|Nepal 2016 EBC
|Nepal - trek to Everest Base Camp
This needs to be updated...
Topics from the last meeting were:
- gear review with show-and-tell (bring your gear to tell us about it and gear list) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
- trekking package
- complete trekking tour application and send to ET (if you haven't already)
- complete traveler info form and send to ET (if you haven't already)
- investigate and purchase travel insurance and send proof of insurance to ET (if you haven't already)
- discuss which travelers insurance to go with (might be good to stick with just a couple of companies) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
- find recipe and prepare (or purchase) Nepalese food to bring to parties (this party too) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
- share info that you have learned regarding trip
- get to know group under pleasant circumstances to be better prepared when under duress
- review visa application VOLUNTEER NEEDED
- review Nepal entry procedures and requirements VOLUNTEER NEEDED
- hiking and altitude training done and/or planned
- other topics
Trekking package is $29. This is comparable to prices Mike Dege has found elsewhere. From Ant at ET:
Please note that we don’t break down the trekking pack, only hire a full pack which includes poles, sleeping bag and down jacket. Regarding the sleeping bag, your questions are answered below (if you have some about the down jacket please also forward these over and I’ll be happy to help.
- Q: Is it down? What is the fill power, 600, 700, 800? A: 800.
- Q: Is there a minimum comfort rating for these bags (10C, 0C, -10C, -20C)? A: The bags used on this trek are -30.
- Q: What is the weight of the bag? A: The bags weigh 2kg.
- Q: Your website says 3 or 4 season bag depending on season. Can I request 4 season only? A: No problem we can use 4-season if preferred.
- Q: Is this a brand name bag (Marmot, North Face, etc.) or a Chinese brand of similar quality? A: The bags are of a Chinese brand but of a similar quality. I don’t recall ever receiving complaints about the quality of the trekking pack equipment which we hire to our clients and many do choose to take this option rather than buying their own.
- Q: Does it come with a compression bag? A: It does indeed.
- To send an email to our group use the email address (munged to prevent spammers):
wmc-nepal at wasatchmountainclub dot org
- Participant status here. Corrections to Zig.
Zig's action items
- The follow-up email you will receive from ET asks that you complete and return a Traveller Information Form which includes personal info, your contact info, emergency contact info and travel insurance info. In the downloads page there is more Nepal info, a training guide and a Trekking Tour Application. I will confirm whether this application is to be completed and returned. Would be good to review our current fitness and experience and training plans.
At a later time, we may want to share contact cards so that someone else has necessary info in case you become sick or injured. (Avoid digging through your stuff for it.)
- ET wants to keep us together in one trekking group, so we would be 16 rather than usual 12 max.
- We are trying to use a single contact person to communicate with ET to keep everyone on the same page. Feel free to send questions to Zig and he can put them together.
- Good place to see and compare most of the travel plans is insuremytrip. Fill in some questions and then get a list of plans and rates to compare.
- Ensure that you have enough days on your travel insurance to cover the time you leave home (18 Oct for some of us) until you return (may want to push it out to 10 Nov)
- Paul and Kathryn/Bret and Irene purchased the InsureAndGo USA gold insurance policy. About the same price as Global Alert Preferred and includes 150% of cost for trip interruption coverage (last minute return home airfare likely to be more pricey than regular airfare) but doesn't cover financial default of the tour operator.
- Nathan found that the Global Alert's Preferred travel insurance looks like a good deal.
- Travel Insurance from Encounters Travel
Vaccines and Medicines
The CDC's Health Information for Travelers to Nepal has vaccination recommendations. Start here first to see what they recommend!
-- The CDC's Healthy Travel Packing List lists health-related items to consider packing for your trip.
- Note that Hepatitis A is two shots SIX months apart, so there is limited time to get this one!
- The cheapest option may be thru your health care insurance so check there first to see what vaccinations cover.
- SL County International Travel Clinic: see pages 6-7 of the fee schedule.
- Hep A immunizations: $73 Davis County Health; $47 SL County; $0 Costco with insurance
Hep A typically is long lasting so if you have had your series in the last 20 years, you are likely ok. You can also get titers done to check to see if you need a booster or not.
- Typhoid only lasts a few years depending on type so you may need to get boostered even if you have had it before.
- Rabies: most health depts should have it, just call beforehand. It is a series of 3 vaccinations spaced apart by a few weeks (can't remember exact timing, I got mine a number of years ago). It is expensive - for all 3, it was a bit over $500. Stay away from strays no matter how cute they are.
- Malaria, from ET: :"There are no real issues with mosquitoes when you do the Everest trek. You may get a few mosquitoes in Kathmandu, but there is no malaria risk there. Higher up it is generally too cold and high for mosquitoes to be a problem at all. I do recommend that you take the advice of the CDC as they always have more up to date information on vaccination requirements but generally there would be no risk of Malaria on this tour."
-- Record your immunizations on a World Health Organization "yellow card" for quick reference.
- Visa (see the next section)
- passport photo for visa application
- WHO "yellow card" (see above)
To enter Nepal you will need a visa. The cost for a 30 day visa is $40 US. There are several ways to get one:
- In the US put your passport, visa application, and $ in the mail and then later receive in the mail your passport with a Nepal visa in it. Info on this option can be found here.
- In the US but no more than 15 days before arriving in Nepal complete a Nepal Online Visa Application. After doing that you will be emailed a receipt. The receipt allows the Kathmandu visa staff to quickly access and process your visa application, thus avoiding you or them having to enter your info into their system in Kathmandu. This Trip Advisor thread about the new visa application kiosks in Kathmandu may have info on the address fields. Also, here is what the Nepal Online Visa Application pop-up says since it disappears to quickly:
- Advice for Online Visa Applicants
- In order to avoid long queues and unnecessary problems, kindly submit a complete Online Visa Application form to the Immigration Authority of Nepal on your first attempt! To do that, here are few things you need to prepare:
- Please keep your valid passport at hand.
- Ready a recent digital photograph (size: 1.5” x 1.5”) to upload for the application.
- Gather beforehand: a detailed permanent US residence address, and detailed address in Nepal.
- You need to provide telephone numbers—land-line and mobile.
- You need to provide your email address too.
- The submitted application will remain in the system for 15 days. After 15 days, the application will be deleted automatically from the system.
- Once the application is successfully submitted, a receipt will be sent to your email immediately.
- Print the receipt and keep it with you as you need to produce it before the Immigration Authority.
- For your convenience, the deadline to contact the Immigration Authority will be mentioned in the receipt.
- The receipt also mentions about the documents you need to produce before the Immigration Authority.
- Please contact the Immigration Authority within 15 days after the submission of application.
- For example, if you submit your extension application today, and your visa is expiring the next day, on the third day if you visit the Department of Immigration, you will have to pay late fee of that day. In order to prevent this sort of hassle, please submit your extension application on time and get your visa renewed before crossing the expiry date.
- When you contact the Immigration Authority, please make sure you have the receipt and proper documents with you including the necessary fee.
- No on arrival visa for country list - AFG,IRQ,CMR,GHA,SOM,SWZ,PSE,ZWE,NGA,ETH,LBR
- Download and complete the visa application form in advance. Give it and passport photos to the visa processing staff, who will then input your info into their system, or better yet....
- Use one of the visa application kiosks in the Kathmandu airport to get a receipt, and then give the receipt to the visa processing staff.
Oct 20 - Day 0: Depart LA
Oct 21 - Day 1: 10-hour layover in Doha, Qatar
Oct 22 - Day 2: Fly to Kathmandu
Oct 23 - Day 3: Fly to Lukla and Start Your Trek
Oct 24 - Day 4: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Oct 25 - Day 5: Free Day
Oct 26 - Day 6: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
Oct 27 - Day 7: Tengboche to Dingboche
Oct 28 - Day 8: Free Day
Oct 29 - Day 9: Dingboche to Lobuche
Oct 30 - Day 10: Lobuche to Gorak Shep
Oct 31 - Day 11: Everest Base Camp
Nov 1 - Day 12: Lobuche to Lukla
Nov 2 - Day 13: Lobuche to Lukla
Nov 3 - Day 14: Lobuche to Lukla
Nov 4 - Day 15: Final Days in Kathmandu
Nov 5 - Day 16: Final Days in Kathmandu
Nov 6 - Day 17: Kathmandu to Doha; 8 or 12 hour layover; then fly to LA
Nov 7 - Day 18: Arive in LA
- Maps do not correspond exactly to our itinerary, but do include the relevant locations.
- Net Lukla to Everest base camp is 7300 feet and 38 miles. Nine days going up due to acclimatization and 3 1/2 days down.
- One-way elevation profile to scale with walking distance.
- One common piece of advice for those in the Everest region is to be on higher ground when around yaks and other animals, as they can knock people off the mountain if standing on the downhill edge of a trail.
- Q: If a person falls one day behind, would they need to turn around or they could try to catch up during an acclimating day?
A from ET: We wouldn’t really allow 1 passenger to fall behind. When operating treks such as this (which we have many years of experience in doing) the guide will always lead the group at the pace of the slowest member to ensure everyone stays together. We would never allow a group member to leave the group and trek alone for safety and security reasons.
What not to do in Asia
- Regarding gifts for children, the ET site says:
Begging is supposedly illegal in Kathmandu, but it does go on. A firm ‘No’ is enough to get the message across. In recent years there has become a growing trend among the children to beg for pens, money etc, don’t encourage them by giving! You can speak to your trekking guides and our local staff in Nepal about more suitable ways to support local communities.
- current exchange rate:
- Wells Fargo (SLC local): Rs91.4/$1 (16% commission)
- Bank of Kathmandu (located near the airport and our hotel): Rs108/$1 (1% commission)
- (Feb 29, 2016) Zions Bank, Rs$88,670 = $999.93US, so RS$88.67/$1US, no fee, no commission, takes 7 days to 2 weeks, can request any denominations, must have an account with them
- Mike Dege will investigate best plan for exchanging currency.
Remember, climate is a minimum 30-year average; weather is whatever you get!
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