Start line, Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon, Nepal

Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon with Paul Goldstein Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Nepal
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TNM
Activity Rating - Challenging
Challenging

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday.  Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

18 Days Flight Inclusive
17 Days Land only
Min age: 18

Trip Overview

The Tenzing-Hillary Marathon takes place on 29th May each year to celebrate the anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest by the late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. 2021 will be the 19th edition of this monumental event - the highest altitude marathon in the world. Take part in this challenging 42km/26mile race, starting from below the ice seracs at Everest Base Camp and finishing in Namche Bazaar with Exodus' Paul Goldstein who will be undertaking this endurance test in a giant tiger suit to raise money for the 'Worth More Alive' campaign in the fight to save the Bengal tiger from extinction. Paul, together with Exodus Travels, is raising money to work with and educate local communities about the plight of the tigers, and their value to tourism in India. We ask anyone booking onto this trip to support this cause.

Please note:

  • The Flight Inclusive and Land Only price for this trip includes a US$999 marathon entrance fee
  • The Activity Level (Challenging / 5) is for the trek only. Please read the 'Is This Trip for You?' text under Essential Information or in the Trip Notes for details about the marathon

At a Glance

  • 3 nights standard hotels, 11 nights teahouses and 2 nights full-service camping
  • 12 days point-to-point walking plus 1 full 42km/26mi marathon, with full porterage 
  • Fully marshalled race, with the additional support of Exodus guides 
  • Runners must have previous (recent) experience of trekking at altitude, have run other marathons, and will need to train under fell, trail, cross-country or mountain conditions
  • Group normally 5 to 16 plus tour leader and local staff. Min. age 18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 5545m, average 3900m
  • Travel by private minibus and 2 internal flights
  • The trek portion involves between 5 and 8 hours walking per day, with some longer days
  • Staff carry oxygen and a first aid kit 

Trip Highlights

  • Compete in the Tenzing-Hillary Marathon on 29th May, the anniversary of the first ascent of Everest
  • Support Paul Goldstein (who will be running in a giant tiger costume) in raising money for the 'Worth More Alive' campaign to save the endangered Bengal tiger
  • Led by mountaineer Valerie Parkinson who has over 30 years' experience of Himalayan trekking 
  • Camp at Everest Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall
  • Chance to trek up Kala Pattar for close-up views of Mount Everest

Is This Trip for You?

'Worth More Alive' fundraising

This trip is a charity fundraiser, the proceeds of which will go towards renovating two impoverished schools (catering for around 1000 students) in Bandhavgarh, India as part of the 'Worth More Alive' (WMA) project which Exodus and Paul Goldstein have supported for many years. Bandhavgarh National Park is home to the endangered Bengal tiger, and the WMA project works with the local communities surrounding the park to educate them about the importance of protecting these beautiful animals, and the benefit that preserving them rather than hunting them can bring to the region from tourism. We kindly ask that anyone taking part in this trip also supports this cause. Please visit the Exodus Travels Foundation: Worth More Alive Fundraising Page to find out more.

Need to know

The activity level (Challenging / 5) refers to the trek only. For details about running the 42km/26mile full Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon (the world’s highest marathon), you should read this section and the itinerary carefully. The marathon starts at Everest Base Camp and ends in Namche Bazaar.  A GPX map of the route is available HERE

There are 12 days point-to-point walking plus the race day itself. There is full porterage for your main luggage throughout but you will need to carry your own day pack. 

The race is accurately measured, fully marshalled and there will be attendants at regular checkpoints, and drink stations. There will be an official timekeeper. In addition to the official race event staff, there will be a minimum of 1 member of Exodus staff for every 4 clients, headed up by Exodus leader and mountaineer Valerie Parkinson. Marathon Doctors will also be on hand at Base Camp and on race day, and there will be arrangements in place for medical and emergency evacuations.

In order to partake in this trip, you must be in good health and exceptional physical condition. The marathon organiser (Himalaya Expeditions) requires all participants to complete a Medical Form signed by your doctor stating that you are healthy, free of injury and comfortable at high altitudes. You will also be required to complete the organiser’s Registration Form: whilst Himalaya Expeditions accept no liability, this does not affect your rights in relation to Exodus Travels, based on our booking conditions and the Package Travel Regulations.

You must have previous (recent) experience of trekking at altitude. You should have run other marathons and will need to train or race under fell, trail, cross-country or mountain conditions beforehand in order to prepare for it.

The terrain at the start may be snow-covered, crosses the undulating rocky moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, and involves numerous steep and uneven stone steps and mountain trails. As well as the terrain, the altitude is what makes this tough. The race starting point is 5,362m and there will be 2,777m of ascent and 4,579m of descent before reaching the finish line at 3,540m. The maximum altitude on this tour is 5,545m (Kala Pattar) and the average is approximately 3,900m. This itinerary includes three acclimatisation days in addition to the two compulsory days for marathon entrants at Base Camp prior to the race. Please read the ‘Altitude Warning’ in the Trip Notes. There is also a free day in Kathmandu at the end of the tour to allow for Lukla flight delays. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude of this trip and for the marathon: if taking out insurance through Exodus, we will provide an endorsement letter confirming the terms of cover for the marathon.

Please also note that if you have a fear of heights or suffer from vertigo then this trip may not be suitable for you as there are several high suspension bridges (all with mesh sides) along the trail, which are unavoidable. 

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Please Note: Even if the departure date is guaranteed and you have booked onto the tour, your marathon registration will initially be 'On Request' until we have successfully reserved your place. We will endeavour to reserve your marathon place as soon as your booking is confirmed but cannot do so until we have received the following information from you:

  1. Completed Medical Form
  2. Completed Registration Form
  3. A scanned copy of your passport
  4. A copy of your travel insurance certificate
  5. Your size for the race T-shirt (and souvenir tracksuit):

                  Chest (inches): 30-32(XS), 34-36(S), 38-40(M), 42-44(L), 46-48(XL), 48-50(2XL)
                  Waist (inches): 28-30(XS), 30-32(S), 32-33(M), 33-34(L), 36-38(XL), 40-42(2XL)

Loyalty discount or Exodus vouchers or any other discount cannot be redeemed on this tour.

To help you better prepare for your Nepal holiday, please also see our Nepal Destination Guide.

Amendment to Exodus’ Booking Conditions:

As places are limited for the marathon event, Exodus will book your marathon place as soon as we receive your booking. There is a non-refundable registration fee for the marathon and as such, Exodus will need to take a higher booking deposit than normal for this tour, which will be non-refundable and non-transferable. If you cancel your tour you will lose your deposit. This is an amendment to Exodus’ booking conditions.

Internal Flight Delays

Please note that adverse weather conditions at Lukla airport occasionally mean that flights to/from Kathmandu cannot operate. We include an additional day at the end of the itinerary to allow for this, but on occasion, persistent bad weather may delay the start of your trek or your return to Kathmandu.

Should there be a lengthy delay at the start of a trip we will aim to provide a shortened Everest trek, but if adverse weather conditions continue and the main objective of the trek become impossible to reach, an alternative trek to another region of Nepal will be offered. When fixed-wing planes are unable to fly, but helicopters to Lukla are available, clients may choose to travel by helicopter; in this event, the price per person will be approximately US$500-600 per person, of which Exodus will cover half.

Should there be a significant delay at the end of your trek, we will endeavour to get you on the first fixed-wing flights to Kathmandu available. Should helicopters be able to fly, we will consider paying for these on a case by case basis to enable clients to meet their international flights. In the case of persistent adverse weather, Exodus will re-book international flights for Flight Inclusive clients, but please be aware that clients booking on a Land Only basis will be responsible for re-booking their onward travel and for any associated costs.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The group will generally be between 4 and 16 people.

We have representatives in Kathmandu who will look after your transfers to and from the airport and will be around to answer other questions you may have about your trek. There is an Exodus desk and noticeboard in the Royal Singi Hotel in Kathmandu. The desk is manned morning and evening.

Paul Goldstein and his support team will join the group in Kyanjuma on 21st May and will accompany you all the way to Base Camp and compete in the race but will then leave the group in Namche on 30 May. 

This venture will be led by Valerie Parkinson, who has been leading treks in the Himalaya for over 30 years. Valerie was the first British woman to summit Mount Manaslu, the world's eights highest mountain. She will share her mountaineering experience, including talking about her own Everest summit expedition and Everest North Col Expedition with you along the way!

Valerie will be supported by a team of English-speaking Nepali Trekking Guides, who are licensed by the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and also receive additional training through Exodus.

On all of our Nepal treks there will be one member of trek staff for every four clients - this ratio will come into effect from Kyanjuma onwards as Paul joins the group with one of the guides. This ratio may change if for any reason a guide has to stay behind with a member of the group. There will also be a team of porters, who will each carry two kitbags - please therefore respectfully limit your kitbag to 10kg per person. Porters are given suitable clothing for treks above 4,500m (windproof jacket and trousers, boots, socks, gloves, hats, sunglasses). All the trekking staff are fully insured by our local partner in Nepal.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

TNT Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Kathmandu
End City:
Kathmandu

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    18 MAY - Start Kathmandu

    The tour starts at the Hotel Royal Singi in Kathmandu. There will be a full briefing this evening where you will be given your marathon kitbag, T-shirt and bib. 

    Royal Singi Hotel

  • Day 2

    19 MAY - Drive to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport; short but spectacular flight to Lukla (2800m); trek to Phakding.

    We will need to depart the hotel at around 2-3am to drive to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport. At this time of day when there is usually light traffic, the drive should take about 4 hours. Please be aware that roads in Nepal are not of the same standard as in the west, there may be potholed areas and the last section is unsurfaced. The flights to Lukla start from approx. 6/6:30am. (Occasionally flights may run directly from Kathmandu to Lukla, in which case we will use these instead if possible.)

    We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river'). We descend from the small plateau, down into the forested valley. The trail offers some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding (2,652m), where we spend our first night. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 2,652m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 8 km / 5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • Day 3

    20 MAY - Follow the Dudh Kosi and ascend to Namche Bazaar, with time to explore the Sherpa villages

    Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day's walk takes us through magnificent forests with glimpses of the mountains ahead. We cross the river several times by bridges as we pass through the villages of Benkar, Monzo and Jorsale. A final bridge brings us to the foot of the steep climb to Namche. Halfway up this ascent, we may get our first glimpse, cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. A last 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital and the main town in the area. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre. It has a weekly market on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, but the town bustles all day every day with trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores selling all kinds of trekking and climbing gear as well as Tibetan souvenirs. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 3,440m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    790
    Activity (hours):
    6.5
  • Day 4

    21 MAY - Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjung; descend to Kyanjuma

    We climb steeply out of Namche past the airstrip at Shyangboche to the Everest View Hotel, the highpoint of our day at 3,880m. Built by the Japanese, this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Descending through forest we come to Khumjung, where we have lunch close to the Sir Edmund Hillary School. After lunch, we walk up to Kunde and visit the Edmund Hillary Hospital. The twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung are set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. For much of the walk, we have great views of Ama Dablam and other Himalayan giants. We walk back down through Khumjumg to the monastery. Sadly, it was damaged in the earthquake but is now being repaired. Inside is a small box and after paying the entry fee (which goes towards the repairs) - we will be shown the only Yeti scalp in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma.

    Paul Goldstein and his support team will join us at the lodge in Kyanjuma this evening. Look out for the tiger suit coming around the mountain! Paul will accompany you from this point onwards, until the day after the marathon (30th May), when he will get a head start back to Lukla and Kathmandu. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 3,600m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    160
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 5

    22 MAY - Trek through the Sherpa heartland to the monastery at Thyangboche for superb mountain views

    This morning we descend to the river; we cross it at the little settlement of Phunki Thangkha at 3,250m, then climb steeply through the forest to Thyangboche at 3,867m. We will be here by lunchtime, and in the afternoon we will visit the famous monastery. The sunset and sunrise on the fantastic panorama of mountains surrounding us are not to be missed - Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam provide a wonderful backdrop to our teahouse. Look out for Himalayan Tahr in the forest surrounding the monastery. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 3,870m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    270
    Activity (hours):
    4-5
  • Day 6

    23 MAY - Continue up the Khumbu Valley and then the Imja Valley to Dingboche

    We descend through the forest to Devoche and a little further on we cross the rushing Imja Khola, whose valley we now follow. Climbing steadily, the trail enters Pangboche, at 3,900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley. Ascending the valley, we have lunch at Shomore, after which we leave the trees behind and cross a wooden bridge at the confluence of the Khumbu and Imja Kholas. A short steep climb brings us to Dingboche, at 4,350m, a summer settlement where great peaks surround us. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 4,350m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    480
    Activity (hours):
    6.5
  • Day 7

    24 MAY - Spend the day at Dingboche for acclimatisation

    We spend the day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those adapting well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m for great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam.

    Tea-house

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 8 km / 5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5 (acclimatisation walk around Dingboche)
  • Day 8

    25 MAY - Continue the ascent to Lobuje

    The trail climbs steeply out of Dingboche past a chorten and ascends the valley gradually to Dugla at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here we have a short, steep climb up to Chukpo Lari, a beautiful, yet poignant place where there is a line of memorials in tribute to the climbers who have died on Everest and from where we have a beautiful panorama of the peaks lying on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuje, a tiny hamlet with a few teahouses. The sunset on Nuptse is not to be missed. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 4,930m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 8 km / 4 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    580
    Activity (hours):
    5-5.5
  • Day 9

    26 MAY - Follow the Khumbu Glacier to Gorak Shep; optional ascent of Kala Pattar

    We leave early and follow the Khumbu Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep (5,184m). The trail undulates up and down the moraine with some short steep sections. The trail is rocky in places as we are now on the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. It will take us 3-4 hours to reach Gorak Shep where we will have a rest and something to eat. In the afternoon we climb steeply above Gorak Shep to the small peak of Kala Pattar, 'Black Rock', at 5,545m from where we can look down over the base camps of the various Everest expeditions. This climb affords a magnificent view of the Khumbu Glacier and above all a close-up view of the world's highest mountain. We return to Gorak Shep for the night.

    We will need to reorganise our kitbags tonight. Tomorrow morning, we will leave our main luggage at Gorak Shep and take with us to Base Camp only a small bag with enough gear for the next 2 nights and for race day. Exodus porters will take your smaller bag to Base Camp before doubling back to collect your main kitbag from Gorak Shep on their way back to Namche.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 5,184m)

    (Trek Profile: 3.5-4 hrs walking Lobuje to Gorak Shep and 4 hrs up and down Kala Pattar) 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Total ascent (m):
    250
    Activity (hours):
    8
  • Day 10

    27 MAY - Continue along the lateral moraine to Everest Base Camp. Camp overnight

    A short but tough walk to Everest Base Camp. We start by walking across the sandy flat at Gorak Shep and climb onto the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours before finally descending onto the rocky glacial moraine itself. The trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to the area known as Everest Base Camp, which in spring is full of expedition teams as they prepare to climb the mountain. We walk past the base camp rock (5300m), which is covered in prayer flags and where the normal trekking groups go to, and continue through the rocky moraine into the actual base camp. We will get to our camp by lunchtime, report to the marathon organisers, and the afternoon is free to gaze in awe at our surroundings. We will be right below the Khumbu Ice Fall and we can appreciate just how difficult it is to negotiate a route through the huge blocks of ice. Nuptse towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us.

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 5,364m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3 miles
    Total descent (m):
    215
    Activity (hours):
    4-5
  • Day 11

    28 MAY - Everest Marathon briefing and mock race. Camp overnight

    There will be a full marathon briefing and a mock race today. Participants may be required to report to the race doctors who are stationed here prior to tomorrow's race. 

    As excitement and anticipation builds, we spend the rest of the day gently exploring the area around Base Camp to acclimatise and prepare for tomorrow's race. We may be able to meet climbing Sherpas preparing for or returning from their summit climb and may well be able to watch climbers as they ascend/descend the Khumbu Ice Fall. If it is there (and they are quiet), we can visit the Everest ER medical tent. 

    Full-service camping (sleeping altitude 5,364m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    29 MAY - MARATHON DAY: Everest Base Camp to Namche Bazaar

    We'll be up early to eat some breakfast before the race - it's recommended to finish eating approx. 2 hours before. The race starts at 07:00 in the morning (around sunrise). Exodus' Paul Goldstein and his striped tiger suit will be ready and raring to undertake this endurance test in support of the 'Worth More Alive' campaign, raising money to protect the endangered Bengal tiger... wish him and his feline friend luck! The first approx. 5km present the most challenging terrain of the marathon as the trail crosses back over the rocky, boulder-strewn Khumbu Glacier back to Gorak Shep. Joining the main Everest trail, the footing becomes easier. The route descends through Lobuche (9.6km/6mi, 4,940m) and on to Dingboche (17.3km/10.7, 4,359m), where runners will make a loop at Biber before continuing along the Imja Valley. Orsho (21km/13mi) marks the half way point and you should really start to notice the higher oxygen levels here. Continue through Pangboche (27.5km/17.1, 4,012m), Deboche, Tengboche (32.6km/20.3, 3,868m) to Phunki Tenga (34km/21.1) - here you cross a bridge over the river and tackle the longest climb of the race, ascending 523m up to Khunde. The marathon culminates with one last descent past the Hillary School into Namche Bazaar (3,550m). Any supporting non-runners will be waiting in Namche to cheer you on over the finish line!

    It's not surprising that a Nepali runner, Mr. Deepak Rai, holds the record, with a staggeringly rapid time of 3 hours 28minutes and 27 seconds (2006).

    Noodle soup or porridge will be available at Dingboche. Your main kitbag that you left at Gorak Shep will be waiting for you in Namche. Your smaller bag that you left at Base Camp will arrive either later today or early tomorrow morning.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,550m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 42.195 km / 26.219 miles
  • Day 13

    30 MAY - Descend to Monzo

    Spend a leisurely morning resting or exploring Namche before making the short descent to Monzo. Paul will part ways with us again today, setting off for Lukla and the journey back to Kathmandu. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 2,850m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 6 km / 3.7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3-4
  • Day 14

    31 MAY - Continue to Lukla

    We retrace our steps to Chaunrikhara where we start the last climb to the airstrip at Lukla. 

    Tea-house (sleeping altitude 2,800m)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Total descent (m):
    50
    Activity (hours):
    4.5-5
  • Day 15

    1 JUNE - Fly to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport and transfer to Kathmandu

    We fly back to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport and transfer to our hotel in Kathmandu. Please note that at this time of day there can be heavy traffic, especially coming into Kathmandu itself, and the drive is likely to take 5 hours or more. (Occasionally flights may run directly from Lukla to Kathmandu, in which case we will use these instead if possible.)

    Royal Singi Hotel 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 16

    2 JUNE - Free day in Kathmandu to explore the city

    Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section within the Trip Notes or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.

    Royal Singi Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 17

    3 JUNE - End Kathmandu

    For land only travellers the tour ends after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
Altitude charts
Everest Marathon Elevation Chart

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Please note: it is possible that the order of the itinerary listed above will be changed to ensure the best possible conditions for each activity during the trip. All listed activities and services will be included. Your leader will inform you of any changes locally after assessing conditions.

Accommodation

Hotels, Lodges & Camping

This tour spends three nights in a comfortable hotel in Kathmandu, eleven nights in lodges (teahouses) and two nights full-service camping at Everest Base Camp.

 In Kathmandu we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel lobby and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings. 

The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. 

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, usually decorated with colourful traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). Most teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. Almost all lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. Electrical charging facilities are generally available only in the dining room (charged at approx. Rs150-350 per hour per device). Most lodges in the Everest region offer Wi-Fi. - below Kyanjuma you have to pay for it in each lodge (approx. NPR500 per stay). Above Kyanjuma you can buy an Everest link data card for about NPR2000 that should work in all the lodges above Kyanjuma. Sometimes the Wi-Fi may not work because of the poor network coverage or power cuts.

We book twin-share bedrooms throughout this trek. Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to.

Some lodges now have hot 'showers' (charged at approx. Rs250-500 per shower). Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a shower head.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. As a general rule, the higher altitude you go to, the more basic the lodges and the more expensive food and services become. The lodges at Gorak Shep are very basic. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and meal times.

For the two nights camping, mattresses are provided and you will sleep in tents pitched on the glacial moraine. There will be a dining tent with chairs, toilet tents and full camp staff. All food and hot drinks, snacks and water are provided whilst camping.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the tour, Exodus can book this for you (subject to availability), please enquire with your Sales Consultant.

Single Accommodation

If you prefer your own room, we offer a single supplement for the hotel nights in Kathmandu only (subject to availability). While in the tea-houses and camping, single rooms/tents cannot be guaranteed but if a single room is available in the lodge that night, you can pay locally on a day by day basis.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £100.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip and lunch and dinner is included at Base Camp and on marathon day.

In the teahouses breakfast will comprise of a choice of bread (a slice of toast, chapatti or Tibetan bread), a choice of egg (boiled, fried or omelette), and a choice between either muesli or porridge each day. Hot tea/coffee will also be served. On specific days, there will not be a choice for breakfast and either a trekkers breakfast (egg, hash brown, baked beans and toast) or a pancake with jam/honey will be served - these options are not available in all teahouses and so we have only included them in locations where they can be guaranteed. Whilst camping, all meals are included and will be a mixture of Nepali and Western dishes. On marathon day noodle soup or porridge will be available at Dingboche. Please bring your own energy or protein gels/bars/electrolyte sachets for race day.

Lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route - sometimes one of your guides will go ahead with the group's order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse that you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it).

Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.

If you have a gluten free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are from powder/packets and contain gluten. Gluten free breakfast options will be limited to vegetable fried rice and a choice of egg, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the toast / with an extra egg) will be served. Breakfast options for vegans will be limited to a choice of muesli/porridge with water each day, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the egg), or vegetable fried rice will be served. If you are lactose intolerant as opposed to vegan then the same will apply although you will also have a choice of egg each day. 

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the Trip Notes suggest.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

The teahouses sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle. 

Alternatively, all teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle (or two) and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - we recommend talking to an outdoor retailer for the latest advice as technologies are improving all the time: make sure to check the product’s performance in cold/freezing conditions and consider battery life (lithium batteries are best in cold conditions).

Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are widely available to purchase from online retailers such as Amazon and Ebay – they’re very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices.

There are also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market but be wary of their weight, bottles with a small capacity and the products performance in freezing conditions. Exodus has partnered with Water-to-Go, a filtration system that eliminates over 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source – please visit Water-to-Go for more information. Exodus customers can claim 15% off your first order, and better still, 15% of the purchase value will be donated to the Exodus Travels Foundation. Please note that if the water freezes it will clog up the filter – in this event, defrost before use by sitting the filter in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.

Transportation

For airport transfers and the drive to and from Manthali airport we use a private minibus. Flights to and from Lukla will usually be in a Twin Otter or Dornier plane. In 2019, flights to/from Lukla were rerouted to depart from/arrive into Manthali airport instead of going directly from/to Kathmandu airport in an attempt to reduce the congestion at Kathmandu airport. The majority of Lukla flights continue to go from/to Manthali, however, the airlines occasionally change their routing back to Kathmandu at short notice - if this is the case, your leader will inform you locally. 

This point to point trekking holiday requires customers to walk between each overnight stay under their own steam. Other forms of transport may be available along the route (horses, jeeps etc) but Exodus is not able to take responsibility for the safety or the cost of any transport that customers choose to take even if provided with the assistance of our leader or staff.

Flying in Nepal

Many of our treks in Nepal use domestic flights to reach the trekking areas. The mountainous terrain is often subject to changeable weather which makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations. The EU has recently chosen to highlight the relatively poor safety record in Nepal, and as of December 2013, all Nepalese registered airlines have been included on the EU ‘Banned list’ preventing them from flying in EU airspace. While no Nepalese-registered airlines currently fly within the EU, the EU have instigated this ban to encourage the CAA of Nepal to tighten its systems governing Nepalese aviation. Flying within Nepal is, therefore, a known risk and the current travel advice issued by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides an overview which we encourage you to read.

In response to general concerns over this safety record, Exodus asked independent air safety experts to visit Nepal on our behalf to assess the suitability of the available carriers. Following these comprehensive audits, Exodus decided to restrict our use of airlines to only those approved as part of the most recent audit. It remains our firm policy to only use these approved carriers for our customers and further audits will take place regularly. For emergency situations, we also have an approved list of helicopter companies for our use.

Exodus is supportive of the EU’s move to put pressure on the CAA of Nepal in this way. We are hopeful that, alongside our own risk control measures, this will make a difference to all who fly in Nepal. Please consider the information above when deciding to book this holiday.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go. 

Pre-monsoon/spring: May. May is generally the warmest month during the trekking season, typically with strong sunshine during the day - at high altitudes where the air is thin, the UV rays are strong and SPF50 sun cream is recommended. Temperatures will vary with altitude and have been less predictable in recent years. Rain cannot be ruled out but is usually in the form of light showers in the afternoons if it occurs. At higher altitudes precipitation will be snow, not rain, and sudden snow showers are possible in spring. Mornings are generally clear, and a haze often builds up in the afternoons in spring. In general, day time temperatures on trek may reach highs of 20-22ºC, although in the shade it may drop to 10-15ºC not allowing for any wind chill. Mornings and evenings will be cooler, say 5-10ºC. At the higher reaches of the trek temperatures at night and early morning may fall below freezing (usually no lower than to -5-8ºC in May but extremes are always possible). It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. 

Whilst extreme weather conditions are not common in May, mountain regions are particularly changeable and unpredictable, and it is possible to have sudden hot or cold fronts and you should be prepared for extremes beyond the conditions described above.

Weather Charts

Kathmandu

Kathmandu

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 18 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Turkish Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 17 days starting and ending in Kathmandu

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Kathmandu in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Please pay attention to the Internal Flight Delays section of the Trip Notes.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £6/US$10 should you decide to make your way independently.

Location start:
Kathmandu
Location end:
Kathmandu

What to Take

Essential Equipment

There is a weight restriction on the flight to and from Lukla of 10kg checked baggage plus 5kg hand luggage. It is not a problem if you check in 1-2kg more than this as long as you are happy to pay an excess luggage charge (approx. £1 per kg).

Any baggage not needed on the trek can be left in storage at the Hotel Royal Singi in Kathmandu free of charge. Many people find it easiest to pack the Exodus kitbag inside a wheelie case which can be left in Kathmandu with anything not needed for the trek, whilst the kitbag will be carried by your porter on the trek.

Each porter carries two kitbags therefore please respectfully limit your kitbag to 10kg maximum per person. At Gorak Shep you will need to split your gear into two bags: leaving your main kitbag at Gorak Shep on 27 May and taking a smaller bag with you to Base Camp (max. 7kg) with only what is needed for the next 2 nights at Base Camp and on race day. Exodus porters will drop your small bag at Base Camp and then return to Gorak Shep to collect your main kitbag, which they will carry to Lukla so it will be there waiting for you when you finish the race. On the morning of race day, you will leave your small bag at Base Camp and the event porters will endeavour to carry it to Namche on the same day, but otherwise, they will get it back to you by the morning of 30th May. 

Please note: If applying for a visa on arrival, you should bring one passport photo with you in case the electronic machines at Kathmandu airport are out of order. 

Many Nepalis are still traditional in the way they dress. We, therefore, recommend that you dress conservatively - no sleeveless tops or revealing clothes. Although shorts are acceptable, they should be modest and reach to just above the knee and for women a skirt or trousers are preferable.

An Everest Marathon kitbag will be provided locally. You will be given a marathon T-shirt which you must wear during the race.

Small duffel bag (with room for only what you will take for the 2 days at Base Camp and for race day, max. 7kg)
Daypack (approx. 30 litres)
Dry bags to line daypack and kitbag
Waterproof synthetic or leather walking boots (worn in)
Several pairs of walking socks
3/4-season sleeping bag
3/4-season down/synthetic insulated jacket
Waterproof jacket
Thermal top
Warm fleece/jumper (mid-layer)
Shirts/t-shirts/base layers
Light/mid-weight trousers
Waterproof trousers/over trousers
Thermal long johns
Long shorts
Warm hat and gloves
Scarf/Buff (which can be pulled over your nose and mouth to protect against fine mountain dust)
Sunhat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen and lip salve with sun protection
1-2 x 1-litre water bottles (ideally with a wide opening, e.g. Nalgene or similar)
Water treatment: SteriPEN / water purification tablets
Travel towel
Underwear
Washbag and personal toiletries - biodegradable soap/shampoo/wet wipes recommended
Anti-bacterial handwashing gel
Toilet paper (and biodegradable bags for any nature stops between teahouses)
Small personal first aid kit (commonly required are: antibiotics, antiseptic, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment, rehydration sachets, painkillers, plasters, blister treatment)
Head torch
Plug adaptor

For those competing, in addition to the above:

Suitable running shoes
Running vest & shorts/leggings
Rehydration system with hose - highly recommended for race day although can freeze

Optional equipment:

Trainers for the evenings
Spare laces
Camera
Solar charger/spare batteries/power bank
Trekking pole(s) - highly recommended
Sleeping bag liner
Repair kit – (e.g. needle, thread, duct tape)
Gaiters

There can be unseasonal snowfall on any trek. You may want to bring a pair of Yaktrax (mini-crampons) or similar if you have a pair. If your leader thinks there may be snowfall, they will recommend carrying a pair for safety. It is possible to buy them in Kathmandu or Namche for £10-15.

Equipment hire

There are many equipment shops in Kathmandu where you can buy much of the above clothing. The quality does vary and cannot be guaranteed so you should choose carefully.

The following equipment can be hired through Exodus - the equipment is good quality and will keep you warm, but it is bulky, and you should take this into account when packing due to the weight limits for both porterage and domestic flights. Hire equipment should be requested and paid for in advance of travel but will be provided locally in Kathmandu. 

Down jacket (approx. 1.8kgs): from £59.50
4 season sleeping bag (approx. 2.3 kgs): from £59.50
Package including a down jacket and a 4-season sleeping bag: from £68

Donations for porters, schools & the elderly

If while packing, you find a spare bit of space in your bag then you may be interested in donating to one of Exodus' projects. Exodus supports a Porter Clothing Bank in Kathmandu, as well as children in local schools in Kathmandu and various villages, and an old people's home in Kyanjin Gompa in the upper part of the Langtang Valley. If you have any old walking gear this can be donated to porters, and similarly any warm clothing or blankets would be appreciated by the old people's home - please leave these items with your leader or the Exodus desk at the Royal Singi Hotel. Books, stationery, games, warm clothes/underwear etc. suitable for children aged 5-18 years should be taken to the Ambassador Garden Home in Thamel and given to Prakash Lammichanne. Contact No: +977 1 4700724.

Exodus Kitbag

If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. Once you have booked you will be sent instructions on how to claim your free bag (they will not be sent out automatically). There are also details on how to claim for another item from the Exodus shop should you already have one of these. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Tenzing-Hillary Marathon finish line, Namche Bazaar, Nepal

Practical Information

Passport

Nepal

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry (at present, the Immigration Department of Nepal have suspended  'visas on arrival' for certain nationalities - please check if this applies to you). All Nepal tourist visas are multiple entry. We recommend that you apply in advance as queues on arrival can be very long – applications can be made directly through the Nepal Embassy (by post or in person) or through our recommended visa agency, Travcour. The current cost for a visa in advance is GB£20 for a 15-day visa and GB£35 for a 30-day visa for UK passport holders (plus processing and postage fees if applying through Travcour).

The current cost for a visa on arrival is US$30 for 15 days, US$50 for 30 days, or US$125 for 90 days for UK passport holders. The fee can be paid for in any major currency at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. On arrival in the immigration hall there are 3 queues (if you have obtained a visa in advance go straight to (3) - immigration):

(Step 1) Fill in a 'Tourist Visa' form: either online before travel (recommended) via the Department of Immigration website - print the submission receipt with barcode (valid for 15 days) and bring it with you, or use the electronic kiosk machines on arrival at the airport. If using the kiosks, after inserting your passport the machine will automatically fill out an application form, take an electronic photograph of you and print a paper slip. If the machine won’t read your passport you can complete the details manually using the touch screen. We recommend taking 1 passport photo with you just in case. (Step 2) Proceed to the visa fees collection counter and pay the visa fee (we advise to take some cash) – make sure to keep the receipt. (Step 3) Lastly, go to the relevant immigration desk and present your tourist visa form, payment receipt and passport to obtain your 15, 30 or 90-day visa stamp. Please check you have been given the correct visa duration.

Non-UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. As of August 2019, there has been a recent outbreak of Dengue fever in southeast Nepal and we therefore recommend you take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites (such as wearing full length trousers, long sleeves and applying insect repellent during the day as well as at dawn and dusk).

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

If you are not taking out Exodus Travel Insurance, make sure that your policy covers you up to the maximum altitude on this trip (if trekking in the Himalaya your policy should also cover the use of a helicopter for emergency medical evacuation).

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Nepal's Timezone:
Asia/Kathmandu +0545 (GMT +05:45)

Electricity

Nepal's Electricity:

230V, 50Hz. Three different plug socket types are used in Nepal (types C, D and M) so it is advisable to bring a universal plug adaptor with you. On teahouse treks, almost all lodges now have electricity and charging facilities (usually for a fee) but power cuts are not uncommon. Battery life can be affected by cold - lithium batteries are best. 

Money

Nepal's Currency

The national currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 141 to the UK£ and 113 to the US$.

It is a closed currency, meaning it is illegal to import or export Nepalese Rupees so you won’t be able to get local currency outside of Nepal but foreign currency is not limited, provided it is declared on arrival.

Keep your change receipts, as you will need them if you want to change any leftover Rupees back into hard currency at Kathmandu airport before you depart. They may not always have all international currencies in stock but will generally have either GBP or EUR or USD.

ATM Availability

There are ATM machines in Kathmandu and other major towns. On the trek, there is an ATM in Namche Bazaar but it often doesn’t work so please do not rely on it. You will need to carry cash for the trek.

Please do not rely wholly on ATM machines as many are broken or run out of money. Often there are “ATM lounges” (a small room with numerous different ATMs). Some banks have a withdrawal limit equivalent to only GBP100 per time but as there is usually a transaction fee, if you need to withdraw more money than this you should look for another ATM with a higher limit (others have a maximum withdrawal limit equivalent to about GBP300 per time). 

Credit cards are accepted in many of the larger shops and restaurants in Kathmandu and in most lodges in Namche Bazaar but will be of no use elsewhere on the trek.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You can either bring your spending money to Nepal in cash to exchange or use a combination of cash and card withdrawals from ATMs. Most major currencies (including Pounds Sterling, Dollars and Euros) can be exchanged in Nepal but notes must be in good condition – torn, tatty or marked notes will not be accepted. However, Scottish or Irish Currency cannot be changed in Nepal and nor can travellers' cheques.

There are money change facilities at Kathmandu airport both before and after immigration – whilst exchange rates are generally good here, it’s worthwhile checking the fees. You sometimes get a better rate for changing larger denomination notes. Most large hotels also offer a currency exchange service (including the Royal Singi Hotel) and there are also countless money changers in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. Remember to keep your exchange receipts in case you want to change any Rupees back into hard currency when you leave Nepal. 

You will need to take out enough money in Kathmandu to last for the duration of your trek – to cover meals, drinks, tipping and other incidentals. It is a good idea to carry some spare cash on the trek in case of an emergency. Carrying a large amount of cash is unavoidable so we suggest splitting it up into a few different places - but remember to keep track of how much you have stashed where.

It is possible to buy things like beer, soft drinks, chocolate, toilet paper etc. from the teahouses en route. Spending habits are subjective, so it is impossible to give an exact amount of spending money required, however as a rough guideline, we recommend between GB£300-500 (approx. US$390-650)per person in total (inclusive of tips, expenditure on the trek, and meals in Kathmandu). Imported drinks and snacks are relatively expensive. Your expenditure will be towards the top end if you buy boiled water rather than treating cold water, and depending on how many hot showers you take, if you pay to charge electrical devices, drink alcohol, use Wi-Fi on the trek, and so on. 

Optional Excursions

A number of optional tours and activities are available from Kathmandu. These can be arranged locally through your leader or at the Exodus desk at the Royal Singi Hotel. 

Prices for a half day sightseeing tour start from GBP25 (approx. USD40) per person, based on a group of 6 and above. For all trips, return transport and a qualified sightseeing guide are included. The price does not include lunch or entry fees. 

An optional Everest sightseeing flight is available subject to weather conditions. Anyone taking an internal sightseeing flight in Nepal should pay particular attention to the statement 'Flying in Nepal'.

Tipping

Tipping is very much part of the culture in Nepal and although entirely at your discretion, it is usually expected. Often people would like to tip in recognition of good service but are unsure how much would be appropriate in a foreign country - for this reason, we have listed guideline amounts below (these are intended as a guideline only and you may see fit to give more or less depending on the service that you have received).

For the tipping of your trek staff and your tour leader, we suggest passing an envelope for each staff member around the group so that everyone can put in what they feel comfortable with anonymously. 

The following are guideline amounts received by each staff member from the group as a whole... 

  • Tour Leader: Rs30,000 - 35,000 (usually tipped on the last night in Kathmandu)

Your trekking crew (tips are usually given on the last evening of the trek in Lukla):

  • Head Trekking Guide and Assistant Guides: Rs20,000 - 25,000 for each guide
  • Trek Porters/yak men: Rs10,000 for each porter or yak man
  • Staff at Base Camp (cooks and camp staff): Rs4,000 for each staff member 

General tipping guidelines: 

  • Drivers: Kathmandu to Manthali (Ramechhap) (half day) return – Rs500 in total from the group each way
  • Hotel Porters: Rs100 each time for each room
  • Teahouses and lunch stops on the trek: it's customary to round your bill up to the nearest Rs50 or Rs100
  • Restaurants: 10% of the bill if good service
Tenzing-Hillary Marathon, Nepal

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business, passed from father to son, for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels, such as the Hotel Royal Singi wherever possible.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves (a safer means of cooking, which helps prevent eye and lung problems), to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (in the Annapurna) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds which was used to provide immediate and longer-term relief, with thanks to our loyal customers and friends. One of Exodus' proudest achievements, in partnership with volunteers from Nepal Medical College, was running a medical camp in Thulopatel in 2016 where over 1,500 patients from rural communities were treated for a variety of ailments. Exodus also worked with Health Partnership Nepal and sponsored their medical camp in Charikot in 2017. To date, Exodus has also sponsored more than 1200 Freedom Kits (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal.

To learn more about what Sustainable Travel means to Exodus and the projects we support through the Exodus Travels Foundation click here... your contributions really do make a huge difference to the communities we aim to help – if you’d like to donate to our Himalayan Community Projects you can do so here.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.