Spring Member`s Himalaya Climbs & Treks Pre-Trip Newsletter 2009
Spring Member`s Himalaya Climbs & Treks Pre-Trip Newsletter 2009
Dear Friends, Climbers and Trekkers. This is Dan Mazur writing to you on behalf of everyone at www.SummitClimb.com and www.SummitTrek.com. This is the pre-trip newsletter for men and women of all ages from around the world joining our Spring 2009 expeditions and treks. How has your Winter been? We have had our share of heavy snow storms so far this year. However, of course it is cloudy, foggy, and raining today as I write. We also provide this on-line version in case you are already a member, or are still thinking of joining and/or wish to read about the ways we conduct our expeditions. Please be sure to tell all of your friends about what we are trying to do. Thank You Very Much.
Please click one of the links below to go directly to that section of the newsletter or just scroll down. Thank you.
- A. Introduction
- B. Spring and Autumn 2009 trips
- C. Leader News
- D. Preparation - what to bring
- E. In Kathmandu (KTM) - arrival and departure
- F. Equipment and supplies for trekking and climbing
- G. Sherpas and staff
- H. Communication
- I. Information for climbers
- J. Donate medical - education supplies, clothes, etc to Mt Everest Foundation
- K. Conclusion
A. Introduction back to top
We are offering a number of exciting trips this year which you may review on our website at SummitClimb.com. Read a short description for each trip below (including how things went last year) and click links to view slideshows.
Please ask as many questions as possible, so that we may understand one another's expectations. Informed team members achieve their goals with greater satisfaction, and are better and safer "team players". We love discussing our favourite subject, MOUNTAINS, so please ask us anything.
NOW IS THE TIME TO JOIN OUR 2009 TRIPS if you have not already. Please click the links below and go to our **LIVE ONLINE SLIDESHOWS** (big peaks are at the top of the list and fun treks a bit lower down the list):
NEWS FLASH: All climbs now feature western leaders, excellent food, the best sherpas, a comfortable individual tent for each person in basecamp and some of the finest equipment on the mountain.
If you are considering joining (we hope you are) PLEASE BE SURE AND READ THIS EMAIL TO THE END AND UNDERSTAND IT FULLY. THANK YOU.
THE THREE GOALS for our expeditions and treks are:
- a. Safety;
- b. Fun, Friendship, and Teamwork;
- c. Achieving our goals, reaching the summit, basecamp, your service project, and returning safely. back to top
B. Spring and Autumn 2009 Himalayan Climbs and Walks: back to top
1. Mount Everest. In May of 2008, we put 14 members on the summit with 14 sherpas. We have very strong and experienced western leaders with some of the most helpful and accomplished sherpas you will ever meet. Our equipment is superb and the meals are delicious. Leaders: Dan Mazur, Arnold Coster, Sam Mansikka, Max Kausch. Our 10th Everest expedition! www.EverestNepalClimb.com . The original first ascent route made famous by Tenzing and Hillary in 1953. 29 March to 5 June 2009, Full Service Cost: $27,750, £19,950, €21,350; Basic Climb Cost: $15,350, £11,050, €11,850 (includes internal-flights). Registration deadline: 1 February (first group), 15 February (second group). back to top
A beautiful sunrise cresting over the summit of Everest (Tunc Findik). A view of the famous second step on the north side of Mt. Everest (Franck Pitula).
2. Mount Lhotse (fourth highest in the world and climbed from the same route as Everest) In May of 2008, we placed 5 members on the top including the first Dutchman and 4 Sherpas. Leaders: Dan Mazur, Arnold Coster, Sam Mansikka. Our 5th Lhotse expedition! www.LhotseClimb.com . 29 March to 5 June 2009, Full Service: $10,750, £7550, €8250; Basic Cost: $3950, £2850, €3050 (includes internal-flights). Registration deadline: 1 February (first group), 15 February (second group).
3. www.EverestTibetClimb.com . The exotic and less-expensive side of Everest, made famous by Mallory and Irvine in 1928. Leader: Arnold Coster 4 successful Everest expeditions, 2 from Tibet with 16 members and 9 sherpas on the summit . 29 March to 5 June 2009, Full Service: $22,750, £16,450, €17,550; Basic Cost: $7950, £5750, €6150. Registration deadline: 1 February (first group), 15 February (second group).
Now offering (for those who need to do-it-all) the 'Everest-Traverse' over the summit from Nepal to Tibet AND Tibet to Nepal. Please ring or email us for prices and dates.
4. Cho Oyu (6th highest in the world located beside Everest, most-accessible of the world's fourteen 8000 metre/26,000 foot peaks) In October of 2008, 13 members made the summit including the first British woman to ski from the summit and the highest ever bum-boarder, along with 5 sherpas. High-fun snow-climb. We teach you everything you need to know. Get qualified for Everest. Leaders: Dan Mazur and Max Kausch. Our 8th Cho Oyu expedition! www.ChoOyuClimb.com . 23 April to 30 May or 1 September to 8 October, Full Service: $10,250, £7350, €7850; Basic Cost: $6250, £4550, €4850. Registration deadline: 22 February and 1 July (purchase air tickets now; flights are filling for Autumn). back to top
5. www.LhakpaRi.com and www.NorthColClimb.com. Maybe the easiest 7000 metre/23,000 foot peak in the world, amazing trek, chance to test yourself at high altitude in a very short time. Lhakpa-Ri is an easy snow-climb. We teach you everything you need to know. Get qualified for Everest. Do well and transition directly to Everest or Cho Oyu. Leader: Arnold Coster, his 3rd Lhakpa-Ri expedition! 1-28 March, 29 March to 25 April, and 30 April to 27 May, Full Service: $6750, £4850, €5150; Basic Cost: $4950, £3550, €3850. Registration deadline: 1 February (first trip), 1 March (second trip). back to top
Check out our NEW TRIPS for 2009: back to top
6. www.BaruntseClimb.com . A beautiful and easy 7000 metre/23,000 foot peak in remote Nepal, near Everest. Baruntse climb also includes free-of-charge climb of famous 6000 metre/19,680 foot trekking peak Mera Peak. A fantastic way to climb 2 peaks for the price of one and see how you feel at high altitude. Easy snow-climb. We teach you everything you need to know on Mera peak before heading to Baruntse. Get qualified for Everest. Leader: Dan Mazur, his 26th Himalayan expedition! 29 March to 5 May or 8 October to 14 November, Full Service: $6750, £4850, €5150; Basic Cost: $1950, £1450, €1550 (includes internal-flights). Registration deadline: 8 August (purchase air tickets now; flights are filling for Autumn). Combine with our Cho Oyu climb for the ultimate Autumn!.
7. www.EverestViewGlacierSchool.com . ***voted one of the '25 best new trips of 2009' by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Learn everything you need to know about Himalayan climbing and see how you do at high altitude in a short time for a low price. Everest Glacier School includes climb of 6000 metre Lobuche Peak. Leader: Dan Mazur (April School) and Raj Thapa, certified mountain leader and professional instructor. His 12th glacier school. 29 March-19 April, 1-22 May, and 1-22 October, Full Service Cost: $2750, £1750, €1950 (includes internal-flights). Seven day option: $1050. Registration deadline: 1 February, 1 March, and 1 August (purchase air tickets now; flights are filling for Autumn). back to top
Upcoming Treks for Spring and Autumn 2009: back to top
In April, May, and October of 2008 we had very fun and beautiful treks to Everest Basecamp, Kala Pattar viewpoint, and Advanced Basecamp with a group of 7 and 8 men and women of all ages. Our leaders were the famous Abbey Rai, Mingma Sherpa and Ms. Yangjie Sherpa. Our 17th season of Everest Trekking. We welcome you to join us this year for:
8. www.TrekEverestNepal.com . Visit world's most famous basecamp and the amazing viewpoint of Kala Patar. Easy walking on good snow-free trails. 29 March to 15 April, 1-18 May, 1-18 October, Full Service Cost: $1850, £1150, €1350 (includes internal-flights). Registration deadline: 1 February, 1 March, and 1 August (purchase air tickets now; flights are filling for Autumn).
9. www.EverestTibetTrek.com . Walk the 'Golden Highway' to Everest advanced basecamp with the best views of Everest; better than Nepal. 29 March to 17 April or 30 April to 19 May, Full Service Cost: $2750, £1750, €1950. Registration deadline: 1 February and 1 March.
10. www.IslandPeakClimb.com . In 2008, we safely sent 16 people to the summit of this very fun trekking peak in three groups of men and women of all ages. Island Peak is an easy one-day snow climb and we teach you everything you need to know during this inexpensive and quick way to see how you like altitude and snow climbing with amazing views of the Everest Massif. We have some very helpful and expert climbing sherpas on hand to accompany you to the top and back down. 29 March-19 April, 1-22 May, and 1-22 October. Full Service Cost (includes internal-flights, trek to Everest basecamp and Kala Pattar): $2750, £1750, €1950. 5 day option: $950. Registration deadline: 1 February, 1 March, and 1 August (purchase air tickets now; flights are filling for Autumn). back to top
11. Mustagata (worlds easiest 7500 metre/24,500 foot peak, walk, ski, snowshoe/raquette to the top and back down) 12 members reached the summit with 5 sherpas. Easy snow-climb. We teach you everything you need to know. Get qualified for Everest. Leader Jon Otto speaks fluent English and Chinese. His 8th Mustagata expedition! www.MustagataClimb.com . 4-27 July, Full Service Cost: $4450, £2850, €3150; Basic Climb Cost: $1850, £1150, €1350. Registration deadline: 4 May. back to top
12. www.ShishapangmaClimb.com . Lowest of the world's fourteen 8000 metre/26,000 foot peaks. Located near Everest. Less crowded than Cho Oyu. Easy snow-climb. We teach you everything you need to know. Get qualified for Everest. Combine with our Cho-Oyu expedition and earn a 20 percent discount. Leaders: Dan Mazur and Max Kausch. Our 4th Shishapangma expedition. 1 September to 8 October, Full Service Cost: $10,250, £7350, €7850; Basic Climb Cost: $6250, £4550, €4850. 9-23 October (Cho Oyu combination includes 20% discount), Full Service Cost: $8250, £5950, €6350; Basic Climb Cost: $5050, £3650, €3850. Registration deadline: 22 February and 1 July.
13. www.ServiceTrek.org . In 2009 we completed beautiful and worthwhile service treks in the Mount Everest region to reconstruct an 80 year old buddhist convent, brought medical-aid to a rural hospital as well as supplies and teachers to 2 schools supporting a povert-stricken valley with 4000 residents and surrounded by still unspoiled ancient forests. Leader Dan Mazur. His 7th service trek. 5-18 June, 14-27 November, 2009. Tax-Deductable-Contribution: $1450, £950, €1050 (includes internal flights) (%100 of your contribution for the trek and your international flight are tax deductable). Registration deadline: 5 April and 14 September (purchase air tickets now; flights are filling for Autumn). back to top
C. LEADER NEWS: what have your trip leaders been doing? back to top
1. Sam Mansikka is leading our Spring Nepal-Everest and Lhotse expeditions and knows the mountain well. He led two of our successful teams to the summit in 2008! He's the president of the Finnish Alpine Club and a very active Alpinist, in addition to being a UIAGM aspiring guide. Recently he was at the Helsinki Outdoor Show where he presented several mountain slide and video shows, and many interested people attended!
2. Arnold Coster is going to be in France for our March Mountain Meet and he's leading Everest-Tibet, Lhakpa-Ri, and North-Col this Spring. He led a very successful team to the summit of Everest in 2008 with 14 members and 14 sherpas on the summit. After repairing drill rigs in Dubai all autumn, Arnold is now working for the Dutch outdoor distributorship Carl Denig, so we expect Arnold will be well-dressed in all of the latest kit this spring!
3. Dan is going to be in France for our March Mountain Meet, is leading the Everest Glacier School in April, Spring and Autumn Cho Oyu, Autumn Baruntse and our July Glacier School. Dan led our successful Autumn 2008 Cho Oyu expedition, with 13 members and five sherpas on top. In an exciting turn of events, Dan was mentioned in the million-seller 'Three Cups of Tea' as the leader of Greg Mortenson's K2 expedition. That, combined with Dan's role in Lincoln Hall's book 'Dead Lucky' has conspired to keep Dan busy on the lecture circuit this winter, where he is raising money for www.ServiceTrekNews.org .
4. Raj Thapa is leading our Everest Glacier School, Island Peak, and Everest Basecamp Treks. Raj is a 10-year British Mountain Instructor sponsored by www.SherpaAdventureGear.com and he recently visited Dan at home. We had fun boating on the ocean, and Raj even took the helm. I think it might have been the first time Raj was ever in a boat (driving or not) on the ocean!! back to top
5. Jon Otto is leading our Mustagata climb. Jon lives in China and runs his own guide-instruction company, the Arete Alpine Institute. Jon led our succesful July 2008 Mustagata expedition with 9 members and 4 sherpas on the summit. Jon speaks fluent Chinese and he is a real asset to our leadership team after 8 successful expedtions to Mustagata!
6. Max Kausch is our star leader-in-training and we are very proud of him. He has worked his way up, climbing Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu and we hope Max will accompany us to the summit of Everest this year. For more about how you could follow in Max' footsteps and learn to lead, please checkout www.LeaderInTraining.com . Recently Max released this painful-looking home-rock-gym video: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0NIrW_07tr4 !!
7. Maya Sherpa leads our treks and most recently our Service Trek. She just visited Dan's home and we enjoyed watching Maya's slides of climbing Everest, and participating in the reunion of the service trek together with delicious food and our excellent trek members Barbara, Christy, Hong, Lilia, Liz, and Sandy. Steve, Robi, and Rachel were there too! During her recent 4 day visit, Maya must have received at least 7 phone calls from different aunts and uncles in the area who wanted her to visit. This lady has a big family!
8. Last but not least we would like to thank our office personnel who keep us going out in the mountains. A hearty 'thank-you' goes out to Stewart Wolfe, Richard Laurence, Murari Sharma, Deha Shrestha, Felix Berg, and Jon Otto. We could not do it without you!!! back to top
D. Preparation - what to remember back to top
1) Purchase your flight ticket now. Flights are still available. Return flights from UK-Kathmandu-UK are 600 pounds, 650 euros, $850. Return flights from USA-Kathmandu-USA are $1400. Please let us know if you need assistance in booking your ticket. We are here to help.
2) Application paperwork and payment - what we need in your file. NOW is the time for the completion of registration formalities, if you have not done so already.
Delay in receipt of the following items listed below may result an inability to get you onto the permit and perhaps even a delay of your departure from Kathmandu.
Here is a checklist of what we need to have in your file immediately. We encourage you to send an electronic scan of all of the below documents, please be sure they are signed. Thank you:
- [ ] Completed Payment. Please restate payments you made and what those payments were for, ie full vs basic, sherpas, oxygen, etc.
- [ ] Make your Oxygen order (if any) crystal clear at this time, number of bottles, masks, payment, etc.
- [ ] Make your Sherpa order (if any) crystal clear at this time, personal sherpa, quarter sherpa, payment, etc.
- [ ] Signed Trip Registration and Waiver Forms (part 4 page form)
- [ ] Signed Medical Form (part of 4 page form),
- [ ] 2 Passport-Sized Photos Scan
- [ ] Scan of passport identification pages,
- [ ] Complete flight itinerary,
- [ ] Proof of mountain rescue and repatriation insurance,
- [ ] Proof of travel, accident, and repatriation insurance (cancellation insurance is advised).
Please do let us know what further questions you may have about the registration process, or anything else for that matter. Thank you.
3) Please bring all of your personal paperwork, including your original proof of insurance, at least two extra photos, etcetera. back to top
4) How much money to bring. Please remember to bring lots of cash $, £, €, for your hotels and food and tips, and Nepal visa, which you will purchase upon arrival at the Kathmandu (KTM) airport, as well as a passport photo, necessary for obtaining the visa. Please also bring plenty of cash for tips + gratuities, for shopping, drinks, etcetera. You will be paying for your own hotel and meals in KTM. There are good bank, cash, atm machines, and traveler’s cheques will work, especially in KTM. Members who don’t bring enough cash are often found sitting on their hands in a dark and cold hotel room or tent while the rest of the team are out having fun enjoying the night life that is surprisingly exciting and even funny, the sometimes fun pubs and shopping. If you are going to Tibet, please be sure to bring plenty of cash $, £, €, for your sundries and tips and China-Tibet visa. Dollars work best once you are inside Tibet. Bring plenty of extra cash. You may encounter the occasionally very good inexpensive carpet and souvenir shopping that can be found, at low prices where no credit cards and no traveler's cheques may be used. Those of you going to Tibet may wish to consider bringing only dollars or changing all of your currency into local currency in Zhangmu, upon crossing into Tibet from Nepal. There is a new cash machine in Zhangmu, hopefully its still working. Be sure to bring extra cash to Tibet and Nepal basecamps for tipping the sherpas and staff as many of them will not be returning to KTM. $, £, €, work well in Kathmandu, For Nepal treks and climbs, you will change money into rupees after arriving in Kathmandu.
5) Helicopter rescue and travel insurance is required. Do you have your proof of travel and mountain rescue insurances? Remember, you need to be covered for all mishaps, including both in town, enroute, and during climbing and/or trekking. If you have sent the above, thank you very much. Please read more about insurance by "clicking here" .
6) Your credit card is your helicopter rescue bond. We will require you to complete a credit card authority letter, and attach your credit card. You may view this letter for your reference by "clicking here" . This will be taken care of at our office in Kathmandu. The letter and your credit card will be kept locked in our safe and we have never had a problem with this in the past. We need the name and contact details of an emergency contact person who is available 24 hours a day, speaks English, and is able to wire funds to Nepal on your behalf, up to $5000, on immediate notice. This is in case you are injured and require a helicopter rescue (only available in Nepal, not available in Tibet, where rescue is via yak and jeep, but you still need helicopter insurance for Tibet climbs, in case you need a chopper down from the Tibet border to Kathmandu as this road is sometimes closed). They never start the rescue until they have your money, and we are unable to pay for any rescue on your behalf. The above mentioned insurance is necessary and also required, but insurance companies are slow in paying claims, and we can't have you lying on the mountainside, awaiting the helicopter rescue flight while your insurance company investigates the claim. Thank you. back to top
E. In Kathmandu (KTM) - arrival and departure back to top
7) Arriving in KTM, meeting your flight, and going to your hotel.
Note: For members doing Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhakpa Ri/North Col, Shishapangma, Baruntse, Service Trek, Tibet Treks our staff will meet you at the airport holding a "SummitClimb" sign.
For members on the Everest Basecamp Trek Nepal, Island Peak, and Everest View Glacier School our staff will meet you at the airport holding a "SummitTrek" sign.
Our staff try to personally meet your flight at the Kathmandu airport and bring you to the hotel. We were able to meet all of our team members during 2008. Do we have your exact arrival (and departure) information, including: airline, flight number, arrival date, arrival time, coming from where? If you have sent the above, thank you very much. When you leave the airport, please slowly and carefully look for the sign bearing your name (usually your last, or surname, but occasionally your first, or given name). The sign may also simply say "Summit Climb or Summit Trek". In case we miss you, please take a 300-500 rupee taxi to the hotel.
Important: All members of all teams are urgently instructed to never tip more than $1 or 1 euro or 1 pound at the airport to anyone who requests a tip. These airport people are becoming really persistent and expect that visitors will not know any better. Sometimes they ask for huge amounts of money and people give it to them, so please be aware and cautious when you arrive.
8) Print out our KTM office details and carry with you at all times. Our Kathmandu office managers are:
A) Climbing Office (For members doing Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhakpa Ri/North Col, Shishapangma, Baruntse, Service Trek, Tibet Treks) -
Mr. Murari Sharma and Mr. Deha Shrestha
Everest Parivar Expedition (inside Beijing Hotel):
Jyatha Kantipath, Near Thamel
office tel: (9771)-4249825, 4248813
residence tel: 9771-4418210, 4428110
mobile: (977) 985102-3985 or 985109-1456
B) Trekking & Trekking Peaks Office (For members on the Everest Basecamp Trek Nepal, Island Peak, and Everest View Glacier School) -
Mr. Raj Thapa & Upendra
Climb High Himalaya
Street : Milijuli Tole
Address : Mahrajgunj, Chakrapath
House No. 73
Ward No. 3
Raj's mobile No. (977) 9803753327
Upen mobile No. (977) 9808009665
Land telephone: (9771) 4372874
PLEASE PRINT OUT ITEM 8 AND CARRY IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES (ESPECIALLY ON ARRIVAL) IN CASE YOU BECOME LOST. back to top
9) KTM hotel - basic or luxury.
A) Climbing (For members doing Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhakpa Ri/North Col, Shishapangma, Baruntse, Service Trek, Tibet Treks) -
This year we are offering two types of hotel, “basic” and “luxury”. Basic hotels cost approximately $25 per night (One example of a basic hotel we have used in the past is the Hotel Beijing, in KTM). Luxury hotels cost approximately $85 per night (One example of a luxury hotel is the Annapurna Hotel in KTM). The difference between luxury and basic is that luxury hotels have several restaurants, bars, and a swimming pool inside the hotel. They accept credit cards, with a surcharge. The Beijing hotel is a good quality clean, hot water when-the-sun-shines hotel in a central neighbourhood, near many tasty restaurants, and excellent mountain equipment and gift shopping. The Annapurna is a 15 minute walk from this neighbourhood. We book your hotel for you, so please only view the websites to decide which hotel you prefer and leave the arrangements to us. Hotels and food in Kathmandu only, but not out on the road, trek, or expedition, are your responsibility.
B) Trekking & Trekking Peaks (For members on the Everest Basecamp Trek Nepal, Island Peak, and Everest View Glacier School) -
We are booking your hotels at either the Hotel Tibet or Hotel Shakti. They are both comfortable and clean mid-range hotels in the heart of Kathmandu, close to good shopping. Here is the information for them:
HOTEL TIBET PVT LTD
P.O BOX 7956,Lazimpath
Tel : 977 - 1 - 4429085 - 8
Fax : 977 - 1- 4410957
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Amrit Marg, Bhagwan Bahal, Thamel,
Tel.: 977-1-4700902, 977-1-4700893
10) Arrive in KTM on the first day of our itinerary for the team orientation. All members must be present on the first day of our scheduled itinerary in Kathmandu unless you have made special arrangements. We need your passports on that day so that we can obtain the permit for you to go to the mountains, and do quite a bit of intensive orientation, training, and shopping before setting off for the mountains, in the next day or two. Below are the dates we require you to arrive in Kathmandu (of course its no problem to arrive earlier).
- Everest: 29 March.
- Lhotse: 29 March.
- Everest Glacier School: 29 March, or 1 May, or 6 October.
- Everest Base Camp Trek (and optional Island Peak): 29 March or 1 May, or 6 October.
- Lhakpa-Ri and North-Col: 29 March or 30 April.
- Cho Oyu: 23 April or 1 September.
- Shishapangma: 1 September (you may wish to climb it on its own or after ascending Cho Oyu).
- Service Trek: 5 June or 14 November.
11) Please don’t plan on leaving before the last day of our itinerary. We need you to stay until the last day of the expedition. Below I have noted the dates for your return flight home at the end of each expedition. Its ok if you want to leave a bit earlier, but schedule your flight for the final day in any case. You never know when bad weather or route conditions can slow you down and cause you to need each and every day. Of course its fine if you want to stay on after the expedition ends. back to top
- Everest: 5 June.
- Lhotse: 5 June.
- Everest Glacier School: 19 April, or 22 May, or 28 October.
- Everest Base Camp Trek (and optional Island Peak): 15 April or 18 May, or 24 October.
- Lhakpa-Ri and North-Col: 25 April or 27 May.
- Cho Oyu: 30 May or 8 October.
- Shishapangma: 8 October or 23 October (you may wish to climb it on its own or after ascending Cho Oyu).
- Service Trek: 18 June or 27 November.
12) Shopping in KTM. Our planned schedule allows plenty of time for equipment shopping in Kathmandu, where there are so many shops that you will find almost everything you need, except good high-altitude mittens and gloves. Here is a partial list for those desiring to contact Nepalese shops and manufacturers:
For hardwear like boots, crampons, ice-axes and harnesses, go to the Everest Summitters shop in Thamel. Email: email@example.com , phone: (9771) 4219404, 4468775.
For soft goods like down jackets trousers and suits, we have used two shops:
A. Shona's Shop in Thamel: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: 4265120
B. Everest Hardwear shop in Thamel. e-mail email@example.com , tel 4230399, mobile (977)98510 45706
13) Storing excess baggage and personal possessions - valuables in KTM. We provide secure facilities in Kathmandu in which to store your extra personal items such as luggage, extra money, credit cards, passports (those people going to Tibet need their passports), jewelry, expensive watches, etcetera. These facilities are kept locked and are extremely safe.
14) Depart KTM for the mountain. After completing our orientation session and receiving permits, we plan to depart Kathmandu the following day (or day after for Tibet – Everest). back to top
The Canadian Mallory family and others on the Hillary Step (Sange Sherpa). Members wave in the Western Cwm between camp 1 and camp 2 (Dan Mazur).
F. Equipment and supplies for trekking and climbing: back to top
Note: Down suit orders in Kathmandu will require 2 weeks notice due to power cuts. Please contact a manufacturer as soon as possible.
Shona's Shop - Kathmandu - (Manufactures down duvet clothing. Hundreds of their jackets, trousers, and suits have reached the summit of Everest) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: (9771) 4265120
Everest Hardwear - Kathmandu - (Manufactures down duvet clothing. Hundreds of their jackets, trousers, and suits have reached the summit of Everest. A bit better quality than Shona's.) e-mail email@example.com , tel (9771) 4230399, mobile (977) 98510 45706
16) Buy your mattress in KTM. Regarding mattresses, above basecamp, we do not recommend anything you have to inflate. These "therma-rest" are unreliable with all of the sharp iceaxes, crampons, and rocks that we will encounter. I never saw one not puncture when used above basecamp. These are a liability and dangerous. Please don’t depend on one above basecamp. Several traditional closed cell foam non-inflatable karimat mattresses are preferred. I like to bring 3 or 4 mattresses as they are inexpensive and I want to sleep warmly and comfortably at night. These are available very inexpensively in Kathmandu, so there is no need to bring any from home. Why fly around the world with a kit bag filled with foam? Our planned schedule allows plenty of time for equipment shopping in Kathmandu.
17) Climbers and trekkers-bring or buy duvet-down jacket. Trekkers and climbers, please be sure you have a duvet/down jacket. Fairly good quality down/duvet gear is available in Kathmandu inexpensively and is a crucial part of your equipment. Everest, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu and Shishapangma climbers will, in addition, need a duvet/down jacket with an insulated hood and duvet/down trousers as well. Or, many 8000 metre / 26,000 foot climbers prefer a down/duvet suit. We recommend you advance order your Kathmandu down/duvet clothing so you know its available. back to top
18) Food during the expedition - bring your own snack food. All basecamp and trek meals and high meals (3 per day) are included in our full-service expeditions. We provide more than enough food and cooking fuel for three meals per day on the high mountain. However, we ask each climbing member to provide their own daily-snacks and freeze dried meals at high altitude while climbing above basecamp. Please remember to bring your daily snack-energy mountain food for each day we are climbing above basecamp on the mountain. This food would consist of chocolate bars, power bars, energy gel, rehydration drinking powder, sweets, nuts, sausage, cheese, etc.. More and more items are available in Kathmandu, but choice may be limited. In November of 2009, a wide variety of imported sweeets, snacks, and chocolates were available, with quality brands such as Cadbury, Snickers, Lindt and Cafe d'Or in abundance. The prices were not bad. There were many kinds of local snacks and powerbars available, but they still do not import foreign power bars, energy gel, etcetera. No freeze-dried food is available for purchase in Kathmandu. You must bring it from home. If you like imported cheeses, tinned meats, and other specialty foods, please bring them. Here is the list of items we suggest you bring for yourself:
- Everest: 3-6 kilos - 7 to 13 pounds of snacks and at least 5 freeze-dried dinners;
- Lhotse: 3-6 kilos - 7 to 13 pounds of snacks and at least 5 freeze-dried dinners;
- Cho Oyu: 2-5 kilos - 4 to 10 pounds of snacks and at least 3 freeze-dried dinners;
- Shishapangma: 2-5 kilos - 4 to 10 pounds of snacks and at least 3 freeze-dried dinners;
- Baruntse: 2-4 kilos - 4 to 8 pounds of snacks and at least 2 freeze-dried dinners;
- Everest Glacier School: 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks;
- Everest Basecamp: 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks;
- Island Peak: 500 grams - 1 pound of snacks;
- Service Trek: 1 kilo - 2 pounds of snacks
19) Boots and shoes for your climb - trek. Regarding shoes, please wear the following:
- Everest: "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots high on the mountain and sturdy-leather boots for trekking to camp1.
- Lhotse: "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots high on the mountain and sturdy-leather boots for trekking to camp1.
- Cho Oyu: "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots high on the mountain and sturdy-leather boots for trekking to camp1.
- Shishapangma: "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots high on the mountain and sturdy-leather boots for trekking to ABC..
- Baruntse: Plastic double boots for above camp 2 and sturdy-leather boots for trekking and rock-climbing to camp 2.
- Everest Glacier School: Sturdy climbing boots that are made for crampons, in addition to comfortable lightweight walking shoes with good ankle support that are water repellant and well “broken-in”. back to top
- Everest Basecamp: Comfortable lightweight walking shoes with good ankle support that are water repellant and well “broken-in”. There is no snow on our trek.
- Island Peak: Sturdy climbing boots that are made for crampons, in addition to comfortable lightweight walking shoes with good ankle support that are water repellant and well “broken-in”.
- Service Trek: Comfortable lightweight walking shoes with good ankle support that are water repellant and well “broken-in”. There is no snow on our trek.
Please note: Members who have tried to wear leather or single boots to the summit of our 7000 metre / 23,000 foot plus climbing peaks have suffered frostbite. Not recommended, and, in fact, for 7000 metre / 23,000 foot plus climbing peaks we may disqualify you from the trip if you are planning to climb in only leather or single boots. Frostbite is not an option on our expeditions.
Good shoes and all types of climbing boots are available for purchase and hire inexpensively in Kathmandu. Our planned schedule allows plenty of time for equipment shopping in Kathmandu. Let us know your size and we are glad to check for you! back to top
Our team at ABC on Shishapangma leaving for camp 1 (Dan Mazur). Climbing near the Gendarmes on our summit attempt at around 7600 metres/25,000 feet (Dan Mazur).
G. Sherpas and staff back to top
20) Tipping your leaders, sherpas, and staff. Regarding gratuities (tips). Our leaders, sherpas, and staff are among the best, because we can count on receiving gratuities for a job well done at the end of each expedition. You will be impressed when you see just how hard we do work. It is a matter of pride for all of us. Besides individual tips, we also ask you to pay an additional “group” tip and we will "pool" these tips together and then, as a group, we will vote on the distribution of the gratuities to the individual staff. This method has seemed to be the fairest and has worked very well in the past. In addition there will be a high-altitude bonus. We recommend the following tip:
- Everest Group Tip: $250
- Lhotse Group Tip: $250
- Cho Oyu: $150
- Shishapangma: $150
- Baruntse: $150
- Everest Glacier School: $125
- Everest Basecamp: $75
- Island Peak: $50
- Service Trek: $75
Expect to pay the above tip no matter what. On our peak climbs, for a group Sherpa (Tibetan or Nepalese), who helps you to climb above the high camp or up to the summit and back down, expect to pay a summit-attempt bonus as follows:
- Everest Summit Attempt Bonus: $400, Summit Success: $700.
- Lhotse Summit Attempt Bonus: $400, Summit Success: $700.
- Cho Oyu and Shishapangma Summit Attempt Bonus: $200, Summit Success: $400.
- Baruntse Summit Attempt Bonus: $100, Summit Success: $200.
The above amount of money may be split between climbers who were in the summit party. If you have a personal Sherpa, your tip will be at least 30% more. We request you to bring this money with you to basecamp in cash, and be ready to pay it there, as many of our staff are local and will not be returning to Kathmandu with us. Traveler’s cheques and credit cards may be of use in Kathmandu, but they will not work in basecamp.
21) Bring gifts for sherpas and staff. Regarding other gifts you may wish to provide, please bring as many as possible. These equipment donations are quite important to our staff and their families as they are often handed down to needy relatives and Sherpas who are learning to climb and need some assistance. Most, if not all sherpas got their start on "hand-me-down" kit.
Do you have extra mountain equipment, clothing, and shoes/boots? Older equipment, shoes, and clothing are fine. We encourage you to bring any extras for our staff. Please remember that Sherpa people come in all sizes (from extra small to extra large), and would appreciate any rucksacks, old harnesses, helmets, ice-axes, old ice and rock gear, warm clothing, goretex and fleece, pile, down, and duvet clothing, windproof clothing, and any kind of out-of-door shoes and boots, including trekking, climbing, running, etc.. Children’s and Women’s clothing is also needed. Thanks for helping and being so very thoughtful. back to top
H. Communication back to top
22) Telephone. We plan to have access to mobile and satellite telephone on trek and in basecamp. Those wishing to use our sets are required to post a $100 deposit, prior to departure from Kathmandu. The cost is $4 per minute. Incoming calls are not possible. If your usage exceeds the deposit amount, you will be required to pay more cash in basecamp, or stop using the phone. Be sure to bring enough $, £, or €. While unable to receive telephone calls, at times members can receive short text/SMS for $4 a message from their friends and family.
23) Website where your friends, family, and colleagues, can read about your expedition. There will be a website where your family, friends, colleagues, and sponsors can watch the progress of our climb and trek. This website is a public service from SummitClimb.com. Once reaching the site please go to “recent news” and you will see the dispatches from your expedition. We have traditionally asked all members to become involved and to write or phone "dispatches" or reports about the progress of our expedition. However, these dispatches are only to be about your impressions of our climb and are strictly for public viewing. Please don’t confuse them with personal phone calls to family, loved ones, friends and colleagues at home.
24) Battery charging: laptop, ipod, mp3 player, and/or digital camera. On our climbs, we bring a solar charging system on the expedition that members have access to. As long as there is sun, we are able to charge batteries easily on the mountain. Be sure to bring your wall charger compatible to Kathmandu’s 220 volt current (when its working). If possible, please bring an automotive 12 volt charger for your laptop, digital cameras, ipod, and mp3 players, as you can plug it straight into our solar system.
Computer, ipod, mp3, camera note: Laptops work well up to about 4000 metres/13,000 feet. Altitude can destroy or wipe hard drives bigger than 7 - 10 GB above this altitude, or hard drives that have a moving disk. There are several options out on the market for non moving hard drives that work well in altitude. Panasonic make a special laptop called a "Toughbook"; it is expensive, but I once chipped one out of the ice in a tent at 7500 metres / 24,600 feet and it still worked. Some early ipod and mp3 players have this problem as well. Check to make sure your ipod does not have a moving drive, especially before you turn it on above 4000 metres/13,000 feet. We have had several instances where these were wiped or crashed. Digital cameras work well. We recommend that you keep them in your jacket during the day and in your sleeping bag at night. back to top
I. Additional information for climbers: back to top
25) Bring warm mittens. Special warm high-altitude mittens are necessary for all of our climbs, Baruntse and higher. Please don't frostbite your hands. As of this writing, Kathmandu does not have very good mitts and gloves, but that is certain to change. I prefer mittens to gloves, as mittens are so much warmer. f you are in London, try visiting a snow and rock shop and trying some on. Here is a link to one of the better mittens I have seen so far: http://outdoorresearch.com/home/style/home/handtools/gloves/ascent/71870 . You won't need to wear any liner gloves inside these mitts (they already have their own integral liner) so fit is very important. This company ships around the world. Be sure to discuss the size of your hand and what size mitt you might need with the person at the shop. Sometimes our members from other countries have them sent to our US office address and US team members bring them over to the mountain directly for the person. If you decide to pursue that option, please allow plenty of time. Thanks!
26) Bring or buy a figure 8. Climbers, please be sure to bring a "figure 8" for rappelling/abseiling. Modern rock climbing descenders ie: "atc’s" do not work on fixed line, and are a liability because they slow you and the team down considerably. It is hard for some people to believe until they witness this personally, but we are asking you to believe it now. Please go out and purchase a figure 8... You may also purchase a figure 8 in Kathmandu.
27) Bring spoon and cup. Please remember to bring your own personal cup and spoon for altitude. Bring it from home or purchase it in Kathmandu.
28) Group vs personal sherpas. Our climbing sherpas carry group equipment. They will not be carrying your personal equipment. Each year, at least one of our team members decides to hire their own personal sherpa. Last year on Everest 7 of our members hired personal sherpas and they all summitted. We encourage you to do so, especially if you are not excited about climbing with a rucksack which is loaded with your personal equipment, oxygen, water, and snack food. We now encourage members who need a bit of extra assistance to use our "equipment carry service”. The cost will be 1/4 (not including the tip, which you must also pay) and includes carriage of ten kilos of your personal equipment up and down to and from basecamp to the highest camps. For more information, please visit our Sherpa link on the Leader tab of each website . By the way, hiring your own personal sherpa has been shown to markedly increase summit success and safety, especially on descent. back to top
29) Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Shishapangma oxygen. On Everest and Lhotse, you must have oxygen available. About half of our Cho Oyu and Shishapangma team members use oxygen. Its not like Everest where Oxygen is absolutely necessary, but many Cho-Oyu and Shishapangma climbers prefer it because it gives them a little extra edge of "insurance" that they will be feeling as well as possible when resting in the high camp and on summit day. In addition, supplemental oxygen usage has been shown to markedly reduce the incidence of frostbite. Our Sherpas will help you carry the oxygen, and 5 four-litre bottles of oxygen (or more) are recommended for Everest and Lhotse and 3 four-litre bottles should be more than enough (2 might suffice) for Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, and you also need the mask, hoses, and regulator. Or, you can have the full set of five bottles plus mask-regulator-hoses. We 100% guarantee all of our bottles and oxygen systems, and test them thoroughly with the mask/hose/regulator set-up. We have our own oxygen analysis instrumentation, and we are able to certify the contents are 100% oxygen. Additionally, we are able to measure the volume of contents in the bottle. Our bottles/masks/hoses/regulators are 100 percent guaranteed and reliable. We always have spare parts and back up bottles, masks, regulators, and hoses. We have a 40% "buy-back" policy on unused oxygen, and masks, hoses, and regulators in good condition, so its like you are renting the oxygen and equipment.
Here are the costings:
If purchased separately:
- A. Everest and Lhotse: 5 bottle set: $2850 (40% buy-back policy applies). Occasionally someone requests it for Cho Oyu.
In an effort to reduce environmental pollution and encourage reuse and recycling, we now offer a $60 cash bonus for each empty oxygen cylinder you bring down to basecamp/abc in working condition. back to top
- B. Mask + Hoses (guaranteed to be in perfect working order and match the bottles and regulator perfectly): $210 (40% buy-back policy applies).
- C. Regulator for high-altitude oxygen bottle (guaranteed to be in perfect working order and match the bottle and mask and hoses perfectly): We have a 40% buy-back policy on regulators in good condition. $410 (40% buy-back policy applies).
- D. One large Russian Oxygen 4 litre bottle for high-altitude climbing (guaranteed to be in perfect working order and match the regulator and mask and hoses perfectly): $510 (40% buy-back policy applies).
J. Donations of medical and educational supplies, clothing, etcetera for the Mount Everest Foundation: back to top
Please consider donating supplies, clothing, funds, building materials, solar equipment, etcetera, as well as your own time and efforts to the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nepal and Tibet. Your donation will be used wisely by the Foundation which exists to help poor farmers help themselves. These families live in Nepal and Tibet near Everest, but far from the tourist trail where life is very primitive, making Nepal the 12th poorest country in the world and the poorest country in all Asia. The foundation builds schools and hospitals and protects fragile environments. Please see what we have been doing with recent donations at www.ServiceTrekNews.org . We encourage you to become involved and we conduct service treks and volunteer projects.
Thank you so much for all of your kind compassion and wonderful help to the people of Nepal and Tibet!!! back to top
K. Conclusion back to top
30) What have we forgotten? Please express yourself now, and communicate all of your thoughts, questions, and ideas. It is very important that we build another top team this year by working together, beginning today. We always enjoy discussing our favorite subject: MOUNTAINS. Also, this kind of conversation may help us to understand one another's expectations.
31) Let us begin climbing and trekking. We are looking forward to further discussion, to meeting, to climbing and trekking together, and to seeing you feeling well on the trek, in basecamp, the upper camps, on the summit, and on the way back down.
Thank you very much, Cheers for now and we look forward to climbing with you soon, Yours Sincerely, from Daniel Mazur and all of us at SummitClimb.com .
Ps. THANKS FOR TELLING ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO.
High Altitude Regards-Dan Mazur
find me on facebook, plaxo, linkedin, twitter
+44 (0)7810375400 (evenings are best)
184 Bishop Road, Bristol, BS7 8NB, England
POB 123, Lakebay, Wa, 98349
Ps. Congratulations, you made it to the bottom of this newsleter. You must have the patience and perseverance necessary to become a team member of www.SummitClimb.com and www.SummitTrek.com back to top