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Pre Trip Newsletter 2017 Autumn

summitclimb pre trip newsletter

Dear Friends, Climbers and Walkers. I am Dan Mazur, one of the summit climbing expedition and basecamp trek leaders 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 September, October, November and December 2017expeditions and walks.

How has 2017 been for you so far? I hope you have been preparing for the mountains, staying fit, walking and climbing in your local hills, not working too hard and relaxing with family, friends and colleagues.

We send this pre-trip newsletter to you in case you are already a member, are still thinking of joining, or wish to read about how we conduct our expeditions and walks. Thanks in advance for telling all of your friends and colleagues about what we are trying to do, and please recall we pay you or anyone you choose a 5% cash commission when you refer your friends. Let us join together with a friendly team of men and women of all ages from around the world for fun and adventure in the mountains.

Please read down all of the way to the bottom of this newsletter so you do not miss anything important. Thank you very much and welcome to our team!

INTRODUCTION

We offer a number of exciting trips this year and next, which you may review on our website at www.SummitClimb.com and www.SummitTrek.com . Read a short description for each trip below. 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. Back to top

NOW IS THE TIME TO JOIN OUR 2017 & 2018 TRIPS if you have not already.

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 consider joining (we hope you will) please be sure to read this newsletter to the end and understand it fully. Thank you.

The three goals for our expeditions and walks are:

a. Safety;
b. Fun, Friendship, and Teamwork;
c. Achieving our goals, reaching the summit, basecamp, or your service project and returningsafely

RECENT NEWS

We were very excited to back in the Himalayas in April and we have recently had successful summits on both sides of Everest. Also we had a good expedition to Mount Lhotse, the 4th highest mountain in the world, and Everest's "sister summit". Well done to everyone involved! Please see more at www.SummitClimbNews.com

 Climber working on Hillary step seen from Top   View from South summit

Another view of Hillary step from other angle. On top of Hillary Step - one can see the entire cornice traverse all the way to South summit. Photo Marisz . View from South summit. Photo Tony

PAYMENT NEWS: *Special Notice* Charge your expedition to your credit card. Earn valuable bonus points and pay off the balance gradually over time. Please visit www.SummitClimbPayment.com

Please read down to learn more about all of our 2017 climbs, walks, and trekking peaks. Spaces are still available, so we hope you'll join us during this peaceful and sunny time to visit the Himalaya.

We encourage you to take advantage and book one of the presently inexpensive flights which are still being offered. Please let us know if you need any help finding flights. In fact, flights are surprisingly cheap this year. Back to top

AUTUMN 2017 CLIMBING EXPEDITIONS

summit of manaslu

Marin at the Summit Mount Manaslu. Photo Marin

MOUNT MANASLU: Nepal's ‘easiest’ 8000 metre / 26,000 foot high peak. 38 days September-October. 29 August - 5 October. Organized by SummitClimb's Dan Mazur, 3 times Manaslu leader, with Dani Fuller for an exciting new trip to the world's 8th highest mountain. This is Dan's third Manaslu expedition. The mountain's long ridges and valley glaciers offer very easy snow climbing, and it culminates in a peak that features an easy non-technical summit with beautiful views of Annapurna. The name Manaslu is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Manasa' and means 'Mountain of the Spirit'. Our sherpas are extremely experienced, our food is delicious and our tents and equipment are among the best. Climbing Manaslu is excellent preparation and qualifies you for Everest and Lhotse. Full Service Cost $12,850, £9,650, €11,450; Basic Climb Cost: $8,150 £6,400 €7,650. FULL SERVICE PRICE INCLUDES FREE HOTELS, TRANSPORT, PERMITS, MEALS, EQUIPMENT, TENTS, ROPES, RADIOS, COOKERS, FOOD, EVERYTHING. www.Manasluclimb.com

Member and Sherpa are on the summit of baruntse summit

Member and Sherpa are on the summit of baruntse summit. Photo Gordon Larsen

MOUNT BARUNTSE EXPEDITION. Three exotic peaks in one trip near Everest. Nepal's "easiest" 7,000 metre / 23,000 foot peak. For novices and experts. 12 October to 14 November. 34 days in Nepal. Full Service Cost: $8,950, £6,750, €7,950 (Baruntse and Mera).  Exciting and remote trek and climb through a rarely visited part of Nepal, yet within a stone's throw of Everest. Join leaders Dan Mazur and Dani Fuller, who will teach you everything you need to know. Dan and Dani love sharing this climb with our members, as the Baruntse Expedition really is a "grand circle" exploration through the Everest Himalaya, and climbs famous Mera 'trekking-peak', then Baruntse, then crosses the amazing 'Amphu-Labtsa' pass, which is like another summit itself. www.BaruntseExpedition.com

New option to climb Baruntse only 1 November to 29 November (29 days Baruntse only). Full Service cost: $6,650, £5,050, €5,950 PRICE INCLUDES EVERYTHING FOR THE CLIMB AND THE WALK: EXPERIENCED BRITISH, AMERICAN, AND EUROPEAN LEADERS, HELPFUL EXPERT SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS Climbing Baruntse qualifies you for Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Shishapangma. Our team reached the summit safely in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. www.BaruntseNews.com

The Famous Camp 2 of Amadablam click by summitclimb member

The Famous Camp 2 of Amadablam click by summitclimb member. Photo: Don Wargowsky.

AMA DABLAM CLIMB: Asia's most famous rock, snow, and ice peak. The Matterhorn of the Himalaya. Technical but climbable. www.ExpeditionAmaDablam.com Full Service Cost: $5,550, £4,150, € 4,950; Basic Climb Cost: $2650, £2050, €2,450 ; 10 October to 7 November (29 days in Nepal). Extended dates available: 1 November to 29 November. Flexible date option also available, with the option to begin and end the trip anytime between 10 October and 1 December. PRICE INCLUDES EVERYTHING FOR THE CLIMB AND THE WALK TO BASECAMP: EXPERIENCED BRITISH, AMERICAN, AND EUROPEAN LEADERS, HELPFUL EXPERT SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS. Located just 15 km / 10 miles from Everest. Among the most photographed peaks in the world. Everything for the novice to the expert climber. Beautiful rock is solid granite "scrambling". Basecamp is located in a lovely grassy meadow. The hardest pitch is 12 metres / 40 feet of French class 4, British Severe, or North American 5.7. You will be following, not leading, on secure fixed ropes. Test yourself to 7000 metres / 23,000 feet. Led by Holly Budge & Dan Mazur, 9 SuccesfulAma expeditions, friendly, good teachers, technically accomplished. They will review all needed skills on small cliffs around the warm and sunny basecamp. Climbing AmaDablam qualifies you for Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Shishapangma. Our team reached the summit safely in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. View the latest news at: www.AmaDablamNews.com

ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT CLIMBING BUT WONDERING HOW TO GET STARTED? Everyone has to begin somewhere, so why not join our Mera Peak expedition or Everest Glacier School Team this autumn, learn the basics about equipment and climbing from our friendly , helpful, expert instructors and then put your new skills to work on a 6000 metre / 20,000 foot high peak with great views of Everest, all in just 3 weeks. Back to top

Sean at High camp mera

Sean at High camp mera. Photo S Kirkwood. 

MERA TREKKING PEAK EXPEDITION. Best views of Everest from this easy remote Nepal 6500 metre/21,000 foot trekking peak. 22 days in October-November 2017. www.MeraPeakClimb.com  . Friendly Leaders Dan Mazur and Dani Fuller teach you everything you need to know about walking and easy climbing on snow. Perfect introduction to high altitude. Full Service Cost: $3,150, £2,350, €2,750. Just trek to Kare village in 18 days for: $2,150, £1,550, €1,850
PRICE INCLUDES EVERYTHING FOR THE CLIMB AND WALK: EXPERIENCED BRITISH, AMERICAN, AND EUROPEAN LEADERS, HELPFUL EXPERT SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS. Our team reached the summit safely in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. New Flexible Date Option: arrive anytime at your convenience during October or November. Please also read the news page www.MeraPeakNews.com  OPTIONAL: For those who are especially keen, you may wish to bring your skiis or snowboard (please watch the video on the news page).

Members using ascender in fixed line

Members using ascender in fixed line. Photo Anthony James Dent.

EVEREST VIEW GLACIER SCHOOL: Learn high altitude mountain skills and climb a 6000 metre / 19,500 foot peak with great views of Everest. www.EverestGlacierSchool.com 18 days Full Service Cost: $2,450, £1,850, €2,190 or Five day option: $1350. PRICE INCLUDES EVERYTHING FOR THE CLIMB AND WALK: HELPFUL EXPERT SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS. Friendly leader AngSange Sherpa has led 14 Glacier Schools, and is an excellent instructor and a very helpful person who teaches everything you need to know. 22 days (or 7 days for the school and climb only) during April, May, October or November. If you feel well enough on the April trip you can transition directly to the Everest Nepal Training Climb or Cho Oyu. AWARDED NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S "25 BEST NEW TRIPS". Choose our fixed dates or New Flexible Date Option: arrive anytime at your convenience during April, May, October or November. www.EverestGlacierSchoolNews.com  You can also add on a 4 day extension to visit Everest Basecamp for just $550

TREKKING PEAKS AND TREKS AUTUMN 2017

ISLAND TREKKING PEAK EXPEDITION: Nepal's most famous easy trekking peak. Climb to 6,000 metres / 19,500 feet in just 1 day. www.IslandPeakClimb.com 22 days or 5 days (climb only) in April, May, October, November or December; Trip includes a visit to Everest basecamp too. Friendly leader Lakpa Sherpa has led 25 Island Peak Climbs, and is an excellent instructor and a very helpful person who teaches everything you need to know. Introduction to high altitude. Full Service Cost: $2,950, £2,250, €2,650. 5 day option: $1350. Our team reached the summit safely in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. PRICE INCLUDES EVERYTHING FOR THE CLIMB AND WALK: HELPFUL EXPERT SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS. Choose our fixed dates or New Flexible Date Option: arrive anytime at your convenience during April, May, October or November www.IslandPeakNews.com

EVEREST BASECAMP WALK NEPAL: Walk together with 12 time Everest summit leader Dan Mazur and Dani Fuller in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing, to the world's most famous basecamp. www.EverestBasecampWalk.com 17 days in April, May, October or November. walk on wide snow-free trails through green terraced villages perched beside rapidly flowing rivers beneath the towering snowy giants of the Himalaya. Walk the scenic ridge of Kala Pattar with stunning views of Everest. Visit projects conducted by the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development, including the rebuilding of Nepal's oldest convent in Deboche, and the Everest basecamp biogas project in GorakShep. Leader Dan Mazur is a friendly and helpful trekking guide who knows every part of the trail . Your Sherpas Mingma and Yangjie are highly educated, were raised in this valley, have been to the Hillary School and attended university in Kathmandu. Their English is superb, they are friendly and gracious hosts, and as you walk together each day, they will explain every detail of the trek and answer all of your questions. REDUCED PRICE! -$1850, £1,350, €1,650 PRICE INCLUDES EVERYTHING FOR THE WALK TO BASECAMP: EXPERIENCED BRITISH, AMERICAN, AND EUROPEAN LEADERS, HELPFUL EXPERT SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS. Please go to: www.BaseCampNews.com Choose our fixed dates or New Flexible Date Option: arrive anytime at your convenience during April, May, October or November. Back to top

Gordon and Niel at Kalapather. Photo Gordon

Gordon and Niel at Kalapather. Photo Gordon.

Also we offer our special CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR TREK TO EVEREST BASECAMP. 16 Days of glorious peaceful trekking at the turn of the year. Celebrate good cheer and the best holidays of the year at the world's highest holiday destination: Mount Everest Base Camp. Leader Jangbu Sherpa is an Everest expert and has led 5 Christmas New Year treks. This is an uncrowded and beautiful time of year to trek. Cost: $1,850, £1,350, €1,650.  www.ChristmasNewYearTrek.com ADD ON A FUN EXTRA 3 day trip to Island Peak for $1350!

REMOTE NEPAL CHARITY SERVICE TREK: Low altitude trek. Deliver needed medical supplies and care, teach in schools, live with friendly Sherpa families in gorgeous remote Nepal. 12 Days from 14 to 26 June or 17 to 29 November. Full Service Cost: Donation $1,450 £1,150 €1,250.(100% of your contribution for the trek and your international flight are tax deductible). Discounts for medical professionals and educators. Choose our fixed dates or arrive anytime during the year. www.RemoteNepalServiceTrek.org Includes all internal transport and free hotels.

Organizing your Nepal Visa: YOUR NEPAL VISA IS BEST PURCHASED WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE KATHMANDU AIRPORT: It is not necessary to purchase a Nepalese visa prior to landing in Nepal . When you arrive in Kathmandu airport, you will fill out the arrival and visa forms available on the tables, and then the immigration officials will stamp your Nepal visa into your passport at the immigration counter. You will provide your passport sized photo and pay cash (dollars, pounds, or euros) for the visa at that time. The cost of a 90 day visa is approximately $100 USD & a 30 day visa costs approximately $60. Please bring cash and 2 extra passport-sized photos (extra photos are necessary to obtain the visa in the airport). If you forgot your photo, you have one taken there, for 300 rupees (but you will have to stand in another queue and change your money into rupees first. If you are staying in Nepal, get a single entry visa for the total number of days you will be in Nepal.

Please Note: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the END of the expedition and contain at least 2 blank pages.

Preparation - what to remember. Please read the section below carefully. Thank you.

1). Purchase your flight ticket now. Flights are still available. Return flights from UK-Kathmandu-UK are around 550 pounds. Return flights from USA-Kathmandu-USA are around $1300. 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, which we encourage you to send us by email. 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. If you have not already sent these, please do. 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 (equipment carriage service), payment, etc.
[ ] Signed and Scanned Trip Registration and Waiver Forms (part 4 page form)
[ ] Signed Medical Form (part of 4 page form),
[ ]One passport sized photo which is a simple, very clear picture of your face, against a white background, sent as an email scan. You can take it yourself for free with your own digital camera or smart phone. Please be sure to carry a couple of passport photos in your pocket when crossing foreign borders, for visa and permit purposes
[ ] Scan of passport identification pages,
[ ] Complete flight itinerary,
[ ] Proof of mountain rescue, travel, accident, and repatriation insurance (cancellation insurance is advised).
[ ] Doctors letter.

Please do let us know what further questions you may have about the registration process, or anything else for that matter. Thank you.  Back to top

3) Please bring all of your personal paperwork, including your original proof of insurance, at least two extra photos, etcetera.

4) Please make sure to budget enough cash and bring it along with you to Kathmandu. Credit cards are of no use once you leave Kathmandu, and even in Kathmandu credit cards are still quite often not accepted by shops, hotels, and restaurants. If you wish to use your bank ATM card in Kathmandu, you will only be able to withdraw Nepalese rupees and not dollars, euros, pounds, etc. Once you are away from Kathmandu you won't be able to obtain any cash and sometimes it’s hard to change money other than US dollars, etcetera. We've found it's better to be prepared and bring too much cash than not enough. Note on traveller’s cheques: They are not useful. Please bring enough cash to cover your expenses for the following:

  • A. Hotels in Kathmandu (KTM);
  • B. Restaurants in KTM;
  • C. Shopping in KTM;
  • D. Nepal Visa
  • E. Tips for staff, Sherpas, summit bonuses, etc;
  • F. Shopping and drinks (coke, beer, etcetera) during trek
  • G. Phone calls and internet charges.
If you feel uncomfortable carrying such currency on your trip, you can give it to our leader for safe keeping. Here are the recommended amounts of cash to have on hand for each trip:

  • Mt Manaslu members: please bring at least $1800 cash with you for the expedition.
  • AmaDablam members: please bring at least $700 cash with you for the trip.
  • Baruntse members: Please bring at least $700 cash with you for the trip.
  • Mera Peak members: Please bring at least $300 cash with you for the trip.
  • Everest Glacier School members: please bring at least $500 cash with you for the trip.
  • Everest Basecamp Nepal walkers: please bring at least $200 cash with you for the trip.
  • Remote Nepal Service walkers: please bring at least $200 cash with you for the trip.
NEPAL BANK ATM MACHINES: There are good bank, cash, atm machines, especially in KTM. However, these cash machines will only distribute Nepali rupees, so you must bring foreign currencies, $, £, €, from home. Travelers cheques are inconvenient. They can only be handled by large banks and may only be claimed into Nepali rupees. You can’t use them to buy things, pay for hotels, restaurants, nor for tips/gratuities. Be sure to bring extra cash to Nepal basecamp for tipping the Sherpas and staff as many of them will not be returning to KTM. $, £, €, work well in Kathmandu. For Nepal walks and climbs, you will change money into rupees after arriving in Kathmandu.

5) Helicopter rescue, repatriation and travel insurance are required and cancellation insurance is recommended. 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 walking. We are glad to advise you about different types of insurance and where to find them. Nowadays good insurance is available for any person from every country in the world. If you have sent the above, thank you very much.

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. 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, for treks and climbs up to $10,000, on immediate notice. This is in case you are injured and require a helicopter rescue. 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. Ps. By the way, one insurance company, called Global Rescue, has their own staff in Nepal and manages rescues themselves. If you have Global Rescue, you probably won’t need the above form. Back to top

In Kathmandu (KTM) - arrival and departure

7) Arriving in KTM, meeting your flight, and going to your hotel. Please Note: Our staff will meet you at the airport holding a "SummitClimb or SummitTrek, sign, or a sign with your name. 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 last season. 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. Before leaving the airport please change a little money ($20, 10 pounds, or 10 euros) into rupees at the exchange counter. You will get a better rate once you are inside Kathmandu, so please don’t change too much. When you walk out of the airport terminal, please walk slowly and carefully and look for the sign bearing your name (usually your last, or surname, but occasionally your first, or given name) or the company name. In case we miss you, please take a 500 rupee taxi to the hotel. We did not miss anyone last year, but some members did not read the signs, or ran out of the airport quickly. If you don’t find your pickup, please call our staff in Section 8 (below).

All members of all teams are urgently instructed to never tip more than $1 or 1 euro or 1 pound or 100 rupees at the airport in exchange for receiving help with your luggage. 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. Please also note that if 10 people try to carry your bag, they don’t all receive a tip. You just give the money to one of them and let them divide it among themselves.
If you are arriving early, please make sure to go check in at our office, so our staff can begin working on the permit, check your equipment, help with purchasing any missing bits, etcetera.

8) Print out our KTM Climbing & Trekking Office details and carry with you at all times. Our Kathmandu office managers are:

  • Mr. Murari Sharma and Mr. Deha Shrestha
  • Everest Parivar Expedition (In front of Armed Police Force Headquarter)
  • Halchok, Shoyambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Office: 977-1-4283382
  • Residence tel: 9771-4418210, 4428110
  • Fax: 9771-4249835
  • Mobile: (977) 985102-3985 or 985109-1456
9) KTM HOTEL. Your trip includes 2 free Kathmandu hotel nights at the beginning and two free Kathmandu hotel nights at the end of the trip. You will be sharing. If you want your own single room, the cost is an additional $32 per night and for extra nights $65 per person for single occupancy.This a clean and comfortable "two-star" hotel. We use good quality hot water hotels in a central neighbourhood, near many tasty restaurants, and excellent mountain equipment and gift shopping, as well as our trekking and mountain climbing office where we meet before and after the adventure. Extra nights before or after the trip itinerary will be $60 for a double room and we are happy to book these for you. Please just let us know your flight arrival and departure dates and we will take care of your accommodations while in Kathmandu.

We are able to book extra nights if you wish to arrive earlier than the trip start date or stay later then the trip end date.

Here is the information for the "two-star" hotel we are using this year during our September - December Trips

  • Hotel Shakti
  • Amrit Marg, BhagwanBahal, Thamel,
  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Tel.: 977-1-4700902, 977-1-4700893
PLEASE PRINT OUT ITEM 8 AND 9 CARRY IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES (ESPECIALLY ON ARRIVAL) IN CASE YOU BECOME LOST

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. : It’s fine if you want to arrive earlier, and definitely a good idea if you have lots of shopping to do. Below are the dates we require you to arrive in Kathmandu (of course its no problem to arrive earlier) Back to top

  • Mt Manaslu: 29 August
  • Everest Glacier School: 10 October or 1November
  • Island Peak: 10 October or 1 November
  • AmaDablam: 10 October or 1 November
  • Baruntse: 12 October.
  • Mera Peak: 12 October.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek Nepal (and optional Island Peak): 10 October or 1November
  • Service Trek: 17 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. Please note that you cannot leave before the end date of the trip unless you have the leaders permission. Below I have noted the dates for your return flight home at the end of each expedition. Of course its fine if you want to stay on after the expedition ends and there are lots of fun things to do in Nepal like wild game viewing safaris, rafting, visit lakeside in Pokhara, etcetera.

  • Mt Manaslu 5October
  • Everest Glacier School: 31 October or 22 November
  • Everest Base Camp Trek Nepal: 27 October or 18 November
  • Island Peak: 31 October or 22 November
  • AmaDablam: 7 November or 29 November.
  • Baruntse: 14 November.
  • Mera Peak: 2 November.
  • Service Trek: 29 November.
Equipment -

12) For an equipment list for climbing, walking and group equipment, please go to 'personal and team equipment' link for the trip you are interested in, which can be found on each specific trip in the light blue bar just below "recent news" thanks

NOTE: all equipment MUST be in a locked kit-duffle-holdall bag with your name in LARGE LETTERS. Unlocked rucksacks and unlocked bags of any kind are not advised.

13) 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 everything you need. Here is a partial list for those desiring to contact Nepalese shops and manufacturers:

Gauri Shankar Shop - Kathmandu - (For hardwear like Millet Everest One sport boots, plastic boots, trekking boots, ice axes, crampons, ascenders, helmets, and harnesses and hiring ) - contact SummitClimb's Kathmandu office to check availability: info@summitclimb.com . Thank you very much

For soft goods like down jackets trousers and suits, we have used two shops:

A. Everest Hardwear shop in Thamel. e-mail angsonam25@yahoo.com , tel 4230399, mobile (977)98510 45706

B. Shona's Shop in Thamel: e-mail: shonasrentals@hotmail.com , phone: 4265120

Note: Down suit orders in Kathmandu will require 2 weeks notice due to power cuts. Please contact a manufacturer as soon as possible.

14) 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 , jewellery, expensive watches, etcetera. These facilities are kept locked and are extremely safe. All bags left in storage must have your name clearly written in large letters. Back to top

15) Depart KTM for the mountain. After completing our orientation session and receiving permits, we plan to depart Kathmandu the following day.

16) Buy your mattress in Nepal. You will be purchasing your mattress in Lukla.
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 an inflatable matt 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/duffel bag filled with foam? Our planned schedule allows plenty of time for equipment shopping in Kathmandu.

17) Climbers and walkers-bring or buy 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 it's available. Due to power cuts, 2 weeks advanced notice is necessary

18) Food during the expedition -

  • Snack Food: Bring your own snack food. All basecamp and walk 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. We do not provide any daily snack energy food, you need to provide your own. 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. A wide variety of imported sweets, 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.
  • Freeze-dried/Dehydrated meals: We request you bring your own freeze-dried meals. 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. Back to top
Here is the list of food we suggest you bring for yourself:

  • Mt Manaslu: 2-5 kilos - 4 to 10 pounds of snacks and at least 3 freeze-dried dinners
  • AmaDablam: 2-4 kilos - 4 to 8 pounds of snacks and at least 2 freeze-dried dinners
  • Baruntse: 2-4 kilos - 4 to 8 pounds of snacks and at least 2 freeze-dried dinners
  • Everest Glacier School & Island Peak: 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks
  • Mera Peak and Island Peak : 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks
  • Everest Basecamp Treks & Remote Nepal Service Trek: 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks
19) Boots and shoes for your climb - walk. Regarding shoes, please wear the following:

  • Mt Manaslu: "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots high on the mountain and sturdy- lightweight leather boots for walking to camp
  • AmaDablam: Plastic double boots or "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots. Sturdy- lightweight leather boots for walking to camp ABC.
  • Baruntse: Plastic double boots or "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots. Sturdy- lightweight leather boots for walking to camp ABC.
  • Everest Glacier School & Island Peak: Sturdy double plastic 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”.
  • Mera Peak and Island Peak : Sturdy double plastic 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”.
  • Everest Basecamp Treks and Remote Nepal Service Trek: Comfortable lightweight walking shoes with good ankle support that are water repellent and well “broken-in”.
Please note: Members who have tried to wear leather 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 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! IF YOU HAVE VERY SMALL OR VERY LARGE FEET, PLEASE TELL US BEFORE, AND WE WILL CHECK THE KATHMANDU SHOPS FOR AVAILABILITY. Back to top

Sherpas and staff

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 for our group staff:

  • Manaslu: $250
  • Baruntse: $200
  • Everest Glacier School & Island Peak: $150
  • Mera Peak: $150
  • Everest Basecamp Treks &Service Trek: $125
Expect to pay the above tip no matter what.

Tipping Climbing Sherpas on our peak climbs: for a group Sherpa 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:

  • AmaDablam Summit Attempt Bonus: $100, Summit Success: $200.
  • Baruntse Summit Attempt Bonus: $100, Summit Success: $250.
  • Manaslu Summit Bonus: $300, Summit Success $700
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. Traveller’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.

NEW SHERPA TRAINING SCHOOL: www.SherpaClimbingSchool.org  . Working together with the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development (MEFSD), we need new and used good-quality climbing and walking equipment and clothing, as well as funds for office expense. The MEFSD is building a new school for training 30 aspiring young Sherpas, both men and women. Safety, technique, communication, education, health, environmental and cultural preservation and economic opportunities will be the goals for this new training course so that we can provide education, training and help local people in Nepal to earn a good living from sustainable tourism in their beautiful country for many years to come.

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 walking, climbing, running, etc. Children’s and Women’s clothing is also needed. Thanks for helping and being so very thoughtful.

Communication

22) Telephone. We have a mobile phone in basecamp. The cost is around $1 - $2 per minute, depending on which country you are ringing and its free of cost to receive incoming calls and texts on the mobile phone. We plan to have access to mobile and satellite telephone during the walk too. Those wishing to use our sets are required to post a $100 deposit, prior to departure from Kathmandu. The cost for satellite phones 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 may be a website where your family, friends, colleagues, and sponsors can watch the progress of our climbs and walks. This website is a public service from www.SummitClimbNews.com  and www.SummitTrekNews.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 often 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). We encourage you to bring your own smaller solar panel, as these seem to work very well.
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 laptops with non moving hard drives that work well in altitude.
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.

Additional information for climbers:

25) Bring or buy warm mittens. Special warm high-altitude mittens are necessary for all of our climbs, for example: http://outdoorresearch.com/home/style/home/handtools/gloves/ascent/71870  . Nowadays, we can find many warm mitten choices in Kathmandu. 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.

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. We encourage you to do so, especially if you are not excited about climbing with a rucksack which is heavily 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.

29) 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. Your donation will be used wisely by the Foundation which exists to help poor farmers help themselves. These families live in Nepal 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 you might wish to join.

Thank you so much for all of your kind compassion and wonderful help to the people of Nepal!!!

Conclusion

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 favourite subject: MOUNTAINS. Also, this kind of conversation may help us to understand one another's expectations.

31) Let us begin climbing and walking. We are looking forward to further discussion, to meeting, to climbing and walking 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 and walking with you soon, Yours Sincerely, from Dan Mazur and all of us at www.SummitClimb.com and www.SummitTrek.com 

Thanks for telling all of your friends about what we are trying to do.

-Dan Mazur

• Email: Dan@SummitClimb.com and Dan@SummitTrek.com ;
• Skype: dan.mazur8848 ;
• UK telephone: +44 (0)7810 375400 (evenings best, I may be out climbing in the day);
• US telephone: (+1)360-570-0715 (please leave a message in case I am out in the hills);
• Web: www.SummitClimb.com and www.SummitTrek.com ;
• Latest climbing news: www.SummitClimbNews.com ;
• Latest walking news: www.SummitTrekNews.com ;
• Latest charity / non profit news: www.MountEverestFoundationNews.org
• Featured Climb: www.EverestNepalClimb.com and www.ElbrusSummitClimb.com ;
• Featured Training Climb: www.EverestTrainingClimb.com ;
• Featured Walk: www.EverestNepalWalk.com & www.ServiceTrek.org ;
www.facebook.com/DanMazurPage ;
www.facebook.com/DanielLeeMazur ;
www.facebook.com/summitclimbers ;
www.youtube.com/user/MountEverestVideo ;
www.linkedin.com/in/daniellmazur ;
www.twitter.com/@DanielMazur ;
• UK address: 30 Downfield Lodge, Downfield Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2TQ, England;
• US address: POB 123, Lakebay, WA, 98349;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Mazur  .

Ps. Congratulations, you made it to the bottom of this newsletter. You must have the patience and perseverance necessary to become a team member of www.SummitClimb.com  or www.SummitTrek.com  or a service worker for www.MountEverestFoundation.org    Back to top
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