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SummitClimb and SummitTrek PreTripNewsletter 2014

 
Photos in slideshow: Fabrice Imparato, Dan Mazur, Joanna Goodson, Ken Stalter, Ryan Waters, Bruce Manning, & Tunc Findik.
 
Himalayan Pre-Trip Newsletter - Climbs, Walks, Hikes, Treks, Service Walks & Trekking Peaks 2014

Dear Friends, Climbers and Walkers. I am Dan Mazur, one of the Everest summit and basecamp walk 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, and November 2014 expeditions and walks.

How has 2014 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.

NOW IS THE TIME TO JOIN OUR 2014 & 2015 TRIPS if you have not already.

All climbs now feature western leaders, excellent food, the best Sherpas, 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 returning safely

RECENT NEWS

Our Cho Oyu and Everest Tibet Climb teams ALL summited successfully this season and during 2013. We are so proud of everyone involved, well done to our team members: men and women of all ages, and thanks to our excellent leaders and top Sherpas. Plus earlier this spring our Nepal Training Climbs and Basecamp Trek teams achieved their goals. In 2013, both of our Cho Oyu expeditions, Autumn and Fall, reached the summit, as did our Autumn Baruntse and Ama Dablam expeditions, and our Spring 2013 Everest season was very successful and safe.

In 2013 our teams complete their basecamp treks with our Everest training schools also achieving their goals too. You can read all about their success at www.SummitClimbNews.com  www.SummitTrekNews.com  & www.MEFNews.org   

We have a fun summer planned with our Glacier Schools before September-October-November climbs of Mount Cho Oyu, ShishaPangma, Ama Dablam, Baruntse, Mera Peak, Island Peak, and the Everest Glacier School, as well as Everest Base Camp Trek, and the Remote Nepal Service Trek. Welcome to our team!!

Almost to the Top of Everest - Photo Mia Graeffe Mia Graeffe on Summit of Everest - First Female from Finland to summit Everest from Tibet - Photo Mia Graeffe
 
Almost to the Top of Everest - Photo Mia Graeffe. Mia Graeffe on Summit of Everest - First Female from Finland to summit Everest from Tibet - Photo Mia Graeffe.
 
Dmitri on the summit 24 May. Pemba Sherpa Photo Pemba Sherpa on the summit 24 May. Dmitri Nichiporov photo
 
Dmitri on the summit 24 May. Dawa Lama Photo. Dawa Lama on the summit  24 May. Dmitri Nichiporov photo.

PAYMENT NEWS: *Special Notice* Charge your expedition to your credit card. Earn valuable miles and 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 2014 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.Back to top

AUTUMN 2014 CLIMBING EXPEDITIONS

MOUNT BARUNTSE EXPEDITION. 34 days in Nepal's remarkable remote Everest region during October and November. Climb "three peaks" in one expedition. Exciting and remote trek and climb through a rarely visited part of Nepal, yet within a stone's throw of Everest.  Join leader Dan Mazur, who will teach you everything you need to know, for Nepal's "easiest" 23,000 foot high peak. This trip is very unique in that it offers something for everyone, from the novice to the expert. Dan loves sharing this climb with our members, as the Baruntse Expedition really is a "grand circle" climbing trip 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  Full Service Cost: $8950, £5450, €6450. 12 October to 14 November. 34 days in Nepal. Climbing Baruntse qualifies you for Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Shishapangma. Full service includes all climb and trek costs, free hotel and free sherpas. All of our teams reached the summit in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010. PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST NOW AS PLACES FOR BARUNTSE FILL QUICKLY. Latest news at www.BaruntseNews.com

Team on the summit of Baruntse in beautiful weather on 4 November, 2013. Felix Berg Photo Team on the Baruntse summit ridge. Jussi Kuva Photo.
 
Team on the summit of Baruntse in beautiful weather on 4 November, 2013. Felix Berg Photo.  Team on the Baruntse summit ridge. Jussi Kuva Photo.

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: $5550, £3450, €4050 ; Basic Climb Cost: $2450, £1550, €1850; 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: FREE SHERPAS, FREE HOTELS, AND FREE INTERNAL FLIGHTS. 29 days in October-November. 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 Max Kausch- 4 Succesful Ama expeditions, friendly, a good teacher, technically accomplished. He will review all needed skills on small cliffs around the warm and sunny basecamp. Climbing Ama Dablam qualifies you for Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Shishapangma. All of our teams reached the summit in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010. View the latest news at: www.AmaDablamNews.com

Amadablam Mark traverses solid granite on the ridge below camp 2. Sarabjit Bhooee Photo.

Sean Foxcroft in the Yellow Tower, the crux pitch of Ama Dablam: 10 metres, 30 feet of UIAA 4th class, North American 5.6, British Severe, climbed on very solid granite with good fixed lines. Photo Dan Mazur. Amazing photo of Ama Dablam taken outside of Namche (Liam Suckling). Maggie traverses granite in the white tower, while Mark climbs snow above. Photo Sarabjit Bhooee. Mark traverses solid granite on the ridge below camp 2. Sarabjit Bhooee Photo. 

MOUNT CHO OYU:  Led by Max Kausch / Dan Mazur who will teach you everything you need to know, Cho Oyu is not difficult, in fact it is considered to be the "most-accessible" of the "8000 metre" peaks and relatively easy. 38 days in Tibet and Nepal during April-May and September-October. There is perhaps no better preparation for Everest. NEW LOW PRICE: Full Service Cost: $12,850, £8450, €9,850; Basic Climb Cost: $6650, £4350, €5050 20% discount for Cho-Shish "double-header" expedition. FOR MORE PLEASE GO TO www.ExpeditionChoOyu.com . FULL SERVICE INCLUDES ALL CLIMB AND TREK COSTS, FREE HOTEL AND FREE SHERPAS. All of our Cho Oyu expeditions reached the summit in 2012, 2013 and so far in 2014. In fact, Dan led our October 2013 expedition which put 6 members on the summit and our skilful friendly Sherpas led much of the route. For more please visit: www.ChoOyuNews.com  Back to top

 

Alejandro prepares to step onto rock-band number 2 towards the summit. Camp 2 with a storm behind.

MOUNT SHISHA PANGMA: www.ShishaPangmaExpedition.com  38 days September-October or 15 days in October (our popular Cho Oyu - Shishapangma "double-header"). "Off the beaten track" but very climbable large mountain. Perfect preparation of Everest, located in Tibet and the lowest of the world's 8000 meter / 26,000 foot high peaks. 31 August to 7 October, 2014. Please go to www.ShishapangmaNews.com  to learn more. Full Service Cost: $12,850, £8450, €9,850; Basic Climb Cost: $6650, £4150, €5050.

20% discount for Cho-Shish "double-header" expedition: 5th to 20th October 2014 Full Service Cost: $10,250, £6,750, €7880; Basic Climb Cost: $5350, £3350, €4050.  Optional trip to Lhasa, add $2450. www.ShishapangmaExpedition.com . Full service includes all climb and trek costs, free hotel and free sherpas.

By the way, you and friends and family are welcome to accompany our Nepal climbing teams as a trekker and walk to Ama Dablam, Baruntse, Cho Oyu and ShishaPangma basecamp.

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.

MOUNT MERA ‘TREKKING-PEAK’ CLIMB: 22 days in October. Join us for this gorgeous walk-climb of Mount Mera. A beautiful, ‘easy’, and remote 6500 metre / 21,300 foot high 'trekking peak', with some of the best views of Everest possible. This is a stunning trek through ancient forests alongside raging rivers and across high remote passes. A less visited and unspoiled region of Nepal. Full Service Cost: $3150, £2050, €2450. www.MeraPeakExpedition.com  and www.MeraPeakNews.com  Bring your skis and snowboard if you are excited about skiing and/or boarding down this peak. Back to top

  Trekking through the big Rhododendron and Hemlock jungle at Tashing Ongma at 3580 metres - 11742 feet. photo by Andrew Davis.
Photo by Marion Joncheres: Team member on the Mera La at 5400 metres/17,700 feetTrekking through the big Rhododendron and Hemlock jungle at Tashing Ongma at 3580 metres / 11742 feet. We saw a family of giant snow monkeys here. photo by Andrew Davis. Heading towards the summit of fun trekking peak, Mera Peak, at 6300 metres/20,700 feet.

EVEREST GLACIER SCHOOL: www.EverestGlacierSchool.com  - Full Service Cost: $2950, £1950, €2250, Seven day option: $1450. Price includes everything for the climb and the walk to basecamp: free sherpas, free hotels and free internal flights. Friendly leader Ang Sange Sherpa has led 14 Glacier Schools, and is an excellent instructor and a very friendly person who teaches everything you need to know. 22 days (or 7 days for the school and climb only) during April, May, or October. 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".

Michael Tomordy at the Lobuche summit photo by Patrick McKnight Paula, Alexandra, and Sam considering a ladder near Everest basecamp. Photo by Mike Fairman

Michael Tomordy at the Lobuche summit photo by Patrick McKnight.  Paula, Alexandra, and Sam considering a ladder near Everest basecamp. Photo by Mike Fairman.

Paula, Alexandra, and Sam ice training near Everest basecamp. Photo by Mike Fairman Sam and Alexandra relax at Lobuche base camp looking out at Ama Dablam photo by Patrick McKnight

Paula, Alexandra, and Sam ice training near Everest basecamp. Photo by Mike Fairman. Sam and Alexandra relax at Lobuche base camp looking out at Ama Dablam photo by Patrick McKnight.

TREKKING PEAKS AND TREKS AUTUMN 2014

ISLAND PEAK, NEPAL’S MOST FAMOUS ‘EASY’ TREKKING PEAK: www.IslandPeakExpedition.com  22 days in April, May and October. 8 to 29 April, 22 April to 13 May, and 10 to 31 October

Nepal's famous ‘easy’ 'trekking peak'. Climb to 6000 metres in just one day. Fabulous views of Lhotse south face and Makalu. This trip can be done on its own or combined with the Everest basecamp trek, or the Everest Glacier School. Full Service Cost: $2950, £1950, €2250. By the way, we had some very good Island Peak trips last year and reached the summit with some very helpful and friendly Sherpas. Please read more at www.IslandPeakNews.com  . Thank you very much

Nathan, Sangeeta, Thile and Dan on the summit of Island Peak. Photo by Thile Nuru Sherpa Rosemary, Maggie, and Sangeeta wowing the camera in front of Deboche. Photo James Barritt

Nathan, Sangeeta, Thile and Dan on the summit of Island Peak. Photo by Thile Nuru Sherpa. Rosemary, Maggie, and Sangeeta wowing the camera in front of Deboche. Photo James Barritt.
 
Team member on the summit looking off towards higher peaks in the Himalaya. A member approaching the final metres towards the summit.(Valerie Hovland)  

EVEREST BASECAMP WALK NEPAL: www.EverestBasecampWalk.com  18 days in April, May and October. Walk on wide snow-free trails through green terraced villages perched beside rapidly flowing rivers beneath the towering snowy giants of the Himalaya to Nepal's most famous and beautiful basecamp first climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Sherpa; hike 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 Gorak Shep. Your leaders Mingma Sherpa and his wife Yangjie Sherpa 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! - Cost: $1850, £1250, €1450.  By the way, our recent Everest Base Camp walk was very succesful, interesting and fun. Please go to: www.EverestBasecampWalk.com  and click on: 'Please view our new Everest Basecamp Trek video clips'.  Back to top

Long bridge near phakding. Photo Scot Beautiful day. Photo Scot
 
Long bridge near phakding. Photo Scot.  Beautiful day. Photo Scot.

Photo of Patrick and Neal on a day trip to 3880m with our first view of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. Photo taken by Neal Kushwaha. Hiking up in Tangboche hill. Photo Scot

Photo of Patrick and Neal on a day trip to 3880m with our first view of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. Photo taken by Neal Kushwaha. Hiking up in Tangboche hill. Photo Scot. 

Remote Nepal Service Trek - www.RemoteNepalServiceTrek.org  13 days June or November. Join our experienced friendly leader and some of the world's best Everest climbing sherpas with the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development (MEFSD) to walk the beautiful green foothills beneath Mount Everest and explore ancient uncut forests and terraced farmlands. Come one come all! It's an affordable price and the funds go to a great cause. You will definitely be called upon to help out (if you want to, but you are not required to) the local villagers, by teaching at local schools and doing medical checks, and checking building construction as you walk through this remote pristine unspoiled part of Nepal that is never visited by tourists and is not mentioned in the Lonely Planet nor any other guidebooks. Visit friendly farm families living a traditional life, and deliver needed medical and educational supplies to remote schools and hospitals. This is a low altitude trek and you will never step on snow nor walk higher than 2700 metres / 8850 feet. Discounts for medical professionals and teachers. ***During our recent trek, members delivered needed medical and school supplies and clothing, also tried their hand at teaching and seeing patients. Donation: $1450, £950, €1050 (100% of your contribution for the trek and your international flight are tax deductable and gift aid eligible). Price includes everything for the walk: free sherpas, free hotels and free internal flights.

photo by Murari Sharma: Patale health post worker Jamyang and Dr. Lisa McClellan examine a Nepalese baby.  Giving out school supplies at the school in Patale

ORGANIZING YOUR TIBET AND NEPAL VISAS

YOUR NEPAL VISA IS BEST PURCHASED WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE KATHMANDU AIRPORT: 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. In 2013, the cost of a 30 day visa was $50 and a 90 day visa was $100 USD. 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. If you are going to Tibet, please obtain a double entry Nepal visa for the total of number of days of your trip, including the time you will be gone in Tibet also (ie: if you will be in Tibet for 30 days, and in Nepal for 3 days at the beginning and 3 days at the end, you would obtain a 90 day double entry Nepal visa). Please Note: your Tibet visa will be obtained at the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu at a cost of $145 - $250, depending upon what country you are from. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months fom 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 750 pounds. Return flights from USA-Kathmandu-USA are around $1500. 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),

[ ] 2 Passport-Sized Photos Scan

[ ] Scan of passport identification pages,

[ ] Complete flight itinerary,

[ ] Proof of mountain rescue, 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.  Back to top

Pangboche village with Ama Dablam and Everest in the background. Photo by Sam Chappatte Thile Nuru Sherpa and Lakpa Kongle Sherpa being blessed by Lama Geshe. Photo by Sam Chappatte

Pangboche village with Ama Dablam and Everest in the background. Photo by Sam Chappatte. Thile Nuru Sherpa and Lakpa Kongle Sherpa being blessed by Lama Geshe. Photo by Sam Chappatte.

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 traveler'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 and Tibet visas;
  • E. Emergency cash for Tibet rescue;
  • F. Tips for staff, sherpas, summit bonuses, etc;
  • G. Shopping and drinks (coke, beer, etcetera) during trek and in Tibet.
  • H. 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:

  • Cho Oyu members: please bring at least $1800 cash with you for the expedition.
  • Ama Dablam 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.

Tibet members: Please note that your amount of cash you need to bring is about $1000 more than our Nepal trips because it costs that much to hire a jeep to take you out early if you wish to leave before the scheduled end date of the itinerary.

Walking down from lukla to Phakding. Photo Scot Scott Younghusband Dudh Koshi. Photo Scott Younghusband

Walking down from lukla to Phakding. Photo Scot Scott Younghusband.  Dudh Koshi. Photo Scott Younghusband.

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 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 walks and climbs, you will change money into rupees after arriving in Kathmandu. For Tibet walks and climbs, you will change money into Chinese Yuan in Zhangmu, Tibet, after crossing the Friendship Bridge during lunch. Back to top

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 up to $10,000 and for climbs up to $30,000, 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 Heli 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.

Rain god iin Kathmandu. Photo Scott Younghusband Basantapur Darbar. Photo Scott Younghusband

Rain god in Kathmandu. Photo Scott Younghusband.  Basantapur Darbar. Photo Scott Younghusband.

In Kathmandu (KTM) - arrival and departure

7) Arriving in KTM, meeting your flight, and going to your hotel.

Note: Our staff will meet you at the airport holding a "SummitClimb or 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 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). The sign may also simply say "Summit Climb or Summit Trek". 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. 

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.  Back to top

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

Climbing & Trekking Office -

  • Mr. Murari Sharma and Mr. Deha Shrestha
  • Everest Parivar Expedition (Infront of Armed Police Force Headquarter)
  • Halchok, Shoyambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Office: 977-1-4283382
  • Residence tel: 9771-4418210, 4428110
  • Mobile: (977) 985102-3985 or 985109-1456

PLEASE PRINT OUT ITEM 8 AND CARRY IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES (ESPECIALLY ON ARRIVAL) IN CASE YOU BECOME LOST

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 neighborhood, 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:

  • Hotel Shakti
  • Amrit Marg, Bhagwan Bahal, Thamel,
  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 977-1-4410121, 4429508

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).

  • Everest Glacier School: 10 October.
  • Island Peak: 8 April, 22 April, or 10 October.
  • Ama Dablam: 10 October.
  • Baruntse: 12 October.
  • Mera Peak: 12 October.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek Nepal (and optional Island Peak): 8 April, 22 April or 10 October.
  • Cho Oyu: 31 August.
  • Remote Nepal 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.  Back to top

  • Everest Glacier School: 31 October.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek Nepal: 27 October.
  • Island Peak: 31 October.
  • Ama Dablam: 7 November or 1 December.
  • Baruntse: 14 November.
  • Mera Peak: 2 November.
  • Cho Oyu: 7 October.
  • Remote Nepal Service Trek: 29 November.

Very good day in hiking. Photo Scott Younghusband Jorsalle. Photo Scot Younghusband.

Very good day in hiking. Photo Scott Younghusband.  Jorsalle. Photo Scot Younghusband.

Equipment -

12) For an equipment list for climbing, walking and group equipment, please go to 'equipment' link on the top bar of the SummitClimb and SummitTrek website. 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:

For hardwear like boots, crampons, ice-axes and harnesses, go to the Everest Summitters shop in Thamel. Email: evecom@mos.com.np , 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: shonasrentals@hotmail.com , phone: +977-1-4265120
  • B. Everest Hardwear shop in Thamel. e-mail angsonam25@yahoo.com , tel +977-1-4230399, mobile (977)98510 45706

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

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 (those people going to Tibet need their passports), jewelry, 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.

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. 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 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.
  • 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:
  • Ama Dablam: 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;
  • Cho Oyu: 2-5 kilos - 4 to 10 pounds of snacks and at least 3 freeze-dried dinners;
  • Everest Glacier School & Island Peak: 1-2 kilos - 2 to 4 pounds of snacks;
  • Mera 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:

  • Ama Dablam: 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.
  • Cho Oyu: "One-Sport Everest Millet" boots high on the mountain and sturdy- lightweight leather boots for walking to camp 1.
  • 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: 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 repellant and well “broken-in”. 

 

 

Climbing the final few steps into camp 3. That's the Geneva Spur on the left (Squash Falconer). Climber works her way up the hard blue ice at the top of the Lhotse face (Alex Holt). Climbers work on crossing the Bergschrund at the base of the Lhotse face, en-route to camp 3 (Alex Holt). Making the big climb up to camp 3. Check out the big string of climbers climbing into camp 3 on the middle right side of the photo (Alex Holt).

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. Back to top

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.

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:

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

Tipping Climbing Sherpas 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:

  • Cho Oyu Summit Attempt Bonus: $200, Summit Success: $400.
  • Ama Dablam Summit Attempt Bonus: $50, Summit Success: $100.
  • Baruntse Summit Attempt Bonus: $50, Summit Success: $100. 

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. Back to top

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 andits 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. Back to top

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.

We plan to have internet in basecamp and we plan for it to be free or very cheap. Last year we did and it worked well. Sometimes we have to walk for 15 minutes or so to reachthe high point where the free internet works.

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 wam 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. Back to top

Summit of Everest on 23nd May 2013, Rikke Hojland and Ang Dorjee Sherpa. Photo Rikke Rikke Hojland summit of Everest on 22nd May 2013. Photo Rikke

Summit of Everest on 23 May 2013, Rikke Hojland and Ang Dorjee Sherpa. Photo Rikke. Rikke Hojland summit of Everest on 22nd May 2013. Photo Rikke.

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) Everest, Cho Oyu, and Lhotse oxygen: For Everest & Lhotse climbers, we are now giving FREE OXYGEN, no charge for a five-bottle set.  Back to top

About half of our Cho Oyu team members use oxygen. Cho Oyu is not like Everest where Oxygen is absolutely necessary, but many Cho-Oyu 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 try to help you carry the oxygen, and 5 four-litre bottles of oxygen are recommended for Everest and Lhotse - NOW INCLUDED FOR FREE FOR FULL SERVICE MEMBERS! Some members on Everest and Lhotse like to purchase a few extra bottles for insurance in case of a longer stay at high camp or a second summit attempt.

3 four-litre bottles should be more than enough for Cho Oyu, and you also need the mask, hoses, and regulator.

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. For Cho Oyu we have a 30% "buy-back" policy on unused oxygen, and masks, hoses, and regulators in good condition so it's like you are renting the oxygen and equipment.

Here are the costs:

* Cho Oyu: 3 bottle set: $2150 (30% buy-back policy applies).

* If purchased separately:

* Mask + Hoses (guaranteed to be in perfect working order and match the bottles and regulator perfectly): $285 (30% buy-back policy applies)..

* Regulator for high-altitude oxygen bottle (guaranteed to be in perfect working order and match the bottle and mask and hoses perfectly): We have 30% buy-back policy on regulators in good condition. $485 (30% buy-back policy applies).

* 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 (30% buy-back policy applies). Back to top

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 on all of our expeditions. 

M. Donations of medical and educational supplies, clothing, etcetera for the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development:

30) 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 you might wish to join. 

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

Gyelje Sherpa fixing rope in the lower part of the grey tower. Checkout camp two on top of the yellow tower in the lower left. photo by Maaike Braat Jangbu Sherpa fixing rope on the Summit Ridge of Mount Baruntse. Photo Markus

Gyelje Sherpa fixing rope in the lower part of the grey tower. Checkout camp two on top of the yellow tower in the lower left. photo by Maaike Braat. Jangbu Sherpa fixing rope on the Summit Ridge of Mount Baruntse. Photo Markus

Conclusion

31) 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.

32) 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. Back to top

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 SummitClimb.com and SummitTrek.com .  

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

-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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