but I have a spare anyway.

Only gone and sprained my bloody ankle !!

First attempt is weighing in at 13Kg, and that's wearing the fleece and goretex, and carrying cameras, water bottle etc. The dry liners, bog roll, and toiletries are the things that add up I think. Hard to know what to lose to get it down by a couple of kilos. Doh.

Hi all
I am booked on this trip traveling on the group flight from heathrow. I have reviewed the various posts.
Clubmaster, thanks for the yaktrax pro tip. been out and bought those. I hope you ankle is getting better.
DJ, thanks for the water bottle idea.I have Sawyer mini water filter but, it is faf to use. May think on the inbottle filter instead.
Note some comments on age. i am 55 physical, 18 mental.
As to money I have been through the trip notes adding up the amounts. taking the highest figure each day for food I arrived at a total of £860.00 including tips and extras for any trips and paying for occasional phone charging.
I note that some of you have been to Nepal before. Regarding VISA is it sensible to buy at airport or is that a fag? I do not fancy posting off my Passport to get a visa before hand. I note you need two passport size photos and the same again for the trek pass. Worth adding to the list.
I have just emailed Exodus to check if we can leave stuff at the hotel in Kathmandu. thinking that would help a bit with the weight limits on the internal flight.
i am looking forward to the trip, excited but with some trepidation about the altitude. I did Kili a few years back so have some limited experience.
Been on to jet airways webiste, but, cannot find out the type of aircraft. their website is not working well at the monment. However, did manage to find out you can book in on-line up to 48 hours before hand. Oddly if you print the boarding pass you still have to go to the check in desk, with your travel documents to change it for a pass they print out. that is one to remember.
Any further tips from experience himalayan treks appreciated.
Looking forward to meeting you all.


in case it assists any one, below is the reply I received from Exodus regarding leaving stuff at Kathmandu.
Dear Gordon,

Thanks for your email.

You will be able to leave your extra luggage in Kathmandu, the leader will assist you to organize that.
The allowance is 10 Kilo for the hold bag and you can carry another bag that can be put on your lap or under the seat in front of you. We suggest that you wear jacket and boots on flight so to lower the weight.

Please let me know if you have more questions or requests.

Have a nice day

Hi Gordon. I'm taking a Berghaus bag with wheels to hold all my stuff incl Exodus bag so that it's easier to lug around. It's normal to leave extra stuff as left-luggage at the Royal Singi. They also have a hotel safe to hold the group's valuables, like flight tickets, emergency credit card, etc when we trek.

I would have suggested you get your visa beforehand through Travcour but I think at the airport will still be okay. The airport was a quite chaotic when I was last there but you'll have time as it takes a while to get through immigration and collect the bags.

A general travel tip that I expect most people already know: wear your boots and expensive jacket on the international flight in case the bag doesn't make the trip. Most things can be replaced in Kathmandu but not worn-in boots. Also, secure the zips on the hold luggage properly as thefts from bags used to be quite common behind the scenes there.

I should add that it was 2008 when I was last in Nepal so I wouldn't want you stranded at the airport on my advice! Please check yourself just in case the visa desk is shut on Saturdays or they only take American dollars or whatever.

I fly out in NINE days!! Last minute shopping gonna be happening this weekend. I've been on the fence about walking poles, but given how much descending we'll be doing, I'm probably going to err on the side of caution and pick a pair up.

Anyone else flying across the Pacific?

- Graeme

I think poles are a good idea I will be taking mine.
if you are new to poles some thoughts so you don't have to make the mistakes I have.
1) Look at a range of poles. some are much heavier than others. Weight matters.
2) I like the ones with some shock absorbing built in. seem to be less strain on the wrists.
3) make sure they are long enough for you to be able to extend them for the down hill. I have come across some short ones.
Sorry if I am teaching my grandmother to suck eggs. I have made some bad purchases.

Annoyingly, our rapidly falling exchange rate has probably cost about £50 so far. Doh.

I've been thinking about what to do with my money while I'm out and about in Kathmandu. £800 is about 100,000 rupees, and typical notes on exchange are 1000s and some 500s as I recall. That presumably means stashing and folding something like 150 notes into one or more wallets, and carrying quite a lot of the money in the rucksack.

It was quite difficult to exchange 1000 rupee notes in the mountains 10 years ago but I suppose inflation and the Everest route premium has loosed that somewhat.

DJ - I was hoping to delay exchanging as much of it as possible until we leave the hotel (I believe it does exchanges?). I would think that the tour leader/porters would accept tips in pounds or dollars, so that might alleviate part of the problem.

Gordon - thanks for the tips :) I will definitely err on the side of longer poles since I'm only intending to use them on descents.

Last day of work today...pretty sweet feeling!

- Graeme

I'm going to exchange £50 (crap rate) at the airport so I have money for the first couple of days, and so I can tip R200 to the room porter to avoid that embarrassing pause at the door. I've given them £1 coins in the past and swapped them later as they're useless to the Nepali otherwise.

I reckon 150 notes will be about 4" thick when we exchange. Yeah, leaving it until the last afternoon before we fly out is probably the way to go but other tours will be exchanging at the hotel too so they may run out of money periodically. I guess we'll be going into Thamel for food in the evening as a group.

The guides and trek porters will leave us at Lukla and walk down to Jiri I expect so they'll want rupees. I'm not sure whether they can easily change foreign currency without questions. We need to show our passports to do so. The leader will stay with us all the way through so we can tip him when we're back in Kathmandu.

Hi all
the weekend pack, weigh, re-pack, re-weigh scratch head and re-pack again got ridiculous but, I think I am there now.
Anyone on the group flight want to meet up at the airport my email address is: [email protected]

thanks for all the thoughts on the money. very useful.
Looking forward to the trip once again now I have the packing sorted, I think!
See you all Friday?Saturday

Unless I'm misreading something, my ticket says 35Kg hold luggage allowance. I'm sure it used to be 20Kg in the past. That's handy if so. Jeans and trainers for Kathmandu in that case!

Although it's gorgeous out today, the remnants of a typhoon are going to hit Vancouver on the day I'm supposed to leave, so I guess it's possible I might be delayed :(

On the plus side, it's a Dreamliner, something I've wanted to fly on for a while.

I just weighed everything and I'm right on 15kg, all-in. It makes me think I've missed something...

See you all in Kathmandu!

- Graeme

I've had an email back from 'Exodus' confirming the 35k hold allowance.
Makes it a bit easier to pack in the first instance, but don't see the point of taking anywhere near that when the limit is 15k on trek?
I believe cabin luggage is another 7k? So I'm packing my boots etc in there.

I had the usual chaos of getting through the transfer area at Delhi today. Also, you need a paper luggage label for security to stamp on your hand luggage but there was a bowl of blank ones this time through. Security at Kathmandu wanted to see the luggage tag on the back of the ticket before letting people out with their baggage so worth keeping that handy.

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