Things to Know before Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Posted Feb 4th, 2019 under Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp has been a mecca for trekkers all the time. Either you are a beginner in the world of trekking or an aficionado for whom mountains are the second home, Annapurna region never ceases to lure the hungry feet of all sorts. And everyone knows the reason why – Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of most rewarding treks in the Himalayas yet one of the easiest one! However, one should not be duped by the word “Easy”. There are certain things you need to know about Annapurna Base Camp Trek to make this adventure “a lifetime experience”.
Trek Type
There are three ways of doing trekking in Annapurna region– GAP, TH and Fully organized camping trek (FOT). The most popular are GAP and TH. GAP comes with Guide, Accommodation and Porter; whereas TH (teahouse) includes Guide, Accommodation, Porter and all meals. As the Annapurna region has adequate accommodation facility, FOT is not recommended. There is also a choice of travelling independently, but it’s not recommended considering the remoteness of the region.
Trip Grade
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is rated as “Moderate to fairly challenging”. The trek goes through villages, rolling hills, forested area and then right into high mountain landscape leading to Annapurna South Base Camp (4130m), the highest point of the trek. It involves approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
Best Time to Travel
The best seasons to trek to Annapurna region is Autumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. Travelling during winter (from December to February) is also possible but the temperature will be harsh and higher places will have heavy snow. Those who don’t like crowded trails and can bear extreme weather conditions can trek during this time. During monsoon (from mid May to mid-September), the weather is cloudy resulting in very poor visibility.
*March, April, October and November are the most popular and favored months for traveling.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek
People
The Gurungs form the largest group in the Annapurna region. They come from Tibeto Burmese stock. They inhabit the higher northern slopes of the Annapurna, Lamjung,Chuli and hills around Ganesh Himal. A large number of Gurung men serve in the British and Indian armies. The immediate vicinity of Pokhara is largely populated by Chettris and Brahmins. The Magars inhabit the lower trail between Baglung and Dana. They live high on the steep ridges along the tributaries of the Kali Gandaki. Another ethnic group of this region is the Thakalis. Known throughout the country as accomplished hoteliers and skilled traders, they are noted for their aggressive trading spirit. Baragaun Bhotiya, Lopa, Manages also inhabit in the region towards the northest of Annapurna region.
Climate, Flora & Fauna
The climate in the Annapurna region varies from subtropical to alpine. The southern slopes of the area has the highest rainfall rate in the country- 3000mm per year, whereas the northern slopes lying in the rain shadow has the lowest rate – less than 300mm per year. The difference in the climatic conditions in this region is responsible for its varied flora and fauna.The Southern lowlands are lush with subtropical forests consisting of chirpine and alder. In the Northern highlands temperate forests of oaks, rhododendron, fir, and blue pine are found. The wet regions yield a variety of bamboo species. The higher altitude further North give rise to forests of birch, blue pine and juniper trees. The area is also rich in wildlife. There are around four hundred and seventy-four species of birds, and around a hundred species of mammals. The Annapurna region serves as an excellent habitat for rare and endangered mammals like the snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, red panda and many of Nepal’s brilliantly plumaged pheasants.
Altitude Sickness
The trail on Annapurna Base Camp does not go too high i.e. not above 4130m, so chances of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) are very low. Though Altitude Sickness has the potential to affect all travelers from 2500m and higher, itinerary should be planned in such a way that you make very gradual ascent, spending some days at a low elevation to build necessary acclimatization before walking up to Annapurna South Base Camp at 4130m (the highest point on this trek). If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before planning the trip.

Village in Annapurna Region
Health
Consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip. Let your doctor know about the area you are travelling to. It is especially important if you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint. If you are travelling with a travel agency, normally your team carries a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a users’ manual which you can use upon your own risk. It’s better to carry your own personal first aid kit.
Vaccinations
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.
Insurance
Your travel insurance must cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation if you are trekking in Nepal.
Rescue/Evacuation
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty (which we hope won’t happen), helicopter rescue and evacuation is available. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Luggage
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. – a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for anything that you do not need during your trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu.
Trekking Gears
You don’t have to spend a fortune on this. Just be rational on your choice. You need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen, day pack etc.
Clothing
As geographical variation is very wide, you should go with layering style. While trekking in Annapurna region during the day at lower altitudes, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts are recommended. It’s always a good idea to carry a waterproof jacket and some warmer clothing with you as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. For the cold nights, thermal underwear, a warm fleece jacket and even a down jacket will help to keep you warm. Good shoes are of great importance.
*If you book with a travel company, they will provide you a complete list of gears and clothing.
Weight allowance
In Nepal’s domestic airlines the weight allowance is 15 Kgs. Excess weight is chargeable about USD 1.5 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.
Accommodation
You will find plenty of modest tea houses along the trekking trail. You can stay in single rooms where possible, but often you may have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. So a sense of adventure is required. In Kathmandu and Pokhara, you can find a wide range of star rated hotels.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Food and Water
You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer) along the Annapurna Base Camp trail. You can also buy bottled water in local lodges and shops. However, it’s a sensible thing to bring water purification pills. Also, make sure that your day pack is well stocked with snacks, chocolates and bars.
Transport
You can either take a 30 minutes’ scenic flight or drive (6/7 hours) to Pokhara. From Pokhara, you have to drive to Nayapool (approx. 2 hours), the starting point of the trek.
Personal Expenses
You can expect to spend around 2500-3000 Rupees a day for your basic food and snacks (excluding accommodation and transportation as they vary widely depending on the level of service). Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. You can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.
Communication
There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Annapurna region. Cell phones work throughout the trail.. However, keep in mind that it can’t be as smooth as in lowlands. If it is important for you to keep in contact with your family or others, you can get a rental satellite phone.
Money Exchange
Money exchange is not a problem in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can find many local certified moneychangers. But same can’t be expected during trek. So, make sure that you have enough local money during your trek. Card payment (Visa, MasterCard, JCB and American Express) is also widely accepted in tourist- class hotels, restaurants and shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Responsible Travel
Travelling is not just about what you get, it is also about what you leave. Try to leave positive impact behind. Respect the mountains, its fragile environment and the local culture. Choose the responsible service providers only. Go through “Dos and Donts in Nepal” thoroughly before travelling to Nepal.

All the best for your adventure in Annapurna!!

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

CKY Helambu Circuit Trek

Posted Dec 5th, 2018 under Community Service Project, Photo Essay, Special Events, Trekking & Hiking, Trip Report,

By Ingita Dangol, EH Sales Department 

“When you leave the comfort of your home and home country to engage in volunteer project in Nepal where your help is greatly needed, it will have a deep impact on you as well as the local people life also. Sometimes we forget how privileged we really are. We complain about our daily lives, health, education, work but when you spend time in a local community of Nepal that has significantly less than you do and is struggling in different ways, you might realize that your problems aren’t all that bad.” –  CKY Student Group, Helambu Circuit Trek  

During medical supplies donation at Khutumsang Healthpost at Khutumsang

As previous year, Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure of Nepal in partnership with Travel Adviser (Hongkong) once again operated 6 nights/7 days Full Camping Trek of Helambu Circuit from 25th Nov to 01st Dec 2018. The trek which included 16 students and 3 teachers of CKY School of Hong Kong had the objective to explore the rural communities and discover the natural beauty of Nepal. The group had a whole week of fun and adventure. However, the students also wanted to make the trek purposeful. They donated medicine to the local health post and educational equipment to the local schools. At every donation point, the group was warmly welcomed and cheered by teachers, students, health practitioners and local people. The trek started their Helambu Circuit Trek from Sundarijal, north of Kathmandu valley and ended at Kiul. 

On the way to Tharepati

A photo moment while on the way to Golfu Bhanjyang

Bhumeswori Secondary School at Kuil

A brief outlook on the group’s daily activities is as follows:

Day 1: Drive to Sundarijal and Trek to Chisapani (2054 m) – around 5 hours

At around 8:30 am, the group departed from Hotel Shangrila to Sundarijal. The groups reached Sundarijal, their trek starting point at 10 am. The first two hours was a bit strenuous due to a steep uphill path which looked like never ending. Everybody took lots of short rests during the first few hours. On the way, they passed through Shivapuri National Park. It took them around 5 hours to reach at Chisapani.

Day 2: Trek to Golfu Bhanjyang (2142m) – 6/7 hours

The trek continued through the refreshing forested area and beautiful settlements to Chipling village for lunch. After lunch, it continued to Golfu Bhanjyang for overnight camp.

Day 3: Trek to Manginggoth (3285m) – 8 hours

Early in the morning after breakfast, the trek started. Before lunch which they had at Khutumsang, there was a short program held at Khutumsang Health Post where the group donated medical supplies and had short briefing about health post. Later on, the group visited Himalayan Primary School where they conducted events like Hungry Hippo, football and paper airplane. During these event, the group got mixed with local students and enjoyed their moment together.

At Khutumsang Health Post

On the way to Chisapani

Painting Activity at Himalaya Primary School at Khutumsang

Himalaya Primary School at Khutumsang

Day 4: Trek to Melamchi Gynag (3300m) via Tharepati (3685m) – 7 hours

Early morning, the group went for a 3 hours’ trek to Tharepati from where the magnificent mountain ranges could be seen. After lunch at Tharepati, they hiked down to Melamchi Gyang where they stayed for overnight.

Day 5: Trek to Malerepo – 4 hours

Before they moved towards Malerepo, the student group visited Melamchi Gyang Secondary School and donated stationery, sports materials and medicine to the Headmaster of the school.  After lunch, they headed to Melerepo.

Camping at Golfy Bhanjyang

Medicine and Stationery materials donation at Melamchi School

Lunch at Melamchi Ghyang

Day 6: Trek to Kiul – 5 hours

After breakfast, the group trekked to Kiul where they had a short program at Shree Bhumeshori Secondary School. They donated stationary and sports materials to the students and had a short briefing about their goals.  Later on, the group spent some moments together with the local students by playing and dancing.

Day 7: Drive back to Kathmandu from Kiul – 4 hours and International Departure

After early morning breakfast, the group headed towards Kathmandu by bus. On reaching Kathmandu, the group had a sightseeing tour to Kathmandu Durbar Square. They also had refreshment and lunch program at Hotel Marshyangdi.  After lunch the group explored Thamel Bazaar for shopping and hunting souvenir and gifts to their friends and family. Finally, a week of adventure was wrapped up with a candle light dinner at Hotel Shangrila, where the group had a short review session with the members and the staffs of Explore Himalaya. This was one of the best parts of their trip, where they got to share their words and daily experiences. All of them expressed their gratitude to Explore Himalaya for arranging such a meaningful trek for them  and expressed their hope to get such opportunities in upcoming days.

On the way to Malerepo

Himalaya School at Khutumsang

Farewell dinner at Hotel Shangrila

Everything You Want to Know before Everest Base Camp Trek

Posted Sep 2nd, 2018 under Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Everyone knows Everest Base Camp trek is an ambitious adventure but with proper planning it’s not that intimidating. Trust us! After all, we are speaking with more than 20 years of experience.

Everest Base Camp Trek is normally a two-week trek with 10/11 of pure trekking days which starts and ends at Lukla. However, this can be extended with a side trip to Gokyo Lake. This way you can have the complete experience of “Trekking in Nepal” as the classic Everest Base Camp trek is all about going straight to the Base Camp and retracing back the same way, whereas the extended trip allows you a circuit and adds the adventure of Cho La Pass (5420m), a High Mountain Pass and Gokyo Lake (4750m), one of the highest freshwater lakes. In both cases, you get to see the kaleidoscopic beauty of magnificent mountains, amazing highland settlements and unique flora and fauna of Everest region. For more details on the itineraries and daily activities, you can go through https://www.explorehimalaya.com/packages/everest-base-camp-trek/ and https://www.explorehimalaya.com/packages/gokyo-kala-pattar-everest-base-camp-trek/.

Namche Bazaar (3450m), the trekkers’ hub of Everest Region

Trek to Everest Base Camp is well known for being one of the most adventurous treks, and some people even make it sound treacherous. However, the pleasure of comfort is not that unattainable if you are aware of certain things beforehand. Feed yourself with a bit of information, plan well and you are all set for this incredible journey! Below is a list of few things you need to know to make the most of this wonderful adventure.

Trek Type

Depending on your budget and interest, there are three ways of trekking in Nepal – GAP, TH and Fully organized camping trek. The most popular are GAP and TH. GAP includes Guide, Accommodation and Porter; whereas TH (teahouse) includes Guide, Accommodation, Porter and all meals. Fully organized camping trek is popular in remote areas only where there is no adequate accommodation facility, which naturally makes this type outdated in Everest region. So you can choose between GAP and TH. You can also be an independent traveler but it’s not recommended considering the geographical extremities and remoteness of the region.    

Trip Grade

Everest Base Camp Trek is rated as “Moderate to Fairly Challenging” trek. Physically quite tiring, it involves approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. No previous experience is required. However, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercises and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.

Gokyo Lake

Climate and Weather Condition

Climate, as expected, is extreme in Everest region. So, travelling during winter (from December to February) is not recommended at all due to piling of snow in trails. During monsoon also (from mid May to mid-September), the weather is cloudy resulting in very poor visibility. The best seasons to trek to Everest region is Autumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night.

 People 

Everest region, also known as Khumbu region is the home of Sherpas, the able bodied, hardy and fearless world-class mountaineers and high altitude guides. They emigrated from Tibet about 600 years ago. In the past they were traders and porters, carrying butter, meat, rice, sugar, and dye from India, and, wool, jewelry, salt Chinese silk and porcelain from Tibet and beyond. Now, most of them are involved in mountaineering expeditions and trekking. They are the ardent followers of Buddhism.

Altitude Sickness

The highest point of Everest Base Camp trek is Kala Patthar (5545m) and the trek starting point (Lukla) is 2800m. So Altitude sickness is a concern as it has the potential to affect all travelers from 2500m. It is caused by going up high too fast and can be fatal if the entire warning signals are ignored. Normally Everest Base Camp itinerary has gradual climb and the duration itself is short; hence, chances of AMS are not high. However, one needs to be careful and take all the necessary precautions.

Everest range as seen from Kala Patthar (5545m)

 Visa and Immigration

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. For more information, please go to  http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa

Permit

Permit is mandatory while trekking in Nepal. For Everest Base Camp trek or any other trekking in Everest region, you need to get Sagarmatha National Park entry permit and a local permit card. Sagarmatha National Park entry permit (NPR 3000 per person) can be obtained at the park entrance gate at Monjo. However, it is better to get from Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu just in case the Monjo point goes through some technical problems. You also need to get a local entry permit at Lukla (NPR 2000 per person). Previously you had to take TIMS card, which is replaced by the local entry permit. Have the copies of your passport ready for both.     

Health

Consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip. Let your doctor know about the area you are travelling to. It is especially important if you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint. If you are travelling with a travel agency, normally your team carries a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a users’ manual which you can use upon your own risk. It’s better to carry your own personal first aid kit.

A female Himalayan Tahr

Insurance

A travel insurance which covers cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation is a MUST if you are trekking in Nepal.

 Luggage

During trek your main luggage will be carried by porters or pack animals (usually yaks or cross breeds). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. – a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage, plus a small lockable bag for anything that you do not need during your trek which you can leave at hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu.

Trekking Gears

You don’t have to spend a fortune on this. Just be rational on your choice. Please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/2018/07/23/trekking-gear-list-for-everest-base-camp-trek/ for a complete list.

Clothing

As geographical variation is very wide, you should go with layering style. While trekking in Everest region during the day at lower altitudes, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts are recommended. It’s always a good idea to carry a waterproof jacket and some warmer clothing with you as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. For the cold nights, thermal underwear, a warm fleece jacket and even a down jacket will help to keep you warm. Good shoes are of great importance. For more info on clothing, please go to https://www.explorehimalaya.com/2018/07/23/trekking-gear-list-for-everest-base-camp-trek/

Weight allowance

In Nepal’s domestic airlines the weight allowance is 15 Kgs. Excess weight is chargeable about USD 1.5 or more per Kilo depending on sectors.

A Chorten at Phortse

Accommodation

Trekking in Everest region doesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail. You stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. So a sense of adventure is required. In Kathmandu, you can find a wide range of star rated hotels.  

 Food and Water

You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer) along the Everest Base Camp trail. You can also buy bottled water in local lodges and shops. However, it’s a sensible thing to bring water purification pills.

Transport

The starting point of Everest Base Camp trek is in Lukla which is connected by a 30 min flight from Kathmandu. For ground transfers, travel companies use private vehicles like car, van, hiace and coaster bus depending on the size of the group. You can also find public transports like bus, taxi and micro van in Kathmandu. However, they are often crowded, slow and uncomfortable (but very cheap).

 Personal Expenses

You can expect to spend around 2500-3000 Rupees a day for your basic food and snacks (excluding accommodation and transportation as they vary widely depending on the level of service). Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. You can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.

A local hotel

Communication

There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Everest region. Cell phones work throughout the trek in Everest Region. However, keep in mind that it can’t be as smooth as in lowlands. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, you can get a rental satellite phone if necessary.

 Money Exchange

Money exchange is not a problem in Kathmandu. You can find many local certified moneychangers. But same can’t be expected during trek. The facility is available only in major stopovers like Lukla, Namche etc. Card payment (Visa, MasterCard, JCB and American Express) is also widely accepted in tourist- class hotels, restaurants and shops in Kathmandu. During trek, be prepared to pay in cash as it is accepted in major stopovers only.   

Responsible Travel

Travelling is not just about what you get, it is also about what you leave. Try to leave positive impact behind. Respect the mountains, its fragile environment and the local culture. Choose the responsible service providers only. Go through “Dos and Donts in Nepal” thoroughly before travelling to Nepal.

 

 

 

 

Trekking Gear List for Everest Base Camp Trek

Posted Jul 23rd, 2018 under Equipments and Gadgets, Company News, Trekking & Hiking,

If you are planning or joining Everest Base Camp Trek,  you are well on your way to experience one of the finest adventures in the world. However, your sense of adventure will be intact only if you are comfortable against the basic elements of nature and surroundings. Mountain terrain is rugged and dramatic with notoriously unpredictable weather. So, you need to be well equipped to make your journey safe and comfortable. Here is a trekking gear list that comes handy when you are planning for this amazing Himalayan adventure to the Everest Base Camp or any other trekking regions in Nepal. Mountains can move you only if you can move yourself comfortably! 

Kitbag (duffel bag)

A simple design without wheels and without foldable handles is best for your gear to be carried by porters. You can buy in Kathmandu, although they are not as tough as the North Face Base Camp Duffel.

Sleeping bag

Down-filled bags are fluffy, light and thick. 4-5 season sleeping with a muff (an extra section around the neck that makes a big difference to the overall warmth of a bag) is recommended. You can rent reasonable sleeping bags cheaply in Kathmandu.

Sleeping bag liner

Cotton, silk or fleece – it saves washing your sleeping bag and adds warmth. Cotton or silk ones can be made in Kathmandu but are more easily brought from home. Fleece ones are readily available in Kathmandu.

Down Jackets

Extremely light, warm and easy to pack – they are very handy in cold regions especially during chilly mornings and evenings. Better to get the down jackets that can hold against -10 °C upto 3000m and -20 °C for altitudes above 3000m. They can be easily bought or rented in Kathmandu.  

Daypack

This should be comfortable with a good waist band that transfers some of the weight to the hips. It needs to be big enough to hold all the items you need for the day till you reach the next camp like jacket, water, camera and odds and ends.

Boots

Lightweight boots with good ankle support, plenty of toe room for long descents, a stiff sole to lessen twisting torsion are the best. Look at the inner lining -leather is good and Cambrelle is even better, a material that eats smelly feet bacteria. Try them in some steep terrain before trekking to find trouble spots.

Socks

Quality cotton mix sports socks (3-4 pairs) are good while in low country. Thick trekking socks (3-4) are better for higher up and cool evenings. Mostly modern trekking boots fit snugly so wearing two pairs of socks at the same time is impractical.

Camp shoes/sandals/flip-flops

A luxury for your feet at the end of the day is the most important thing. Sandals or running shoes are good. Flip-flops, available for cheap in Kathmandu, are a necessity for showers during the trek.

Fleece jacket/vest

Most trekkers consider this essential, but alternatives are a thick thermal top or a light down jacket. In Kathmandu you can get almost any sort of fleece you need.

Wind jacket

Windproof and breathable jackets are a comfort during windy days. Make sure they have hoods. Gore-tex (or similar) jackets are recommended for treks over passes or climbing trips. Lighter jackets should be a second jacket, easy to throw in the daypack in warmer days.

Rain coat or Poncho

Bringing a raincoat or poncho is a sensible thing when you are in mountains as you never know when Mother Nature wants to have some fun.

Nightwear thermals

Light weight thermals are great for warm nights in the sleeping bag!

Fleece/sweatpants

Great for the chilly evenings, thicker is better (except for when the stoves in the teahouses really heat up!). Readily available in Kathmandu.

Day-wear shirt

T-shirts are popular but a cotton shirt or mixed yarn travel shirt is more versatile. The collar protects the back of your neck and the sleeves can be rolled up or down. Take two or three so you can swap damp for dry.

Trekking pants

You will live in these. Light material, loose and dark-colored is the best. You can survive with only one pair, although two/three is better.

Wind pants

If your trekking pants are reasonably windproof then special wind pants are not needed. If you do bring a pair, it is not necessary to have Gore-tex. Similar, waterproof is quite OK.

Warm skull cap/balaclava

Woolen/mixed synthetic warm cap or balaclava is nice for the evenings.

Neck gaiter

For winter trekking they are really the best for staying warm!

Trekking poles

Definitely useful, especially on steep, rough terrain, but if you are not used to using them you can survive without.

Sunglasses

Suitable for snow, it’s bright up there, but specialized glacier glasses with side pieces are not needed. Contact lens wearers report very few problems except cleaning them in the conditions. Ski goggles are unnecessary.

Mittens/gloves

Fleece gloves are also a must. However, a good pair of wind and water proof/ gloves is also essential for foul weather. Available in Kathmandu for cheap if you don’t have a pair.

Water bottle

Should be one liter or more in capacity, take boiling water and be leak-proof. Nalgene or a similar brand, or European fuel bottles are the best. You need at least 2 water bottles, or at least 1 water bottle in addition to a Camelback or hydration system.

Torch / Flashlight

Petzl Tikka’s and other similar torches with LED bulbs rule. They are quite helpful for trips to the toilet at night!

Toiletries and odds & ends

The smallest tube of toothpaste is perfect for a month. You need to bring or buy along the way. Your personal toiletries come in the list. Make sure you also have toilet rolls or tissue paper for emergencies.

Towel

Bring only a small one trekking, or a camp towel. In Kathmandu the hotel supplies towels.

Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen

Sunburn doesn’t look and feel as cool as the beach burn. Get sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher depending on the sensitivity of your skin. You should also use lip balm with high SPF. Also have a wide brimmed hat to go with.

First Aid Kit

We carry one with aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, decongestants, lozenges, various antibiotics for Nepalese varieties of diarrhea and chests infections, Diamox (an acclimatizing aid drug), antiseptic, antihistamine cream, rehydration, bandages and band-aids, tough blister tape (but not moleskin). As we are not certified to prescribe medicines you have to use them at your own risk.

You have to bring any personal medicines that you need.

Water purification

Bring a bottle of iodine tablets such as Potable Aqua, Polar Puror Couglans etc or any other similar tablets. Bottled water is available on the trail.

Money-pouch/belt/inside pocket

Most people find wearing one while trekking is a hassle and keep it buried in their kitbag or daypack. But they can be handy. The Kathmandu hotels have safety deposit boxes.

Book and Note Pad

When you are free for independent activities, especially in the evenings books can be a good friend. Kindles are also fine. Note Pad is also important for making diary entries and taking notes of things that catch your interest. 

Power Bank

Though there are charging facilities available in the hotels, lodges and teahouses en route, bring power bank when you are in mountains. You never know when there will be power cut or occur some technical emergencies. 

 

 

 

International Medical Relief (IMR) Manaslu Trek

Posted Apr 17th, 2018 under Special Events, Trekking & Hiking, Trip Report,

Excursion to Manaslu Base Camp

A team of International Medical Relief (IMR) medical professionals including doctors, nurses and health assistants did Himalayan Medical Expedition in Manaslu region for about two weeks. The trek that started on 2nd April and concluded on 14th April was aimed at providing medical assistance to the remote villages of Manaslu region. The 7-member team had Ms Anna Amita Desimone (US), Ms. Sarah Rose Burney (US), Ms. Sophie Dojacques (US), Mr. Austin Ryan Eaton (US), Ms. Deanna Joy Shapiro (US), Ms Zoe Harriet Smyth (Ireland) and Ms. Tatiana Claudia Doyle (US).

Medical Camp at Philim

The first day of the trek started with a 9 hour drive to Soti Khola, the starting point of the 13 days’ trek. The team provided medical care to many en-route villages including Philim (120 patients), Namrung (45 patients), Samdu (40 patients) and Samagaun (65 patients) where they distributed medicine as well. Their mobile clinic also served the trekkers who they met on the way. The most common problems found among the locals were arthritis, back pain, chest pain, lack of appetite and high blood pressure.

En-route Samdu

Medical Camp at Samdu

Along with providing the medical care, they also had an exclusive opportunity to get real close to Manaslu (8163m), the eighth highest mountain and the marvelous views of isolated highland villages untouched by creeping modernity. This physically demanding trek also led them to Manaslu Base Camp and Larke-La pass (5160m), the highest point of the whole trek, from where they got to savor the stupendous views of the Manaslu panorama. Finally after the humane service and adventure of almost two weeks, they concluded their trek at Dharapani. At the end of the trek, back in Kathmandu, the team rejoiced the trip and expressed their happiness for being a part of the humanitarian cause. 
This is the second trip of Explore Himalaya with IMR. We take it as a matter of pride to be the local partner of IMR and hope to work for such noble cause in future as well.

At Larke Pass (5106m), the highest point of the trek

 

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