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Everest Base Camp - last October

  • 07-02-2014 12:57am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭ Denalihighway


    Hey

    about time I did this...

    Wanted to give a big, big shout out to Ian at www.offthewalltrekking.com.

    A gentleman and a scholar who made my trek to EBC far easier than it might have been. He really went above and beyond. He is very reasonable - a snip I imagine, compared to a lot of the western operators that come straight up in your google search.

    I went on my own with a porter/guide. I had also booked climbing Island Peak, but unfortunately there was a cyclone in India (you might remember this), which brought an unseasonal blizzard to the Himalaya the day we reached EBC, and with it about 5 feet of snow. We had to high-tail it down to lower ground quickly (there were some trekker and porter deaths in the area). That day was scary enough - descending in feet of snow and white-out conditions. Very exciting though. Island Peak was inaccessible unsurprisingly, so EBC was as far as I got.

    Unforgettable trip of highs and a few lows, amazing people, AMAZING sights. Hard to believe I was there now, writing this now a few months later.

    Hope to get back with herself, at some point, and a few mates hopefully, to get that elusive Island Peak...

    If you want, I kept a blog with a day-by-day warts 'n all diary plus photos etc. I'll give you the URL if you PM me.

    Happy to answer any questions etc if anyone is heading over. Going it alone is not for the faint-hearted but you meet some fantastic folks. Incredible place. Kathmandu is a blast too.

    cheers :)


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,258 ✭✭✭✭ Thargor


    How much did it all cost if you dont mind me asking? Ill take a look at your blog if you PM me the address aswell please, would love to do something like this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,658 Halloween Jack


    Would love a look at the blog mate :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭ Denalihighway


    Cost-wise...unfortunately I've looked for the exact figures but I don't have them - here's roughly what I would have spent

    c€600 flight to delhi
    c€150 flight delhi - kathmandu
    few nights in kathmandu - c $50 in total on hotel
    c$15 per day for porter/guide (you could spend more for experienced guide or more 'silver' service etc...) - tip on top of that
    c$25/30 per day accomodation and food (the places I stayed were basic, but clean and good food etc - many people who paid more for their trip ended up in same joints)
    c$100 on permits etc

    more money if you want to stay in kathmandu for a few days after u get back. its a fantastic place, and i didnt explore outside it nearly enough either.

    ....what you would pay the provider (someone like Ian above) will depend - maybe €100 - €200. Then there's obviously vaccinations, gear rental if you need it etc (i probably spent about $50/60 in total renting my climbing gear - which i never used unfortunately)

    If you go through one of the big western providers, you're guaranteed to pay a lot more. I guess for people who have money to burn, it gives some sense of comfort to have absolutely everything ticked, but in reality its an illusion, as the service / experience won't be tremendously superior.

    any other questions just shout


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,398 ✭✭✭ loobylou


    Hi Denali, What exactluy does the provider do for that money? :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 428 ✭✭ wolfeye


    I recently did the Everest base camp trek via Goyko lake and over Cho la pass.
    I walked into Lukla from Sivalaya.
    Plenty of Tea houses along the route to stay in and get meals.
    I did it by myself without porter or guide.
    Its tougher carrying your own pack ,mine was approx 15kg.
    I got the TIMs card and Everest national park entrance ticket in kathmandu first.
    You can buy a map of the treking route in kathmandu and in some small villages along the trail,better getting it in kathmandu.
    Overall a good experience.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭ Denalihighway


    loobylou wrote: »
    Hi Denali, What exactluy does the provider do for that money? :confused:

    hey, off the top of my head:

    - provided excellent and comprehensive pre trip info and checklist
    - met him a couple of times before going to lukla to go over gear and plans, maps etc, great info about the 'intricacies' :) of dealing with nepalese etc and stuff in general
    - transfers to and from airport (kathmandu)
    - booked great ridiculously cheap hotel in kathmandu for 3 nights b4 lukla flight
    - sorted me with local SIM card - this can be harder than u think
    - gave me knock-down rates at a preferred equipment rental joint and great local info
    - constant contact and heads up re kathmandu - luka flight (flight delays and cacellations are common - up to date flight info is invaluable)
    - booked flights and gave early morning transfers for kathmandu to lukla (where you generally start hiking)
    - organised very cheap porter/guide, who i met at lukla (this is a good idea as if you hire in KTM then you must may their flights etc)
    - was in constant comms regarding any aspect of the trip
    - worked miracles for me changing my flight from lukla back to kathmandu (i was 4 days early as my climbing was cancelled) - i ended up getting on a plane before the people i trekked with, who were booked.
    - transfer back to hotel
    - transfer to airport
    - various other little favours along the way. i'm almost certainly forgetting something...

    I paid much less than €200 for this. I wouldn't like to say exactly how much, as I don't want to promise he can do it for that price. To be honest, it was priceless. He is an older English guy, experienced hiker and climber, married to a Nepalese lady and in Nepal for 10 years. An absolute champion. Had a very enjoyable dinner and pints with him before I left.

    My impression is that it would considerably add stress to the trip.

    But everyone is welcome to try and do it themselves! ;)

    Some of the money some of the western providers charge is insane. But there are a lot of people out there with a lot of money who don't care.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭ Denalihighway


    wolfeye wrote: »
    I recently did the Everest base camp trek via Goyko lake and over Cho la pass.
    I walked into Lukla from Sivalaya.
    Plenty of Tea houses along the route to stay in and get meals.
    I did it by myself without porter or guide.
    Its tougher carrying your own pack ,mine was approx 15kg.
    I got the TIMs card and Everest national park entrance ticket in kathmandu first.
    You can buy a map of the treking route in kathmandu and in some small villages along the trail,better getting it in kathmandu.
    Overall a good experience.

    nice one

    if i was doing it again I would probably do it without porter as its easily possible - I had a large enough pack (12 kg I reckon, loads of computer/tech gear in it) as it was and of course its tough but you quickly get used to it. for me also, i felt better taking some load of my porter - some of the loads these guys carry have to be seen to be believed.

    but also had extra climbing gear for my ill-fated trip to Island Peak, so going without a porter wasn't an option.

    one of the reasons i would at least have a guide, especially if the price was split between a group, is to navigate the difficulties of finding a decent teahouse in what can be crowded villages, especially in high-season. You don't need that messing.

    navigating the trail itself is very simple - unless the crowds are sparse and weather closes in up the top, where the terrain can become quite samey.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭ Denalihighway


    thought I should post some pics...the good stuff! Pretty cool memories looking back on them.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e6l81mbucdhfv41/Ens1QV97M9

    Not sure if I've done that right...let me know if I haven't


  • Registered Users Posts: 428 ✭✭ wolfeye


    I meet an austrian guy on the trail who could not pass over Cho La pass due to the snow so he had to turn back.
    I guess was the end of october when he tried it.
    It was passable when i got there.

    Less people on the trail last year,so i had no problems getting a bed for the night.

    Plenty of flights in and out of Lukla.
    I was out of Lukla within an hour an half arriving at airport,had nothing prebooked.
    I head plenty of stories of people waiting days for flights due to weather condiitions ,but i had no problems.

    I got a local sim card (pay as you go)in kathmandu ,they even had to take my finger prints before they would give me one!
    I picked the wrong company i guess because most of the time i had no signal on the trail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,258 ✭✭✭✭ Thargor


    Great stuff Denal thanks a million, sorry I didnt reply to your PM, fell asleep and on a phone now.

    Definitely a part of the world I need to see sometime.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭ Hugh_C


    Thargor wrote: »
    Great stuff Denal thanks a million, sorry I didnt reply to your PM, fell asleep and on a phone now.

    Definitely a part of the world I need to see sometime.


    Do it! It's amazing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭ Denalihighway


    Hugh_C wrote: »
    Do it! It's amazing.

    Aggghhhh...so jealous! i remember looking at the peak from Dingboche, it was daunting at the time but very exciting...pretty sure I'll get back and get up at some stage.

    Fair play, looks awesome.


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